The Shopping Club

Forty Acres and a Mule.com

Dear Bruce,

Ready to stake your claim in cyberspace? Time was, a personal Web page was the privileged domain of the rich and geeky. But with scads of companies offering megabytes of free space and step-by-step tutorials, anyone can settle the electronic frontier. Whether you want to post your wedding pictures or simply cobble together a tacky vanity site, ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Yahoo’s Geocities is the industry standard, and it’s very well-designed. My own dear mother uses it to upload digital photos of the antiques she sells on eBay, and she has found it quite manageable. They’re also generous, giving you 15 megs of free space. Check out my Geocities Web page, which I cranked out in about 10 minutes.

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Lycos’ Tripod boasts that they can build you a home page in a minute. I took an extra four to make something truly special. Their usability compared favorably with Yahoo’s, and they offer members a competitive 11 megs.

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Bruce, I also took the liberty of making a site for you. By this, my third attempt, I had truly mastered the form. The style template, “lava flow,” is a hallmark of my mature period. I used Switchboard for this one. Again, the service was very easy to use, but since they give you only a miserly 2 megs of space, they rank a distant third in this micro-survey. Have you stumbled across anything good today?

Readers’ Corner: A number of concerned readers have written in wondering if any of these goodies are available for the Macintosh. I’m pessimistic about this–if these companies can reach a big enough share of Windows users, it doesn’t pay for them to develop a Mac version. I’d be delighted if any Mac users could prove me wrong. E-mail me if you know any free Mac-compatible ISPs or calling services.

Regards,
Andrew

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