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Category Archives: Web

Websites for Kids

Internet access to these sites will help enhance skills in various subjects like math, history, language, etc. Whenever selecting websites for kids to learn, make sure that they are colorful and are attractive to the child. However, be careful to check if these sites are suitable for their age group.

Websites for Information Search

How Stuff Works (howstuffworks.com) – This site gives information on various subjects like computers, health, electronics, etc. It also has an interesting things to learn section.

Ivy Joy (ivyjoy.com) – On the homepage of this site, you will find a button for ‘search engine page for kids’. By clicking this button the user will be directed to another page, which has a list of search engines, especially designed for kids.

Ask Kids (askkids.com) – The homepage of this site allows the user to search for information and draw on the page. Children can use this search engine to look for educational content, movies, games, images, etc.

Fact Monster (factmonster.com) – This is a wonderful site for children to look for interesting facts and articles. This site has many sections like mathematics, sports, science, quizzes, etc., for children to explore.

Yahooligans (yahooligans.com) – A cool interface and great content is displayed when you click on this site. It provides a page, which links you to other age-appropriate sites.

Health Websites

Bam (bam.gov) – Bam is a government site and has beautiful graphics to educate kids about health. It has different characters who explain to kids various facts about diseases, nutrition, sports, etc. Kids will surely learn from this website, which adds to the education quotient with its easy interface.

Kids Health (kidshealth.org/kid) – This site will help kids to learn about different health topics. The site is easy to surf and the topics are written in a way that makes them very easy to understand. There are also health sections for parents and teens.

CDC (cdc.gov/rabiesandkids) – Rabies is an acute viral disease of the nervous system, and this colorful and interactive page gives children information on rabies.

Websites for Learning

Star Fall (starfall.com) – This site is helpful for online education and is designed for an age group which consists of children who are preschoolers to children studying in second grade. For preschoolers, there is a section where they can learn letters and the phonetics of these letters. The website also has many interesting short stories for older children.

Fun School (funschool.kaboose.com) – Fun school is a fun site which kids would love to surf. This site has many entertainment games and learning games. The learning games include word play, puzzles, coloring pages, etc.

Primary Games (primarygames.com) – This is an interesting and colorful site. It contains different games for children to learn languages, coloring, maths, etc.

Entertainment Websites

PBS (pbskids.org) – After PBS channel, this is another awesome offering from PBS, which has many popular characters like Barney, Curious George, Arthur, etc. The user can spin a wheel to check out the different characters and choose any one of them. When you do this, a page dedicated to the character opens with many options. For example, if you click on Arthur, you get games and interactive features like music box, tree house, groovy garden, etc.

Fun-o-logy (funology.com) – Introduce children to this site, when they are bored. It has jokes, magic tricks, treasure hunt, wacky facts, and much more.

CBC Kids (cbc.ca/kids) – This site is filled with interesting stuff for kids. It has games, TV shows, videos, reviews, and a wholesome entertainment sections.

Websites for Inspiration

National Geographic Kids (kids.nationalgeographic.com) – This is the Nat Geo site especially designed for kids. It provides children with information about the world. Also, it has a cool clicks section, which provides children with information with the help of PC games, activities, videos, stories, etc.

NASA (nasa.gov/home/index.html) – A treat for children and adults, this is among the top websites for children, that helps to learn about space. Children can learn a lot about astronomy from this site. Also, the site has a news section, which children can use to cultivate an interest in news.

Websites for Chatting

Club Penguin (clubpenguin.com) – There are many sites which have chat rooms for kids, and club penguin is one of the best ones. This is a Disney site and allows children to join different communities. Parents who are curious about the site or want to keep an eye on the type of people their kids are chatting with can visit the section earmarked for them.

Barbie Girls (barbiegirls.com) – As the name suggests, this site is exclusively for girls. It is a cheerful pink color site and has games like dressing up Barbie.

These were some of the best websites for kids which can be safely visited by them. However, before giving them access to these sites, it is a good idea that parents take a quick look at these websites to confirm the age-appropriateness of the site. Do ensure that you install some software for Internet safety. If you want to make it easier for children to access these websites, you can bookmark them in the browser.

What Makes a Website Look Good ?

The question keeps looming on webmaster forums all over the world – What makes a great website? The answer, according to common ‘web’ sense (which is, unfortunately, not so common on the Internet) is presented here. It’s based on tips from the experience of webmasters, who have created highly popular web pages and seen the Internet grow over the years, right from its birth. Once the answer to this question used to be very simple – ‘Good and Original Content’. Even today, in Web 2.0 times, that remains the gist of the answer, but many more things need to be done and incorporated into your web pages, to make it popular. There are no absolutes on the web. It is an ever-changing and dynamic medium, which keeps on evolving but there are certain guidelines, which will remain the same, even in the future. Let us look at the key elements of a good website.

Elements of Good Website Design

Here are the qualities that describe the anatomy of a great website. These tips have been garnered from my own understanding and from many wise webmaster souls, who have gladly shared their wisdom with me. Read and gather what you can.

Original and Trustworthy Content
Original content is the soul of a good website. Website content development is the single most important task you must focus on. You need to offer something new or original, if you want people to visit your site. Internet is a sea of data, information, and opinions. People come to the Internet for various reasons and a primary one is information.

So, if you offer the viewers, ready and credible information or specialized knowledge of any kind, they are going to visit your site and also probably bookmark it, to come back later. If your information is specialized and detailed, there is more probability of search engines taking notice of your site. The content should be well presented and the quality of your articles should be good. Bad grammar and typos are big turnoffs. Updating information and content is also very important. Users like to have up-to-date information. The bottom line is- ‘Original Content is the King!’ Original and regularly updated specialized content, makes a great website.

Decide A Target Audience For Your Site
Before even beginning the website design, decide who your target audience or viewers are. That will help you in creating and presenting your content accordingly. If you give what your target users want and make it presentable, the likelihood of getting viewers, will definitely increase. Create your own ‘Specialized Niche’ in the Internet landscape and your site will thrive. See the demand in the market and fulfill it.

Let Your Content be Browser Independent
If you stick to standard HTML code, your site will have uniform appearance in all web browsers. If you use HTML features provided by any specific browser, chances are that your site will not look good in other browsers. So make your site browser independent. With the advent of 3G technology, Internet surfing on mobile phones is a reality. You need to design a site, which can be easily viewed even on a mobile phone browser. Test your site on various browsers and especially Lynx, before making it live.

Minimal Loading Time
An extended loading time is a big turnoff for most users. Your site will be viewed by many around the world, who have varying Internet bandwidths. Design your site in such a way, that it takes minimum loading time. Users prefer fast-loading sites.

A Catchy Domain Name
Register for a domain name, which is catchy and easy to remember. Let it be short and be such that it captures the idea behind your site. Think big when you are designing your site. Who knows? One day the domain name may become a brand.

Interlinking Among Pages is Important
More the interlinking between pages on your site, and linking from other sites to your pages, more is the possibility of your web page getting ranked on the first page of the Google search engine and other ones.

Use Minimal Graphics
The web crawlers make search engine submissions of your site, for indexing them in their database. The crawlers that visit your site, once in a while, with the purpose of indexing, give more importance to the text, than the graphics. High usage of graphics prolongs the loading time of pages.

Have a Site Map and Internal Search Facility
Organize your site well and let there be a site map, which helps the user to get an outline of all the available information. When the data on your site in enormous, it’s a good idea to have a search facility to look for specific content.

User-Friendly, Interactive, and Easily Navigable
The site should have a pleasing graphic feel. Take care that you choose colors, which are not too harsh on the eyes. Let the webpage design and access features be user-friendly and most importantly, simple. A user must be able to navigate easily from one page of a site to the other. Users like an interactive environment on the site. Let there be a facility for commenting on articles and other features that get the user involved in the site.

Use a Secure Server and Analyze Your Traffic
Use a secure web server, with a capacity to handle large traffic on your site. Let the site design have room for expansion, in the future. Make sure that you make a backup of all your site data. Do not compromise your site’s security for low-cost web hosting. Take no chances in making your site secure, from crackers. Obtain and analyze the web traffic to your site, taking help from sites that offer web analytics. Think about strategies that can increase website traffic and make the necessary programmatic changes in your site.

Place Advertisements Sparingly
Internet advertising has provided many people, with an extra source of income, from sites. Everyone wants revenue from their web pages and placing advertisements is essential but take care that the advertisements are not the only things on your site. Let the ads be relevant and be subtly placed around the content. The advertisements should be around the content and not the other way round.

Search Engine Optimization
The last but the most important and often underestimated part is search engine optimization (SEO). Even if your site is extremely good, if search engines do not take a notice of it and it does not get a ranking in search results, it is of no use.

Search engine optimization is a bunch of intricate techniques that help in making your content more visible to search engines (read Google) and help in getting a good ranking in search results. It also includes marketing of your site, so that it reaches a wider audience. Study and follow these optimization techniques, without compromising in any way, on the quality of your content. Refer Google webmaster guidelines for the same.

A combination of all the factors implemented here, will lead to a good website. Even if you include all these factors in your site, bringing in traffic and getting hits will take time. Understand how Internet search engines work and apply the knowledge to improve your site ranking. Keep putting in good content. Have faith and a lot of patience.

Websites for Women

What you would like to read online, depends on the kind of person you are and your interests. Broadly speaking, guys would go in for men’s fashion, sports, bikes, cars, girls, and gadgets, while girls would choose to read on homemaking, food, fashion, and makeup. Well, it’s not right to typecast; there are men as interested in cooking and homemaking and women equally interested in bikes, cars, and sports. And when it comes to websites meant specifically for women, they do cater to both types of female readers; the ones who like the usual girly stuff as well as those who don’t.

For answers to questions like how to fix a light bulb or how to bake a cake, as well as for guidance on education, career, relationships, parenting, and more, the Internet is what most people turn to. Among the millions of websites that provide information and entertainment to their users, there are some meant only for women. A few of these host content for the women, by the women on topics of their interest. They host content on women’s health issues, women’s fashion, recipes, hobbies, maternity, and baby care, among other for-the-women topics. Here we give you some websites that are popular with women and enlist some of the best ones meant for them.

iVillage
This site proves beneficial for women of all ages and interests. It has a huge number of resources on topics of a wide variety. It covers issues like pregnancy, parenting, beauty, fashion, food, recipes, relationships, entertainment, and many more. It also has a few games that can keep the women occupied.

Pinterest
It is a visual tool, using which people collect a variety of ideas for their projects. It is also used as a recreational means as viewing images of one’s interest is a fun thing to do. Although it is not meant exclusively for women, it has a tremendous female following. It features a lot of interesting topics like art, nature, science, fashion, education, and food, among others. According to a recent survey, one third of the female population in the US uses Pinterest.

Bella Online
It offers articles written by women, and for them. It includes topics like family, health, books, music, religion, gardening, home decor, beauty and fashion, entertainment, shopping, etc. There are hundreds of articles written every single day, on issues that women have to deal with.

LoveToKnow: Women & Shopping
This is one of the best options for clothing and shopping. There are articles about what ladies should look for when shopping for nightwear, perfumes, shoes, clothes, and pants. There are shopping tips for plus-size clothes and lingerie. You can also find good links to shopping sites that sell products for pregnant women and new mothers.

MSN Lifestyle: Women
It provides self-generated topics and articles about home, lifestyle, health, food, entertainment, beauty, fashion, shopping, books, music, careers, relationships, body and soul, etc. It also has a few links to dating sites for seniors.

Websites for Specific Interests

Fashion and Clothing
You don’t have to be genius to know that women are on the forefront when it comes to fashion! They love to explore the latest fashionable trends in dresses, bags, shoes, and the like. Some of the popular websites catering to this aspect of women’s interests are Versace, Valentino, Tommy Hilfiger, and Stella McCartney. The others include:
– NecessaryClothing
– FashionDig
– Handbag
– Shop.2020 Ave
– Soul-Flower
– Stockingirl

Accessories
Every woman loves to have accessories that go with her outfit, different ones for every occasion and attire. Jimmy Choo, Buckle, and Harrods are some popular names in this category of websites for women. And there are others like:
– Aldoshoes
– Asos
– FreePeople
– TheOutnet
– PrettyLittleThing
– GoJane
– Elle

Shopping
Shopping is the best way for a woman to feel good. It’s a great way to let out all the stress. No wonder they say that shopping is therapeutic. Amazon is the most popularly explored website for shopping. Others include:
– Revolveclothing
– UrbanOutfitters
– NastyGal
– DailyLook
– BlueFly
– Shopgarageonline
– Singer22
– Romwe

Beauty and Skin Care
Women are always conscious about how they look, whatever their age. They love to surf about beauty, makeup, and skin care; they can talk about it all day; and everyone knows how much they love to shop for beauty products. Some websites have rightly captured this inclination in women. Some of these websites review beauty products and give makeup tips, while others allow shopping for skin care products. Among these, Chanel, MAC Cosmetics, and Laura Mercier are very famous. Others are:
– BeautyAddicts
– Guerlain
– Sephora
– Bellasugar
– Style
– BeautyBar
– Blissworld
– Apothica

Pregnancy and Parenting
Pregnancy is perhaps the most beautiful period in a woman’s life. During this phase, she needs advice for herself and for the unborn baby. Once the baby is born, she needs advice on taking good care of her little one. Two of the best websites that help her with this are The Bump and Babble. Others include:
– Whattoexpect
– Babycenter
– Letspanic
– Kellymom
– TheFeministBreeder
– Earthmamaangelbaby
– TheGlow
– InaMay (By Ina May Gaskin)
– WAHM

Relationships
When dating or in a relationship, a woman might want to know how to handle the relationship well and how to keep the spark alive. She might need to know about the communication and gifting etiquette in a relationship or may seek advice on fidelity, sex, marriage, and children. For many of these concerns, the Internet is her guide. EHarmony and Match are quite popular with women. Others in the category are:
– Sheversushe
– Simplerelationshipdatingtips
– Networkedblogs
– Romantic antics for men (and women, too)
– 20-Nothings
– Domainleia
– Dating.Telegraph

Lifestyle
A woman loves to keep her house spic and span, and also explore new ways of decorating it. She wants tips on accessorizing the interiors to make her home cozier and more welcoming. For tips on home decor, women frequent websites like Zara Home and Z Gallerie. The others in the list are:
– BallardDesign
– OneKingsLane
– Fab
– Hm
– DwellStudio
– Target
– Freshome
– Apartmenttherapy
– Cococozy

Food
Most women are fond of cooking. They love to experiment with different food ingredients and make their dishes taste different. New methods of cooking, food presentation, and nutrition are topics of their interest. For help in the kitchen, Food Network is popular. Others in this category are:
– Laraferroni (Cook&Eat)
– JustLuxe
– AllRecipes
– RecipeLink
– SkinnyTaste

Careers and Entrepreneurship
Women have stepped out of their houses to explore careers of their choice and ventured domains that were once dominated by the males. Many women entrepreneurs have emerged successful and many are on their way to making a brilliant career in a field of their interest. There are websites dedicated to career choices and those telling success stories of women who have made it big in the corporate sector. The EveryGirl and Meetup are some well-known names in this category. Others are:
– DamesBond
– TheBossNetwork
– ChangetheRatio
– ChicCEO
– Recessionista
– WomenEntrepreneur
– BrightFirenetwork
– LinkedIn
– Foundingmoms

Blogs
Blogs are a platform to express one’s views through writing, and share with the world, one’s experiences in life. While some bloggers narrate their life experiences, others write blogs on specific topics or subjects of their expertise. Depending on the subjects and style of writing, these blogs have their own following on the web. Those popular among women include:
– Corporette
– BlogHer
– Strollerderby
– TheBloggess
– Pioneerwoman
– SheTakesOnTheWorld
– TechMamas
– BusinessChicks

Health and Fitness
A woman’s health is of foremost importance to her, as it is for anyone. WebMD and MayoClinic are two of the very authentic sources of health information. Some of the best websites on women’s health issues include:
– Popsugar
– FitBottomedGirls
– BlissTree
– Q.Equinox
– Floliving
– BodyRock.TV
– GirlsGoneStrong
– OperationBeautiful

Empowerment and Security
As much as the world has progressed, it is still not a safe place for women. The daily news snippets of kidnappings, rapes, and molestation are a living proof. With the ever-increasing crime against women, it’s evident that they aren’t safe and that they need to be more vigilant and abler to protect themselves from sexual assault and domestic violence. For advice on these issues, 85 Broads and OSHA are some really helpful sites. Others are:
– Dooce
– EndViolenceAgainstWomen
– Dofeve
– AwakeningWoman
– GeekFeminism
– National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)
– WAVAW

The websites included in this article were some of the best ones on the web and also those which are quite popular among women.

The Web 3.0 Applications

We can just imagine or wonder how the Web 3.0 applications will be like. The drastic changes that Web 2.0 brought over to the world of Internet, leaves us dumbfounded on imagining what will be the changes in Web 3.0. Will the focus of the change mainly lie on the code or is it the applications and the interface part which will again be targeted. Before starting off our explanation on the Web 3.0 concept, let us try to understand, what were the changes that the Web 2.0 technology brought in. This will help us get a clearer idea of the Web 3.0 concept.

Transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0

Web 1.0 was the age of static pages. You can compare it to a library which contains a lot of information, but you can just absorb it. There was no way in which the information you wanted to lend out, you could pass on to the world. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) was the order of the day then. It was the basic language on which all the web pages were designed. It left very little scope or no scope for the user to put in his input towards the sites. This triggered the thought of Web 2.0. How about having sites, where users could contribute. After all, people are the main assets to the world of Internet, and they cannot be left out, when the sites are being designed. HTML pages consisted of meta tags. This enabled the Internet search engines to decide the relevancy of a web page with the searched keyword in an Internet Search Engine. However, the keywords meta tags were exploited by some porn site’s webmasters to such an extent, that it caused the search engines to question the relevancy of the meta keyword. They had to use complex algorithms to decide what should the search results be.

The focus was mainly on the source code or the language of the sites. The application part was left out. Then there was the advent of Web 2.0. Social networking sites showed up. The easiest way for users to share their thoughts and to communicate. Users were now able to actually get into the cyber-space and expand their network. Next were blogs. The easiest way how users could share information with others. Even the small comments box, that you see at the bottom of this web page too, is one of the applications of Web 2.0. Search Engines like Google, allowed new ways of Search Engine Optimization and brought in more and more relevant results. Wiki allowed new ways for users to share their own content on different subjects on the Web. Sites like Picassa and Flickr brought in new ways for users to share their pictures. The list of new applications were simply unending.

It was the dot-com bubble in the fall of 2001, which brought in the advent of Web 2.0. What people considered as a flaw in the web world had actually brought in new dimensions to the world wide web. Then there were the banner ads. The banner ads allowed two sites to interconnect. Web development languages like PHP, Javascript, AJAX, etc., became the trend of the day for web sites developers. Sites were connected to each other. A link in one site could just let you travel to another site. However, another aspect of the same was that sites needed to be more secure. This caused the designing of sites to be a cumbersome task.

Web 3.0 Concept

What was just explained was just a glimpse of the amount of changes that the Web 2.0 had brought in to the world of Internet. If this was the amount of changes that a dot com bubble could trigger, what would be the changes that the advent of Web 3.0 be like. What will the Web 3.0 applications mainly target? The most important assets, the users, are already a part of the Internet. What else can be the changes that Web 3.0 technology can bring in. Let’s start off with the search engine part. Experts believe that this technology will make search engines much more smarter than the recent search engines.

Artificial Intelligence will be the order of the day. Some assume that the search engines will be such that you enter a complex query in a very much human way of talking and get just one precise output. Let’s take an example. Suppose you are looking for the nearest spot near your city to go for a trekking, but you also want certain special amenities that should be nearby. May be you are also looking for a trekking group who are going on the same day and you want to ask if you want to join them. The search engines may allow you to type in a query like “I want to go for a trek not very far away from my city. If there are any more people going for a trek on the same day, it would be better if I could join them and it would be really cool if I get some place after the trek to grab a couple of beers.” The search engines may simply answer you by typing you a one line answer to a place where you can go for trekking, name and address of other people who are going for a trek on the same day, and also the address of the bar where you can go after the trek. Now the question is, where does the intelligence part arise. Well, here you did not mention the name of the city you are staying in, but the search results are still popping up. The search engine determines the place where you are staying. The other trek parties who are going in for trek may have searched for some other information, but the search engine simply keeps their records too and associates them with yours to give some relevant results. It may sound amazing, but many people would definitely consider it as a breach into their privacy.

But then again, these applications that we are talking of are simply concepts. There is no proper justification or known fact that they are exactly going to take up this form. Some people, however, contradict that Web 3.0 will again focus on the code part or the language part. Needless to say, business is the main priority of all the web based applications. Companies build sites, store heavy amount of data on their servers, and most of the time, when they have to make a major changes in their sites, they need to go offline. The Web 3.0 applications are considered to allow more security and allow companies to make changes into their sites, while not having to go offline. The concept is basically that search engines will be able to read web pages as clearly as humans do. Thus, the result will be more and more relevant.

All the Web 3.0 concepts that have been discussed here may or may not come exactly like what has been described. The most important question is, whether the change will be on the application part or on the coding part. Well, we have to just wait and watch.

The Web 3.0 vs. Web 2.0

‘Web 3.0 vs. Web 2.0’, has been an ongoing debate for a while. Very obviously, Web 3.0 will be better than Web 2.0, because it will contain all that was present in Web 2.0, along with new concepts, new methodologies, and most importantly, new applications. But then, the transition that Web 2.0 had brought over from Web 1.0 was a significant one. Experts doubted if Web 3.0 would also bring forth similar, or perhaps, better changes. The paragraphs below make an attempt to distinguish between the two.

Web 2.0: User Participation in the World of Information

– Prior to Web 2.0, the internet was nothing but just a huge number of HTML pages.
– These HTML pages contained a lot of information, but the user had no involvement in this at all. It was a big library containing a vast number of books, where users could get information from, but contribute nothing.
-So, if there was any real time problem and somebody had a solution to the same, he could not provide it to the world wide web without having a website of his own. Yes, there were no forums, no bloggers, and of course, no social networking sites. This was when the concept of Web 2.0 came in.
– Web developers recognized the importance of users and decided to use them to contribute information to this field, hence allowing the amount of information to increase by ten folds.
– Wiki came into being, and blogger websites became the right place to search for information from specialist users, most importantly the social networking sites.
– Then, there were the RSS feeds that came into scene. All these were just different ways for the user to contribute information.
– The web became very intelligent. If you had a problem and type it on the internet Search Engines, you would straight away be directed to the right page where you can find the information or solution.
– If none of the websites had ever listed the answer to your query, there would be some forum, in which some other user sitting in some other corner of the world would answer your question. Thus, we can safely say that the introduction of Web 2.0 had completely changed the face of the internet.
– Another point, pages were no more designed in mere HTML code. Languages like PHP, Javascript, Ajax, etc., which allowed to handle dynamic pages, had come into picture.

Web 3.0: User Specific Data

– Search engines have become more and more specific, that’s what is probably the main concentration in this debate.
– Now, when we surf the internet, the information that is displayed to us for the same search query will be similar to that of another user, who sets in the same on another terminal.
– Web 3.0 search engines will be more and more user specific and produce precise search results.
– Search engines of the Web 3.0 era are supposed to be handled in complex queries, queries typed in very much the way we speak. Something typed like “I am shifting over from California, to New Jersey and I am searching for accommodation. I am married and have a son and daughter. What would be the cost of living in NJ?”. The search engine will fetch information from different sites and give the right result pages within the fraction of a second.
– So, one point that is supposed is that the websites will become more and more communicative.
– Undoubtedly, websites did communicate in the Web 2.0 phase too. A single click on the url on one website could let you travel down all the way to a new website.
– But, with Web 3.0, they will share information with each other to produce results, which the user precisely wants. Another example of the same is that a single login will allow you to set your status update on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace together. So much for precise search!
– Now, what do we mean by user specific data? Concepts like that of iGoogle will become popular and enhanced. The search results for each user will vary.
– Search engines will keep track of what are the results that a particular user is interested in and produce different search results for different users.
– Even the advertisements that a user views will be different from what another person views from the same search query. It will be all about artificial intelligence.
– Web 3.0 applications will be designed such that, though not equally intelligent to the human brain, but ahead from your text editor, with word prediction capability.
– Some may consider it as a breach into their privacy, but search engines have to say otherwise.

It was a dot com bubble in the fall of 2001, which had brought on the advent of Web 2.0. What had been considered a flaw in the world of internet, was just a new start. Well, whatever has been discussed on the Web 3.0 features are just ideas and concepts. Concepts that the web developers mention. Whether everything will materialize or not, depends on a lot of factors.

Folksonomy

Fact
Folksonomy is a word coined by Thomas Vander Wal, from the words ‘folks’ and ‘taxonomy’.
The game of tag used to determine who was ‘it’ usually by a count-out system. Though the definition changes online, we only tag those items that we deem worthy or cool enough to be shared online. Everything from online search results to the words preferred virtually are decided by the users. Soon enough, we won’t even need the ‘Did You Mean?’ button in Google. To solve this dilemma, tagging has been introduced. The more people tag a particular word, the related content gets categorized accordingly into that group. This type of tagging finally gave birth to the rise of folksonomy.

What is Folksonomy?

Folksonomy is a system of creating and categorizing tags that annotate and categorize content. Content can range from articles, photos, videos, and podcasts. It can be anything ranging from a summary of two lines to metadata that has words frequently associated with it. Folksonomy is also known as social indexing, social tagging, collaborative tagging, and social classification. The frequency of these tags result in the ranking of the content in search results. These tags are also represented visually according to the frequency of the usage of the words in the form of tag clouds.

There are 2 types of folksonomy, namely, broad folksonomy and narrow folksonomy. When multiple users tag content with different names, it is known as broad folksonomy. When a single user tags content with multiple terms, it’s called narrow folksonomy. Tagging is usually done in an open environment addressed by several users. The value of tagging is derived by people making their own inference on the subject, and improving the vocabulary of others as well as themselves by adding to the content.

Taxonomy

Taxonomy is the classification of data in an organized and collective manner. This type of sorting is usually done by an expert in the field, usually called a taxonomist. Many taxonomies are arranged in a hierarchical structure, usually following a semblance of order. Each unit is called a taxon. The contents are usually classified in taxonomy if they belong to a particular species or family. Taxonomy stands against everything folksonomy represents. We tell you the difference between them in the following section.
Folksonomy Vs. Taxonomy
Folksonomy tags are added by the reader or anyone other than the author. Taxonomy tags are usually added by the author.
Flickr is a good example of folksonomy, which lets users describe the photos, and tags them in the right category.

Taxonomy tags are usually added by the author.
WordPress is a good example of taxonomy, which allows content to be organized in categories or closed tags.
Advantages of Folksonomy
●It can adapt to the language quickly, and can be applied to new concepts.
●It has a lower cost to maintain, since the workload is shared by multiple users adding to the content everyday.
●It’s a very flexible system, since the content is tagged almost everyday.
Disadvantages of Folksonomy
●Over tagging can lead to irrelevant results, making the search meaningless.
●It has led to inconsistencies, misspellings, and different punctuation.
●People can voice their biased opinions, which can influence the tagging.
The only way to reduce the discrepancies is by combining the two methods of folksonomy and taxonomy. A new process should be adopted by asking the opinions of the users. This method, though not foolproof, may improve the language itself, by giving it more structure. Thus, folksonomy can operate as a loose thesaurus that finds different interpretations of the same word.

The World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is a system of hypertext documents that are linked to each other. Internet is the means to access this set of interlinked documents. These hypertext documents can contain text, images, or even audio and video data. The World Wide Web, serving as an enormous information base, has also facilitated the spread of this information across the globe. It has led to the emergence of the Internet age. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the Internet owes its popularity to the World Wide Web.

Before understanding how the World Wide Web works, let us delve into the history behind the creation of this smart information base, popularly known as ‘www’.

It was the genius of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, an English computer scientist and MIT professor, who created the World Wide Web. While he was working at CERN in Switzerland, he built ENQUIRE, a closed database of information containing bidirectional links that could be edited from the server. ENQUIRE was in many ways, similar to the modern-day World Wide Web.

In 1989, Berners-Lee wrote a proposal describing an information management system. True, the concept of hypertext originated from projects such as the Hypertext Editing System at Brown University and similar projects by Ted Nelson and Andries van Dam, both working in the field of computers and Internet technology. But Berners-Lee accomplished the feat of combining the concepts of hypertext and Internet. He also developed a system of globally unique identifiers for web resources, which later came to be known as Uniform Resource Identifiers.
On April 30, 1993, it was decided that the World Wide Web would be free to everyone. After leaving CERN, Tim Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science.

Working of the World Wide Web

Asking how the Internet works is not the same as asking how the world wide web works. Well, Internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same, although they are often used as synonyms. While the Internet is an infrastructure providing interconnectivity between network computers, the web is one of the services of the Internet. It is a collection of documents that can be shared across Internet-enabled computers. The network of web servers is the backbone of the World Wide Web.

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is used to gain access to the web. A web browser requests for a particular web page to the web server, which responds with the requested page and its contents. It displays the page as rendered by HTML or other web languages used. Each resource on the web is identified by a globally unique identifier (URI). The domain name system, a hierarchical naming system for computers and resources on the Internet, is used to resolve the URL into an IP address.

Presence of hyperlinks, the worldwide availability of content, and a global readership are some of the striking features of the World Wide Web. The interlinked hypertext documents form a web of information. Hyperlinks present on web pages allow the web users to choose their paths of traversal across information on the web. They provide an efficient cross-referencing system and create a non-linear form of text. Moreover, they create a different reading experience. The information on the web is available 24/7 across the globe. It is updated in real time and made accessible to web users around the world. Except for certain websites that require user login, most other websites are open to everyone. This all-time availability of information has made the Internet a platform for knowledge-sharing. Thanks to the use of a common HTML format for rendering web content and a common access method using the HTTP protocol, the web has achieved universal readership.

The World Wide Web, a compilation of millions of hypertext documents, has brought together information from all over the world, ‘just a click away’. Before leaving this web page, take a moment to thank the World Wide Web; for if it was not for the web, you would not have landed here.

The Invisible Web

Most of us are very good in surfing the Internet, but the truth which many of us don’t know is, we are just skimming the surface of the web! Yes, there are two layers of web. They are surface web and the invisible web. Most of you are quite familiar with the surface web, where we access the information through search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. But there is vast unexplored territory lying underneath the surface web which forms the deep web or invisible web. The Invisible web refers to the websites or web pages that cannot be indexed by the search engines.

What is the Invisible Web?

There are some databases or web pages, that search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., cannot access or send their crawlers. These invisible sources or repositories are termed as invisible web or deep web. It is true that the invisible web exists and it has been estimated that it is 500 times larger than the visible web or surface web. The vast majority of the deep web is made of free floating web directory data and government-released data. For example, NASA has a huge data in the deep web, which is gathered from their scientific missions and Library of Congress has more than thousands of terabytes of historical data, which is mostly used by historians for their research purposes. Deep web mostly consists of raw data. Private academic data is one of its major constituents.

Why are they Invisible?

The deep web is invisible to us because they contain dynamic pages within database-driven websites. These deep URLs are identifiable and they are generally long and contain a wide variety of symbols like question marks, percentage signs, equal signs, etc. There are some online catalogs that don’t have hyper links, so they are invisible to the search engines. Some website pages have protected passwords to avoid wide accessibility. The content which we see in web pages are HTML coded. Some websites do not use these html codes and they become part of the deep web. Another reason for inaccessibility of websites could be because, few web pages have scripted content using Flash or JavaScript, which is unreadable by search engine crawlers and this makes those pages invisible. Private websites without hyperlinks are also apparent on the deep web. Some websites are ‘geotagged’ which means that, they can be accessible only within a particular region or country. There are some websites that hide its content behind a secure wall, and allow you to access the content only after you register in their site.

How to Access the Invisible Web?

There is software called Tor, through which the deep web can be explored. You just need to download the Tor browser bundle and start accessing the hidden web through this browser. The hidden wiki which has .onion URL extension can also be accessed using this browser. But what you need to know is, some sites which you are trying to access through this browser may cause safety issues to you and your computer. So I advice you not to explore the deep web often through this software. Some other ways to access the hidden web, are discussed below.

  • To know about the information of a company, you can register in the website manta and access the company data provided by Dun and Bradstreet, popularly known as D&B. Without registering also you can access the company’s database but, registering provides an additional advantage to access more detailed information.
  • ThomasNet search is an online register that contains the information of the manufacturing companies especially in North America. Thomas register is a physical directory and it has been converted to online directory.
  • Google Patent Search is an effective patent search engine which provides relevant information on the recent patent applications and the approved patent details.
  • Bizjournals search contains the archives of American business journals and it will be surely helpful to you, if you are an entrepreneur.
  • Archives is a website with ‘.org URL extension’, which gives data on the history of company sites that existed in the Internet and which no longer exists.
  • Virtual Library was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee, who is the creator of web. This is an old catalog which provides relevant information on various subjects.
  • Find Articles website contains a huge collection of industry articles and general articles too.
  • Google Blog Search and Infomine (founded by University of California at Riverside,) provide valuable articles, news feed, etc.
  • SurfWax is a search engine that would help you to dig detailed information on what you need.
  • TechDeepWeb website offers tools to get the resources that are hidden in the deep web.
  • Academic Index is a meta-search engine that pulls out database that are approved by scholars and librarians.
  • Intute website is United Kingdom based database that provides wide variety of information on various academic subjects.
  • Scirus is a scientific research engine that contains science articles, journals, patents, etc.
    Some of the specialized databases are WorldWideScience, Library of Congress, ERIC – Digital library of educational research and information, British database of educational and research resources, Authoritative U.S. government science information etc. From these databases, the required information can be derived.
  • Browsing the web through VPN (Virtual Private Network) over Internet, provides private data and other resources which are secure and reliable. This can help to reveal hidden information that are inaccessible in the Internet.

BrightPlanet (Internet Company) has estimated that the rate of growing information in the deep web is 10% faster than the surface web. According to the Internet company, “Information held in the deep web is up to two thousand times better quality than the information easily retrieved by the search engines from the surface web”. However it is advised by many scholars not to access the invisible web often, for the reasons of safety.

Invented the World Wide Web

Searching on the Internet is common when one needs information, news, or some data for a project. The most common 3 letters in today’s world are ‘www’. What is the World Wide Web and how does it work? Let us know more in the following paragraphs.

What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989 at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. It is a system of resources that help a viewer to view and interact with information related to anything under the sun. One can access the World Wide Web from a computer that is connected to the Internet, that is, in turn, globally interconnected to computer networks. One can easily move from one resource to another and navigate through the web with the help of browsers. These browsers present formulated text, images, sounds, etc, in the form of a page. One can even click on hyperlinks and navigate to other related pages on either the same computer or server, or any other server on the network.

All pages on the World Wide Web are formulated using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). The information is transferred on the computers using a set of rules called the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

Who Invented the World Wide Web?

The Internet was present before the World Wide Web was invented. The Internet or Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks (ARPAnet) was funded by the US Military, to have a military command and control center to withstand a nuclear attack after the cold war. ARPAnet was used to distribute information between different computers located in different geographical locations. The TCP/IP communications standard was created by APRAnet, and is used even today. In 1969, ARPAnet was opened for public use, and many computer geeks found new ways to share computers.

The history of World Wide Web began with the help of an Englishman, Tim Berners-Lee. He, along with the help of Robert Cailliau and a few others at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN) developed the World Wide Web.

Berners-Lee was a graduate in physics who joined CERN in 1980. Because CERN, today known as European Particle Physics Laboratory, was so large and had thousands of researchers working, he developed the first hypertext system. This would help keep track of those who worked on a project, the software associated with the program, and the software that ran on the computer. The first hypertext system was called Enquire by Berners-Lee.

Robert Cailliau joined Berners-Lee, and helped him run the first World Wide Web conference. In 1990, after a month spent developing the first web browser, Berners-Lee deployed a program on his and Cailliau’s computer. Thus, they became the first people to communicate through a web server on December 25, 1990. Their first project was to put the entire CERN telephone book on the web site. This project gained immediate response and all employees at CERN accessed the telephone directory only through the web page. CERN was connected to ARPAnet in 1990. Thus, Berners-Lee could post a notice to the public to download the web server and line mode browser. His web server took the world by storm and web servers were downloaded across the world.

Soon, Berners-Lee added the FTP protocol to the server. This made a wide range of existing web directories immediately accessible though a web page. In June 1992, Berners-Lee was sent to the United States by CERN for a three-month trip. Here, he met Tom Bruce, the creator of the first PC web browser―Cello.

Today, one cannot imagine life without the World Wide Web and the Internet. It has made a global impact, and turned the old idiom, ‘It’s a small, small world’, into reality.

Tips on Writing the Living Web

Some parts of the web are finished, unchanging creations –  as polished and as fixed as books or posters. But many parts change all the time:

  • news sites bring up-to-the-minute developments, ranging from breaking news and sports scores to reports on specific industries, markets, and technical fields
  • weblogs, journals, and other personal sites provide a window on the interests and opinions of their creators
  • corporate weblogs, wikis, knowledge banks, community sites, and workgroup journals provide share news and knowledge among co-workers and supply-chain stakeholders

Some of these sites change every week; many change every day; a few change every few minutes. Daypop’s Dan Chan calls this the Living Web, the part of the web that is always changing.

Every revision requires new writing, new words that become the essence of the site. Living sites are only as good as today’s update. If the words are dull, nobody will read them, and nobody will come back. If the words are wrong, people will be misled, disappointed, infuriated. If the words aren’t there, people will shake their heads and lament your untimely demise.

Writing for the Living Web is a tremendous challenge. Here are ten tips that can help.

1. Write for a reason

Write for a reason, and know why you write. Whether your daily updates concern your work life, your hobbies, or your innermost feelings, write passionately about things that matter.

To an artist, the smallest grace note and the tiniest flourish may be matters of great importance. Show us the details, teach us why they matter. People are fascinated by detail and enthralled by passion; explain to us why it matters to you, and no detail is too small, no technical question too arcane.

Bad personal sites bore us by telling us about trivial events and casual encounters about which we have no reason to care. Don’t tell us what happened: tell us why it matters. Don’t tell us your opinion: tell us why the question is important.

If you don’t really care, don’t write. If you are a student and everybody is talking about exams and papers and you simply don’t care, let it be. If your job bores you, it will bore us. (If you despise your job with a rich, enduring passion, that’s another thing entirely!) Write for yourself; you are, in the end, your most important reader.

If your site belongs to a product, a project, or an enterprise, you must still find a way to represent its passion and excitement.  If you do not understand why your product is compelling or comprehend the beauty of your enterprise, find the reason or find a new writer.

Write honestly. Don’t hide, and don’t stop short. When writing about things that matter, you may be tempted to flee to safe, familiar havens: the familiar, the sentimental, the fashionable. Try to find the strength to be honest, to avoid starting the journey with passion and ending it with someone else’s tired formula. The work may be hard, it may be embarrassing, but it will be true – and it will be you, not a tired formula or an empty design. And if you can be satisfied with that tired formula, you aren’t writing for a reason.

Never, for any consideration, publish a statement you know to be false.

Though you write with passion about things that matter greatly, always remember that it’s a big world, filled with people and stories. Don’t expect the world to stop and listen. Never expect any individual (or, worse, any quantity of individuals) to read your work, for they may have other things to do. At the same time, steel yourself to expect the unexpected visitor and the uninvited guest; the most unlikely people may read your work. Your mother, who never uses a computer, may read your intimate weblog one day in the library. To be honest with the world, you may need to be honest with your mother; if you cannot face your mother, perhaps you are not ready to write for the world.

2. Write often

If you are writing for the Living Web, you must write consistently. You need not write constantly, and you need not write long, but you must write often. One afternoon in grad school, I heard B. F. Skinner remark that fifteen minutes a day, every day, adds up to about book every year, which he suggested was as much writing as anyone should indulge. You don’t need to write much, but you must write, and write often.

If you don’t write for a few days, you are unfaithful to the readers who come to visit. Missing an update is a small thing – rudeness, not betrayal – and readers will excuse the occasional lapse.

If you are inconsistent, readers will conclude you are untrustworthy. If you are absent, readers will conclude you are gone. It’s better to keep religiously to a once-a-week, or once-a-fortnight schedule, than to go dark mysteriously.

If you cannot write for a time, and the reason for your absence is interesting, write about it. Your honeymoon, your kidney transplant, your sister’s gubernatorial inauguration – all these can be predicted and worked into the fabric of your writing so that the interruption, when it comes, seems natural. But avoid, if you can, sudden cryptic pronouncements: “I’ll be unable to post for a while” gives us nothing we can use or learn from.

Don’t assume that you will find something to say every morning. The day will come, sooner or later, when you need inspiration and find you have none.  Store topics, news items, entire articles for slow times. Carry a notebook or a PDA and jot down reminders. You cannot have too many notes saved up, but you can easily find yourself with too few.

Since you write often, use good tools. Select them to fit your hand and voice. Learn to use them well.

3. Write tight

Omit unnecessary words.

Choose a visual design that fits your voice. Unless the design is the point of your site, select colors and visual elements that support without dominating.  Resist the temptation to add features, for it is often best to use only those few technical and design elements that support your mission.  Don’t rush to replace a good design: you will grow bored with it long before your readers do.

Read your work. Revise it. Don’t worry about being correct, but take a moment now and then to think about the craft. Can you choose a better word – one that is clearer, richer, more precise? Can you do without a word entirely?

Omit unnecessary words.

4. Make good friends

Read widely and well, on the web and off, and in your web writing take special care to acknowledge the good work and good ideas of other writers. Show them at their best, pointing with grace and respect to issues where you and they differ. Take special care to be generous to good ideas from those who are less well known, less powerful, and less influential than you.

Weblog writers and other participants in the Living Web gain readers by exchanging links and ideas. Seeking to exchange links without ideas is vulgarly known as blogrolling. Begging high-traffic pages or famous writers to mention you is bothersome and unproductive

Instead of begging, find ways to be a good friend. All writers thrive on ideas; distribute them generously and always share the credit. Be generous with links. Be generous, too, with your time and effort; A-list sites may not need your traffic, but everyone can use a hand.

Many prominent web writers travel a lot – to conferences, meetings, trade shows. Sooner or later, they’ll come to your corner of the world. Offer to feed them. Invite them to parties. Offer to introduce them to interesting people. They might be too busy. They might be too shy. But the road can be a lonely place, and it’s always interesting to meet thinking people.

Small, thoughtful gifts are nice. Share books you love, or that you’ve written. If you’re a photographer or an artist, prints and sketches can be unique and memorable. (Include permission to reproduce them on the web.) Join their cause. Donate to their charity.

Friends are vital for business sites as well, but business and friendship can be a volatile mix. Your prospects, customers and vendors are obvious friends, but both they and your readers will understand that your friendship is not disinterested.  Unlikely friends, including your competitors, may prove more convincing.

5. Find good enemies

Readers love controversy and learn from debate. Disagreement is exciting. Everyone loves a fight, and by witnessing the contest of competing ideas we can better understand what they imply.

Dramatic conflict is an especially potent tool for illuminating abstract and technical issues, whether in software engineering or business planning. At times, choosing a communications protocol or adopting an employee benefits plan may seem an abstract task, barely related to the human crises that daily confront us. If each alternative has a determined, effective advocate, however, it may reveal the source of the conflict and to remind us of the consequences of the choice.

To make an abstract or difficult point more real, identify and respond to an advocate who holds a different position. Choose your opponent with care. If you choose a rival who is much less powerful than you, readers may see you as a bully. If your rival is a business competitor, you may seem unscrupulous. The best enemy, in fact, is often a friend – a writer you cite frequently and who often cites you, but with whom you disagree on a specific questions.

A handful of individuals seemingly live for controversy and seek out ways to create and inflame disputes. These so-called trolls are chiefly the bane of discussion groups but occasionally find their way into the Living Web. Never engage them; you cannot win. (Trolls, when ignored, will usually retire. If they cause danger or damage that cannot be ignored, the police and the courts will assist you.)

When beginning a debate, always have in mind a plan for ending it. Ill-planned arguments can drag on, lost in a mass of boring detail or irrelevant side-issues. Worse, the personalities of the advocates may become more engaging than the issues, obscuring your purpose entirely. Have in mind, from the outset, an idea of how long you want to engage the issue and how you expect the exercise to end (or reach a resting point). Plan a conclusion before firing the first salvo. You might devise an event – a final meeting, a live debate or online poll – that will provide a sense of closure. Write a joint communique for your readers or your management, summarizing the outstanding issues and highlighting progress. Then archive both sides of the exchange – perhaps with annotation from a neutral authority – so future readers may enjoy and benefit from the conflict.

When it’s over, try to make good friends with good enemies.

6. Let the story unfold

The Living Web unfolds in time, and as we see each daily revelation we experience its growth as a story. Your arguments and rivalries, your ideas and your passions: all of these grow and shift in time, and these changes become the dramatic arc of your website.

Understand the storyteller’s art and use the technique of narrative to shape the emerging structure of your living site. Foreshadowing hints at future events and expected interests: your vacation, the election campaign, the endless midnight hours at work in the days before the new product ships. Surprise, an unexpected flash of humor or a sudden change of direction, refreshes and delights. Use links within your work to build depth, for today’s update will someday be your own back story.

People are endlessly fascinating. Write about them with care and feeling and precision. Invented characters, long a staple of newspaper columnists, are rarely seen on the Living Web; creating a fascinating (but imaginary) friend could balance your own character on your site.

When the star of the site is a product or an organization, temper the temptation to reduce the narrative to a series of triumphs.  Although you don’t usually want to advertise bad news, your readers know that every enterprise faces challenges and obstacles. Consider sharing a glimpse of your organization’s problems: having seen the challenge, your readers will experience your success more vividly.

Interweave topics and find ways to vary your pacing and tone. Piling tension on tension, anger on rage, is ultimately self-defeating; sooner or later, the writing will demand more from you than you can give and the whole edifice will collapse in boredom or farce. When one topic, however important, overshadows everything else in your site, stop. Change the subject; go somewhere new, if only for a moment. When you return, you and your reader will be fresher and better prepared.

7. Stand up, speak out

If you know your facts and have done your homework, you have a right to your opinion. State it clearly. Never waffle, whine, or weasel.

If you are not sure you are right, ask yourself why you are writing. If you are seeking information or guidance from your readers, ask them. Don’t bore them (and discredit yourself) with a hesitant, unformed opinion. If you are writing in order to discover your mind or to try out a new stance, continue by all means– but file the note in your desk drawer, not on your website.

If you believe you are right, say so. Explain why. It doesn’t matter that you are young, or unknown, or lack credentials, or that crowds of famous people disagree. Don’t hesitate or muddy the water. The truth matters; show us the right answer, and get out of the way.

Never lie about your competitors, and never exult in your rival’s bad news.

Try, if you can, to avoid inflicting unnecessary pain and humiliation on those who have the misfortune to be mistaken. People err, and you too will be wrong tomorrow. Civility is not mere stuffiness; it can be the glue that lets us fight for our ideas and, once we recognize the right answer, sit down together for drinks and dinner.

8. Be sexy

You are a sexual being. So are all of your readers (except the Google robot). Sex is interesting. Sex is life, and life is interesting. The more of yourself you put into your writing, the more human and engaging your work will be.

If your writing is a personal journal, and if it is honest, you will have to write about things that you find embarrassing to describe, feelings you might not want to share, events that you wouldn’t mention to strangers (or, perhaps, to anyone). Decide now what you will do, before it happens.

Undressing, literally, figuratively, or emotionally, has always been a powerful force in personal sites and web logs. Pictures don’t matter in the long run; what matters is the trajectory of your relationship with the reader, the gradual growth of intimacy and knowledge between you.

9. Use your archives

When you add something to the Living Web and invite others to link to your ideas, you promise to keep your words available online, in their appointed place, indefinitely. Always provide a permanent location (a “permalink”) where each item can be found. Do your best to ensure that these locations don’t change, breaking links in other people’s websites and disrupting the community of ideas.

The promise to keep your words available need not mean that you must preserve them unchanged. In time, you may find errors you want to correct. The world changes, and things that once seemed clear may require explanation.

Today, this permanent location is often a chronological archive, a long list of entries for a particular week or month. These archives are useful and easy to make. Many popular tools build chronological archives automatically. But chronological archives are limited: you might someday want to know what you wrote in May of 1999, but why would anyone else care? Topical summaries and overviews are much more helpful to new readers and to regulars alike, and if they require a modest additional effort every day, that effort pays dividends that grow as your archives expand.

New tools like Six Degrees and Eastgate’s Tinderbox can make it easier to keep track of categories, to find where new things fit and to find old things that need new links.  Topical archives are Google’s natural friend. Remember that your old pages will often be read by visitors from search engines; introduce yourself on every page, and be sure that every page, however obscure, has links to tell people:

  • who you are, what you want, and why you’re writing
  • your email address
  • where to find your latest writing

Link to work you’ve already written – especially to good work that you wrote long ago. Don’t be shy about linking to yourself: linking to your own work is a service, not self-promotion.

10. Relax!

Don’t worry too much about correctness: Find a voice and use it. Most readers will overlook, and nearly all will forgive, errors in punctuation and spelling. Leave Fowler and Roget on the shelf, unless they’re your old friends. Write clearly and simply and write quickly, for if you are to write often you must neither hesitate or quibble.

Don’t worry about the size of your audience. If you write with energy and wit about things that matter, your audience will find you. Do tell people about your writing, through short personal email notes and through postcards and business cards and search engines. Enjoy the audience you have, and don’t try to figure out why some people aren’t reading your work.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Do let your work on the Living Web flow from your passion and your play, your work life and your life at home. Establish a rhythm, so your writing comes naturally and your readers experience it as a natural part of their day or their week. But if the rhythm grows onerous, if you find yourself dreading your next update or resenting the demands of your readers, if you no longer relish your morning web routine or your evening note-taking, find a new rhythm or try something else. Change the schedule, or voice, or tone. Switch topics. Try, if you can, to resist the temptation to drop things entirely, to simply stop.

Don’t worry about those who disagree with you, and don’t take bad reviews to heart. The web is filled with caring and kindness, but thoughtless cruelty can and does cloud every writer’s spirit from time to time. Ideas matter, but name-calling doesn’t, and petulant critics wrap tomorrow’s virtual fish.