Read the whole page before reviewing links
How to Surf A Site without Making Mush of Your Mind
Summary: Read a whole page before reading any linked pages. Open links
in separate, daughter pages rather than overwrite the source page.
Web surfers fall into two categories, quick learners and confused learners.
A discernible trait is their internet surfing technique: Single or multiple
windows. One can tell the level of computer literacy by the number of windows
that a person manages on a computer. It is like the difference between the
single-syllable chatter of a child and the multi-syllabic exchange with an
educated person. Or, as Friedrich Nietzsche said, the music of a three versus
a six string instrument.
Quick learners know how to surf a website. Web surfers are like the two types
10-finger typists who lock and load the keyboard, or,
double-digit chicken typists who peek and peck.
A simple look at the computer screen can tell whether the web surfer hangs
ten or double dips. It will tell whether you build your knowledge like a
truck leaking a line of sand or a front-loader building a mountain of knowledge.
How many windows do you have open?
How did you open them?
What do you do when you find a interesting, but deeper level link that is
tangential to matter at hand?
These questions are addressed below.
If one opens only one window and then clicks on links to open new windows
over the old information, you are a like a dump truck leaking your information.
You have the adage, out of sight, out of mind. You will end up on a page
where you do not remember from where you started or for what you sought.
Your mind will become mush.
Learn to use the visual organizational tools of Windows (better than nothing,
barely) and a browser to build a structured mountain of information. Then
you can easily mine this storehouse of knowledge over and over. Toward becoming
a better surfer and faster learner, consider the following questions:
How many windows do you have open?
When you cook a multi-course meal for a large family gathering, do you prefer
with dual ovens and microwave to boot? Likewise with cooking up a banquet
of knowledge: Don't treat your multi-window capacity as a single-tasking
campfire. If you haven't finished cooking the first webpage on your computer,
light up a new burner for the next course by opening a new window, e.g.,
use the right click on your mouse.
Of course, a great cook knows when to limit how many items will be cooked
at the same time. Don't go to the other extreme of opening too many windows
to try to cook (learn) too many things at once. As every cook has a point
at which too many pans in the fire yields burn food so can too many windows
in the screen yield a burned out mind. How do you open your windows to optimize
you meal of learning? The next question, please.
How did you open your windows?
If you design a meal, you start cooking with an overview of the meal in mind.
How does this apply to ingesting new information from a website? First, don't
read the information on linked pages without first reviewing/reading the
entirety of the source homepage. When cooking, do you start reading other
recipes without finishing and understanding the recipe with which you started?
Like preparing a meal, you must have an overview of the meal before you start
sequencing the different courses and dishes if you want them to come out
in the best possible order.
As you review the website's source homepage, if you find a link to new
information that you want to explore, open that link into a new page (in
Windows, right click, Open link in new window). These new pages are daughter
pages of your mother page. Do not read new pages until you have finished
reading the source page, i.e., the main meal menu or recipe.
After you have read the homepage, review it again. Re-affirm your overview
before exploring supportive subviews. Don't focus on desserts until you are
comfortable with the flow of appetizers, courses and desserts. Then, start
clicking on the daughter pages. Do not exit the homepage, for you may want
to return quickly and easily to figure out how the daughter page fits in
with the main course. In this fashion, continue to review each of the daughter
pages you opened until you have read the links which you consider to be directly
related to the home page or main menu.
What do you do if you find links on the daughter pages of the mother page?
Do you immediately open "granddaughter" pages? That would be like interrupting
the preparation of one meal to start cooking another meal unrelated to recipes
you need for your meal of the moment. If you cook like most people surf the
web, don't expect your dinner guests to respond to your next dinner invitation.
The next question please.
What do you do if you find interesting, must read links on daughter pages
before you have read all the daughter pages from the home page?
To avoid mental mush, to avoid losing grasp of the main meal or big picture,
you don't want to read "granddaughter" pages until you have finished with
your daughter pages. What's a good surfer to do? Well, use your brower's
"favorite" button. Open the link and immediately save it as a favorite. It
would be a good ideal to create a new folder with a good topic phrase and
the date of opening, e.g.,
Timism, Aug 4, 2000. When you
save the link in your favorites, you can edit the name to include something
on which you want to focus or from where the link came.
What do you do after have read your daughter pages?
After you have read all your daughter pages, look at the favorites that you
saved. Start opening the links in the order you want. At this point you are
on your own. If you cannot learn the bulk of information on a website
from the mother page,
daughter pages and
using the above process, the web designer has not structure the website
for an orderly, easy learning using the organizational tools of the internet.
Sometimes it is the web designer's fault. But you don't want it to be your
fault due to the way your surf the web.
In summary, if you don't understand a website, it may be your surfing technique.
You will learn and benefit from it sooner if you:
Read the home page in its entirety, right clicking on interesting
links so as to retrieve this information in a new window.
After reading the home page window, open up each of the windows in the order
you right clicked them. Leave the home page open so you can return to it
for reference as to why you procreated the "daughter."
If you find an interesting link on the "daughter" page, save it as a "favorite"
in a folder named after the project and idea.
After you have reviewed the daughter links, read the home page one more time,
before visiting one of the favorite granddaughter pages you stored. You will
find that some of your granddaughters should be disinherited.
In the above way, you can get an overview of any new paradigm so as to integrate
new information. The alternative is a mind of mush.
Sadly, some of the largest ISPs limit web-surfers to a single window. Don't
dumb down your learning experience--explore or escape your introductory
ISP. Even if you wanted to or were capable of multi-windows, your ISP
has hamstrung your run on the internet superhighway. In the long-run, it
would be better to first learn how to use a multi-window browser than try
to learn a new, multi-faceted paradigm with a single-task process. Don't
cook over a Brunson burner when modern ranges are available for free.