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From the home front


Volume 1, No. 25, 12/7/2000


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Volume 1, No. 25 From the home front July 12, 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.


Last week I was raving about the benefits of a short break away from
your desk to re-charge the creative battery.

This week I feel as though my battery needs a jumpstart, having spent
the past few days wading through several hundred emails, two weeks of
site updates and masses of snail mail.

To top it off, I have a head cold from hell and haven't even begun
updating my accounting software and stationery for GST.

Still, I reckon if I had to face the rigours of a new financial year
not having had a break, I'd be flat out getting out of bed.

If you plan to get away from it all, read eWork Exchange's tips on
how to avoid post-holiday burnout:

I've a folder full of content-related articles for you but I'll keep
a few for next week.


PS Only a few seats left for Brisbane workshop on Thursday, 20 July.



1. Web content tip
2. GST hobbles computer cowboys
3. Contract for content writers
4. Reposition yourself as an eWorker
5. Columnists
6. Surf Club links
7. Weekly chuckle


1. Web content tip

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen has warned of a growing backlash
against WAP (Wireless Application Protocol - a way to access
web content over mobile phones and other wireless devices).

Read his Alertbox column at http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000709.html


What makes good wireless content? Well, considering the size of
a phone screen and the fact the user is probably mobile,
Content Exchange founder Steve Outing suggests news, weather,
traffic reports, stocks, sports, movie/theatre/restaurant reviews,
consumer info and humour.

Read all about it in Steve's column at Editor and Publisher:



2. GST hobbles computer cowboys

Brisbane computer guru Ray Shaw reflects on the sad state of the
retail computer industry in a hard-hitting editorial hosted on his
own site.

While the GST could help clean up the industry, Ray fears the
cowboys will still find loopholes.

Don't miss his tips, for buyers and employees, on spotting shonky

Ray hosts a radio talkback program on ABC 612 4QR at 8pm Tuesdays.



3. Contract for content writers

The Writers Guild of America (West) has posted a new contract for
online content writers to its site.

The contract covers writers who work on made-for-Internet
audio-visual programming, including live action and animation.

Download the contract at:


4. Reposition yourself as an eWorker

Mature professionals considering a move to professional independence
will want to read this article from eWork Exchange.

"The good news is that we are living in an era of a 'talent-driven
economy'. If you have the talent, half your battle is won."



5. Columnists

Old Grumpy really has a bee in his hat this week after reading how
big business is cannibalising the retail trade in small local towns.

Pollyanna recalls wash day before washing machines while Cameron
Koo discusses the art of Ukranian egg decoration (there's more to
it than you might think).

Read them all at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/(and do offer your comments
to the columnists responsible).


6. Surf Club
* all reviews are hotlinked at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/f-surf.htm

Internet Quotient
IQ Magazine is designed to help managers who are technological
novices. You'll find a round-up of Net trends along with advice
on Net culture and customer care, moving from "bricks to clicks",
safeguarding your network, empowering the team, and facts and
stats. Take the IQ test to see if your company is Web ready.
In a net shell: Time saver.

Puppy Kiss
Pucker up and prepare for a surprise. Puppy Kiss is silly but who
cares. Turn up the speakers for the full effect. If it makes you
smile, spread the joy and send to a friend.
In a net shell: Barking mad.

You don't have to surf far on the Web before encountering an order
form or registration form for full-site access. Gator will remember
and encrypt all your passwords, account numbers and log-in
identities for you. When you hit a form, Gator will surface
automatically and ask if you want the details filled out in one
click. It's a free, three-minute download.
In a net shell: Snappy.

Oh dear, MP3 karaoke is here. At least those of us not blessed with
the voice of a nightingale can do it in the privacy of our own homes.
Registering is free and gives you two free credits to download a
song or two. If you want more, you'll have to pay. Lyrics are coming.
In a net shell: Star maker.

The name says it all. eLUXURY is the site to visit after you've won
the lottery. Select from designer fashion (eg skin jewellery),
exclusive home and gourmet goods, executive toys or luxurious spa
and beauty products and experiences. You can also ogle over the
prestigious travel, city and gift guides. Shipping is free for orders
over $3000.
In a net shell: Lifestyle with a capital S.

Here's a nice little tool for Windows users (Mac and LINUX versions
to come). ePrompter is a free email notification utility that
automatically checks up to eight AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo and POP3 email
accounts at a time. A unique screensaver lets you know at a glance
the status of your selected email accounts, whether your computer
is online or offline.
In a net shell: Handy.

The Patrick Swayze Flight Simulator
You're Patrick Swayze (after a few drinks) and you have to land an
out-of-control plane on the set of four famous Swayze flicks,
after choosing your beer count (uses Flash plug-in). Tip: go for
one beer first up, it's harder than you think.
In a net shell: Plane silly.

Lettuce Ladies
The Lettuce Ladies wear nothing but strategically placed lettuce
leaves. Their mission, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals, is to travel the world educating people about
vegetarianism. The LLs even served up vegan "Not Dogs" at a
party for legislators on Capitol Hill. Meet the ladies, take the
sex appeal quiz, print out recipes "for healthy, sexy bodies" or
read their top 10 reasons for being vegetarian. Adopt a Lettuce
Lady or, if you prefer, a Broccoli Boy.
In a net shell: Lettuce pray.

American Photography: A Century of Images
If you ever doubted the power of photography, this exhibition from
PBS should reinforce its value. Explore photography's role in art,
war, social change and cultural identity or view the short show
in the image lab (uses Shockwave and Flash plug-ins).
In a net shell: Powerful.

The Phobia List
Word-buff Fred Culbertson started collecting the names of phobias
after a debate in a bar about the name of a particular phobia.
His list has more than 500 entries, from ablutophobia (fear of
bathing) to zoophobia (fear of animals). You'll also find links
to help for phobias and famous quotes about fear. Swat up at this
site before entering a quiz show.
In a net shell: Full of dread.


7. Weekly chuckle

Some old, some new power talk:

* Seagull manager - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise,
craps over everything and then leaves.

* Salmon day - The experience of spending an entire day swimming
upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

* Chainsaw consultant - An outside expert brought in to reduce the
employee head count, leaving the brass with clean hands.

* CLM - Career Limiting Move - Used among microserfs to describe
ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within
earshot is a serious CLM.

* Adminisphere - The rarefied organisational layers beginning just
above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere
are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems
they were designed to solve.

* Dilberted - To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived
from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip
character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the
specs for the fourth time this week."

* Flight risk - Used to describe employees who are suspected of
planning to leave the company or department soon.

* 404 - Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message
"404 Not Found", meaning that the requested document could not be
located. Used as in: "Don't bother asking him... he's 404, man."

* Generica - Features of the American landscape that are exactly the
same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls,
subdivisions. Used as in: "We were so lost in generica that I forgot
what city we were in."

* Ohno-second - That minuscule fraction of time in which you realise
that you've just made a BIG mistake.

* Percussive maintenance - The fine art of whacking the hell out
of an electronic device to get it to work again.

* Umfriend - A sexual relation of dubious standing or a concealed
intimate relationship, as in "This is, my... um... friend."

* Cube farm: An office filled with cubicles.

* Idea hamsters: People who always seem to have their idea generators

* Mouse potato: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch


See you next week (now where's that Vitamin C).


Yvette Nielsen, Editor
phone 041 771 8683
Brizcomm, PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia

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