Alright folks, the internet has been around long enough that everyone has had their chance to jump aboard and create their very own homepage, and that is a great thing. Imagine the exchange of ideas, the learning of different cultures, the narrowing of the world, and perhaps even, a unity this world has not seen since mankind began building a tower to the heavens thousands of years ago. Now, I could go on about that concept, but that is another time, another place.
Today I want to talk about what I feel is a major problem with some people's use of the internet. Sure, with all this exchange of ideas and an increased sense of community, there are some amazing opportunities for ministry and the sharing of the Gospel. I'm all for that. I think we have all heard the expression, WWJD, What Would Jesus Download, and I think that only tells us that we are to use the internet for good. But the problems come when we focus too much on "ministry" and not enough time on what I would like to call "quality and excellence."
What, you ask, do I mean by that? Well, recently a person was commenting on another website which I designed. They told me that they would have not gone to work for that company if the website was not at the high level it was. We then laughed about how many Christian sites (both personal and professional) are of a low quality. It appears that people just throw them up to make their presence known. What should be done is to take the time to make a good looking site that people will want to visit, spend time at, and even feel welcome at. I highly doubt that those who followed Christ and made tents or quilts to support the early apostles made shotty products. Why should we now?
So how do you do this. Let me give you a few tips I've learned and picked up over the past couple years of working and surfing the internet.
1. PLEASE STOP THE MIDI. For those who don't know, MIDIs are those annoying music files that play often when you visit a site. My rough estimate is that 90% of sites that use MIDIs are Christian, and 100% of all sites that use MIDI are just down right annoying. In today's world, most computers come with CD players, and if I want music when I surf, I put the music I want on, not surf around until I find a out of tune version of "Onward Christian Soldiers."
2. MULTIPLE PAGES - Here is a novel idea, make more than one page. I've seen Christian schools and churches who put all their information on one page. Not only does this cause for a lot of information overload, but it also makes me scroll for about thrity minutes before I find the bottom of the page.
3. REMOVE THE CONSTRUCTION SIGNS - If a website is active, it is always underconstruction. But we don't need to see little construction workers telling us a page is not done yet. Don't put a link to it, if it is not ready.
4. MIDI SONGS - Did I mention how annoying these are. Stop it. I mean it. Do us all a favor and delete these from your site.
For now we will leave it at that. Please feel free to send me feedback on this. And if you are surfing and find a site that fails to meet these four simple rules, please sign their guestbook, and send them to this site. I know I will.