Today Jill Hups is joining us as a regular contributor. She will be here each Tuesday writing about the techie things writers should know.


My name is Jill Hups and yes, I’m a nerd. There. I admit it. I mean, how many writers can you find that not only enjoy the creative side of the craft but the techie side too? Not as many as you may think. In fact, I probably find more writers who are uncomfortable climbing around on the sticky ladders of the Web than those who are at ease. Therefore, as self-proclaimed Web guru of ACFW Colorado, I’ve decided to come to the aid of those of you who fall into the “uncomfortable” category.

But before I jump straight into my column, here are some tidbits you should know:

  1. The Internet is your friend. It won’t hurt you. It is not a monster under your bed waiting to grab everything off your computer and send it spiraling into virus and hacker land.
  2. Yes, you should use precaution and keep an active anti-virus program running in the background at all times. And yes, you should stay away from sites like Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes because, as we all know, the more information you give to someone over the Web the greater the chance of them bombarding you with unsolicited email, and sending nasty little ad and malware bugs your way.
  3. No, that person who emailed you about your great-aunt being stuck at an      airport inTimbuktu without a passport really doesn’t know her, so don’t send them the $10,000 they are requesting. Use wisdom.
  4. If you are alive, you’re public. What that means is, information about you is available on the Internet for others to see whether you like it or not. Therefore, unless you plan on paying big bucks to a company that can keep your identity completely hidden, relax.
  5. That being said, always check the privacy policy of any site you give your      information to—especially mass marketing sites like Publisher’s Clearinghouse.  And check the privacy settings for social network and blog sites you belong to. Many times the info that “escapes” is the info you let escape.

Now, onward with…


(Or At Least Be Comfortable With)

Volume 1, Edition 1

This week I’m going to share The Uncomplicated Anatomy of a Web Browser.

So you have a web browser. Whether it is Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari, below are some basics all savvy users should know (the visual example I’m using is from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer):

1) Title bar. This is the text that appears at the top of the browser window. It usually includes text that describes the content that appears on the web page. For example, the title bar of this page is “The Inkwell”.

2) Tool bar. A tool bar contains a menu of buttons and input boxes on the browser. It helps you navigate the website and includes the browser’s back, forward, home and reload buttons, as well as the address and search box.

3) Address box. This box displays the address, or URL, of the webpage you are viewing. You can enter any web address into this box to navigate to new pages. You can also copy/paste a webpage address into this box.

4) Search box. Except for Google Chrome, the search box is located on the top left or right side of your tool bar. Type in the phrase of something or someone you are looking for and the search engine (Yahoo, Bing, Google, etc.) will take you to a results page. Google Chrome works a little differently in that the address field and search box are combined into the same field.

5) Status bar. This is the bar that appears at the BOTTOM of your web browser. When you are loading a page this bar usually shows the browser’s progress.

6) Tabs. Tabs give your browser the ability to load multiple webpages without opening a new window. They are generally located beneath the tool bar, with the exception of Google Chrome, which puts them above the toolbar. To open a new tab, press Ctrl+T.

7) RSS Button. If a webpage offers RSS feed, you will see an orange square with white lines. Clicking on it will allows you to subscribe to the RSS feed for that page.

So there you have it. Now you can impress your friends with your *vast* amount of browser anatomy knowledge. Just remember, each browser will look a wee bit different, but this should help you get the just of the layout.

Next week: Utilizing PayPal