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Your last weekly newsletter


Vol. 4, No. 13, 30/4/2003

In this issue:
From the editor
Save your hair
Web content tip
Email tip
Readers write
The Y Files
Surf Club (web site reviews)
Reader choice
Weekly chuckle
Top links from last issue
Net guide for Aussie journos
Things that make you go huh?

From the editor

##first name##

Yep, this is the final weekly issue. From next Wednesday, the newsletter will instead come out fortnightly.

My Monday night "cyber scribe" guest spot on ABC Radio Queensland is moving to Tuesday evenings each fortnight so the newsletter will follow suit.

Much as I've enjoyed finding and reviewing web sites for you each week for the past seven years, it's time to ease back.

Working full time as an online content consultant and trainer in Canberra this year while trying to keep brizcomm's wheels turning has been a challenge.

Rather than risk cyber burnout, another bout of cancer or a slip in newsletter quality, I've decided to lighten the load a little.

With the amount of email we're all flooded with these days, I figured you might welcome the change too.

But don't worry, your newsletter is not going away. Besides, as the Australian winner of the "Smart Communities" category at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards last year, we're in with a chance at the international awards to be hosted in Cairns later this year -

Thanks for hanging in there all these years.



Save your hair

The bosses don't "get" the Net and the potential of online publications? Your employees don't "get" the difference between writing for print and online? Your techies and marketers don't get along? Need an outsider to set the record straight? Book a customised lecture, seminar or workshop (choose from content introduction, web writing, editing, information architecture, content management, layout and design, usability, accessibility, web marketing, e-newsletters). Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au for a quote.


Web content tip

Well structured and designed web pages raise the chances of your content being read.

Pick up a few commonsense but commonly ignored tips for readable design -

Email tip

Tired of having to notify everyone of your new email address every time you change your ISP (Internet Service Provider)?

Set up one email address for life - just register your own domain name.

It's not as expensive as you might think and chances are your name is available to buy as a dotcom.

You can then use the URL to direct people to your own personal or professional site and never have to change your email address again.

Many cybersquatters (people who buy up domain names to sit on as virtual real estate) gave up the ghost in the dotcom bomb after April 2000.

Creative domain name maker -

Domain name tips and resources -


Readers write

POLLYANNA - You're never too old to try something new for fun, as Pollyanna found with her first foray into flippers at her local pool -

REVIEW - A new title from ABC Books is bound to keep the kids out of your hair while you enjoy a peaceful Saturday afternoon nap (well, you can daydream about it). With Mother's Day looming, see if someone takes the hint -


The Y Files

A question from "The Wolverine" -

Q - Do you know of any easy way to draw web surfers to a site as no one really even knows the site exists at the moment?

A - Try these for starters -
* write keyword-rich page titles (the white words in the blue bar across the very top of your web browser window) and well-crafted page descriptions
* plaster your URL on stationery, car bumper, email signature...anywhere you can
* seek reciprocal links from quality sites
* create an email update alert, e-newsletter or blog
* help out others on relevant newsgroups and mailing lists (and let your email sig do your talking)
* write useful tips for other publications, online or offline
* provide a tell-a-friend form
* submit your site to web site reviewers (if you have unusual or interesting content)
* offer visitors something, anything for free
* offer an award or contest
* join a web ring
* swap banners or e-newsletter ads

And the number one way of attracting traffic? Create compelling content - it's queen after all - and word of mouse is mighty powerful.

* email your content-related question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


Surf Club (web site reviews)

Musicals have been around for thousands of years in some shape or form. Explore the history, modern traditions and future of musical theatre, TV and film. Learn how musicals are made, dip into the Who's Who, check the calendar, read reviews of cast recordings and productions, or take a "course" (Gilbert&Sullivan101, NoelCoward101).
In a net shell: Show tunes.

Audit My PC
If you're online, you're at risk. Check your computer's security with a fr*e online security audit and firewall test. Scan all 65,535 ports or choose your port scan range. Follow the links for fixes, the PDA and WAP version, or the reading room for more information on your vulnerabilities.
In a net shell: Port holes.

Online Oracles
Pick an oracle, any oracle. Choose from online tarot reading (pick your deck and ask a question), magical personality (learn about your primary and shadow mythical creatures), moon phase tracker (to know if the time's right) or spell-a-day.
In a net shell: Decision helper.

Banished Words
Lake Superior State University has issued its 28th annual "extreme List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, which the world needs now, more than ever". The uni has been compiling the list since 1976, choosing from nominations sent from around the world. This year, words and phrases were pulled from a record 3,000 nominations.
In a net shell: Word purge.

Car Cam
See the world from a different perspective. Derek taped a video camera to the top of a remote control car to amuse others with "the journeys of this brave little car as it faces a harsh, dangerous and adventure-filled world." Oh, and it scares Jack, his tolerant West Highland Terrier puppy, too. Derek's also been super-gluing money to the pavement and filming people trying to get it.
In a net shell: Why.

2000 Uses for Peanut Butter
Since 1998, Andy Kerr and Nathan Eady have been compiling the essential list of uses for peanut butter (eye shadow, hair gel to make other people hungry). Why? I don't know.
In a net shell: Sticky.

* web sites are previewed on ABC Radio Queensland on Tuesdays (between 7pm and 9pm) -


Reader choice

Licence Quest
This site is great for learning the Australian road rules. It provides interactive tutorials covering all the road rules for each state in Australia. The graphics and animations make it easy to understand things like roundabouts, intersections and the giveway rule.
- reviewed by Russell Kamholtz

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


Weekly chuckle

COHN'S LAW - The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all of your time reporting on the nothing you are doing.


Top links from last issue

We Love The Iraqi Information Minister

Mathematical Interactivities

The Most Disastrous Email Mistakes

Name That Face

Little Folk (Pollyanna)

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


Net guide for Aussie journos

Find experts, contacts and Net-based sources of Australian facts, figures and background information in Belinda Weaver's Guide to Internet information sources for Australian journalists -

And keep up to date with what’s new at http://www.journoz.com/weblog/


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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