Accessing
Tribal Information

a website analysis

The Assignment

What strategies do different authors use to address a similar topic and why do you think they use these strategies?

I explored the home pages of three American Indian tribe websites in order to examine their rhetorical effects on likely audiences. In each case the use of color, framing, and alignment creates a different text for the viewer to consume.

 

Additional analysis could be made regarding organization, sequencing, and other composition principals, but I have limited this discussion to the devices that seemed most evident.

The Tribes

Assumptions

 

Likely audiences will include "insiders" (members of the tribe) and "outsiders" (non-tribal viewers who wish to learn more about the tribe). Insiders seek information about enrollment, tribal services, directions to tribal facilities, and contact information for tribal departments. Outsiders are curious about tribal history, governance, the context of tribal sovereignty within national borders, and jurisdiction and boundaries.

 

I assume that tribes create their sites with the purpose of serving their respective tribal communities while educating outsiders about the place of the tribe in the world. Explore below for discussion about the effects of color, framing, and alignment on the rhetorical arguments of tribal websites.

Analysis

 

Conclusion

A website isn't necessarily effective because information exists upon it. The visual composition matters for an author who is trying to make a rhetorical argument and for the audience who is seeking specific information. The Tlingit and Haida, and Puyallup sites use color, framing, and alignment to guide the visitor through the page. While color is used well on the CSKT to make impressions on the visitor, the framing and alignment do not assist in guiding the eye.

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