The World Wide Web is about people-it is not about computers!

Part 3 Headlines in the  News
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Part 3 Headlines in the News....

Fresh news on the Internet is hard to find. You must know where and how to
put your ear to the ground. A good web page is essential- Where will your corner
be and what will people find there. How can you keep up with search engines?
Headlines in the Usenet News Hot Headlines on the Engines Managing Threads
Your Own Corner- Your Page Assignments Processing the news
Once you have completed this section go on to Lesson 4

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Click here for communication tools.
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Headlines in the Usenet News

The Usenet news is an important dimension of the Internet. This dimension exists on special  computers known as news servers. They all have addresses. To make sense of the information they send you you must utilize a news reader program.  This program is generally packaged with your browser however, stand alone programs are available.

Information in the Usenet news dimension takes the form of e.mail letters grouped into topical categories. There are at least 55,000 categories with that number growing daily. Access  to the  topical categories called newsgroups  is via the news  server.  Ability to access a news group server   generally comes with the better e.mail accounts.  If it does not  you can locate and  use a  public access  newsgroup  server.  Not  all  servers  carry all  of  the  news groups. Some  are  also faster  than others.  If the  server that came with your  account does  not carry  enough  groups  or  if  your  group  is  not available it is worth checking  into public  access  servers.

You can find a  public access  server  by going to the following  web pages. It is  best  to    select the server  with  the largest number of groups.


Click on the address and netscape should open the news server. You can also enter the address in the  netscape preferences. Note that open news servers do not always last - sometimes they are closed.  If this happens return to the web source and select another. You can do this in the library.

In order to read or subscribe  to a news group you must  tell your  news reader program  to subscribe to it. Check the pull down menus for the right area to insert the name of the newsgroup.  Once you are subscribed to a news group you may request your server to open up that
news group and list all of the articles posted there.

The list of articles will  will have the date and time of posting, the author's name and the title of the article. Generally your news reader will let you view the list in different formats. I like ordering the posts by date. That way all of the new letters are at the bottom of the list.

Articles with the same title are said to belong to the same "thread".
The news program will group the articles by thread, author, or date. .

When you read a message you can either respond directly to the author via e.mail, respond to
the author and to the list or just to the list. You may also post an original topic or your own message.  You may also post to other news groups while reading in one group  Simply add in the
group name in the appropriate slot in the mail header or place the name of the group
one after another with a comma in-between each address.

Most news programs will search all of the messages in a group for a word

In order to find out what news groups cover an area of interest to you go to
http://www.dejanews.com and search under that topic and note the groups
in which posters posted on the topic. Write those down then go to your news
program and subscribe to the group.

The newsgroups are important as they focus the people interested in a topic on line
in one place. You can ask a question there knowing that many people will read it
all over the world all knowing something about or being interested in the topic.
You will also find that new web pages and web activities such as listserves are
advertised in the newsgroups before you find them listed on the search engines.
Remember however....anything you write to a news group stays around for a long
time and can be looked up by anyone wishing to search!

There are two good places where you can search the newsgroups for topics and sometimes even post without having to use a news reader program.

The news groups are valuable communities of people interested in the same subject.
It is important to stop by and visit them often. Stop in even if you have nothing to post.
Perhaps you will be able to help someone else! The more you provide assistance the
more you will find that people will help you.  Be careful! be on your best behavior!

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Hot Headlines on the Engines

As I mentioned earlier you can search the Usenet news using-

As well as a few other search engines. It is important that you keep in touch and search the newsgroups for your key words and topics regularly. From time to time it is helpful to check
dejanews to see where people interested in your topic are posting. Write down the name of the newsgroup and subscribe to it using your news reader. When you search the newsgroup postings you will also run into new topics and whole new communities of posters. Check especially those messages which offer the address of a new web page on the topic.Often the first mention of a new web page is in the newsgroup postings months before it is listed by any search engine.

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Managing Threads
When you post a message to a newsgroup it is important to return to check to see if anyone
has responded.
If someone has responded to your post keep the discussion (thread) going by sending in a response. Be creative- try to spark interest. Always try to re-state the critical information.
If the discussion is about your new web page for example, you should put its address in your
post so it is not lost. Take the time to keep your threads going. From time to time it is  wise
to return to the news group when the discussion has died down  to start it again. Use a different title designed to bring in  new participants.  Keep the ball rolling and keep folks talking  about your  site or your  topic. Help people with  their  questions.

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Your Own Corner- Your Page

Your web page is going to be your storefront on the internet. It will be your home.
You can store information and communicate with it. You can sell things and make money.
The most important thing you will do is to be come part of the web community. Where will you move in? Free servers work well these days and are very reliable. More important than the server is the topic you select to provide information on. You should find uncharted ground and start there. Search the internet search engines for your topic. If you find too many pages select another - perhaps a more specialized sub topic. You want to chart new ground and be the primary source. Don't worry if it looks like a lot of work- just as with a house it will take a while before you make it a home.  Let people know that you are not finished and always indicate the date when last updated. Keep it current! Nothing worse than a page which was last updated in the dim past. You should always provide a fair quantity of information- a service- for free. If you are the only source they will come! As soon as you have an address ask search engines to list your page.
This takes a while so begin to list your address immediately. Once your page is up announce it in person to your listserve, e.mail and usenet news group friends. Remember to provide services first and business second. Your primary page should all load on the first screen without having the reader have to scroll down. Once you have the free information it is easy to place a link to the business end of your pages along with it. Every time you add new information broadcast the address again and again to the related internet communities. Put a counter on your pages and measure the effect of your efforts. Always include an e.mail link and wherever possible a guestbook. Always respond kindly and promptly to any inquiry. Check your guestbook and respond to the poster promptly.

What is a Web Page?
A web page frame for elements of code which give instructions to a web browser for
the management of files which make up the page. These elements are for example
links, images and text.

The web page tells the computer what to do. For an image what computer to go to
find the image file, how big the image should be, what kind and where it goes on the
page. Files organized by the page can be any where on any computer in the world.

Files can not be just any where on the server computer which holds them. They must
be in a special directory (think of it as a file drawer with a glass wall which can be
viewed from outside) Your provider will tell you the name of that directory and will
help you to use an FTP program to send the file to the computer. A good FTP program is: WS-FTP
-it is available here for free trial http://www.ipswitch.com/

When we use geocities we do not need fancy programs.(go to http://www.goecities.com to become a member)
We simply go to:
and select the file manger. You will need your password and login.

You can also install web pages on your freenet account. Log on to your account and go to the main menu then
to the communications center and follow instructions. You can upload all files required directly via the telnet

To learn how to write the basic code for a basic web page click here.
For help with images click here
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Basic Code

Remember when you write the web page code you should set your word processor to .txt format or use a text editor (such as notepad which comes with windows) You will need to save the page as (pagename).html   no ((s.
All web pages have to have a header and a footer they look like this:
(this is the header and footer from this page)

   <META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
   <META NAME="Author" CONTENT="your name here">
   <META NAME="GENERATOR" CONTENT="Mozilla/4.04 [en] (Win95; I) [Netscape]">

<BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" text="#000000" link="#0000FF" alink="#FF0000"^M

<html>this tells the computer it is a web page 
<head> says that the hed section has started 
the <meta> section can convey 
other information including the 
author's name. 
<title> is the title you assign 
</head>  says that you are at the end of the head section 

The Body Section
In the body section you place page information such as color codes
(the "#FFFFFFF) Click here for color codes. After you select color codes you can write the texty of your page beneath them. 

These simply 
say that the body is ended and the 
page is ended 
the    /    always means that  the page is ended

In between the two essential elements of the header and footer you put the content of your page.

For our general purposes I will show you how to put the major elements of a page together.
There are many more things you can do but this will serve as an orientation.

<IMG SRC="http://www.bcpl.lib.md.us/~cbladey/me.gif"> Image- each image must have an 
address. It is like a web page address
http://(server name)(directory name)
(file name or name of image)(type of image)
here http://www.bcpl.lib.md.us/~cbladey/me.gif 
is the address of the image
This is  a web page! This is the way ordinary text is written.
you can put tags in if you wish 
to make it smaller or make it a different color
<A HREF="http://www.toad.net/~sticker/sticker.html">To Sticker</A> All people see is the link name To Sticker 
which when clicked takes them to the address indicated.
<A HREF="mailto:cbladey@mail.bcpl.lib.md.us">Send email</A> This link opens a mail form when clicked. 
the only text is Send e. mail it will address the mail to the address provided.

You will discover many many Hyper Text Mark Up Language tags to use in your web
page design. Just remember that usually a feature must first be turned on and then
turned off when you want the effect to stop.

For example to center an image you would use the <CENTER> tag to start centering
and </CENTER> to stop centering.
A centered image would look like:

<CENTER><IMG SRC="http://www.bcpl.lib.md.us/~cbladey/guy/me.gif"></CENTER>

The basic principal of web page construction is to have a mirror image left to right and top to bottom where tags are concered . Remember to begin and end.

To look to see how effects are done go to the view menu of your browser window and select
view source. The source code of the page will then appear. You can select by clicking and dragging
with the left mouse button and then use control key and c to copy. Open up a word processor page
and you can paste that code effect in and save it for later use.
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Color Codes

One word color codes to use instead of the numbers they still need "s
steelblue mediumaquamarine 

Here is a great color code chart- http://cavalcade-whimsey.com/html/rgb.html
While using composer (in netscape communicator) you change colors by going to format on the tool bar.)
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Working with Images
All images are by their very nature large files. And since web server space is finite, generally
we want to limit the size of images as much as possible. Additionally the larger the image the
longer it takes to download for the viewer. Size is important but with reduction in size can come
a reduction in quality.

To determine the size of your image and its variety you should first determine your purpose.
There should be a purpose for each image. If you are creating an artwork then a larger file
may be unavoidable.

There are two basic varieties of image- JPEG and Gif

The JPEG for our general purposes should be though of as being for clarity and color.
The Gif is good for special effects and is smaller.

The first thing you do with an image is open it in your graphics program.
Then you will want to consider size, and color depth.
Make the image appear as small as it can on screen. Your graphics program will have tools
to make the image larger and smaller. While you are at it work with contrast and sharpening
to make the image as clear as possible. You can use other tools as you wish.

Once you are happy with the way an image looks you are ready to reduce color depth.
Generally the number of colors in an image can be reduced from millions to 256 or even
as far as 80 without loosing quality.  Experiment making sure you save a copy of your
original image under a different file name and hit the undo button as you change your image
to take it back to  the prior step. You should save the image with the smallest number of colors.

With .gif images you can work with some graphics programs to  remove one color and
make all areas with that color transparent.
(a good program for this is L-view click here http://lview2.com to download)
Remember however that your background color will show through- but the effect
results in the image appearing to float in the air.

Gif images can also be made to load in two ways. The best way to have a gif image
load is in interlaced mode. In this mode the image loads overall rather than from the
top down.

Once you get your images reduced then up on the server you will need to have your
web page determine the size of the image. Image size parameters should always be
included so that the image loads a bit faster.
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All a web page is, is a page written in a text format   .txt  given the extension or saved as
You can compose web pages in  almost any word processor. Set up a page in the format .txt
(an easy way to do this is to use a program called Notepad available in windows as an accessory)
When you are done save it as    filename.html  (you select anything for "filename")

Put a link to an image located on your hard drive on your page.
Make a hyper link to another web page.
Make a mail to form using your e.mail address.

If you get a geocities account (http://www.geocities.com)you can use their web page editor.
Even though there are now on screen web page editors you knowledge of
what is happening in the background is essential for creativity as well as for problem solving.
In netscape the web page editor is called: composer. It is a part of netscape gold and communicator.
With these programs you simply compose a web page as you would compose a letter on a word processor.
Remember that you must upload images and all of the parts of a page to the server before things will work.

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Processing the news
As  you  become involved with posting to the usenet news groups you will make  friends  and
soon discover the membership of  your  usenet news community.   This process  is accelerated  if you take notes  on posts  and  process   the information  accordingly. Click Here to go to the top of this page.


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