Desktop: TalkBacking

I know that many of us read the talkbacks for a good laugh, but my old social worker heart goes out to these people.

June 25, 2009 14:23
2 minute read.
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There are lots of people out there with great ideas and opinions. But there are also lots of - forgive the term - "whack jobs." It's no secret; just check out the talkback section on many on-line articles, especially those with controversial content. Many comments are direct and to the point, but with some of these writers (you know the ones I mean), it's often hard to believe that we're all living in the same country. I sometimes wonder if we're on the same planet. I know that many of us read the talkbacks for a good laugh, but my old social worker heart goes out to these people. It's clear they're just bubbling over with ideas, but have nobody to share them with. What they need is not a laugh, but an outlet, a way for them to make themselves heard respectably. What comes to mind right away, of course, is a Web site or a blog. But somehow these folks (or even the "good" talkback people) never seem to consider this. Why? Probably because of the "Web site stereotypes" most of us have: that setting up a site is complicated, requiring you to learn new, strange skills, and that it's expensive, requiring you to hire a designer and a hosting service. Which it could be. But not if you use the completely free and absolutely painless Sauropol site service ( Sauropol is the Web 2.0 heir of services like Tripod and Geocities, where you could set up a basic Web site on-line and just upload your text or photos. But those sites were inevitably ugly (unless you really knew what you were doing, in which case you wouldn't be using those services anyway). But with Sauropol, you get a beautiful site with many different options and designs, the ability to change fonts, headlines, add graphics and even work in (gulp!) HTML, if you so wish. But you don't have to - and that's the point. With Sauropol, you just open up a document on your computer, highlight, copy and paste it into the Sauropol window, click a button - and your document is on-line, for the world to see. It's better than a blog, because you get so many more layout and design options. And, for techies (gulp!), it's got all the fancy stuff - RSS, site maps, etc. But for the talkback crowd - and for you and me - Sauropol has the easiest (and free-est!) Web site design tools around.

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