The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Web and You: Is the Key behind Understanding the WWW and The Internet

I have been online since 1995 and had to learn the hard way about what to do online and what not to do online! I love to help other learn this information without the pains I went through to learn the WWW and the Internet because without this knowledge the Internet can be a mean and dangers place to work and play. This Internet Tutorial will help you understand Net Culture and the why of what the Information Super Highway is all about and why the New Information Age is part of human evolution.

Internet Tutorials

The Web and You: A Guide to Participation

In 2006, Time magazine named You as the Person of the Year with the comment: "Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world."
This tutorial will explain how you - yes, you - can participate in and therefore control your experience of the Web. The Web allows anyone with an Internet connection to join in. (Unfortunately, some of this capability is blocked in certain countries.) With the proper tools, you can create content either alone or collaboratively, share your content, and comment on the content of others. There are various terms used to describe this phenomenon, including web 2.0, the social web, the read-write web. The topic is huge. This tutorial is intended as a brief introduction to the lay of the land.

It's interesting to watch as the content of the social Web is entering the mainstream of the Web experience. For example, blog posts can be found in search engine results. The search engine Bing indexes Twitter content in order to provide up-to-the-minute results, and Facebook status updates are in the works. This brings up the importance of the social Web to the real-time web. It is becoming increasingly important to the development of the Web to present real-time, or near real-time, content.

A large factor in interacting with the Web is having access to the Web at any time and any place. The Web and its functionalities are becoming increasingly mobile. While laptop computers have been around for years, the focus now is on cell phones and other portable devices connected to the Web. The iPhone is just one example of a device that allows people to take the Web with them wherever they go to access Web sites, social networks, search engines, and location-based information. Mobile devices can keep us connected to the networked world with ever-expanding capabilities.

tip! To keep up with the latest developments, check out the suggested sources on Keeping Current.

First, a word about security and safet

The Web has sometimes been referred to as the Wild Wild Web. As the Web becomes more open to user interaction, dangers can be lurking. Computer viruses of various types, identity theft, bogus e-mail messages and Web sites, and predators, are just a few of the dangers you might encounter.
When you interact with strangers on the Web, proceed with caution. Don't automatically trust what you see or who you encounter. There are many sites on the Web that can help you become aware of potential dangers and provide guidelines for dealing with them. For an example, check out the useful Internet Safety Project.

Social networking sites

Facebook social networking sites are online communities in which members interact. In fact, everything covered in this tutorial involves social networking of some sort. A site that specializes in social networking is focused on making connections among its users. The activities may be limited to one activity or interest, such as sharing videos, to multiple activities such as creating a personal profile, posting your current activity or state of mind, making "friends", engaging in discussions, joining groups, sending messages, sharing photos, and so on. Social networking can involve individuals or institutions, and can be used for recreational, informational, academic, and professional purposes.

Interactivity among social networking sites is evolving. This means that you can share content, friends, and activities among many sites. Streamy is an example of a site that gathers the activities and shared items of you and your friends from numerous social networking sites.

It is becoming easier to share content from around the Web. Let's say you have read an article that you want to share on your Facebook account. Web sites, especially blog and news sites, sometimes offer an easy way to post this content to the social networking site of which you are a member. Here is an example of the many sharing options featured on a technology blog. If you have an account on any of these services, you can share the posting there with just a few clicks. The ShareThis application is shown in the example below.


A blog is a journal entry system organized around postings about which readers can comment. Entries are usually organized with the most recent postings first. The word "blog" comes from "Weblog" because a blog consists of a Web-based signed and dated log of individual postings. Blogs often focus on personal narratives or opinion and are usually maintained by single individuals. However, there are also plenty of blogs maintained by groups of people who share the same interests or expertise.

The social nature of blogs comes from reader responses to the blog author's postings. These are known as comments. Readers can respond not only to postings, but also to their comments, resulting in a lively conversation. Most comments are written in text. However, video comments are also possible. For example, the TechCrunch blog uses Seesmic for this purpose.


Anyone can start a blog for free. Take a look at Wordpress and Blogger for a couple of examples. If you rent space on a Web server, you can download blog software and run your own customized blog. Some excellent blog software is available at no cost, including WordPress and MovableType.

Technorati and Google Blog Search are two useful search engines for locating content posted to blogs.

microblogging is also popular. This is exemplified by Twitter. With Twitter, you can create an account and blog in spurts of up to 140 characters. Also, excerpted postings or headlines from "regular" blogs can be sent automatically to your Twitter account. For an example, visit the TechCrunch page on Twitter. With a Twitter account, you can choose to "follow" other members and receive their "tweets" on your own page. Twitter is used by the famous and non-famous alike for recreational, professional, commercial, and informational purposes. Twitter's trending topics provide a real-time look at comments on subjects of current interest. Below is an example of a few tweets.


As with many other social networking sites, a universe of creative tools have been built by the Web community to enhance the Twitter experience. For example, check out 99 Essential Twitter Tools and Applications from Smashing Magazine.

The phenomenon of blogs has helped to advance the practice of commenting across the Web. In fact, one hallmark of the social Web is the option for public comment. For example, you can comment on YouTube videos and Flickr photos. Many news sites offer their readers the option to comment on stories. Commenting is showing up in all kinds of Web sites and in all kinds of contexts, so be on the lookout for opportunities.

The nature of any comment you make is up to you. Comments can range from polite to insulting and anything in between. Below is an example of comments from the news sharing site iReport.


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