Saturday, September 15, 2007

You Are Welcome Here


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PORTAL Since I first began blogging in September 2003, each Fall and Winter I analyze emails, comments, rankings and statistics gathered by sitemeters in efforts to better understand how to make this blog a more effective communication tool. I've gone from diarist to reporter to citizen journalist to something that is now a web2.0 "hybrid" entity; a weblog that now exists as an electronic "paper" gravitating toward becoming some sort of social networking portal.

This post has a double purpose; #1, to reaffirm my commitment to bloggers and blogders (blogreaders) worldwide to keep my presentation readable even by those with dial-up or otherwise slow internet access, and, #2, to alert all to the opening of my "portal." Look at the blog header, underneath my name. Those are live links - that header has become the gateway or portal to other pages and places. Even though some of the links are not ready or "under construction" I felt that this is the time to introduce them. What clinched the decision was an email from a reader who thought that it might be a good idea if I made reference to my "homepage" in every post. Most blogs receive incoming traffic which has locked in on an individual post's URL. Many times the reader is not aware that there is much more to the blog, perhaps other articles that they would be interested in. So I've placed the "home" page as the very first link. Now, incoming visitors don't have to guess how to arrive at the blog's index page. The additional links, in time, I hope will add to the quality of my presentation, allowing me to post material (videos and hi-res photography) which may be better suited to high speed internet.

Welcome New Readers! I have made every effort to accomodate you: I try to make most of my links open in new windows so you won't lose this anchor page. I try to reach you via different languages. I've included many tools, including digg, RSS, trackbacks, tags and comments, as well as the little "snap" preview tool which allows you to take a look at webpage and even play a video or mp3 without having to go directly to that page. You may wonder why my blog doesn't have a certain feature: in all likelihood I have tried it and either it made the blog too difficult to load on slower connections or it was an unreliable service that broke fames or otherwise screwed up the template. Please enjoy your visit here, and come back often!

I've gotten emails from people asking for HELP! MY DIAL-UP IS REALLLLY SLOW! Nothing is worse than trying to sanely surf the net when you're stuck at 26 or 14.4 - what was fast in 1995 is so slow today. There's an old program still available that may be of some help. It's called Lynx.

Lynx is a text only browser. Version v283 is available as a FREE, quick download as it does everything you'll need, and more importantly doesn't do anything a search engine spider can't do. This particular version of Lynx should work in most versions of Windows NT, 95, 98, ME, 2K, XP, and Vista.

I get emails asking me how I manage to have so much time to be able to read hundreds of blogs every day. No, I don't use RSS: I use Lynx to quickly sift through blogs without having to load all of the images, music and other data standing in the way of a fast clean load in my browser window.

Most people are able to get Lynx up and running after thoroughly reading the instructions below. Sorry, I can't offer installation support - I just don't get time to answer emails these days.

Installation Instructions
Read the 'readme.txt' and other help files included in the package for more information.

Make a folder on the top level of your C drive called lynx_w32
Unzip the contents of the lynx_v283.zip file into that folder.
Make a shortcut to lynx.bat* and place it on your desktop.
Double click the shortcut. Lynx will open with google.com as the home page.
*Can't find lynx.bat? In Windows Explorer try selecting the tools option at the top of the window, then select Folder Options. Click the "view" tab, then un-check the box for "hide extensions for known file types".

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WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Because, like the fine publication Tablet, whom I borrowed this concept from, I too am committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing I'm able to provide, all free of charge. I take pride in my loyal readership, and I'm thrilled that you choose to engage with me in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse).

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I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
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