The Web: Deciphering the Real and the Unreal

February 23, 2012

At one point in their life, everyone has probably stumbled upon a website and questioned it’s credibility. Unfortunately these days, anyone can be a publisher and it’s hard to know if the information on the web is valid. So how can we decipher the reliable websites from the unreliable? By reading John R. Henderson’s tutorial on how to recognize Web sites vs. Junk and doing the Peak Oil exercise, I gained a better perspective on how to decipher the real and the unreal websites.

Exercise: Website Evaluation- Peak Oil

Peak Oil – True of False?

The first thing I noticed about this website is the url and how it’s .org (organization) and from our readings .org websites are typically valid especially compared to those .com websites. The article has a lot of interesting facts but it’s a fairly easy blog to read. Although there are no links within the article there are links on the right side and those links are legit. Also the layout of the blog isn’t exactly pristine like most reliable websites which are usually clear-cut and reserved. Again there are a lot of good counterparts in the article and well supported arguments but it’s like Henderson wrote, when in doubt, doubt. So because I somewhat doubt this website, even though it seems like an authoritative website, it would not be my first choice of a website to reference or want to use. Also the blog was written in 2008, I would probably want to use an article that could possibly be outdated.

Peak Oil – the clear and the present danger

The first thing I noticed about this website was the graph, which was centered at the top of the article which is exactly what writers want to do for their viewers. I believe the writer of the this is did an exceptional job, inciting me since  the graph held my attention and the website is very conservative. The next step I did was just like Henderson said know who’s the writer, it was easy to see who wrote it, when it was written and time. This article was recently published and there are tags and links which is precisely what every blog post should contain. There are over 200 comments about this article and in conclusion, summoning my thoughts that this is very much an authoritative website that I would use or recommend.

5 Reasons To Question “Peak Oil” Theory

The first trouble I had with this article was that it sent me a faulty link but I eventually discovered the real link. The first thing I noticed when I finally found the correct link was the weird URL, it wasn’t the typical .com or .org but it was .me. A URL I never saw before. Her article has interesting arguments and that’s the best part of the blog is being able matter of opinion. But a lot of her sources she uses don’t seem to be factual or valid links, a lot of the sources she uses seems to be questionable. Another thing I noticed was a lot of people who commented doubted her arguments in the article. Lastly I couldn’t find out who wrote the article, and because of this I do not think this is an authoritative website. At the end of the article is says that it was posted on Global Governance Archive but that website is confusing and says in progress, so I am in doubt, subsequently I doubting this website.

Peak Oil is Snake Oil!

Even before noticing that the article was written from The Huffington PostI immediately thought clever title and definitely would entice me. This is a rather old article since it was posted in 2007, but it was easy to see who wrote it and there was even a link to the writer’s mini bio. And if you read his bio, you’ll know he wrote a book which links you to amazon and there are customer reviews. So typically when I would see this I would then think that this writer is legit. In the article, Learsy has a lot of valid arguments and well supports them by using specific authoritative people. Even though the comments are under maintenance, it is an authoritative website.

The End of the World As You Know It

This website has a lot of valid information and at first I was a little hesitant but then as I began reading I got the jest that the writer knew what it was talking about. The layout and the way the article is structured is a little dry and not as appealing as other websites typically are. The article does have links, and links that are also authoritative and resourceful. Although the link for the video at the end and the link to see the comments don’t work, Klare’s writing seems legit since he’s published a book and there are many article written about him. So I believe that this is an authoritative website even though it’s appearance lacks which could hinder and possibly turn away online viewers.

Overall after doing this exercise I have learned several valid lessons on how to decipher the real and unreal websites. First lesson is figure out where you are, who wrote it and are the authors legit. Secondly, read their article, notice if there are any grammar errors, check proper links and see if arguments are well supported. Lastly, check out people’s comments on the article and see what people wrote.  Just like Henderson stated, when in doubt, doubt and keeping search for a website that is reliable.


One Response to “The Web: Deciphering the Real and the Unreal”

  1. stevejfox Says:

    Melissa — The last site may give a sense of being an authoritative voice but is it balanced journalism?


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