Links to Web Locations


Week #14: Miscellaneous Digital Divide links

Rural Divide: Is you is, or is you ain't, broadband-enabled? If not, it can take a long time to surf.
Rural Divide: One very solid resource for information about the policy concerns over who has (and does not have) access to the internet is the Digital Divide Network.
Rural Divide: A number of states are working to shore up the digital divides in their communities, including North Carolina. Its "e-NC" initiative is trying to reduce the problems of marginalizing rural internet users.
Rural Divide: Clickz still shows rural usage lag: 14% in 2003, according to the Digital Dirt Road Divide.
Rural Divide: The global rural divide is even worse than that in the U.S., and the United Nations has put together "Bridging the Rural Digital Divide" to help address this issue.
Rural Divide: Where is the rural Digital Divide a real problem? In rural community colleges, among other places -- where there will be major impacts.
Rural Divide: This blogger discusses her own run-in with the rural digital divide...and makes the rather pointed observation that $100 laptops are not useful without $100 broadband.
Disabilities: The International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet is a thorough guide for users with some form of physical disability.
Disabilities: provides web site space for small businesses -- but it also offers the chance to "Ask Alice" about whether or not a web site you've created is handicapped accessible.
Disabilities:One UK company's web log (isolani) looks at handicapped access issues, providing excellent links to information about current computer applications.

Disabilities:This link at the University of Washington provides a wealth of resources for blind computer users.

Disabilities: And theVision Disability Resource center offers a number of alternatives for the blind surfer: from browsers to desk-top publishing programs.

Disabilities: Finally, this page offers more accessibility resources than any other I've found: how to make your pages accessible to disabled surfers, including discussions, software, libraries, and examples.
Bridging the Digital Divide: Washington State University has an independent Center for Bridging the Digital Divide. Most recently, the center has worked with the Afganistan eQuality Alliance.
Bridging the Digital Divide:This site, an by Craig Warren Smith and others (including industrial partners "not yet announced"), looks at how non-government organizations must help to bridge the digital divide.
Bridging the Digital Divide: Economic factors cannot be ignored in the race for digital equality.  The development of the $100 laptops for children below the povertly line puts the resources into the hands of those who need them.


Week #13: Putting Children First (Safety, education, and even fun)

Specialty portals, browsers, and kids sites promoting safety:

  • Registration is required at this kids' site, and it allows children access to Highlights, Sports Illustrated, and everything in between. See JuniorNet.
  • Nicktropolis offers a "virtual internet" experience to kids free of charge (world building via Nickleodeon).
  • KiddoNet is a free, specially-designed and protected browser with special activities and areas for kids in two age groups: 4-7 and 8-13.
  • Glubble is a parental-control browser add-on for FireFox that helps parents ensure safe surfing by their kids.
  • Yahoo has a specialty portal: Yahooligans, which follows the search engine format. It has been running for several years.
  • This Australian site lists a wealth of kid-safe searching and surfing locations.
  • Nickelodeon, the kids' channel on television, has a solid general web presence with its general site at Nick.Com.
The American Library Association offers this page of "700 Great Sites" for kids on the internet.
The Children's Partnership site offers specialized content for low-income and underserved users, including educational materials to teach kids how to do various things online, like design their own blog.
At, the site owners provide clear, concise, matter-of-fact advice on keeping kids safe online. Check out their section for parents.
One European Union site,, offers information, initiatives, and discussion points for a variety of safety concerns online, including issues of children's surfing behaviors.
Let's look at some monitoring and filtering software:

And here is the 2008 (a bit early) review of filtering/monitoring software from Top Ten Reviews.

And kids online? It's all about education:

  • Check out theAwesome Library (great resources for K-12) -- there's even an Awesome Talking Library.
  • We've looked at the WWW Virtual Library before. Here's their Education section.
  • Teachers and kids can use the Educator's Reference Desk for its wonderful interface (this is part of ERIC)
  • And the U.S. Department of Education site is informative, regularly updated, and funded by our tax dollars.
  • Other government sites, including theU.S. Geological Survey, offer educational lesson plans for kids. (And we looked at still others last week, including NASA, etc.)
  • Now that there's an internet, kids need to search it for school and projects. CyberSleuths is a kid-friendly search engine, that's more intuitive for the undeveloped.
  • Some individual school districts (like this one in Utah) put their content on the web for everyone to use -- sharing the wealth.


Week #11: Children & The Internet (the lost boys...and girls)

With the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by the U.S. government, parents and children have new issues for privacy of under-13 minors. The FTC page on COPPA is fascinating -- and aimed at the surfing child.
Here are several interesting sites for kids -- online communities, portals, vortals, etc., that are both educational and fun.  (They never had this stuff when we were kids.  *sigh*)
  • I ate BombPops when I was a kid, but never thought of them as an icon.
  • Teaching children to cook may be as simple as sending them to The Kids Cooking Club.
  • And, to connect one week to the next, here is the site for Christian Kids.
  • TorahTots offers Jewish children fun, education about their faith, free email, etc.
  • There's of course a site for Muslim children, too. See  Minimuslims site (for videos) 
  • ConnectKids is the state of Connecticut's site for children, including spotlights on web pages written by kids.
  • This site seems to have a lot of content, and absolutely no taste.   It's
  • And here's Kidtastic:  games, education, contests, and advertising, of course.
  • is a web portal for kids.  It adheres pretty strictly to the COPPA.
  • Surfing the Net with Kids is a really solid site for parents and kids to share.
  • I'll confess that I like It bills itself as "fun stuff to do when you're bored." (One hopes that kids are now outside not being bored, since it's Spring.)
  • has a lot to offer (even if appropriate spelling isn't one of those things), including links to other cool sites.
  • Web sites like Cool Freebie Links (at least on their kids' pages) skirt the edge between what is and is not allowable under COPPA. Certainly they are obvious marketing attempts.

Children have their own online communities (and the growth of global online communities for kids shows promise for intercultural tolerance).   KidLink is designed to connect kids to kids in many different languages.

And the most widely-used meeting place in the blogosphere for the under-25 crowd is

The U.S. government's "Globe" program builds global perspectives while focusing on the sciences.  I really wish they had these when I was a kid!
And the really bright cookies world-wide may be involved with ThinkQuest, a community of  young men and women with a love of learning.
Many U.S. government sites exist just for kids (although adults can appreciate them, too). In addition to FirstGov (the inter-agency portal for kids), there are:

Keeping kids safe online is the primary focus of ChildNet International.

And now for the over-commercialized kids' social networks:

Here are a bunch of miscellaneous web sites for children.


Week #10: Issues of Race and Ethnicity Online

The American Political Science Association offers a special section on Race and Ethnicity Online.
In the modern era, Civil Rights concerns are still an issue. One site promotes a new civil rights movementfor all people of color.
A U.K. site, the Social Science Gateway, provides many international links about Black and Racial Minority issues worldwide.
The oldest of the U.S.-based organizations striving for racial and ethnic equality is the NAACP, which has a full-function, extensive site.  Other sites include those focused on:
More on the Asian American online communities.  Here are some of the different kinds of links to various Asian American sites and community connections.  This is a very, very small percentage of the available sites - Asian Americans are more likely to be online than any other ethnic group in the U.S.
Following September 11, 2001, many Americans viewed ethnic Arabs in the U.S. with grave concern.   Articles like this one on Tolerance.orgwere designed to educate the public, reasoning that fear was greatest when accompanied by ignorance. Many sites related to Arab-Americans and Islam were hit regularly by people looking for answers.  Here are some of them:
And the Arab American News is a link to a regular newspaper/news web site with stories of interest to the Arab-American community..
The American Institute for Managing Diversity is a non-profit diversity "think tank" offering assistance to businesses and educational organizations.
Working for diversity and racial/ethnic tolerance:
Other ethnic sites and groups in the U.S.:


Week #8: Religious Communities Online

Online religious web sites may include information about converting to particular faiths.  See:
Many sites are designed to be educational, teaching those who encounter the sites about:
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Christianity (but most of online Christian education is very much a sect-by-sect thing: the link offered here is to a UK site which is Church of England) including Roman Catholic
  • is a wonderful resource about many major religions, their tenants, and how to find them online.
Some faiths include online discussion groups and classes, like:

The blog phenomenon is also very commonly used for binding religious communities together. See, for instance, the following:

Okay, so we need some of this here, too: Cult information. (And yes, the Urantia book folks have been called a "cult.")

  • The Rick A. Ross Institute studies destructive cults and has enormous educational resources
  • The bizarre suicide UFO cult called Heaven's Gate still has a live web site, and there are extensive evaluations of what happened, including this very good analysis from The Religious Movements HomePage. Note that the Religious Movements page also offers links to sites that discuss the difference between groups that are establishing new faiths and dangerous religious groups (often called destructive cults).
  • Some people put the Church of Scientology into the cult category because of its actions. Among the anti-Scientology sites is Operation Clambake, which is the "fight against the church of Scientology on the net."
And there are some full "community" sites which provide further links to locations dealing with a particular faith and its adherents.  See, for instance,
Here are a bunch of really excellent links for scholars or students.

And the Internet is a great place to meet singles of one's faith. See:

Week #7:  Sexual Preference & Practice Issues Online
"Gay Today" is a daily online news-zine which focuses on issues of the "queer" (particularly gay male) community. has extensive information about sexuality issues, including a guide to Coming Out and Staying Out.
Domestic violence is a concern for partnerships in the GLBT Communities, just as it is in heterosexual communities.  One site focuses on debunking the myth that women don't abuse women.
RainbowSauce is a cultural portal site for the gay community, providing information about GLBT music, fiction, film, etc.
The Transgender Guide offers information, links, and advice for the transgendered community, including social opportunities and suggestions.
For men and women who are looking for a comfortable place to live, Birds of a Feather (a GLBT planned community in New Mexico) looks nearly heaven-sent.
And LesbianNation is a lifestyle site for cultural concerns for the lesbian community: from daily news to how to plan a queer-friendly vacation.
For many GLBT community members, going on vacation may mean specialized travel planning (to find places that are safe, inviting, and open to gay lifestyles).   GayAmerica offers destinations in the United States through its travel links and information. And RainbowVacations is a site devoted to travel around the world in gay-safe locations.
Often, legal issues are of grave concern for members of the GLBT community. Here's the Transgender Law and Policy Institute page, as an example.
What is particularly interesting about online GLBT communities is that they are very geographical in nature:  many cities have web sites which plug locals into the area scene.   GayBuffalo (NY) and Out in Boston (guess where?) are two examples, as is OutFront, focusing on the Twin Cities.  And Queer America will help locate a gay group by area code or postal code.
Some GLBT sites are focused not just on geography, but also on shared interests outside of sexual identification. Dignity Boston, for instance, is designed for members of te GLBT community who are also Roman Catholics.
GLBT Support & News Web Sites Online
Anti-Gay Web Sites Online
Sexual Practices/Sex Education Web Sites
  • Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Expression Policy Project often find themselves defending cyber-porn on First Amendment grounds.  But much which is called cyber-porn, they argue, is also informative.
  • More and more sex education happens online.  The Daze Reader provides factual, useful information, for instance.  One online site claims that more sex education happens online than in the classroom in 2002.
  • One Canadian site offers extensive information on sexuality, birth control, and safe sex issues.
  • And "Ask NOAH" lets people learn the facts about STDs in private.
  • Groups like Planned Parenthood can provide information about birth control in an anonymous, online venue.
  • Having concerns, but talking about them is problematic? Web sites like are there to provide therapeutic information in a non-threatening environment. (And, of course, there are about a bazillion health sites dealing with sexual issues.)


Week #6:  Gender Communities and Issues Online

One of the most mainstream of women's groups is the National Organization for Women (U.S.) , which has a very informative web site.
A very nice women's community site is the popular Women's Web (from Canada). This site goes beyond many and looks at everything from clothing to health to politics to LGBT topics.
A portal, or internet gateway, for feminist/women's issues of great value is the Feminist Majority Foundation
Civil Rights of Women (UK site) is a page that is part of the Social Science Information gateway of sites.
One area of concern for feminist organizations has been with the images of women in advertising and the media. AboutFace exists to combat some of those stereotyped images.
Specializing in news about women in Latin America is this web site (ALAI Mujeres) in Spanish.
Gender advocacy sites online includes this UK site: Bridge, focusing on gender advocacy and mainstreaming.
Canadian Women's Health Network: This site, available in both English and French, offers very extensive resources on women's health. A large assortment of relevant topics include not just the usual ones such as "fitness and nutrition," "menopause and healthy aging," and "pregnancy and motherhood," but also such categories as "gender-based analysis," "health policy," "women in the workplace," and attention to the health issues of aboriginal women, lesbians and bisexual women, and women with disabilities.
IDEA: Gender and Political Participation site looks at women's connectedness in the political process.
And this site offers tools for women in a variety of areas: political, legal, mental health, anti-violence, and activism.
A lot of gender-involved web sites look at serious concerns, including this site devoted to Eco-Feminism (it is very well organized).
One non-governmental agency is the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, which is focused on issues involving sexual exploitation of women.
The American Association of University Women is a professional organization designed to focus on women's issues, especially on campus for students and university faculty/staff.
Want a search engine/vortal for women's issues?   Take a look at
(This one is humorous: the Dull Men's Club, for those who don't want to be hip and trendy.)
Men's Journal has a solid online presence, both for the general magazine, and for suggestions of the Top 100 Web Sites for Men.
The Men's Health Network offers regularly updated information about wellness issues for men. And focuses on mental heatlth concerns. (It's a no-graphics web site to enable handicapped accessiblity.)
MenStuff bills itself as a national resource about many issues affecting men: fatherhood, men at risk, substance abuse, sex, and so on. is actually run out of Western Massachusetts. It is also a broad-reaching site, looking at lots of issues affecting modern men.


Week 5 - Online Community-Building

In class: additional links

Yahoo Message Boards offer nearly anyone the chance to set up a community about nearly anything, including topics based on gender, sexual identity, politics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and collecting almost everything (including die-cast pencil sharpeners).
Here are ways to consider the process of Building an Online Community in terms of needs assessment of community members.
Jay Rosen is the mastermind behind PressThink, a blogsite devoted to the press: "included under its modern umbrella should be all who do the serious work in journalism, regardless of the technology used." Rosen looks at "citizen journalism" a lot: the chronicaling of our world by average citizens, not paid members of the media megalopolies.
Take a look at TechSoup's Online Community Message Boards -- ways for the average user to become more connected with the technology of being virtual.
One of the most popular (and the newest) tools for building online communities is the blog, or Web Log.  I've set up a blog site for this class at, one of the largest and most popular of the free blogging sites.
And you will generally discover that virtual communities still want immediate gratification (just as live ones do). This is usually accomplished using various chat options.  Some chat can be routed through a web site, using a Java-based chat client.  (The one linked here is for Investor chat.)

But in cases where people are not using Java-capable browsers, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is one of the oldest forms of chat.  Some chat functions with WebCams, for visual as well as typed communication (and even with microphones, if you have lots of bandwidth).


Week 4: Political Empowerment

In class: Political empowerment, citizen journalism & blogs

ModelMinority is a guide to Asian-American Empowerment.
Islam Online includes a section on political empowerment of U.S. Muslims.
And there are empowerment "portals":  sites which gather data about political empowerment in an online world.  One of these is The Multicultural Advantage.


Week 3: Minority Political Process

In class: E-democracy sites and links

Feminist Majority Foundation
Civil Rights of Women (UK site)
IDEA: Gender and Political Participation site
Model Minority: A Guide to Asian-American Empowerment
African-American Planning Commission (ending homelessness in NYC)
American Demographics (online magazine)
Hispanic Online's political pages -- providing a forum for public debate


Week 2: Digital Democracy

In class: Political Blogs and a variety of Political Links

Information on candidates, issues, elections, and referenda at
The oldest political news daily online is Capitol Hill Blue.
To track state-wide and national races, see's 50 state election guides.
With blogging blazing the trail of grassroots politics, says they exist to go one step further.
And here is the ultimate PAC round-up: Open Secrets, a web site devoted to "show me the money."
Money is the blood of politics, and Political Money Line does much the same as Open Secrets, and it includes such things as government paid travel expenses by candidates and elected officials.


This page created and maintained by
Dr. Deb Geisler
Department of Communication and Journalism
Suffolk University
Boston, MA  02108
Last updated 6 December 2007