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The right to write


Volume 1, No. 40, 25/10/2000


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Volume 1, No. 40 The right to write October 25, 2000

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

This free newsletter is distributed by subscription only. If you
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The Internet has enabled anyone to become a publisher.

You don't need Rupert to hire you to share your written
words, ideas and opinions with many people.

But the fact you can publish does not automatically make you a
professional writer - or journalist.

The issue of who is a journalist online is raising spirited debate
on more than a few discussion boards.

Should web site publishers abide by the journalistic code of
ethics (eg don't reveal sources, don't let financial incentives
affect your objectivity)?

Are web site publishers entitled to free sample copies of software,
books, CDs and other reviewers' "perks".

The status of journalists has generally hovered around the level of
used-car salesmen but, until the Net, they (we) were the staple providers
of information.

Now, the line is blurred and PR and marketing professionals need to
write their own definition of "media".

While you could use the number of visits to a site as a measure of
legitimacy, bear in mind that porn sites draw the most traffic.

Food for thought.


PS Next web content workshop for Brisbane is Thursday, November 9 -
see www.brizcomm.com.au for details


1. Web content tip
2. Tech speak demystified
3. Change your life course
4. Columns
5. Surf Club links
6. Weekly chuckle


1. Web content tip

If you're just starting out and want to drum up some online content
work, think about working for a non-profit group to gain experience.

Another idea is to find a book or piece of art you admire, write
to the creator and offer to develop a site for a modest fee.

(Just don't do what I did and finance the project out of your own
pocket - kind of defeats the purpose when you're struggling yourself.)

If you're working for a commercial organisation, make sure you're paid

Too many professional writers suffer from the "starving artist" mentality,
almost apologising to clients for having to charge for their work.

Don't be exploited. Once you have the experience and a stack of quality
examples, stand by the industry's minimum recommended rates - see

If you don't, you're not only lowering your own standards but damaging
the chances of other freelancers to be paid their dues.

If more writers had the guts to stand by their profession, we wouldn't
have to spend so much time educating people that it takes more than a
word-processing program to create great content.

Writing simply is difficult - just look at the tangled gobbledegook

You wouldn't expect your plumber to work for free so why should you?

Quote your rates proudly and turn down the job if the client does not
value your worth.

There's plenty more fish in the Net.


2. Tech speak demystified

At last, an article that explains web coding in plain English.

If you're not a developer but need to design for, work with, hire
or manage programmers, don't miss this one by Christian MacAuley.

She'll tell you all about the popular client-side and server-side
coding languages, what they're used for, and what they can't do.



3. Change your life course

If you feel as though you're living for your annual vacation,
could be you need to change course.

Take Valerie Young's simple 10-step quiz to find out if you're ready
then take the 10 steps to "get out of job jail".



4. Columns

If you've never been to a small town gardening meeting, accompany
Pollyanna into the world of roses without thorns.

Meanwhile, Old Grumpy takes his swatter to the legal system while
Cameron Koo laments the fact that so many writers sell out for

All yours at http://www.brizcomm.com.au


5. Surf Club

Research Finder
Discover Australia's researchers, research capability and emerging
technologies with this Internet search tool. Research Finder searches
the sites of Australian research organisations (eg CSIRO, government,
technology transfer, co-operative research centres and universities)
to uncover more relevant and fresher information than generally found
by the major search engines.
In a net shell: Researcher searcher.

Howard Besser's T-Shirt Database
For fashion inspiration, delve into the T-Shirt Database, built by
Howard Besser and students of library science at UC Berkeley. Search
through more than 500 T-shirt graphics or display all subjects. Each
topic has a thumbnail and full-size images of T-shirt art.
In a net shell: Shirt shots.

Living Tomorrow
What will our lives be like in the future? "Careers are becoming
shorter, the composition of the family is changing, we have more
leisure time, we work more at home, studying or getting information
via the information super-highway is becoming possible. We will be
thinking more flexibly, and as a result maybe move home more often.
The elderly and those requiring help will remain living independently
longer." That's the foundation for Europe's second Living Tomorrow
project that includes a house of the future with home office.
In a net shell: Times are a 'changin'.

Conform is an ongoing collaborative project which involves passing
around an image to various designers who each add and subtract
content from the original. The only limitations are that they have
to keep the size the same and use some elements of the original.
In a net shell: Innovative.

Stuie's Queensland Page
Scandinavian Stuart Bowden was so dazzled by Australia's so-called
"Sunshine State" that he created a web site for other visitors
wanting to "do Queensland" in 30 days. You'll find history, fast
facts, travel tips, sights, photos and links.
In a net shell: Onya Stuie.

Brisbane-based online community radio station radioactive.net.au
has added a new dimension to radio. The "next generation" show is
the brainchild of Chris Saad, 17, and goes to air Saturday nights
on 101FM and the web. Listeners can chat to the DJs on air and
take part in interactive discussions on technology, entertainment
and other youth-oriented issues.
In a net shell: Hot stuff.

Here's a site with a novel purpose: to provide contact between a
"finder" or receipt of stolen goods and the lawful owners and/or
involved insurance company. TheBuglar.com headquarters was in
Copenhagen but, "due to spite", moved to a secret location.
Visitors can register as a victim or finder/buyer. The anonymous
"finders" register for free, while the victims pay $5.95 to search.
Insurance companies can browse missing property by geographic area.
Just one catch - is it legal?
In a net shell: Finders keepers.

Internet Bumper Stickers
"Follow your dreams - except that one where you're at school in
your underwear." Give the world a piece of your mind with a free
virtual bumper sticker. Choose from admonitions to sporty one-liners.
Stick them in your email, web site, discussion board or lunch. For
extra punch, send a musical sticker greeting.
In a net shell: Sticky business.


6. Weekly chuckle

Can it be an accident that STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards?




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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