by Jeanne Hedge
Who are you and what have you done with Ryan Mathews?
Like many other April columnists, it all began one day when a message titled "Jeanne, help! Need guest writer for Last Exit!" arrived in my mailbox. (If a message like that ever shows up in your mailbox, run for the nearest exit. Of course, if your name isn't Jeanne, then you should delete it - it's obviously been mis-routed.) And so, after much arm twisting and gnashing of teeth, I agreed to do the April column while Ryan's disappeared to parts unknown (what, did you really think I did something with him? Not me, but have you looked under your couch?)
All that doesn't answer the question of who I am, of course. My name is Jeanne Hedge, and I first met Ryan because we both write fan fiction. As I recall it, he invited me to be on a fanfic panel at Katsucon a few years back. Maybe some of you were even there - there were 5 or 6 people for the panel, but then several other fanfic writers sort of invited themselves to be on the panel too, and when the dust settled there were about 18 panelists, and about 3 people in the audience.
I also run a web site, generically titled HedgeNet (plug plug), which is really 2 different sites. The Short Story Page contains all sorts of read-online stories (fiction, non-fiction, horror, fantasy, and fanfic of course) and poetry that people have submitted. The other side of the site is where you can find detailed synopses of the original Bubblegum Crisis OAV series, as well as AD Police and Bubblegum Crash. Pay a visit some time!
Enough about me, though, let's get on with things...
According to Ryan, I can rant pretty good when I want to, and since ranting is traditional for this part of The Last Exit....
Back in November, the Last Exit explored the AniPike. All well and good, but the AniPike, like just about every other web site that has links (including mine), has a major problem - broken links, dead links, 404 links, links to nowhere.
You know how it is - you're out there digging around the web, looking for that one thing to make your life complete, and there it is - the Link to Nirvana. So you follow the link, and the next thing you know, those dreaded numbers 404 are floating in front of your eyes.
Aggravating? You know it is. Fixable? You bet it is.
Guys, all you have to do is send a note to the person behind the web site when you find a broken link (it's the rare web site that doesn't have someone's email address on it). And you people with web sites - if someone tells you there's a link broken, do something about it! Better yet, check the links on your site once in a while and take care of the broken ones. It doesn't matter if you fix the link or take it down, but don't knowingly leave a broken link on your site! Not only is it frustrating to the people visiting your site, it makes you looks stupid!
And you folks who are moving or taking down your web sites - how hard is it to go to some place like Google, plug in your URL, see who has links to you, and then tell them that their link to you needs to be fixed? Yeah, it is a little time consuming to visit all those pages, but then again you don't have to write an original note for each site, and maybe you'll see something you like while you make the trip.
Yes, I said the AniPike itself is an offender major offender in the un-corrected broken links department. A friend of mine tried for nearly 2 years to get the link to his site corrected before it finally happened. BUT, when the people at the AniPike finally did realize they had a problem, they did something about it, and things have gotten a lot better over the past few months.
So if you find a broken link on the AniPike, use the Broken Link Form at http://www.anipike.com/broken.html to report it. If your site is listed on the AniPike, but you need to update the URL, pay a visit to the Update Link Form at http://www.anipike.com/update.html to get it changed. And if you find a broken link your travels along the web, tell somebody, and if you can take care of a broken link, FIX IT!
And now that that's over with, it's time for Web picks!!