Thursday, 29 March 2018

Culture JE Catastrophe

A new local website has launched, and Bailiwick Express had this to say:

"Finding out about Jersey’s arts and heritage will now be easier thanks to, a new website listing activities and organisations in the island, which launches today. Developing the website cost around £16,000 and was funded by EDTSC."

"The website was launched as part of a collaboration between Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture and Jersey Library. Assistant Minister with responsibility for Culture, Deputy Murray Norton, commented: “The strength of our cultural life lies in its enormous variety but there is so much going on that it’s often difficult to know where to start looking for details.Oh dear! What a mess. Where do you want me start?"

I looked at the site after Mark Forskitt had complained there was no sign of Jerriais there, and found it. It is not easy, lurking in a labyrinthine structure which makes the Minotaur's playground on Crete look like child's play I used a google search on and found a page, hidden under the blog area. There are a few more, but you need a search button to find them, and there isn't one visible - until you click on the Menu option, as Nick Palmer found out. It's not on the front page, nor are the tabs one would expect from a £16,000 site.

Here's what you could expect from your money - the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley site. Never mind the content, although that is well laid out, look at the design, which is excellent.

There is also a very important "About this Website" area:

This includes a Cookie Policy, a Website Disclaimer (legal stuff about links), Privacy Policy (needed under the new GDPR). None of these vital legal safeguards are present on the Jersey site, or if they are, they are buried so deep they need the coin hoard discoverers with a metal detector to find them. And yet as the Dean and Wye site shows, there are standard templates, free and easily adaptable.

[Note: since writing this, a Privacy Policy which mentions cookies, has suddenly appeared on It lurks at the bottom of the page, out of plain sight! Glad to know someone is reading my blog!]

I thought the site should be called

So I thought I'd ask a professional website designer for their comments, which are printed below, after which I've added what the Wye and Dean site has on its About Page.

Website - Culture.Je.
An Analysis by Adam Gardiner

The ‘Menu’ (top left) takes you to a series of blank pages and ‘back’ button to get you back to home simply dumps you off the site* as do other blank links. Graphics are poor and and amateurish as is the layout - much as you have commented. 

As content is added it will become all the the more clunkier and unusable. 

No search facility, no genera tabs (in addition to ‘Menu’), no filtering functions, no video capability, no user interaction, no standard site map, no navigation. no privacy policy or standard warning that a link is going to take you to another site, i.e. a disclaimer; in fact this site is not only incomplete (so why launch it) but is virtually unusable. 

As to development, it also looks very much like a Wordpress based site which means it is not going to be easy to display some material or options that may occur, nor is Wordpress particularly adaptable to embedding video once you have set the parameters of the site. In looking at the underlying code that too is a mess. All content in the directory is prefixed which suggests that is all it is (a listing) and I do not see any reference to meta tags or meta data to facilitate SEO.

At £16k the public have again been ripped off. A brochure site with a few external links is something a 5th form IT student could do in a few hours and be happy with a £500 fee. The site is absolutely nothing to sing about at all. 

No Jerriais is least of Mark's worries! The site should be denounced as being nowhere fit for purpose. “The strength of our cultural life lies in its enormous variety but there is so much going on that it’s often difficult to know where to start looking for details.” Well it still is and this site will not help you one little bit. would be a bettter domain name. Total rubbish…its a joke!

* Go to home page (such as it is) scroll down to 'Get Involved’ and click on the link. The same happens with other links too.

From the Wye and Dean Site, and missing from Culture .Je

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