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Look on the bright side


Vol. 2, No. 17, 16/5/2001


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 2, No. 17 Look on the bright side May 16, 2001

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

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Geez, I'm tired of reading about dot.com bombs, the slump in the
IT industry and a slowdown in employment - it's bad for business.

Training is among the first "luxuries" to be slashed by the razor
gangs, which doesn't show much foresight or faith.

At least we're staying positive in the Sunshine State. The latest
quarterly TMP Job Index found the largest declines in optimism were
over the border in New South Wales and Victoria.

An encouraging 73.9 per cent of IT employers in Queensland intend to
hire people in the next quarter - up 28.6 per cent.

TMP Worldwide technology recruitment Victorian manager Ian James was
quoted in Tuesday's IT liftout in The Australian as saying:
"Things are starting to happen that suggest by the third and fourth
quarters this six-month period will be a distant memory."

* Full report - http://au.eresourcing.tmp.com

Marea Phillips, managing director of Terasys, is also looking to the
future, saying that while the "tech wreck" may have had an impact on
the short-term recruitment needs of the IT industry, there is and
will continue to be a gap in the supply versus demand of IT positions.

"IT is pervasive across all industries," she adds. "It touches
everything from farming to fashion and, whilst the big IT players are
experiencing a re-correction in their sales growth and downsizing of
resources, non-traditional IT organisations still need people.

"If Australian trends are similar to those in the US (where of the
10.5 million people employed in IT, 9.6 million are in non-IT companies,
source ITAA April 2001), then there are still opportunities for those
who wish to make a career transition."

* Full report - fEmail eUnuch at http://www.philippayelland.com/

So don't worry, be happy.


PS: Make me happy - tell a friend about my first (and possibly
last) Web Content Workshop in Melbourne next week.

PPS: Seats are filling nicely for the Web Content Workshop in
Brisbane on June 21-22 and the E-newsletters Workshop on July 13
- must be that sunny disposition we Queenslanders are known for ;-)



1. Web content tip
2. Rousing the reluctant writer
3. The Y Files (Q&A)
4. Columns
5. Surf Club
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle

email yvette@brizcomm.com.au if you'd like to sponsor this space.


1. Web content tip - Don't give up on online content work

Content-Exchange owner guru Steve Outing has a few helpful tips for
freelancers seeking online content work.

Suggestions include:
* diversify
* avoid pureplay dot.coms
* choose clients carefully
* write for cross-media
* focus on niche markets
* look to the corporate web
* don't be short-sighted.

Couldn't have put it better myself, Steve.

Remember, what goes down must come up. Be ready for the demand by
spending your quiet time sharpening your skills - and your edge.


If you're on the technical side of web development, see your future:


Whatever role you play on the web team, be sure to post your profile
in our free jobs database at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/contentjobs/


2. Rousing the reluctant writer

When you couldn't care if you never wrote another word, it's time
to re-evaluate.

Janis Butler Holm poses 20 questions to ask yourself, along with
practical tips for getting back in the creative flow.

The article includes a reference to Dorothea Brande's 1934 essay,
"The Writer's Recreation" in "Becoming a Writer".



3. The Y Files (Q&A)

Shame nobody asked me a question this week. Have a few new sci-fi
and fantasy books, along with a couple about netball, to give away.

Read previous Y Files at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/ or
email a fresh one to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


4. Columns

Former Cubs, Brownies, Scouts and Guides will enjoy this week's
offering from Pollyanna.

We also introduce a new writer, Australian freelance journalist
Sandra White.

Sandra serves up a slice of big city life in her column, London Cuts,
starting this week with a piece about the trials and tribulations
of the mini-cab.

Readers Write - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp


5. Surf Club

Online Caroline
Need some excitement in your life? Online Caroline is an interactive
British drama, part soap and part thriller. You can interact with
the main character - enigmatic twentysomething travel writer
Caroline - via her webcam and email responses, which change
depending on your online behaviour. Many people have become so
immersed in the drama that they're convinced Caroline is a real
In a net shell: Truth or dare.

The eOK.network
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the surf.
Protect yourself against Internet bugs, viruses, worms, Trojan
horses, hackers and crackers with these free computer security
tools, tips, online services, patches and fixes, news and warnings.
Since 1998, this non-commercial resource has been a labour of love
for Brisbane university student Ben Koe and a couple of his
Singaporean mates who are concerned for "the lay member of our
pnline community who gets ripped off or abused by the techo punks
that plague the Internet".
In a net shell: Be prepared.

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." - Joseph
Addison. Powerquotes is an online ezine offering a daily quotation
and question for readers to ponder, "helping you create daily
insight and inspiration". Invest a couple of minutes each weekday
to improve yourself, your situation, business and relationships.
In a net shell: Power of words.

Google Groups
Search service Google has placed online the full archive of Usenet
newsgroup postings purchased from Deja.com early in 2001. The
archive dates back to 1995 and includes more than 650 million
messages (over a terabyte of human conversation). Search by date,
language, message ID, author, subject or newsgroup.
In a net shell: Rich resource.

Richard Lederer's Verbivore
"Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables;
verbivores devour words." Even as a high-school student,
self-confessed verbivore Richard Lederer knew that Elvis Presley,
born three years before him, would become immortal because Richard
saw that "Elvis Lives" was a two-word anagram. This friendly
English teacher, Wizard of Idiom, Attila the Pun, and Conan the
Grammarian has spun a Web site for "wordaholics, logolepts, and
verbivores" of "the only language in which you drive in a
parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can
In a net shell: Verbal feast.

Virtual Cave
If the mere thought of being underground makes you feel clammy,
explore the hidden world of caves through words and pictures.
Caver and photographer Dave Bunnell has collected masses of images
from caves all over the world over the past 30 years. Take a
virtual tour of caves including solution caves, lava tubes,
erosional and sea caves.
In a net shell: Dark mysteries.

Senior Women Web
This site is for senior women who have "graduated from one life
stage to another" and want to make the most of it and share their
experiences. Topics of articles and columns reflect personal and
public issues while fostering a sense of community and connectivity.
Categories include culture and arts, relationships, travel, home
and shopping, money and computing, health, fitness and style.
In a net shell: Go, grrl.

Slime Volleyball
When you have absolutely nothing better to do, waste some time
online with a match of Slime Volleyball or Slime Man. The games
are not as disgusting as they sound. If you can remember the
early electronic games Pong and Pac Man, you get the idea.
In a net shell: Slime time.


6. Reader's Choice (see archives in Surf Club at www.brizcomm.com.au)

New York Review of Books
There is no better high-brow literature and analysis site than the
New York Review of Books. (The latest edition has articles from
some of the world's leading writers on such diverse topics as Barry
Goldwater, Ariel Sharon, the future of the EU, John Updike and,
well, you get the idea. The huge bonus is that there is a searchable
archive by both author and subject, which includes some truly
seminal articles and groundbreaking thinking. Content really
does count.

- Reviewed by James Walker, of Perth, who wins a copy of a new
book by G. Bruce Knecht called "The Proving Ground", which is
the inside story of the 1988 Sydney to Hobart race and available
in stores on June 8.

Email your brief site review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


7. Weekly chuckle - Student teacher

A first grade teacher was having trouble with one of her students.

The teacher asked, "Johnny what is your problem?"

Johnny answered, "I'm too smart for the first grade. My sister is in
the third grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in
the third grade too!"

The teacher had had enough. She took Johnny to the principal's office.

While Johnny waited in the outer office, the teacher explained.

The principal told the teacher he would give the boy a test and, if
he failed to answer any question, he was to go back to the first grade
and behave. The teacher agreed.

Johnny was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he
agreed to take the test.

Principal: "What is 3 x 3?"

Johnny: "9."

Principal: "What is 6 x 6?"

Johnny: "36."

And so it went with every question the principal thought a third grader
should know.

The principal looked at the teacher and said, "I think Johnny can go
to the third grade."

The teacher replied, "Let me ask him some questions?"

The principal and Johnny both agreed.

The teacher asked: "What does a cow have four of that I have only two

Johnny, after a moment, "Legs."

Teacher: "What is in your pants that you have, but I do not have?"

The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the
answer, Johnny replied, "Pockets."

Teacher: "What does a dog do that a man steps into?"

Johnny: "Pants."

Teacher: "What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a
lot of excitement?"

Johnny: "Firetruck."

The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, "Put
Johnny, in the fifth grade, I missed the last four questions myself."


I'll leave you with a quote:

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of
life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to
be enthusiastic about."


Yvette Nielsen, Editor
phone 61 (0)4 41 771 8683

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

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liability for any incorrect information that may be contained
in any articles or events mentioned in this newsletter.

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