On entering the Emory University Postcolonial site I was immediately struck by its uncanny resemblance to the ‘Encarta encyclopedia’ software that seemed to be used by everyone prior to the internet’s arrival. No doubt it was the basis for the aesthetics and design of this site when it began in 1996.
However, I did not find the information; of which there is alot, to be as sparse as the general backdrop of the site itself. The site is very thorough in covering all the bases of the subject, including all recognised authors of the time etc. However, it feels much like the old Encarta format; an encyclopedia, full of dry and ‘factual’ information. This in turn led me to boredom and scan reading. True, the University of Chicago site still operates in a similar manner, filling the page with textual information. Yet it remains more discursive throughout, which engages the viewer when reading.
I find that both sites reference texts etc. very throughly, but still favour the more modern University of Chicago approach; placed alongside the text, as they are instantly attainable at a glance. Thus the flow of reading is undisturbed. A strong point of both sites are the links on words of importance, or that are referenced elsewhere in on the site. This allows the reader to jump back and forth easily between links in theory and opinion. This is a tactic that I feel we could utilise on our site, and is something I wish to do with my own writing on the tiip site.
As regards the collaborative nature of both sites I am still undecided of the implications upon the researcher. I feel this is mainly because I did not distinguish between 1 writer to the next, particularly on the Postcolonial site. They are overly formulaic in my opinion. To dry and factual, and with it authoritive. I do not feel this is how we should be working on our site: We are researchers, not encyclopedia writers. I feel we should set about pulling things apart, picking at them and then making connections and working them in as links between our pages.