The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike
Please don't list actual sites you like/dislike, but rather what YOU look for, if you find it, and what you liked or disliked about the Pagan sites that you visited. What would you like to see more or less of? Do you make use of 'Book of Shadows' information, such as utilizing the spells or rituals in them? Do you want more interactive areas such as chat rooms and message boards? More scholarly pieces? Less pop-up windows or advertising? What makes you go, "Hurray! I love this site!" or grumble, "I won't be coming back to this site in any century real soon!"
| Reponses: There are 60 responses posted to this question.
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| I Have Three Sites I Visit Weekly For The Latest News. I... ||Apr 2nd. at 11:52:15 am EDT|
|Linda Daly (Milwaukee, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 53 - Email |
I have three sites I visit weekly for the latest news. I really like dependable, regular, timely updates. Some sites just sit for weeks, months without updates. Even a small update, a notice or short message on a weekly basis would let people know the site was still active, still had a conscientious webmaster. Also when a site has an "under development" or "coming soon" message, it would be nice to include an approximate date. If it sits for weeks or even months with the "coming soon" message without an explanation for the delay, that gets frustrating for the site visitors. I know it is not easy maintaining a website, sometimes it is a thankless task. I appreciate knowing that donations are acceptable. That really makes me feel part of the site if I can donate when I have a little extra cash on hand.
| Oh No! I Just Wanted To Read That Article And Now I... ||Apr 2nd. at 10:14:11 am EDT|
|Billie (Jacksonville, North Carolina US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
Oh no! I just wanted to read that article and now I can't see it, and I can't even get this thing to go away! Bugs the cuss out of me, that pop-up stuff that says "update this" or "visit that" and sometimes they make it almost impossible to close without opening it. Next would be the "We are the most powerfull Witches in the Universe" type stuff, I have more respect for the young ones who say "hey this is some of my information if anyone wants to look and if ya'll have new stuff I could use it." Now on to the good stuff, when I can read it, I do! I like the message boards and places that ask for my humble opinion. Places like this who ask for "the witch on the street" ideas, and don't limit the information you recieve to the published authors, and 37th degree High Priestess of the Muckety Muck order of Divine Intolerance. THAT is the worst of all, sites where there is no place for the working mom solitary, who just wants to help the kids go to sleep and figure out how to recycle when you see the trash men dumping BOTH containers in the same truck!
| Hey There!! As A Beginning Webcrater Myself Have To Echo What I've... ||Apr 2nd. at 9:57:22 am EDT|
|Deagan (jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 21 |
As A beginning webcrater myself have to echo what i've already heard, but maybe add a bit on top. ORIGINAL GRAPHICS!! or at least alter them a bit on an editing program. ORIGINAL art, music, stories ect. I like to see Sites where content is separated by topic and age Ater all not all of paganism is child-friendly keep your great rite art in it's own section. INTELLIGENT pages get my vote, as do one with easy navigation and those who present something unique to me. leave the basics to the big pages and concentrate on what your interested in. NO POP UPS!!! I don't mind the occasional top banner but link after link will get you of my list of pages to visit and onto my pop up killer's list of sites to crush. FLUFFY BUNNY SITES...ugh. I recognize and enjoy fluff to a degree but please people if you really belive what you say you might treat it with a bit more respect. and lastly Humour!!! Make me laugh and i'll be back or sure!
| I Probably Have One Of The Slowest Dial-up Connections In The Country... ||Apr 2nd. at 9:37:35 am EDT|
|Sunfell (Little Rock, Arkansas US) ||Age: 40 |
I probably have one of the slowest dial-up connections in the country, and my current main computer has the wimpiest little video chip of its generation. When those two elements are combined on a graphics and Java-heavy site, the result is Yours Truly going somewhere else. Like Scotty likes to say "It canna handle any more or she'll blow up!"
I too join the chorus in preferring sites with interesting and original content, look and feel, and graphics. I don't care what awards you have, or that you're using the site to tell the WWW (whole wide world) that (gasp!) you're Pagan. That's like me using my site to tell the WWW that I'm blonde. Big deal. Now what?
"Now What?" drives me to either bookmark or delete sites in my now substantial collection. I'll go back and investigate sites I've visited, to see if they've added anything. If they're a 'cobweb'(abandoned), into the bin they go.
When I finally got around to building my site (several months on the drawing board), I decided that I wanted a metaphysical site that wouldn't scare away the casual browser. The background is easy on the eyes, there is no tacky music to make a browser leap for the mute button (my biggest pet peeve- either give a browser a choice to turn on or off music if you MUST have it, or ditch it alltogether.)no whirly-doodles or flashy things to distract the eyes, or ads or popups. Just plain, straight reading with an occasional graphic slotted in.
My site is only 3 weeks old, and it is a work-in-progress, but it's all original work, and from the heart. I expect that the 'subterranian' Pagan look will be around for a while, but hey! Lighten up! There are other colors besides black for backgrounds! And there are some wonderful image composition programs (I use MS PhotoDraw) that don't cost a bomb. And digital cameras and scanners are now cheap enough to allow you to make your own graphics instead of 'borrowing' others'.
We are an intelligent and imaginative group of people. Our websites were probably the first significant population on the Internet, along with fansites. We're pioneers and innovators. Let's stay on the cutting edge, and let the rest of the world follow behind.
| Ok, I Admit It, I'm A Site Snob. I Hate Sloooooow Download... ||Apr 2nd. at 7:35:34 am EDT|
|Trish Telesco (western, New York US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
Ok, I admit it, I'm a site snob.
I hate sloooooow download times. If it takes too long to load, I won't wait... I get click happy. And if there are popups or a lot of negativity - I'm out faster than a cat dunked in water. A few other pet pieves are sites that include advertisements for things that have nothing to do with the site (but I acknowledge this may be a necessary evil), the inability to find an email address, pages that are up only for "show" (e.g. ego), and sites that lead people on by offering information that's only a front for a teaser ad
What I like: Good, clean, creative grapics. Wise use of background and text color (that doesn't hurt one's eyes). Networking information is always a great thing (but I would appreciate knowing more about the people, businesses, or stores represented by these links). This also gives a site a sense of community involvement (e.g. keeping in touch with the people we claim to serve).
Scholarly info is a huge bonus to me, especially when presented professionally and with suitable linked references. Originality and timely updates (ok, I don't always do this either) are great boons. Ease of navigation (or minimally a decent site map) will make me stand up and cheer.
| Basically, My Criteria For Pagan Websites Is The Same As For Other... ||Apr 2nd. at 7:29:20 am EDT|
|Skye (Edinburgh, Scotland UK) ||Age: 28 |
Basically, my criteria for pagan websites is the same as for other websites.
Simple design, good navigation. The minimum of unnecessary graphics.
In terms of content, I tend to collect more specialist links than general ones (the Witches Voice being an exception. There are many many Neo-Wicca 101 sites out there. To me, they aren't adding anything - the basics are easy to find. I'd much rather see well researched sites devoted to a particular topic of interest to the author.
I like sites that challenge my conceptions, too. I regularly visit sceptical sites, for instance. I also think the better religious tolerance sites have a lot to say that's useful.
| Hmmm... Probably Fairly Similar To Most Peoples. Likes Original Content. This Gets... ||Apr 2nd. at 5:07:06 am EDT|
|Grail (Nelson, New Zealand) ||Age: 18 - Email |
probably fairly similar to most peoples.
Original content. This gets repeated over and over, but if it is something *you* wrote, and not just copied down off somewhere else then you're automatically classed a better site in my head at least.
How can I emphasise this? Even if the text is illegible against the background, if it is original I will highlight the text, (so the text goes white, backround blue etc) in order to read it.
Unoriginal Content. (surprise)
You think a page here, that poem there, and that spell there are really kewl, so you've put it on your site as well. And so we see the same things over and over again, and never see anything that is actually from you. AND -
It's either with no credits, or a 'If this is yours, email me and I'll put your name on it' disclaimer. In most cases you really don't know who wrote it, (although there is such a thing as search engines), but in ALL cases?!?
Text that is completely unreadable against a graphical background. Yes, you think it looks really funky, but, as I said, unreadable. If you have the technical skills to make 'tables' try putting in a table at 80% width with a plain background, and put the text in that so that people can still see your 'beautiful' background, and also read your text.
Broken links to pages which have not been made.
Rather than putting up an 'under construction' sign, let people see that you have a very small site - that works. Sure it only has two pages, but your visitors will love you for it, plus, they'll be able to see really easily when you add more pages.
Having a list of pages that you want to eventually do is good, but put it on paper, (alternatively have an actual page just for ideas for pages - and if you put an email on etc, people can send in suggestions of things they would like to see)
First, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
I have friends who's sites are like this...
in fact a lot of the pagan web is like this... in fact alot of peoples first sites, on geocities, etc etc and the ones that also have the under-construction signs and a high mortality rate (in terms of their owners abandoning them) are like this.
Perhaps it is because they are in that style of sites which are abondoned, maybe it's that whole thing with wanting to see original text and graphics, not yet another spinning pentacle (and, does anyone else get annoyed at the ones that turn half-way round, then skip to the beginning? Yeah, I'm pathetic...)
The black background is often used (abused?) in this technique, but that doesn't make the black background bad, as long as treat it right.
A professional look. There are so many facets to this, but just think the things big sites do - readable, clear, clean design, spelling (but hey, not everybody can use a spell checker on their pages), blah blah blah... Even think about the things you don't like in big sites (broken links etc). And just try to do the things you can do to make it good.
Oh, and if you are wondering how to check for those broken links?
Though a little hard to find, there are free link checker programs such as Xenu http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html
Sorry confessions of things I haven't/don't like about my own site:
Less than classy design - Green menu next to light green page.
Copied graphics - 3
Almost no graphics - it can be nice to have some. I had 3.
Near abandonment - once I left school, I had no more time to have a current events guide :( which meant some things were months and months and months old.
Events guide still sucks - all old ones removed, only 'regular' events left.
Few graphics - gotta get clicking with a digital camera, I don't trust my design skills.
Frequent promises of getting on to something *soon* - and happens months later. I should do something, or don't do it, but maybe still have a list of things planned for the site.
No info about me - it is kinda cool when you visit a site, to see who made it.
No site map - not really needed at this stage... okay, maybe a little bit for those pages that are hidden away places.
Little content from myself etc - and after everything I said about original content! No seriously, I just have a regional (*blush* something I did do right apparently...) resources site, so it mostly involves finding out about books, shops, groups, online groups, publications, news, etc, etc for New Zealand. And that makes it sound way more grand than it is.
I'm not worried about Traffic stats, hit counters I don't actually like, exceptions being quirky things like someone listing all the countries in the world they've had visitors from etc. Knowing yourself how many people visit is rather gratifying though...
Polls and surveys are interesting, not essential, and would quickly get boring if everyone used them.
Message boards - people revisit sites if they use the message board. So they are quite good. I resist because I want to encourage people to use some of the exsisting great local message boards and clubs etc etc.
There you have it.
My own personal conception of good and bad sites.
So big I could have made a webpage with it. (ooops...)
| Hi!; My Dislike Is The Message/talk Boards Which Don't Say Much... ||Apr 1st. at 11:27:45 pm EDT|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 59 - Email |
My dislike is the message/talk boards which don't say much of value.
Being on those egroups/yahoo boards, without a digest feature, would be
One day I got 10 digests from one board, each with 25 messages. Yipes!
Most of the thing is inane responses to snatches of conversations. If one does not read each and every post ( I don't live on the computer), one doesn't know
what a discussion is about.
I only comment if a topic strikes a chord as interesting, in having something to say relevent to a discussion.
Schwatzing just for the sake of being a Schwatzkopf makes Pagan talk boards
banal and boring.
Once in a great while, however, a deep and interesting topic is discussed. Mostly, it comes off as dribble one could do without.
| I Look For Sites That Have Original Material, That Are Updated On... ||Apr 1st. at 10:54:06 pm EDT|
|Kate (Anytown, Georgia US) ||Age: 64 |
I look for sites that have original material, that are updated on a regular basis and that don't insult my intelligence.
When you see site after site that uses the same information and in particular the same graphics, you wonder how the person who originated the information/graphic must feel. It's great to have people notice and admire your work, but when it is 'borrowed' you've got to feel ripped off. And your visitors aren't stupid - they know they're seeing 'borrowed' material and they won't be back.
If you start a web site, please keep it current. Promises to add to your site, put up more pictures, or whatever, that are not kept are guaranteed to keep your visitors to a minimum. One of the best sites I've found is run by a man who just can't seem to find the time to update and keep current his excellent web site. I've about given up on him. He has excellent ideas, original graphics and constant promises that go unfulfilled. We're all busy. If you don't have the time, either don't put up the site in the first place or take down your out-of-date page.
I really don't need to know all the little personal details of your angst. Keep it meaningful and don't leave me feeling down. Also, we all have our personal quirks. Be sure your's doesn't give the impression that all Pagans are flakes. AND PLEASE check your spelling/grammar. There's a difference between then-than, you're-your, their-there-they're, etc.
Keep in mind that your web page represents Pagans to the rest of the world. It's not just an ego trip for you. Those of us who don't have the knowledge to put up a web site never-the-less want to be represented by the best. Thanks Fritz and Wren - you're a class act.
| Like Well Written Original Stuff. Dislike Plagiarized Material. If You Didn't Write... ||Apr 1st. at 9:38:12 pm EDT|
|Iko (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Well written original stuff.
Plagiarized material. If you didn't write it, or design it, why claim it to be your own? Not only is it Karma wise to give credit where credit is do, its also illegal to steal material.
Original graphics, or at least public stuff that took a few minutes to think about putting together on the site.
Stolen graphics, see "plagiarized" material above.
Self confident, serious, witty and humors sites. I don't care if you are 14 or 104, if you make me laugh, cry or just think - I will be back to visit you again, and I will send my friends to your site too!
Pagan Fundies. Gads! I can only think that nobody will listen to you in the "real world" so you feel the need to vent your insecurities on the Web. I don't care how many degrees in whatever tradition you might have, if your site leaves me feeling like I need a shower I'm not coming back.
Advertising free sites! (THANKS WITCHES VOICE!) If you cannot get rid of all the ads, at least keep them to a minimum.
Ad overkill and cookies, I REALLY HATE COOKIES (unless they are chocolate chip or oatmeal).
I do like to visit onlins BOS's, and the well written ones are GREAT! I don't think I would ever use anyone else's spell verbatim. However, I do think that great ideas are born from other great ideas. Reading and adapting other's spells / magickal works is something that I think is very useful. I researched handfastings for at least a year on the web before my husband and I were married/handfasted. I loved seeing all the Pagan pages with pictures of handfastings! I must have taken notes from literally hundreds of handfasting rituals out there, from hundreds of Pagan websites from all over the world. We took those notes and created our own ritual. From all those other rituals we were able to create a ritual of our own..
| Pop-ups Are A Drag But Most Of All I Dislike The Sites... ||Apr 1st. at 9:12:09 pm EDT|
|Lynne-Renee (rural St. Louis area, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 |
Pop-ups are a drag but most of all I dislike the sites which offer nothing new and no personal views.
I've hopped around and found scores of sites which seem to be only a billboard stating, "I'm a Witch, Pagan, Hoodoo Guru..." I suppose that's good in that one can see there's others out there but it doesn't seem to *do* anything. In other words, if your page has some pentagram wallpaper and a quoted copy of the Charge of the Goddess and nothing else. People will look once and not come back.
I'd rather see a page of articles as those posted at Witchvox's monthly topics pages. I love to read about peoples' views and how they are proactive...
Easily said from a girl who hasn't bothered! Then again, I'm busy posting my opinion:)
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