Internet Basics

The Web is a collection of electronic documents that are all interlinked together. These “electronic documents” are known as web pages. An example of a web page is the one you are currently looking at right now! Web pages can contain text, graphics, video, and sound. Every web page has its own unique web address, which is also known as its Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Web pages also contain hyperlinks, which allow you to go from one web page to another and from one website to another.

Clicking on hyperlinks is just one way of surfing the Web. Another useful way to get to your destination on the Web is to enter the URL of your destination website into your browser’s address box. Your browser’s address box appears on the top of your screen. All you have to do is enter the www destination of where you want to go.

Web browsers are a type of software that allow you to view and access websites and web pages. For example, did you know you are using a web browser right now. The two most popular web browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Web browsers have toolbars which allow you to go back, forward, refresh your web page, bookmark a web page, and many other buttons and options.

Search Engines

One of the best resources that are available to you on the Internet are what are known as search engines. Search engines crawl the entire Internet adding billions of web pages to their database. You might ask how search engines do this? The answer is that search engines follow all the hyperlinks on every web page and they index web page after web page.

Now, why are search engines useful to you? Since search engines index almost every website and web page that exists, their database has all this information that can be utilized by you. For example, let’s say you want to find information on nutrition, all you have to do is visit a search engine, type in the keyword “nutrition”, and within seconds you will have access to thousands of web pages about nutrition. It’s truly amazing and you have to take advantage of it!

The most popular search engines that exists today is Google. So, the first step to finding any type of information would be to visit one of these search engines such as Google. Located on the home page of these search engines is a search box where you would enter the keyword or key phrases that you are trying to find information on. Once you enter your keywords into the search box, click on “Search” and you will instantly have thousands of websites and web pages that appear in the search results.

Forums

Forums are a place where people with similar interests on a particular subject can connect with each other and share ideas, get questions and answered, and to simply discuss the particular subject of the forum. Every forum is centered on one particular topic such as dogs, or gardening, or cars, or wireless technology. Forums can be about any topic or subject. There are literally thousands of forums that exist on the Internet.

People who share a similar interest in a particular subject, post comments or share knowledge about that particular subject in the forum. All you have to do is join the forum to participate in posting comments and sharing your knowledge. To join or to participate in a forum, you must first subscribe to it. Also, since there are thousands of forums, you might need to search for the best one that interests you.

Email

Email, which is also known as electronic mail, is a very widely used application of the Internet. You can send a message to anyone, located in any part of the world. You can also attach documents, images, and other digital media to your email and also send it to someone. It’s a great form of communication!

An example of an email address is: someone@somedomain.com. The “someone” part of the email address is the username of the email address holder. The “somedomain” part of the email address is the location of the server where the email resides on. Many people can share the same domain, but the usernames will be unique.

There are three things that you need to enter to successfully send an email to a recipient. First, you have to enter the recipients email address in the “To” box. Second, you need to enter a subject of your email in the “Subject” box. Third, you need to type your message into the “Message” box. Once you have all three items of the email completed, you can click send and your email will be sent to the recipient you specified in the “To” box.

Netiquette

Netiquette, which is Internet etiquette, is socially accepted behavior on the Internet, when posting in newsgroups, and when communicating through email.

The first item worth mentioning is that when you type something in a newsgroup or email, avoid typing in all capitalized letters. TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LOOKS LIKE YOUR YELLING! Do you see what we mean?

You can add humor to your messages by using smileys, which are also known as emoticons. An example of a popular smiley is :-)

Another good tip is to keep your messages straight and to the point. Whether you are posting a comment in a newsgroup or composing a message in an email, keep your message short and to the point.

Also remember that anything your post in a newsgroup or forum is accessible to the public. So be cautious and considerate on what you post. Moreover, when posting in a newsgroup or forum, stick to the subject of the newsgroup. Don’t promote or try to advertise something completely different as it might upset some of the users of the forum who have dedicated their time to helping people get questions answered and to share ideas.