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End of innocence


Vol. 3, No. 36, 16/10/2002

In this issue:
From the editor
Tailored training
Web content tip
Email tip
Readers write
The Y Files
Surf Club (web site reviews)
Reader choice
Weekly thought
Need content?
At your service
Things that make you go huh?

From the editor

##first name##

Saturday's senseless bomb blasts in Bali have brought terrorism to Australia's doorstep.

Being so far from the rest of the world, it's easy to delude ourselves Down Under that we're safer than other countries.

The beautiful island of Bali has been a tropical playground and shopping paradise for Aussies, young and old, since the 60s.

Hippies, surfers, honeymooners, holidaymakers and retirees have been lured by the legend.

The island's cult-like popularity was immortalised in the 1985 song by Redgum, "I've Been to Bali Too".

Eight years ago I spent an idyllic few weeks exploring the island. My memories are of hot lazy days by the pool, bamboo huts, colourful bargains, icy beer, cheap satays, cheeky monkeys, divine temples, wild jungle, misty mountains, rice paddies and friendly Balinese people.

A month ago, around 11.30pm on a warm Saturday night, my brother and his nephew were tasting Bali's nightlife at the Sari Club. Today, the club is rubble.

Hundreds of lives have been shattered along with the illusion that "it could never happen here".

Families from more than two dozen countries have lost sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, fathers, mothers, cousins, colleagues, mates.

Bali may lose much of its tourism livelihood, at least in the short term.

Australia has lost its innocence, forever.

To all those who mourn, my deepest sympathies.


Latest news on Bali -

Lyrics to "I've Been to Bali Too" -

Australian Online Content Discussion List -

Tailored training

Customised in-house workshops can be arranged anywhere in the world at a discount rate.

Web writing, e-newsletters, content ideas, usability, online promotion, team motivation...whatever, wherever, whenever.

Choose a one-day course, one-hour one-to-one consultation, half-day seminar, two-hour motivational session to help your people "get" the Net, or two-day workshop. - it's your choice.

You just need four open-minded people and I'll travel to you.

Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au for a quote (excuse the plug but I have to pay for this newsletter somehow).


Web content tip

Comments by Queensland truckie Bazza in last week's discussion about pay rates drew thoughtful responses - and some good advice for aspiring freelancers - from eight readers.

For the record, Bazza is employed as a driver for a transport company and uses their truck (although he does own a truck in Maryborough and is trying to sell it, if anyone's interested).

Follow the story so far -

Compare your salary with the celebrities -

And these two links might help with rate setting (thanks to London web developer Simon Walter) -

How to price your projects

Figuring your real hourly rate

Email tip

As the volume of email increases, so too the bounce rate.

If you publish an e-newsletter, you need to know how to handle messages returned to sender.

Janet Roberts shares DoubleClick's list of nine steps you can take to reduce your bounce rate -


Readers write

How would you feel if you were pregnant, meeting your new husband's parents for the first time, and had to share a bed with your large sister-in-law? Pollyanna knows only too well.

Discover the power of positive relationships with motivational business consultant Ken Blanchard in the new paperback, "Whale Done!".

Send your review or other contribution to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

The Y Files

Kirrily Kleinschmidt asks -

Q - Any ideas what are the most popular (and best) search engines at the moment? Also, any tips on the best (free) way to get your web pages listed in relevant search results from these search engines?

A - I'll let another Nielsen (no, not Jakob, for a change) answer the first question -
My best tip for being listed with search engines (robots) and directories (powered by human editors, eg Yahoo) is to have compelling, simply designed, fresh, accessible, easy-to-read content. Well-written content is naturally loaded with keywords and will attract links from other quality sites - both factors will raise your ranking.

Did you know search engines cannot see graphics? Find out what they can see -

Send your question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Surf Club (web site reviews)

Sailing Simulator
Take the helm and master the basics of sailing with this online simulator from National Geographic. Use the sliding controller to adjust your rudder and sail or pull down the menu to reposition your boat. Print out the points-of-sail guide or, if you donít get seasick, try the interactive wave simulator then take a virtual tour of an ocean racer.
In a net shell: Tactical test.

Colour Test
Encourage the left and right hemispheres of your brain to work together with this simple test. Youíll be presented with eight screens, each featuring a word and two buttons. Choose the colour of the word, not the word itself, on each screen. You have only four seconds per screen to make your choice.
In a net shell: Tricky.

Virtual Smoke Break
If youíre trying to wean yourself from cigarettes or need a few minutesí relaxation, this site might do the trick. Set the duration of your break then sit back and watch the seconds tick by on your screen as your virtual cigarette burns but you breathe in clean fresh air.
In a net shell: Virtual placebo

MIT OpenCourseWare
Study for free online with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT announced in April 2001 that is would make all of its course materials available f*ee online over the next decade. You can find syllabi, lecture notes, course calendars, assignments, video lectures and exams. Choose from aeronautics to urban studies. The catch is that if you want credit for the online courses, youíll have to pay the $US27,000 annual tuition fee.
In a net shell: Open knowledge.

Google News
Google News displays and categorises constantly updated headlines from about 4000 news sources worldwide without a human editor in sight. The collection is compiled solely by computer algorithms, based on factors including how often and on what sites a story appears (although real journalists write and edit the original news). See how different media report the same story.
In a net shell: Robot news.

Reading Toes
What do your toes say about you? A French journalist and his wife developed a method for analysing peopleís personalities and behaviour through the shape and position of their toes. The couple interviewed hundreds of people during 15 years of research at beaches and saunas. Although the shape of toes is inherited, their position may change and be influenced by the way you respond to the world.
In a net shell: Toe tip.

* reviews are previewed on ABC Local Radio Queensland about 8.35pm Mondays - tune in at http://abc.net.au/backyard/


Reader choice

Build a Medieval Castle
I found this site while my eight-year-old daughter Madlin was with me at work on day. It kept us both busy for hours. You end up with a medieval castle that looks pretty cool. We are only about half way finished but it is coming up quite well. Pity I didn't find it for the start of the school holidays.
- Reviewed by Rod Wright


Weekly thought

"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber (American writer and cartoonist).

Need content?

To reproduce any content from brizcomm's newsletter or web site in your own publication, please email yvette@brizcomm.com.au

At your service

Need someone to motivate the troops, write or rewrite content, edit or proofread, critique your own site or e-newsletter? Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Things that make you go huh?

Ready for some extreme surfing? Want to be titillated, taunted and tempted?

Buy a copy of Odd Bods - 50 bizarre sites about the human body and shock your dinner party guests with tales from the dark side of the Net.

Grab your credit card to pay securely online for instant access to professionally reviewed sites that could take years to find among the millions of dead links, scumware and pop-ups.

Only 9.95 (incl. GST) in Aussie dollars (that's about five US dollars) - less than a bottle of red wine and the wicked pleasure will last longer.

Available in .exe format for PCs (.pdf for Macs coming). Don't worry, we'll tell you how to download it - it's super easy.

Go on, live dangerously and get it while it's hot - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/shop/

Remember, this newsletter is shareware. Please give a copy to a friend or colleague and suggest they sign up. Cheers.


Yvette Nielsen, Editor - phone 61 (0)41 771 8683
PO Box 2026 Bardon Qld 4065 Australia

© 2000-2002 Brizcomm Pty Ltd

We accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability for any incorrect information in articles, sites or events in this newsletter. If links do not work, try again later - sometimes the host server for a listed site might be down temporarily.


Bobby Approved (v 3.2) Unusual Corporate Gifts other than a Gift Basket

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