10 Ways To Make The Internet A Better Place

99% of the stuff on the Internet is trash. Don't help make it 100%. Here's some good ways to make the web a better place for all of us.


Remember that the Internet is permanent. When your motivation goes away or you've changed your mind, that piece you wrote will remain.

Contribute:
The best part of the internet is how it enables collaboration on a scale not known before. You can help by working with many of the collaborative web sites and open source projects.

Maintain:
Patch that computer! Make sure all the computers you control are secure, and make sure you help other people stay updated.

Promote Web Standards:
Using standards helps make your site easy to use and accessible to the largest number of users. It also saves you bandwidth.

Mentor:
Think you know it all? Prove it! Share your knowledge with others.

Support:
It takes time and money to make a quality web site. Don't be afraid to provide some financial support to your favorite sites.

Promote Civility:
There's nothing wrong with being nice. Spend some time focusing on the good.

Be a good neighbor:
There are some basic rules that keep the internet running more efficiently.

Write Right:
Give some thought to what you write.

Add to this list:
We missed something, what is it?

Unplug!
We can all use some time off, the Internet will continue to exist without you for a day. Go outside and play!

Details and ideas below...

Contribute
Don't reinvent the wheel: Thinking of starting your own blog, wiki, or list? Perhaps there's someone you can work with already.
Collaborate: pgdp.net, LISWiki and many other worthy projects need volunteers.
Open Source:If you use any type of Open Source Software, there's a million ways to pay the team back for their hard work.

Send in diff patches
Donate Money
Donate time
Report bugs

Write: Many good sites are starved for good content. Become part of a team, rather than trying to make it on your own.
Comment: Many sites allow feedback. Drop them a line, leave a comment, and communicate.
Lists: Share a good idea with your colleagues via an email List.
Give something to the public domain: Whether it's a song, drawing, a photo, or an essay, open up and let it go.
Free The Mouse:Explicitly mark content on your site as Creative Commons, or at least provide licensing information.
Promote: Provide links to your local public library system and statewide ref cooperative if you have them.
Link:Use your library web site to help point out the quality web sites available, and suggest one to the LII.

Maintain
Clean your house:

Keep your computers safe; make sure everything is the latest stable version
Keep your site update regularly, and inform people when it's been last updated.
Help clean someone else's house:
Report a broken link or bug in a web site you use.
Help stop SPAM There are things you can do to help stop SPAM. Never reply to SPAM.

Promote Web Standards
Good clean, valid, HTML & CSS help make your pages accessible to others who may be using non-standard browsers.
Web Standards help the greatest number of web users and increase long-term viability of your work.

Mentor
Teach: Find someone to teach about the good things on the interweb. Show them how to search, design and blog.
Stop The Madness: Tell everyone you know to never respond to spam
Think:Teach others to think critically about what they're seeing. Promote Information Literacy

Support
Donate: Many of your favorite sites might need some help paying the bills. Drop a buck or two in the "donate" link.
Click: Many of your favorite sites might need some help paying the bills. Find a good ad or two and give them a click.

Promote Civility
Don't feed the trolls.
Don't be a troll.
Hesitate.
Keep your voice down.
Send someone a compliment.

Be a good neighbor
Hotlinking: Don't steal bandwidth.
The Dirt Stops Here: Don't forward urban legends, chain letters, hoaxes, cat pictures , etc…
Say Less: Communicate on the internet effectively (HTML email, trim posts, top posting, etc...).
Can Spam: Never respond in any way to spam.
Think: Learn to think critically about what you're seeing.

Be a gooder writer
Spell correctly.
Be careful when you write casually. Remember that the Internet is permanent.
Write as though you were being graded on your work.
Do some research.
If you think you aren't prepared to deal with a subject, you are probably right.
If you think you are ready to deal with a particular subject, you may be wrong.
This is obviously a "do as I say, not as I do" idea.
Add to this list
This list was a collaborative effort. Michael Stephens, Karl Siewert, Emma Jane, Bill Drew, Michael McGrorty, Joe Frazee, Karen Schnieder, Rochelle Hartman and others helped. (Please let me know if I forgot your name here)
But we don't have all the answers, let us know what we missed.


And finally...


Unplug!
We can all use some time off, the Internet will continue to exsist without you for a day. Go outside and play!

Comments

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Cat pictures - I love them!

I have to say I endorse most of what you say in your article - but please don't deprive me of cat pictures! They cheer me up enormously when people send them to me; indeed I feel I couldn't live without them. (As I own (?!) four felines of my own, I suppose I'm biased, though.)

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