Comparing How Two Government Websites Present Information To Their Audiences

1240 words - 5 pages

In what many now refer to as the digital age, the internet has proven to play an essential role for not only entertainment and socialising, but also as a worldwide source of news and information. Government run websites such as Adelaide Metro and Bureau Of Meteorology (BOM) are examples of information services, providing information that could be considered essential. Both of these websites are government funded, yet each comprises subtle differences in form, language, context, purpose and interrelationship, which are all purposefully done to relate more closely to a specific group within society.
The two websites are government-funded because their purpose has been seen as necessary to the public. Adelaide Metro is the number one source for information on public transport in Adelaide, and is used to organise travel routes via bus, train and tram. Adelaide Metro’s travel routes are now shown as alternative means of travel to walking and driving by Google Maps, the most widely used online map website with 250 million users on smartphones alone (Google Enterprise, 2014). Understanding how to read the timetables is the only knowledge required before using the website. Adelaide Metro aims their online resources at teenagers more than adults because far less teenagers drive due to their age and low financial income. Information regarding public transport can also be acquired in pamphlet form, allowing people unfamiliar with the website to access the information. Unlike Adelaide Metro, all of BOM’s information is found only on its website. On 15th February 2014, BOM was the most visited weather website in Australia, and the 27th most visited website overall (Alexa, 2014). BOM is relied upon for information regarding temperature, humidity and rainfall. This allows the audience to plan in accordance to the weather, meaning appropriate clothing can be chosen, and plans affected by the weather can be altered. Knowledge required prior to the use of BOM are intermediate terms used in weather regarding weather conditions and can impact what the audience understands; this is why the site is directed more closely at older generations who are more knowledgeable due to their professions and prior education. Whilst Adelaide Metro has been integrated for further use on websites such as Google Maps, BOM does not need to further advertise its information due to its national recognition.
For a website to be successful, a connection must be made between the author and their audience. Adelaide Metro’s website management ‘The Public Transport Services Division’ branching from the ‘Department of Planning, Transport and Infastructure’ (RailCareers, 2013) creates that association with a slim bulletin (identified by the red box) that indicates route changes and delays which may temporarily disregard information found elsewhere on the website. Contacts (identified by the purple box) are also shown to the audience in the top centremost position of the website to place...

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