Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Web Credibility

Web credibility is certainly an important factor when looking at internet data. While looking at data we want to make sure the source is accurate in their findings. Credibility is the capacity for belief; therefore, if we know the information is factual, then we are in belief that the source of information is credible. We will look at the website, Titanic Disaster, to determine its credibility. The site issues data about the RMS Titanic crash and its casualty figures, so in order to use the information and cite the source, we have to find out the accuracy. By doing so, we will go through three different categories, content, authority and presentation.

Content is the information the site/page has on it, and whether or not it's "good." This particular site, titled The Titanic Casualty Figures, contains lots of information, and it seems that the page has been completed. Although the page looks to be completed, the page does not have a date on it, the only date associated with this page is the copyright date of 1997. Since this page was copyrighted in 1997, it appears that the target audience is anyone in search of the Titanic history with the bias that men should have been the first to load the boats. The information on this page contains links to numerous sites, but the sites never come up, or if they do, they are incorrect. For example, when clicking on the like "Titanic," you get redirected to a movie trailer for Captain America, also, the link "The Telegraphy Office," is clearly outdated since it takes you to an open DNS guide. The site acts as more of a blog than an actual internet source for data, due to the fact that there is only one "source" (Lord Mersey's Report) cited.

This site was created by Charles "Chuck" Anesi. On his homepage there is a place to the bottom left to contact him at charlesanesi@cox.net. The domain name is a .com personal site. With that being said, the site is open to the public and anyone can look at it without a password. This site does make it possible to backtrack to get more information about the author, now the only site information available is the quote from the homepage, "Bringing strange information to the web since 1995." Anesi.com does not come across as being accurate. There are little to no references to outside sources for the material on this site.

Presentation is everything when it comes to looking at a good page, this page along with other pages on the site (excluding the homepage) do not look professional by any means. Although the pages are unprofessional looking, the spelling, grammar and punctuation are well capitalized. There are a few pages that have slang terms and style, but it is appropriate for the opinionated topics. Formatting for this site is difficult, once you click on a page from the homepage, you can only use your "back" button from your web browser to get back to where you came from. The site has no navigation and no headings. When you open the source code for this page, it's interesting to find the meta tag for movie, especially when the link doesn't even work.

To conclude, Titanic Disaster is a good content, yet unprofessional site that is not credible and should not be used for citing. All internet data should have more than one outside referenced source and should not have biased information if published for "research" purposes. For content, make sure the page has a title and has a date at the bottom (or anywhere for that matter). Always check for a contact page or link, this gives you the authority to contact the person if need be. The presentation of the site is key. Professionalism is best; therefore, always look for accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Titanic in black and white: http://www.starway.org/Titanic

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