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the Worst Web Sites of 2006 / 2007

I thought it might be fun to list some of the worst Web Sites of recent discovery. I hope you are entertained by the following list of disappointments. Why compile a list of disappointments? Because, when I viewed the items listed below, what I found may have been unexpected; may have initially produced a feeling of disappointment, i wanted to seize the opportunity for discussion. Another way to think of it would be to name the list: “How to Keep out the Handicapped, Deny the Disabled — and Get Away With It!”, or “Web Design: What NOT to Do”. Maybe you’ve got your own best title? Please add your own comments below, if you wish.

Taco Bell®
i’ve listed TacoBell.com for a singular reason. They have no alternate to Flash. If you don’t have Flash installed on your system (Adobe [a.k.a. Macromedia] Flash Player for viewing Flash web content), you simply can not view the Taco Bell web site. I experienced this today, first-hand. I may be in the minority in my choice to view the Web without a Flash media player installed, by default, but I’m certainly not the only one out there who’s doing it. To discover that a high-profile Corporate entity like the Taco Bell fast-food restaurant chain lacks the responsibility to publish a text version of their web site is a disappoinment. As a developer who strives for Accessibile content, it is blow to the struggle for web standards to see such blatant disregard for the Web Standards, Section 508 Accessibility movement. TacoBell.com apparently provides information to a particular sub-set of the Internet community– presumably users who have modern browsers, and are capable of viewing Flash content.

I can say they’ve cast aside concern for the disabled because, if it weren’t true, i would have been able to access the content which i later confirmed is available via Flash enabled web browsers. The company, in a decision which shows obvious disregard for the general population, choose to focus on entertainment while failing to inform. My experience with tacobell.com reflects my accessing it using a web browser which doesn’t have the Flash plug-in enabled. Viewing the url, http://tacobell.com , I was shown a snippet of information, instructing me to download and install the Adoble Flash player software, after which i would be able to view the content they have published. I choose not to use the software, so i can not view their web site.

I was truly disappointed by the experience. Make no mistake– the disappointment was not because i care so much about fast-food tacos, but because i presume that the corporation has the resources available to produce a quality, informative resource for people who choose to enhance the speed of the browsing experience by disallowing Flash media (or any of a multitude of other valid reasons a user may have for choosing to disable Flash players, or simply choose not to install the Flash-capable browser add-on software at all). Is this discrimination; a target-marketing tactic under the facade of ignorance and irresponsible publishing? Is the corporate entity innocent of the charges? should we cast the stone at the web design company instead? but what of the corporation’s responsibilities to ensure that information about their product is equally accessible for everyone? What do you think?

to Come

His Pipe. His Bowl. His W’s Three

He called for his pipe. He called for his bowl. He called for his… search engine results?

That’s right! When we want information, we want it now! We’re spoiled, it’s true– especially those of us who are addicted to the Internet, and subscribe to a cable internet service provider. Anything we want to know, if we’re connected to the information Superhighway, we can usually get it within a reasonable amount of time, and without any hassle at all.

Vain Effort Meets the Jaded King

Sometimes, when searching our illustrious Internet resources, we do encounter a snag in obtaining the information we seek. What do we do? We get pissed!! When i’m looking for information, I query a search-engine. When the search produces results, depending upon the purpose of the search, or the expected content, I might even become excited over such a discovery. I want to get a closer look, so i follow the URL immediately. Although the amount of work involved in a home-office, or classroom internet query process is nothing like the research methods of yesteryear which may have involved a trip to the local public Library, or postal mail inquiries which might have taken weeks for results to arrive, the principle is the same. To learn the remote information, some amount of proactive effort is made to obtain the information. When the effort is made in vain, no matter what the effort– we are disappointed.

Unexpected and Disappointing Web Sites

Nowadays, one might think it uncommon to be disappointed by search-engine results– especially now that Google® seems to have every molecule of the Universe cataloged, categorized, labeled, aggregated, and rated! Nevertheless, we continue to encounter unexpected and disappointing results.

(as in U.S. English)

The information on this web site, in particular the article by the original publisher, WordPressCenter.net, titled the Worst Web Sites of 2006 / 2007 is strictly for Entertainment value. The article is NOT to be interpreted as factual information, but the account of an opinion which may or may not be true. The author is willing to discuss fact vs. fiction in each individual case, but will not be held liable for any misunderstanding, or mistaken meaning in any case. The author does not accept responsibility for any loss incurred by any entity cited herein as he has identified the text as opinion, commentary, and confirms that the evidence of fact is questionable. Unless specifically cited, no survey or sample from the population, or public opinion was gathered for the purpose of authoring this text. The reader is urged to make his or her own judgments not based on what is read in the article above, but through careful inspection of each URL cited herein.

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