Institutions that teach ethical leadership need to have websites that are not only professionally designed, but they need to be easy to navigate and have relevant and accurate information A website must have all the necessary details that a visitor needs to verify the details of the host. Some websites may also have copyrighted material thus it is important for the websites to have clearly indicated copyright information. These and others factors are what make a good website. However, it is apparent that some websites offers the visitor no value for time spent surfing.
Others on the other had are a real joy to browse through. In an effort to establish the real value of websites, this essay evaluates websites from three institutions that have departments that offer ethical leadership courses. http://www. ethicalleadership. com/ Ethicalleadership. com is the website for the Institute for Ethical Leadership. This websites does not have an “about us” page. However, all the details usually carried out in the “about us” page are clearly laid out in the home page of the website.
This includes the mission statement, the belief and intent of the authors, the way forward, contact information and the owner of the copyright, which in this case is the Institute of Ethical Leadership. Lacking in the website is the copyright date and the copyright statement. However, this may be justified by the fact that copyright laws apply to all documented placed on the internet. Still, it would have been better if the copyright holder posted the copyright date and statement in order to guide the website users on what constitutes fair use for materials posted on the website.
Ideally, the copyright statement gives legal notices to the website users. It can also contain information about licensing, permissions and reprints. Also lacking from the ethicalleadership. com website is the disclaimer statement. Although the home page contain the names of the founders of the Institute for Ethical leadership, it is hard o know if the are the same people that one should hold responsible for the opinions aired on this website. Overall, the site is easy to navigate since the index is located right below the website banner contains the various topics covered in the website.
A search of the website using www. alexa. com reveals that there are four site links to ethical leadership. com. Namely, Chiron. valsdosta. edu:80/whuitt/material/internet. html, Firstbestlinks. com:80/tldcountry5/4101. html, Blog. trainofthoughts. ca:80/2007_05_01_archive. html and Sebastianspace. freeasensehost. com:80/leadershipscale. html. Of these, it is the Chiron. valsdosta. edu:80 link that offers much weight to the Institute for Ethical leadership website by ranking it among a list Educational, Psychology related websites.
The website is ranked among those websites that offer an overview of character education and Moral education (Huitt, W. 2009). This website seems to offer a visitor real value for time spent browsing through the web pages. The easy to read but detailed content, is the key reason for my argument. Additionally, the website is laced with eye-catching graphics that breaks page monotony. The website traffic rank is at 19,068,587. http://www. utexas. edu/lbj/ Utexas. edu/lbj/ is the official website for the Center for Ethical Leadership of the Lyndon B.
Johnson of Public Affairs (University of Texas). The index is aligned to the left side of the website and contains pointers to the ‘Home page’, ‘mission statement’, ‘publications’, ‘curriculum’, ‘events’, ‘staff’ and ‘contact us’ . The home page also has the copyright owner name, which in this case is the LBJ school of Public Affairs. A web visitor can also easily locate the date that the website was last modified, since it is located at the end of the page. At the same place, the webpage has an email address, which users can send comments about the site to.
Additionally, the webpage has a disclaimer which states in part that although content published in the website is free to use, it may not be used for profit purposes. In addition, the disclaimer states that all resources contained in the website are copyrighted and can only be used under the express permission of the Center for Ethical Leadership (CEL). By this disclaimer, it is clear that CEL would also take responsibility for the contents of the website thus giving users an easy time when figuring out who to address should the need arise.
A search of the site using alexa. com reveals that the website has 10,187 linked to it. Among the prominent ones is the Google colleges and Universities directory, where the site is featured in a list of accredited universities in the US. Other prominent links to the website include Amazon and Wikipedia. Both have impressive page ranks. Although the home page of the www. utexas. edu/lbj/ would do with some de-cluttering and color, one has to admit that the website is quite popular gauging the links it attracts. The site is ranked at 2,206 by alexa. com (2009).
Overall, this website is worthwhile, although the home page could look much better if the page is utilized well by using a better font type and some graphics. Currently, the only graphic on the page is the logo on the banner (www. utexas. edu/lbj/research/leadership/). I would trust the contents of this website based partly on the contact information for the institute given on the home page. The details given about the two founders and principals are also an added assurance that indeed the contents of the website can be trusted. http://huntsman. usu. edu/ www. huntsman.
usu. edu is the official website of the Utah State University, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. Unlike the two earlier highlighted institutions, this university has other courses and only offers ethical leadership as a course within the school of Business. The Index of the website is easy to locate since it is located right under the website banner and is highlighted in a distinct color. Features on the Index bar include ‘Home’, ‘About the school’, ‘departments & Programs’, ‘students’, ‘Faculty & Staff Directory’, ‘Alumni& Friends’, ‘News’, and ‘Contact us’.
By just looking at the index, the home page layout and the careful but interactive use of colors on this website, the user is almost sure that he/she will have an easy time while browsing the different web pages. Copyright to the website for the 2008-2009 periods belongs to Jon. M. Huntsman School of Business as indicated at the bottom of the page. There is no disclaimer on the page. The ‘contact us’ page is however detailed with phone numbers and email addresses of various departmental heads in the University.
I would trust information given on this website despite their lack of a disclaimer statement largely because of the detailed contact information provided on the webpage. The fact that the website has a link to the physical location of the Campus (Utah State University, 2009) is an added confirmation that, the website can indeed be trusted. Searching the website on Alexa. com reveals 20 websites that have links to the website. This gives the impression that the website is popular. Alexa. com further ranks traffic to the website at 18, 568.
This is indicative of the fact that quite a significant number of people visit this website. However, this still does not settle the worthiness question of this website. Although the home page has no mission statement, it is clear to the user that the website owner has a global vision, values ethical leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and analytical rigor as stated under the prominent revolving banner on the home page. Since, valuing the website is purely judgmental, I would place the value of this website above average.
My reasons for this are, first, going through the different pointers as highlighted on the index reveals that the website has covered the different topics that a web visitor may be interested in well. The Departments and programs section is especially important for students interested in joining the university. The directory offers contact information for all faculty and staff members, making the website a valuable contact resource for the entire university community. Conclusion Placing value on websites is still a grey area for most people.
The process has however been made easier by websites rankings that consider the number of clicks a website receives in a specified period and keyword density as valuable pointers on to the worthiness of the websites. Other ranking engines also consider the number of links directed to a particular website while valuing it. Having used Alexa. com to gauge the ranking of the three websites belonging to various instates that offer ethical leadership courses, the value of the three websites are evidently very different.
At the bottom of the rank is www. ethicalleadership. com/index, which is ranked at number 19,068,587 and only four links ton it. Next is http://huntsman. usu. edu/ with a ranking at 18, 568 and 20 links to it, while http://www. utexas. edu/lbj/ leads them at a traffic rank 2,206 and 10,187 links.
Alexa Internet, Inc. (2009) Alexa: The Web Information Company. Accessed 27 Feb. 2009 from http://www. alexa. com/
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