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Book: Rule the Web

Filed Under: computers and internet

Screenshot from website for Mark Frauenfelder's book,

Mark Frauenfelder is well-known to web-heads as the editor of MAKE magazine and the founder of BoingBoing, which may be the world's most popular English-language blog (they say it is, anyway). His recent book, Rule The Web, is full of tips and tricks to help you do just that. Even if you think you're an old hand at this Internet game, you might still be able to learn something from his book.

Some of the tips in the book, like the general information about eBay, will seem like no-brainers to anyone who has any experience with the sites or processes in question. But there are also sidebar tips, labeled "Deeper," which usually include inside or obscure information that may be new even to quasi-experts.

Find out more about Rule the Web after the break!


Topics tackled in the book are broad. Some of the tips are just recommended software downloads, but others involve setting yourself up to use WiFi or Skype, getting started in World of Warcraft, taking advantage of special settings to become an iTunes power user, learning to set up your email client to check your gMail account, ways to keep your kids safe on the web, great online health and diet tips, several methods for editing and archiving your photos, and on and on. There's something here for almost anything you'd want to do on the web, including some of the topics we cover here at DIY Life.

My only criticism is that it feels like the editing of Rule the Web was slightly rushed; sometimes you're referred to the wrong page number for a tip, and sometimes the "Deeper" tips end mid-thought, making it obvious that the next page was supposed to have a sidebar too. This applies only to a handful of tips, and is a negligible issue.

Mark has a site for Rule the Web, and Kevin Kelly (a former colleague of Mark's at Wired) has done a Cool Tools review of it, calling it "the missing manual for the web." The review also includes a few excerpts from the book.

Bottom line: if you want to learn to use the web more fully or just more efficiently, this book puts the power into your hands, encapsulating information that you'd otherwise have to buy at least a dozen books to cover. (Some reviewers have mentioned that you can find this information on the web, and that's true, but you'd have to know what you're looking for and where to look for it.) At $14.95, it's a bargain.



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