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Raising the benchmark


Volume 1, No. 45, 6/12/2000


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Volume 1, No. 45 Raising the benchmark December 6, 2000

Yvette Nielsen, Editor, yvette@brizcomm.com.au

This free newsletter is distributed by subscription only. If you
wish to unsubscribe, please see the instructions at the end.


As we're almost at the pointy end of the year, I'd like to enlist
your help in evaluating my site and newsletter in preparation for
a re-launch in January.

This is scary stuff for someone who spends her life critiquing
other people's efforts.

So here's your chance for revenge. Time is precious, especially
during the silly season, so I don't expect you to fill out the
survey for nothing.

Five participants will be chosen at random to receive a $20 e-voucher
to go toward a purchase at a real or online store. Yes, readers,
there is a Santa Claus (albeit in Scrooge guise).

It's your site and newsletter too so don't be afraid to speak out:



PS I'm also planning to launch bigger and better workshops next
year - stay tuned.


1. Web content tip
2. Move over Flash
3. You get what you pay for
4. Columns
5. Surf Club links
6. Weekly chuckle


1. Web content tip

'Tis the season for packing on kilos but make sure your web pages
are lean and mean on kilobytes.

Web speeds are relative so you need to compare how quickly your
site downloads compared with your competitors.

Usability studies show that you have less than 10 seconds to hook
your visitor's attention. If your dazzling animation is still
loading, forget it.

The total size of a web page should be no more than 30 kilobytes.

A site around that weight will take about five seconds to load on
a 56k modem while a whopping great 450k site will take more than
30 seconds.

Trim your pages by ensuring you don't have too many long pages,
removing unnecessary graphics and gratuitous scripting (ie posing).

For a free excerpt from a "Weighing the Web" report visit:


2. Move over Flash

Marketer Susan Solomon has words of warning for any of her peers
who still think flashy animations impress web visitors more than
informative content.


Nick Usborne, meanwhile, is right on the mark when he says words,
not technology, are your last best way to differentiate yourself

Make yourself stand out, give your site a unique voice and rush out
and hire great online writers (before they're all snapped up):


3. You get what you pay for

Web-authoring packages such as Front Page, GoLive and Dreamweaver
have a minimal learning curve which is great for anyone wanting to
build a personal site.

But the difference between a professional web design and a hobbyist
is more than software.

Jason Ogle describes what to look for when hiring a web designer to
develop or redesign your business site:


4. Columns

Pollyanna finds treasures among the trash while Carol Ann White
tells a strange little tale of beauty.

Read them at http://www.brizcomm.com.au


5. Surf Club

Net Slaves
"Something's rotten in the technology business. Never in the history
of media has so much money been spent so wastefully by clueless
corporations hoping to make a fast buck in this medium." So begins
the mission of this site dedicated to anyone who's been burned
by the "incompetence, moronic planning and hysterical management
of New media companies". Read the horror stories then share your
tale of woe.
In a net shell: Web workers unite.

I Look Like My Dog
Do pet owners resemble their pets? Check out this page and judge
for yourself.
In a net shell: Barking mad.

Since 1975, the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia has been a
driving force in improving the survival rates for patients with
leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood diseases. Today,
seven in 10 children and three in 10 adults survive acute
leukaemia. This site provides information, from news to personal
stories, for patients and their families and friends, supporters,
students and health professionals.
In a net shell: Good cause.

Free Online Massage Training
The Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy is no charity. It wants to
sell you a massage video but the free online training courses are
a great introduction. Follow the step-by-step illustrations to
learn the techniques for massaging the back, neck, chest, legs
and sides.
In a net shell: Ah, that's better.

Director Club
Company directors, secretaries, CEOs, executives and anybody
aspiring to be a director can access useful free resources at
the Director Club. This Brisbane-developed web site keeps you up
to date with news on business, legal issues, lifestyle, travel
and technology. Find out about seminars and case studies, read
reviews and journal articles, or follow links to listed companies.
In a net shell: Direct.

Food Crisis
For the latest bytes on food crises around the globe, take a seat
at this Australian-developed portal. You'll find news on the hot
food quality and safety topics (from genetically modified foods
to outbreaks of E. Coli), advice on how to deal with a food crisis,
expert columns, case studies and site of the month.
In a net shell: More than you can chew.

Pioneer Quest: A Year in the Real West
Popular "lab rat" television series "Survivor" has spawned dozens
of copycat shows. Canada's History Television network is hosting
"Pioneer Quest", where cameras follow the lives of two couples
plonked on wild prairie land with only the tools, animals, clothes
and seeds of settlers circa 1875. The only concessions to the
21st century are birth control, handheld cameras and a mobile
phone in case of emergency. The couple surviving the year pockets
home $100,000.
In a net shell: World Wild West.


6. Weekly chuckle

Q: A note left for a pianist from his wife:
A: Gone Chopin, (have Liszt), Bach in a Minuet.


Don't forget to take a couple of moments to fill out the survey ;-)


Yvette Nielsen, Editor
phone 041 771 8683

brizcomm - online content consulting and training
PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia

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(c) 2000 Brizcomm Pty Ltd

brizcomm pty ltd accepts no responsibility and disclaims all
liability for any incorrect information that may be contained
in any articles or events mentioned in this newsletter.

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