Control of the Web

Control of the Internet

Sound scary?

To control something, you have to:

Have access to it.
To have access to the Internet, you need
Access to a computer, modem, phone line, internet-using software, and an Internet Service Provider.
This doesn't necessarily have to be your own; it can be in a community center, computer cafe, or library. If you are reading this page online, you've probably passed this hurdle already. If you do need more info on access, I've compiled a list of internet access information.

Know how to use the *%^$#@&*! thing.
Again -- if you're here, you have probably passed this hurdle. Maybe it wasn't that painful for you; maybe you left some skin on the hurdle as you passed it. Or maybe you landed here by accident, thrashing about on the keyboard, and you would like to know how to do that again -- or not. So I have compiled a list of Beginner's Guides. Includes an on-line computer-term dictionary.

Get what you want from it.
On the Internet, that means:
Be able to find what you are looking for.
It's a BIG Web. I'm an editor: I refer to the internet as "the biggest slushpile ever created." A slushpile is the stack of submitted manuscripts an editor has to go through to select the items you will end up reading. On the Internet, you are usually your own editor. The advantage of this is, nobody else filters your material for you. The disadvantage is: there's such a LOT of material! How do you find accurate data on the structural specifications of a battleship when a search query gets you everything from board games to science fiction? Try the list on Finding and evaluating information.

A second problem: maybe it's not out there. To the great shame of all True Web-heads, not everything is yet loaded onto the Web. There are still times when your public library may be able to help you more. But if you want to help increase the information available on the Web, check out Projects Widening the Web.

Be able to get it once you find it.
It is maddening to find out there is a site out there with all the latest episodes of your favorite TV series -- but it's tailored for a newer browser than yours. Or it's a 'gopher' site, and the only gophers you know about were the ones in your yard that you had exterminated; there's probably not a one of them left, now that you need one. Or they tell you to "ftp" -- and you thought you had all the dirty-word sites filtered out. If any site you have tried to access has told you you needed something you don't have -- or didn't even recognize -- check out What's this effin' tp and how do I get some?

Control of the Web
If you got it and it's in Sanskrit or something, try Altavista's webpage translator. Do not try this on anything you will be submitting to class or in diplomatic circles -- it's just a fun toy as of 12/14/97. (As of October 5, 1998, I ran this on a German virus hoax info site and was creatively stimulated by some very surreal sentences.) (As of April 6, 2000, this is being used much more widely, but it's still quirky.)

Web Access for All

Nice People write code so it is accessible by all browsers, even text ones like Lynx. If you want to be a Nice Person, check out Web Access For All, on Joy Ikelman's award-winning site.

Other aspects of accessibility:
Unified Web Site Accessibility Guidelines
ADA & Disability Information
Test your page with Bobby.

Be able to have your say, too.
The World Wide Web is not one-way. On the Internet, we are the media.
Publishing yourself is so easy it's -- the reason there's such a lot of stuff  out there to wade through.
Here are seven ways to "publish" on the Internet:
A beginner's guide to email, including mailing lists.
News groups
What they mean by "usenet", and how to use it.
Web pages!
Creating your own home page.
Getting onto other people's webpages.
Interactive and community sites
Finding forum sites, interactive stories, group poems, and other participations.
Chat rooms, MUD's, and other talk
It's not permanent -- but it's live. That's the trade-off.
Bulletin Boards
Yes, the very first Internet application is still around.

You get listened to.
This is trickier. But part of it, at least, I can help with.
Search engines, banners, awards, and other ways of promoting your site.
Webpage design: Getting read

Writing resources
You have an effect.
Some activist links.
Control of the Web
Use It Or Lose It
There's another aspect to control, of course -- being able to pull the plug, or keep someone else from pulling the plug. Nobody else can bring the system down on you. I sometimes doubt even Bill Gates feels he has full control of that last aspect (lately). However, the more community control and community content we have on the Internet, through non-profit community-based internet servers, community access centers, and the providers of free email, free web-pages and other free web resources, the less risk we run of a corporate dominance that could limit our present ability to use the Internet as we will. So -- use it or lose it! The most important thing to keeping the Internet free is free people using it freely. Publish or perish!
Free Internet Resources
The best guide in the world to free web pages, email, and other resources is at Max Lee's The Free Webpage Provider Review.
Peter de Silva has an evaluation of free webpage providers that covers some territory others miss.
Check Budget Web Hosts if you can afford more than the free service, but you're looking for the lowest cost.

It's a big, big Net and I've probably missed a lot on it. This is, after all, just a starting point -- it should equip you to find much more on your own. But if you find something that really tickles you, that you think I should include here, please let me know in my Resources Guestbook.

View My Guestbook     Sign My Guestbook     Welcome to a Dreambook of your own.

You can also email me, Anitra Freeman, at -- a community network account, by the way, and this page is provided by SCN.

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© February 22, 1998 by Anitra L. Freeman Last update: December 3, 2000