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Flying high


Vol. 4, No. 6, 5/3/2003

In this issue:
From the editor
Writing is easy?
Web content tip
Email tip
Readers write
The Y Files
Surf Club (web site reviews)
Reader choice
Weekly chuckle
Top links from last week
AD - Aquent recruits in marcomm too
Things that make you go huh?

From the editor

##first name##

As a kid growing up in a small country town, I envied the roaming sales reps who popped into my parents' pharmacy and gift shop.

These "travellers" not only stayed in motels but some even flew from the big city by plane. Wow.

Now, as a fully grown (and then some) businesswoman, airports and motels are about as enticing as cold porridge.

Having taken five interstate flights in the past two days, I reckon I could give the safety demonstration myself.

You can tell the frequent flyers - they're the ones reading newspapers or resting their eyes as everyone else is introduced to the intricacies of the seat belt, the nearest exit, oxygen mask and life jacket.

You can also spot the morons - they're the ones jabbering away on their mobile phones (often on the tarmac with jets refuelling) despite the signs and audible warnings about the dangers.

Who is so important they can't wait an hour or so for a call or message?

I sometimes wonder if some people brandish their techno toys just for pose value. Frankly, I don't care if my phone's a brick as long as it communicates just as I'll browse an ugly web site if the content is compelling.

We could learn a lesson in techno literacy from India's poorest kids, thanks to this fascinating social experiment (hat tip to Justin from Melbourne) -


* PS Looks as though journos in Mr Murdoch's dead tree media are still tolerating sub-standard rates, judging by this bulletin from the Aussie union (hat tip to Angela of Brisbane) -

"Brisbane News has blocked a Media Alliance request to hold a workplace meeting in a management bid to clamp down on information about substandard contracts. The individual contracts seek to preserve Brisbane News journalists' dubious status as having the worst terms and conditions of all News Ltd journalists across Queensland. The union recommends journalists do not sign the contracts, despite management's urging."

Ah, now that takes us back to Christmas 2001 -
And your loyal support -


Writing is easy?

Anyone can write, right? It's easy. Just drag a pen across paper or tap away on a keyboard. Take a whirl around the Net and you'll realise that clear, concise content is rare. Writing simply for the impatient online reader is difficult, especially if you work in a large corporate organisation. Brush up your web writers' skills with a customised workshop. Choose from web writing and editing (including information architecture, content management), content essentials (including usability, accessibility and promotion), or e-newsletters. Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au for a quote.

Web content tip

Security heads the list of top 10 flaws with UK e-commerce sites, according to a survey by security tester NTA Monitor.

Relatively basic mistakes are responsible for the most widespread problems including web server flaws, poor authentication mechanisms and faulty log-out facilities -



Email tip

This week's award for most stupid sp*mmer is shared between someone (not) called "Heather" and ContentW*tch alerting me to their anti-sp*m software service. Duh?

Seen a particularly dumb email message lately? Wanna share?


Readers write

POLLYANNA - Do you opt for the practical option when shopping for shoes or lash out on something special? Pollyanna's worn down a few heels in her time. Take a trip to the shoe shop for some wise tips -

FEEDBACK - "I can't tell you how much I enjoy the newsletter - I'm always touched by how you speak the truth so plainly. Add to that how you just up and created Brizcomm, well, you're an inspiration." - Carol from the US.

"Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the 'massive ancient rock structure' called the London Bridge collapsed into the sea only a few years ago and there may now only be 11 of the massive ancient rock structures called the 12 apostles. I'm sure the Victorian tourist bureau would have more info...[editor's note - half of the bridge did collapse but it's further along from the apostles, which are still standing though will inevitably change shape as bits erode]. It just goes to show even solid, unmovable structures such as these will eventually succumb after thousands of years of pounding but the strongest always seem to survive!" - from David of http://www.minda.asn.au/

"Thank you for your very interesting newsletters. I find them interesting and informative and thought I should let you know they are being read. Keep up the good work and thanks once again." - Aubrey from Brisbane.

Whoa, the war talk last week has roused the troops. Read your fellow readers' comments for and against the peace marches -

(don't miss the Sydney Morning Herald piece, particularly doco maker Susan Metcalfe's comments toward the bottom, spookily noting a sea change in the way people consume media) -


The Y Files

Send your question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


Surf Club (web site reviews)

Bare Witness
"PEACE - itís such a simple word, but it has many connotations in the current political climate. So, it takes a certain amount of courage to speak out against war these days. To speak out publicly, stripped of anonymity and clothing takes even more courage." Quite so, especially when itís snowing.
In a net shell: Against n*ked aggression.

N*gerian fee scam
If youíve never received an email from N*geria promising you a fortune, you must have a rock-solid sp*m filter. One recipient decided to put the scammer to the test and pretend he was actually interested in the deal. Read the long email exchange to find out what happens.
In a net shell: Cyber frauds.

Online Etymology Dictionary
Word buffs will enjoy this site from amateur etymologist Douglas Harper. Discover the origin of plain everyday words and what they meant 600 or 2,000 years ago. "Think of it like looking at pictures of your friends' parents when they were your age."
In a net shell: Amusing.

The Economists
Ever feel as though no oneís paying attention to you? Boost your self-confidence before your next corporate presentation with this nifty little application.
In a net shell: Eyes on the wall.

Get That Gig
Hate your job? Stop dreaming about a career change and just do it. Find out what itís like to be somebody else in the "day in the life of" section. You can ask questions in the forums, post your resume and search for jobs. If you donít know what you want to do, cool counsellor Colleen will match your profile to careers in 20 categories.
In a net shell: Outside the box.

Learn all the useful stuff nobody taught you at school. Find out how to avoid a hangover, write a sitcom, buy a laptop, find an apartment, lose weight or what not to say if pulled over for speeding.
In a net shell: Wise words.

* web sites are previewed on ABC Radio Statewide on Mondays (between 8pm and 8.40pm)

Reader choice

How Stuff Works
Try this one for a world of information.
- Submitted by Colin.

Send a brief review of your favourite site to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


Weekly chuckle

"Doc I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home."
"That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome."
"Is it common?"
"It's not unusual."

* hat tip to Stuart in Dubai


Top links from last week

(no Surf Club last week due to cricket coverage on ABC Radio)

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


AD - Aquent recruits in marcomm too

Global professional services firm Aquent has expanded its service offerings in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to creative staffing in web and print, the company now provides total staffing solutions in marketing, advertising and media, public relations and marcomm support.

Aquentís Asia-Pacific offices include Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in Asia; and Bombay, India.


Things that make you go huh?

"Yvette, this is the best ebook ever! Oh my God, who knew??...BTW, I LOVE the virtual autopsy (mystery lover here...)." - Tina Swift, Library Business Manager and freelance writer, western Massachusetts.

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

© 2000-2003 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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