Forget job titles...do you have the skills?
Vol. 3, No. 22,
Discover new sites and the secrets to web success
Vol. 3, No. 22 July 10, 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
Any idiot can write, right?
Writing simply is difficult for many of us, particularly if we've been rewarded at school, college or work for overly formal and wordy reports. If your staff need confidence and guidance in organising content and writing for the web or an e-newsletter, contact email@example.com
* customised in-house workshops can be arranged at discount rates anywhere in the world (minimum of four people)
From the editor - Forget job titles...do you have the skills?
Web consultant, usability engineer, information architect, interface designer, online strategist, content creator, project manager, new media strategist, web producer, information scientist, knowledge manager...
Seems the diversity of job titles in the web game these days is equal only to the number of self-proclaimed experts digging for Internet gold.
Over the past five years, I've met many Internet "consultants" who've seemingly metamorphosed from their old (and often totally unrelated) careers overnight.
Frankly, I don't hold much stake in job titles or educational qualifications in this industry - it's all too new and spans so many different fields and talents.
If you're employing anyone for anything to do with the Net, the big question to ask is -"Can you prove you have the skills for the job?"
For instance, what's their own web site or e-newsletter like? (if they don't even have one, begin to worry).
What's their track record? Can you read testimonials and see "before and after" examples of web sites they've critiqued or engineered or written or promoted or designed?
Are they well organised, good communicators and passionate?
If you're hiring web editors or content writers, give them a practical hands-on exercise to see how fast, accurate and talented they really are.
New frontiers have always attracted charlatans, snake oil salesmen and smoke-and-mirror merchants - the Internet is no different.
What do you think? Have your say on the new Australian Online Content Discussion email list (formerly the brizcommunicator list). Sign up for free at -
PS Last week's intro on whether every business needed a web site drew a response from reader Carl - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/musings.asp?x=g
Web content tip
Want to break into online writing or editing? Pick up a few practical tips -
If you'd prefer to be published in print, try here -
Email that bounces back is becoming a nightmare for e-newsletter publishers, particularly for those of us who use List Builder as our host.
Find out how to rescue subscribers before your list host bumps them off your newsletter forever -
Anyone who's tired of the kitchen will share Pollyanna's delights (and concerns) when partner offers to cook dinner.
Mandy Garland reviews the new thriller, "The Next Accident", by Lisa Gardner.
Read them at -
NEW - We've added a feature to the Readers Write pages so you can add your own comments or reviews. Go on, give it a go (use an alias if you're shy).
* 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
Julie Graham from Brisbane posed this question -
Q: What are the best options for communicating ideas, issues etc to external interested parties - other than just putting something on to the web site and hoping people find it? We've established a new working group in ANTA (Australian National Training Authority) with representatives across Australia. We're keen to keep others informed about what the group is considering and the outcomes. I'm familiar with the lovely "subscribe here" option and emailing and e-newsletter on a regular basis, but are there better ways of doing this? I've heard of extranets etc. What's best, why and how do I do that without cost and extensive training?
A: An e-newsletter is perhaps the best and most cost-effective way to keep people up to date across a wide geographical area (and you can save yourself a steep learning curve with my workshop - sorry, shameless plug). You could also set up and moderate an email discussion list (where readers sign up to receive random email updates on a daily, weekly or digest basis) via a free host such as Topica.com. Or, if you already have a good intranet (site for employees only), you could let authorised outsiders log in and access part of it (an extranet) to share and discuss information. Another option would be to set up a blog (web page where users can log their comments to a public chronological e-journal) using a free tool such as Blogger.com.
Learn more about extranets -
Email your answer or stumper to email@example.com.
* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings
In a net shell: Check, mate.
Free Debt Collection Postcards
"You're invited…to pay your account." When you've tried everything else to get money from a slow-paying client, send a MAD postcard. The virtual cards are a free service of a collection agency. Change the font, colour and music to suit your mood.
In a net shell: Stamp your authority.
When you need inspiration for a new brand, name or concept, try this free online brainstorming tool to discover fresh associations of words or ideas. Reference links take you quickly to dictionary definitions, encyclopaedia entries, technology terms, or Greek and Latin words. You can also search instantly to see if a trademark or domain name is available.
In a net shell: Copywriter's friend.
S-11 Redux: (Channel) Surfing the Apocalypse
You may never be able to look at the coverage of September 11 the same way again. This controversial music video was culled from more than 20 hours of television clips recorded over one month and across 13 networks. Its creator, Guerilla News Network, describes S-11 Redux as "a sound-bite blitzkrieg that challenges the messages we have been fed from our mainstream media and the government it serves".
In a net shell: Deep impact.
"Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don't know where to start?" The FlyLady can help. She'll send you free daily FLYmail to guide you through "babysteps" to set up routines, declutter, plan vacations, and put your home and life in order.
In a net shell: Time flies.
Ideas 2 Market
Do you have a great idea? Ideas 2 Market offers innovators and entrepreneurs advice, ideas, hints and links that can help to commercialise ideas. Fill out a questionnaire to judge your idea or invention feasibility then find help writing a marketing plan, protecting your intellectual property and marketing.
In a net shell: Great idea.
This week's site review is from Rod Wright of Parkwood, Queensland -
How Stuff Works
I found this site after our septic tank backed up. I was trying to figure out how they work so I could fix it. This site explains how stuff works with animations and explanations in layman's terms. Perfect for people trying to grasp a basic concept of how stuff works.
Send your brief site review to firstname.lastname@example.org
"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the Complete Works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true." - Professor Robert Wilensky
Promote your product, event or service here. Email email@example.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
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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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