Decide the genre of web site you wish to analyze (mainstream portal, gender or ethnic portal, corporate, media, game, personal homepage, educational, self-help, social network, etc.
Review the elements of web page style (fonts, color, layout, use of multiple media, interactivity, personalization, etc.) in the “How to Analyze Websites” of the mini-lecture. Analyze how these elements contribute to the message(s)site, and shape/limit its audiences.
What “subject position(s)” (see “Keywords” mini-lecture) does the site represent? Does it presume “default norms” of unspoken or assumed whiteness, or maleness, or straightness, or middle-classness in its visitors, or does it reach out significantly to other subject positions? What particular features (words, images, links, etc.) of the site let you know to whom it is, and is not, directed? Does it seem to intentionally limit its target audience, or do the limits you note seem to result from not thinking about diverse audiences?
If the site seems mainly or seriously aimed at a marginalized group, what assumptions about the target audience does it convey? Does it unintentionally stereotype, commodify (turn into an object of consumption), exoticize, homogenize or otherwise fail to deal with the complexity of the group(s)? Does it do well with gender diversity, but poorly with class, or vice versa? Does it treat racial minorities carefully, but ignore or insult sexual minorities? Does it celebrate urban folks but ignore or condescend to rural ones, or vice versa? Is it accessible to people with disabilities etc.?
To the extent that the site offers “personalization,” what kind of “menu” of personalization does it offer? What possibilities and what limits does the menu offer in terms of social attributes?
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