Pass the Mystery Meat: Learning from "Web Pages that Suck"

Written by Stefene Russell

Though I learned much at Shakespeare's knee,repparttar two years I worked forrepparttar 134650 undergraduate literary magazine atrepparttar 134651 University of Utah were almost as valuable. Every night, I took home fat manila folders full of poetry and fiction that were horribly instructive in their badness. Example: a parody of "Little Women," swapping outrepparttar 134652 main characters for Smurfs.

Last week, we talked about positive web page role models. However, knowing what NOT to do is just as effective. So this week our different pedagogical model is called "Learn From Web Pages that Suck."

A wise-looking fellow, Vincent Flanders, has kindly furnishedrepparttar 134653 internet community with "Where you learn good Web design by looking at bad Web design." Like Sightings, Flanders offers frequent updates to his site-though his is called "The Daily Sucker," which features live examples of new ways to do bad things. Today's sucker is What is so offensive about this site? I can tell you what bothers me: frames; cramped-up, busy text sure to induce a seizure; and no clear explanation as to what they actually do. Flanders notes that there's no "home" button onrepparttar 134654 pages (huge mistake). His overall assessment is that "the above site uses too many frames in a bad way but disguisesrepparttar 134655 fact by its professional look."

Today must be a good day for bad sites, because he has a second sucker up, a government page that is all too elf-explanatory in its suckness:

Web Site Management: Guestbooks

Written by Richard Lowe

Have you ever visited a web site, liked what you saw and wanted to leave a quick note torepparttar webmaster to let him know your feelings? Did you find a great website which entertained you for hours, and you felt like you had to letrepparttar 134649 person who created it know? Or did you spendrepparttar 134650 entire afternoon reading someone's wonderful content, which was so great that you just had to tell him what you thought?

If so, I'll bet you've looked forrepparttar 134651 guestbook, which isrepparttar 134652 traditional place to communicate those thoughts. I don't know who startedrepparttar 134653 concept ofrepparttar 134654 guestbook on web sites, but it's a great idea. It is a quick and easy way for your visitors to leave a little comment (and sometimes a not-so-little comment) about your site.

Have you ever been to a site which elicited these feelings only to find there was no guestbook? If you are anything like me, you felt a little disoriented, perhaps even a bit angry. You just wanted to let someone know they did something good, and they have not given you a way to do so.

Some webmasters will tell you that guestbooks are not important. Others will claim they are a waste of time and effort. I've even heard some sayrepparttar 134655 "real estate (space)" onrepparttar 134656 page would be better put to use promoting a product or something. These comments make me feel a little sad, as these webmasters prove by their comments that they don't really understandrepparttar 134657 internet orrepparttar 134658 web.

You see,repparttar 134659 internet is not about making tons of money (although making tons of money would be great). It's not about awesome storefronts, pay-to-surf programs or evenrepparttar 134660 newest technology. The internet is not about these things.

Whatrepparttar 134661 internet is about is communication. Purely and simply,repparttar 134662 purpose ofrepparttar 134663 internet is to communicate. This morning, when I had to refill a prescription I jumped onto my favorite prescription web site and punched in my renewal instructions ... that's communication. Later inrepparttar 134664 day, I researched some products ... that's communication. Tonight, I may even make a purchase from my favorite shopping site ... and that's also communication.

Those webmasters who make it easy for their visitors to communicate will find their sites prosper by whatever measure they deem important. Conversely, webmasters who impede communications will find their sites are not nearly as successful as they could be.

How does a guestbook fit into this? It gives your visitors not only a standard, globally understood way to communicate withrepparttar 134665 webmaster, but it also gives them a way to communicate with all ofrepparttar 134666 visitors torepparttar 134667 web site. Your visitors can stop for a minute to congratulate you on your good works ... in public for all to see. This is communication at it's best.

A good guestbook script hasrepparttar 134668 following features:

- It must be very configurable, so thatrepparttar 134669 webmaster can leave plenty of things for his visitors to communicate.

- A good guestbook always sends an acknowledgement back torepparttar 134670 person who signed (assuming he left his email address).

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