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Honesty is best policy


Vol. 4, No. 9, 26/3/2003

In This Issue:
* From the editor
* Save your sanity
* Web content tip
* Email tip
* Readers write
* The Y Files
* Surf Club (web site reviews)
* Reader choice
* Weekly thought
* Top links from last week
* Sponsor a techno chick
* Things that make you go huh?

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From the editor
##first name##

My opening comments last week about the war in Iraq
drew dozens of strong responses, some of them
openly hostile.

I could have taken the safe path and kept my opinions to
myself but that would not have been honest - the essence of
online communication.

"From the editor" has always been editorial (just
as in a newspaper) and I don't expect everyone to
agree with me.

I spend hours (unpaid) each week preparing this newsletter
to help others find and create better online content.

In return, I would expect to be able to share my
views in the hope of encouraging a safe and
open dialogue. Isn't that the point of democracy?

The few pig-headed readers who accept no view but
their own have hopefully unsubscribed by now (I have
no wish to waste my time trying to educate them on the
Net or Netiquette) but, for the record -

* I will not "go back to knitting" (I can barely
sew on a button)
* my views have nothing to do with being childless
(not all females can or want to be mothers)
* I don't hate men
* I don't support Saddam
* I'm not attacking our troops

The beauty of the Net is that anyone can become a
publisher - you don't need a printing press.

If you don't want alternative perspectives, publish
yourself. Oh, and please unsubscribe via the link at the
bottom on your way out as I have no intention of being
a good girl, packing up my keyboard and "going back to

To the majority of readers, thank you for your support
or at least your tolerance.


PS read the unedited responses to last week's
newsletter -

PPS last week's issue, "Stupidity on a global scale" -

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/musingsarchive.asp?x=g

Save your sanity
Do your web writers "get" the difference between writing
for print and online? Can they communicate clearly and
simply? Need someone to motivate the troops? Book a
customised workshop for web writing and editing (including
help with information architecture and content management),
content essentials (including usability, accessibility and
promotion), or e-newsletters. Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au
for a quote.

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops/

Web content tip
Having spent two days speaking and listening at a content
management conference here in Canberra, I have CMS on the

CMS stands for Content Management System (or solution) and
is just one of the bamboozling acronyms you'll face in this
crowded and expensive market space.

A good CMS can save time, money and headaches for a
large web site. It can empower your non-technical
content creators by giving them control over their own
words and bypassing IT bottlenecks or draconian

A bad CMS can set your web project, team morale and
organisational budget back months or even years.

Technology is only part of the content management puzzle.
The most vital piece is the human element.

People - web-savvy editors and writers - and clear
publishing processes are key to successful web sites
(digital publications).

Give your people the skills, guidelines, standards and
incentive to create and manage their
own content and you'll be halfway home.

Delve into the archives to explore content management.

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/tips.asp?id=26

Email tip
An email response from a bot is no substitute for human
follow-up to online inquiries but it's better than nothing.
Learn how to make the most of auto responders -

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/

Readers write
POLLYANNA - Retired teacher Pollyanna muses on the constant
changes in language, including spelling errors and
political buzz phrases -

FEEDBACK - Read the overwhelming responses to last week's
newsletter about the war in Iraq -

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/musingsarchive.asp?x=g

The Y Files
Last week's response to Robyn's preference (and mine)
for the more readable double inverted commas online drew
these responses -

From Lyndall - "If I remember my grammar lessons of the
1950 & 60s, the single inverted commas are used inside
a sentence that already has the double inverted commas! So
therefore the use of the double inverted commas is the
correct grammar!"

Yep, that's what i was taught too in Australia, Lyndall.
Basically, though, I break the rules if it makes it more
readable online. Our grammar was designed to be read from
print not fuzzy computer screens. Language and its rules
have to change to match usage. The generation coming
through can't even use an apostrophe so sadly we're
fighting a losing battle trying to stick to all of the old

And from Rod - "I use " when marking text which is a direct
quote and ' when meaning so-called or to highlight some
irony etc - as in: Robyn said "I've probably answered my
question" and: the Bush war on Iraq to 'liberate' its

Send your question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/

Surf Club (web site reviews)
Lung Cancer Risk Assessment
Want to know your risk of lung cancer in the next 10 years?
Use this tool developed by US cancer researchers to assess
your chances and see whether you should be screened.
Applies if you’re aged 50 to 75 years old, smoked 10 to 60
cigarettes a day for 25 to 55 years, and are still smoking
or quit less than 20 years ago.
In a net shell: No butts about it.

The Gossip Times
“Have tongue will tattle” is the motto of this fresh gossip
portal leading you to the juiciest, bitchiest, more
reliable rumours on the Net. Search for gossip sites by
category (celebrity to travel), keyword or global region.
In a net shell: I didn’t know that.

Today’s Front Pages
See how different newspapers are covering the war in Iraq
by viewing the front pages of 163 newspapers from 25
different countries. Move your mouse over the thumbnail
image for a closer look or use the map view to browse by
region (disable your pop-up killer first if you have one).
In a net shell: War by media.

Make your own movies with your own photos and email them to
your friends and family or stick ‘em on your web site. Just
choose a template (silent movie, multi-paned, laser light,
old movie style), select your pix, crop them then add
captions and music. Try the demo or just register (you
don’t have to pay). The site uses pop-ups so be sure to
active those for useful info.
In a net shell: Home movies.

Intelligence Test
So you think you’re pretty smart? Take the intelligence
test and find out (Bill Gates scored only three).
In a net shell: Common sense.

"As more people achieve some degree of mental calm,
insight, or the ability to transform negative emotions into
positive ones, there will be a natural reinforcement of
basic human values and consequently a greater chance for
peace and happiness for all." - the Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Stress experts Joel and Michelle Levey say you can change
your responses to events that make you feel powerless. Read
and listen to their 10 inner tips (including short
relaxation, gratitude, compassion) for coping with the
stress of war and terrorism.
In a net shell: Positive action.

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

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/surf/default.asp

Reader choice
Children and TV News
Each pic has a piece of real imagery in there. Run your
mouse over it. Click on the hands for navigation. TV
news is too easy for kids to understand. What are we
supposed to tell them now?
- Submitted by Susan from Brisbane

Send a brief review of your favourite site to

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/surf/showcategory.asp?categoryid=26

Weekly thought
"I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even
though she's too young to have logged on yet. Here's what I
worry about. I worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will
come to me and say 'Daddy, where were you when they took
freedom of the press away from the Internet?'" - Mike
Godwin, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/

Top links from last week
Michael Moore to George W Bush

Cook It Quick


Online Home Base

Letter Project

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

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/consulting/

Sponsor a techno chick
TECHNO (Technology Enhancing Chances, Hopes & New
Opportunities) Chicks is a school-based computer club for
girls based in Cairns in far northern Australia.

They're seeking organisations to "sponsor" a half-day
program in Brisbane which may include -

* presentation on your product/ service
* guided tour of workplace and/ or production line
* meeting industry personnel
* demonstration and hands-on workshop

Time spent will provide an insight into the ICT
industry and opportunities. The excursion to Brisbane is
scheduled for the third week of July 2003.

In return for your time and resources, TECHNO
Chicks will include your logo as a
sponsor on their web site, presentations and
promotions held this year.

Contact co-ordinator Geetha James at Smithfield State High
School on +61 7 4055 6604 or

Visit TECHNO Chiicks at-

More: http://www.aquent.com/

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

Go on, live dangerously and get it while it's hot -

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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