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FW: Site Map

From: Isabelle <isabelle@visisoul.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 03:03:08 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LIEOJDOIJFKHLBHHPJNEKEKKDAAA.isabelle@visisoul.com>

Originally Sent On: Monday, February 09, 2004 4:15 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org but didn't make it to the list.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Kevin McDonagh
> Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 3:36 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Site Map
> I'm going to have to side with the view that the site map is
> inevitably dated.
> Jesper touched a good point where the site map seemed like the
> best solution to explain to users the semantic structure of a
> website but to add another tag to to the mix does not seem to
> make any sense.
> I use Semantic maps to show the layout in full to clients but
> thats it, normal users do not visualise their position in the

I would disagree.  I think a site map is useful for those who like to
visualize where they are and where they can go within a Web site.  A table
of contents can create the same effect.  I don't think there is much
difference between a map and a table of contents - the information is
virtually the same, no?  Just the visual presentation is different.

Visitor's to a large informational site I created (not in my portfolio), and
which doesn't have a *search* feature, often use the sitemap but it looks
more like a table of contents than a flowchart but it's neither.  Now, one
could say I haven't designed the navigation and/or structure well enough
because visitor's are using the site map, this could very well be the case,
but that's another post on another day.  And there are always "power users",
like myself, who will go straight to a search field or site map to scan what
the site has to offer before I greedily devour its contents.

Whether one sets up a sitemap as a table of contents or a flow chart
diagram/semantic map, I think the objective is the same.  Now, my question
is, would it be OK to still call it:  "sitemap" or "site map" if its just a
set of links and not a visual representation.  :)  One definition I found(1)
says this:  "Sitemap A directory of one website with links to all of the
pages on it." I personally like the word length of "sitemap" compared to
"table of contents".

Also someone pointed out that the search engines like site maps, this is my
understanding as well.  Certain keywords repeated throughout a site and on
different pages can assist in a higher your page rank - then again, placing
keywords strategically is supposed to be relevant and in context.  I'm not
suggesting unethical SEO practice.

In the case of the person who questioned whether a sitemap was necessary for
5 pages, I would say they already had one if all there was was "top level
pages" because navigational textual links on each page would do just fine.
In addition, depending on the information on the site, they might want to
include a table of contents and use link anchors where appropriate.

"When a table of contents is the standard in all other literary texts why
make another one for the web?"
Because this is the web and we do things differently here. :=)

I'm fairly sure that everything I wrote above is my opinion with a dose of
fact thrown in here and there and I could be completely talking out of my
ear so please be gentle.  ;)

(1) <http://www.sean.co.uk/books/sbwtw/12glossary.shtm#S>  (I'm not
affiliated with this site or persons connected to it)


<http://www.is.visisoul.com>  Whose site is lacking in accessibility at the
moment.  erg!

Dreamhost Web hosting - it's truly a dream!!
<http://www.dreamhost.com/rewards.cgi?bdip>  Referral ID:  bdip
Received on Tuesday, 10 February 2004 03:03:07 UTC

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