Do you really need a web site?
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 3, No. 21 July 3, 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
Customise your workshop
Every organisation has different learning needs and styles. If you'd like to tailor a web content, web writing or e-newsletter workshop for your staff at your premises or elsewhere, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
* customised in-house workshops anywhere in the world can be arranged at discount rate
From the editor - Do you really need a web site?
Despite the protests of hungry web developers, not every business needs a web site.
Too many businesses have spent too much time and money on web sites with too little thought and purpose.
That was my stance in a discussion with Brisbane's Spencer Howson on ABC Radio yesterday afternoon.
Businesses with a totally local market, such as a plumber or corner store, might not benefit much from an online presence.
A busy doctor's practice with standing room only for flu victims is unlikely to need a 24-hour, potentially global presence.
But a bed and breakfast business tucked away in the hinterland would do well to make itself known via the Net.
If you're a tourism business or looking to expand overseas, you'd be crazy not to have a web site. The same goes if you sell unique products that can be shipped overseas.
By all means get a web site if you're seeking new suppliers, staff or customers.
If your products or services are complex, use your site to explain FAQs in greater depth or to reduce customer service calls.
Use your site to list opening hours, show directions to your store, promote special offers (faster and cheaper than print), highlight testimonials, order online or differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Don't get a web site unless you have the skills, time, money or gumption to do it well - a poorly designed, written and promoted site can do more harm than good.
Ask yourself, "what's in it for my business?" Then ask, more importantly, "what's in it for my visitors?"
Web content tip
July 1 marked the beginning of a new regime and policy rules for domain names in Australia.
The new arrangements include a dispute resolution policy. Having recently forked out money on legal fees, I can only say "about time".
Under the new system, AusRegistry now manages all internet names ending in .au and Melbourne IT is just one of eight registrars reselling the names.
Learn more about the changes at -
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is also at a crossroads -
Do you know what your staff are writing to your clients or customers?
Offensive, inflammatory responses to the public can do irreparable - if not financial - damage to your reputation.
Every organisation should have a policy for email and ensure employees are communicating clearly, concisely and politely.
Download a free 16-page guide to creating an e-policy at -
Pollyanna has a pain in the neck this week (and it isn't Mr Pollyanna) while Wocket reviews the wicked little book, "Fairy Tales for Grown-ups".
Read them at -
NEW - We've added a feature to the Readers Write pages so you can add your own comments or reviews. Go on, give it a go (use an alias if you're shy).
* Email your book, film or software review to email@example.com and I'll be happy to publish it under your name or alias.
The Y Files
brizcomm readers have once again risen to the challenge with stacks of great advice to Toowoomba's Terese Morgan who gave us last week's question -
Q: "When travelling overseas I was thinking of using a good digital camera but one of the limitations for a three-month trip is storage for the digital images. I had thought about some sort of web-based storage area that someone in Oz could regularly download then clear once I return. (i) Is there such a site? (ii) Can I easily upload from internet cafes etc? (iii) Do certain brands of digital camera suit this type of data transfer more readily than others? (iv) Can anyone share advice?"
A: The first three readers who answered Terese's question have won new books to review and keep. Read all the advice on digital cameras at - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/tips.asp?id=24
Email your answer or stumper to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings
Enjoy the adventure of sled dog racing, with "none of the frostbite". Learn the basics in Mushing 101, view videos and live cams, read musher bios, check race results, see cartoons and find out how to make your own dog booties and biscuits in the Kidszone.
In a net shell: Mush pit.
For all things geographical, take a spin around Geoexplorer. You'll find free map outlines, quizzes, puzzles, satellite images, sound files (from avalanches to waves), facts, photos, cartoons, statistics, links, references and rock collecting tips.
In a net shell: Geo whiz.
When you need to know, tap into the collective knowledge of Internet users at Lifetips.com You'll find more than 55,000 concise tips on hundreds of topics, from anti-aging to tennis. Become a guru yourself and earn commission on revenue generated on your sub-site.
In a net shell: Quick tips.
After years of torment, the owner of a hairy back decided to build an online forum for the "cosmetically disenfranchised". According to the site's creator, hairy-backed men are sexually and intellectually superior. See photos, read articles and interesting tidbits or contribute your own story.
In a net shell: There's a bear in there.
Don't let your teddy bear be laughed out of toytown. Canadian Vicky Vance has been designing clothes for bears (and the occasional moose) for 10 years. See what the best-dressed bears are wearing this year.
In a net shell: Bear with me.
"The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures." When you want to bring somebody down, turn to despair.com for inspiration. You'll find sticky notes, screensavers, mugs and mini-prints guaranteed to pop anyone's bubble.
In a net shell: Team breakers.
Anne-Maree Denaro of Brisbane submitted this web site review and received a new book for her trouble -
Net News on ABC News Radio
Net News (one of many high-calibre programs on News Radio) keeps us up to date with local and international news in the "virtual" world. If you’re not up pounding the pavements at 05.30 on Mondays you can still catch it at 12.05 on Sundays and Mondays or via Audio On Demand.
Send your brief site review to email@example.com and I'll send you a book to review and keep.
A physician told this story about her then four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. "Be still, my heart," thought my friend, "my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!" Then the child spoke into the instrument - "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
iManage, Inc. is the leading provider of e-business content and collaboration software. Using iManage software enables companies to work more productively and efficiently.
Yvette Nielsen, Editor
firstname.lastname@example.org 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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