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Guestbook

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A guestbook is a physical or digital log where visitors can leave their details and comments, often found in public institutions and private homes. They come in various forms, such as paper-based ledgers or books, special hotel registers, and Books of Condolence. They are traditional features in weddings, churches, B&Bs, museums, and schools. Digital guestbooks, on the other hand, are logging systems for website[1] visitors, allowing them to leave public comments without needing to create a user account. These digital guestbooks also display visitor demographics and feedback. The purpose of guestbooks, both physical and digital, is to acknowledge the visitor’s presence, gather their details, and obtain feedback for improvements. These guestbooks often pique the interest of historians and scholars who study them as ephemeral objects of interest, providing statistics about visitors and enabling future interactions. There are also concerns related to guestbook spam, and resources on Wikimedia Commons about guestbooks are available.

Terms definitions
1. website. This text primarily discusses the concept of a 'Website'. A website is a collection of interconnected web pages, usually including a homepage, located on the same server and prepared and maintained as a collection of data by a person, group, or organization. Websites are a cornerstone of the internet, serving as hubs for information, commerce, communication, and entertainment. They can have various forms such as business sites, gaming sites, academic platforms, or social networking sites. Websites have evolved over time, from text and static images to dynamic, interactive multimedia platforms. The development and functionality of websites are governed by web standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Websites are also influenced by advancements in web server technology and design principles such as responsive design.
Guestbook (Wikipedia)

A guestbook (also guest book, visitor log, visitors' book, visitors' album) is a paper or electronic means for a visitor to acknowledge a visit to a site, physical or web-based, and leave details such as their name, postal or electronic address and any comments. Such paper-based ledgers or books are traditional in churches, at weddings, funerals, B&Bs, museums, schools, institutions and other private facilities open to the public. Some private homes keep visitors' books. Specialised forms of guestbooks include hotel registers, wherein guests are required to provide their contact information, and Books of Condolence, which are used at funeral homes and more generally after notable public deaths, such as the death of a monarch or president, or after a public disaster, such as an airplane crash.

Norwegian Minister of Defense Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen signs a guestbook at the Pentagon in 2007
Hussein of Jordan signs the Golden Book of Hamburg.
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signs the guestbook at the Department of State.
A guestbook from the Salant Hotel, held by the National Library of Israel

On the web, a guestbook is a logging system that allows visitors of a website to leave a public comment. It is possible in some guestbooks for visitors to express their thoughts about the website or its subject. Generally, they do not require the poster to create a user account, as it is an informal method of dropping off a quick message. The purpose of a website guestbook is to display the kind of visitors the site gets, including the part of the world they reside in, and gain feedback from them. This allows the webmaster to assess and improve their site. A guestbook is generally a script, which is usually remotely hosted and written in a language such as Perl, PHP, Python or ASP. Many free guestbook hosts and scripts exist.

Names and addresses provided in guestbooks, paper-based or electronic, are frequently recorded and collated for use in providing statistics about visitors to the site, and to contact visitors to the site in the future. Because guestbooks are considered ephemeral objects, historians, literary scholars and other academic researchers have been increasingly eager to identify and help conserve them.

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