the on-line diary of
ralph robert moore


the official website for the writings of
ralph robert moore

Copyright © 2001 by Ralph Robert Moore.

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sentence start
may 27, 2001

When I first got on the Internet in 1997, after a year or so of seeing mysterious www references on billboards and in TV and magazine ads, I was stunned at the amount of information available. I remember putting Philip K. Dick's name into a search engine, and coming up with site after site discussing his work and life, including one site that even had a recording of his voice. After so many years of reading Dick, I was now able to hear the man himself, speaking. A voice tells you so much about a person. Imagine if we could hear actual recordings of Poe's voice, Washington's, Caesar's, Christ's. I put in the name David Lynch, and was astonished to find I could download the entire text of an early draft of his script for Blue Velvet. And it was all free!

The first few months, I loved going upstairs after work and simply roaming down the different paths I found on the Internet, not knowing where they would lead, or where their forks deep within would lead.

After about a half year, the Internet became boring to me. I felt I had visited everywhere I wanted to go. I had exhausted the Web.

I hadn't, of course. I had simply fallen into the habit of using the same search words, and visiting the same sites, over and over. I had also grown a little weary of having to perform multiple searches to discover the information I wanted.

I noticed by then some sites included lists of links on specific subjects, such as HorrorNet's links to hundreds of horror writers and artists, which made searching so much easier.

Since then, I've toyed with doing the same thing myself, creating a page which would contain hundreds of links to subject-specific sites, as a convenience to surfers.

I've now created that page, and am calling it SENTENCE Start.

It's been a labor of love I've greatly enjoyed. It's my little contribution to the community. I see it as growing over time, but at present it includes:

- Links to a variety of sites to gain practical information, such as tracking UPS, Fedex or Airborne Express packages, or specific air flights or Amtrak schedules, or checking bluebook values, upcoming movies, video release dates, local weather, etc.

- Links to over 200 author websites.

-Links to hundreds of on-line newspapers from around the world.

-Links to 60 on-line magazines.

-Links to about 20 different sites devoted to computers and the Internet, 20 devoted to webmaster tools, and 20 to search engines.

-Links to facilitate research projects, including on-line dictionaries, encyclopedias, a thesaurus, guides to grammar and style, ancestry tracing, etc.

-Links to all U.S. Federal branches of government, 25 Federal agencies, and all 50 state legislatures.

-Links to about 20 additional sites, under Unique Sites, that I personally enjoy visiting.

In addition, there's a direct search function on SENTENCE Start provided by Google, and 10 movie-related news headlines/links which change daily.

Additional resources will be added over time.

I see SENTENCE Start as an expanded Bookmarks or Favorites page, providing an easy springboard to thousands of significant resources on the Web. As one example, because one of the better features of the Internet is its internationality, you now have the opportunity to read about the same public event not only in your local newspaper, but in literally hundreds of papers around the world.

A project this large can't, and probably shouldn't, be constructed by one person. I welcome any and all suggestions any of you might have regarding categories that should be added, or links within categories. I want a wide diversity of opinion and resources. I want SENTENCE Start to be as comprehensive a window to the world wide web as possible.

Here are my modest rules:

All links must be to English-language sites.

Links to Author sites must be to writers who have been widely published. I want links to both established, mainstream authors, from all periods and nations, and to underground or cult writers. But all authors linked to in this section must have been published either in a number of hardcopy magazines, or in at least one hardcopy book that is not self-published. In addition, the site linked to must contain a comprehensive overview of that writer. Ideally, that means bibliographical information on the author's works, samples of his or her writings, critiques of the work, preferably from several sources, biographical information, and links to other sources on the Internet for further information.

Links to Newspaper sites must be links to actual newspapers that are distributed in the geographical region on which they report. I do not want links to informational sites that tell us all about Albany, New York or Athens, Greece. I want links to the English-language newspapers published and distributed in those cities.

Links to Magazines can be links to magazines that exist on newsstands, or only on servers.

Most of the other categories are self-explanatory. For Unique Sites, if you know of a site that is genuinely different, that presents its own view of the world, please send it to me and I'll be happy to review it.

While I was creating SENTENCE Start, I came across a newspaper in mainland China that includes a Personals section. All the ads, written in English, were by young Chinese professionals, male and female, seeking a mate. What surprised me in reading the ads was how often the writers would include, in their descriptions of themselves, their college degree, and, in their description of the mate they were seeking, the phrase, "a warm family person". That tells me more about communist China than a lot of densely-written political analyses.

The Internet holds tremendous resources. What I want to do with SENTENCE Start is provide an easily-opened window to those resources, all on one page. If you're interested in joining my effort, please contact me at with your suggestions. An e-mail proposing I include links to major corporations will not be as enthusiastically received as an e-mail that includes those links. Anyone whose suggestions I do use will be acknowledged on SENTENCE Start, with links to their e-mail and website.

SENTENCE Start is an easy way for you to contribute to the electric community. I hope all of you participate.