After the first post in this series, it made its way around Facebook on various walls and pages. In many of them someone invariably commented that they become overwhelmed trying to use the site because it is so huge. That is one of the number one things Cyndi says she hears as well in her 26+ years of running the site.
I want to ask those of you who feel overwhelmed by Cyndi’s List, how you deal with walking into a library or a big warehouse store or utilize Wikipedia? Generally we start with a plan of some kind. I mean we CAN go to a library or Costco or Wikipedia and just browse (I do love to see what new things are at Costco and there is the featured article at Wikipedia). Usually, we show up to Costco with a shopping list, we show up to the library with some topics in mind, and we should do the same with Cyndi’s List.
Just like at Costco, you cannot be totally sure about what you’ll find on the shelf. You can’t know for sure what you will find at Cyndi’s List. She is trying to curate the ever-changing world that is the internet. Websites come and go, or they change their URLs for whatever reason. Cyndi (or her minions) find new sites to add. Because of this, the site is itself ever-changing. And just like Costco that stops carrying my favorite frozen pizza, Cyndi’s list will have broken links or links that get removed because the website no longer exists.
The other thing both Cyndi and I see are folks saying in comments on posts, “there are too many broken links” and that makes the whole site somehow unusable. I want everyone to know that the entire site is run by one woman. Cyndi does all of the site maintenance manually and all by herself. She depends on users to report broken links. If you report a broken link, she will try to track that site down and find a new link, if the site simply moved, or find a link to it in the Wayback Machine if it exists.
THERE ARE BUTTONS ON THE SITE TO REPORT BROKEN LINKS.
Sorry for yelling, but it is quite easy to do and it does bother me when people complain about broken links but don’t report them. Be a pal and help out. Seriously. Cyndi will try to find a replacement for you. What other website does that?
Keep in mind that Cyndi maintains this massive resource at no charge to anyone in the community. There are no subscription fees despite some jokes that go around about having “lifetime subscriptions” to Cyndi’s List. She earns the money to keep it all going through the ads on the page. So maybe click on one once in a while. Use her Amazon link to do your usual shopping. And she also has a donation button if you’d just rather show your appreciation in the form of cold, hard cash.
Speaking of the ads, they will pop up on your screen and you have to click “close” to get them to let you continue.
So thinking about how you handle other “overwhelming” situations, use those methods to use Cyndi’s List. Next time we will start digging into the specifics about formulating a plan on how to use Cyndi’s List.