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How to label a website

The basic procedure is as follows:

  1. Decide what label(s) you need
  2. Create a file that contains the label(s)
  3. Upload your label(s) to the web
  4. Link your content to the label(s)
  5. Show your visitors that you are ICRA labelled (optional)

The label generator can take care of steps 2 and 3 for you; step 4 requires you to add some hidden code to your website which only you can do. Step 5 makes the most of your efforts!

Tip: If you are familiar with using external stylesheets, think of ICRA labels in the same way. Instead of creating a CSS file you're creating an RDF file. Just as you use a tag to link your web pages to your stylesheet, you use a similar tag to link to your labels.

Deciding what label(s) you need

Have a quick look at the ICRA vocabulary (see Next Steps below). Decide whether your website can be described by a single label or whether you wish to apply different labels to different sections of your site. If you have a guestbook or message board, for example, you may want to label that section separately as containing user-generated content rather than applying a single description to the whole site. The ICRA system makes this easy to do.

Create the file that contains the label(s)

The label generator first asks for the address of your homepage. The system uses that information to make sure that the labels can be applied to your site correctly and not other websites.

You are then asked to go through the questionnaire, checking the relevant descriptors for your site. If you are going to create more than one label, begin by describing most of your site - i.e. the default label.

You may use one of the shortcut buttons at the top of questionnaire if they apply to you. These are simply quick routes to setting the descriptors for common types of website that are relatively easy to define.

Once you have agreed to ICRA's terms and conditions, you can continue to the next stage.

You will be shown a summary of the information in the label you created and offered the chance to change it, create another label, or skip straight on to step 3 - uploading the file.

Upload the labels file to the web

At this stage you are asked to give your e-mail address so that we can send you a copy of the labels file and instructions for how to proceed. This information is stored so that if ICRA receives any queries about your label, you can be contacted. Except for that circumstance, you will not receive general e-mails from ICRA or any third party ever [privacy policy].

The simplest way to upload the labels file to your website is to let the system do it for you. Just enter the FTP details you received from your ISP when you set your site up. The system will upload the labels file, check that it's in place and then take you to the final stage automatically.

If you prefer to upload the file yourself, simply leave the FTP information fields blank and use the copy sent to you by e-mail.

Linking your content to your labels

This is the stage in the process that can only be carried out by you. Along with your labels file you will receive a tag that looks similar to, but is not exactly the same as, the one shown below. You will notice that along with the Link tag you also receive a PICS version of your label.

Link Tag

<link rel="meta" href="" type="application/rdf+xml" title="ICRA labels" />

PICS Tag (to support legacy systems)

<meta http-equiv="pics-label" content='(pics-1.1 "" l gen true for "" r (n 0 s 0 v 0 l 0 oa 1 c 0 ))' />

Both of these tags need to be added to the <head> section of the HTML code of each page of your site. Help is available from the Next Steps links below, and information on legacy PICS labels can be found here.

Showing that your site is ICRA labelled

Once you have labelled your site with ICRA you can show your users that you have done this by adding either a graphic or a text link to your page. Whether text or graphic, please link to Users following that link will be able to see an interpretation of your label and find out more about ICRA.

Many sites have some sort of "small print" links at the bottom of one or more pages, perhaps to a privacy statement or contact point. You could add a "Labelled with ICRA" text link in similar fashion. Words like "approved by ICRA" or "rated by ICRA" are expressly forbidden. ICRA does NOT approve or disapprove of any site, neither do we rate sites. We provide a platform for webmasters to label their own sites using our descriptive system.

Alternatively, you can add any of the buttons available from this website. To do this, please choose one, save it to your own computer and incorporate it into your site in the same way as your other images.

To save a button to your hard drive using Windows, right click on the chosen image. Mac users should hold down the Ctrl key and click as normal. Either way, you should then select "Save Picture As...".

Making the most of your label

Once you have labelled your site you will be eligible to join ICRA as an Associate Member. Benefits include the right to use a special graphic on your website(s) and your printed material, priority technical support, and a listing on this website.

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