Sunday, March 12, 2006

Best of the Web

I have been using the web for about 7-8 years. Always, you are on the look out for good sites. But, which are the best?

The Web is huge. Predominantly, it is made up of unofficial personal websites created by enthusiasts using some sort of web publishing software. These websites can be good (some are), but due to the fact that amateurs are largely behind them are often poorly designed, under-construction and containing outdated content.

So, the majority of the web-sites on the Internet are crap then? Well you have to say, yes! There is a whole load of uploaded crap that is sitting on the internet in a jumbled mess. Eventually, it gets deleted or removed.

Mostly, money for clicks has seen the Internet degenerate into a "Click this link" frenzy. Adverts can be seen on almost every page.

So, getting aside that. What are the best sites on the Internet?

Website awards exist to recognise outstanding websites. However, these are largely for the ameteur domain and are numerous to say the least.

So, the answer lies with those sites that have a permanent presence on the Internet and a huge number of users. These are the official sites, the sites created by large organizations with a large number of resources thrown at them, designed and maintained by professional web-designers. A typical example would be Yahoo.

Yahoo, undoubtedly is one of the biggest on the Internet. Few can match it for depth of content. My feelings are however, that it falls a little short on the design front.

What else? How about CNN? Content personified with multimedia to boot. Great, but let us face it, it is largely a news site.

CNET has been sited as one of the best. It is one of the best sites for downloads certainly. Also it is up to speed with the latest technology. But what else?

E-bay has proven very successful. On-line auctioning at its best. It has attracted a large number of users. Excellence perhaps, but only serves auctioneers.

No, the best web site on the Internet surely has to be one that would have something on it for everybody. Is there such a site? Well yes there is/are.

ISPs try and do it with their web-portals. However for me, nothing beats the BBC site. This site has the depth of content to rival Yahoo and co, but also presented making use of the Internet's more advanced multimedia features. I believe it is the best web-site on the Internet. See for yourself if you don't believe me:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

I challenge you to find a better site.

5 comments:

Matthew said...

Comments welcome.

kim said...

Matthew,

I couldn't find an email address on your blog, so I'll post my reply here. Some of it might sound a bit negative, so I'd rather have sent it privately. Still, bear with me, I'm only trying to help.

From the comments on my site, and the comments others have left, I'm guessing that you post a lot on other people's sites asking them to come visit yours. It's one way to get traffic, at least temporarily, but not a good way to keep it. Most people are busy and if they've been directed to something they don't think was worth the trip, they'll be disappointed - and perhaps a little miffed.

So here's some guidelines I suggest following:

1) If you build it, they will come. Don't worry about getting people to your site. They'll find it. Just worry about writing quality content and those that DO find it will come back, and maybe link to it or send a friend.

2) The "comments welcome" comment you attach to threads is unneeded. If you've enabled comments, we've guessed that comments are welcome.

3) Don't go ask people for links. That might work well with the MySpace crowd (for a variety of social reasons having to do with life as a teenager), but it doesn't work so well with the blogosphere at large.

4) If you are going to ask people to come visit an entry, tell them why you want them to go. "Check this out!" tells me nothint. "I wrote a post on games that I was curious to have your opinion on" might work better.

5) On writing quality content - Try to differentiate opinion from fact. Both are fair game for a blog post, but something like "Predominantly, it is made up of unofficial personal websites" is just opinion, isn't it. Do you have numbers? Maybe preface by "it seems to me" or "if I had to guess...". Otherwise you seem like you are talking out of your behind :-)

6) Have goals and focus. I'm guilty of breaking this one myself, so take with a grain of salt. The best way to appeal to readers to come back is to have a specific subject that appeals to them, and focus on it. So for that matter, think about why you are doing this and for whom. Is it for friends and family? For industry? For a particular type of consumer? Whatever it is, it will let you think about whether a post you are thinking about will concern them or not.

OK, all that being said, here's some comments on the Best of Web post:

- "best" is subjective. What food tastes the best? Depends who you ask and when. BBC might be best if you like news; Flickr might be best if you use it to look at your grandkid's pictures, etc.

- ebay: only benefits auctioneers? I'd argue it benefits anyone who's ever bought for one too. It connects people, and that's a community of sorts.

- better websites that BBC? Well, it's a half-decent news site, but there are tons of more useful sites out there. Just one example: I use www.live.com as my homepage. I have BBC news as just one of the feeds into it. So I get their news and a ton of others as well

Finally, regarding your request for a link off my site. I'll tell you what: I'll commit to keeping an eye on your blog for a while, and if I find it worth the read regularly, I'll link to it next time I revamp my site (probably in a couple months).

Hope this helps.

Matthew said...

Well thank you for that. Though, I don't agree that the BBC is just a half-decent news site.

The site covers many areas such as: entertainment, health, culture, sport etc etc. It is precisely because of this wide-coverage and multimedia that make it one of the best on the web.

Of course, it is a matter of opinion as much as anything else. But for content and multi-media few can match it.

OMGROR said...

Excellent article Matthew!

Ignore the criticism, this is your best work yet. I look forward to reading future pieces. I only hope they can match the depth and insight of this one.

Matthew said...

Well, thank you for that also. Seriously though, the fellow wasn't completely mistaken with his remarks.

The entry was largely subjective as it was based on previous experience only. I have no hard facts to back up my assertion that the Internet is "predominantly made up of unofficial personal websites."

Anyway, will update the blog within a week or two time providing, and of course inspiration. Stay tuned as they say.