Writing for Digital Media – Chapters 2 and 3

With the advancement of today’s technology and the great aptitude at which we have come to navigate the Internet, it is not hard to discredit the work which takes place in creating a blog or website (particularly since there are so many websites devoted to making the task easier, freeing users from the time and strain required for coding). However one must have more than a good concept and an account on a website-generator to create a truly successful website, and, before reading Chapter 1 of Brian Carroll’s Writing for Digital Media, I was unaware of how much actually needs to be taken into consideration when completing such a task.

Readability, credibility, and simple aesthetic appeal are all crucial to the development of a good website, and, when it comes to the Internet, all three are interrelated. Carroll discusses how good credibility is dependent on much more than accuracy and expertise in a given subject matter, though those are obviously vital as well. Good writing, user-friendly layout, high-quality graphics, and a direct system of site navigation are all extremely important when creating a website. As Carroll discusses, this was shown in a project conducted by Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab (http://credibility.stanford.edu) in which studies found that people usually determine the credibility of a website based off their initial impressions of the site’s visual attractiveness and how professional it looks. Carroll uses Google as an example of this, noting how the site, despite it’s lack of dramatic alteration over the years, has continued to grow in popularity due to the simplicity of its format and the easy access to extensive amounts of information it provides. Unlike Google, Facebook, a website that has grown increasingly popular in recent years, changes its format rather regularly but only ever in ways which seem to benefit easy utilization, proving, again, that design and readability are essential to the credibility of a website.

Discussion Questions:

Which characteristics initially draw people to a website or blog?

Also, what are the differences between a good author and a good digital author?

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