Lost in a masquerade
Vol. 4, No. 21,
From the editor
If you want to know the truth about a business, ask the customers.
In today's networked world, you can't hide behind hyped up appearances or communication.
Your web site might look and read like a million bucks but if you can't deliver the goods (ie are not what you say you are), you'll be found out. It's just a matter of time.
Trust, honesty, credibility, integrity, openness ... these can't be faked for long - online or in real life.
People talk - via email, chat rooms, discussion lists, SMS, guestbooks, instant messaging and sometimes even face to face ;-)
It pays to be honest from the start. Why pretend to be a bigger business if you're a company of one? Why claim to have all the answers if you don't?
Last issue we talked about stealing time. Stealing people's trust is an even greater sin and will ensure your web visitors never return.
Come on, site owners (particularly those of you in government). Cut the marketese, bureaucratese and academese. Talk to us in your own voice - be real, natural, open, authentic.
Better still, let your customers and clients do your talking via message boards, testimonials, case studies and jobs well done.
"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid." - Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.
PS The above applies doubly to personal relationships (as I've found out with my new "dream" relationship turning into a nightmare). Live and learn.
Web content tip
Many documents published online may accidentally reveal sensitive corporate or personal information, a US computer researcher has revealed.
Hidden information was unearthed from thousands of Word documents posted online using a few freely available software tools and some basic programming techniques.
While storing recently deleted text can make editing more efficient, it can also expose you to major risk.
* hat tip to John S
Online document search reveals secrets...
At your service
Management doesn't "get" the Net and the potential of online communication. Your employees don't "get" the difference between writing for print and online. Your techies and marketers don't get along.
Perhaps you need a web evangelist to convert the masses. Book a customised presentation, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
When you want to track down someone's email address, try searching Google.
Just type in their name and any other details (profession, interests, nicknames, city).
With luck, you'll find a web page with their email address somewhere on it.
More email tips...
POLLYANNA'S COLUMN - Ever wished people would smile when you passed each other on a quiet path? Pollyanna's having second thoughts about sharing her good humour -
BOOK AND MOVIE REVIEWS - Send in a few sentences about a favourite book or film and we'll publish your words here -
The Y Files
* Email your Net-related question to email@example.com
Surf Club (web site reviews)
The 3D Body Scanner
When you don't have time to try on new clothes, let your virtual model do the work. That's one of the aims of researchers at Cornell University who are exploring the possibilities of 3D body scans in mass customised apparel, vehicle seating, animations and workout programs (for before and after comparisons).
In a net shell: Perfect fit.
The Web's Favourite Colour
Matt Webb is on a mission to find the web's favourite colour. Visitors submit a picture of their favourite and Matt adds it to the collection. Coloured bars across the top of the home page show the progress - the taller the bar, the more popular the colour. Matt then mixes the colours to find the favourite, displaying it as the page background.
In a net shell: Colour collective.
See a pencil sketch transform to a full-colour, life-like image at 1000 times normal speed in this work of time-lapse art.
In a net shell: Quick on the draw.
World Heritage Tour
Take a virtual tour of dozens of cultural and natural world heritage-registered sites, from the Forbidden City to Valley of the Kings. This documentary image bank features superb panoramic pictures and interactive virtual reality movies to promote the notion of sustainable tourism. (uses Quicktime plug-in.)
In a net shell: World-class edutainment.
* 360 degree panoramas - motion
Speech Accent Archive
An accent can make a world of difference. Hear speakers from many different language backgrounds reading the same sample paragraph and compare their demographic and linguistic characteristics. A great resource for ESL teachers, actors, engineers training speech recognition machines, linguists, phoneticians, and speech pathologists.
In a net shell: Say what?
Global Rich List
"We are obsessed with wealth. But we gauge how rich we are by looking upwards at those who have more than us. This makes us feel poor." A London creative company wanted to help people understand, in real terms, where they stand globally. To find out, type in your annual income and hit "show me the money". You'll see how you compare with others on the world's rich or poor list.
In a net shell: Relatively rich.
* web sites are previewed on ABC Radio Queensland on Tuesdays (between 7pm and 9pm) -
Check it out if ever need to know where to go in a hurry throughout the world.
- submitted by Charles of Brisbane.
* Email your brief web site or e-newsletter review to firstname.lastname@example.org
Food for thought
Some school students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World." Though there were disagreements, the following received the most votes -
1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper so asked if she was having trouble with her list.
The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."
The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."
The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:
1. to see
2. to hear
3. to touch
4. to taste
5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love."
The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous.
A gentle reminder that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by humans.
Top links from last issue
Hooked on Facts
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.
Lost in a masquerade
Vol. 4, No. 21 - September 10, 2003
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