YA Helensburgh Web Site: First Impressions

February 19, 2006

Finally get around to reading the Advertiser today, and discover that there’s yet another Helensburgh website, OorToon.com. (Yes, I know web addresses are case insensitive.) So that’s a fourth index-type web site to add to the three I mentioned in Simple Things to Make Helensburgh Better.

It’s not a bad web site. This one renders reasonably well in Safari, and uses Web 2.0-stylee CSS. However there’s not one but two title pages to click through before you get to the actual index, including one where, bizarrely, you’re asked to type the word “Helensburgh” into a field. Don’t understand that one at all. Well, there are if you go to oor-toon.com, rather than oortoon.com… Why not just redirect to the right place? Points added for registering both names.

Points off for requiring people to type a word in to access the site…

The \"type in the word Helensburgh\" page on oortoon.com

Or you can just go straight to the proper home page.

Once in, the content is pretty standard stuff, albeit biased towards the “what’s happening?!? the town’s going to the dogs!!!111!!!” school of writing. Of course the site claims to be impartial. It says it has a forum, but you actually get an email link. Huh? Is every contribution going to be vetted?

The site is also mildly copyright-obsessed, with little copyright notices on virtually every picture. I would say a CC ShareAlikeNoDerivatives licence would be perfect for this sort of web site, but perhaps that’s just me.

So, a site with potential, and I hope people contribute to it. I might even do so myself. But I harbour doubts about how successful it’ll be, given the usual problems with publicising things in Helensburgh, and all the online competition.

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