16 October 2008, by A. Cedilla
Part 1 of 2
The Internet has always been a means of communication, first and foremost. Now, it’s a platform, a virtual soapbox for anyone with an opinion or an interest to be able to share that with the rest of the world. The chances are very good that you’re reading this right now from a computer hooked up to the internet.
Today, getting a website onto the Internet is as easy as point-and-click. You’re no longer required to hand-code HTML like you would have needed to a few short years back. You don’t even have to know FTP protocols or how to design a site. Most website hosting companies now provide templates of websites that you can customize with your own links, and content, as easily as you would adjust or edit a letter in your word processor.
There are many companies who will even give you free web space on their computers, mainly referred to as servers, to put your very own website on to. In exchange, they add an advertisement onto your site, usually at the top – called a header. Do a search on the Internet for “free website hosting” and check out your results.
Think about what you would like to share with the world. Do you have any hobbies you’re passionate about, or interests you’d love to let others know about? Are you a chess player who can share strategies about the game? Do you have an opinion about happenings in the world that others should know about? Are you into photography, or stamp collecting, butterflies, quilting, scrap booking, remote control models, airplanes, religion, politics, art, or a host of just about any imaginable topic? Some people even use their website to update relatives on their family activities, or new children etc.
Chances are very, very good that if you’re interested in something, a lot of other people all over the world are, too.
Once you have your website up and running you can either choose to keep it low-key where you only give the address to certain people. Or you can post your website address on forums, bulletin boards, on every email you send out, and even do link-swaps with other people who have similar or complementary sites to yours.
You do that by having a links page, where you put links that lead to other people’s sites and they put your link on their website. All you need to do is contact the owner of the website you want to do a link-swap with.
Having other people link to your site also increases your chances of being indexed higher in the search engine listings.
Try to be committed to your website. Keep the content and photos etc. up-to-date. The internet is known for having a lot of “dead” information – content that is never updated for years and years; in fact, the website owner has abandoned the site but never taken it off the air. People enjoy and deserve fresh content.
If you want to be reached, add a link to your email address. Make sure it’s an address that’s not your main source of email. Find a free email account like Hotmail, or Yahoo etc. This is because there is a tendency for people to sometimes abuse your address and spam you with lots of unwanted mail. If you get that, you can always just start another free email account and change the link on your site.
Even if you don’t want to design and maintain your own site, an even easier way for you to get your opinion, or your recipes, or any type of information out is to start a blog, which is short for web log. You can read more about this by starting with Blogging Tips 1 and 2, here, and following the related posts for most of September, 2008.
There are many free blogging hosts on the Internet for you to use and using them is as simple as typing your letter or information for that day, and clicking on the publish button. Your information is instantly transferred to your blog site for anyone to read. Easy as that!
So, whatever you choose to share, go out and share it. There’s a world of people eagerly awaiting and needing what you have to offer.
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