5. Evaluating Web Sites: Good enough for your purpose?
Web sites should always be evaluated relative to your purpose - why you're looking for information. Your purpose will dictate:
- What kind of information you need.
- How serious you consider the consequences of making a mistake by using information that turns out to be inaccurate. When the consequences aren't very serious, it's easier to decide a site and its information are good enough for your purpose. Of course, there's a lot to be said for always having accurate information, regardless.
- How hard you're willing to work to get the credible, timely information that suits your purpose. (What you're learning here will make it easier.)
Thus, your standards for relevance and credibility may vary, depending on whether you need, say:
- Information about a personal health problem
- An image you can use on a poster
- Evidence to win a bet with a rival in the dorm
- Dates and times a movie is showing locally
- A game to have fun with
- Evidence for your argument in a term paper