Web Presence Analysisisisis

Patterns of Repetition

Stallman: Lots of little blue links all over the place. Site is cut up into little articles with bolded headings and bulleted lists. Short, direct sentences mostly to build up links. Heavily relies on “Don’t” and “Sign the petition.” Also, implied, “Hate These People.” Also, “Support” and “Boycott.” Uses different arguments for each issue/link package addressed. “Urgent Action” items are all related to the United States, but the “Long Term Goals” things are all about other countries. I suspect he may have plans for world domination. Lack of logos or unifying symbols beyond bullet points. Very definite pattern towards liberal political goals.

Cummins: Text on the left, picture on the right repeated throughout the entire site. Underneath many of the photos in the “About” section have a pseudo-handwritten bit of text written under them. Her logo is on every page. Smiling in all of her current photos. Huge repetition in the color choices; light in the middle and dark on the top and bottom. All of the buttons are the same style. Always speaks in the first person. Always links on the top of the page, always copyright info at the bottom. Text is always in blocks, no indentaion.

Patterns of Sequencing

Stallman: Has a classic 3-part type form-Navigation, Body text with links, then his Credibility section with his doctorates and biography. There is a search bar and RSS feed at the top for recent updates, very simple. The top is the most important thing, where he puts the urgent action bits. Also the only part he uses substantial images in. Also big red bolded stuff. Next he moves into page after page of bulleted lists and links. More serious stuff towards the top of this “Body” section, slowly filtering into the autobiographical stuff towards the bottom. This break appears most definitely after the “political notes” section.

Cummins: With the links on the top she doesn’t really force you to connect certain pages to others. The “about” page is the only one with subcategories, but you can view them in any order too.

Patterns of Omission

Stallman: Doesn’t spend much time actually explaining why we should be supporting or not supporting the causes he favors. It’s implied that if we click on the links provided they will explain things, but it could be that he expects his audience to believe him based on his celebrity. Extremely biased; always omits the other side of the argument. Presumably this can be found on the other side of the obligatory link. Also omits things relating to his personal experiences beyond travelouges and such. Very self-centered, nothing about his friends and family. Has nothing that could damage his credibility. We’re assuming he does drugs, but doesn’t reference them.

Cummins: No picture under the “Awards” section. No photos of her being unprofessional in any way. Nothing about anything but her, no info on her personal life or beliefs. Nothing explicitly about her beliefs, anyways.


Stallman: Has a picture of him playing his flute, breaking from his habit of not referring to his private life or hobbies. The red text in the upper reaches of the page.

Cummins: Awards section has no picture, unlike every other page on the site. Also the only part of the site with a bulleted list. Bolded words on the homepage. Her logo is on the bottom left corner of the homepage, whereas it is in the top left on every other page.

Patterns of Relationships

Stallman: The whole site is designed the same, same text size, font, color, basically the same spacing. Everything is related to Stallman and things he has done. Many of the links towards the top of the page are actually links to lower parts of the page, which themselves have links to external sites. Useful for not having to make different pages for the site.

Cummins: There is a relationship between each paragraph in that it is all in the first person. Links are always centered. Everything is about her, always in the first person on every page.


Repetition: Repeating over and over are the endless links on Stallman's site, which have no formal designation other than basic headers throughout the page. Cummins, however, has a formal navigation that spans the top of the page. The links on Cummins' site are well designed buttons with rollover images to give it a 3D appearance. Stallman merely leaves his links as the default color scheme of the web browser (normally: blue links, red 'active' links, and purple as 'visited' links. Both styles are seen as repetitive in both perspectives, but nothing too drastic in the way of repetition makes either site hard to navigate. Stallman is just too unorganized.

Anomalies: Not many anomalies are seen on the Cummins' site due to the simplistic nature of it, but Stallman's, however, is full of anomalies throughout the site. Random image links, random article links, and with other pages that do not belong in certain areas. Stallman has created a website with a vast amount of information that you can uncover, but it's the digging for it that will bring frustration. His search bar atop the page is also an in this sense an anomaly, because the coding seen for the site itself is quite basic and well in the norm of a standard website, but the search field is actually a well built search engine used to scour his site.


Both Stallman and Emily Cummins use the same arrangement method, which is a topical approach to arranging their personal professional web pages. Emily Cummins uses almost exclusively links on the top of her page to outline her topics. She has them in the order she would like the viewer to look at from left to right along the top; but it is up to the viewer to choose the order they view her website. Stallman also uses the topical method of arrangement. Unlike Emily Cummins, Stallman organizes his website with one long page that is broken up with headings. On Stallman’s page he chooses the order that he wants you to view each topic by putting it at the top of the page. The viewer does have the option of skipping over a section, but Stallman at least makes the viewer have to look at what it is before they skip over it.


Stallman – I think it’s interesting that while Cummings’s site fits neatly on one screen and relies on links to different pages to present more detailed information, Stallman’s site is essentially one big page. Many of the links that do not go to other sites go to different parts of the same big scroll of text, and you have to work quite a bit (relatively) to get anywhere on Stallman’s site. The search function is a rather old type, and I for the life of me can’t figure out how to use it exactly. But I guess a lot of that goes into Style. Delivery-wise, Stallman has a WHOLE lot of information he’s trying to convey here. It’s laid out linearly, as mentioned before, and is about as well organized as you could expect from an archaic design like that. Because “delivery” implies a message, I think it should be pointed out that Stallman, as observed before, writes his site with the general expectation that the reader already agrees with his method, leaving the sermonizing to whoever he happens to be linking to. Despite frequently attacking his opponents, Stallman’s lack of attempts to convert others to his cause seems to say “This is the way it is, other viewpoints don’t exist.”

Cummings – Compared to Stallman’s site, her site is very self-contained. With the exception of the (probably required) links to WordPress and the page designer’s sight, there are almost no links to any other sites at all. Even the Awards page, curiously, has no links to the webpages of the organizations that gave her each award. What has already been said about how smooth and professional her site looks applies now too, the layout, graphics, and buttons all seem to say “visionary” (if not necessarily “mechanical genius”).


Cummings – The teacher mentioned that ethos, the appeal to credibility, is ultimately a function of logos and pathos, the appeal to logic and emotions respectively. The much-commented-upon professional nature of Cummings’s site can be viewed as an appeal to ethos in and of itself. The talk of her work in developing nations, and the photo of her with African children, is an appeal to pathos, an attempt to convince her audience of her devotion to the bold words on the home page, changing lives. I imagine the simplicity and utility of the inventions she chose to display could be an appeal to the logical nature of her work, tieing back into the sustainable design goal she states on the front page.

Stallman – Once again we see the assumption that people visiting the Stallman site already identify with his views. I suppose we can attach “appeal to credibility” to that fact, he is saying “Hey I’m Richard Stallman, legendary programmer and hacker, and I say support loosened copyright laws!” However, there isn’t much reference to his background, it’s towards the bottom of the page and not as heavily linked-to as the rest, so perhaps Stallman is overestimating his own popularity?

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