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May daze


Vol. 2, No. 16, 9/5/2001


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 2, No. 16 May daze May 9, 2001

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.


Could be my imagination but I'd swear the days are going faster as
we approach the end of the financial year in Australia.

Could also have something to do with shorter days as we approach
winter or could just be the fact that I've be in overdrive since
this time last week.

Sydney workshop, Masters assignment, new clients, old clients and
an in-house workshop tomorrow. Who says we're in a slump?

Judging by the number of you who requested a free demo CD from
Macromedia, interest in online development is burning brightly.

I still have a few CDs if you were too shy to ask last week. Just
email yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll send the snail.


PS: Spread the word. Next Web Content Workshop for Brisbane is on
June 21-22 and the E-newsletters Workshop is July 13.

PPS: Melbourne's first Web Content Workshop is May 24-25.

details at http://www.brizcomm.com.au


1. Web content tip - How to evaluate a web writer
2. Free web learning seminar
3. The Y Files (Q&A)
4. Columns
5. Surf Club
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle


e-reality, a benchmark seminar about all aspects of e-commerce and
an initiative of AIIA members, will be at the Brisbane Convention
Centre on Tuesday, May 15, 7.30am-12.30pm. Only $99 per person (incl.
GST and a hot breakfast). Speakers include Paul Lucas, Rod Badger,
John Turnbull, Hamish Fraser, Bruce Rasmussen and Mark Hayward.
Download details at or
phone Martin Lack & Associates on 61 (0) 7 3878 9470.


1. Web content tip - How to evaluate a web writer

If you ever need to hire a new writer, make sure you're getting your
money's worth.

Susan Solomon offers handy tips for evaluating a would-be web writer:



2. Free web learning seminar

Learn the technical shortcuts of creating cost-effective and rich
media e-Learning applications for educational and corporate training
with Macromedia's Asian-Pacific series of free seminars.

You'll learn how to create applications using Macromedia software
such as Flash, Dreamweaver, Director and Authorware.

The dates are:
* Singapore - May 14 2001
* Hong Kong - May 21 2001
* Melbourne - May 25 2001
* Sydney - May 28 2001

Register at http://www.macromedia.com/ap/events/web_learning/


3. The Y Files (Q&A)

This week's question is from Brisbane's Matt Kirkegaard, who scores
a copy of new book Australian Football Hall of Fame (HarperSports).

Q: I know that there is considerable debate about them, but what
is your preferred online (or is that Online or on-line) style

A: The main purpose of a style guide is to maintain consistency,
which would seem a futile exercise in such a widely diverse and
ever-changing medium as the web? I believe you should do what most
people on the web are doing so readers are familiar with your style.
Otherwise, create your own site-specific style and stick to it. The
best resource I've found for "stylists" is http://www.edit-work.com/
You'll find tips on starting your own style and editorial procedures
as well as links to existing style books.

Do web writers need style guides? See what Crawford Kilian says:

Read uptakes and outtakes from Wired Style for free:

Email your content-related question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Read previous Y Files at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/


4. Columns

Pollyanna hails her very first cab and, perhaps surprisingly to we
city folk - enjoys the experience.

If you're about to name a child, be sure to read Cameron Koo's

Teen Toowoomba reviewer Sam Herrick offers this week's review of
the new paperback version of The Great Escape.

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


5. Surf Club

Near Death Experiences
"The near-death experience reveals the true meaning of life and it
is this: we are here to learn to love." That's the conclusion of
Kevin Williams, the creator of this resource on near-death
experiences. Life after death? Read the 60-plus profiles of near-death
experiences then decide for yourself or follow the links for to more
In a net shell: Later, creator.

Jump the shark
"Jumping the shark" describes that defining moment when you know your
favourite TV program has reached its peak and it's all downhill from
now. The term takes its name from the Happy Days episode when Fonzie
water-skied over a shark. Browse by program or check out the categories
(eg birth, graduation, they did it). Have your vote or "stump the shark"
with a TV trivia question.
In a net shell: Why did they do it?

If you want a break from cooking, or novel ideas for a party, send
the kids to "the home of recipes for kids, and recipes kids can
make". Sections include cooking with kids, fun to make, seasonal,
and cooking for kids. The simple recipes give creative names to
future favourites including Goldfish Cakes (tuna balls), Strained
Eyeballs, Yummy Finger Paint, Worm Cups and Ants On A Log.
In a net shell: Kids in the kitchen.

Text to Speech
Hear how your written words sound spoken aloud by an anonymous
man, woman or child. Just enter some English text and hit "submit"
for playback. You're limited to 30 words per utterance and 40
accesses per day per site. Typical uses for the technology include
interactive voice response (eg banking, class enrolment), unified
messaging (especially email reading), and screen reader programs
for the sight-impaired.
In a net shell: Who said that?

Office Clippy
Clippy, the overly friendly animated Microsoft paper clip, was
supposed to help computer users with their Office applications.
Instead, many people found it just plain irritating. Now Office
XP, Microsoft's new productivity suite, spells the end to Clippy's
usefulness (or lack thereof). If you care, watch a Flash movie
showing the effects of XP on the humble clip or vote on his fate
in the Clippy Poll.
In a net shell: Bend me, shape me.

Independent Traveler
This site is for those travellers who enjoy the fun and adventure
of planning their own trips. The virtual community launched on
America Online in 1990 before moving out on to the Web in 2001.
You'll find tips on saving money, advice and recommendations.
Swap questions or tales on the boards, find deals in the "bargain
box", or news and trends in "traveler's ed".
In a net shell: Holiday your way.


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

This site features Interactive Spider Geometry which is
mesmerising stuff. If you are fascinated by kaleidoscopes you can
experiment with the intricacies of Mygalomorphs. The patterns are
derived from Dr Cliff Pickover's book, The Keys to Infinity. As
well as playing around with the patterns you can learn about the
theory behind them and experiment with the values of A and B using
the Java code and scrolling with the mouse. Dr Pickover has written
a book a year (? how long) and The Pickover site itself will lead
you into a labyrinth of cosmology, art, computers and thought. It
has the potential to pull you into Black Holes and blast you into
Hyperspace where you can fiddle with Fractals, tinker with Time
and possibly alienate Aliens. If you like creativity or exploring
the subtropolis of the mind and you loved Rubik's cube, this is
your site.
In a netshell: Mygalamania - Reviewed by Margo Hutchison (who's
getting the next good review book I receive in the mail).

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


7. Weekly chuckle - Tractor mad

Fred is absolutely tractor mad. Library of books, tractor underpants,
duvet, everything you can get.

You know the sort, a real anorak. Anyway, he goes off to a tractor
convention for the weekend where there's a display of tractors with
hedgecutter attachments.

The attachment on one tractor isn't working though. Don't worry,
says Fred, I'll fix that. He gets out his trusty old tractor spanner
he always carries with him and fixes the problem...


as the hedgecutter swings into action it falls too low and cuts off
his arm.

Fred returns after six weeks in hospital to tell all his friends he
is having nothing to do with tractors any more.

He's out with friends for a quiet drink the next week when the bar
appears to start filling with smoke! Fred says to his friends,
"Leave it to me", and inhales for 60 seconds, sucking in all the
smoke. He runs outside, exhales and returns to the bar.

His friends say, "That's amazing - how did you do that?" and Fred



And on that note, good night.


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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(c) 2000-2001 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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