Archive for November, 2009

School is fun!

This past Monday was the day my last assignment for class was due. I turned in my insightful and thought provoking english paper and I’m still waiting for my grade. However, after spending five weeks being alternately confused and annoyed with my Info and Tech class I decide to give my instructor what for in my own special way.

Here’s the exact wording on the assignment: (2-3 pages) Research how to secure a domain name and find a host for a website. Discuss website design basics; characteristics of well-designed websites; the structure of a website; and the Web accessibility issues.

He’s what I wrote for my final paper. I also scored perfect on the assignment I might add.

To begin with, I would like to let you in on a little secret: I have no idea what I am talking about. This is an absolute truth. Many of my classmates have commented on how much research and work I put into my posts. I think they would laugh heartily in disbelief if I told them that most of my research involves spending several days trying to figure out exactly what the assignment is asking, followed by a mad dash hours before the assignment is due to try and paste together something slightly coherent.

Some of the assignments given in this course have sent me screaming for the tequila bottle and this one is no different. So now I’ve completely given up. It’s the last assignment and I’ve got a good enough buffer so that even if I tank this assignment I’ll still be all right. So I’m just going to cut loose here.

How do you secure a domain name? You go to Google, type in “domain names” or “website hosting” your choice, then pick one, pay somewhere between five and fifty dollars and voila. Throw in your ultimately dull life story and a few cheesy pictures—the ones where you’re holding what you think is a witty sign in front of a mirror seem to be very popular, followed closely by a picture you took with your phone while in the john and forgot to flush before you hit the shutter button—and you’re done. Simple and painless. Yet now I have to somehow figure out how to drag that out for at least an entire page.

Honestly, if you still have no idea how to create your own webpage after several large breasted women have thoroughly explained it many times on several major networks (GoDaddy.com) then you’re not using a computer. That thing in front of you with the keys is called a typewriter; the startling lack of monitor should have clued you in gramps.

I mean seriously! We have Myspace, Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Youtube, Photobucket, and like a gazillion other social networking sites out there. If you haven’t heard of any of them by now you’re not just living under a rock, you are a rock. My eighty year old grandmother has a Facebook page for cripes sake.

I don’t know anyone who has been online for more than five minutes who hasn’t asked themselves how to create their own webpage. So take your pick. Yahoo, Google, Ask, or even that new screaming annoyance that is Bing.com, it doesn’t matter, pick an engine. Then type in some combination of the words “domain” “hosting” and “web”. Now grab your debit card, close your eyes and click. Which one should you choose? It doesn’t matter; they are all essentially the same. So go ahead and pick the one with the chesty women in tight shirts, it’s ok, the TV told us too, no one will judge you. What name should you choose? I’m sure it will be something profound that you’ll probably agonize over for a couple of weeks before you try it and find out that it’s already being used. Don’t worry, it’ll quickly become a billion dollar hit overnight and you’ll never have to work again because yes, everyone really does want to hear all about your mother in law’s bunions.

Accessibility issues? You chose Bob’s Web Hosting for a dollar a year where you get no bandwidth. Plus the site folded a month after you forked out your buck. You don’t notice this though because while you once thought your life was interesting enough to update it every day you’ve now come to your senses and realized that it’s really not worth the constant effort. And besides no one visits your page anyway. Not even you; but that’s mostly because you created some excessively convoluted bit of twaddle forgetting that you’re still on dial-up and it won’t load on your computer until a week from now anyway.

Web design basics? Copy, paste, preview, repeat. It’s not rocket surgery. Nearly every hosting site out there comes with some sort of tutorial, or at least a help button. WordPress is free, comes with some ugly templates that are close enough to what you actually want that they’ll do, and is in your basic email style format. Ever seen Failblog, Ugliest tattoos, how about those cute lol cats that just can’t seem to master the English language? All they are is WordPress sites. Simple, funny and so easy an un-housebroken labradoddle could do it.

I will add that sites like Failblog.org et al are also very well designed sites. You get a picture, a caption and a good laugh at someone else’s expense. Fun for all and easy as that girl in my eighth grade homeroom.

Website structure? (Aside from the fact that you’re paying $4.99 a month so that you don’t actually have to understand this anyway.) Basic web design structure mostly consists of some text, a few pictures, and almost always has some annoying and complex bit of Flash that slows down your computer to roughly the same speed as a lump of plumber’s putty, and a few random links to sites that the author of the one you’re on thinks are either pertinent or hilarious and are usually neither.

So there you have it. I’ve covered all the points, though I said nothing of real value, but hey at least I’m done with the assignment and I had fun in the process. You probably won’t have near as much fun grading it with the good solid D that it deserves, but I did warn you from the start and you can’t say that I didn’t.

Oh, yea! Not only did I get away with that but I also aced the course. Go me! So yup, school is fun.


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