Scrooge alive and well in dead tree media
Vol. 2, No. 41,
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 2, No. 42 November 21, 2001
In This Issue:
1. Web content tip
2. Email tip
3. Readers Write
4. The Y Files (Q&A)
5. Surf Club - web site reviews
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle
Brisbane - Thursday, December 13
Skip the get-rich-quick "experts". Discover the secrets to writing, publishing, financing and promoting an email newsletter from someone who's been doing it weekly for two years
For details and bookings, visit -
From the editor - Scrooge alive and well in dead tree media
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the shops but you wouldn't know it working for the print barons.
One publication issued a memo to contributors this week pointing out early holiday deadlines.
The last paragraph included the obligatory "thanks for your contribution this year", no doubt to cut costs on Christmas cards.
To add insult to injury, the PS stated -
"Unfortunately, we will not be hosting a Christmas party this year."
Ho, ho, ho, the joke's on the "greedy, overpaid freelancers" (we wish).
Let's hope 2002 is a happier New Year for new media and independent online publishers.
The day of judgement is coming for the dinosaurs.
PS Workshop graduates, don't forget to sign up for your new exclusive "brizcommunicator" discussion list. Send a blank email to http://www.topica.com/lists/brizcommunicator or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
Web content tip
Web designer or travel writer?
Seems every second person you meet wants to be a freelance travel writer or set up their own web design business.
If you fall into either category, you'll enjoy these two sites -
How to set up a web design business without breaking the bank -
Travelwriters.com, the business-to-business site bringing together travel writers, editors and publisher, and PR agencies -
Adelaide-based reader Chris Mansell wrote a thoughtful response to my recent rants about the failings of Outlook and Outlook Express.
Chris uses MS notebook as a universal format to collect tidbits of info rather than save huge emails for one tiny gem. He permitted me to post his piece on our new Readers' Musings page -
If you've had enough of Microsoft's email offerings, try Pegasus Mail.
A colleague assures me it's the best email software around and -
* it's free
* has good MIME facilities
* provides folders
* saves message drafts
* allows multiple signatures
* allows multiple identities for different accounts
As it's an email client, you can use it to pull down mail from your POP server. As it's not Microsoft, it's not so much a target for virus creators.
You can get it from http://www.tucows.com/
Pollyanna muses on the humble cake decoration of "hundreds and thousands" this week while Lesley Everley, of Kingscliff, reviews the explosive new novel from international thriller writer Robert Ludlum.
Send your book or film review to email@example.com and I'll be happy to publish it - along with your own web site address.
The Y Files
Brisbane photographer Carl N Gray - of http://www.carlngray.com.au - offered this week's question and received a new sci-fi fantasy book.
Q: Have you found that there is an optimum time of day/week to send out email newsletters? I have a theory that Friday night is a good time because people will have more of a chance to follow up on the newsletter over the weekend. If you send it out on Monday, people are more likely to erase it before they get a chance to read it and follow it up. But as you usually send yours out on Wednesday night, perhaps you have a better theory?
A: My readers and sources suggest you're right, Carl, though each case will differ depending on the newsletter's purpose, audience and content. Monday is a bad day as your newsletter is likely to be lost in a full inbox. Friday might also be risky as many people like to head home early or are too busy thinking about the weekend to absorb new content - unless you're promoting things to do on your days off. Mid-week is your best bet but, with savvy publishers aware of this, you'll have more competition. I recall colleague Steve Outing addressed the topic of email newsletter delivery in an article way back in 1999 -
Email me your stumper via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lounge is an Australian network of content, community and online services to help women plan and streamline their lives. You'll find easy-to-read articles, forums, freebies and useful resources on topics spanning beauty, health, home, work, motherhood and shopping with a generous dollop of street smarts, intelligence and humour.
In a net shell: "Virtually all a woman needs".
If something in an email sounds too good (or bad) to be true, chances are it's false. Test anything you read at this portal featuring a handy search tool, special reports and links to the major myth debunking sites. Just key in a few words and hit "enter" for the verdict on a virus warning, scam, tall tale or hoax.
In a net shell: "Search before you forward".
In a net shell: Jump in.
John Lennon Artificial Intelligence Project
Chat with dead Beatle John Lennon or serial killer Jack The Ripper live online. The personality of Lennon and Jack The Ripper have been re-created - as software robots, or bots. An artificial intelligence agent is being programmed with Lennon's own words and thoughts to illustrate the power of "Persona-Bots" - and perhaps things to come. Follow the link to Saucy Jack (aka Jack the Ripper).
In a net shell: Imagine.
Digital Watergun Museum
The creator of this site claims to have the largest collection of water pistols and guns on the Internet. Take a look at a few os his prized specimens including soakers, guns in the shape of animals, handguns and rayguns. Visit the FAQs to discover who invented the Supersoaker, how water guns work and links to manufacturers.
In a net shell: Wet, wet, wet.
"Easter eggs" refer to any amusing tidbits hidden by creators in their creations. You'll find "Easter eggs" in computer software, DVDs, movies, music, TV, books, art and even Pepsi cans and watches. Some are silly, some are clever - you just have to know where to look. See the top 25 or have new eggs emailed to you.
In a net shell: Scrambled messages.
Brisbane's Louise Carney scored a copy of "Dark Horses and Black Beauties" (Allen & Unwin) for her review of a favourite site.
The Institute of Official Cheer
The institute makes fun of popular culture from the past. Sarcastic and brutal, but hilarious - this site is so entertaining and sure to brighten anyone's day. My favourite is the "bad publicity" section which showcases embarrassing photos of the famous with biting comments to go with it.
Send your brief site review to email@example.com
1. I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.
2. I'm in shape. Round is a shape.
3. Ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window?
4. Ever notice that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?
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