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Gauge your Net worth


Volume 1, No. 14, 26/4/2000


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Volume 1, No. 14 Gauge your Net worth April 26, 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.


Hope you're feeling refreshed and relaxed after your Easter break.

After five days with family in the fresh country air of Chinchilla
on the western Darling Downs, I reckon Christmas and Easter holidays
should always be that long.

This country's too big for three-day weekends. Mind you, next Monday's
May Day holiday will not go astray.

If you're searching for something new to do over the long weekend,
take a squiz at our email classics page and useful local links at

Now back to serious matters.

We spoke about finding web work last
week. This week we'll talk about setting your fees.

After all, somebody has to pay for all these holidays.


PS Readers of Brisbane News magazine might notice the absence of Surf
Club in today's edition. Apparently space was tight so a few columns
had to be held over. Just for newsletter readers, I've included reviews
from a column I wrote last year for Holidays and Honeymoons magazine.



1. Web content tip
2. Book giveaway
3. Editors and press releases
4. Internet PR Network
5. 226 and counting
6. Surfin' Safari links
7. Weekly chuckle

Grocery shopping can be a real drag, especially after a long day.
Order your meat from Brisbane's first online butcher shop and we'll
deliver it fresh to your door or workplace for free (conditions apply).
Check out our specials or drool over free gourmet recipes for kangaroo,
croc, ostrich, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, venison and hand-crafted
continental smallgoods. Prices are competitive, you can pay on delivery.


1. Web content tip

So, you've found a paying gig now how do you figure out what to charge?

If you're writing, editing, proofreading or project managing content
- for web, CD-ROM, zines or e-mail - start with the approved minimum
rate as recommended by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
(MEAA) and the Queensland Writers' Centre (QWC).

The 1999 recommended minimum for freelance writers was $84 an hour
or $421 a day. Those rates are gross (ie before tax).

If you prefer, you can charge per word but that's not a smart strategy
online where you should write half as much as you would for print.

A flat project fee might suit some jobs better than others but make
sure you allow for the "extras" (eg home office costs such as Net,
phone and fax, travel time and costs, time for meetings and revisions,
brainstorming, research, print-outs, postage, couriers).

As with any skill, your fee is relative to your talent and experience.
If you've not structured or written web content, you would not expect
top rates straight up - even with extensive print experience - unless
you have specific expertise on a subject.

This is a new medium and the skills required are equally new.

Traps abound, particularly if you're working sight unseen for an
unknown online publisher.

Be sure to cover yourself with a written agreement specifying terms
and respective responsibilities, deadlines, copyright, and payment
(and/or stock options which may or may not be worth a cracker).

Traditional "dead-tree" publishers have been ripping off writers for
years with below-worth rates.

The Internet spells the end of exploitation of wordsmiths as writers
around the globe spurn crony-ridden print publications for more
creatively and financially rewarding online opportunities.

If you don't believe me, read content guru Steve Outing's excellent
three-part article on the topic:

or web-writing author Crawford Kilian's tips for hired web writers:

Also read Debra Jason's superb primer on setting your freelance fees:

Related links:

Freelance Editorial Association Fee and Scheduling Guidelines (*US)


Queensland Writers' Centre

Australian Society of Authors


2. Book giveaway

Want to know the inside story on the woman who supported the man who,
in just 15 years, became the richest man in Australia?

Read the first authorised biography of Janet Holmes a Court, as
written by friend and colleague Patricia Edgar last year.

To win this new paperback edition of "Janet Holmes a Court", say
in 25 words or fewer why you'd like to read the book (and why
you'd like to write a 100-word review for the brizcomm site).

email yvette@brizcomm.com.au (first in, first served but non-winners
will go in the random draw for other goodies to come).


3. Editors and press releases

One of my favourite newsletters, Web Review, features two articles
relevant to content professionals this week.

Find out how editors find and manage writers:
(read the orange sidebar for links to useful resources)

Pick up tips to ensure your press releases don't end up in the bin:

Graphic Designers: Qualified, min 2yr exp., Photoshop, Illustrator,
Quark + web designers with hands-on Dreamweaver/Flash/Fireworks exp.
Mac Operators/finished artists: Exp. (min 2yr) with hands-on Quark
Xpress 4, Photoshop, Illustrator plus know prepress and electronic
transmission of ad materials. Assist ad styles, brochures, e-media.
Fax Suzanne Ingram on 07 3839 4300 or email suzannei@aquent.com


4. Internet PR Network

If public relations is your field, you might like to join a free
email discussion group launched in February.

The internet-pr-network was founded by Melanie Mayne-Wilson,
director of Mayne Stream Communications and e-PublicRelations.

The list is designed to be a forum for Australian PR practitioners
to discuss issues and exchange ideas relating to Internet PR, new
media and new technologies in Australia.

Community email addresses are:
Post message: internet-pr-network@egroups.com
Subscribe: internet-pr-network-subscribe@egroups.com
Unsubscribe: internet-pr-network-unsubscribe@egroups.com
List owner: internet-pr-network-owner@egroups.com

Shortcut URL:


5. 226 and counting

For your interest, this newsletter had 226 subscribers at the time
of writing last night - 140 more readers than for the inaugural
edition on January 26 this year.

Of the total readership, 78 readers are in Australia, three from
the US, and one each from Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

The breakdown in ages shows the highest number in the 30-39 bracket
(total 30).

Occupation wise, the two highest totals are for writer/journalist (14)
and professional/managerial (14).

The next biggest group is sales/marketing/advertising (11).

Nice to know who I'm talking to.

If you like the newsletter, do tell others. If you don't like it,
do tell me.

Thanks for hanging in there.


6. Surfin' Safari

Romantic Getaways
The World Wide Web offers plenty of holiday choices but how on earth
do you know where to go? Epicurious Travel comes to the rescue with
its point-and-click romantic getaways guide. Simply select a country
and click through a snappy overview and slide show focusing on the
romantic factor, getting around, memorable meals, after dark, shopping
and hot hotels. If you're tempted, you can check room availability
on-line or follow the links for more detail.

10 Common Honeymoon Mistakes
Forgetting to book a double bed might be inconvenient on a
weekend away but it's grounds for divorce on a honeymoon.
That's just one common mistake made by honeymooners. Visit the
site to read the rest then follow the links for hints on fun ways
to save during your holiday, take great pictures, avoid travel
scams, find romantic spots and plan a wedding at sea.

How Well Do You Click?
Before you set off on your holiday, take a few minutes to prepare
yourselves with a few home truths in these on-line quizzes. Find
out your sexual compatibility, whether your love will weather the
holidays and how well you deal with the ex, among other things.

Bridge Climb - The Sydney Harbour Bridge
Get the best view of the 2000 Olympics from the Sydney Harbour Bridge,
the world's largest (but not longest) steel arch bridge. Experience
the exhilaration and bonding experience of climbing 134 metres above
sea level and enjoy the spectacular 360-degree views stretching to
the heads, the Olympic site at Homebush and beyond to the Blue
Mountains. You don't have to be an athlete either, as proved by a
recent climber - an agile 91 year old who helped protect the Bridge
during World War II.

Weather for Active Lives
Visit Intellicast.com, the big daddy of weather sites on the web,
to help you pack for your holiday. You'll find extensive specialised
weather information to help plan your activities, whether golfing,
sailing, hiking, skiing or beach-bumming. You can search for local
forecasts for hundreds of locations around the world, click through
the almanac for seasonal patterns, keep a hurricane watch on the
tropics, find out how the weather can affect your health or learn
how it all works with Dr Dewpoint.

Australia's own one-stop travel shop has been on-line since 1996,
developing several niche sites along the way for the business,
student, ski and gay markets. The site's Farefinder database is
updated daily, allowing you the freedom to select from all available
fares (and airlines) then book on-line. As well as airfares, you'll
find news and features, travel calculators, a newsletter, calendar,
passport and visa information, holiday packages, insurance, car
rental and hotel accommodation.

Cheat Sheet for Travellers
Who wants to be doing mental mathematical calculations throughout
their holiday? Take the easy route and print out a currency exchange
"cheat sheet" to carry in your wallet. Choose your conversions from
dozens of currencies and half-a-dozen languages. The site also
includes up-to-date currency forecasts and news. Rates are updated

Foreign Languages for Travellers
Brush up on basic words and phrases, numbers and enough vocabulary to
find food, toilets and a roof in any country. Listen to the audio
files to perfect your pronunciation, look up a free translating
dictionary, download a free translating program or book a hotel
room via the Worldwide Hotel Database (and save up to 40%). Sign up
for the free daily e-mail service to learn a word a day. Don't miss
the bumper travel links.

The Universal Packing List
Swedish traveller Mats Henricson takes the stress out of packing for
holidays with his universal packing list that you can use for just
about any trip. The list covers clothes, money, documents, health
and hygiene, electrical stuff, diving and climbing gear, photo
equipment and things to do before you leave. Download the lot,
delete the bits you don't need and drag out those suitcases.

Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre
Prevention beats a cure, especially when you're on holidays.
The earlier you seek advice the better - at least six weeks
before departure. TMVC is Australian owned and offers health
preparation and advice, vaccinations and products such as first
aid kits, water purifiers and insect protection. You'll also find
health tips, international travel alerts, personalised health
reports, news, a reference library, vaccination requirements and
useful links.

21st Century Adventures
Step off the beaten track and experience a holiday with a twist.
Track polar bear in the Arctic, take a raft and elephant through
Thailand, hike the Chilkoot Trail, book a B&B in Bulgaria, pan for
gold in California, ride the cowboy trail, climb Scotland, click
through the ultimate camp guide or learn to save pennies in
Switzerland. Take the on-line quiz to find the perfect hat for
your adventure or send a friend a free postcard. Viva la difference.


7. Weekly chuckle

Sure Signs You're Taking Your Job Too Seriously:

You decide to reorganise your family into a "team-based

You refer to dating as test marketing.

You write executive summaries on your love letters.

Your Valentine's Day cards have bullet points.

You celebrate your wedding anniversary by conducting a
performance review.

You believe you never have any problems in your life, just
"issues" and" improvement opportunities".

You end every argument by saying "let's talk about this off-line".

You talk to the waiter about process flow when dinner's late.

You refer to your significant other as "my co-CEO".

You start to feel sorry for Dilbert's boss.

You believe the best tables and graphs take an hour to comprehend.

You account for your tuition as a capital expenditure instead
of an expense.

You insist that you do some more market research before you and
your spouse produce another child.

You ask the car salesperson if the car comes with a whiteboard
and Internet connection.

You give constructive feedback to your dog.


May your May Day be gay.


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

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