I had no difficulties creating a simple web page as I maintain a website already, and my preferred editor is a text editor since I feel this gives me more control over the HTML and the presentation. I also coded a straightforward style sheet to improve the basic display of the page. These files were uploaded to WebCT:
There are many websites explaining how to write for the web, but these guidelines can essentially be summarised as: write correctly for the medium. Users are usually reading on a screen (sometimes a very small one; sometimes they may be vision impaired and using a screen reader), and there are numerous other sites competing for their attention. Common guidelines across sites are:
- Inverted pyramid: Put important information early, and grab the reader’s attention. Jakob Nielsen (Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace) states that the conclusion should come first
- Be succinct – break the text up: users on the web have limited attention, and this can be used to advantage by chunking the text (Writing for the Web) and breaking it up with subheadings and dot point lists.
- Write in the active voice: the active voice is simpler, and makes comprehension easier for readers who are scanning (Writing for the web)
- Know your audience: different users browse the web differently. How a page is written needs to reflect this (Writing for the web, Lower-Literacy Users, Usability of Websites for Teenagers).
- Use navigation effectively: users generally expect to find similar information in similar places on pages, and good web writing takes this into account to place important information in the most appropriate place – following the F-shaped pattern that users scan websites with (F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content).
I tested my page at the W3C validator and received the following output (and, yes, “east” should be “easy” which is a spelling mistake not a validation error but could make troubleshooting at a later date more confusing):
Validation Output: 1 Error
Line 58, Column 27: there is no attribute “name”.
This is interesting since there are three options, each with the same error, but only one was reported.
I had attempted to convert the page to wellformed XHTML but the name attribute, which I retained, is not used in XHTML for the option tag (W3Schools page on HTML tag). Since XHTML (and HTML) ignores attributes it does not understand, this does not directly affect the display of the page to the user (the page was tested in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera under Windows XP and Windows 98).
Have you used images or words on your web page or website that contravene copyright laws
Content may be quoted if accompanied by a credit to HTML Dog and the author (Patrick Griffiths, unless otherwise stated), and a link to (or statement of, if the credit is not published on the web) the relevant page on HTML Dog.
Material may not be used for profit without the express permission of the author.
Since the image was used as part of a HTML Dog hosted tutorial, and it includes a link back to that site, it would satisfy the terms specified by HTML Dog.
Would you be in breach of copyright if you put the Curtin logo at the top of your web page for an assignment?
The Curtin logo should be covered by the information on the Copyright at Curtin site (my emphasis):
Material in which Curtin University owns copyright, and which is not classified as “Confidential”, may be copied without any requirement for special permission to be granted. (Notification of the originator would be a courtesy.)
There are no limits to the amount that can be copied or the form of reproduction or communication. Access should normally be restricted to Curtin staff and students.
Make it clear on any copies or communication of the material that Curtin is the copyright owner.
The webpage created earlier was uploaded to my space on OASIS, after downloading Core FTP and following the instructions at How to access your files off campus (using FTP) since my current FTP client does not support secure FTP. I was also able to view this webpage off-campus after installing the Curtin VPN client.
I used Google’s blogger to create my learning log blog, since I have used this service previously and am already familiar with it (and its quirks). A screenshot is below:
Top five tips for new bloggers
While blog pages are HTML like other WWW documents on the web, writing for a blog is different from standalone sites, since blogging is more about immediacy and networking.
- Think twice before posting: blogging makes it easy to say something on the web but, as a webpage, it is both available to anyone else (even after deletion through services such as Google archives), and is also subject to laws such as copyright and defamation. Taking time to consider can make a post less inflammatory.
- Blogroll: link to other blogs that you visit frequently. Most other bloggers will return the favour.
- Comment: part of the magic of blogging is the interactive nature of it. If you expect readers to comment on your posts, you should do the same for other bloggers.
- Have something to say: some of the best blogs have a specific topic — scientific, political, cultural, and so on — find a topic or angle that is unique to you. Readers will come back more often to this sort of blog than one that just reports the weather (and anyway, they can find this information quicker elsewhere).
- Update regularly: blogs are an ongoing conversation. Readers expect frequent updates (some group blogs are updated multiple times per day) but it’s more important to maintain a (semi-)regular schedule so readers know the blog is still active.