What were they thinking?

Browsing the UK Channel 4 website this evening I came across what seems to be a great idea – ORIGINATION:INSITE,

“Over the next two years ORIGINATION INSITE, working with a number of outstanding cultural partners and in collaboration with Culture Online, will help people develop websites that reflect the diversity and makeup of modern Britain. These sites will form part of a network of sites linked to from the Channel 4 website.”

The project is offering two day workshops to help people build their websites, to get their content out there onto the web. This seems like a fantastic idea for a project, and the content of some of the sites already developed is great … that is if you can access them. For this project, despite being able to choose from a whole host of excellent blog tools that can help non-technical users get their content out there in an accessible manner, chose some dreadful ‘web page building’ software. Therefore ensuring that all this really great content is marked up in a messy, invalid and inaccessible format.

What were Channel 4 thinking and who advised them on this project? The tools are out there to enable everyone to publish their content on the web and in a two day workshop you could do a lot with people on using a tool such as WordPress – even to the point of editing templates – and at least the resulting content would have some lifespan, and be accessible to everyone today.


Tom May 2, 2005 Reply

Last year I went to a “Creative Week” set-up by Channel 4. Overall the event was really good, however there “web design” looks makes me chuckle.

You only have to look at the code they use to produce there shitty sites, oh and I love this part.

“We’re giving away free websites and site building tools with Moonfruit and Zyweb”

Moonfruit – Rubbish flash templates.

Zyweb – Rubbish HTML templates.

Considering the this is part of government project (and they tend to build farther cool valid and accessible sites) I really cant understand where they are going with this?

Perhaps you should pop along to one of these sessions and give some demo’s of WordPress and TextPattern.

Oh and they also have google ads, why do they need google ads?, Perhaps this “linking to the channel 4 website” is some weird google marketing ploy.

david June 9, 2005 Reply

I guess the problem is one of education. For those of us that work with the web everyday we maybe assume users are better informed than they actually are.

Add to this the number of web design companies that themselves have hardly moved forward and embraced new web standards, the marketing muscle of Microsoft, Dreamweaver and Adobe etc and its not difficult to see where wrong decisions are made.

Where does the fault lie, I would have to say it’s up to everyone involved in web standards, open source tools and the like to make a better job of getting their message across and beyond the web developer community – Certainly most of the clients I visit have a less Knowledge than they think they do and its pretty rare they would have heard of software such as WordPress

Phil Gregory September 14, 2005 Reply

So true I work in education in Stoke on trent and teachers there are teaching kids Frontpage…

In colleges they teach frontpage and depricated html tags..OMG…there is a whole world of students out there doing City and Guilds and OCN in depricated invalid markup.

When I mention following standards in the LEA…people just look at me blankly and say “ theres no time” and “it works in Internet Explorer”

(weeps silently)

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