A visitor’s first look at the American Documentary website, amdoc.org shows it to be a clean and well laid out site that instantly provides visitors with a clear understanding of the website’s purpose and usefulness. American Documentary’s website is meant to serve as a platform for documentaries to be compiled and viewed on. Upon further scrolling, the “about us” tab explains how American Documentary referred to as AmDoc is a national nonprofit organization that makes documentaries about social discourse easily accessible to the public. Within the AmDoc spheres there are four subsidies;
- POV (point-of-view) which screens independent nonfiction films
- America ReFramed which is a series that analyzes the contemporary society in America
- AmDoc Interactive which exclusively screens documentaries online and POV Engage which is the branch of AmDoc that seeks to actively engage and converse with local communities on topics that have been featured in their documentaries
- POV Engage also works with educators and community leaders to better disperse their films.
The homepage of AmDoc’s websites gives off an artsy, yet modern aesthetic that allows visitors to quickly navigate to one of the eight different pages on the site. By having eight different page options laid out on the home page and not forcing visitors to scroll down to find the information they want, AmDoc is catering to the immediate needs of visitors and not trying to convince the visitor of the value of the site. When visiting the “watch” tab which is the first ab on the homepage visitors are met with a variety of documentaries that they could watch, all of which are about various topics. By highlighting featured films on the “watch” page, AmDoc is directing viewers to some of the most popular, new or interesting films which is beneficial to AmDoc and the viewer because AmDoc can steer visitors towards some of the recent and best works. AmDoc’s usage of featured films on the “watch” page also gives various directors and producers publicity. Each featured film also has a thumbnail image that is quite powerful and seeks to evoke emotions from visitors. Aside from the featured films, visitors are easily able to navigate the “watch” page and sort by; series, topics or types.
Another interesting section on the AmDoc website that further strengthens their message is that they have a “create” page. When visitors go to the “create” page, they are met given different options as to how their films could become a reality. If the entire purpose of AmDoc is to further social discourse by utilizing film, then they are not only legitimizing themselves but also enabling the everyday man to create good. While this is just an initial exploration of the AmDoc website and not an in-depth analysis I do believe that AmDoc’s website has some very interesting and important content on it and they are able to accurately and confidently cover sensitive social subjects that affect our daily lives.