Some useful web tools

I came across a few useful web tools recently and thought I might share them with you. They are of interest if you have your own website(s) and/or blog(s).

  • www.woorank.com calls itself an “instant website review”, and although it’s perhaps more aimed at SEO specialists it can be useful for those of us who are less specialised too. You enter your website/blog URL, click on “website review” and it generates a report which covers different categories such as Visitors (e.g. traffic rank, visitor localisation),  Social Monitoring (e.g. social network popularity), Mobile (e.g. rendering and optimisation), SEO Basics, Content, Links, Keywords, Authority (e.g. most popular pages), Backlinks, Usability, Security and  Technologies.
Image representing WooRank as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Based on the woorank analysis of my three sites (this blog, my professional website and my personal blog) I headed to the following sites:

  • www.copyscape.com is a plagiarism checker which allows you to search for copies of your webpages elsewhere on the internet. It’s free (but also has a paying professional version), and once again you just enter your URL and let it get to work. Luckily none of my sites have been plagiarised, although it did bring up the Wilhelm von Humboldt quote in my Taking Turns blog post, for a quote is obviously not original and is to be found elsewhere on the net.
  • www.dmoz.org is an open directory project which is “the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web”. It is constructed and maintained by a large worldwide community of volunteer editors. It’s aim is for the internet to organise itself, using these editors (‘net-citizens’) to organise small parts of the Web, keeping the good stuff and getting rid the bad and useless. You submit your website(s) and within a few weeks an editor will review it and decide whether or not to include it in the directory. BEing catalogued on dmoz.org can help search engines to find your site(s).
Open Directory Project

Image via Wikipedia

One last thing I found out recently – if you have website based in France do be aware that it’s compulsory to show the “Mentions Legales” on your site. The exact content needed varies slightly depending on whether your  website is for a “personne physique” or a “personne morale” but this link should help you. ‘Forgetting’ this legal information on your site could mean up to a year in prison and a €75,000 fine!

How language can reflect cultural assumptions

English: Two Khasi girls in traditional dress ...

I recently listened to a podcast on the BBC’s “From our Own Correspondent” programme (you can read the corresponding article here : BBC News – Meghalaya, India: Where women rule, and men are suffragettes or listen here) about a small north-eastern Indian state which operates under a  matrilineal system. Here men are the downtrodden gender and a men’s rights movement has been created. Interestingly the comment was made that the local Khasi language reflects this cultural, gender-based assumption:

“A tree is masculine, but when it is turned into wood, it becomes feminine,” says the president of the movement. “The same is true of many of the nouns in our language. When something becomes useful, its gender becomes female”.

Rather like in French “un arbre” for a tree but “une planche” for a plank of wood. I’d never really thought of things that way, in terms of usefulness. Don’t you think the men are taking things a bit far? At least English doesn’t have the same problem!

Khasi man

P.S. Funnily enough while listening to this podcast I found out that Cherrapunji, a town in Meghalaya holds the world records for the most amount of rain in 4 days, 31 days, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12 months, and two years. This was of interest to me as Reunion Island, where I live, holds the world records for the most amount of rain in 9, 18 1/2, and 24 hours, and 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 days! You can read my blog post about it here.

Highest Rainfall in the world in cherrapunjee