After visiting and examining the PBS Web site, I was able to conclude that it is an extremely successful entertainment and educational site. The Web site has won many substantial awards, including the prestigious "Webbie Award" in 1998 and 1999. According to a recent survey, fifty-six percent of users at the PBS Web site are male and sixty percent are between the ages of eighteen and forty-four. Forty-four percent of the Web site users have children and fifty-seven percent make online purchases. (Gallup/Plaw Release: Survey of 40,000 Internet Users. Fall 1998.)
The design of the Web site is very bright and appealing to the eye. Its layout is inviting and easy to navigate. Its design is consistent through all pages. There are many graphics including, photographs, illustrations, and animated buttons and GIFs. These graphics are placed in an orderly fashion and do not create a cluttered appearance. The site has its own search engine which assists in navigating throughout the site.
The PBS Web site relies on sponsors for funding. One of its significant sponsors is Visa. The majority of pages on the site have a Visa banner going across the top. The advertising is very minimal and no where near overwhelming as some sites tend to be.
The site consists of eleven different main sections. Each section is unique and consists of articles, games, links, and reviews. The majority of links offered are internal links. All of the links are relevent and up to date. Of all the sections, the PBS Kids section appears to be the most comprehensive. It is the most visited section on the site with more than 560,000 visits per month. (Doubleclick.) This section really takes advantage of what multimedia has to offer. When you enter the site music begins to play, and animated graphics begin to move. The site contains games, an interactive coloring book, and ideas for arts and crafts projects. It also has links to all the children s shows that are on PBS including, Sesame Street, Barney, and Thomas the Tank. Its design is extremely colorful, playful, and intriguing.
Another main section in the PBS Web site is called "TeacherSource." Its articles offer teachers advice on incorporating cable, video, and the Internet into their classrooms and lessons. The "Indie Scene" section concerns independent films and videos. It includes film reviews, a schedule of movies, and interviews with filmmakers. The site has two different news sections, " Online Newshour" and "News & Views." The "Online Newshour" section has up to date objective articles with many photos. It also includes a new section geared towards high school students. The "News & Views" section also deals with up to date news, but in a more subjective way. This section includes opinion articles from a variety of people concerning more controversial news issues. The section also has its own discussion group where users are able to post and reply to many different topics. Other main sections on the PBS site include Adult Learning, history, science, technology, and arts. The Web site also has its own shopping site called "ShopPBS." Here users are able to purchase videos and books about anything from the Olympics to the rainforest.
The site offers users to sign up to receive a weekly email newsletter called "PBS Previews." The site also offers television listings for PBS. In addition, there is a section where users can view the annual report of PBS and find out about possible employment with the company. There is also an extensive section where people interested in becoming sponsors can get information about the company and statistics of PBS television and Internet viewers.
PBS.org is an exciting and extensive Web site that has much to offer both adults and children. The Web site is appealing to the eye and put together in a fun yet sophisticated, and inviting way.