Things Not to Do (1)

Do not put “Welcome to our little website,” or any derivative of this on your website.

People know that it is your website.  They just clicked or typed the url to get there.  You can say “welcome” if you really feel the need, but the full message just really sounds hokey.  It also gives the feeling of being really amateur.  When I see this on a site, I automatically throw it in the mental wastebasket.

By the way, these “things not to do” are not necessarily meant to be massive paradigm-shift kind of things.  I am not saying that if you don’t have that message on your website you will have a great online ministry.  I am just saying not to do this.

5 Replies to “Things Not to Do (1)”

  1. Of course – when you go to someone’s house, they usually say “welcome to my house.” Or, “welcome to our conference,” or “welcome to our store,” or whatever. I think it is just cultural. But putting it on a website really just highlights how much of a misunderstanding there is out there about the basic nature of the web. People always think you “log on” to a website, or “go on” the web. This is not correct at all – you actually download the code from a server and construct it. What we see actually totally resides in our computer. We don’t “go” anywhere.

    This is a big distinction, because governments are giving wide latitude to web sites to publish whatever they want, because they see it as a place where you “go to,” like a bunch of private clubs or something. In contrast, television is seen as a broadcast medium, so there are tight controls on what is allowed to be broadcast, and us as the end user can enact simple parental controls to keep certain content out of our homes (or just not purchase it in the first place).

    The kicker is that, in reality, the Internet is actually a broadcast medium and we should have the ability to block whatever content we like with putting much effort into it, just like we can on TV (mostly). but since the powers that be have gotten us to have a false view of the Internet, we now cave in to their cries of “censorship” whenever anyone wants to enact any kind of monitored tagging system for Internet content.

    Random soapbox tangent… off…

  2. So does that mean you are in favor of Internet censorship?
    -Doesn’t the fact that everyone has the ability to publish on the Internet, while only major companies can broadcast on TV (we all know cable access doesn’t count) make it more of a free speech issue?

    Actually, having a welcome-type message is not a “worst practice” per se, in my opinion. But having a hokie “Welcome to our little website” at the top is ultimately cheesy.

    BTW, I am working on some information-theory-esque discussion posts. I am just a little dry on fresh revelation at the moment.

  3. Well, I am in faor of being able to go into the settings on my browser, click on “I don’t want to see ____” – and nothing will get through. It’s actually pretty easy – just require websites to include certain tags in their header, or else no one can see them at all. Those tags would be descriptive of the content on the site – or at least of a rating. (not a perfect system, but you get the idea.

    That wouldn’t be censorship at all – it would be filtration – a way to protect people from adult content. Many people have proposed such a system, but the adult movie industry screams censorship every time and usually wins. Usually thanks to scum like David Ogden – now the Deputy Attorney General no less.

    I could also turn your question around and ask this: if we could find a system to let anyone show whatever they want over the airwaves, does that mean we would have to allow adult movies during prime time in the name of free speech?

  4. Actually, I don’t really hold much of any position on Net censorship, to be honest. I am just adding to the convo in this regard.

    In your system that you proposed, can’t someone do the same thing by getting a family filter of some sort?

  5. Well, this is really a system that others have proposed, because many filter programs are just fighting a losing battle. Most websites submit to different content rating systems that fuel the filters, but many don’t. Or some put up a false front, and then have some crazy stuff in the back door. Or they just lie – many filtration companies just don’t have time to keep up with it all. And that is all most filters can do – play keep up. It would be nice if the whole system was proactive – in order to get your site up, you had to get a rating for your site first, or else no browsers can see it period. 90% or so of the sites out there would have no problems with that – they are open and up front with what they have.

    Anyway, there are many holes to this system, but none that couldn’t be ironed out.

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