I chose to analyse five music websites that all share the rock genre.
The first thing that I noticed about the rock genre is that whether they are online, magazines or interactive magazines they all share a house style. This happens to be achieved by the colour themes used. Red, black and grey. The connotations of red being love and death and essentially the same for dark shades such as black. Therefore the colour fits the genre perfectly, this feature is conventional and almost becomes iconographic to rock magazines target audiences.
The five music magazines I chose are – Kerrang, NME, Q, Rolling Stone and Mojo.
In light of making my personal website using Wix I have explored all different aspects of these music websites and made a list of likes and dislikes.
Firstly I researched the Kerrang website. I really like where the brand identity is placed on their website. It’s almost like a headline, playing the leading role as the biggest object on the page. The brand being at the top of the page, in the middle and an extremely large font is eye grabbing. (The other four websites do this to.)When the audience visits the website it’s the first thing they will see. As these music magazines are widely recognised the first thing the viewer should be greeted by is the logo. When the viewer sees the logo they decode it in terms of semiotics. For that reason I have chose to use this technique for my website. However, the other four websites use this technique to and so do many others. For example ecommerce websites such as ‘EBay’ and ‘Amazon’.
Other functions of the Kerrang website is the search bar. It is in a very clear medium-sized font, having searched for some things to test Kerrang’s search bar I have come to the conclusion that it has a good filter and takes you straight to the page that you have searched for. For instance i searched for the band ‘Bullet for my valentine’ and it navigated me straight to a page that had information on cd releases, interviews and pictures. NME, Rolling stone and Mojo also use search bars. Their search bars seem to be as in depth too, I tested this by searching bands that they was advertising each week such as The killers and Franz Ferdinand.
Each of these five websites use different layouts. However, they all use a picture or video to grab the readers attention. Kerrang uses a slide show that shows pictures of the latest band photographs and whats up coming such as tours and branding. Wereas NME have a video idea were they put the ‘Hottest video’ up every week. I like that it shows the hottest band videos of the week as it is a great way to get people into different types of music. Magazines like Q just have a large news feed on the left hand side of the website. It is very clear and shows upcoming events and interviews which appeal to their target audience. At the moment they are celebrating their 25 year anniversary so therefore have a selection of videos to promote themselves further. I prefer the traditional look of an online magazine which happens to be the approach that the Rolling Stone and Mojo has taken on. They purely show the current issue which is a very basic approach but this technique happens to be very effective as it shows the audience exactly which magazine is out at the moment and increases sales as more people tend to buy the hard copy after visiting their web page. Therefore I have decided to keep my website plain and use a slide show of pictures I have taken and use several pages to display my work instead of cluttering the front page.
When studying Kerrangs layout they was only one thing which stood out that I didn’t particularly like, which was the amount of writing on the front page. I felt like there was too much going on as a consumer and it actually made me not want to purshase a copy hence why I would like to keep a clean website as then the audience can navigate to which ever page they choose rather than forcing it upon them straight away.
I also dislike the use of adverts Q magazine, NME and Mojo all use on the left hand side of their websites. I feel like advertsing for companies is a little irrelevant as their brands are already well established enough to not have to advertise. This maybe take their audiences attention away from their website. For instance Q magazine are not only advertsing for Blackberry but have started a promotion off with Blackberry. I particularly dislike this because not everybody is interested or own a Blackberry.
In conclusion, I feel like a plain website is the best approach for a music magazine. That way the audience can see what is happening this week and navigate to other pages if they want too. The colour schemes that seem to run through music magazines being red, black and grey have an amazing impact on sales because of the brand identity. It is conventional and as a comsumer if you logged on or purchased a rock music magazine that was yellow and green it simply wouldn’t work.
This assignment has also made me realised that search bars play a huge role in web. The more intricate your search bar is the happier your audience become. I took this into account and applied this idea on my blog and webiste. I removed all my catogories and made pages so that anybody wishing to view my websites could find exactley what they are looking for straight away.
Crowd-sourcing is a term used to describe a website were the users generate news related content. In which people then take information from on the basis that it is correct and factual. However, a bad side to this would be that obviously people can write what they like which makes it an unreliable source. for example wikipedia, wikinews.
Web 2.0 is a term to describe websites that allow the consumers to be the prosumers. Through creating your own user generated content through a website, you are interacting with that website and creating your website or webpages house style. Alot of websites are web 2.0 such as Facebook, Myspace, Blogger, WordPress and Wikipedia.
User generated content is content that the audience have created and uploaded to web 2.0. For example Wikipedia, consumers upload their thoughts,theorys and ideas… and therefore the website requires user generated content for the website to achieve its primary idea. Anybody is free to add information whenever they like.
The term Aggregator refers to a website that uses one specific topic, although this is not news. Example – The Flickr website is an aggregate because it deals with photographs that are uploaded by the users of the website who generate the content.
Backpack journalism is new to the digital world. Basically a journalist thats uses digital resources to publish their content such as blogs. They are essentially mobile freelance journalism that often seel their work to copmpanies or publish it as their own.
Kerrang music magazine –
Style grey, black, and red. I like the dark style its conventional of rock music as rock is unique and mysterious.
Search bar The search bar is very clear in a medium-sized font. Having searched some things using the Kerrang search bar I have come to the conclusion that it has a good filter and takes you straight to the page that you have searched for. For instance i search for the band ‘Bullet for my valentine’ and it navigated me straight to a page that had information on cd releases, interviews and pictures.
Pictures The middle left hand side of the page has a slide show that shows pictures of the latest band photographs and whats up coming such as tours and branding.
Magazine I like that bi-weekly a new magazine comes out and it shows the front cover and eye-catching detail that would make their audience want to be the edition.
Brand I like that the brand is in a large font at the top of the page. This instantly indicates that this is the official page as the logo is easily recognisable.
Writing Although there is not a lot that i particularly dislike on Kerrang’s website I certainly dislike the amount of writing that’s on the front page. Personally, i feel that as a consumer of the rock genre that too much writing can be to heavy and time-consuming on a rock website. Particularly when people only go on the websites really to check out pictures, downloadable content and gigs.
link – http://www.kerrang.com/
Style Black, red and white. The same as Kerrang.
Categories turns red when you click easy for
the audience to see.
Hottest video I like that it shows the hottest band videos
of the week, great way to get people into different types of music.
News feed numbers 1-5 have to click on them to view
Subscription I don’t like that it doesn’t show the latest
magazine and only shows a picture that had been the same for a long time asking
people to purchase a weekly subscription.
link – http://www.nme.com/
Q music magazine
Style I like the house style that runs through this online music website, black, grey and red again the three colours often used throughout music magazines.
Categories nice clear categories listed in a bar, small font. When you click on the categories they turn red so you know which one you have clicked on.
News feed left hand side news feed, very clear to see. shows upcoming events and interviews which appeal to their target audience.
Videos they have a selection on videos that promote their 25 year anniversary.
Blackberry The blackberry promotion. Dislike because not everybody is interested or own a Blackberry.
Features At the bottom of the page is relevant features that fit in with the website. However, they have been put in a black box that doesn’t fit in with the website style. Things like concert tickets are in this box which I feel should be more towards the top of the page.
link – http://www.qthemusic.com/
Style Again, the style uses red, black, white and grey. Appears to be the style throughout the whole music field.
more list I like that there is a ‘more list’ that shows the audience a rating of … for example – 100 greatest singers.
search bar The search bar is clear in bold medium-sized writing. When searching with it, it gives a clear filtered search to music concerts, bands, interviews, general information…
current issue shows the audience exactly which magazine is out at the moment.
Politics i dislike the political section because I don’t feel that it is relevant to have a section of a music website dedicated to projects being shut down etc…
Advertisement it’s not so much irrelevant but it sometimes takes certain readers interest to a entirely different topic/website.
link – http://www.rollingstone.com/
Mojo music magazine
Style Again, typical red, black, white and grey scenario.
categories nice and bold placed in a line format, easy to use and the letters move when clicked or hovered upon.
Lastest news Unusually I like then news feed on this website. It is clearly set out in columns, easy to use and is purely about bands.
Latest features, Latest news and latest tickets I like these three sections because of the way they are set out. Easy layout and accessable. The superlative ‘latest’ tells the audience that these are as recent as it gets.
advertisements They are very large and look almost as though they are categories on the website which can be confusing. Also, the fact that they are advertising for Q magazine seems bizarre because they may lose supporters to Q magazine.
Heading I dislike the placement of the heading because an advert is very large in comparison
to the ‘Mojo’ brand and comes before it. This is not only confusing as to whose website it is as the advertisement is for Q magazine, but appears unconventional of an online music magazine.
Comparison of ‘the Times’ newspaper and ‘The Times’ online.
The tabloid newspaper ‘The times’ is a professional and educational newspaper. It has an audience on a wide spectrum, ranging from 18-50. It is aimed at literate, educated people who have an interest in current affairs, politics and arts.
The Times newspaper offers an online equivalent. They both use a mast head placed in the top middle. When audiences buy their newspaper or use their website they decode the brand in terms of semiotics. Therefore creating a reputable corporate identity.
Both The Times online and The Times newspaper use a lure in the same place. On the right hand side of both mediums there is a lure. Which is a story designed to attract the audience to read the articles within the paper or on the website. Interestingly The Times have also placed their leading stories on the right hand side of the layout, directly opposite to the lure. I think that this could possibly be confusing to the reader. However, this technique is also effective due to them using the exact same layout online imitating the print; their audience will then know exactly where to read the leading story in both mediums.
At the bottom of The Times newspaper there is cream coloured section that creates a division from the lure and the leading story. Within the section is the start of stories which are designed to be placed there to encourage the reader to buy the paper and read on. The Times online also shares the same method but a little differently. The context is still the same however apart from they use dark green, purple, like green and orange bars for the title of each news article. I believe this is to also attract the audience to the articles. Websites always use bright colours so that the pages look more aesthetically pleasing. The web alternative also has alternative articles to look at alongside the lure, which is entitled ‘Latest’. The idea of this being so that the audience can find the latest news instead of searching which is one of the main functions of news mediums to give current news on affairs and events in the region they are covering.
Nevertheless there are a lot of difference between The Times newspaper and The Times online.
Firstly, the newspaper uses a box out, generally a box out is a catchy piece of writing published along with a photograph which sits just underneath The Times’ brand identity. The example I have used says ‘Last minute shopping for a bride to be’, with a picture of a celebrity. This is clearly designed to entice their female audience. The idea being that they will want to either buy the paper or read that specific article if they already do read the paper. However, The Times online uses advertisements next to the lure. The adverts play the same role as the box out but use moving graphics to attract all audiences.
Obviously in print you can’t use links to other pages and contents pages are barely used. It is just a simple case of flicking through the pages to see what entices you to read on. Online is completely different. You have the option to browse through so many pages. Where the box out is placed in The Times newspaper is where the links to other pages is placed. The Links include- News, opinion, business, money, sport, life, arts, puzzle and papers. The helps the audience to navigate through the website properly. Having links such as these breaks down the newspaper into nine parts which gives the audience the option to roam freely rather than a paper which gives you a limited choice to read. If a person is interested in sport they can click on the sports link and be navigated to a page purely sports orientated, were as in a newspaper they have to flick through the pages to find the sports content which there is less off compared to online. I think that this is one of the plus sides to having news online as the search function is not intricate. Which is especially good for people who are eager to find their news as quickly as possible, they can also save their pages using the ‘Favourites’ tab which is provided by all browsers making all news website fast and more accessible.
There are also differences with the headlines. When papers are displayed next to each other they all tend to use big bold headlines that are quick and snappy to encourage people to buy their paper. Therefore headlines are the first thing people see at a glance of any paper. They play a very important role within newspaper sales. The example I have used headlines says ‘Slaughter in Misrata’. This headline is very short and tells the audience exactly what has happened without using any adverbs which I think reflects their audiences very well. Unlike the Sun which headlines are usually packed full of descriptive language, such as ‘Fighting rages on in Misrata’ and ‘Rebels claim Misrata ‘victory’. The Times’ headlines clearly appeal to middle class, well educated people.
However, online headlines are completely different. When on the internet, you as a consumer search for what you want to read. Therefore the size of the headline is irrelevant because if you wanted to read The Times online you would navigate to that page. The headline is written in Times New Roman and dominated by The Times’ brand identity unlike in print were there is an even balance.
The Times newspaper is also well known as the founder of The Times New Roman font. Which happens to be a very popular font and a default in all Microsoft Office software. As a result the font is seen by a vast majority of people everyday, making The Times newspaper recognisable as they use the same font throughout their paper and online website.