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Bad air days


Volume 1, No. 44, 29/11/2000


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Volume 1, No. 44 Bad air days November 29, 2000

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

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Trying to familiarise yourself with a badly designed web site is
like wandering around a new city where most people speak another
language - if you don't recognise the signs, you'll find yourself
lost in no time.

My few days in Seoul as guest speaker at an Internet marketing
conference last week reminded me how much we need familiar, global
symbols and words.

Take the little green man on the pedestrian crossing lights, for

Without him, I reckon I'd still be standing on a corner somewhere in
Seoul waiting for a break in the hypnotic stream of cars, taxis, buses,
trucks and heavily laden motorbikes - or I'd be dead (2.7 people die
on Seoul's streets each day).

Navigating your way through a web site relies on understanding clear,
simple text and visual cues - About Us, Search, Contact Us, Help.

As in real life, of course, your journey will be much easier if you
speak the lingo. My talk to the conference delegates in Seoul was
translated for the non-English speakers in the group but I needed
to be careful with colloquialisms or overly complex concepts.

Koreans need no prompting to promote their web site addresses. On
any central city block you'll see half a dozen giant video screens
streaming ads or URLS. Even tiny stores include URLs on their signs,
packaging and business cards.

Singapore is equally web savvy.

The need for greater recognition of content's role in online success,
however, seems just as great in Asia as Australia.

Looks like I'll be heading back overseas before long, if I can tolerate
another long-haul flight in "cattle class", that is.

Don't know about you but I believe the best part about flying is
arriving at your destination (especially when the in-flight video news
and courtesy newspaper is showing the latest crash memorial service).

I'm surprised more business travellers don't fly business class -
but then, at three times the fare, the extra square metre of personal
space works out about the same price as Noosa real estate.


PS have someone flying over to Australia from Peru for my next
workshop (stay tuned for dates and venues).

PPS when ARE they going to fix the broken undersea cable that's
making the Net so erratic these days?


1. Web content tip
2. From Russia with love
3. New domains
4. Columns
5. Surf Club links
6. Weekly chuckle


1. Web content tip

Be careful if you're "deep linking" on your web site.

Basically, this means linking to anywhere within another site other
than to its home page.

The home page is any site's front door and lets visitors know what's
inside the site. It's also the most valuable position for banner ads.

Many site owners try to prohibit deep linking with legal warnings
claiming violation of copyright.

In fact, deep linking is not illegal - yet - but you'll be riding
close to the wind if you try:

* using a URL to link to a product database on another site then
launch a search showing the results on your own site

* "framing" someone else's content (ie displaying only information
from another site, and not the navigation system, in your frame)

* deep linking to a graphics or multimedia file on another site
(particularly if you bypass the host's site e-commerce section).

Of course, sites have no control over search engines that take
visitors to the URL of pages meeting their search criteria, home
page or not.

The web was built on the freedom to link. Let's hope lawyers and
their linking contracts stay well clear of our domains.

To play it safe, respect other people's copyright and link to the
home page of other sites - or ask permission from the owner if you
want to deep link.

Learn more at:


2. From Russia with love

Had an interesting email from Russia this week offering discount
web development services.

The St Petersburg woman wrote, in part:

"I could get you in touch with developers from Russia, who will
be happy to do a web designer's work for you for considerably
less than you possibly take from your clients (or pay for web
design?) and with professional quality. Also - all programming,
Internet-programming, graphic, flash design, content writing,
translations, etc. If you do web design, then you may accept
more orders at once (getting a good share from each) and
devote yourself only to that work you find most interesting.
Alternatively, you can realize more your ideas to develop, more
features to add to your existing sites, and with low costs: from
$8, and an average of $20 an hour. What do you think?"

I think I'd rather work for Australasian rates.

If anyone wants to take up the offer, I have the address.


3. New domains

In case you haven't heard, the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers (ICANN) has finally agreed to create new top
level domains in addition to .com, .org and .net.

ICANN approved:
.pro (professionals, not porn stars)
.name (personal sites)

Domains to miss out on the nod included .web, .kids, and .xxx.

Read all about the ICANN resolution at Wired:


4. Columns

Our faithful columnists are back this week with a mixed bag as

Pollyanna recalls a night at the movies in the "olden days" while
Old Grumpy rallies against the legal system (one of his favourite

American Carol Ann White, meanwhile, tries to define what it means
to be "a typical Australian".

See http://www.brizcomm.com.au


5. Surf Club (includes columns from 22/11/00 and 29/11/00)

Footprints before me
Indigenous Queenslanders wanting to retrace the history of their
family or community should stop by this site, developed by the
Indigenous Libraries Unit of the State Library of Queensland. You
can search military records and indexes to newspaper and journal
publications or find advice on accessing State archives and records
of Land Councils, stations, churches, missions and the police.
Members of the "stolen generation" (people adopted or placed in an
institution as children who want to find their family) can contact
ATSIC's Link-Up services or post inquiries to the message boards.
In a net shell: Steps in time.

Optical Illusions
If your eyes are blurry after a day on the computer, you might as
well use it to your advantage. According to the creator of this
bumper collection, illusions are just errors in perception of the
illusion. "Although we see things differently, my results show that
everyone finally does see the illusion."
In a net shell: Is it a bird, is it a plane?

KnowPost taps into the energy of like-minded people to provide a
virtual pool of knowledge on matters from the trivial to deep.
Anyone can post a question or answer in a channel. Topics have
ranged from the value of Harry Potter to ridding your house of
In a net shell: Friendly forum.

20 Ways The World Could End
"In the 500,000 years Homo sapiens has roamed the land we've built
cities, created complex languages, and sent robotic scouts to other
planets. It's difficult to imagine it all coming to an end. Yet 99
per cent of all species that ever lived have gone extinct, including
every one of our hominid ancestors." If you're feeling morose, read
the top 20 ways the world could end then follow the link to the
Doomsday Clock.
In a net shell: Live for the day.

Total management consulting revenues allegedly hit $US100 billion
across the globe in 1999 - and they're still going up. Take the
self-test to see if you're cut out to be a consultant or collect
tips, reports on fees and pricing trends in management consulting,
resources and recommended reading.
In a net shell: Taking the "con" out of consulting.

ArtByMath Digital Gallery
Fractal designs are mathematically generated images. If you enjoy
these electrifying colour combinations and three-dimensional designs,
download a free screensaver or try your hand at an online puzzle.
Explore the resources page for sites on how to do it.
In a net shell: Psychedelic.

For those who like their cartoons with bite, you'll love Icebox.com.
Send a free webcard, download a screensaver and songs, create your
own animation, or play an interactive game (eg Jesus Christ Supercar).
You won't see these cartoons on the kids' channel.
In a net shell: Cheeky.

Daily Biorhythms
The principle of biorhythms originated early last century when Dr
Wilhelm Fliess noticed identical rhythms in patients' case histories.
He observed active and passive phases in the physical, emotional
and mental aspects. See your chart for today, tomorrow or yesterday
by typing in your birth date and, if you still don't believe, check
the chart of JFK Jr on the day he died.
In a net shell: Highs and lows.

Guinness World Records
The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records was published in
1955 and shot to the top of the British bestseller lists by Christmas
that year. The year 2000 marks the launch of the Web site and it's
bound to be equally popular. You'll find top stories, interactive
games, the daily "wow", e-cards, free screensavers and zany wallpaper,
and, of course, world records.
In a net shell: Great fun.

Top 100 Keywords
Find out what other people are searching for on the Net. This site
uses the free AnalogX Keyword Live tool to discover the top 100
keywords entered in major search engines for the past seven days.
The information is recalculated at least once a day.
In a net shell: Sprung.

Soup Works
"Life itself began with soup." Read the interesting, international
history of soup through the ages from the people who make their
living dishing it up daily in London. Check the recipes for
In a net shell: Soup-endous.

Smart Reminders
If you prefer your information to come to you, try this opt-in email
network. Topics include reminders on key dates, daily quotes, Bible
verses, new books, appointments, computer viruses, parenting news,
recipes, new wines and real-time American sports scores. Have the
reminders sent to your desktop, mobile phone or pager.
In a net shell: Don't forget.

Australian Organ Donor Register
If you'd like your organs and tissue to live on after you've
popped your clogs, sign up to the Australian Organ Donor Register.
The register was set up in June 2000 and consults with State-based
donation groups to record the status of people's wishes. Organ or
tissue transplantation can mean a second chance at life, or improved
quality of life, for people with serious illnesses. Don't forget to
tell your family.
In a net shell: Why not?

"Ixquick's stellar web metasearch engine was created by a 12-year-old
Himalayan mountain goat named Daphne." No, not really but it does
show that the creators of Ixquick have a sense of humour. Their
metasearch engine submits your search query to major search engines
and finds sites universally ranked in the top 10.
In a net shell: Quick sticks.

Short Stories
Reading from the screen is not easy at the best of times but at
least short stories don't take too long to get through (or you
can print them out to read offline). This UK site hosts a large
online library of short stories, from crime to sci-fi, with special
monthly features. You'll also find classic short stories, summaries,
biographies and analysis.
In a net shell: Short and sweet.

Programmers' Heaven
Programmers' Heaven is a Swedish-based site dedicated to programmers
all over the world, whether you're a beginner or old pro. Choose
from almost 10,000 programming-related files and several thousand
In a net shell: Heaven sent.


6. Weekly chuckle

Aviation 101

* If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull
the stick back they get smaller (unless you keep pulling the stick
back -then they get bigger again).

* Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous.

* The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep
the pilot cool. Want proof? Make it stop - then watch the pilot
break out into a sweat.

* Try to keep the number of your landings equal to the number of
your takeoffs.

* Gravity never loses. The best you can hope for is a draw!


Up, up and away.


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

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in any articles or events mentioned in this newsletter.

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