Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Excuse

"It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!"
Friedrich Nietzsche

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I think that includes me. I have a lot of opinions. Some of them are intelligent, well thought out, and justified. Others are not. I don't think that a person should have to have a reason for their opinion, unless of course they are avidly trying to convince others to agree with them. I am willing to have my own opinions, regardless of whether anyone agrees with me.

Intelligent (web) Design

Virtually every business, school, or other organization has their own web site now. This is a sign of the times. As everyone makes the move onto the internet for entertainment, communication, and shopping, it is becoming increasingly important to have a web site. Simply having a web site is not enough, however.

The way you create your site, and the information and services you provide, can make or break your site and potentially affect your organization's reputation.

If your site doesn't provide a value, don't bother having it. At the very least, you should have some basic information about your business/organization, as well as contact information. If you have a website, you should really have an email address listed that can be used to contact you.

Flash applets have been growing in popularity over the last several years. They can be pretty cool, but truly are just flash. Flash applets take a long time to load, especially for dial-up users. Instead of investing in a flashy interface (excuse the pun), use PHP and Javascript to create a faster loading, more dynamic interface.

Static websites are becoming a thing of the past. When I created my first website in the late 90's, I patched together a collection of HTML snippets and made a pretty cool site (at the time). HTML still has a value, but to a much lesser extent. Using PHP, Javascript, style sheets, and a database back-end, we are now able to customize our websites to better suit our individual visitors.

As with all other fields of information technology (and information systems) the technologies used for creating web sites is constantly changing, an will continue to do so. With this in mind, we must remember that having the right content on your site is far more important than the technology used to create it. Keeping on the cutting edge can be a burden because of the extra time needed to implement it as well as the limited compatibility with users on slower internet connections or using older browsers. Be wary of what design methods are used with your site. Don't let anyone sway you too far towards their own ideas. When in doubt, go with your instincts and get a site that suits your needs best.

Given the blog rush.

Everyone seems to want to have a blog, or visit blogs, that seems to be the big thing today. The thing is, most blogs really shouldn't be considered blogs. Blog is a portmanteau (combination) of web and log. Originally blogs served as a sort of online journal, but they have become something different. Now everything is a blog. Blogs are news/commentary and personal websites. Basically it's cooler to have a blog than a website. Now I feel that it is rather pretentious to think that anyone cares what you had for breakfast, so the newer "blogs" are actually better than what blogs were originally. Mostly I think that we need t find them a more fitting name.

I actually created this blog for class. I'm glad that sites like this allow more people to easily express themselves. I remember when the internet was mostly for nerds like me.