24 Apr 2017

Learning About The Internet

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Everyone must be a beginner at something sometime in his or her life. And at some point all of us were new to the internet. Even the most arrogant webmaster who can create sites with his eyes closed was once struggling with the concepts of the vast network that now connects most of the planet.

Generally people want to look like they know what they are talking about. Sometimes the hardest thing in the entire world is to admit you know nothing or very little about a subject. Yet, when you are a beginner at something, that’s what you have to do. You must admit to yourself that you are a beginner and you must understand that there is something you can learn about the subject.


My advice is to just jump in and start learning all you can learn. How you learn depends upon your own preference and style. Remember that you can combine learning styles as desired or needed to suit your taste.

High School or college courses – Some people learn best in a scholastic atmosphere. Personally, school drives me up the wall, but others thrive on a campus with lecture halls, teachers, home room, and hall monitors. If this describes how you best like to learn, then by all means go for it. If you are pressed for time, remember there are night and weekend classes available at most educational facilities. Not much money? Try community colleges – they are inexpensive and often have excellent computer curricula.

Informational Web Sites – This site has a large amount of information designed to help people learn about the internet. There are many other such sites and some of them are quite useful. In fact, I learned much of what we know from reading articles and working tutorials on many sites.

Trade Courses – trade schools offer courses which can be very helpful. These differ from college in that they short (a day to a week), they are usually inexpensive (a few hundred to a few thousand per class), and they are of limited focus and duration. Courses are great for focused, specific knowledge, or for earning a certification. Sometimes you can even get your employer to pick up the tab.

Books – Don’t forget books. Your local library or bookstore is one of your best friends. It never ceases to amaze me to watch people spend small fortunes on books, courses, tapes, and classes when a book checked our from their tax-supported library would serve their purposes just fine. Think about it: how many times will you read that book on Microsoft Excel?

On The Job Training – This is one of the best ways to learn. If you want to be a webmaster, then pick up a book, learn the basics, and find a client who will pay you a few hundred bucks to create a web site. If you want to become a computer specialist, go get a job as a computer operator.

Some Information Sources

There are many other ways to learn a subject, but what about when you want to just find out information?

Search engines and directories – These are some of your best friends. Learn how to use them to find what you want.

Ezines – Subscribe to a few ezines on subjects that you enjoy. I recommend that you get a free mail.com email address for each ezine. Forward the mail to your primary email account. Any spam that sent by the ezine will go to the free email account. YOu will also find out which ezines are selling or giving away your email address.

Newsgroups and message boards – These can be excellent sources of information, especially if you need to ask questions. Just be aware that you should never spam the boards and you should expect an occasional idiot to flame you for whatever reasons suits their fancy. Ignore the flames and don’t feed the trolls.

What do you need to learn about?

Tools – Learn about your tools. Start by learning about your browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL, Opera, Google Chrome, or whatever). Follow this with your email system, then your FTP client, newsgroup reader, and whatever else you use.

Follow that with the tools which help you do what you want to do. Interested in graphics? Learn about Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and so on. Want to be a webmaster? Find out about web tools such as Dreamweaver and InDesign.

Next, learn more about how it all works. Internet tips and secrets is a great place to start, and there are dozens more web sites which can help. If you are interested in graphics, then learn all about graphics – how they are stored, created, displayed and optimized. Become an expert on graphics. Want to be a webmaster? Learn WordPress, PHP, and whatever else you need to know for that career.

Start cheap

There is no need to spend a lot of money when you begin. You need a computer and a connection to the internet, of course. Beyond that, a free web host will work fine while you are learning how to create a web site. There are demonstration copies available (30 to 90 day try outs) for just about everything; take advantage of those before you choose which tools you want.

Stay Ethical

Follow the golden rules:

  • don’t violate copyrights
  • don’t steal software
  • don’t flame

Remember, what goes around comes around. If you tend to treat others as you would like to be treated, then you will generally get treated that way in return.

The Bottom Line

If you are new to the internet, then don’t be afraid to admit it. You will find many people willing and able to help. We’ve all been new at one time or another, and we’ve all needed an occasional bit of help. Just keep learning, continue communication and start creating.

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