Stop thinking about luring in Google. Consider the standards of another site, one that focuses on finding great content. How would your site stack up to their guidelines?
What is findingDulcinea‘s site selection process?
We evaluate Web sites on many criteria including credibility, usability, and design.
Credibility is a fundamental criterion of any site we recommend. When considering a source, we review who has prepared the content, what the site’s editorial policy is, when the page was last updated, and whether undisclosed biases or conflicts of interest may exist.
Usability is assessed by asking ourselves the following questions: Does the site communicate its purposes quickly and concisely? Is the site’s navigation conducive to finding information and returning to where you came from? Does obstructive advertising hinder navigation, or does the site make it difficult to differentiate between content and advertising? If a site has a wealth of information but it is difficult to find, the information may be less valuable to our readers.
Design We always note whether or not a site’s design and layout, particularly the presence of advertising, will distract our users from the editorial content, and more importantly, whether or not ads are labeled as such. Some otherwise useful sites unfortunately are rife with advertising or distracting design elements, and when this is the case, we want you to know about it.
Other important factors:
Cost: We don’t shy away from recommending outstanding subscription-based sites, but we do evaluate the pros and cons of such sites by signing up for them ourselves. More often than not, we find comparable sites in many categories that do not charge a fee for use.
via FAQ / findingDulcinea.
A list of podcasting links I started collecting last year. Posting them today, just out of the blue. I thought I would get into podcasting (and I may yet) but I don’t seem to be heading that way right now.
I dreamed I had really long hair. I stood in front of a full mirror and later a store window and I could see my hair behind me. My hair was so long I could see the ends of my hair, behind my back, nearly touching the floor/ sidewalk. I’m sure I had the dream because my hair had gotten long the last couple of months and I was liking it. Then I had a hair cut and too much was taken off. It’s half that length now. No doubt it was on my mind, even when I was sleeping.
Have you written about a character with long hair, male or female? How would the hair become part of the story? Very long hair could not be ignored in daily activities, it would be in the way, it would need to be moved, coped with in so many ways we would usually not consider. Write about a character with extremely long hair, a Rapunzel, in real life. Write about this person doing ordinary things like catching the bus, eating out at a restaurant, making dinner.
Long Hair FAQ from the LiveJournal community for Long Hair.
The Long Hair Community
Long Hair Loom
Picons are an old idea that can be new again. A picon is a personal icon. Much like the favicon created for a site or blog, the picon is for yourself. Another chance to use the popular self branding plan. Have you already got a picon which you use to represent yourself, an avatar? If so, just shrink it down to be icon sized.
From a FAQ about picons – They’re small, constrained images used to represent users and domains on the net, organized into databases so that the appropriate image for a given e-mail address can be found. Besides users and domains, there are picons databases for Usenet newsgroups and weather forecasts. The picons are in either monochrome XBM format or color XPM and GIF formats. Picons in all formats are constrained to be 48 by 48 pixels in size.
Steve Kinzler has the Picon FAQ which is linked above and a Picons archive on his site. The FAQ was last updated in 2005. Seems we could be bringing picons back into fashion. Picon yourself today!
Something else to do when you finish reading a book, Altered Pages. Look for more about altered art and making collages. I think it’s something fun you can do with a book too old or tattered to be accepted at the second hand bookstore. Or you could just recycle them with the other paper, that just never seems right to me. A book should have a burial at sea or under a rosebush, something with a little more respect than being turned into a pile of mush for recycling.
Altered Book FAQ.
The Altered Book Group on Yahoo gives a definition of what an altered book is: An altered book is an existing book that has been changed or altered…. “glued, painted, collaged, rubber stamped, cut, torn, or added to. It is an expression of one’s self, a piece of art, an experiment or a conversation piece.”
Seagulls will come inland when there is a storm coming. As we live near a bay and another small body of water on the other side of us we tend to hear the seagulls before and after storms. Even though they are not so well thought of and have become a nuisance in places where food is served outside, I still like seagulls.
When I hear the seagulls in the morning as I am waking up, especially on weekends, I think they have a lonely echoing cry. If I wrote a story about the day after the end of civilization I’m sure there would be seagulls crying as I opened my eyes from the disaster the day before. What sound effects would be in your day after story? Take some time to think about it, as if you were writing the scene for a book you have already written and are just adding the polishing touches to now.
Wikipedia: Gull – Information about seagulls and a link to seagull sounds at the bottom of the page.
Flickr: Seagulls – Active group for posting photos of seagulls.
Try this: Consider your website (or your computer if you don’t have a site) and put together a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page all about your site. Don’t forget a guide to how to use the site as well as the purpose for it being there. Study a few other FAQs to get ideas.
This is what I wrote as the new writing exercise for HerCorner. What do you think? Could you write a FAQ for your website? You should be able to. In theory at least, your site should have a theme, one main idea or purpose, right? So, it seems reasonable to expect a FAQ could be forthcoming.
Anyway, I like the idea. So tonight I am putting my fingers where my mouth is and I am creating a FAQ of my own for HerCorner. I might even do one for my personal site. But, I freely admit my personal site is not a great example of sticking with one idea.
So, getting down to the FAQ of it. What do you need to include in a FAQ? Likely you’ve read a few or skimmed them as I tend to do. Which is a good point, actually. Your FAQ should be skimmable when you get it into HTML. Do you know how to set up targets? Targets are those clickable points in the middle of a page. You can read a table of contents and find a clickable link to that exact section of the large body of content. If I sound like I’m gabbling send me an email and I will hunt out a link to demonstrate this target idea for you. Most FAQ’s will use this, if you check for examples on your own.
Now, the meat of the matter. What does a FAQ need to include? I think the first thing is a statement of purpose. Someone reading this sentence (or short paragraph) should be able to understand what your site is about. But, this is a time to keep it simple. Just the basics. If it appeals to them they can dig into your FAQ for the details and specifics.
Next, explain the parts. Think basic and plan out what you really need people to know. Put it all into logical order, sort of a learn as you go thing. Read it back, try to think like someone who doesn’t already know the answers. Did you miss anything?
Do your best, ask for feedback at the end and don’t try to be some computer melded brain. It’s almost certain you will leave something out that someone else will pick up on later. You are not the world’s most perfect writer, you’re just someone trying to be creative and share their FAQ with the world.
Now go get FAQ’ed!