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Independence: the road to freedom


Vol. 2, No. 24, 4/7/2001


discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 2, No. 24 Independence: the road to freedom July 4, 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.


Happy Independence Day, America.

The word "independence" takes on new meaning in this brave new
21st century world.

According to Daniel Pink, who wrote "Free Agent Nation", about
33 million Americans have quit their jobs to work on their own.

Pink says these "free agents" constitute a cultural phenomenon and
are redefining the very definition of work and how we go about it.

"The lifespan of companies is shrinking," he says. "Today, all of us
can expect to outlive any company or organisation we work for."

Pink says workers want freedom, authenticity, greater accountability
and self-defined success.

Read the full article, "Free at last . . . Free at last?" at:

While workers run free, more and more free online services are
shutting up shop or transforming to a paid service.

Microsoft bCentral, which hosts this e-newsletter, has announced
that it is discontinuing the free ListBot service on August 6.

Pay up for the List Builder alternative or pack your subscribers and
move to another free host.

I've decided to save us all a lot of bother and pay the annual fee.

At least you'll be free to choose HTML or plain text and I'll gain
more control over the archives and other features.

The days of free services - dubbed the old "new economy" business
model - may well be numbered.

Still, independence has always come at a price.


PS I'm not about to charge you a fee for this newsletter - as long
as I can continue making a living through my training and consulting
work. So spread the word: E-newsletter Workshop, July 13, Brisbane.


1. Web content tip - usability
2. Columns
3. Surf Club
4. Weekly chuckle

Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au if you'd like to sponsor this slot and
talk to 640 web-savvy individuals.


1. Web content tip - usability

Oh, dear. Poor Uncle Jakob is under fire again - this time for
a lack of usability on his own web site.

The usability guru's UseIt.com rated only a "C" grade (75%) in an
evaluation of 40 usability points identified by Nielsen himself.

Usability on the web covers accessibility, information architecture,
navigation, consistency, download time and functional issues.

Read Jakob's report card at:

If you still have faith in the guru, find out what he thinks the
Internet will be like in 20 years:

Meanwhile, fellow usability guru Bruce Tognazzini reckons good
designs for people with disabilities can also benefit the
normally-abled, and effective product design must come before


2. Columns

A hard drive spring-clean and a new ADSL broadband connection have
enabled me - finally - to upload the latest column from Pollyanna.

For a bit of fun, read all about her exploits in a Morris Minor car.

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


3. Surf Club (special Net gadgets issue for listeners of ABC Radio
host Peter Gooch on Monday evenings)

If you surf the Net regularly, sooner or later you'll stumble across
an archived or Zip file (ie compressed). Download an evaluation
version of this useful shareware tool to help you "zip" and "unzip"
Zip files and other popular compression formats.
In a net shell: Quick zip.

Web Ferret
Web Ferret is a free online search tool to help you find things on
the Net quickly. Instead of presenting search result pages listing
10 sites at a time, the Ferret offers a small, scrollable window
showing hundreds of results. Just place your pointer over the link
for the site description.
In a net shell: Time saver.

Zone Alarm
Whenever you're online, your computer risks attack. Stop intruders
with this free personal firewall.
In a net shell: Protect yourself.

A useful tool to have while surfing lets you make the most of online
multimedia (eg video, audio). Choose from the basic free player, jukebox,
arcade or download tool. For the full package, you'll have to pay.
In a net shell: Sound and vision.

Shockwave Flash
If you're using an older web browser, you might want to download a
plug-in from Macromedia to let you experience video, animation and
other multimedia created with Shockwave or Flash. The free Shockwave
player includes the Flash player. You need a fast connection to make
the most of Macromedia's eye candy.
In a net shell: Treat yourself.


4. Weekly chuckle

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any
word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or
changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are a few:

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until
you realise it was your money to start with.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person
who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really
bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like,
a serious bummer.


Thanks to those of you who emailed condolences after last week's
newsletter about the death of my partner's father. Hope you don't
mind, but thought your words were worth sharing (writers' names
have been omitted):

- "Thanks for feeling you could share your feelings with all of us -
amazing how human the web is..."

- "Death can also be weirdly positive, in that sometimes it can make
us realise we only get one shot at life, and that the fears and
insecurities that hold us back are really phantoms."

- "It is a sad part of life that we are often not prepared for.
I know that I'm not. I am still in the delusion that I will live
forever and not get old. I'll learn one day."

- "I agree that the world needs more people like Tim. They are great
tributes to all that is good in humanity. I think that too often the
media and our culture focuses on the less tasteful attributes of
people and we start believing that life is pretty dismal."

and, finally:

- "Hug the one you're with."


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

brizcomm - online content consulting and training

PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia
Do You Like This Internet Resource? Recommend-It (r) to a Friend!

(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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