1984 is on its way…

With the website presentations happening next week, my web group chocrocks and I have been emailing back and forth trying to organise our site. Our biggest problems surround our menu titles and language/tone. It makes me realise that we made a mistake in not deciding these things – or at least articulating them well – at the start of the project. The fact that there are five of us in the group with varying opinions and visions for the site only adds to the problem. However, in class this week we took an extra 10 minutes to make some decisions. We’ve changed the byline so that it reflects the website’s purpose. We’ve also changed a couple of menu titles, fixed some typos and set out a list of each team member’s responsibilities for the two weeks before the final project is due. Unfortunately, two of our members will be absent next week, leaving just Jac, Phil and I. I’ve been chosen to do the website presentation in class.

Looking at Fitzroyalty this week made me realise just how much work and time blogger Brian Ward must dedicate every day to his site. It’s a really beautiful site filled with twice daily postings, lots of photographs and interesting articles. Sometimes I wonder why Ward doesn’t put advertising on the site. He might be able to make a living off of it. Perhaps he enjoys his job too much. It’s really cool to see someone giving to the community without expecting a monetary reward.

For anyone interested in the internet and privacy, there’s a fantastic new book out called “Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness after the Digital Explosion” by Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen and Harry Lewis. I first came across this book while researching a paper I’m writing about privacy laws in Australia. It’s a fascinating book all about how much personal privacy we abandon, often willingly, in exchange for the conveniences the internet and technology affords us. Things like IP addresses, cell phone use, social networking sites, credit card transactions and email can all be collected and companies can then sell that information to others who use it for marketing purposes. On the same topic, there was an article in the Weekend Australian Financial Review on Saturday called “They’re watching your every move” by Steve Baker. Although the article isn’t yet online, the book the article is based on certainly is. The Numerati discusses all of the ways that modern society is observed, tracked and studied: at the grocery store, channel-surfing at home and even going to church. It’s all very 1984….

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “1984 is on its way…

  1. Advertising sucks. Visually ugly. Usually contextually irrelevent and inappropriate. Makes site less trustworthy. Reduces your audience.

    The advertising business model is dead. The future lies elsewhere. Read more.

    There’s very little money to be made from local news. It’s naive to think otherwise!

    The Ultra Local Voice blog argues that “If you are ultralocal or hyperlocal enough to be interesting to your community you are almost by definition serving an audience niche too small to be funded by advertising.” Read more.

    Technically it’s rather difficult. I’d say 75% of my readers view my content via RSS, not the homepage. I’d have to serve ads via RSS, which I detest. And I refuse to undermine my careful graphic design and information architecture with ads.

  2. Pingback: week twelve thoughts « Reneespeak’s Blog

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