Archive

Archive for January, 2010

Does the Internet influence thinking?

January 27th, 2010

This is one of those questions that interests me, especially as a Christian web master. What influence does the Internet have? I read somewhere that what we read has a great influence on the way we think. This was put down to spending more time thinking about something when we read it that we would spend if we saw it on T.V. for instance.

The Obama political campaign to get elected used the Internet extensively and many credit this use with his election.

In fact it is hard to find any research that would refute the Influence of the Internet to change the way people think.

Given this simple fact I think we then have to ask: who is providing the material for the Internet?

In general such people are technically savvy and keen to try new things. They tend to be the people who want to spend nearly all of their time in front of a computer. I guess if we are using generalisations then we might say they were Geeks.

From what I understand there is a slightly higher level of liberal beliefs and atheism within this group of people. Don’t misunderstand anything I’m saying as being political here.

But Christians should take note that the people who contribute most to the Internet (and therefore are able to have a greater influence through it) are not going to be promoting (in general) things that are positive about Christian beliefs and values.

Where does that leave us? Well, I think it must be a challenge to Christians. We must not set ourselves up with our only little online spaces and never venture outside them. It is very important that Christians engage with others online and in the kind of places that people more generally congregate.

Thoughts

The ludicrous case of the lost links

January 21st, 2010

Do you ever visit web sites only to find that the page you wanted is missing? It happens when web masters (web slaves – or whatever you want to call them) either move a page so the site is less cluttered or because a page is now so out of date that a new one is required. If you change from a static site to a dynamic site (html to php or something) then you will inevitably mess up every link that existed prior to the change. Sometimes, of course, the link was never right in the first place.

So there are a couple of things it is wise to do to avoid such problems:

1) Be careful with your links and do your best to make sure they work – perhaps have a rolling program of checking your links (there is software that will do this and if you sign up for Google webmaster tools you get a report on duff links but my experience is that they are never perfect).

2) Set up a special 404 page. You can see the one I have made for this web site here (opens in new window). It is just a very simple page and you could put in a lot more detail (make sure you use absolute URLs though – e.g. full web address to any images etc. There are various ways of setting your site to use these pages and most good hosting companies will have a way to enable this to happen. Here is a way to do it if you are looking for the technical stuff (opens in new window).

So, there are ways around the problem and it pays to put in that little bit of extra effort to help your visitors.

Thoughts , , , , ,

Web site resolutions

January 14th, 2010

What are your plans for your web site over the coming year?

This is a very important question to ask and you should think carefully about your answers. It is the nature of the Internet that things change quickly and often, however the basics of what makes a good web site remain the same: good content, clean design, easy navigation.

Why not take some time to think about what you intend to do with your site and make a plan for doing it. If nothing else I would recommend committing yourself to doing some work on your content.

Thoughts