(former homepage of Will Linden)
This used to be the home page of Will Linden on Panix. Will is from Queens, NYC and provided quite a few links to relevant sites in NYC. We'll be using this page as an illustration in class to compare what we do with what was done in the days of the early internet. Will's site can be found archived in the wayback machine.
For the purposes of this class, we'll be recreating the site and link structure of Will's old pages in order to demonstrate the way in which linking from one site to another on the internet is permanent. During the course of the class, we'll use The Hatch Chile Store (my company's website) quite a bit as an illustration of the contrast between the internet of yore and todays world wide web. Before we activated this directory, even though there were hundreds of links to pages which used to reside in the wlinden directory at panix, none of them worked. This was because there is not a built in mechanism which prevents websites from offering broken links. Many argue this is a strength of the internet by likening any sort of forced error correction to restriction of freedom of speech. However, we'll demonstrate some of the drawbacks to this approach when we talk about google later on in the class.
For now, sit back and enjoy lectures for the next few weeks. We'll be setting up shell accounts for each of you here at panix soon enough so you can start recreating an old site of your own. You'll get to select your own directories from a spreadsheet we'll pull from opensiteexplorer. These directories will have many inbound links. It'll be your job to recreate not only the pages that are found in a snapshot pulled from the internet archive, but also to find other links to those directories by using any of the tools you'll be provided in class. Towards the end of the class, we'll get into the ways in which old sites like these effect the internet today as we talk about google and we'll have a demonstration of the unintended consequences of reliance on algorithms to sort through billions of pieces of information.
If you want to know more about me, head to one of my blogs on the NMSU web or wordpress servers. The first, titled The Hatch Chile Guy, is a bit of a personal joke and is really just a promotional page for my company. The second, titled Hatch Chile King, is also a bit of a promotional joke but I intend to actually post there sometimes. My wife and I run a company in our spare time (as if graduate students teaching in two disciplines have any freetime) that sells, you guessed it, Hatch Green Chile! If you ever need a chile fix, be sure to contact me directly and I'll give you a nice discount. College students should never have to pay full price ;). The only other page I curently manage is also going to be used later on in the class as we talk about search in today's world. Similar to the directories provided here on panix, the local ISP in our area used to offer "web-directories" to its users for $10/month. These directories, on the other hand, weren't deleted once users moved on or quit paying. Once such directory happened to contain a page that contained promotions for a competitor.
I called the ISP and purchased the directory, much as we're doing here at panix, in order to remove the promotion of my competitor. Next, I put up a bit of useful information and used the former pages to promote my business instead. We'll talk about why this is a flaw in the current algorithmic based search world the second time we meet in March. If you want a head start, feel free to check out the website I'm talking about. Its titled Hatch Chile - The Real Story and is hosted by Zianet, NM's first ISP. Well talk more about the early days of the internet next class and they'll come up a few times as well :)
The final thing I have to provide you with are links to the other pages we'll be recreating. Here you go:
Although there are a slew of other pages which formerly existed on this directory that we'll use late in the class when we do the search flaw illustration, these are the only ones that we'll link to from here. Can anyone guess why?