Authenticity

When viewers are exploring a new webpage it is extremely important that with the organizations being considered they are very authentic and clearly show how they use the money they are collecting. 

The Environmental Defense Fund shows a two pie charts that explains how they get money and how they spend it. They have one pie chart labelled, “Sources of Support and Revenue.” This pie chart shows that 68% of their revenue comes from contributions and memberships. The remaining money that they make comes from things like foundations, investments and government grants. 

The second pie chart shows the organizations expenses. On this chart it is shown that 82% of their expenses go towards program activities while the remaining percentages go towards development, membership, and administration.

While, these pie charts do show how the organization claims they have spent their money. There is no proof to back up these claims. On their expense pie chart, they say that a large chuck of their money is spent on program activities. There is no clear definition of what program activities are or what specific actives the organization is doing to help their cause. Because there is no proof of how they are spending their money it is unlikely that a viewer would want to support this organization. Without transparency on how money is being spent in an organization people cannot consider the organization authentic. 

The World Wide Fund for Nature does just the opposite of the Environmental Defense Fund when it comes to being transparent on how they spend their money. Not only does the World Wide Fund for Nature show pie charts of how their money is earned and spent, they also include links to every single past expense report that the organization has had. 

WWF shows in their graphic above, the total expenses of operating the organization and the total expenses of running different programs to raise money. These graphics do not specify what programs they are running and where that 84% of their money is supposedly going but if this concerns the viewer it is easy to scroll down to see links to every past years expense report. 

The addition of the expense reports for previous years helps to give the World Wide fund for nature much more credibility. Because they are so transparent with how they spend their money they are more likely to gain public support. When people decide to support an activist organization, they expect that they are truly working towards the goal they have set out for themselves. The Environmental Defense Fund is less authentic than the World Wide Fund for Nature because they do not clearly show how their money is used. The graphics included on both websites do add to their credibility but unless this information can be proven like the World Wide Fund for Nature did with the inclusion of expense reports, all credibility is lost. 

Design Rhetoric

The “Environmental Defense Fund’s” website is straight to the point and it is easy to navigate. However, at first glance the attention of the viewer is not obtained. When arriving to the home page of their website a pop-up add to donate to their organization is the first thing that comes up. While this may be a tactic that is utilized by many organizations, this leads the viewer to immedietly feel targeted for money. After closing this out, a bland webpage in blue and white appears. In the center of the screen is an artic animal surrounded with melted ice. The caption on these always changing photos read, “Before it’s too late,” with a button labeled, “Give now.”

Unfortuneltly these picture do little to inform the viewer on what they would be giving money to. The website must be searched to find their mission statement under the, “Our work,” tab.

Under this tab there are links to different articles that go into depth on how the organization plans on solving the environmental issues they label at the bottom of their home screen. 

            The environmental defense fund adds some better and more engaging design elements at the bottom of their home screen where they list that their main goals include, “Stabilizing the climate,” “Feeding the world,” and “Protecting our health.” All of these are paired with images. These images are very generic and look similar to images on all environmental websites. These images do little to further their agenda and do not clearly show any of the initaives that the orgnizations claim they are working on. In fact, through out most of the website it is unclear if the photos used are general stock images or images taken by the group themselves. 

Next are four circlular buttons that go to different areas of their work that help to gain results. The use of these blue buttons being paired with the rest of the blue in the website does look appealing and leads the viewer to clearly show how they accomplish their work, even if that mission is not as clearly stated on the webpage. 

Overall, the design of the Environmental Defense Fund’s website is nothing new. The site uses the blue, green, and white tones to symbolize the Earth in a very uninteresting way. The incorporation of pictures does increase the design of the website but, this could have been more engaging if the images clearly showed the mission work of the organization. While the site is easy to use, it does seem that more effort was put into collecting donations that showing clear ways that the organization helps the environment and what specific elements of environmental change they are working towards. 

The World Wide Fund for Nature has a very different approach to their websites design. While the Environmental Defense Fund went for a more simplistic approach to their homepage, WWF grabs the viewers attention immediately with their use of color and interesting logo.

The top of their page has the small panda bear as their logo which represents that the organization focuses on protecting endangered species. The page is decorated with beautiful pictures taken from around the world and outline with orange, yellow, blue, and black. These colors are interesting choices and show depth of design skill. The colors are bold and bring attention to different areas of the webpage while also looking uniform and professional. The homepage also includes a picture that changes upon each time coming to the webpage. The images used in this roll seem to be taken by the organization themselves from different events that they have hosted to bring awareness to their group.

As the viewer scrolls down on the homepage, there are many different links to articles written by the World Wide Fund for Nature as well as links to ways to donate and gifts to purchase as donations. I believe that the WWF asks for donations in a very gracious way that shows that they want the consumer/donator to be apart of the collective as opposed to just sending in money. The use of a incentive for donation is very smart. At the top of the webpage there is also a small button to donate or adopt an endangered species to support. These ways of giving are more interactive and feel better to a supporter than sending money to an organization with no clear outcome. 

After this there are six circular buttons for the viewer to click on to see how the World Wide Fund for nature divides up there work. The organization clearly states their mission statement above these six areas of work as well. This is a very interesting and engaging use of design on this webpage because it clearly shows the viewer what the organization is doing and all of the different things that they focus their attention on. 

The World Wide Fund for Natures website is not only engaging but also clear and easily navigated. All of the areas of their work and links to how to engage in their organization are clearly listed and easy to use.

While The Environmental Defense Fund lacked in some areas of their design the World Wide Fund for Nature excels in design and pulls the viewers to look deeper into their content.

Content Rhetoric

As far as content goes, The Environmental Defense Fund has many different links to articles that clearly explain what the organizations “work” is. There are four clear areas of work being, climate and energy, health, oceans, and ecosystems. Under all of these tabs are articles that shows different ways things like cleaner energy sources can help to benefit the climate and has links to different areas of the world being affected by climate change, why they are being affected, and how the Environmental Defense Fund plans on reinventing their energy sources to lower climate impact. 

Under the next section labeled, “How we get results,”  the organization shows in different articles how they get results that actually help to better the environment.  The Environmental Defense Fund shows in these articles how the organizations use of science, economics, partnerships, and nonpartisan policy’s gain results. The organization claims they have paired up with scientists that have been working to find cheaper and more accessible ways to produce energy so that as a planet we can move away from fossil fuels. This is explained under both the science tab and the economics tab that shows case studies of where the Environmental Defense Fund has already put some of their work into effect. By showing case studies of their work, the viewer is more likely to support their organization after seeing the good that their research and work has done. The case study’s they present claim that after their hired scientists and teams have come into different areas to help no only has pollution been reduced but the actual cost of producing energy has gone down tremendously.  

The only issue that I find with the content of the Environmental Defense Fund is that there is a lack of evidence that the events they claimed happened really did. For example under the “Economics,” tab in, “How we get results,” there is a case study presented called, “acid rain.” In this case study there are only two sentences of information under each area of the study, problem, solution, and outcome. With only two brief sentences of information on how the Environmental Defense Fund solved the problem of acid rain, it is hard to know if these events really transpired. There is not information on where the case study took place, how long this problem took to solve, or which specific economic and scientific experts they worked with to complete this project. For these reasons I believe the credibility of the Environmental Defense Fund is weakened. The viewer is likely to see this and have many questions on how exactly the results were achieved even while under the, “How we get results,” tab.

Overall, the Environmental Defense Fund does have a lot of content and at first glance the viewer would be likely to support the organization. However, with a closer look it is clear that while much time and effort was put into showcasing their work, the evidence to help back up their claims was not included. Therefore, the legitimacy of the organization is questioned.

Moving on to the content of the World Wide Fund for Nature, there is a huge difference that can be noticed right of the bat. Under there, “Our Work,” tab there is a huge picture that states, “A Future for People and Nature.” This quote is followed by the organizations statement that by challenging the threats that we currently have to nature we can create a better environment for ourselves. Under this are links to eleven areas of their work. The World Wide Fund for Nature does an amazing job at producing clear content that shows exactly how and why they are focusing time and money into a specific area. For example, under the, “Our Work,” tab there is another link to how they are working on, “Food.” This seems odd when talking about nature, but the WWF shows how food and the transportation of certain foods are harming the environment. 

All of the pages under the, “Our Work,” tab follow a similar pattern in showcasing information so to show how the World Wide Fund for nature produces content I will be focusing in on the, “Food,” page. The page starts by showing a beautiful image of hands working with food. The header of this page shows the viewer exactly what this article will be about. 

After this, the viewer sees the article. The World Wide Fund for nature has much longer articles compared to the Environmental Defense Fund. The articles are much more developed and give more information on how the WWF recommends these problems are fixed. In the food section not only is the article packed full of information, there is also a YouTube video linked to the side that the World Wide Fund for created and a small graphic showing the projected world population by 2050. 

Finally, along the bottom of the page is different circular tabs that the viewer can click on to see, “Primary Commodities.” These primary commodities are cropping that the World Wide Fund for Nature has done research on to see how sustainable the crop will be to the future production of food product. When these tabs are clicked on the viewer is taken to another article explaining how the crop can be used. 

While both organizations do have content, it is clear that the Environmental Defense Fund included far less information that the World Wide Fund for Nature. Because the WWF has such engaging and clear content it is likely that a viewer would be more likely to support their organization. 

Case Study

For my case study of activist networks, I will be analyzing how successful an activist organization is by comparing the content, design, and authenticity of two different activist networks concerning climate change.

The content of site can be best described as the information on the organization and their initiative. This usually contains outside sources and proof of facts to help convince the readers to support their cause. The design of an organizations website also contributes heavily to the amount of success an organization has. If a site is difficult to navigate and not visually engaging, readers loose interest in supporting the organization. The last factor of an activist organization that I will be focusing on is the authenticity of an organization. When people are engaged in supporting an activist organization it is because they believe that the organization is truly working towards the goals they set out. If an organization does not show how the money the raise is being used, support is lost, and the organization becomes less successful.

These key components of a successful activist organization can create a very profitable and prosperous organization. I will be looking in depth at the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Environmental Defense fund. Both are non-profit organizations trying to solve different aspect of the climate change issue.

The World Wide Fund for Nature works to raise money to protect currently endangered wildlife and wildlife at risk of becoming endangered due to climate changes. This organization uses education and fundraising opportunities to fund all of these ventures as well as hopefully rebuild the habitats that have been lost due to things like deforestation, severe weather changes, and pollution. The Environmental Defense Fund is working closely with scientist to help fund a clean energy sources to replace the use of fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions and the buildup of greenhouse gases in the  atmosphere. 

By analyzing the content, design, and authenticity of these groups and comparing their success in each of these divisions, I will be able to see how each of these organizations have utilized their space on the internet to gain more support for their organization. 

Click to see content comparison
Click to see design comparison
Click to see authenticity comparison

In conclusion , the Environmental Defense fund lacked in many ways. Their website did not clearly show their goals or initiatives and the overall design of the website was boring. The lack of content and authenticity in their website also clearly showed that when compared to the World Wide Fund for Nature, they were not as advanced. The World Wide Fund for Nature not only had a very engaging website but also copious amounts of content, proof, and fact to back up their statements. The World Wide Fund for nature was also much more transparent in the way that they presented their expenses and how they use the money they make from donators.

As a viewer, it is clear to me that when researching which organization to support these are the key components that a website needs in order to be successful. The World Wide Fund for Nature is much more successful in their activism and how they utilize their digital space. I would fully recommend supporting their goal to help stop environmental issues like deforestation, the extinction of different species and climate change.

Works Cited

“Endangered Species Conservation.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/.

“Home.” Environmental Defense Fund, www.edf.org/.

Design image:

“Endangered Species Conservation.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/.

Content image:

Stasik, Sarah. “What Is a Content Creator?” State of Digital Publishing, State of Digital Publishing, 12 Oct. 2019, www.stateofdigitalpublishing.com/content-strategy/what-is-a-content-creator/.

Authenticity image:

Watts, Galen. “Post-Truth in an Age of Authenticity.” Areo, 28 Feb. 2019, areomagazine.com/2019/02/28/post-truth-in-an-age-of-authenticity/.

Update #3

I spent my hour of collaborative work this week writing a post of our “Frequently Asked Questions” page. I actually used some of the questions that came up from our classmates when talking about Send it 2 Space in class. I was able to look up answers and write a response from our team that showed what our personal goal was. I added 5 main questions about safety, cost, what our current solutions are, and if this very expensive project is even worth looking into. Send it 2 Space believes that our initiative is not only worth the time and cost but could revolutionize the way the world processes its trash. By separating trash and only sending the non-compostable materials to space we could potentially clear out the majority of landfills and prevent them from ever having to be used again. This will also limit the amount of trash on the planet in general which will help us spend more time on cleaning up what is already here as opposed to continuously adding to it. 

We also spent some time discussing what still needs to be done and what finishing touches we can add to our site to ensure that the project is complete, and our goal is clear. We will be adding a few more content related posted and fixing some minor bugs on the website. 

Update #2

For my next section of work on our activist network, “Send it to Space,” I began doing research on how our organization could begin to raise money and awareness of Send it to Space. On Wednesday, our group set out deadlines for when Joanna and I must have two separate blog posts read to be uploaded to the website by this upcoming Wednesday. I have been pulling together information to compose mine to be added by then.

My research has shown that to be able to find the funding for a project this massive we would have to partner with a trillion-dollar agency that could help us to obtain the researches necessary to send all of the worlds trash to space. I will be going into what different organizations would possibly be in mind to help us and what people we would want to enlist the help of for our initiative.

I am also looking into different things our organization could promote as ways to help the environment before we are able to provide the technology needed to send all the trash to space. Before we could send all trash to space, we would first need to determine what is considered trash. Because of the cost associated with sending all of the trash to space we would want to ensure that only nonrecyclables and non-compostable where sent to space and that on Earth there was a worldwide trash organization that separated compostable, recyclables and the items that need to be sent to space. To start this initiative, we will be promoting things like recycling, reusing, thrifting/buying second hand and buying less non-composable trash in the first place. 

These things will be able to satisfy what our movement will be focusing on now while also collecting a following and building an infrastructure that could allow for the growth that would come with actually being able to send all trash to space.

Major Assignments Post #1

I spent my hour of collaborative work doing research on our topic. We are interested in creating a nonprofit organization that funds sending the worlds trash to space. As the project manager for our group I will be delegating different aspects of our organizations building to each member of the group. We will need a person working on specifically website design, a person who manages content creation, and someone who does research on our topic to give the content creator sources from which to develop our websites material. I began researching how much something like this would cost and how much it would be to hire on scientist onto a team to build the technology needed to send tons of pounds of trash to a far-off corner of space. Being able to know exactly how much money our organization will need to complete our project will give us an estimation on how we will raise money and widen our reach on the internet. I will also be looking into finding a “sister-organization” that believes in the same things our organization does that will help us to build our platform. Brendan and Justin will work on the website building while Joanna will work on research and content creation, (I will also be helping Joanna with this). We will also be working out who exactly will be building social media pages for our organization soon. 

For my personal case study of an activist network, I went on each of the activist organizations websites that I will be researching and compared each aspect of their website. I am studying the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Environmental Defense Fund. I wanted to get an idea of how each organization promotes itself, raises money, and how much of their mission do they actually complete. These points of break down helped me to compile a list of “goods” and “bads” from each site to help show how each organization works.

Book Review #4

I will be finishing up my review of Rewire by Ethan Zuckerman by reviewing the last two chapters of his book. We pick up in chapter seven, Serendipity and the City, where Zuckerman explains that the internet is often seen as a type of digital city scape with different roads to different places. Unfortunate for the user even though it is possible to go anywhere in this city we often stay in our same rotation of the things we like. The average person rotates through school, work, and home just as a person only goes to the sites that they want or need to be at. The user then misses entire chunks of information unless it is accidentally stumbled upon. Zuckerman refers to these happy accidents of finding information as, “serendipity.” He explains how many great things are born from happy accidents just as people find new information that is typically out of their realm. Zuckerman then focuses on design and explains that when cities are built there are two main questions that need to be taken into consideration that also apply to any website building. These questions are: Whom is the city for? Who needs to be considered when design decisions are made? If these two questions are taken into thought before a website is created the potential reach or “carrying capacity” of the city can be much large. Zuckerman then explains how to know who a city is for and what needs to be considered. He discusses a term called, “desire lines” that show peoples tendency towards efficiency and show where people go and how they prefer to get there. Following these data points and taking that information into consideration will greatly affect an activist-networks reach. A quote from this chapter by Zuckerman that perfectly encapsulates his message is this, “We need serendipity because of our tendency to focus on the familiar, to miss what might be provocative and inspiring because its unfamiliar and unknown”

Ethan Zuckerman author of Rewire


In chapter eight, Zuckerman completes his novel by stating, “The Connected Shall Inherit,” and he goes on to explain how useful this information can be when producing information on the web that you expect to be read by people across the world. By being connected and seeing the news that truly matters and making sure the work you produce can be seen by everyone you will be “connected” and according to Zuckerman, the connected shall inherit. 

Book Review #3

I will be going through chapters five and six of Rewire by Ethan Zuckerman and discussing the use of language on the internet and how it can affect the spread of information. Zuckerman does not exclusively  address activism but using the tools that he discusses we can apply those ideas to how we assess activist culture and benefit an organization reach and success. 

http://www.drpa.org/bridges/commodore-barry-bridge.asp

Chapter five, Found in Translation, goes into how language is used as a tool on the internet. Zuckerman begins the chapter by telling a story about the World Cup soccer tournament in which Brazilian fans used signs with the slogan, “Cala Boca Galvao,” to have fun with non-Spanish speaking individuals. They joked that the slogan was meant to spread awareness on the endangerment of a bird that originates in Brazil. The term blew up and was seen all over Twitter, only for everyone to find out the term was actually saying “shut up” to one of the soccer coaches. This demonstration of the use of language on the internet let Zuckerman to explore how English is used on the internet and apply that to his own site called Global voices. There was a push to have English become the world’s go to second language so that people would be able to think in their mother tongue and then switch to English to be able to communicate with anyone from anywhere thus increasing the business and information sharing between countries. After a study was done to see how much of the world wide web was already in English it was found that almost 80% of the internet was published in English. As more countries began to use the internet more often that number has decreased to 40%. This led Zuckerman to change the language options for his site, Global voices, to incorporate seven different languages. Zuckerman argues that language is a tool that allows for people to have access to information from anywhere at any time if we are capable of translating it. If an activist organization was able to translate their message into other languages, people from across the world who would normally not be reached could join an activist movement from across seas. This could completely change the way the internet is used to reach people. 

Chapter six, Taken in Context, Zuckerman brings up the term “bridging” which a journalist Xiao Qiang and he created to describe the work that bloggers do to translate and contextualize ideas from one culture to another. He brings this topic up to address how people can begin to bridge the gap between the English-speaking side of the internet and the other 60% of the earth’s population with access to internet. This term is then used in other contexts like, “bridge blogger” and “bridge figures” to describe other ways people have integrated the use of translation in their media out reach.  The rest of the chapter goes into using bridging in the digital new age and how it can increase a person’s reach on the internet. 

Book Review #2

Chapter three of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the age of Connection by Ethan Zuckerman goes into detail on how the typical persons use of the internet has inaccurately shaped our world view. We search for what we want to know based on what we deem is important not based on what is actually important. News channels and reports often cover stories based on a countries GDP as opposed to their population and relevance. Therefore, countries like the united states and the UK disproportionately report global news.  “Top dog” nations get more coverage on current events than “underdog” nations as Zuckerman calls them. This unfair media coverage has shaped what people find to be the most important. This can be defined as “agenda setting” where voters believe that the topics covered by the media must be more important than topics that go unreported. This leads the media to have unnecessary control over voter opinion. Zuckerman refers to the media and publishers as “gatekeepers” who filter the information that citizens receive. Zuckerman argues in this chapter that there is a huge need to rewire the way news is presented to the public and our world view needs to be expanded. 

https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/12/which-countries-are-the-most-peaceful-in-the-world

            In chapter four, Zuckerman talks about an organization called Global Voices that was started by Zuckerman and a woman named Rachel. In Global Voices freedom of speech is no longer controlled by “gatekeepers” such as media outlets and publishers. The aim of it is to share citizen media around the world with as much importance as the media that comes from “top dog” nations. The ideas focused on by Global Voices are transparent translation, bridge features, and engineered serendipity. These topics aim to rewire the negative aspects of the internet that lead to miscommunication and a lack of knowledge sharing across borders. Zuckerman pin points three of these negative aspects as language, personal connection, and discovery. Zuckerman argues that if we change the way we interact online, we will have a more well rounded world view.

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