title:Your Affiliate Web Site Is Built ? Now What? author:Vickie J. Scanlon source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_1004.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

When I first got my web site built, I thought I finally I had a presence on-line. Wrong! I soon found out that I needed someone to host my site,…

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title:You Should Look Up Your Google Page Rank! author:Max Ledbetter source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_1510.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

Here are a few spots that show you your Google PageRank for free. I tested my site http://www.thefishfinder.com/members/saltwater/ledbetter/, which summarizes past field research among the Pacific salmon purse seiners, who,…

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title:You Lost Your Data… Don’t Panic! author:Emanuele Allenti source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_508.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

Inability to access your data stored on the data storage device could be caused by many reasons, from those that are easy to fix to those which are completely impossible…

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title:You Don’t Have To Be Rich To Be A PC Gamer author:Nathan Holsing source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_1277.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

There is a common misconception that you have to take out a second mortgage on your house if you want to get a computer that will run all of the…

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title:Yes, You Can Use Hyphens in Your Domain Name: It Makes Them Easy to Read author:Syd Johnson source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_627.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

Most of the desirable one-word, two-word, and three-word dot com domains are taken. However, if add plurals and hyphenated terms, there is still some gold left in the domain name…

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title:XHTML – Kicking And Screaming Into The Future author:Eric Lester source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_1868.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

XHTML, the standard, was first released back in 2000. Roughly five years later we begin to see major websites revised to use this standard. Even the favorite whipping boy of…

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title:XemanteX – Dictionary, Semantics, Language Help In A Web Document By Double Clicking author:Prasad Kopanati source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_190.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

How many times did you visit a dictionary website to get meanings for words that you did not understand when reading a web page or document? How did you feel…

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title:XCACLS, SUNINACL, And Other Permissions Security Recovery Tools author:Darren Miller source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_2598.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:09 category:computers_and_internet article:

You Have 50GB Of Data To Move Along With Permissions Security —————————- This article is about several tools that can save a Windows administrators you know what in the event…

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title:Writing Tips for Your Website author:Jennifer Ryan source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_1175.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article:

Now that your website is up and running, it’s time to add content. Fresh content will make your site interesting and keep people (and search engine crawlers) coming back. In…

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title:Writing Helpful Help ? A Minimalism Checklist author:Glenn Murray source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/computers_and_internet/article_254.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:computers_and_internet article: User documentation is all too often written by programmers for programmers. It tends to focus on the product?s features, rather than the user?s tasks. Generally, programmers aren?t in the ideal position to be writing user documentation. They?re too close to the bits and bytes, and they?re too far from the user. To them, what the product can do tends to be far more important than what the user can do with the product. It?s a subtle ? but vital ? distinction. Research shows that the key to effective user documentation is writing task oriented help. Even better, write your help according to the minimalist theory. In the documentation world, ?minimalism? is a fancy word for a commonsense practice. In basic terms, it means write to your reader and keep it simple. The theory itself has a lot of twists and turns. If you want to read a great ? but slightly wordy ? book on the subject, check out the book ?Minimalism Beyond the Nurnberg Funnel?, 1998, edited by John Carroll. In the meantime, if you can tick every item in the following checklist, you?ll be well on your way to usable online help that both your readers and your managers will thank you for. Helpful Help Checklist 1. Base the help on real tasks (or realistic examples) 2. Structure the help based on task sequence ? Chapter headings should be goals and topics should be tasks 3. Respect the reader’s activity ? this is generally more about what you don?t do than what you do. Don?t waste the reader?s time by diving off into tangents 4. Exploit prior knowledge and experience ? Draw the reader?s attention to previous tasks, experiences, successes, and failures 5. Prevent mistakes – “Ensure you do x before doing y” 6. Detect and identify mistakes – “If this fails, you may have entered the path incorrectly” 7. Fix mistakes – “Re-enter the path” 8. Provide error info at end of tasks where necessary (rule of thumb, one error info note per three tasks is a good average) 9. Don’t break up instructions with notes, cautions, warnings, and exceptional cases – Put these things at the end of the instruction, wherever possible 10. Be brief, don’t spell everything out, especially things that can be taken for granted 11. Omit conceptual and note information where possible, or link to it. Perhaps provide expansion information at the end of the topic, plus maybe a note that there are other ways to perform the task/goal, but this is the easiest 12. Sections should look short and read short 13. Provide closure for sections (e.g., back to original screen/goal) 14. Provide an immediate opportunity to act and encourage exploration and innovation (use active invitations to act, such as, “See for yourself…” or “Try this…” rather than passive invitations such as, “You can…”) 15. Get users started quickly 16. Allow for reading in any order – make each section modular, especially goals, but perhaps tasks (definitely if they can be performed in different order) 17. Highlight things that are not typical 18. Use active voice rather than passive voice 19. Try to account for the user’s environment in your writing 20. Before writing anything, ask yourself ?Will this help my reader?? By building these practices into your documentation process, you?ll find that your online help becomes easier to write, shorter, and far more usable for your reader. What?s more, your boss will love you! ZZZZZZ

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