Jennifer Kaufenberg's Assignments and Exercises Fall 2014


Project: Text-Context in Four Web Sites


Website One:

conformity


The first site selected is CNN Student News website.

NOTES:
Red back ground heading banner across the top with white lettering
Header includes CNN logo
Establishes connection to CNN news affiliation and creditability
Connects with visitor’s existing knowledge/memory
Links bar below header
News topics and areas of interest listed horizontal
Move mouse over each link title, brief description of topic areas is given
Provides reader to check content before clicking link saving time
Home Page Center column provides information on developing and current news
Latest, Opinion, Top Stories, Previous Stories in Left Column
Easy access to news
Red bullets hold readers attention against gray text and background
Videos labeled with camera icon, easily identifiable
Read This, Watch That: Video News Stories in Center of page
Grab reader’s attention
Visuals add to the context with color and catchy headlines for each image
Advertising along right side column is randomly placed with in website text
Colors grab reader’s attention
Not all distract reader, blend in with overall context of the page
Bottom section of website detailed blocks with headings that match the links bar across
top page
Each block contains a different colored banner
Connecting to reader’s memory
Providing snapshot of main news stories
Camera icon indicates which links including video
Narrow footer
Repeat of links from top of page
Additional links to multimedia, social media, maps, shopping, search, contacts
Red horizontal line breaks footer from main page
CNN news network information
Header and Footer are the same on each page
Addition is Title of page aligned with CNN logo at top
Ease on visitor’s memory to what page they are on
Consistency allows for easy navigation
Advertising message on each page
Advertisement box on each page directly below the header above content text
Color pallet and video images used do not distract from overall page
Advertisement matches the professional feel of site
Maintains creditability and does not sidetrack focus on text and content

CONTEXT:
CNN Student News Website is a resource designed for educators and students. The site provides current and previous news through text, images and video. The website holds and maintains credibility through a professional and well-designed site that encourages the exploration of news through text, visual images, and video. The red and white header across the top of the page ties the site to the main CNN news affiliate, connecting the visitor to the established reliable news source. The site is aligned in manner that appeals to young adults and students, engaging them and guiding them to participate in news through written text, images and videos. The context of the site conforms to the textual messaging that teachers and students rely on. The establishment of the site message, context and the specific circumstances is to provide opportunities for educators to enhance student knowledge, understanding and connection to news and nonfiction text. The site projects an unbiased and nonjudgmental facade, allowing the visitor to take in all sides of the information. According to Stoner and Perkins, messages and circumstances can be grouped together around some unifying themes, principles, or rules (p. 55). The discourse the site uses to establish a connection to the visitors insures that they continually return on a consistent basis. The user friendly layout increases and reinforces visitors returning to the site.

Website Two:

non-participation


The second site selected is AAA Spell website.

NOTES:
The site is very clean and clear of clutter
Site name simple in box centered at top of pages
No flashy banners or bright gaudy colors
Simple ad banner across the top of the page below name, does not distract from the site or pull reader away from purpose of discourse
Navigation bar below banner pulls readers attention down
Navigate site through drop down boxes that do not navigate the actual site
Menus take reader to other sites, signing up for an account, login and Home Page
Main note to first time visitors can be hidden
Practice and development of lists is laid out in to two columns
With an advertisement off to the far right
The page is balanced and easy to use
Simple clean layout keeps the visitor at the site
Discourse engages the reader and provides easy access to creating new lists
The simple black and white layout is cut and dried
Educators are attracted to easy to use and follow
Process to obtain words lists or create your own is not time consuming

CONTEXT:
At first glance this site appears to be a ¬site that educators can go to for spelling and vocabulary lists that are reliable and research based. After further investigation it is apparent that the site is a format for teachers to enter in their spelling and vocabulary lists into the database. The bank of spelling and vocabulary lists are a collection from previously entered material from other educators. The format of the site is designed to provide the visitor with information regarding spelling and vocabulary; however, the site does not claim or promote itself as an authority on the discourse of spelling and vocabulary. There is obvious guidance to spelling and vocabulary lists collected through the use of the site by third parties; which, appear to be educators. The attraction to this site is purely the ease in which to find collections of paired spelling and vocabulary lists at the first through eighth grade levels. The layout of the site is typical of educational sites that provide access to content area material for educational enrichment. The rights of the site belong to John Banfill, but nowhere does the site indicate Banfill’s credentials, educational background or expertise on the subject of spelling and vocabulary.

The context of the site is discourse that pertains to spelling and vocabulary lesson material for educators. The site demonstrates non-participation by not providing information that verifies the rhetors’ authority on the discourse. The rhetor promotes spelling and vocabulary, and the importance of practicing spelling and vocabulary, but does not provide evidence that supports the overall message. The non-participation continues as the rhetor provides tips that only include how to use the site and not how to use spelling and vocabulary in general, this allows the focus of the visitor to be directly on the use of the site and not on the actual words being used.


Website Three:

desecration


The third site selected is Snopes.com Rumor Has It

NOTES:
The Snopes main page
Top left side Snopes logo in black lettering with yellow light image
Logo jumps off neutral background
Clean crisp colors used for background minty green, light blue and white
Advertisement banner next to logo blocks flow to page content and text
Social media endorsement box centered directly above site content links
Long advertisement column off to right side of page matches top banner ad
Add space and location of and banners obstruct the flow of site
Bulleted list of story categories use textual language that is controversial
Try to grab visitor’s attention through shock and awe
Some of the text word choice falls in the category of desecration
Footer is small and provides little contact information, statement on copyright
Another ad banner is located below and off to each side of the footer

CONTEXT:
Snopes website is an “Urban Legends” resource that takes a variety of stories that can be found in print and videos throughout a variety of multimedia sources (blogs, news stories, postings, etc…). The site takes stories that misrepresent specific situations, desecrate people and events, and demonstrates if the story is a fallacy. If the story, image or video is false, textual information demonstrating why is provided. The color selection for the site is very clean, crisp and calming. The overabundance of advertisement banners cause the visitor to stop (pause) during navigation. The banners do not standout because the colors used for the advertising blends in with the overall context. The ads cause the visitor to pause and verify if the message is part of the rhetorical text of the site or part of an advertisement. The rules of rational discourse are violated, as the line between advertising and content are blurred, creating confusion. Similarly, the rule of interpretation of text via context comes across and mocking and provides no serious newsworthy alternative. The site does not meet the contextual expectations that news site use to deliver content. The website uses desecration in a variety of ways to confuse the visitor and hold their attention. Advertisement banner placement is used specifically to disrupt the flow of communication. The link text and story headings capitalize on messages from other multimedia outlets that mock and befoul. The discourse beyond each link follows the desecrating text, images and video with an attempt to provide an alternate version of what has been show as reality.

Website Four:

contextual reconstruction


The fourth site selected is change.org

NOTES
The main page is a white background with a very pale blue watermark of the world map
The focus of the page is the black text “The world’s platform for change”
Below this heading is the site action count “83,507,483 people taking action”
Next to this text is a large red box style button with the text “Start a petition” in white lettering
At the very top of the page is the header bar that remains the same on each page of the website
“change.org” in bold red text that is larger than the text off to the right. This text becomes a focus point that
draws in the visitor and pulls the eyes in
The context of the site is established next to this with a link to “start a petition” and a link to “browse”
Off to the far right is the site “log in”
Below the main section is a list of current “trending petitions”
Each petition located in this section includes
An image for each petition
Name of the individual who started the petition
Number of supported
Date it was created
The footer at the bottom of the page remains the same for all pages in the website
This bar provides more detailed information about the site including privacy, terms, legal and ad guidelines
There is also a drop down box that can be used to change the website text language
The text language options sends the message that the site has worldwide support and recognition
The main page is very crisp and clean
No clutter from advertisements

CONTEXT
This website is a platform for people to enlist the help of others by having them sign petitions for their cause. A message or feeling of hope and unity is being conveyed through the text and context of the site. The simplistic use of rhetoric is an effective tool used to support the context is that everyone has rights and we will join together to support your voice. The use of the words “world’s platform” and the option to change the language of the text reinforces the idea that everyone in the world is coming together to support the cause that you are petitioning for. The site demonstrates contextual reconstruction by defying what the expectations are of posting a petition for people to sign. Most people searching for a site like this understand that not everyone in the world is going to sign your petition and you need to work really hard independently to get your message out to the public. This site provides an outlet for people to get out their message; however, not everyone in the world is going to sign each petition. Petitions are an effective tool in helping people gain a voice for their cause, but not all causes are given equal attention.
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