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TECH TIPS
with Michael Lee Stills

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

Computer Image

~ September 2004 ~ Topics

Lord of the Web Rings

Web Rings have be around for quite some time, but have you ever used one? The movie trilogy, Lord of the Rings has inspired many websites about J.R.R Tolkien’s Hobbit adventures. Googleing "Lord of the Rings" returns about 6,500,000 hits. But which websites have what you want? Googleing "Volunteer Management" returns about 4,300,000 hits. Again, can there be that many sites about Volunteer Management? One common way to narrow your search is to add more search terms or you could look for websites that have joined a Web Ring.

Web Rings are individual websites that have banded together as a group of related sites. Googleing on "Lord of the Rings, Web Ring" returns 1,190,000 hits, much smaller than before but still quite big. However, in the list is the Lord of the Rings Web Ring. Going to that site you learn that there are rules and regulations and you must be approved to join the ring. Once approved your website provides a link to the Web Ring. What this does is allows a visitor to check out websites that have a high likelihood of providing the kind of content one desires.

So how can you use this to benefit your volunteer program?

One way might be to link with related organizations. All Park and Recreation (P&R) Volunteer groups in a region could join or maybe you would also include related business. In addions to the P&R groups, bike stores, outdoor stores, hiking groups, etc. could also join the Anytown Park and Recreation Webring. So a visitor to the Bike Store website could be driven to your website and visa versa. This benefits the website visitor because they now have many options available to them.

I have already found Emergency Medical Volunteers linked together. They all have their own site but collectively they share a lot of the same information and standards. Perhaps regional DOVIA's could form web rings? Remember, the ring links together related websites that have been approved for valuable content.

Only your imagination keeps you from being the Lord of your own Web Ring.


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Googleing for Groupies

Are you a Google Groupie? By now you know I use Google a lot. Here is another Google tip. Some words can refine your search. For example:

Type in the following in the Google Search Window and hit the Search Button (notice the bold words):

Word Result
Define Web Ring Dictionary Icon next to a definition of Web Ring.
Link volunteertoday.com List of sites that link to www.VolunteerToday.com.
Tech Tips Site:volunteertoday.com Lists all the pages on Volunteer Today with the words "Tech Tips."
DEN Airport Returns a link to weather and info at the Denver International Airport.
United 8828 Returns info on United flight 8828 (must be an actual flight).

There are lots more but these will be good ones to start with.

Happy Googleing.
Michael


Do you know of a better way? Or do you have any questions?
Drop me a note at Michael@MichaelStills.com.

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