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On the cyber road again


Vol. 3, No. 9, 10/4/2002


Discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 3, No. 9April 10, 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

Web version and back issues
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Web Content Workshop ($995+GST)
Canberra - April 18-19
Brisbane - May 28-29

E-newsletter Workshop ($995+GST)
Sydney - 23-24 April
Canberra - 15-16 April
Brisbane - 5-6 June


* in-house workshops also available

From the editor- On the cyber road again

Last week's apology for a newsletter drew more feedback than the regular thing (are you trying to tell me something?).

Seems I wasn't the only one motoring with hot cross buns and sticky-handed small people over the Easter break.

Poor Mark, back from Tokyo for Easter vacation with his children, spent 24 hours travelling from Toowoomba to Townsville in an overpacked ("not my idea - back still hurts") Honda Accord.

Bazza wrote in to say he'd rather drive in kangaroo country with two young kids than from Brisbane to Gladstone each day as he does for a living.

And spare a thought for Alison who's driving from Brisbane to Cairns on annual vacation with her husband and three-year-old twin boys next week.

If these place names mean nothing to overseas readers, you might be surprised to learn the distances we Aussies will drive for a short holiday at -

For tips on travelling with kids, games and in-car essentials, visit the "Fun Trip" section of http://www.travelmate.com.au/

Mum always sang to distract five ratty kids from murdering each other on long car trips. If only I had Mum's voice and Dad's patience at the wheel...

- Yvette

Web content tip

Want to know how much an entry-level designer can earn?

Creative talent agency Aquent and AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) have teamed up on a salary research project.

Results should determine benchmarks in salary structures and billing rates, differences in location, growth areas, and benefits and salary packaging in the design industry.

The survey includes non-design positions such as copywriters and business development managers. Take a few minutes to download the form at http://agda.com.au

(I'd love to see a similar initiative just for writers.)

Email tip

Choose the subject line and words in your emails carefully if you don't want to end up in the junk file.

More people are setting up their email programs to filter incoming mail automatically for classic junk mail keywords and symbols (eg advertisement, free, rich, removal instructions, money-back guarantee, teen, sex, ! or $).

Some mail administrators are being particularly vigilant against spam. My last newsletter was blocked on its way to at least two subscribers thanks to Trend SMEX Content Filter detecting "sensitive content" yet the nearest word to "naughty" I could find was "teenage".

Make sure you monitor any bounced messages and contact the mail server administrator for a reason.

Readers Write

Remember morning talks at school? Pollyanna puts herself in the shoes of her four-year-old granddaughter to tell all about the Easter break.

Toowoomba mum Kylie Herrick reviews new children's book "The Moon in the Man" by Elizabeth Honey (Allen & Unwin).

Read them at - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp

* if I've sent you a book, how about a review? (I might even send you another book). Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll be happy to publish it under your name or alias.

The Y Files

Meg Ulman from Melbourne sent in this week's question and collected a copy of Peter Carey's "30 Days in Sydney".

Q: You may have answered this previously, but I was wondering if such software exists that, when installed, prevents unwanted pop-up advertisements from appearing. Aren't they just the worst!!

A: I'm often asked that question. Pop-up and pop-under windows are the web equivalent of spam (junk email). Porn and casino sites are among the worst offenders, spawning unwanted browser windows or trapping you in their sites. Try a free version of Pop-Up Stopper - http://www.panicware.com/product_downloads.html

(if that doesn't work for your computer, just search for "pop-up" on a software download site such as zdnet.com, tucows.com or download.com).

Email your stumper to yvette@brizcomm.com.au (and I'll post you a free book to review and keep).

Surf Club

* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings

Bog the Bear's Age Gauge
Feeling your age? Gain a sense of perspective with this handy online calculator. Just enter your birth month, day and year (US format) for a list of famous people older or younger than you and your age on historic dates during your lifetime (Princess Diana's death, when humans stepped on the moon).
In a net shell: Context.

Oxymorons are common phrases that contradict themselves. This site claims to have the Net's largest list. The top 20 includes government organization, pretty ugly, head butt, tight slacks, tax return and, number 1, Microsoft works.
In a net shell: Wickedly good.

Find out how much you're worth on the open human market. The site places a dollar value on your life based on criteria covering physical, mental, lifestyle and personality. Your result will be emailed to you. Compare your price with the day's most expensive males and females or challenge a friend to compare values.
In a net shell: Sell yourself.

Learn how to move or re-shape objects without physical contact. Using your mind's energies, you might be able to move the needle of a compass, sail a cork or even bend a spoon. You can't will it to happen but must tap into higher levels of consciousness and become "one" with the object. Apparently primitive man used telekinesis instinctively as a form of survival but over time we've forgotten how to access that part of our brain.
In a net shell: Bend me, shape me.

Get a bird's eye view of streets in the United States with this free web-based application. The Java applet lets you view satellite images as if you're flying over the land. TerraFly is a step up from the similar still-picture service, TerraServer. Works best with a fast Net connection and computer. A Help file offers step-by-step flying tutorials.
In a net shell: Flyover.

The IBM Glass Engine
Choose a musical piece by composer Philip Glass based on the amount of joy or sorrow in each track. You can also use the sliding scales to select density, intensity and velocity. The Glass Engine is an IBM research project to enable deep navigation of more than 60 of the composer's haunting works.
In a net shell: Heart of Glass.

Reader's Choice

Jacquie from Brisbane offered her favourite site and picked up "The New You Survival Kit" by Daisy Waugh.

Brisbane Exchange
This site has been fabulous in enabling me to meet new people and it also has, apart from the personals, real estate, employment, classifieds and other stuff for Brisbane residents as well as having a site in each State of Australia. It's free unless you want to put a standout ad in and then they charge a small fee.

Send your brief site review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll send you a book to review and keep.

Weekly Thought

"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." - William Yeats.


4 Steps to a Higher Search Engine Ranking
Are you tired of not seeing your site in the top 25 search results? Do you want to double the amount of traffic coming to your site? Our Search Engine Optimization guru put together a four-step guide to help you achieve these goals. Get started now at: http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol4/promo_no23.htm?from=brizcomm

Yvette Nielsen, Editor
yvette@brizcomm.com.au phone 61 (0)41 771 8683
brizcomm - online content consulting and training
PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia
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brizcomm pty LTD accepts no responsibility and disclaims all liability for any incorrect information that may be contained in any articles or events mentioned in this newsletter.
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