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Little fish take on BigPond


Vol. 2, No. 9, 21/3/2001


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 2, No. 9 Little fish take on BigPond March 21, 2001

Yvette Nielsen, Editor, yvette@brizcomm.com.au

This free newsletter is distributed by subscription only. If you
wish to unsubscribe, please see the instructions at the end.


My rant last week about BigPond's appalling customer service drew
several emails of support.

Apparently, other high-speed Internet customers on the newsgroup
bigpond.broadband.users have indicated that they've complained to
BigPond accounts (not tech support) about the quality of service
and gained substantial refunds.

You need to record times of poor service quality to substantiate
your claims.

Two others readers vouched for Optus@Home as a good alternative to
BigPond cable. "In the past six months, I am not aware that the
service has ever had an outage (not when I have been using it anyway),
and the speed is consistently faster than the DSL line I have in my
office. Even though the cost has just gone up, I think it is still
cheaper than Telstra's cable service, and the download bandwidth is
not capped either. It is not uncommon for media files - particularly
from some of the big Akami streaming servers in the US - to come in
at 600-700K/sec."

And this from another Optus customer:
"Although there were problems in the first month the last 4-5 months
have been blissful high speed access. I only worry about Optus being
bought soon and the costs potentially going up."

Comforting to know the competition measures up.


PS I'll be a guest of ABC Radio host Peter Gooch one evening this week
- if the bleedin' cricket ever finishes - and then each Monday evening.
You can find your local ABC at http://abc.net.au/local/navigate.htm#map


1. Web content tip
2. New email workshop
3. The Y Files (Q&A)
4. Columns
5. Surf Club
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly thought


1. Web content tip

The ongoing debate over whether content should be free online has
heated up this week with Salon's decision to charge an annual
subscription fee of $US30 from next month.

Subscribers will be able to access a premium version of the site
- free of banners or pop-up ads. You can still read Salon for free,
but expect bigger and more prominent ads.


Chris Pirillo, publisher of online newsletter Lockergnome, states
the case for weary content providers in his new Libera Manifesto. If
you enjoy free content (such as this newsletter), take a few
moments to read it.

On the other side, a new survey has found that most Net users still
want it for free:
However, readers will pay for editorial discernment and quality of
PS If you'd like to support this free content provider for her ongoing
time, effort and editorial judgment each week, consider sponsoring a
six-line ad in this newsletter, forwarding the newsletter, or attending
a workshop ;-)


2. New workshops

You've waited patiently since 1998 so here it is: a new workshop
exclusively for "graduates" of the original one-day Content Workshop.

The Just Write Workshop will be a similar format to the second day
of the new two-day Web Content Workshop with topics including:

* the basics of good writing
* grammar/punctuation for the Net
* web-writing techniques
* tips to hook your readers
* hints for headlines and captions
* online style guides
* content ideas and trends
* online case studies
* hands-on writing/editing exercises

You're welcome to bring along material to work on in the afternoon
session. It's a great chance for free, constructive one-on-one editing
and advice (which would usually cost you $150 an hour).

If you prefer, you can write a content strategy and actual content
for your own professional showcase site (eg online bio), corporate
site or great online business idea.

Cost is $495 (plus GST) and includes handouts, certificates (one
for the original content workshop, one for Just Write), lunch
and refreshments). The venue will be somewhere in inner Brisbane.

Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au if you'd like to attend and let me
know your preferred day of the week. I'll then set a date.

PS I've changed the date of my first public E-newsletters Workshop.
Instead of Tuesday, March 27, the workshop will now be on Thursday,
April 26. For details see http://www.brizcomm.com.au/f-wkshp.htm


3. The Y Files (Q&A)

D'Arcy Mayo, of New South Wales, submitted this week's question
- and collects the new paperback version of Pulitzer Prize winner
Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes" (HarperCollins).

Q: "Your recommendation regarding cheap domain name registration was
interesting and raised a question: What are your views/experiences
with alternatives to .com and .com.au such as .tv and .ws etc?"

A: The top-level domain suffixes were designed to differentiate
between types of organisations (eg .com for commercial, .net for
network related, .org for non-profits). As the Net grew, country-level
domains were introduced (eg .au for Australia, co.uk for the UK).
The original three extensions are still the most popular and valuable
as they're seen as global, rather than country specific (eg a .org
is worth about a 10th of a .com). *See worldwebnames.net/domains.htm
The value of country extensions vary depending on how far advanced
they are with the Internet (.co.uk is worth somewhere between a .net
and .org while a third-world country would be much lower). If you're
an established brand and rely on visitors guessing your site address,
stick with the known suffixes. If you're a small player - or you can
make a catchy domain name using a country suffix - go for it.

The trouble with tiny domains:

Worldwide domain statistics:

Domain name buyers guide:


4. Columns

brizcomm's faithful columnist, Pollyanna, shares a new experience:

"Have you ever been to a dental hygienist? This was a brand new
experience for me yesterday. My regular dentist suggested a visit
would be most beneficial for my gums, and after 65 years of solid
usage they must have been more than ready for a grease and oil change."

Read on at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/f-cyspk.htm


5. Surf Club

World Bank: Photo Library
This photography library from the World Bank offers more than 500
quality and often moving images (from its collection of 50,000)
focusing on global development. Topics include agriculture, health,
schools and water issues. Browse the library by entering "guest"
in the user name field and "browse" as the password. Search by
country, topic, photographer or description.
In a net shell: Another world.

People Finders
Tracking down old collegians or classmates for reunions is a lot
easier with the Net. For starters, try a few of the links in Belinda
Weaver's Guide to Internet Information Sources for Australian
Journalists. You'll find Australian email and organisation directories
(eg universities, government departments) as well as international
people-finding sites.
In a net shell: Where are you?

Arborsmith Studios
People come in all shapes and sizes - and so do trees. Admire some
of the world's best examples of shaped trees at the place where
"houses are planted, chairs are watered, tables are pruned, and
fences grow taller and stronger as the years go by", thanks to
arborsculptor Richard Charles Reames.
In a net shell: Living furniture.

Surname Distribution
Track down long-lost relatives - or find out which parts of the
US to avoid - with the help of this site. Just type in your last
name and you'll be presented with a colour-coded map showing the
relative population of the United States sharing your surname.
In a net shell: Family ties.

The Colour Text Brain Teaser
If you think you know your colours, think again. The point of
this little brain drainer is to say the name of the colour of
each word - not the colour named by the word. To really test
yourself, try playing in another language.
In a net shell: I see red.


6. Reader's choice (see archives in Surf Club at www.brizcomm.com.au)

"As a content editor and writer, I found this site of great personal
use. I especially enjoyed the section on better headline writing.
The site also provided food for thought for the direction of our
corporate site/s. For example, the online editing section discussed
strategies for localising news sites. While we are not a news site
as such, this led to some great brainstorming regarding how we could
leverage off our strong regional network and make our content more
relevant to our local membership. A word of warning - if you are
going to explore this site, give yourself lots of time."

Thanks to Brisbane's Robyn Coy for this week's review. Robyn picks
up a copy of the new hardback, "B2B: how to build a profitable
ecommerce strategy", by Michael J Cunningham (Allen & Unwin).


7. Weekly chuckle

Japan has banned all animal movements after discovering some nibbled
beds in Tokyo. They think it could be an outbreak of Futon Mouse.




Yvette Nielsen, Editor
phone 61 (0)4 41 771 8683

brizcomm - online content consulting and training
PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia

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(c) 2000 Brizcomm Pty Ltd

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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