Hang in there, dotcoms
Vol. 2, No. 44,
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 2, No. 44 December 5, 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
Web version and back issues
(workshop graduates only)
Brisbane - Thursday, December 13
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From the editor - Hang in there, dotcoms
It's been a tough year for dotcoms but things can only get better.
I, for one, have no intention of abandoning life online and the chance to be part of something new, exciting and, hopefully, valuable.
Thousands of other dotcommers are willing to ride the wave, even if they're dumped at the end.
Why? Perhaps we've adopted the "life-is-short" mantra since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. Maybe we're committed to a vision or want to escape the corporate cubicle. Could it be we're just blind optimists?
Two articles in Business Week Online explain dotcommers' reasons for hope and what we can expect in the Net's next era -
I liked this quote from Tim Miller, president of research firm WebMergers.com - "They're not sticking with the Titanic...They're sticking with the half-built liner that is still in dry dock that is going to launch at some point."
The future is bright and we have strength in numbers (just make sure your virus buster is up to date - some nasty bugs are floating about).
PS Thanks so much to those of you who emailed your support after Brisbane News dropped my column. As a result, I've decided to keep writing my column each week just for brizcomm readers. Spread the word. You can read a few of the comments at -
Web content tip
Information is the hot currency in the new economy but being an information worker is tougher than some might think.
For starters, you're dealing with constant change so live under the constant threat of information overload. Keeping on keeping up is a full-time job, and doesn't generate direct income.
Content consultant Gerry McGovern's shares a "Day in the life of an information worker" with a generous dash of Irish humour -
Marketing yourself is an extra challenge for independent info professionals. According to freelancer Brian S. Konradt, "marketing is probably the most ignored and neglected function of operating a profitable commercial copywriting business". For tips, read "A Marketing Checklist for Freelancers and Consultants" -
As I found out recently, transferring Outlook Express mail between computers can drive you bonkers.
A free tool, DBXtract, might just save your sanity -
The birds and trees provide a welcome distraction for Pollyanna this week. She's also reviewed a powerful new paperback set in post-war Vietnam, "Children of the Dust", by Anderson McCourt.
Alison Pashley reviews the new IMAX feature, Cyberworld, and collects a copy of the book, "Diary of a Head Trip", for her trouble.
Read them all at -
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's Sandra Beach provided this week's question and receives a copy of "The Tami Hoag Omnibus".
Q: At work, there is a lot of chat about content management and I would like to know what content management is and what benefit purchasing a system adds to the process?
A: Basically, content management is managing online content, from creation to archive, through a series of manual tasks and processes with the help of software. If your site takes forever to update manually, or if more than one person is contributing content, chances are you could benefit from some type of content management system (CMS). You can buy off-the-shelf packages or develop your own solution based on templates and a database. The overriding goal of CMS is to separate content from design (so your content creators and editors don't need to be HTML experts and can't muck up the code). Some CMS tools are simply browser-based text editors or cut-and-past forms. Others also co-ordinate workflow, allow permission-based updating, and provide version archiving and an audit trail. Benefits include more effective use of internal resources and reduced time/training to change site content.
To help ensure return on investment, read "Content management systems - measuring for success" -
Email me your stumper via firstname.lastname@example.org
Try explaining a computer task to somebody via the phone or email and you'll appreciate the trials of tech support staff. Infopackets is a virtual computer help desk offering free online video tutorials and time-saving tips for common Windows tasks and programs including Outlook Express, Internet Explorer, WinZip, and Windows Media Player. Download the free video code to view.
In a net shell: Hair saver.
Plan your world trip online with the help of Maporama. The Paris-based cartographic service has charted 635,000 cities, including street maps for Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia. Personalise your maps with itineraries, news, weather, traffic info, driving directions and currencies.
In a net shell: Where on earth.
"Being creative is seeing the same thing as everybody else but thinking of something different." Learning how to think creatively can help us keep up with change. The Creativity Web is an Australian resource centre packed with information to help you become more creative. For starters, try the creativity kickstarts, puzzles, books, software, techniques, quotes, affirmations and humour.
In a net shell: Make a difference.
Human beings are consuming more but enjoying it less, according to 49 new trends. Eartheasy is a Vancouver man's attempt "to encourage, inspire and inform people of the inherent wealth of a simpler, less material lifestyle".You'll find ideas to help you live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. Choose an image on the home page for the sections: live, grow, eat, play, wear and give.
In a net shell: Wealth of ideas.
Lives: The Biography Resource
Lives claims to be the largest guide to biography sites on the Web. You'll find thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, oral histories and special collections (biographies based on specific topics such as the Holocaust) of people no longer with us. For snappy facts, you can search the site.
In a net shell: Bio friendly.
PlanFinder is a woodworking plan search engine with links to more than 4400 plans from 30+ specialty woodworking Web sites. The site also lists free woodworking software tools, magazines, online calculators, how to articles, links, tips and templates for everything from barns to picnic tables.
In a net shell: Wood if you could.
Brisbane's Keren Bell shared a favourite site and picked up the new epic from David and Leigh Eddings, "The Redemption of Althalus".
A List Apart
For those interested in everything web, this site is good reading and great training. Turn the Tao into Text!
Send your brief site review to email@example.com
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE, THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge ... mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the joy.
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