'Tis the season to be jolly well thankful
Vol. 2, No. 45,
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 2, No. 45 December 12, 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
Only 3 seats left for tomorrow's
E-newsletter Workshop by the river
(last chance till later in 2002)
State Library, Brisbane, 9.30am to 4.30pm, Cost $495 plus GST (includes lunch, notes, certificate)
* phone 041 771 8683 now to book or email firstname.lastname@example.org
From the editor - 'Tis the season to be jolly well thankful
As the working year begins to wind down, we inevitably look back to see how we've spent the past 12 months. Scary, isn't it?
While 2001 has been a rough ride for business, at least we're still here. A few months ago, the world had a major wake-up call. We must never forget that money is not what brings real meaning to life - only people can do that.
The Internet is an empowering medium with the potential to provide unprecedented access to information and individual choice, once we bridge the digital divide.
Colorado content consultant Amy Gahran hits the bull's eye with her editorial this week on the state and future of the online content industry -
Me, I'm signing off until February to recharge the creative batteries. This week's newsletter is a bumper issue to give you something to chew on over the break.
Thank you for keeping me company all year. Have a safe, peaceful and happy Christmas and a prosperous and meaningful New Year.
PS For those of you who don't live in Australia, here's a glimpse of how we celebrate the season in summer Down Under -
Web content tip
When you work from home, it can be tricky to take a break. Pick up a few tips on surviving a home business and the holidays at -
If you have an online business, find out how to make the most of the season -
If you'd like to work online from home, think about becoming a virtual assistant -
If you've decided to send an email newsletter to friends and family instead - or as well as - a Christmas card this year, don't miss Moira Allen's feature with tips on "How to write the ultimate holiday newsletter" -
With all the viruses, scams and hoaxes fouling the Net, we all need to think before forwarding email messages and web site URLs.
If all you have to go on is an email - with no context, no return address - you'll have to do some detective work to find out whether you should hit "send".
"Think before you spam: How to distinguish the good from the bad, the ugly, and outright bogus online information" -
Pollyanna has a special Christmas column for you this week. Be sure to drop her an email if you've enjoyed her writings throughout the year - the column is a labour of love.
In the reviews, Lesley Everley reviews the book, "Workout for a Balanced Brain", while Sam Herrick has his say on the new movie, "Rock Star".
Read them at - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp
Send your book, film or software review to email@example.com and I'll be happy to publish it in 2002 - along with your own web site address.
The Y Files
London-based Aussie Nicole van Beuningen gave us this week's question in return for a copy of "Re-engineering the Corporation".
Q: Your articles and information generally focus on "external" organisational communication (web sites, newletters etc). What are your thoughts regarding online content for employee communications? My area of consultancy is internal communications and I compile e-newsletters, intranet sites and email communication for this audience type. Are there any resources out there that address best practice online content for employee communication?
A: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the difference between employee and external communication is virtually zero. Effective communication is effective communication. Online content must be structured logically, written simply and concisely, and include a call to action. As with all writing, tone and voice will depend on your purpose and your reader. (For instance, you might write a tad more informally for an internal newsletter than for the general public - and get away with more jargon.) But remember that clear communication with employees becomes best practice for communicating with clients and is an organisation's best asset, boosting morale and productivity. The message is clear - everyone is time poor - write well.
Effective communication makes money, cuts costs -
What's the cost of employees not finding information? Find out with "The Excellent Intranet Cost Analyser" -
Jakob Nielsen reports on "The 10 Best Intranet Designs of 2001" -
Email me your stumper via firstname.lastname@example.org
END-OF-YEAR SPECIAL - THE 12 SITES OF CHRISTMAS
Six White Boomers
Australian children have been singing this Christmas song about a lost baby kangaroo since the 60s. Aussie entertainment legend Rolf Harris and American colleague John D Brown wrote the song in Perth, Western Australia, in 1960 while working at a television station. They figured it was crazy to be singing Christmas songs about snow and ice when the temperature was around 100 degrees Farenheit.
In a net shell: Boom boom.
For that lucky person who has everything, how about a Gummi Pet Tarantula in their stocking? Or a Chocolate-Covered Cricket, Ant Candy or Slimy Slug? Realcooltoys.com is part of Kathy's Critters, a live animal educational program that visits schools, birthday parties and special events throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. They do ship products overseas (though you'll have to find your own live bugs).
In a net shell: Creepy presents.
The Cradle, a Christmas Story
When not sharing the secrets to online marketing and e-commerce success, Dr Ralph F Wilson is spreading the word about the non-commercial joys of Christ. Read his own favourite Christmas story or follow the link to his archives.
In a net shell: Christmas spirit.
Don't forget your trusty computer this Christmas (even it has been naughtier than nice for most of the year). Brighten up your office with a range of colourful screensavers, wallpaper, games, interactive stories, music, desktop lights and trivia quiz.
In a net shell: Soften up.
Christmas dinner is no fun if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation or another digestion-related disorder. This free resource explains IBS and gathers a bellyful of links. Join the forums to discuss ways to deal with side-effects and how to manage long-distance trips.
In a net shell: Tummy soother.
An Online Christmas Songbook
Gather around the piano and belt out a few Christmas carols with the help of this free online songbook. You'll find the sheet music and lyrics for dozens of popular yuletide songs, from A Child is Born in Bethlehem to While Their Flocks the Shepherds Tended.
In a net shell: Sing it.
Christmas is a time for miracles and dreams, according to storyteller Daniel Ciammaichella. Since 1992, "Chip" has written a new Christmas story every year for his local newspaper as his gift to the community. Chip, who was born on September 11 (of all days), will move you with his words. Get ready for goosebumps and keep the hankies handy. His site also offers e-cards, recipes, music, crafts, games and graphics.
In a net shell: Touching.
The vast world of toys offers much more than just Barbie, Barney, Beanie Babies, Blue's Clues and Pokemon. Pick up tips on choosing the perfect toy for various ages, skills and interests or view the Top Toys of 2001 list. Find ideas on safety, hygiene, classic toys, games en route, the best videos, family-safe sites and even how to get rid of toys.
In a net shell: Play safe.
Santa Claus Naughty or Nice List
Discover whether you've made Santa's naughty or nice list with the help of the Nice-o-Meter. If you're disappointed with your ranking, read the Top 10 Ways to Make the Nice or Naughty List (eg putting out milk for Santa that's seven days beyond its use-by date).
In a net shell: You better not cry.
CyberSleigh Training Simulator
The Elves in Black have authorised the release of the once-secret CyberSleigh Training Simulator, the same simulator Santa was forced to undertake as the elves dragged him back into the world of high technology. New elves must hone their skills on the simulator - "you never know when you'll need to save the Jolly Big One from disaster". (uses Java applet.)
In a net shell: Reindeer powered.
For Christmas greetings with extra spice, you can't beat the free e-cards and desktop cartoons from Messagemates. Download these cheeky animated characters for your own desktop or send to a broad-minded friend.
In a net shell: Naughty but nice.
Safe Holiday Travel
"No one likes to think about their own mortality, but if you don't drive safely on the road then there is a very real chance that you will hurt or kill yourself or someone else." Before you set off on your holiday trip, take a quick look at these short checklists and tips to help ensure you arrive safely. And remember the fatal four - speeding, drink driving, not wearing a seat belt, and driving tired.
In a net shell: Relax, you're on holiday.
Tijn Hoekstra from the Netherlands brings us this week's reader's site -
Digital Architects has released a new and extremely simple concept for users to update a web site via email. Update news flashes, notifications, advertisements, product info, stories, prices, and more. Basic accounts are free.
Send your brief site review to email@example.com
The four stages of life:
1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.
Each Week, One Tip, Guaranteed to Make You More Money! Fresh, original articles showing you step by step, how to make money online. Plus, free marketing ebooks and software in every issue! http://netsitemarketingtips.com
Yvette Nielsen, Editor
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ® to a Friend!
© 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.
To subscribe or read previous issues visit: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/extras/newsletter.asp
To advertise in this newsletter, request a rate card via email@example.com