Are our websites citeable?
It is with great regret and disappointment that I write this blog. This thought has been in my mind for quite some time now and has been made stronger by today's incident which compelled me to pen it down.
Without further ado, let me get to the issue. I am talking about the websites of most of our (India's) government websites. I am aghast at the total lack of presentability in them. Most of the sites appear to me as an HTML beginner's play ground. The incident that happened today was my browsing of our space-research portal: ISRO-'s website: www.isro.org . If by the time you read this, a revolutionary change has not happened to the site, you will see what I am talking about! A marquee in blue on a green background? The resolution of the images used and the color choices makes me giddy. Is this the face of India's - nation basking in IT glory - premier research organisation? I took a quick look at NASA's website: http://www.nasa.gov/. A comparison in research of the two could be possible (today or tomorrow)... but comparison of their sites... well, question of comparison should not arise!
ISRO's site was just an example. Try "India's No. 1 Telecommunications Company" - BSNL's site: http://www.bsnl.co.in/. Look at the flashing "new" in the site. Which era of websites are we in?
"Class" in terms of look and feel, and "Easy access to information" in terms of the layout should be the buzz-words to any serious site, in my opinion. I am more comfortable browsing through a site with these features than a horrible site with possible good information. Another such site to my disappointment is that of our leading newspaper "The Hindu". About 50% of the total width of the page is taken up by ads an the menu. While its ok for such sites to have ads, news should have the priority.
Now, I don't say that all Indian sites are crap. Rediff.com does a good job in combining ads and info, sensibly. I am yet to find an Indian government website which I would call "decent".
What does it take to maintain a proper site? A person with proper knowledge of web development and a another with a decent knowledge of image editing. These two could be combined. Another important ingredient is the timeliness of the information and the attention to detail.
Are the websites portraying the "well-famed" negligence in our government offices?