HomeJournal Of Research In Science, Computing And Engineeringvol. 4 no. 2 (2007)

The Discursive Construction of Metaphors on Web-based Portals: The Case of the Development Gateway

Zelinna Cynthia Pablo

Discipline: Information Technology, Computer Technology



In this study, a web portal is examined using case study methods and discourse analytic techniques to demonstrate that the words, visuals, and interactivity elements on portals cohere around metaphorical themes. Using the home page of the World Bank-initiated project known as the Development Gateway as a case site, an analytical framework was formulated and then applied to this portal to generate detailed listings of features and thick interpretations of these elements, which, in turn, generated a narrative centered around the metaphor of expert. The study therefore highlights the importance of metaphorical meaning systems in shaping people’s understanding of websites, extends the application of discourse analysis as a method into the new media, and explicates choices that have to be made in the design of websites, highlighting how websites are not purely technical or material, but permeated by social factors