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 Indexing Specialties: Web Sites

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Hedden Information Management


Web Site Indexing Online Course Texts

For a number of years, Hedden Information Management offered group and individualized, self-paced online training sessions in web site indexing. Some of the lessons were also part of an online course previously taught through Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, but other lessons supplemented and went beyond that course. While no longer offered as instructor-led courses, the course files are available for purchase (at a discount of 55-60% off the original prices), and those purchasing the texts are welcome to email the instructor-author, Heather Hedden, with quick questions (although trouble-shooting and work feedback is not included). Course files were last updated in 2010. Course files include:

  • Text, including step-by-step instructions
  • Examples and screenshot images
  • Suggested practice exercises
  • Links to additional resources and articles

Course 1: Web Site Indexing for Freelance Indexers
A session for indexers who already know the basics of HTML. It provides an overview of the web index types, tools to use, the market and marketing, and an introduction to related topics of taxonomies and metadata. Students create indexes in commercial indexing software and convert them to HTML.

    1. Lesson 1: Introduction
      Types of web site indexes and an analysis of sample indexes and their source code.
    2. Lesson 2: Indexing tools
      An overview of software tools to help create web site indexes, and how to use indexing software the student may already have (Cindex, Macrex or SKY Index) to create an HTML index.
    3. Lesson 3: Choosing sites
      What sites are most suitable for indexes. How to download a site and plan for indexing.
    4. Lesson 4: Web index market
      Awareness, knowledge, and demand for web site indexes. Includes discussion of marketing for freelancers and the issue of index maintenance.
    5. Lesson 5: Related topics
      Taxonomies, database indexes, and metadata indexing.

    Cost: $55  

Course 2: Indexing Techniques for Web Sites and Intranets

A session for those who know HTML or work with web sites (webmasters, information architects, web designers, web developers, web content writers and editors). Experience in indexing is not needed, however, those with experience in book indexing will also benefit from this session, as web indexing is slightly different. The emphasis is on creating appropriate index entries, rather than on the technical aspects of HTML indexing.

    1. Lesson 1: Techniques: Choosing what to index
      Deciding which web pages to index and what to index (from among headings and other concepts) within the pages chosen.
    2. Lesson 2: Techniques: Index terms
      Deciding how to word the index main entries and subentries, when and how to form entries, and how to come up with additional terms.
    3. Lesson 3: Techniques: Refining and editing
      Creating See and See also cross-references and considerations in editing the index structure.
    4. Lesson 4: Formatting and style
      When and how to change an website index's format and style and special considerations in web indexing, such as those pertaining to subentries.

    Cost: $55  

Course 3: HTML Indexing Tools
A session focused on how to use each of the two dedicated web site indexing tools: HTML Indexer (with a free demo) and XRefHT32 (freeware). This session may be combined with Course 1 for freelance indexers, or combined with Course 3 for webmasters not experienced in indexing, or taken on its own.

    1. Lesson 1: XRefHT32
      Instruction in how to use the freeware website indexing tool, XRefHT32
    2. Lesson 2: HTML Indexer
      Instruction in how to use the commercial website indexing tool, HTML Indexer, which has a free demo.
    3. Lesson 3: Additional software features and practice
      Instruction in additional features of XRefHT32 and HTML Indexer not covered in the first lessons, and additional practice using a choice of one of these tools.

    Cost: $45  

Software: No special software needs to be purchased to complete the courses. Rather, students will use what they have or download demo versions or other free software from the Internet. Both Windows and Mac users may take these courses. For Course 3, the freeware XRefHT has both a Windows version an a Java version that can run on any platform (Mac, Linux, etc.) as long as you have the Java Runtime Environment. The other software tool, HTML Indexer is Windows only, for which one lesson is devoted. Non-Windows users may take a shortened version of Course 3 for a discount. All students will also need a web browser, e-mail, and Notepad or other text editor.

Additional texts: No textbook is required, but three are recommended:
1) Indexing Specialties: Web Sites, by Heather Hedden. Information Today Inc., 2007. $40.00, $32.00 for ASI members through Information Today.
2) Website Indexing: Enhancing Access to Information within Websites, 2nd edition, by Glenda Brown and Jonathan Jermey, 2004. PDF is free. Or you can order a print-on-demand copy from Lulu for $10.90 plus postage.
3) Website Indexes: Visitors to Content in Two Clicks, by James Lamb, 2006. 144 pages. The printed book is available through for $34.99. A PDF version is available from the author's website for $25.00.

Course payment options: Hedden Information Management course payment is accepted by checks in U.S. dollars, credit card (via PayPal), or direct PayPal transfers.

Course review article:
Hedden Information Management. “Creating Web Site Indexes” , by Wendy Catalano, in Key Words, The Bulletin of the American Society of Indexers, Vol. 13. No. 4, October - December 2005.

Comments from students of the past online courses:

Thanks again for the course. It was very stimulating and I learned a lot.

I also forgot to mention that one of my favorite things about your course was all the links.

I am very happy with the course.

I'm still plugging away at the course and learning so much! It's just really well organized and seems like it leaves no stone unturned.

Heather: This is great.

I was very impressed by how well you've organized and presented the course material and the ease in
which I could follow the discussion.

I thought I knew the basics of HTML, but I learned a few things today about that subject as well as a few others.

Very easy to follow.

I finally looked through all the lessons you sent and they are wonderful.
So much good information!