A genre analysis of corporate home pages
AbstractThe introduction of the Internet as a new communications medium has given rise to the appearance of a high number of digital genres. Some of them simply reproduce genres existing in other media, but others borrow features from existing genres while taking advantage of the capabilities afforded by the Internet. Corporate home pages are a dominant genre on the Internet, used by companies to construct a positive image and to advertise their products. Genre awareness generates certain expectation as to what prototypical instances of the genre contain, thus guiding writers in the production of any instance of the genre and helping readers to better comprehend and interact with the text. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the elements that are characteristic of corporate home pages and their function. The analysis of these elements is useful to characterise the genre of corporate home pages in terms of purpose, functionality, content and form. The different elements that may occur in corporate home pages were classified into four groups according to their function: a) creating a positive image of the company; b) introducing and offering products; c) strengthening the relation with the customer; d) asking and giving information about the page itself. The results show that the corporate home page is a multi-purpose genre which shares some features with promotional genres existing in other media, but incorporates many new elements which exploit the connectivity and interactive features of the Internet.
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