You gotta laugh
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 3, No. 6 March 13, 2002
In This Issue:
1. Web content tip
2. Email tip
3. Readers Write
4. The Y Files (Q&A)
5. Surf Club - web site reviews
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle
Now, Sydney's turn...
E-newsletter Workshop ($495+GST)
Sydney - 24 April
Web Content Workshop ($995+GST)
Sydney - April 11-12
Canberra - April 18-19
* in-house workshops also available
From the editor - You gotta laugh
Life wasn't meant to be serious.
I mean, seriously, what's the point in living if you can't have a few moments of mirth now and then.
Whenever I find myself taking life too much like a grown-up, I try to spend time with kids.
Young children know how to enjoy themselves without feeling guilty or foolish. They do and say what comes naturally. If they're amused, they laugh. If they're sad, they cry. If they're angry, look out.
As we mature, society tempers our spontaneity and we lose much of our innate ability to express ourselves honestly.
To become an effective online communicator, we need to tap back into that pre-school mindset.
Don't be afraid to use humour in your web sites and e-newsletters.
Be outrageous. Be puzzled. Be annoyed. Be original. Be passionate. Just be yourself.
After years working in government, media, academic or corporate culture, we can easily lose the "being" part of being a human being.
We begin to talk and write as though we are the corporation, which makes for ultra-dull listening and reading.
The Internet's greatest strength is its ability to connect people. People connect best through informal language.
Jettison the jargon, axe the acronyms and lighten up. Life is not a stress rehearsal, as US stress management consultant Loretta LaRoche would say.
Speaking of stress, if you have a sturdy sense of humour (and no heart problems), turn up your computer speakers and try this for fun -
Web content tip
Risk takers with a sense of humour are often the money makers in our brave new economy.
Tabloid "Weekly World News" boosted its newsstand sales by 15 per cent and its web traffic by 366 per cent with a controversial web site publicity stunt -
New Zealand content creator Simon Young discusses the pros and cons of using humour in marketing and advertising -
Too many e-newsletters are sterile and faceless wastes of cyberspace.
But they don't have to be, as my latest E-newsletter Workshop graduates know.
Online copywriter Nick Usborne shares his thoughts -
Why are some of us embarrassed to say the words, "I love you"? Pollyanna ponders the changing use of these words over the years.
Kingscliff chef Lesley Everley reviews new cook book "The Art of the Tart".
Read them at - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp
* Send your review to email@example.com and I'll be happy to publish it - along with your own URL, if you have one.
The Y Files
Nothing doing here this week. Email your stumper to firstname.lastname@example.org (and I'll post you a book).
* Previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings
Not Good Enough
Speak out and help change the system. The creators of this Australian consumer rights site want you to share your experiences, good and bad, with companies and government.
In a net shell: Have your say.
Irate People Against Senseless S***
Sad statistics and wonderful imagery present a moving appeal for compassion, food, shelter and security for all human beings.
In a net shell: Think about it.
Images resembling modern aircraft were found on the ceiling beams of a 3000-year old New Kingdom Temple several hundred kilometres south of Cairo and the Giza Plateau. UFOs or ancient soothsaying? See the jets, helicopters, gliders, submarines and zeppelin to judge for yourself.
In a net shell: Spooky.
Whip up a St Patrick's Day feast with the recipes on this site. Registration is free and gives you access to dozens of free recipes including fish, stews, breads, meat dishes and desserts. How about some Irish soda bread to soak up the green beer?
In a net shell: Dig in.
Urban Legends Reference Pages
Chop Suey is in fact an American dish, a light bulb made in 1901 is still burning, but Cher did not have a pair of ribs removed to reduce her waistline. Separate fact from fiction with one of the web's original whopper busters. Choose from such diverse categories as war, automobiles, business, Cokelore, Disney, horrors, pregnancy and travel.
In a net shell: True or false.
Lose yourself in cyberspace with this unusual interactive art site. You'll find delightful digital dancers, musical toys and magical brushes to while away hours online. Click and drag items to interact with the works.
In a net shell: Spellbinding.
Brisbane's Sam Porter will be able to SMS to her heart's content with the books I've sent her - the "ltle bk of txt msgs" and "ltle bk of luv txt" - for her web site review -
Therapy, games, toys, distractions - all by a talented web designer who calls himself Ze. It's the most original (and amusing) site I've come across in a long while. Fun in a Flash.
Send your brief site review to email@example.com
"The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all." - Irish poet and dramatist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
* Happy St Patrick's Day this weekend ;-)
WEB CONTENT CREATOR WANTED
You are a talented and experienced writer with a proven track record creating and publishing content for the web. You can take responsibility for writing and editing with excellent liaison skills with content owners. You can set guidelines for the layout, design, development and management of this new site, and are comfortable learning a new content management system. You can provide publishing support to stakeholders. Your energy, enthusiasm and commitment will take this project from beginning to end. This is not a role for the weak-kneed or faint of (creative) heart. Great opportunity for the person who thrives on organisation and looks forward to creative opportunities. Temporary assignment (about two months). Contact Brisbane-based web agent Fiona Wright with your amazing portfolio and commercial URLs - firstname.lastname@example.org