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Sydney, London, Hong Kong calling

 

Vol. 3, No. 10, 17/4/2002

BRIZCOMM

Discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 3, No. 10 April 17, 2002
________________________________

In This Issue:

1. Web content tip- tools for telecommuters
2. Email tip - women are hot in cool media
3. Readers Write - noisy oysters and how to improve your love life
4. The Y Files (Q&A)
- alternatives to second phone
5. Surf Club - web site reviews
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle

Web version and back issues
at http://brizcomm.com.au

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY...
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Revised workshop dates

Web Content Workshop ($995+GST)
Brisbane - May 28-29

E-newsletter Workshop ($995+GST)
Sydney - 23-24 April
Brisbane - 12-13 June

http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops

* customised in-house workshops can be arranged at discount rate
_______________________________

From the editor - Sydney, London, Hong Kong calling

A quick note to let you know I've rejigged the workshop dates.

Have a hot date with my eye surgeon in early June to remove a cataract (legacy from radiotherapy for tumour a couple of years ago). Can't wait to see him ;-)

Between now and then, I have to fly London to talk at the BBC's New Media Conference on May 13. Hopefully I can squeeze in some workshops in Hong Kong on the way home.

Had to cancel Canberra and Sydney workshops due to lack of interest. Shame really with Queensland already coveting the title of Australia's Smart State and with the State of Origin football series looming ;-)

I'm afraid you'll have to fly north if you want me (though I will fly down if you need in-house training).

We have a few seats left for next week's E-newsletter Workshop in Sydney but you'll have to be quick (the last three workshops in Brisbane were sold out).

- Yvette
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1.
Web content tip

Take it from me, working from home means flexibility with a capital F (when I have the house to myself, that is).

Thanks to technology, we can live virtually anywhere and work virtually anywhere else.

On my recommendation, Brisbane computer guru Ray Shaw shared his knowledge with Australian freelance journalists, writers and photographers at their annual convention in Brisbane on Sunday.

Ray talked about how to use technology to make life easier for remote workers through telecommuting, Internet access, VPNs, hardware, software, interoperability and gadgets (notebooks, portable devices, voice recognition, digital media).

Pick up his useful, up-to-date tips at -
http://www.rayshaw.im.com.au/default.asp?article=0000000289

Once you've nailed the techno tools and toys, learn how to foster team spirit when your virtual team is scattered around the globe. Find out -
http://www.msmoney.com/ework/exchange/articles/team_spirit.htm
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2.
Email tip

Have been enjoying a couple of online discussions via my inbox this week (that's one of the great advantages of email).

One thread is exploring the dominance of women in the online content game. Women generally outnumber men in my workshops by nine to one, which is why I always proclaim "content is queen".

Girls have overtaken boys in journalism classes since I was a student 20 years ago (yet most editors and top-graded journos in Australia are male). New media offers a long-overdue chance for balance.

On another discussion list, debate is raging on the temperature of media, as defined by Marshall McLuhan in the 60s and 70s - "hot" media are "low" in participation (eg radio, print, photographs, movies, lectures) while "cool" media are "high" in participation (phone, conversation, cartoons, televisions, seminars).

Where does that leave new media? I have my own definition -
* newspapers - talk at you
* radio - talks to you
* TV - talks over you
* gossips - talk about you
* new media - talks with you

What do you think? We have a couple dozen readers on our own discussion list now so let's talk - http://www.topica.com/lists/brizcommunicator
_______________________________

3.
Readers Write

The world has become noisier in the past half-century. Discover Pollyanna's tips and tricks for peace in her column this week.

Pollyanna also reviews the good news about love after marriage in a hot new book by Pamela Lister (I can't name the title for fear that overly sensitive mail filters will block this newsletter).

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

* if I've sent you a book, how about a review? Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll be happy to publish it under your name or alias.
_______________________________

4.
The Y Files

Janell asks this week's question -

Q: I have only got one phone line and people try to ring me but cannot get through. Is there anything I can put on my computer to let me know when somebody rings?

A: A high-speed Net connection, such as ADSL or cable, will let you make calls while online (cable in Australia uses the cable TV line while ADSL uses the phone line but at a different frequency). When you count the cost of a second phone line, dialling up and drop-outs, you might find that broadband's higher access fee evens out. Another option for Aussies is Telstra's iCall Waiting, which flashes a message on your computer when the phone rings - you can take the call on your PC microphone or headset without disconnecting from the Net. The service costs $5.50 a month (plus GST). If you're in the US, you can use a free Internet answering machine such as http://www.callwave.com/ Another idea is to use a modem with internet call waiting or download call waiting software from somewhere like tucows.com, download.com or zdnet.com.au

Email your stumper to yvette@brizcomm.com.au (and I'll post you a free book to review and keep).
_______________________________

5.
Surf Club

* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings

How to predict the weather using a pig spleen
http://www.almanac.com/extremes/pigspleen.html
Want to know the weather for the next six months? Kill a pig. Some folk believe you can forecast wind, rain and temperature by looking at a pig's spleen. Just divide the spleen into six, with each section representing one month. Where the spleen is thick, expect a change in weather.
In a net shell: Pig tales.

Adventure Travel Calendar
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/calendar/
Eat ram testicles in Iceland, chase tornadoes, dive with sardines or haunt a cave. Take a trip away from the every day with National Geographic's adventure travel calendar. Choose your region, month or activity from categories including clinics, competitions, extreme sports, festivals, mountain sports, oddventures and volunteer opportunities.
In a net shell: Wild.

How to Whistle with Two Hands
http://pobox.upenn.edu/~thompson/whistle.html
Play music on your hands with the help of this free online tutorial. Learn how to whistle, or "hand coo", using two cupped hands or pick up tips for a piercing taxi-stopping, two-finger blast. You can even find out how to do plain old mouth-only whistling. Follow the links to more online whistle stops including the finger flute.
In a net shell: Got it!

Convert Documents into PDF for Free
http://www.gobcl.com/
Fed up with scratchy faxes and complex screen-shot or graphics software? Convert your print document to online format with the help of goBCL, a free online document publishing service by BCL Computers, which makes plug-ins for AdobeAcrobat. Supported formats include .doc, .rtf, .txt, .xls, and .ppt. An HTML conversion service is under construction.
In a net shell: Time saver.

SwitchEmail: Free Email Forwarding
http://www.switchemail.com/pages/index.asp
Net surfers scared to change Internet Service Providers (ISP) for fear of losing their email address can relax. SwitchEmail forwards email to and from any ISP for free. You don't have to keep your old email accounts open, give out your password or have an address with SwitchEmail. The service can also recover the owners of lost or returned mail.
In a net shell: Changing times.

Philosophy Games
http://www.philosophers.co.uk/games/games.htm
Shakespeare versus Britney Spears - what is art? How do your moral judgments compare with other people's? Is your thinking up to scratch? Do you have what it takes to stay alive? How logical are you? Play interactive philosophy fun and games to find out.
In a net shell: Brain benders.
_______________________________

6.
Reader's Choice

Roslyn Raleigh from Brisbane gave us this week's site review -

The Uncool Cameron Crowe Online
http://www.cameroncroweonline.com/writtenby/main.htm
Covers everything you wanted to know about the director of Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky from his days as a reporter for Rolling Stone (every article he has had published, film reviews etc).

Send your brief site review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll send you a book to review and keep.
___________

7.
Weekly Thought

"Online writers must balance their responsibility to communicate the corporate message with the need to sound like an individual. Writing persona to persona, in this weird electronic environment, is new. And nothing in academia can really prepare us for this style. Only real writers can help, now... The best advice on writing comes from those who do it - and I don't count most academics in that number." - US web writer Jonathan Price.

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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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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.

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