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Take the plunge


Vol. 4, No. 17, 18/6/2003

In this issue:
From the editor
Canberra Web Content Workshop next week
Web content tip
Email tip
Readers write
The Y Files
Surf Club (web site reviews)
Reader choice
Food for thought
Top links from last issue
Net guide for Aussie journos
Things that make you go huh?

From the editor

##first name##

Ever feel an urge to step outside your comfort zone?

I decided to challenge myself last year with a surfing lesson (real surfing that is, not virtual). While I managed to stay vertical for only about three seconds, the experience did wonders for my self-confidence.

Last weekend, I took the plunge again - this time into a heated pool (it's winter in Canberra after all) for basic scuba diving training.

Whoa, was I out of my depth or what. Still, that feeling you get after you've faced your fear is worth (almost) every second of terror.

Going online for the first time can be just as scary, particularly for older people who haven't grown up with computers.

Seasoned "silver surfers" have overcome their initial confusion and frustration. Their reward - a bottomless global library and communication network from the comfort of their own homes.

Speaking of bottomless...I just hope I remember what I've learnt in Diving 101 while 18 metres under the ocean this weekend.


PS still have a few seats left for Canberra's workshop next week. These things pay for the time I spend preparing this newsletter so do urge your Canberran chums to take the plunge. They'll thank you for it - trust me (you don't have to pay upfront - I can invoice you later).

Canberra Web Content Workshop next week

You need more than slick graphics and software to create great web sites.

Content is queen yet has been treated as a peasant for far too long.

Discover the truth about compelling web sites from Australia's hands-on content guru and web site reviewer.

WHAT - Web Content Workshop

WHERE - Canberra

WHEN - June 26-27

WHY - to enhance your online communication skills and learn how to create sites people will want to re-visit

COST - $995 plus GST (includes lunch, handouts, Net access)

HOW - book online at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops/ (if required, I can invoice you in the new financial year)

* content for the second day is the same as the Just Write Workshop if you'd like to attend just the one day (cost $495 plus GST)

* spaces are limited to 12 so please book early online at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops/

* these workshops and the e-newsletter workshop are also available in-house or I can customise a training seminar to suit


Web content tip

It's that time of year again with the announcement of the 2003 Webby Awards, the web's equivalent to the Oscars.

You'll see a few new domain names among the usual suspects including BBC, NASA, Amazon, Lonely Planet, ESPN and eBay.

If you want to create an award-winning online presence, don't miss the article "simple steps to a winning web site" (and be sure to attend my next workshop) -

Email tip

Find out which words to avoid in your subject lines if you want your message to get through junk mail filters.

Top of the list is a word that rhymes with tree and might see this newsletter filtered if I use it without disguise (eg f*ree). A crazy situation, yes?

Popular sp*m subject words -


Readers write

POLLYANNA - One of the pleasures of parenthood is the new fruit (or nuts) that are gradually added to the family tree - http://tinyurl.com/628u

REVIEW - US author Sue Miller, 59, shares "The Story of My Father" (Allen & Unwin), a moving journey through Alzheimer's disease -

* the father of a journalist colleague was buried in Brisbane today after a heart-breaking struggle with Alzheimer's. Barry, 62, was a keen golfer and made a mean creamed scallop. He will be missed by all who knew him.


The Y Files

A question from John in Brisbane -

Q - I am a frequent listener to the ABC and often listen to your segment...We used to have a site which from memory was called "Spambuster" which was a fr*e download and seemed to filter out most spam. We have recently had our computer completely replaced and cannot find the same site. We are being inundated with various advertising including copious amounts of gambling options whenever we are on the Net. As you would appreciate these are extremely annoying. Have you come across any free sites where we can download a spam-buster program that will eliminate the aforementioned?

A - I've been using Cloudmark's free community tool to rid my inbox of rubbish and it works well. You just download the application and it adds a couple of buttons to your email program, allowing you to report offenders. Trash is filtered to a special folder automatically but you can easily check to ensure you don't lose any legitimate mail. Unfortunately Cloudmark is now charging a monthly fee for the final version of Sp**Net after a 30-day trial, although the fr*ee beta version will still work okay -

PC Magazine Editors' Choice of filtering products -

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email resources -

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


Surf Club (web site reviews)

Terrorists might have taken some of the fun out of air travel but at least you can have a laugh with this parody of airline safety cards. (Warning - some toons are strictly for adult eyes only).
In a net shell: Plane silly.

Act For Love
Activists need love too (maybe more so). Lovelorn peaceniks can find a cause and a date at this unusual personals web site. Search through more than a million personal ads or post your profile for no charge. You pay a small fee to strike up a conversation or instant message. Part of the site's profits go to member-voted causes.
In a net shell: Romantically active.

Australian Web Designers Net
Find an Aussie or New Zealand web designer with the help of this online database. Search by state, specialties and keyword then request a quote. Designers can post their details and links, respond to tenders or join the community.
In a net shell: Time saver.

Flow Go
When you can't find a stamp, send a virtual greeting. Flow Go specializes in f*ree "contagious entertainment" and is the source of many forwarded email funnies. Choose from amusing and inspiring cards, cheeky cartoons, musical animations, parodies, dance pages and other interactive digital "toys".
In a net shell: Cheap thrills.

The Pit Heads
Shamey Metalcraft carves faces, gnomes, aliens, monkeys, skulls and other objects from the seeds of fruit. He's turned his hand to peach, plum, apricot, olive, sweet cherry, wild cherry and even the dogwood tree, earning himself a mention in Ripley's Believe It Or Not.
In a net shell: Tiny art.

Secret Service Test
Find out if you have what it takes to be a British secret agent a la James Bond. Test your IQ, general and lifestyle knowledge, perception, reaction time and shooting skills. You must score at least 70 per cent to move on to more rigorous testing.
In a net shell: Shaken and stirred.

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


Reader choice

Sales Autopsy
Fifty of the funniest sales stories that have gone wrong to demonstrate the right way to sell. I use this book to train people in a unique new selling strategy, Teaching Consequences to Your Prospects. Each month I send a newsletter including three or four new stories or 'Sales from Hell'. Every story is absolutely TRUE!
- submitted by Gregory Ferrett, Melbourne

* email your brief web site or e-newsletter review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


Food for thought

"I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top." - English Professor, Ohio University.


Top links from last issue

The Smile Study

blprnt digital toy

Email Soapbox

Reader responses to "confession" in newsletter

Why Techs Hate Marketers

* 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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