The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #7 January / February 2014
Sections
Links
by Erik Zidowecki
January / February 2014 | 

Sections is a regular column about different parts of Paleremo, explaining their purpose and how to use them.

Probably the most common section on any web page is a list of links to other web pages. Most of the time, these will be related to the main subject of the site. The code in which pages are written in was actually designed with the purpose of being able to link from one page to the other by clicking on specific text. These links are called "Hypertext", which gives us the first half of the acronym HTML.

A list of these links is usually done to help a person visiting the site to find related materials, much as a librarian might suggest to you other books you might wish to read based upon what you have checked out. Often, sites will exchange links, with each one putting up a link to the other site, as a mutual way of getting more visitors.

Links


Link lists are like signs, pointing you toward what you want.

Parleremo is no exception in using links. Since we know that we will never be able to provide everyone all the material they might want or need, we have a large link system set up to aid learners. To make it easier to find what is wanted, the links are stored in a number of different categories. These include General Language Learning, which would be sites that contain information on many languages, Translators & Dictionaries, for sites with those kinds of resources, and Language Communities, which would be sites that offer a group learning process, like Parleremo. There are also places for linguistic, cultural, member made and language course sites. As of this writing, there are fourteen separate categories of links. Each category is listed with an image, title, and description.

The largest section is undoubtedly the Language Specific category, which has subcategories for dozens of language. Links here are to sites that are devoted to a particular language, whether for teaching, resources, or just basic information. This is also the section that is always expanding as new languages are added to the site. Sites in these sections will also be listed in the individual catalogue listings for each language.

Once a person has selected a category to browse, they just click on the title to be taken to the list. There is one link per line, with several pieces of information. There might be an image or banner to represent the site, depending on whether or not one was added with the link. The item will also have a title, description, the main language the site focuses on (if that applies; not all sites will be specific to a language), the number of times a person has selected that link, a rating (as given by members), and the name of the member that added the link to the category. Ratings are done by clicking on a thumb up or thumb down icon, representing a plus one or minus one point. Clicking on the image (or title, if there is no image), will take the user to the site.

Adding Your Own

Now, on most sites, a link page is created and maintained solely by the creator of the page. With Parleremo, we know that members will often have found their own links that they would like to share with others. For that reason, members can add such links to this section. The simply need to select the appropriate category, click on "Add Link", and fill in the necessary information.


One of the link categories is to language schools

The most basic data that needs to be added is the title of the new link, a description of the site, and the actual link. The description editor is full of options for enhancing the text with bold, colors, fonts, etc., though it is often best to keep the description short and simple enough to make reading it easier for the person seeking help. A category should also be selected. The default should be the category of the section the user was in when choosing to add a link, but if it's not, or a person thinks it might belong in another section, they can change that here. A list of languages is also given, to help further identify the purpose of the site. If the language needed is not in the list, there is also a place to fill in one manually. Lastly, there is a place to enter the URL of an image to be used.

Once all this information is given, the user clicks on "Add Link", and it will be submitted to the system. Before it appears in the list, however, it must be approved by an administrator. This is to prevent inappropriate links from being added as well as to move links to the proper section if the user made a mistake. Once the link is approved, it will show up in the proper category.

Searching

Since it is possble that a link might be in the system and someone can't find it where they might expect it, or someone might be looking for links of a certain type, there is a Search option. There, a person can search for keywords in the title and description. They can also further refine the search to a specific language, category, date added (last 30 days, 60 days, etc), or even by the member who added it. Results of the search will come back like a normal link listing, except that a person will not be able to rate a link from here.

If a user has selected a language they are studying for the site, there may also be a button specifically for that language next to the Search button. It's a shorthand method of getting all links relating to that language.

Statistics


Some links are to communities for learning languages

At the bottom of the main link index page is a series of statistics. This is where the rankings and number of views are most useful, because the top links in both of those are listed here specifically, making it easy for people to find what others have found the most useful.

More Categories

We understand that we may not have set aside categories for all possible links that people might wish to add. If you have a link to add and you believe a new category should be created so that it and similar links can be added, please contact us and tell us about it. Also, if you wish to add some links for languages that aren't already in the list of languages or don't yet have a section created for them, you should also let us know. While it is possible to add links without specific language categories already, it makes the job easier on the administrators if they can add a subcategory or language before the links are added. Otherwise, each link may have to be edited before it can be approved.

We hope that everyone finds the link system useful to them, both as a resource and as a way with sharing their own findings with others. PT


 
1
Sections - Links
Writer: Erik Zidowecki
Images:
holger: University's library
mexikids: Classroom of students
sumeja: Signpost

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.

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