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Good to see you again


Vol. 3, No. 1, 6/2/2002

Vol. 3, No. 1 February 6, 2002

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 -

brizcommunicator list
(newsletter subscribers only) -

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Web Content Workshop ($995+GST)
Brisbane - February 27-28
Canberra - April 18-19

E-newsletter Workshop ($495+GST)
Brisbane - 11 March

Web Design Basics Workshop ($495+)
Brisbane - 13 March



From the editor - Good to see you again

Welcome back. I've missed our weekly chats over the summer break but must say I didn't miss staring at a computer screen all day.

In fact, I've just spent six days at a health retreat in an effort to set myself on the path to good health and vitality. So far, so good.

As you might have noticed above, I'm rolling out the workshops earlier this year to give you plenty of time to tell your mates. Watch this space for more dates and cities.

We also have a new workshop, Web Design Basics. I've finally convinced my designer and friend, Matt Tanner (the creative brain behind brizcomm's look and feel), to share his immense knowledge and experience with the rest of us.

As with all brizcomm workshops, the emphasis is on enhancing the content (she's queen after all). Technology is merely the tool.

Speaking of technology, I need a techie type to tweak my site from time to time (monthly retainer or contra deal). You'd need expertise in Dreamweaver, ASP and Javascript. Take a look at http://www.brizcomm.com.au to see if you fit the bill.

I've also decided to open up the brizcommunicator discussion list to all newsletter subscribers, not just workshop graduates, so we can get some ideas flowing. Follow the link above or go to -

By the way, I'm back on ABC Radio on Monday evenings and 4BC Radio on weekends if you're interested. Have lots more exciting plans in the pipeline but don't want to overload you first week back.

Oh, and did I mention I have a small gift for each of you next week? No, sorry, can't give you any clues ;-)

- Yvette

PS Would you do me a favour and forward this newsletter to two people you think might benefit. They'll thank you for it, honest (and so do I).

Web content tip

What's the future for the web in 2002?

Usability commentator Jakob Nielsen reckons advertising is on its way out, subscriptions are a bad idea and micropayments will win out, eventually -

More troubling is International Herald Tribune writer Lee Dembart's prediction of cable providers controlling online content -

Email tip

If you have a contact email address on your web site (and why wouldn't you), make sure somebody responds to the messages within 48 hours at least.

You wouldn't let a phone ring unanswered for fear of losing a customer. Letting an email sit unopened in your inbox is equally rude.

A word of caution: Ensure the employee who responds to customer email has at least basic online writing skills to avoid misunderstandings, alienation, embarrassment or even legal problems.

In addition, give your readers the option to chat virtually to a real live human being using a program such as LivePerson - http://www.liveperson.com/


Readers Write

Our ever-faithful contributor Pollyanna is back in 2002 with a few words of condolence for frustrated parents trying to feed greens to their young 'uns.

In the reviews, 15-year-old Sam Herrick gives short shrift to the new Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke movie, "Training Day".

Read them at - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp

* If I've sent you a review book and you can spare a few minutes, send your opinion to yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll be happy to publish it - along with your own web site address.

The Y Files

Brisbane humour writer Bill Harper - http://humourwriter.com/ - offers our first question for the year.

Q: A lot of the print conventions don't work online, which is why we have to rewrite it (bulletpoints, chunking, etc). But are there any online conventions (apart from those relating to the GUI environment) that wouldn't work in print? Could you see any reason why an online document that doesn't have any fancy GUI elements would have to be rewritten for the printed page?

A: For the uninitiated, GUI (pronounced gooey) stands for Graphical User Interface and refers to the front end of a software program (pointer, icons, desktop, windows, menus). I can't think of any online conventions, other than linking and search, that wouldn't work in print. Online writing is an evolved (read "improved") form of communication so degrades easily. The same cannot be said for print which must be re-created, or at least re-purposed, for new media.

Email your question or comments to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Surf Club

People with similar traits apparently like similar colours. Build a personality profile of yourself with this amazingly accurate online test. Just select the colours that appeal to you, in order of preference, from a spectrum. Try again on another day to see if your moods change your choices and outlook on life.
In a net shell: Colour your world.

Name Power 101
First names play a major role in determining careers, finances, health and relationship choices. Learn about the power of your name with a free mini-profile or pick up tips for naming your baby.
In a net shell: Sticks and stones.

A Brush with Wildlife
Experience the artistic process through the wonders of digital animation. This free online lesson from the National Museum of Wildlife Art draws on the works of German-born artist Carl Rungius to demonstrate the principles in creating a visual composition. See his artwork come to life through graphics and sound effects, learn to practise the concepts in the composition studio then submit your drag-and-drop work to the museum's critique gallery. (Uses Flash plug-in and may not work with all browsers.)
In a net shell: Wild.

Computer Gripes
This site is devoted to "what stinks about computer products" - hardware, software and web sites. Creator Michael Horowitz details the problems he's had through errors, bugs, poor documentation "and occasional stupidity in the field". The gripes are not opinions or product reviews but useful facts to help others solve similar problems.
In a net shell: Grrr.

Cool Ki Tricks
Impress your mates, or the kids, with a few tricks from the martial art of Aikido. Make your arm unbendable, your body impossible to lift and your thumb stick to your index finger. Short animations show how to do the tricks, which aim to teach the basics of the mind-body state. Don't miss the stories of how aikido can help in daily life, from conflict resolution to basketball.
In a net shell: Tricky.

Food Timeline
Did you know that the great Aussie spread, Vegemite, was invented in 1923? That popcorn first appeared on earth in Mexico in 3600BC? Or that marshmallow came into being as early as 2000BC? Follow the food timeline for interesting tidbits, links and recipes or the culinary history timeline for social customs, manners and menus.
In a net shell: Old food.

Reader's Choice

London's Simon Walter - http://www.simonwalter.com - brings us our first reader's site for 2002 -

So you thought you were safe with ZoneAlarm? So did I until I found this site and discovered otherwise. Be afraid.

Send your brief site review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


Weekly Chuckle

Short and sweet

What lollies do fonts like?

...em & ens.



Want to know more about PCs? Need access to an unbiased local expert? Ray Shaw, Brisbane’s computer expert, publishes a free, consumer-oriented PC newsletter that keeps you up to date with the latest happenings. To get on the mailing list, send an email to help@im.com.au with the word subscribe in the message line.



Bobby Approved (v 3.2) Unusual Corporate Gifts other than a Gift Basket

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