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Why do you bother?


Vol. 3, No. 38, 30/10/2002

In this issue:
From the editor
One-day web-writing workshop
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##

People often ask why I bother reviewing web sites and writing this newsletter week after week for free.

Simple - I love it.

While writers should sell their skills for all they're worth, self publishing online has more rewards than money.

In print, you rarely hear from your audience unless you make a mistake (then people are only too happy to waste a stamp or phone call complaining).

Online, feedback is instant and overwhelmingly positive, apart from the odd jerk. Email creates a personal connection between people who have never even met face to face.

Publishing online creates a dialogue - the reader is not a passive recipient but an active participant (in fact, you're often the content).

An e-newsletter (done well) can be a powerful marketing tool. For instance, thanks to HTML, I can track the most-clicked links and articles, which hel ps me select content.

Hopefully, by giving you useful information each week, you'll refer me to your friends for site critiques, content strategies, writing/editing and training.

An e-newsletter is amazingly cost-effective publicity, which brings me to some good news.

Each of you can take a bow on Saturday evening when this newsletter is announced as a finalist at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (Smart Communities category).

Win or lose, you can bet the champagne will be flowing freely at Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast.

About the awards -


PS Read "strangely compelling" feedback from last week's newsletter, including response to brizcomm's mention re "jerks at work" in Writers Weekly (circulation 70,000) -
http://www.brizcomm.com.au/reade rswrite/musings.asp?x=g

PPS Australian Online Content Discussion -

One-day web-writing workshop

Plenty of people have shown interest in the first one-day Just Write Workshop on writing and editing for the online reader.

Among other things, we'll cover -
* the basics of good writing * prioritising and managing content * grammar/punctuation for the Net * web-writing techniques * tips for snappy text * when to use multimedia * hooking your readers * hints for headlines and captions * effective linking * online style guides * editing process * compelling content ideas and trends * online case studies * hands-on writing/editing exercises.

Brisbane, Friday, November 15 (numbers limited to 10). More details and bookings at -
(also available for in-house delivery - minimum of fo ur people)

Web content tip

How do you make web content accessible to people with disabilities?

Follow the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), first published as a recommendation in May 1999.

This working draft for version 2.0 builds on WCAG 1.0 and focuses on checkpoints (my favourite is checkpoint 4.1) -


Email tip

If you publish or promote your own research studies, white papers, ebooks or special reports in your newsletter, always hold something back.

Janet Roberts explains -

Readers write

Australians will celebrate their annual unofficial public holiday next Tuesday for the running of the Melbourne Cup.

Outback journalist Sally Cripps enjoyed a uniquely Australian experience at her local racecourse in dry, dusty, drought-ridden western Queensland for the Caulfield Cup -

Ever stayed in a B&B? After two weeks touring overseas with friends, Pollyanna learnt a thing or two about bed and breakfasts - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/column.asp?writer=2

Send your book or movie review (or any other contribution) to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

The Y Files

Andrew Beattie from Brisbane has a suggestion for Chris Kindermann's question last week -

Q - What can one do to fight junk email?

A - "There are some other things you can do in case sp*m has gotten past an installed filter. He can turn off auto-preload images if he is using Outlook Express or Outlook under the options tab. Also under options he can turn off the preview pane. This should stop any porn sp*m that has gotten past the filter from unexpectedly popping up." Thanks for the tip, Andrew.

Send your question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Surf Club (web site reviews)

Little Hercules
Richard Sandraks is 10 years old but has the muscles of a grown man. His incredible strength and self-discipline is in his genes (his dad is a world martial arts champion and his mum, a fitness champ). Richard, dubbed "Little Hercules", is one of the strongest humans in the world pound for pound and a 5th degree black belt. Read tips on children's training, nutrition and meditation.
In a net shell: Bicep boy.

Mensa Workout
Find out how bright you really are with this quiz from Mensa. It's not an IQ test nor will it qualify you for membership of Mensa but it will make you think. Mensa was founded in England in 1946 to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinct ions. The society welcomes people from every walk of life - as long as your IQ is in the top two per cent of the population.
In a net shell: Think.

The Pre-date Confidence Builder
Single life has its drawbacks, particularly when you need reassurance before going out. Overcome self-doubt before a big date and ask web robot "zefrank" how you look, whether your outfit goes together or for general words of encouragement.
In a net shell: Cra-zefrank.

I Used To Believe
Remember the moment a childhood belief was shattered? This site collects those surprisingly common memories, from bad habits such as thumb sucking to a primal fear of toilets.
In a net shell: True confessions.

Museum of Online Museums
http:// www.coudal.com/moom.php
MoOM gathers links to online exhibitions across a colourful array of interests and obsessions, from classic art to mundane or bizarre objects "elevated to art by their numbers, juxtaposition, or passion of the collector" (blown glass ray guns, toy scooters, moist towelettes, manhole covers, air sickness bags, misused quotation marks).
In a net shell: Strange.

Pumpkin Fun
Carve a virtual jack o'lantern for Halloween, play pumpkin trivia and word games, pick up a few tips on pumpkin carving tips or print out pumpkin carving templates.
In a net shell: Oranges are not the only orange fruit.

Reader choice

What Super Hero Are You?
This one was good fun - you can find out what super hero you are most like by doing a short quiz.
- from Rod Wright


Weekly thought

Spiritual Bumper Stickers

"My Karma ran over my Dogma"

"Out of body. Will be back in 15 minutes."

"Meditation - You have the right to remain silent."

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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