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Get wise to the web

If you are not yet using the internet, don't be put off by the jargon, says nceplus editor Lisa Russell. It's easy.

WAP phones, dotcom share fortunes, e-commerce, m-commerce. . . the new terms are a constant refrain at the moment. These are exciting times for those of us who relish the potential for ever more services and information online.

But for the newcomer the effect is for the internet to be even more daunting.

I had occasion this week to get back to basics in internet terms. My parents are taking their first tentative steps into the world of the web. It has reminded me just how much I take for granted, both in how to use it and the wealth of what is there.

My dad - computer literate, but with no experience of the internet - has been keen for some time to go online (primarily for the very pragmatic reason that Easy Jet flights are available weeks earlier that way) but we had failed to bring his old machine up to the task. A friend has now built him a new computer for £75 (note: computing need not be expensive) and the web was waiting.

Mum and Dad were keen to see some photos of the neighbours' kittens I had put on our home website. They found the site, but rang to say they could not get to page two. Page two?

But if you've never seen a web page before, how can you possibly know that you can click on one of maybe dozens of words or logos to chose what to view next? Once the technique was explained, it soon made sense, and the next big test was passed: booking the flight to Spain.

Do you know anyone who would like to join in using the internet but does not know how? Give them a demo, but try to imagine the experience through their eyes. Keep it simple, find some useful information for work or a site related to a hobby.

And convince them the internet is fun, interesting and easy.

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