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Who Are You?

Once upon a time I was a surfer just like you. Then I got spoiled by the fallout from E-commerce. It was a good outcome. As a result, all the services that used to cost you a pile of dead presidents are now available for free. Well, let's say, provided you don't mind ads. November 2002 Update - Things have changed. Now services are beginning to cost money again. But, there are still bargains out there, you just have to look around. And, though there are fewer free services these days, those that are still around tend to be pretty good. So, I still can be somewhat optimistic. February 2004 Update - I finally caved about a year ago and got my own domain, not out of vanity, but because Geocities was threatening to cut off the free service. I was running over my allotted bandwidth regularly. When that started happening, I thought it was time to invest some $$$. December 2010 Update - I'm not a "Silver Surfer." That's the coolest term I have ever come across!

Really, who are you?

Okay, I'm a public health professional with a background in nursing, did a short stint in child welfare, love quality assurance and quality improvement stuff. February 2004 Update - currently, I am back being an epidemiologist, after experiencing the horrors of living through a layoff and the joys of having to choose between two job offers! I'm also an adjunct instructor for Wellness, and a self-taught Webmaster. For specifics, read my Resume. This FAQ page would be considered a blog these days, although it really did start off as an FAQ page. Now I blog regularly on my What's New Pages, and have actually enjoyed lots of hits from being mentioned in someone's blog.

December 2010 - I am recently semi-retired. I don't think anyone can afford to be fully retired, but I don't feel that much retired anyway. I now have annual pages for my Public Health Blog. Since retiring I have devoted some time into maintaining this blog. "Fat Bird" is the key search term that brings people to the 2008 Blog and "Uzbekistan" is the key search term that brings visitors to my 2009 Blog. Rather than consider these as search terms, people search them as images with the Google Image Search Engine. Go figure.

Why do you have a Web site?

Just like silence is a vacuum, so is cyberspace. I decided to put something there that would be meaningful to those who are looking for good information on the World Wide Web. Though there are many sites related to Public Health, I want to provide a central place from which Public Health practitioners can get to EVERYTHING PUBLIC HEALTH from my site. This is my mission.

December 2010 - I love being able to communicate to unseen millions. It's cool to get visitors from Katmandu, and even Damascus and Nepal. We live in a global society and the Internet makes this virtually possible. The visitors I enjoy the most are the thousands of elementary schools that have visited my Web site.

Why do you have a Quality of Information Statement?

Because we need to use the Net with discretion. And there are those who want some reassurance that the information is reliable. I provide this with a statement that spells out (in enough detail to please even the most harshest critic) exactly what I'm trying to do on my Web site. I want visitors to know that I do take the time to review all the sites that I have placed links to.

Particularly for Public Health and Health sites, I have basically weeded out commercialized sites. This is very time-consuming as there are many sites that "speak of Health but are not of Health." Those sites know who they are.

Why do you record construction time on your Home Page?

Because I am an epidemiologist at heart, and I just can't bypass the opportunity to enumerate. What started off as a curiosity has turned into an ongoing nightmare. Believe me, I had no idea I would be spending this kind of time constructing what is virtually "virtual" and can disappear with the next atomic blast.

December 2010 Update - I still record construction time. Why break the trend now?

Why do you have a Copyright Statement?

Because two of the biggest lessons in life are to learn to take responsibility for your own actions, and the other is to acknowledge the actions of others. We do this by practicing humility and giving credit where credit is due. When we take credit for the work of others it is stealing, and theft is always wrong. Similarly, everything placed on the Web (whether you think the content is good or bad) is protected by international convention.

Thus, the moral fiber of humanity, fortunately, still holds and recognizes the importance of the talents and creativity of each person. Why would anyone want to share his/her gifts if they know it's not going to be appreciated and stolen?? Or, we can look at it another way -- why do people who feel compel to take credit for the work of others do so? Is it because they do not have the talent or creativity of their own that they must take the fruits of labor from others? A good object lesson is what happened to Tom Skerritt's character in "Contact." 'nuff said. Hope this answers your question.

How long is a Web page?

Let me ask you this - why is the word "long" shorter than the word "short"? It's only longer when it's "longer." Never mind the wordplay.

This is a difficult question because we're talking about parallel worlds, and as far as parallels go, remember what your high school math teacher taught you about parallel lines. However, because we live in an imperfect world we certainly can't expect to impose our imperfections onto a virtual world like the Internet. Unfortunately, we are constantly at a loss for words to depict perfection so we create poetry, and even then some only see rhyme when there was always reason behind it all!

Don't worry, I'm getting to your question. Web pages are called Web pages because it's the closest metaphor someone could think of to describe a screen holding onto to a slate of virtual words and images. Unfortunately, printers do not share this explanation and prints what it likes because printers have their own rules to follow.

Certainly you cannot judge the length of a Web page by sight (although those weight guessers at county fairs must know something we don't know), and it's not even worth the time (ah, another strange concocted dimension of existence)since HTML does not mean "Have they been measured lately"?)

As an example, my Home Page will take up to 4 pages of print, while my Site Map Index Page will take up 3 pages - on my printer. It may take more or less on your printer, give or take a page. Why is this so? Beats me, but I am sure some webbish nerd can probably provide you with the mathematical formula to help you predict, with some certainly, the number of printed pages that will ooze from your printer, given the number of "whatever" contained on a page. Better to stick with the maxim - one Web page will surely produce at least one printed, and possibly more than one printed page, but never less than one printed page. If you want to be sure you can always post stuff on the Net in pdf format. This format guarantees you will get everything you see as it is.

I suppose you should view Web pages like chapters in a printed book. Chapter 1 is as good as Chapter 2 even though they may not neccessarily include the same number of pages, although you can bet your bottom dollar if the last chapter isn't good, there won't be another book. Or, you can view Web pages as paragraphs. Not all paragraphs are created the same way, nor, are they of the same length, but you better make sure there are at least 3 sentences....

Why are some of your link pages listings and others are tables?

Unlike academic/scholarly "Works in Progress" and peer-reviewed "Embargoed News," this Web site is a true work in progress in which your intended audience gets to watch its growth and development. It's like watching a baby grow. This modus operandi is very taxing and compromising to perfectionists. In fact, there are very few perfectionists who are webmasters. This is because perfectionists cannot even bear the thought of anyone seeing their final product until it is "final." There are, however, some webmasters who strive to be perfectionists by trying to control what they put on web pages though they have not been too successful, as surfers exercise their freedom of choice with browsers, monitors, etc. So, perfectionists do not do that well on the Net, except perhaps in the guise of potential web design critics.

Web design critics often hide their critical cognitive abilities and channel their critiquing predisposition and energies into roles as award judges and other such positions of discriminating tastes. We know how artists feel about art critics, how chefs feel about food critics, how actors feel about film critics, and how writers feel about book critics, so I won't go into any details. The one saving grace about web awards is that webmasters have the option to submit themselves to the scrutiny of web awarders, so the idea of choice helps. This gives webmasters the opportunity to hone their sites to the point where they can swallow their pride and take some constructive criticism that are helpful, at times, towards the birth of truly super sites worthy of populations of eager surfers looking for a place to spend some quality cyber-time. And, what does this have to do with your question?

Well, I am still working on the Web site. The more mature pages have gotten "boxed" or "tabled" because this provides you, dear surfer, with a much more esthetic-looking approach to link surfing. However, as mentioned in another "answer" section on this page, creating tables are a pain (aka - it takes a lot of time and work). This is not to say that listings are easy as pie (not math pi, if you know what I mean) and don't take any work. They do (I still can't do these in my sleep - yet), but they are much more simpler to maintain and add links to.

So, that's your tip - pages that have listings are still in their adolescent growth and development (and we all know what it's like to be an adolescent because a lot of people of my generation, in fact, of most generations still want to be one. The only people who don't want to be adolescents are the ones who are exactly that right now). Once it contains all the links I think it should, then I will "table" them. This does not mean I have stopped or will stop adding additional links to already tabled pages. I will continue to update those pages, but not in as rapid a pace as I would with the more popular pages.

Therefore, don't expect the "tabling" phenomenon to happen any time soon to the entire Web site, or, to take place for a long time (unlike cyber-time which is doing pretty good in catching up with realtime) for some of the more heavily-used pages. Those keep growing and growing, and then they go through the process of cyber-meiosis since cyber-mitosis don't seem to work too well. I realize that this, of course, will leave you with the feeling that the Web site does not have a "uniform" look to it. Now who's the perfectionist?? :) Hope this answers your question. February 2004 Update - Forget it, I'm never going to table anything...

December 2010 Update - There was a time so-called experts said it's good to have a splash page. Well, that never worked for me. Actually, I have found that people are too impatient and want everything on a page. My Everything You Ever Wanted to Know Page is a perennial favorite of many visitors. Although this page occasionally makes it to my Top 10 of the Month List do not be deceived, content is king, or, queen if you're still an ardent feminist.

Why do you have a Web Stats Page ?

Because I can't help thinking like an epidemiologist. Besides myself, I am sure other people MIGHT be interested in the evolution of a Web site. Fortunately, I started tracking almost from the very beginning, which almost matches having baby pictures starting with shots in the delivery room (don't you ever wonder what happened to those kids, and what possessed those fathers to start their amateur cinematic careers then?). It's like conducting an epidemiological study with an index case!

December 2010 Update - I still maintain Web statistics. Why break the trend now?

What is your Blog Index Page about? (2/2005)

Funny you should ask. This is what happens when a packrat becomes a webmaster. Unable to throw anything away, things get archived into a blog (or Web log). This page is really "Packrat's Paradise." It's a cyber-cemetery for serial statistics. When the statistics on the Web Stats Page start to age, they will find their final resting home here. Can you picture all those tables floating in cyberspace? Inconceivable. And, if you've had any experience with HTML coding from scratch you would know that creating tables is a major pain.

What's with the Awards Page?

I couldn't call it for what it really is, which is "Sspp." And, no, I didn't misspell SPSS. This page is what I call the "Shameless Self-promotion Page." You go for the awards, and then realize you need someplace to put them.

How do you get those awards?

You have to apply for them. They're like Boy Scout badges. Most have some criteria you have to meet, and some just like to bust your bytes just to see how desperate you want the honor. I'm happy with what I have. The awards I like the best are those that are bestowed without my having to apply for them. I love those! It means someone is paying attention without my having to try and get their attention.

December 2010 - I got tired of applying for awards. All that's left are the ones you have to pay an entry fee to be considered. Keep in mind I am semi-retired and must be frugal with my savings since banks don't believe in paying interest anymore. I am so glad I still have my principle(s).

What is the purpose of this FAQ Page?

Well, if you got this far, then the question has been answered.

That is the silliest answer I've ever read.

There's always a first time.


Kind of testy for a faceless, nameless netizen, aren't you? Trust me, I am not giving up my day job. Basically, I just want you to know that there is a person who is responsible (and IS responsible) for maintaining this Web site. Also, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that this is a personal Web site, and what I put on my Web site is at my discretion. Of course, this page may give cause to question.... Hey, I'm trying a little humor, okay?

On a serious note, I love the challenge of being on the cutting edge of Technology, and being somewhat interesting to an audience I may never meet or see but would like to have meaningful communication exchanges. If it is any consolation, this is the LEAST serious page on this Web site. Everything else is serious. (December 2010 - and, this is still the case.)

What is Healthy People 2010, Objective 11.4?

Because I am, after all, a Public Health Professional, I have found the Healthy People documents over the years to be wonderful in defining what we should think about when we talk "Public Health." To find that Healthy People 2010 actually projects a visionary reach by even considering the importance of looking at the quality of Web sites is truly phenomenal. So, I have decided to develop this page in which I actually address this particular objective. I'm throwing down the gauntlet for other health-related Web sites to develop a similar statement for their presence on the Web!

What is this What's New Page?

It is my attempt to keep you informed of the changes I am making to this Web site. If you check this page frequently, you will get the latest links I've added on to any of my 230+ (gasp!) pages, and the latest news about other related issues. It's getting to the point that it's hard for me to tell you immediately which page the link is on. There are probably 1000s of links now. (And, no, I haven't counted them, please!!!). There's a new "What's New" page every calendar quarter, and you can always access earlier "What's News" pages from this page with links at the bottom of the page. Let's hope you visit more frequently than on a quarterly basis.

What is and ?

This is for the benefit of the Net-cautious and those who worry about the quality of personal Web sites. Yes, this is a personal Web site, but I do try to capitalize on the fact that since it is a personal Web site, I am afforded the freedom to put whatever I feel should belong on a Web site dedicated to Public Health and Healthcare Professionals and Students, and the General Public as well! These are like merit badges. If you want to find out what their criteria are, they are linked back to their original sites on my Home Page, on my Awards Page, and the Ratings Page. I do try to keep things tasteful, and I put this Web site under scrutiny on a regular basis. I strive to meet the criteria set by those agencies that are interested in providing good information on the Web. I strive to keep this site as family-friendly as possible. This means no pornography, no hate messages, nothing immoral, and no obnoxious or rude materials. This is a site you can share with your parents and children (where applicable).

What is the Visitor Survey all about?

I'm practicing how to process forms over the Net. Thanks to Response-O-Matic, I can create online surveys and get immediate feedback in the form of e-mails. I thought that a Visitor Survey would give visitors an opportunity to tell me what they really think about the site. I really do want to make this site useful and visitor-friendly. Some day in the future I would like to share with visitors the results of this survey (provided I get enough responses).

I am not interested in wasting my time and your time, and there are so many other things I can spend my time on. (This has been discontinued 1/2007 because the form was being misused by people who used it to push their products).

Like what?

Well, for one thing, I do miss reading. Good thing I wrote up those annotated bibliographies before I discovered the Net! I am making additions, but not as frequently as I would like.

What is and ?

When a link is no longer , and it's a real good link I want to call attention to as a "gem", I use these little buttons:

Means don't miss this one, it's a great site and worth a visit!

Means it's a link to "lots of sites". In other words, a gold mine and definitely worth a visit!

What is this Dead Link Brigade?

Because dead links on a Web site are deadly and annoy visitors, I am making an effort to keep the links alive. I evaluate all links for their relevance and then add them on to the appropriate pages. So, all links worked when I put them on my Web site. Unfortunately, they die on occasion. I am hoping that I can entice visitors to report any dead links they find on my Web site so I can fix or remove them. In return, I acknowledge their help by bestowing the honor of being a "Dead Link Detective." (I have discontinued this in 1/2007 as Xenu does the job for me now). Isn't that cool? Of course, I am hoping that this honor will be worthy but hard to get. What would you think if I had 1000s listed? ;)

December 2010 Update - I still try and run Xenu monthly, but it takes hours and hours to clean out the dead links. I try and keep live links at 95% of all links on the site. I cannot help if organizations, non-profits and government agencies decide to disappear and take their Web sites with them. People, on the other hand, must leave everything behind when they die.

How certain can we be regarding your Webstats?

How certain do you want to be? How certain are statisticians? Have you ever noticed how statisticians discuss levels of certainty? Notice how they are never certain unless p is <0.05 and even then they are very cautious? Some are so cautious they won't settle for any greater than p=0.01. Now that I lost the numerically challenged....

Well, all I have to say is I don't do my Web site statistics using my fingers and toes. Besides, anything requiring more fingers and toes than I have should be done by some inhuman equipment, preferably, electrical in nature.

I know (yes, I do) that the statistics are underestimates (notice I don't even say undercounts) of the actual number of hits the Web site is getting. That's because nothing on the Net ever works all the time (they need breaks, too). However, I don't know by how much. I wish I can provide confidence intervals, but all I can say is, if my trackers say I got 1500 hits in one month, chances are it's probably at least "1501". That's why Carl Sagan used to say billions and billions (although I've heard he never said this). If you think gigabytes are scary, get ready for the terabytes (Can Jurassic Park 2010 be far behind?)

Why do you have your name on top of all your pages?

Because this is proper and appropriate webmastership. It is considered (so I've read) common courtesy to people who visit your site to immediately know where they are at since cyberspace knows no spatial boundaries, or, at least those we are most familiar worth. However, there are entities on the Net who get very upset if you link to them and visitors don't know they are doing that. They get all huffy about it (and I don't blame them), and consider it deception at its most lowest. This is why there is a furor over the use of frames, which I don't use for this particular reason.

While links are the lifeblood of any Web site, it has become more and more of an issue about how one site should link to another. Entities frown upon deep-linking (bypassing a Web site's Home Page), because of commercial reasons, or whatever. Personally, I don't think this is such a big issue since some sites are so organized, rather, so disorganized or unorganized that it's virtually impossible to navigate through 6000 layers just to get to a particular page. If all Web sites organize themselves solely on the basis of navigability, then a link to the Home Page is fine. In some cases, a link to a Home Page might as well be a dead link because the logic behind how you get to any particular page is missing. Let me put it this way, until search engines are no longer allowed to send out their robots and search for Web "pages" to respond to "keyword" requests, then entities should lighten up and enjoy the additional traffic they're getting.

However, since I am on the up and up, and am really interested in making your search for good information easy, I have made it my policy to identify all my pages so you know you're in my Web site, and if you go out on a link (that's like on a limb... never mind), well, you will know you have done so because the site will open up in a separate window. Of course, this will allow you to come back to my site, because I really hate losing visitors...

What is this Public Health Web Ring all about?

When you think that the concept of a web ring was the brainchild of, well, a teenager, then you'll have to understand why it would take an astute teenager to come up with something so useful that he doesn't have to work for the rest of his life when Yahoo! took it over. Now that's smarts for ya!

The basic idea behind a web ring is, duh, Web sites dealing with the same topic are, like, linked together in a circular fashion. Unlike traffic circles, you can always get out of them, but it sure makes surfing a lot more fun and more informative if you can do a whole bunch of sites one right after the other without having to type the URLs.

Of course, if you find a good site like this, you should always bookmark it so you can come back when you go surfing out of the web ring. The concept is really great, and you should explore the Public Health Web Ring I've set up. When you're in the ring, which you can start on my Home Page, you will get to visit all my public health pages by just using the Web ring box on the bottom of the pages. Eventually, there will be other sites added, but they will all have to do with Public Health.

Since your Web site is devoted to Public Health, why don't you have more links to all the resources available from the CDC?

For one thing, my initials are not C.D.C. In fact, the CDC Web site is pretty massive, and it makes little sense for me to link to EVERYTHING it has to offer. I do have links to their Epi Info sites, some MMWR reports, and their consumer health information pages. The MMWR reports I favor are the multi-year surveillance reports and summaries because I have found those to be the most useful, if I had to look for health data, to assess scope of a health problem. Nobody can do these surveillance reports about U.S. health problems better than the CDC. The CDC is also very good in coming up with standards for disease surveillance. and other issues associated with Public Health Practice. Also, part of the CDC web site is the National Center for Health Statistics. They are unbeatable for the wealth of health data they have.

What is this Public Health E-News Mailing List?

To compensate for the shortcomings of snail mail, I was asked to do something about expediting communication for the SCSU Public Health Alumni Chapter. I came up with the idea of using an electronic newsletter. Wa-la, non-alumni started subscribing. So, I made it global - purely public health news.

Since I started this in mid-October, 2000, and it became an official mailing list on 6/23/2001, I have made an effort to get this out once a month, like around the 15th. I have been pretty good about this. There are now 150 subscribers (as of September, 2002). The Public Health E-News Bulletin is for time-sensitive news, and I'm excited about being able to fill a real need.

December 2010 Update - There are now 530 subscribers, and I still get an edition out every month. I love editing all the superfluous verbiage in news items. I can pretty much cut away 75%, leaving the gist of the news article, and you wouldn't miss the 75% I got rid of.

What is this Public Health Competency Poll all about?

I found my "Who are you?" Poll on the Site Map Index Page to be so useful in helping me to make this Web site useful to the types of visitors who come and visit. Since the majority of visitors are Public Health Professionals I figured I have the ideal audience to provide some feedback about what Public Health Competencies professionals should possess to do a good job working in the field. The competency areas were developed by the Public Health Foundation.

I decided to make it more interesting by finding out which of the 8 areas Public Health Professionals thought was THE MOST important (to aid in prioritizing the competencies). So I placed the poll on the Public Health Practice Page since that seems a logical place to start. I've gone on to add the one question poll to other Public Health-related pages on my Web site. Once you cast your vote you get to view the results, and even participate in other polls. You're welcome to vote. I started this also in mid-October, 2000. I would be interested, and I'm sure others who vote, in what you think about this issue.

December 2010 Update - The poll is ongoing, and there has been a shift from Basic Public Health Sciences to Policy Development and Program Planning, based on 960 responses.

Why Does Your Web site Change So Much?

Really now! Definitely not to my liking, but what can I say. Since this Web site went up in 1999, and now, as of November 2002, practically everything on it has changed. I am happy to say, most of the changes are for the better, but NOT WITHOUT a tremendous amount of work. And, some of the services now are costing me!!! Let me see if I can document this for you!

Web sitewww.beseen.comGeocities.comMy own domain name - finish!!! (I pay for this)
Electronic Mailing GroupsNo more please!
Flash Pageswww.homestead.comwww.freeservers.comNo more please!
Intranetswww.intranet.comGave up on this - went to listservsNo more of this
ISPHost of free (I pay for this)No more please!
Site Search
Web (I pay for this)
Web (easy switch)No more please
Wet Extreme-tracking (I pay for this)

For sure there will be more changes, but aren't these enough????

What are all those numbers on the Site Maps?

One hallmark of a well cared for Web site is the currency of the content. It has been one of my main goals - to keep everything up to date. It is all data-driven, which means I monitor the Web site's activity on a monthly basis. I LITERALLY have to access EACH page's statistics to get the number of hits a particular Web page receives EVERY month. This one of those tedious tasks I perform because I am too much of an epidemiologist for my own good...

It takes 8 - 10 hours a month to gather the stats, enter them into a database, run the analysis and report the findings monthly by updating the 5 site map pages and the Web Statistics Page for the Web site. As of 1/2004, there are close to 300 pages (but I am trying to trim the fat...) Basically, the numbers represent the total number of hits a page has received up to the end of the immediate previous month. I try to do this within the first 10 days of EACH month.

Starting 2004 I am going to conduct an annual "clean-up" of the site. For example, I have actually consolidated the content of 25 pages into 9 pages. I did this based on the number of hits a Web page receives. If a page doesn't get too many hits, then I'm going to either remove it, or merge it into another page. Dated pages are removed regularly, like syllabi once the course has been taught and becomes "history." Old stats can be accessed from the Blog Index .

What are those "R"s after the Update date?

Ah! Glad you noticed. This is my own convention. Good webmastering require a Web page to denote the currency of the page by documenting WHEN the page was last updated. Since most people who do not manage Web sites have no idea how labor intensive this activity is, I have included an "R" for the number of times a Web page has been revised. Some pages require many revisions to stay current, and others very few. An example, check out the "R" status of the What's New Page.

And, for the record (this may be a good place to document this), I am keeping track of the number of hours I am spending on the Web site, on the Home Page. It's getting a bit unwieldy, so I'm going to list the totals here (and remove the + bit on the Home Page), for those who are curious....

Hours Spent on the Web site

  • Construction time for 2021: R55
  • Construction time for 2020: R85
  • Construction time for 2019: R59
  • Construction time for 2018: R88
  • Construction time for 2017: R87
  • Construction time for 2016: R98
  • Construction time for 2015: R168
  • Construction time for 2014: R81
  • Construction time for 2013: R103
  • Construction time for 2012: R93
  • Construction time for 2011: R277
  • Construction time for 2010: R214

Seeing these numbers, it's scaring me how much I am actually spending on all this....I have spent almost 3 years (40-hr workweek) maintaining this 9 year old Web site! (1/3/2009)

December 2010 - It's still a labor of love. I get about 20,000 visitors a month and I don't have to feed anyone to keep everyone happy. How cool is that?

Finally, thanks for reading this. I hope you learned something that is useful and that you will visit frequently because I intend to keep this going as long as I have access to the Net.


Betty's Home Page Site Index

PUBLISHED ON THE WEB: January 15, 2000; February 17, 2001
May 31, 2006 - FAQ #2 is now part of this page.
Updated: 12/24/2022 R259
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