The rapid development in internet technology in the last few decades has made it possibly to find something on web more efficiently, especially if you need particular information. It is a common thing these days when you are looking for something not to leaving home. However, I faced one problem doing some search on the internet. I had a question about people’s health, and I wanted to get an answer. I put my keyword in the search engine and start searching. People who search on the internet know how many results you can get on your searching. I started to open websites and looked at them trying to find what I needed.
Soon, I realized that I couldn’t see reliable information from many sites, and some of them were just selling their products. But I wanted to find information that would cover my question well. It is a familiar situation, isn’t it? How can we evaluate which site is more likely to give us what we need? Fortunately, we can do it using criteria for evaluating information from the web. For example, using criteria such as authority, coverage, bias, and currency we can choose which site, UT Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) or Health Guard, is much better.
Looking at CMHC (www. cmhc. utexas. edu) site we can see that it has very good authority. The website is published by the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center. I don’t need even to check what organization it is. But if someone is not sure about that, he or she can search and find a lot of information about who they are. The domain name of this site is . edu. It means that the page is supported by an educational institution. Also we can easily find contact information on the webpage. When I clicked About Us, I found many ways to contact this center.
You have an opportunity to call them during their business hours, or contact them by US or campus mail, or through e-mail. But there is a warning that information will be transmitted over a non-secure channel if you choose e-mail contact. So, the publisher thinks about the audience and puts some warnings such as this one. Also you can find a physical address with a map of the building location in this section. Moreover, the website has the section Our Staff where you can find professional staff, supervised trainees, administrative services staff, clinical, and educational staff with names, people’s posts, degrees, and their experiences.
I got enough information about authority that made me feel good on this site. On the other hand, I couldn’t find a lot of authority information on Health Guard (www. healthguardwellness. com) site. On the main page I see a photo of Dr. Lukawski, and when I started to click on this photo, the link transferred me to next page with a video clip about their product but not about who she is. When I clicked on Contact Us, I read that “Someone will reply. ” Who is “Someone”? I kept reading and trying to open About Us and found the YouTube video with Mr. Steven Goldberg. I don’t know who he is except that video clip.
Also I can find only scant information about the product itself that is actually explains nothing. So, we have circular reasoning, and it doesn’t give good thoughts about this site. I really don’t know the author, and I cannot trust any information that is written here. In addition, I cannot found any information about any physical or postal address. Even though you able to find a physical address, it is more likely to notice other ways to contact this organization, by phone, fax or e-mail, because they are very colorful and attractive to the reader. Another criterion that helped me to choose which site is better is coverage.
CMHC gives a lot of information about health in each section that this site has. For instance, when I clicked on Common Student Concerns, I’ve got a list of different categories that support the topic. Each category has at least two pages and gives additional links for additional information. Unlike CMHC, Health Guard doesn’t have information that should cover the topic. I was looking for it for a several minutes, and found just advertisement and success stories. No one informative page could I find there. Every time when I clicked on links, I got a new page with selling products.
So, we can see that Health Guard does not have coverage. Bias is one more criterion for evaluating two websites. We already know that CMHC is sponsored by the educational institution that is a non-profit organization, but it directly relates with health. All information that we can find here is informative but not advertisement. There is no selling of any kind of products. Graphics, fronts, and capital letters do not play with our emotions. They just make reading easier. In contrast to CMHC, Health Guard is a profit site which focuses on attracting people to buy their products. Advertising is everywhere.
For example, you can find how much a happy pack costs even on the home page. There are a lot of capital letters colorful pictures with products and their prices almost everywhere. We can see words such as “only $ dollars” or “order now. ” They play to the reader’s emotions. Every page is very colorful and looks crowded, so that makes reading really hard. Finally, the currency criterion helps us to find a better site. Going to the section Emergency Information on CMHC at the bottom of the page, I found the date when the page was last updated. It means that this site is still working, and the publisher is putting new information there.
CMHC has currency, whereas Health Guard does not give us any date except “2010 HealthGuard Wellness, LLC | Powered by Volusion. ” I didn’t find updates at all. As we have seen, CMHC and Health Guard are very different sites. Using criteria we easily evaluate that CMHC is much better than Health Guard. We can go to CMHC to find information that we need, ask a question and get an answer from the right people, and take information from this website for our research paper if we are students. You can do these things only using a good site such as CMHC, UT Counseling and Mental Health Center.