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Thumbs up for our new look


Vol. 2, No. 31, 22/8/2001

Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 2, No. 31 August 22, 2001

In This Issue:
1. Web content tip - marketing to women
2. Brisbane launches city portal
3. Columns
4. The Y Files (Q&A)
5. Surf Club - web site reviews
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle

Web version and back issues
From the editor

Thumbs up for our new look

Thanks so much for your overwhelmingly positive comments about our first
HTML newsletter last week.
Here's a sample -

"The new newsletter looks fab!! Not that there was anything wrong with the
old one, mind you!"

"The new look is great - far more visually interesting and much
cleaner/clearer to read. Congrats on the change."

"The new look is fantastic. It is much easier to read."

"I get lots of ezines, and I'm discovering my span of attention is a lot
longer with HTML."

"Love the new look! I like HTML - I think it's easier to read than plain
old boring text."

"I like it! I always thought your text version looked as appealing as text
versions can - very clean, neat and easy to read - but I do think this
new-look version is a step in the right direction."

"Looks great ... and refreshing to see that the content didn't suffer
(although I knew it wouldn't)."

"I like it. Much more 'friendly' looking and interesting for the eyes."
"I really enjoy being on this list and find it informative, humorous and
useful. Keep up the good work!"

Of course, not everyone was in favour of HTML -
"Looks good, but I liked the text-only version better (I'm a sucker for
that ol' text magic)."

"Unless you're sending a newsletter which requires graphics, why bother
with HTML? It's a p in the a, too much scrolling, and my hands are sore
enough as it is..."

"I prefer the old version because it filled the whole width of my screen
and scrolling down was a lot faster. "

Fair comment. I guess we'll never please everyone - we can only try.
Newsletter design presents similar compatibility dilemmas to web site
design. What looks great in one browser or email program on one platform,
might look dreadful in others.

We've tried to avoid the most obvious problems by using web-safe colours
and a simple, elegant, functional design.

We've also tried to change the internal anchor links so they don't open a
new browser window but ListBuilder keeps foiling us. Hopefully that will
be right by next week.

The font and spacing are on the generous size for easy reading, regardless
of screen resolution (you can always adjust the size via your own email

A few readers using Eudora had problems with the HTML version.

We're working on that too. In the meantime, you might prefer to read the
newsletter online - in plain text or HTML - at
Thanks again for your encouraging response.

- Yvette

PS Next Web Content Workshop is on Monday and Tuesday, September 24-25 at
Southport. Have a long weekend on the Gold Coast - see

Web content tip
Women are rapidly overtaking men in the online numbers
game. If you need to brand or market to women online, you'll want to read
this interview with Mary Lou Quinlan of Just Ask a Woman:

Andrea Learned from ReachWomen offers more tips for reaching women online:
Brisbane opens city portal

Brisbane City Council has finally "soft-launched" its online portal.
The ambitious project aims to help residents make the most of the Internet
and the city of Brisbane.

ABC Radio's Spencer Howson yesterday gave me the chance to air my views
about the site to Mayor Jim Soorley. I *think* I was diplomatic.

Early days yet but I hope original, locally generated, compelling content
and genuine community interaction are high on the agenda - along with a
little paid portal work for local firms (instead of sending it interstate
or overseas).

Have a look then have your say via ourbrisbane's online feedback form:


If you want to impress small children, brush up on your animal noises.
Pollyanna shares a few grandparenting secrets:

The Y Files

Brisbane's Sarah Boyd sent this week's question. In return, I
sent her the new book, "Global Sex", by Dennis Altman.

Q: A new phrase seems to be echoing around my office: write once, publish
often - the idea being that it is more efficient to write just one piece
of content but publish it online, in print, internally, externally etc. By
contrast, there has been plenty written by content creators suggesting
that writing for the web is different for print and other media (which, as
an interactive writer, I agree with). How do we reconcile these two
schools of thought?

A: If you can absorb information clearly online, chances are it will be a
snap to understand in print. While online writing degrades gracefully to
print, words prepared for print do not work well on screen. Online
reading, or "scanning", is different. The buzz phrase, "write once,
publish everywhere", is popular with supporters of XML, which enables
content to be reformatted for different devices (eg Palm Pilot, mobile
phone, PC). If you plan to re-purpose content, write in online style from
the start.

Email your question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au and win a book.

Surf Club

Fat Lane Online
"All women who develop their intelligence and self-confidence are
beautiful. I just happen to think the larger ladies look better." That's
the opinion of Dean Webb, creator of Fat Lane Online ezine, which takes a
tongue-in-cheek look at today's biggest celebrities and makes them, well,
bigger. Read an article, download wallpaper or print out a
larger-than-life pin-up of your favourite star.
In a net shell: Fat friendly.

Lose Weight Now
Alcohol contains no fat but the calorie intake is nearly the same as fat.
There goes the myth that alcohol is not fattening. This Australian site
dispels food and fitness fallacies while providing tips and hints to lose
weight safely. Find out the minimum amount of food you need to cover basic
nutrient needs, print out healthy recipes or follow the links to health
and fitness articles. For inspiration, see the before and after success
stories and pictures.
In a net shell: Health help.

DALiWorld is an online virtual aquarium teeming with artificial sea
creatures. Fish swim about your virtual ocean for your viewing pleasure.
If you enable networking, your fish can swim off your screen over the
Internet to another DALiWorld member's computer aquarium. To see where a
particular fish was "born" and has been, right click on it. Eventually,
you'll be able to attach messages to your fish to take to other members.
In a net shell: Net working.

Human Clock
Human Clock shows you the time using pictures of people throughout
Portland, Oregon (among other places) holding up numbered cards. The
digital clock features about 1100 photos for each of the 1440 minutes in a
day. If you see a missing time, submit your own photo. Click on "display
clock" to see the time in your zone (change your zone to sneak preview
other pictures).
In a net shell: Sign of the times.

Nuclear Event Detector
http://www.micro-circuit.com/newmarket/products5.htm If you like to be the
first person to know something, this is for you. Be forewarned when the
world is about to end with a UK-developed nuclear event detector, which
can electronically sniff out low-level nuclear environments and
In a net shell: You can run but you can't hide.

Ugly Rooms for the Beautiful People
Take a nostalgia trip down bad memory lane with page from 1975's "Better
Homes and Gardens Decorating Book". Shapeless orange couches, meaningless
art, garish wallpaper … it's all there. To think these designs were once
at the pinnacle of good taste.
In a net shell: Sofa, so bad.

Reader's Choice

Download free mpeg movies, short films, 3D animations, film previews and
commercials. The movies are designed to run on a Pocket PC, but run just
fine on a standard PC. There is a mailing list, and a forum to post your
reviews of the flicks. Some file sizes are quite large, but not all.
In a net shell: Desktop Box Office.
Reviewed by Brad Irwin, of Brisbane.

Weekly Chuckle

During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, the US
National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a
ballpoint pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules.
After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was
developed at a cost of $US1 million. The pen worked and also enjoyed some
modest success as a novelty item back here on earth.
The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.

Yvette Nielsen, Editor

yvette@brizcomm.com.au phone 61 (0)41 771 8683

brizcomm - online content consulting and training

PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia

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