Climb aboard the broadband bus
Vol. 3 , No. 18,
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 3, No. 18 June 12, 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
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From the editor - Climb aboard the broadband bus
Looks as though high-speed Internet access is taking off at last.
Having been a fast-Net junkie for several years, I can only encourage you to jump on board if you haven't already.
Be warned though - once you've tasted the web without the world wide wait, you'll never look back.
Hopefully, growing competition among the broadband players will lower the cost, though it's comparable to dial-up when you add up the cost of a second phone line, dial-ups, drop-outs and lost time.
Telstra's recent decision to cough up for downtime on ADSL is welcome news, if a little overdue. How an Internet Service Provider could get away with not providing Internet service has puzzled me for years.
The customer service guarantee should take away some of the fear of going broadband.
About 52 per cent of Australian households are connected to the Internet, according to a new study from the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE).
Australia is ranked third in the world in terms of Internet infrastructure, penetration and use, just behind the United States and Sweden.
But we're lagging when it comes to broadband with just five per cent of Australians accessing the Internet via a high-speed connection.
If you're nervy about jumping into unknown waters, a new site should help ease the fear.
Broadband Choice is an offshoot of broadband community site Whirlpool and offers details about every residential plan available in Australia. Take a look to see if you should take the plunge -
New report on Australian Internet use (with links to worldwide stats) -
PS I've postponed next week's E-newsletter Workshop until the last week in June - ill health (mine and my computer's) forced the decision. Go on, use up that training budget before June 30 ;-)
Web content tip
When creating content for the Net, you can sometimes forget you're writing for a global audience.
Signs you're thinking parochially include phone numbers without country codes or dates and times in your own country's format.
For example, US date style is mm/dd/yy while European (and Australian) style is dd/mm/yy.
To avoid ambiguity, spell out dates and include the year (12 June 2002) or use the international format (see below).
Until Swatch Internet time catches on (if ever), use the 24-hour clock format. Use "noon" and "midnight" to save your readers thinking.
The International Date Format Campaign
Markus Kuhn's summary of the international standard
Internet-Draft of the Internet Engineering Task Force
Most legitimate e-newsletters let you manage your own subscription details these days (and don't trap you on a list against your will, unlike spammers).
You can subscribe, unsubscribe, change your email address and enter preferences just by clicking on a link (at the bottom of this newsletter, for instance).
Keep the welcome message when you sign up to any mailing list in case you can't easily access your subscription information.
Create an email folder ("subscribe" or "lists" or "newsletters") to store instruction messages for future reference.
Your newsletter editors will thank you for it - publishing a regular newsletter is hard enough without having to manage the administrative drudge.
Ever eaten junket? Pollyanna tries her hand at the wobbly dessert and shares a hot tip.
Read her column then look up a timely review of Margo Kingston's book, "Off The Rails - The Pauline Hanson Trip" at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp
* Email your book, film or software review to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to publish it under your name or alias.
The Y Files
Warren Gavin, of Brisbane, offers this week's question -
Q: I would like to know how I go about loading my vinyl records, ie LPs and 45s, to my computer.
A: This one's a little out of my territory so I'm throwing it open. Any suggestions?
Email your stumper to email@example.com (and I'll post you a free book to review and keep).
* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings
Charge - the Experience of Epilepsy
Find out what it's like to have epilepsy with Charge, a British arts-based project designed to raise awareness and discussion about epilepsy. The interactive site was created by Christine and John Robertson, who have a child with uncontrollable epilepsy. Learn more about the disability, see a simulation of brain activity during a seizure, read and view personal accounts from people with epilepsy (including Vincent Van Gogh), and learn what to do if someone has a seizure.
In a net shell: Shattering the stigma.
Nature Picture Library
See pictures from some of the world's best wildlife photographers at this commercial online library. Register to access thousands of photos of animals, people, plants and places then store your favourites in a free online lightbox. You have to pay for high-resolution downloads.
In a net shell: Wild photos.
Morse Code Translator
Boy, would this have been handy in Brownie Guides. Just type in some text, hit the "translate" button and see or hear your message in Morse code. If you're clever, you can type in the dots and dashes then test your skill by translating back to text.
In a net shell: Dash-dot.com.
Guimp - the world's smallest web site
This site claims to be the smallest in the world. Follow the tiny arrows on the tiny home page to find a tiny game of Pong, news ticker, banner ad, famous art and faces, drawings, live web cam, icons, haiku and Google search - all within a 5mm square.
In a net shell: Big little site.
When you can't get to the greens, grab a virtual putter and try your luck at this 18-hole mini-golf course. It's free but not easy.
In a net shell: Tee time.
"Why wait for him (or her) to finally pluck up the courage to make the first move?" Enter the details of three people you fancy, and this site will send an anonymous email to each one to see if the feeling is mutual. If they guess you were the one who made the first move, the site will tell them, and you. If not, they will never know it was you. Clever marketing for a commercial site (and you).
In a net shell: Move, baby, move.
Brisbane's Warren Gavin submitted this site review -
When Spellcheck is confused (and no one else can remember) this site uses 746 dictionaries to find the correct meaning and spelling of any word that you're after. If you want an online dictionary, this is the one.
Send your brief site review to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a book to review and keep.
"Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light." - Joseph Pulitzer.
Wanted: Discontented content employers
If you need a content creator, editor, designer, marketer, online researcher or web developer, email the details to email@example.com and I'll publish your ad here free. All other classifieds cost $A50 an issue.