Introduction: The Hispanic Society and the Bryant Park
Though analog databases have not yet worn out their welcome, information technologies’ influence has already become quite tangible. A range of data starting from the one in academic resources to the information about the schedule of the public park’s opening hours has been turned digital. However, the creation of digital databases has both advantages and problems. Although the currency and coverage of online information are beyond any possible criticism, the credibility and authority of the data are often quite hard to verify, as the examples of the Hispanic Society and the Bryant Park sites show.
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Authority and Accuracy: The Weight of Judgment
In order to define whether a site can be trusted, one needs to learn about its creator first; according to the data provided at the Bryant Park website, the latter was developed and designed by the Bryant Park Corporation (“Bryant Park Corporation” para. 1). Therefore, it can be assumed that the authority of the specified site is moderate and can even be deemed as comparatively high.
As far as the Hispanic Society is concerned, the site was developed by the Hispanic Society of America (“The Hispanic Society of America” para. 1), as one may easily guess. Seeing that the given organization can be considered a respectable institution, the authority of the site cannot possibly be doubted. Compared to the Bryant Park site, the Hispanic Society seems to have an even greater control and accuracy as an academic institution.
Objectivity: When Every Opinion Counts
As it has been stressed above, most of the information presented on the Hispanic Society site comes from researches on the subject matter (i.e., the relics related to the Hispanic culture). Therefore, the objectivity of the information represented on the site can hardly be doubted. Moreover, it is quite remarkable that the site offers very detailed data concerning the people who have contributed to the museum in terms of researches and exhibition descriptions: “Joaquín Sorolla 1863–1923. Eds. José Luis Díez and Javier Barón” (The Hispanic Society of America: Department of Publications 2). Since a range of researchers has worked on compiling the data regarding the exhibitions, the general information, and the articles available on the site, the information represented on it can be assumed objective.
The objectivity of BryantPark.org, however, can be doubted because of the lack of data concerning its contributors. Moreover, seeing that no authoritative resources outside of the Bryant Park managers themselves support the site, it would be wrong to assume that the data supplied by the contributors is entirely objective. Whereas the Hispanic Society had a team of researchers, who could comment on the exhibits armed with their scientific impartiality, the Bryant Park organization only has its staff as the contributors.
Currency: Defining the Upgrade Rates
The tendency to date extremely fast is one of the most unfortunate characteristics of online data. Because of the speed of online data transfer, it is essential to keep the site information updated. In this respect, the Bryant Park site is clearly the superior one, as the organization staff puts the latest changes in the schedule, as well as every new announcement, on display immediately: “Saturday, March 7: Winter Village is closed for the 2014-2015 season” (“Today in the Park” para. 1).
The Hispanic Society works at a comparatively slower pace. However, the information provided by the site staff is outstandingly accurate and has obviously been verified before it was offered for the visitors to see, including the data on every single exhibit in the museum collections. Moreover, being an academic organization, the Hispanic Society provides very detailed descriptions of the artifacts that are in its possession, “addressing nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, as well as a large part of Portugal and Latin America” (“The Collections” para. 1). Based on thorough researches, these findings cannot possibly be doubted. However, the fact that dated information concerning the March 5 exhibition was posted on the front page (“The Hispanic Society of America” para. 3) shows that the site could use a more regular update.
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Coverage: The Volume That an Online Database Can Hold
Comparing the sites based on their coverage of the material offered to their customers is not entirely fair, as the purposes of the sites are very different. Whereas the Hispanic Society aims at providing as many facts as possible in order to educate its visitors, the Bryant Park Organization is supposed to list the key venues and schedule for its customers to attend the future event and enjoy the attraction live. Therefore, the amount of information uploaded on each site is very different from the data provided on the other one.
Nevertheless, from an objective point of view, both sites cover the required issues entirely. The Hispanic Society encompasses a variety of data on the exhibits in its collection in a few paragraphs, at the same time retaining its eloquent manner. The Bryant Park, in its turn, mentions the information required to attend the event and enjoy the park. Thus, both sites cover the critical issues impeccably.
Conclusion and Recommendations: What Can Be Improved
Despite being very different in terms of their purposes and target audience, both the Hispanic Society and the Bryant Park sites comply with the existing standards for websites in terms of information provision. Offering accurate and essential data, the sites have been attracting visitors for years and will undoubtedly have an even greater audience in the future. It could be suggested, though, that the Hispanic Society of America should be more careful in terms of updating its information.
“Bryant Park Corporation.” Bryant Park. 2014. Web.
“The Collections.” The Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library. 2003. Web.
“The Hispanic Society of America.” The Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library. 2003. Web.
The Hispanic Society of America: Department of Publications 2010, Publications Catalogue. PDF file. Web.
“Today in the Park.” Bryant Park. 2015. Web.