Sunday, November 19, 2006

brief questions about my main site

Here are the links to my two websites:
Main site:
Secondary site:

To answer a few of Dr. Lambiase's questions about my main site:

My main site did not feature any kind of contact information on the home page, nor were there any clues to the geographic location of the company, which is in Dallas. The only time I saw Dallas mentioned was on the Contact Us page at the bottom. Also, whoever created this website must not want any business because I couldnt find any sort of webmaster information.

There is no option to switch to a text only view on the home page, or anywhere on the website for that matter. As far as the font options go, the font was easy to read by anyone, and is just a basic sans serif font with varying uses of all caps for the headings and link titles. Whoever designed this site did do a good job of making sure it was easy and accessable to read by any one. Overall, I think that no one would have a problem moving throughout this site.

I would definately classify this site as Web 2.0 due to the use of graphics, videos, color, links, and transitions between pages.

This site does require plug-ins, and it does not offer an option to read information without it. I would suggest that they offer one since it might not be compatible to all computers. Since they are a marketing communications firm, you would think that measures would be made to make sure their website is marketed to all, not just those who have the coolest, most updated computers!


Anyone who thinks designing a website is easy should think again. Some people may think web design should be classified as an art; and they are probably right. Just as designing any other piece of media involves perfecting the layout, format, and overall presentation, the same goes for a website, perhaps even more.

The main reason a company has a website is to advertise. Therefore, a website can say a lot about the company, such as its purpose, history, or level of professionalism. If the website is not up-to-date, or aesthetically appealing, then potential clients may go elsewhere for services.

When designing a web site, the designer must take into consideration the four principles of web design. First, the navigation: is it easy to move throughout the site? Second, the presentation: is the website’s appearance pleasing to the eye? Does it “invite” you to stay? Third, the organization: is the information featured relevant and organized logically? Fourth, the change: does it change frequently to remain up-to-date? All these things combined form the basis for an excellent, successful website if they are accomplished properly.

The two websites I chose featured the companies The Richards Group and TracyLocke. Both of these companies are in the business of marketing communications, and I would be privileged to get an internship with either of them, as well as a job when I graduate.

My main site promotes The Richards Group. They have done countless advertisements for big names such as Chick-Fil-A, Patron Spirits, Corona, and The Dallas Morning News. They are a huge company, yet they pride themselves on having no formalized departments, which gives it a small company-feel. The site I chose to compare it to promotes TracyLocke. They are an older company who helped create Elsie the Cow, one of Advertising Age’s top ten icons of the century.

The good things about my main site are the simplistic uses of color and overall navigation and organization. My secondary site is very colorful and bright, unlike my main site, which is mostly all black. That may be seen to some as a fallback, but I believe it works well in comparison to the other site. When you compare them side to side, my secondary site is much more complex in navigating, and the use of much color only adds to the complexity. On the other hand, The Richards Group, my main site, is easy to navigate, and a viewer would find it a seamless process to move throughout the entire site. For the most part, my main site was almost impossible to get lost in, and it was organized in a very logical, simple way.

Even though I stated above that I feel it is a good thing that my main site’s use of color is minimal, I do feel they could add more to better compete with the other site. Also, the fact that my main site is easy to navigate in could be seen as a drawback because it could be seen as almost too simplistic. I am worried that some clients may get bored with The Richards Group site, and may be overwhelmed by the TracyLocke site. Both sites would be perfect if they would just find a common ground with the use of color and layout styles!

Upon further investigation in my secondary site, TracyLocke, I found that I had originally thought the site was too cluttered. The more I looked at each site, I found that when comparing it to my main site, at first glance, it seemed more cluttered, but in fact, it was actually more informative.

Overall, many of the suggestions I would give to improve my main site are about content. My secondary site has many links to case studies and success stories that provide a personal insight to “who” their company really is. The Richards Group’s site could benefit from adding more links such as these since clients often like to know the personal side of a company.

Neither of the sites changed much over the period of two weeks. They might have added a few bulletins about new news and upcoming events, but that was about it.

My assessment of my main site in the beginning was different than the end. In the beginning, I thought that it was much better than my secondary site because it was easy to navigate. As a newcomer to both sites, I found the TracyLocke site harder to look around in. However, I discovered that I was holding myself back. Every time I checked the sites, I would always check them at the same time, popping back from site to site, always looking at my main site first. It was not until I accidentally went to my secondary site first and really got into it when I realized it was so much more interesting! My main site just did not give me the motivation to stay and read about them, which is unfortunate since they are a much more successful company than TracyLocke (from what I know of them historically, I could be wrong).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

JonBenet Pictures
My definition of COPYRIGHT: a form of protection provided by the government for work produced by authors/photographers/etc of either published or unpublished works.

The first link above features a picture with JonBenet in a white dress with white lace gloves on. It appears that the picture is attributed to TimePix.

The second link features a blurry picture of JonBenet that is attributed to AP.

According to the articles I read, I believe that both pictures were put on the websites illegally and without permission.

The article I read stated that 90% of the copyrighted images of JonBenet had been made available by ZUMA Press. The problem of the pictures being distributed over the web came from AP, Reuters, and others just distributing the same images without permission of ZUMA. Some of the various news media organizations and wire services, such as AP and Reuters, have issued "manditory kill" notices to their clients advising them to remove the images from their system, since ZUMA is the agent that owns them.

Some of these organizations have credited and acknowledged ZUMA in their images, however, the U.S. Copyright office states that that is no excuse, since there is no substitute for actually asking permission from the copyright holder (ZUMA) or someone who represents them.

Also, certain parties might argue that since the photos are all over the web, they have come into the public domain, which is not true. To this date, there is no public domain right that exists over the JonBenet photos since the works were created and published after 1964 (which is the date in which all photos before that are automatically in public domain).