Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The Palmquist chapter was illuminating.

I think most of my generation has assumed many of the things in these articles from all the websurfing we've done. However, it has never been put into words so succinctly. Withal, the clades of organization shown are highly optimistic and general. Most websites are some unholy combination of structure and chaos. I think this is because websites are constantly expanding, and while the homepage and popular pages may be maintained, other pages fall to obsolescence.

I had been thinking about the spread of pages.

Palmquist turned my mind to some thoughts...

It's much like one of those "choose your own adventure" novels you pick a textual representation or some other facsimile, and you go on a different path. There is a "narrative" function to links, a cascade of sites--like chapters--with some consonance to each other. However paperback choose-your-own-adventure novels eventually come to some end based on the reader's decisions. Websites involve turning back and forth between pages without any final destination in mind per se. But! websites lack a "resolution": Wikipedia can be used to no end; I can surf the forums of Albinoblacksheep.com to no end.

What is the website then? A tangle of information laid out for a reader?

Websites display and organize information for diverse readers; the readers come to the websites on their own free will for varying occasions.

Is there a universal theory which unites all websites? What does each website achieve in common with other websites?

Websites come from free-reacting minds. Spontaneously or assiduously constructing tethered "pages" of a complex "pamphlet."

Is a website a collection of pages? If so, is an orphan page technically a website of it's own?

Where does one website begin and another end. If a website is interlinked with other websites this can be an issue. Should it go by web domains? There are websites I've seen which extend into several all owned by the same individuals. Should it go by ownership? This blog is rightly Bloggers'. Should it then be defined by content creation? Then any advertisement intermittently owns a percentile of my blog, my myspace, my facebook page...

What authenticates ownership of a website? If a website is a group of cohesive pages, than is an orphan page, technically, outside of the creator's "sovereignty." Obviously not, one writer can author several websites, but if the line between one website and the next is awfully bleared, it is difficult to decipher a good definition of what the author of a website is.

Is ownership of a website the same as authorship of a website?

Is a website's ownership defined by who can edit the content?

This makes more sense. While the ads on my page exist, they do not directly affect the composition of these words, or any other content I--me--the writer--the entity which writes may include. Yet, this definition alone is not good enough for me. I do not "own" my wikitravel article.

So: can it be said "the owner of a website is one who can, and does, edit and create content as well as direct the purpose of this content." In this way, authorship and ownership are concentric to each other, one in the same; this, I think, is right.

After all, I can edit Wikitravel all I like, I don't "own" it because, unlike this blog, I do not have hold of the reigns. I cannot direct that content in any other direction. I do not orchestrate its purpose. Whereas here, I do: I am in complete control of content and it's scull, and I sail on!

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