Creating a website with solid content

Digital portfolios are one of the most crucial tools anyone can have, especially in the Communication field. Anyone can create a website, it is however, including relevant and strong content that is the challenge. These three websites are good examples of content driven websites:

Meranda Writes

Meranda started her website as a personal blog to keep friends and family updated on her busy life. Eventually, she built credibility and a wider audience by keeping up with blog posts and updates. As you scan through her website, you will immediately notice a few things: she has a lot of personality and her resume is impressive. Now, she is an associate editor for Angie’s List Magazine. Prior to that, she was an education reporter for Journal & Courier in Indiana. She follows a similar format suggested by website design experts:

  • Links to her other pages are easily found
  • She includes links to previous professional works for other companies and organizations
  • She includes personality and originality and maintains professionalism at the same time

Lam Thuy Vo

Lam Thuy Vo is a multimedia reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Her website serves as an innovative portfolio containing all aspects of her work. Her work ranges from video to digital pictures to articles. While her website does not appear to be content driven, it definitely displays her work in a creative and professional manner. Although her digital portfolio is impressive, it is somewhat difficult to navigate through the website because it is packed with links to samples of her work. Her contact information is difficult to find.

  • eye catching and appealing pictures
  • provides links to articles and previous work samples
  • displays a wide range of variety in skill and technique

Women’s Sports Network

This particular website is directed towards a specific public – those who are advocates for women’s sports, female athletes and avid sports fans. The Women’s Sports Network covers a wide variety of women’s sports, specifically at the collegiate and elite level. WSN is more of a grass root organization that does not have much professionally made videos, however they provide links and information to any sports related news. The WSN front page follows a similar format recommended by Go Globe.com. The highlighted features of this website are:

  • Interactive social media – provides links to YouTube videos and tweets
  • Blogs – personally written by two different women who share great stories
  • Content driven – there is always more to the story. WSN strives to tell every story in the best way they can

All of these websites are different in purpose, but fulfill a similar goal: to be known by the public. Each website offers unique perspectives and navigation.  The best way to determine the quality of a website can be based on accessibility to information, navigation, and appealing graphics. The content is a crucial factor as well, for without content, you do not have a story to share.

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Ethical tips for publishing work on the ‘net

Finding information used to be a rigorous trek – students went to the library, looked up the book catalog, climbed the stairs and used the Dewey decimal system to find the book, the very source, the answer to their question. Today, we simply use Google as a starting search engine to answer our deep and silly questions. The search for knowledge is available in our palms, what a sensation! However, the credibility is not always consistent. Freedom of speech has a impressive presence on the internet.

While knowledge is available at our fingertips with ease, we also face the challenge of maintaining ethical standpoints when expressing ourselves on the internet. There are ways to keep yourself from stealing information or “accidentally” stating the same thing four other people might have already said. Here are some quick tips on how to not get sued:

  • Respect the privacy of people – too often have I seen people post private details about other people without their permission. This is considered an invasion of privacy and you can land yourself a nice lawsuit.
  • Be chill, don’t defame anyone – sure, we have our moments where we just don’t get along with this one person, but it is not cool to publicly and falsely tell the internet world lies about this one person you might be disliking.
  • Recognize the rights of intellectual property – While you are writing clever and witty things online, chances are you might have “borrowed” the thought from someone else. Do them a favor and give them recognition for their intellectual property. Beware of trademark words and copyrighted brands!
  • Look into licensing your work – Sometimes we publish work online that we are extremely proud of. Find ways to protect your work and gain credibility for it!
  • Check out Creative Commons‘ network – While we may publish original thought and creativity, sometimes we need to collaborate someone else’s work to boost our work’s wow factor. Creative Commons allows for us to find other work and safely use the work without risking lawsuit.

Publishing your creative thoughts and ideas online is as easy as ABC, however be sure to protect yourself! There are several traps you can easily fall into if you do not apply practical ethics to your internet surfing adventures.