Browse, Click, Connect, Repeat

Greetings, traveler

1996 Internet Starter Kit - Stan Lepard

I'll get to the chase... social media has gotten stale. If you want to get out of the social media walls then this is the guide for you.

Surf The Web outside of the "social media walls"

Outside of social media, there's more freedom, more intresting projects, better information, and simply more fun.

The outskirts of the web are hard to find... until you know your sites, then it's incredibally easy.

Webring, Directory, Generator, and Search

Listed above are the four main ways to surf the web.

First: is the webring.

A webring is a network of websites that forms a ring.

A webring normally consists of personal websites and fansites since they're managed by other netizens.

When a website is in a ring, they'll usually have an embed on the homepage.

You're supposed to jump through each website using the navigation embed.

Most of them aren't as complex as the one shown here but they all serve the same function

Webrings are connected to a website of course.

Here you can quickly find the members of the ring, and join it if you want to.

Some rings have a theme. Some are about Nintendo games, some are about cooking, some are about education.

Most rings have around 10-30 websites. So just enough to keep you busy

Here are some examples of webrings: Yesterwebring, Hotline Webring, Niwa Network, Ringsurf.

Next is the link directory. It's self explanatory. But I'm gonna explain it.

Link Directories are websites that curate website URLs and organize them into different categories based off of their respective themes.

To surf them, all you really need to do is click on a category and a list will come up. Some directs have subcategories, it usually depends on the size.

Some directories, however, are not websites but instead simple link pages on someone's website

On most of these pages, the webmaster uses buttons like this to represent each website.

This is basically the website's profile picture, and the page itself is like a follow list. They aren't organized as much, it's simply a page for sites that the master likes.

Also, some of these link directories have programs allowing you to submit websites to them. So keep that in mind if you want to support them.

Examples of link directories include: Most pages on personal sites that are labeled "Links" on the navbar, Curlie, Neo-Neighborhoods, PeeloPaalu, Marijn's Linkroll, Gossips's Web, Neocities' website directory, and Gigablast

Link Generators are the best way to look for a surprise. But use them at your own risk, some gens may have some bad sites on them, just think of that page in "Duke Does the Internet".

This is more straightforward.

Link generators, like Stumbleupon, bring up a random website with a click of a button.

Sadly, Stumbleupon is dead. So, go for the independent site generators.

Some have a theme, The Useless Web, for example, is for those strange website your friend sends you out of nowhere, and StumbleUponAwesome is tech sites. But most are for random sites off the web

Just heed my warning, don't go on any that looks shady from the get-go .

Some examples include: The sites listed above, Bored Button, and Viralwalk.

Before you ask, no, I'm not talking about sites like google.

Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, etc. are terrible search engines for discovery. Because of their strict SEO rules and algorithm prioritizing the most popular, it's better to use independent search engines.

They work the same as the bigger ones just more leaniant. Also, like link directories, some allow you to submit your's and other sites onto the database.

Contribution helps all of these websites grow and mature.

This is still the more inefficient way unless you're looking for something specific. Some examples include: Wilby, SearchMySite, BoardReader, and Gigablast.

Supporting these sites

Ads suck

Unless they're non-intrusive, people are going to try to block it.

With stuff like the Adpocalypse, adblockers growing more sophisticated to block increasingly intrusive ads, paywalls, and people just not clicking on them anymore, people are now turning to other ways to make money.

Reason why creators nowadays rely on patreon/donations and sponsors for revinue nowadays. Webmasters need to eat as well.

So, if you want to support you're favorite sites then send them a donation if you're able to.

And if you want to keep up to date with them, then read below.

Some websites provide a feed known as an "RSS feed"

This icon is used to mark a feed. It's basically a follow button for a website.


Think social media feeds, but more open web friendly.

If you want to follow a feed then you'll need an RSS reader. Copy the RSS link and put it into the field where it allows you to add a feed.

There's a lot of readers out there but the two I reccommend for offline viewing are Feed Demon for Windows and Flym for Android. If you want to automatically sync online, use NewsBlur.

Well, now that you know. Go crazy. The internet awaits.

Also, don't forget to share these sites with your friends and family.

Have fun outside of social media

Time, Mr Freeman? Is it really that time to save your article? August 10, 2021 4:01 PM