Revised 1997 April 27
Questions about Joining Farms Around the World
What does it cost to join Farms Around the World? Costs nothing to join, but you need a home page and you must include in your homepage a link to the Farms Around the World list. Some farms have hired someone to write their home page, but you can do it yourself.
What do I get free for joining Farms Around the World? You get people visiting your homepage beause they know that all FAW home pages have more solid, local information than typical web pages.
How do I make the required link to FAW?
Some version of the next line would do the trick:
Click http://www.disknet.com/indiana_biolab/farms.htm to see a list of Farms Around the World.
Do I have to be a farmer to join? Yes, because the purpose of this webring is to help surfers find and visit farm home pages to learn about all aspects of farming in all countries of the world. However, the fact that you also have income from other businesses and these are featured on your page usually would not disqualify you from being listed.
What kinds of farms are accepted for listing? Originally, we limited it to active family farms. However, it has always been difficult to make a living by farming and some novel types of farms, such as entertainment farms and museums add to farm income and would likely be accepted.
What is the ideal FAW home page? It should download moderately fast, have content suitable for all ages, present farming in a manner pleasing to other farmers, and additionally provide information on topics commonly missing from web pages such as rainfall, the seasons, soils, crops, livestock, machinery, and other topics interesting to other farmers. Since many viewers will be from other lands, try to present information they can't get otherwise. Examples: our pets, a day at our farm, some of our favorite foods and their preparation, work and protective clothing, conservation, management practices--the possibilities are endless.
The idea of an international showcase of farms sounds good, how can I help? Mostly by putting on your page what folks from other countries and states you would like to know about your farm. You could also help by being a volunteer to help farmers from foreign countries write pages in your native language. As a Russian, you might help a German add a page of Russian text to his page.
How many farms will be in FAW? I guess we have space to list a few hundred. Help us find more farms to add. Most of the farms presently listed were suggested by farmers who found the pages while surfing the net. We especially need pages from countries outside North America.
Who decides who gets listed? Since this is my website and I pay all the costs, I guess I will decide, but I may ask volunteers for second opinions on any questionable pages. If you have any complaints let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org . No farm has been turned down. It is OK if your page is in the early stages of construction.
Who asked these dumb questions? I invented some of them, in anticipation, and as guidelines for myself, but most are based on e-mail I have received.
Questions from Farmers about Writing Web Pages
What is the simplest way to get my page going? I am willing to help you get your page started for free and even host it free for an indefinite period. After you learn how, you can move the page(s) to your ISP and we will post a notice here so old visitors can click and go to your new location.
Which is better, to hire my page written or write it myself? If you want a really fancy page with music, frames, and other complex code and you make over $50 per hour farming, then you may save money by hiring the page written. If you sell direct to the public, a professionally written page might attract more buyers. Don't make your page so complex that it will run only with special plugins.
What are some reasons I might want to write my own pages? You know your business better than anyone else and it will be easier to make changes if you wrote the original pages.
If I hire my pages written, I save time, right? Maybe not, it takes time to battle with a writer and to get him to do what you want. Even with professionally written pages, you may want to do some of the work, such as making daily changes in the U-Pick crops available today, or specials offered to clear out surplus fruit caused by bad weather.
How do I know if something is copyrighted? Under the new law of 1977?, everything you write is automatically copyrighted to you, including your grocery list and a farm note on a fence post. Thus it is illegal for someone to copy your grocery list, but the idea of listing things in the order they are sold on aisles is not copyrightable and you can use the ideas and facts you find in others works. Many people place their work in the public domain and most government writings are public domain. The owner still holds the copyright, you may only use his work within the limits he allows you. If you nab a GIF from another site or play music that you did not write, it is likely that you are acting illegally. Certain educational uses of coyprighted matter is allowed by law. For example, you may quote short passages in a book review or in your original work which is trying to prove original author was incorrect in his statements.
How can I learn to write my own pages. This site has some information, about 8 pages are being written. Those pages also give links to other web sites which have useful information for web writers.
What if I can't write? Just state what you want to say in simple sentences. Then go back over the pages after a week. You will find ways to improve the wording. While editing your pages, try to get your point across with fewer words and clearer meaning than the first time you wrote it. You will never regret the effort you made. Borrow a grammar handbook and apply its lessons to what you have written. Don't be frozen with fear that you may make a grammar error. Most of your readers will admire you for your effort, and overlook grammar problems. Howver, you need to work on your text until an average person can understand it. Correct any grammar errors as soon as you find them.
I don't know where to start. You are correct that planning the organization of your pages is one of the most difficult aspects of web authoring. Don't worry too much about it. As time goes on, you will find better ways to organize the pages. You will soon have internet friends. Ask them to look at your pages and make suggestions. My best advice to anyone undertaking any task is `just start'. Once you get going things will fall into place. The old adage, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step" is excellent advice.
My best advice to first time page authors. Pick a title for the page. Write one or two short paragraphs and follow that with a list of things about your farm. Later expand one item in the list to a subpage and link it to the home page. After that, ideas for new pages will occur easily. See Claude Eddleman Farm for an example of this method which is explained in more detail elsewhere.
How much graphics do I have to have? None, I detest graphics that do nothing except slow downloading. Some of my best remembered pages had no graphics. Sometimes graphics are so beautiful as in Wheatina that they should be used just for their sheer beauty, but I am unable to to produce such works. Hillgrove Farm's picture, looking west to the ocean, is worth a thousand words; you wonder where their poor honeybees find any food. But adding animated graphics to your page for no reason, just makes downloading so lengthy that many readers will leave and never return. A headline is usually as good, or better, than a banner! On reading this, Ken Morris, Hillgrove Farm, wrote that his bees are mostly getting food in melon fields, that a fire burned over the area of the photo but regrowth is rapid, that he converts all his pictures to .gif and runs them through gifwizard and that explains why his attractive illustrated pages download quickly. Ken encourages other farmers to write their own web pages and has some links on his pages to help.
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