Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts on Google Sites

Google sites looks like it could be an efficient tool for creating and designing a website. It has some pretty in depth features, such as adding headers and attachments. It has a number of background layouts that you can choose as well. It has options for sidebar links to create a site map. For a site creator that is for non-professionals, it gives quite a bit of options. Since were not creating a professional site, we don't really need that kind of depth. Google sites should have enough tools to create an efficient site for any average person. The site itself is easy enough to navigate through, and it is easy to create pages and add things to them. It's really user-friendly and I would have no problem using it for creating a website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Examples of Good/Bad Websites - This site is a good example. This is because for every story that is posted, there are pictures and links to related articles. It is organized very well, in a hierarchy format that puts a priority on breaking news from big names. It also has a section for videos, as well as a way to listen live to their radio show. - While they do have nice images and other things, there are a few flaws. Besides being organized by show, theres no real kind of organization. You may think you can find something in one area, then you realize you have to look in another. The pre-order section is completely out of date with no signs of repairs coming, links on the front page really have nothing to do with anything.

Thoughts on Palmquist

This was a very interesting article dealing with web design. There were a few things that stuck out to me. The first was how to use links properly. If someone is reading a story they really enjoy, it is a good idea to provide links that lead to more information about the story or maybe even similar topics. However, it is also important not to overdo it and clog your page up with too many links. The next thing I found to be important were the use of images. Not only can images enhance a web site is a visual way, but one of the things they suggested, which I liked, was to add a caption on the picture. What that entails is that if you hover over a picture with your mouse, a caption will pop up. This can be useful to not only use the picture, but also give your audience some more information or facts. The last thing, and what I found to be most important, was the organization of what you have on your site. There are a few different ways of organizing them, such as hierarchy (important stuff goes first). This is extremely important because no one will take your site seriously or find it useful if your site is unorganized or not organized properly. My overall thoughts of the article was that it was very useful. I found the use of charts and pictures to be very useful as well and it enhanced the point Palmquist was trying to make. You need to know this kind of stuff if you want to create and run a successful website.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wikitravel Draft

There are many places to eat in Branford, ranging from restaurant chain classics to exquisite fine dining. If you're looking for breakfast, Branford has five Dunkin Donuts conveniently located throughout the town. If your looking for something more, go to Scotty's. Their breakfast menu is unique and outstanding, and a great way to fill up after a long night on the town. For everything else, Branford has a wide array of eateries as well. If your on a budget and on the run, then Branford Hills is where you want to be. The close to half-mile stretch houses a Wendy's, Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King, Dominos, and McDonalds, making it to satisfy all of your fast food needs. If you're looking for a good ol' fashioned, mid-priced bar & grill, be sure to check out Eli's or Humphrey's for good burgers and fun. If you're looking to splurge on some fine dining be sure to check out La Luna, or especially the USS Chowder Pot III, which is home to some of the best seafood in New England.

There are numerous places to stay in Branford. While the town does not have any "high class" hotels, they do have some very accommodating chains. The best one being the Holiday Inn Express on Rt. 1. You can't miss it with it's dolphin fountain in front of the lobby. Beware of the places that look dingy, they most likely are. The Branford Motel is a haven for high schooler's parties and drug deals. Stay Away!

Buy a car or store something in storage units! Branford is known for it's sheer multitude of car dealerships and storage units. If neither of those appeal to you, then Branford also has a number of beaches to spend a lazy day in the sun. The water is grotesque, so I recommend not going in. There are numerous marinas in the town as well, so bring your boat for a fun day in the water. At night be sure to check out Regal Cinemas. With it's easy location right off the highway and showing all the hottest movies, the movie theater is a great way to spend a night out or find something to do on a lazy Sunday.

Wikitravel tips

1. Use of italics for emphasis
2. Use of inter-language links
3. Don't over-link

These three tips are what I found to be the most useful ones when it comes to Wikitravel. Use of italics stuck out to me. For my article, I know there will be certain things I'd like to focus or emphasize on, and I wouldn't know how to make those things easy to locate. Now, this helpful tip has let me know how to make certain things stick out. I think use of inter-language links is important because this is an international site. Anyone, anywhere can visit it, so naturally not all of them speak English. So, it would be helpful to them if there were links in another language. Or, if an international Wikitravel page had more detail on it than the English page, you could link it up to the English page (I'm sure you can translate it somehow). And finally it is important not to overlink because Wikitravel is made by people for people. When talking about travel, you want to describe things vividly and make it appealing. If you overlinked, I think it would read like a research paper, and no one likes those. So, I think those are three tips that would help anyone writing a Wikitravel entry.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What I'd Do on Wikitravel...

These are the three places I want to create or add to on Wikitravel:

1. Branford, CT - My hometown. I know everything about this town, inside and out. Wikitravel has nothing on it, so I'd be making it. I know where all the big things are and what they are, and I think I could make a really neat article for the town.

2. Bristol, CT - Next to nothing on it at Wikitravel. It is the hometown of ESPN, and there's no mention of it. There's also a need of a better description for Lake Compounce. So I'd do a lot of fixing for that page.

New Haven, CT - A pretty decent article already. The only things I think were missing were sections on nightlife and businesses, which is what I'd add.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wikitravel - My Initial Thoughts

My initial thoughts of Wikitravel are varied after my first look. It was really interesting to scan through a first time. It reminded me of a giant travel blog. To me, I think it could absolutely be useful when gathering information for a potential trip. It could definitely give you a good idea of what you will find interesting and how to get around, but I would definitely not use it as my only source. The same reason applies for why Wikipedia is not allowed for use on research papers. Since anyone can post on Wikitravel, how are you absolutely sure it's accurate? You don't want to get to a far away place and realize the things on Wikitravel aren't there in reality. So, while I absolutely think it's a good place to gather information to start to plan a trip, I would definitely do more research on the stuff you find, to make sure you don't screw yourself up.