Warm words are reward enough
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 3, No. 12 May 1, 2002
In This Issue:
1. Web content tip - copyright essentials
2. Email tip - viral marketing tools
3. Readers Write - bells and mothers
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
Hold on to your seat
The Internet's brilliant but you can't beat face-to-face training for fun, networking, inspiration, real-world stories and a great excuse to take a break from the office.
Web Content Workshop ($995+GST)
Brisbane - May 28-29
E-newsletter Workshop ($995+GST)
Brisbane - June 12-13
* customised in-house workshops anywhere in the world can be arranged at discount rate
From the editor - Warm words are reward enough
Thanks so much to those of you who sent in glowing testimonials about my workshops, newsletter and site. You've made my year.
Positive feedback from readers and students is better than money, I reckon (though my accountant might not agree).
Although last week's E-newsletter Workshop in Sydney was small, the group's enthusiasm made the trip most worthwhile (the nun's party on Anzac Day wasn't bad either).
Speaking of nuns, I'm taking to the heavens next Tuesday for a date with the BBC.
A journalist who heard me talking at Internet Content West in Los Angeles last year has invited me as one of three guest speakers at the BBC's New Media Editorial Conference in London on May 13.
My topic will be web writing and I'll also host a couple of post-conference workshops on web editing.
Lived in London for a couple of years while working as a Fleet Street sub-editor but haven't been back since 1994. Should be fun.
I'll try to send out a plain text newsletter with the site reviews next Tuesday morning before I take off and a message from London the following week.
All going well, I'll be talking from London to Andrew Lofthouse on ABC Radio each Monday evening I'm away.
PS If you feel the urge, do email me your thoughts on my workshops, consulting work, newsletter or site. Don't forget to include your name, city, organisation and URL (great chance for free online publicity).
Web content tip
Content providers wanted
A new category for the Open Directory Project - http://dmoz.org/ - needs listings.
Editor Joe Chapuis has opened a new sub-category for content providers and it's blank.
To be listed, you must create something that can be used by other people on their sites (free articles, art, paid copywriting services).
If you're a writer, artist or designer wanting to showcase your talents online, visit -
Watch your language
Beware Microsoft's "junk e-mail filters" if you have a free email account such as Yahoo!Groups that features ads with your messages.
When the junk filters are turned on, Microsoft Outlook colours or deletes messages it considers spam based on a filters.txt file.
I searched for the filters.txt file on my PC to see which words are no-gos. You might be surprised at some of the rules (but I can't mention the phrases for fear this newsletter will be blocked).
See "Put junk mail in its place" at -
Pollyanna takes action when she finds her house full of dead bodies while Warwick reader EJC reviews new book "The Matt Scudder Mysteries" by Lawrence Block (Allen & Unwin).
Enjoy them for free at - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp
* if I've sent you a book, how about a review? Email email@example.com and I'll be happy to publish it under your name or alias.
The Y Files
Cairns electronic journalism student Eileen Marrinan posed this week's question -
Q: Just wanted to know a quick and easy way of copying and pasting information (text) from a web site into Word without taking the frames along with it. No problem if it's something like a newspaper article where one can request a print-friendly version but otherwise it's hit or miss capturing the text without the frames.
A: According to Microsoft's help files, you should be able to right-click in the frame you want to save as a web page then, on the shortcut menu, click Save Current Frame As. If you want to save the web page in a different folder, locate and open the folder. In the File name box, type a name for the web page. Click Save. Personally, I just select the text I want, right-click Copy, go to the Word document, and right-click Paste.
Email your stumper to firstname.lastname@example.org (and I'll post you a free book to review and keep).
* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings
Play free user-friendly puzzles online. Test your wits with Java-based crosswords (interactive or printable), word games, logic puzzles, cryptograms and picture scrambles. Mine the archives for space-themed puzzles.
In a net shell: No pencil or eraser required.
Museum of Talking Boards
Ouija boards were all the rage in Europe and America between 1890 and 1950, including the original wooden board from the Kennard Novelty Company. Dozens of companies manufactured their own versions of the Wonderful Talking Board, adorned with images of pyramids, black cats, swamis and cannibals. If you're game, consult an interactive board online, learn how to make your own talking board or see the weirdest board ever made.
In a net shell: "It's only a game - isn't it?"
"If the world is lousier than ever, why are so many things so much better?" This site explores whether civilization is eternally in decline or whether it's all relative. Check the list of more than 100 things that are better today (fresh produce, fewer childhood diseases, long-distance phone calls) and the list of awful things (resource depletion, bureaucracy, sprawl). Read other ponderings and rants in the Idea Barn.
In a net shell: A matter of perception.
Be among the first to know the medical headlines and news flashes from the world's leading medical and research centres. Ivanoe is America's largest news-gathering organisation covering medical breakthroughs, family health and issues important to women. See interviews with leading medical professionals or sign up for the free First-to-Know Bulletin.
In a net shell: What's up, doc?
The Apostrophe Protection Society
Englishman John Richards started the Apostrophe Protection Society in 2001 to preserve the correct use of this "much-abused punctuation mark in all forms of text written in the English language". See pictures of real-life examples, learn the correct use of the apostrophe or submit your own clanger.
In a net shell: It's the exception.
1st International Collection of Tongue Twisters
As if tongue twisters were not difficult enough, try saying them in German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Italian. A tongue twister, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is "a sequence of words, often alliterative, difficult to articulate quickly". You should be able to find at least one twister in most languages.
In a net shell: Tricky.
Brisbane's Kristina Williams gave us this week's site and will receive a copy of the international best seller "Parvana" by Deborah Ellis about a young girl's fight to survive in Afghanistan.
This may be an old one but it kept me amused for a minute or two. Okay, it's an incredible timewaster but there is just something irresistible about bubble wrap.
Send your brief site review to email@example.com and I'll send you a book to review and keep.
"Brevity is the sister of talent." - Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright and short-story writer, in 1889.
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