Boyfriend’s dad has recently got online and I’m doing a document for him about logging on, searching etc (he’s very new to it all). I’m also giving him a list of sites he might enjoy - mainly thinking about forums and interactive ones as he takes a fair bit of medication and doesn’t go out much. I have the obvious ones, eg Amazon, Wikipedia, and I’ve also recommended the Dope - what else would you recommend? He’s very into photography but not too political according to the boyfriend, and he won’t need things like lastminute.com or other travel sites. US and other sites are fine but UK/Irish would be good too. Just looking for fairly general but interesting and engaging sites, easy to navigate.
Maybe WebMD or one or two of the other big medical sites?
You said he takes “a fair bit of medication.” If he’s not prone to hypochondria, perhaps he’d like to be able to poke around the information available on his own conditions? Sometimes you don’t think of the right questions at the exact moment when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office. (I sure don’t.)
Set his home page to Snopes. Preferably the section dealing with email scams. Don’t let him surf unsupervised until he’s read all about the most common ones–no, Bill Gates won’t pay him to email anybody; no, the guy with the Nigerian bank account is not his friend, etc.
If he wants to learn anything about WWII or for anyone else that likes political stuff, especially historical “what if’s” go to Axis Forums (they do other topics besides WWII)
If you are at all interested in TV and Tecnical gadgets or Movies, DVD etc try AVS Forums
Finally have him go to Google Groups and have him look up old usenet topics. There are tens of thousands of interesting things people used to write about in the days before the Web 2.0 and people used Usenet instead of message boards.
They have every group imaginable. I was surprised to find sites dedicated to signage along Interstate highways among other things.
Yikes!! Are you sure? The last few times I looked at any of that stuff it was all completely choked up with horrible porno spam. Admittedly that was a good long time ago now, but I thought that had driven everyone else out too, and onto web based message boards. Did Google somehow find a way to get rid rid of the spam and entice real people back?
Even before the spam flood, you could stumble across some very raunchy stuff (as well as a lot of very stupid, boring stuff) on Usenet in its heyday. I think it was from Usenet that some people got the idea that the internet was mostly about child porn (although it is true that it could not actually shove a picture directly in your face, like a web site can).
I was going to suggest Google news (and Google itself, of course, but you don’t need me to tell you that). If he likes his news a bit more tabloidly, maybe Yahoo is better.
The advice about scam education is good. (And explain to him why you should never use reply-to-all in email.)
(Hmm, I see the SDMB thinks internet needs to be capitalized. What if there were a network of networks on an alien planet then?)
Good advice giving him the heads-up on scammers. The minute my dad got online he immediately wanted to dive head-first into selling crap on e-bay and I had to warn him that every third email he got from that day onward was going to be from someone claiming to be his bank or PayPal and not to give his credit card or bank account or PIN to ANYBODY unless he went through the official site.
Along the same lines of Flickr…National Geographic has huge stores of professional and amateur photographs, as well as contests for people to submit their own snaps.
Does he have any hobbies? Favorite TV shows/actors/actresses? Music groups or styles? For example I frequent knitting websites and message boards, the offical Pet Shop Boys website and assorted message boards (and follow them on Twitter), You might consider signing him up for a Facebook page if he/you has/have family abroad so he can keep in touch with nieces and nephews and other far-flung ppl.