Two of the five websites that I would like to emulate in some way, or use as a template for my archive include:
Cracked.com: This website is my #1 procrastination destination. If I really don’t want to get anything done for an entire afternoon, this is where I will go first. It is mostly written articles, so I think it counts as a writing related website. The ingenious part of Cracked is the way it links everything to everything else. At the end of every article is a “If you liked this, you will like…. Link! This is why I spend so much time on here. Because each article leads into the next in a never ending journey of Star Wars jokes and fun, slightly useless facts. Having a similar function, or equally user friendly tactics would be beneficial to my portfolio site for easy access and to add interest. I also like their “flashback” column where they give links to articles written a year or two ago today. I think this is a brilliant way to keep traffic on their site, and give attention to older articles as well as newer ones.
nytimes.com: I like the New York Times website because though it is incredibly simple, it is effective. It almost looks like a newspaper, only with links instead of “See Page A2.” It doesn’t have all the cheesy functions some other news sites have, like MSN with all of its articles about the best vacation spots in the US, not to mention the horoscope page. It uses pictures, but not too many. The focus is clearly on the news stories, which I think is useful for a website. Knowing your purpose and not feeling like you have to dress it up or add dumb things to keep reader interest is important. I like that you can view today’s newspaper as well, and the adds are kept to a minimum.