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I agree the site looks good. It is laid out well, fairly easy to navigate, and shows all recent new/updates right on the front page. However, the fact that it does not work on other browsers is a major problem. I took a look at the source code, and it’s a mess. A lot of their problems are completely unnecessary. I also agree it loads a little slow, based on its content it should be able load fairly fast, another large mistake. Until I noticed these problems I thought ARI’s site was a lot better. I use IE so I never saw the page errors, and I’m on a T1 connection so I don’t notice the loading speed. The integration problem is very common among sites as large as theirs. It would take some time to fix but it would improve the site greatly, but I think that is the least of their site worries right now.

Why don’t you guys use IE? I think it’s the best browser out there.

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If ARI had a website half as well-designed or content-rich as TOC’s,  I suspect that TOC would have faded into obscurity long ago. 

Gee - what on earth are you talking about? My guess is your browser must not be displaying all of the links because ARI's website has MUCH more content both in terms of quality and quantity.

The best place to get an overview of all that the ARI website has to offer is not on the homepage but rather on this page: http://www.aynrand.org/site_index.shtml

Here are some of the highlights of the ARI website and how they compare with TOC's:

ARI's has a very attractive section on Ayn Rand's life with photos, biography and timeline. I wish there were more photos and other goodies from the archives posted on the site - but I am very greedy about seeing such things. At any rate, I cannot find much information at all about Ayn Rand on TOC's main site - though there is biographical information on the Atlas Society site it operates.

ARI's website has a very nice section with introductory material about Objectivism which includes a large number of essays and articles as well as a free videotaped lecture by Dr. Peikoff. Elsewhere on the site is a free 5 hour audiotaped lecture of Gary Hull's Introduction To Objectivism The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. TOC has an "About Objectivism" section but it is much smaller - and that is overlooking the issue of content quality.

The ARI Media Link section alone makes it one of the better current events websites anywhere. TOC's current events section is basically a collection of op-eds by Edward Hudgins with a perspective that would be more accurately described as "Libertarian" rather than "Objectivist."

ARI's website has two separate sections aimed at intellectual activism on college campuses: Objectivism on Campus and Reason on Campus. In addition to that, there is another section for the Objectivist Academic Center. TOC has a section aimed at college students - but it is much smaller and some of the material is identical to what is used in its "About Objectivism" section. In terms of quality, well, here is choice passage from its "Why Choose TOC?" page: "Isn't self-abasement exactly what ARI and the estate of Ayn Rand demand from Objectivists?"

<begin digression/rant> Interesting statement coming from the same organization whose director wrote right after 9-11: "But our enemy is not Islam, which created one of the world's great civilizations..." Of course, the civilization he is talking about was NOT created by Islam any more than the greatness of post medieval Western civilization was created by Christianity. Both owed their greatness to the philosophic influence of Aristotle and the ancients - and it is pretty pathetic that a person such as myself who is not especially well-schooled in the history of philosophy can point out an error of that nature made by someone with a PhD in Philosophy. Anyhow, according to TOC, the consistent application of Objectivist principles equals "self-abasement" while Islam builds great civilizations. <end digression/rant>

ARI's webstie has a section of resources for high school students and others who participate in competitive debates. TOC's has nothing of the kind.

ARI's website has no less than seven single issue "micro sites" devoted to the following topics: "Ad hoc Committee For Naming Facts," "Capitalism Defense Project," "Environmentalism: The Anti-Industrial Revolution," "The Microsoft Defense Site," "Multiculturalism and Diversity: The New Racism," "Rational Education" and "Religion verses Morality." TOC has a large number of essays in its Culture and Politics section - but the collection is not nearly as targeted and focused as ARI's micro sites. In terms of quality, there is quite a contrast - and here too, a significant percentage of the TOC essays come from Edward Hudgins.

The ARI site also has other sections devoted to its campaign against servitude, the Objectivist Academic Center, as well as information about ARI itself.

Ignoring the issue of quality of content (which, in the case of TOC is a major area of concern) and focusing only on quantity and scope, TOC's website is quite small by comparison - unless there are major areas of the site that I have somehow overlooked.

Now, if it indeed true that GreedyCapitalist is unable to access large areas of the ARI website through his browser, then that is a serious concern and short coming with the website. Anyone who is designing a website for a large audience - especially a global audience and an audience of young people - needs to always keep in mind that there are people out there who may be using older computers and browsers and dial up connections. I remember that my old computer which I replaced about 2 and a half years ago used to lock up whenever I visited the ARI media link website - apparently due to some sort of scripting on the page. I am a big believer in webmasters understanding the needs of their target audience - which in many cases dictates keeping things as simple and straightforward as possible. Web design bells and whistles may be more fun to work with and may impress other web designers - but they frequently come at the expense of accessibility to important segments of one's audience.

I also tend to agree with the points raised about integration of content and ease of navigation. There have been difficulties in these areas with previous versions of the website as well. You have to admit, there is a lot of information to cover. That is why I think the site map page page I linked to above is a much easier and organized way to navigate the site.

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ARI's site is terrible. All this heavy graphics and complicated menus for what?

It would be easier and more effective to make a content site, like OO or CapMag - with a graphic logo and fast-updating textual content.

They have so much good content - but it is hidden!

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