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A matter of trust

 

Vol. 2, No. 25, 11/7/2001

**********************************brizcomm.*************************************
discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 2, No. 25 A matter of trust July 11, 2001

Yvette Nielsen, Editor, yvette@brizcomm.com.au

This free newsletter is distributed by subscription only. If you wish to
unsubscribe, please see the instructions at the end.


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The recent ruling by the US Supreme Court that freelance writers,
not the publishers of newspapers or magazines, own the copyright
to their work is a victory for commonsense.

Publishers cannot republish a freelancer's article in a database
and simply call it "revision".

Jonathan Tasini, president of the National Writers Guild, took on
the New York Times in the case which is seen as a blow not only for
the Times but for AOL Time Warner's Time Magazine and e-database
Lexis/Nexis. See http://poynter.org/dj/shedden/012201.htm

Most freelancers are already paid well below recommended minimum
rates here and overseas. Funny how people are prepared to pay a
plumber princely hourly rates but not a writer. After all, anyone
can write, right?

As anyone who has sat in on my workshop knows, writing simply is
difficult, particularly when corporate and academic culture encourages
wordy waffle.

If good writing were judged by how few words were used, rather than
how many, we'd be well on our way to clearer communication.

My workshops have been developed through years of disciplined reading,
research, writing and editing. I decided to teach web writing after
finding few resources during my own quest for new media knowledge.

I learnt the long and hard way, through hands-on trial and error
experience, endless surfing through good and bad sites, and lots of
writing. That expertise is my intellectual property through which
I make my living and help others.

To my great disappointment, I've discovered that several recipients
of that help have abused my trust by "adapting" my training materials
for their own online and offline courses.

Just as the New York Times cannot "revise" freelancers' work, trainees
cannot rewrite workshop content to train their trainers, colleagues,
staff or clients.

The practice not only breaches trust, it breaches copyright. The
encircled "c" on handouts stands for "copyright", not "copy".

All materials and information provided in my workshops are solely for
personal use - not for passing on to others. If further training is
needed, I'm happy to conduct in-house workshops at a discount rate.

If you know of anyone distributing, reproducing, sharing or adapting,
please let me know so I can let my lawyer know.


Yvette

PS Last chance to attend Friday's E-newsletter Workshop. See
http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops/next.asp?calnextid=14


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IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Web content tip
2. Creative content ideas
3. Columns
4. The Y Files (Q&A)
5. Surf Club
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle


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1. Web content tip


The Web has been in an experimental phase for several years that
went a little over the top, according to e-marketer Jim Sterne.

"Now everybody is pulling back a bit and trying to get a good look at
where they're headed and whether that's a good direction or not," Jim
says.

Read WebReference.com's interview with the electronic marketing guru,
author and speaker about his newest book "World Wide Web Marketing,
3rd Edition" and effective marketing on the web:

http://www.webreference.com/new/010705.html#feature


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2. Creative content ideas


Content commentator Steve Outing tapped into his online writing
lists for creative ideas to the online media sector's woes.

Read the sometimes zany suggestions at:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/ephome/news/newshtm/stop/st071101.htm


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3. Columns


Walking is great exercise, the experts keep telling us.

If you live near a popular walking beat, you can have just as much
fun people watching. Join Pollyanna this week with "Walkie talkies".

Readers Write - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp


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4. The Y Files (Q&A)

Q: When providing a summary or abstract of a web site, what would
be some steps or processes to make this information most meaningful?
Would you analyse their content descriptively, give their mission
or about us info etc all in a one-paragraph or less summary? I
provide a lot of links to external sites and their content and want
to make sure my summaries are meaningful for my users so that by
reading my short summary, they can make an informed decision whether
it is worth going to this site or not (from Timothy, of Brisbane).

A: Whatever you do, don't give their mission. Most mission statements
are gobbledegook. You might find some clues on the "about us" page
but the best way is to explore the site thoroughly then think about
how you'd describe the site to a friend. You might want to give
examples of interesting snippets you found but don't give away all
the surprises. Basically, you need to sum up what your readers will
find on the other side of the link. Two sentences should do it - you
don't want to create too much work for yourself. Link lists grow
quickly and sites move or change. Be prepared to prune your archives
every year or so (I took the lazy route with the thousands of links
in Surf Club and hired somebody to do the dirty work for me).

Read more tips for creating link lists at:
http://www.content-exchange.com/cx/html/newsletter/1-20/tb1-20.5.htm

Email your content-related question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Read previous Y Files at http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/


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5. Surf Club


Gadgets for God
http://www.ship-of-fools.com/Gadgets/index.html
For religious idolatry that pushes the boundaries of religion (and
good taste), browse through the goodies on this irreverent site.
Hot items include a Biblical beard and wig, ready-filled disposable
Communion cups, Twelve Apostles beer mug, Last Supper musical pillow
and Sacred Sneakers. In the food aisle, don't miss the Bible gum,
Hot 'n Holy Sauce and Testamints.
In a net shell: Good grief.

Hidden Resources
http://www.hiddenresource.com/
If you're over 50 and have "been there, done that", list your
expertise for free (for a limited time) on Hiddenresource.com and
wait for opportunity to knock. This site aims to become a global
repository of skills, experience, knowledge, equipment and services.
List or look for mentors, volunteers, advice, business opportunities,
guest speakers, experts, and contacts.
In a net shell: Hidden treasures.

Real Life Etiquette
http://www.courtesyflush.com/
If you take a throat lozenge, is it polite to offer one to your friend?
CourtesyFlush.com is home to the answers to real-life etiquette questions.
You won't find information about using dessert forks but you will find
out whether it's acceptable to ask for separate bills in a restaurant,
how long you can leave your shopping trolley unattended, who should
step into an elevator first, and whether men should buy their male friends
birthday cards?
In a net shell: Modern manners.

The Other Mother
http://www.othermother.com/
Frazzled stepmothers, enter here for inspiration, hope, empathy or
simply a laugh. "The Other Mother" is a witty exhibition designed
"to disturb the myth of the evil stepmother". The 21 colourful
digital images are bound to touch a nerve with all members of a
"blended" family facing victimisation, vindictiveness and excessive
litigation. After you've visited the gallery, you can read the essay,
follow the links to step-parenting sites or order "motherware"
merchandise.
In a net shell: Electronic support group.

Famous Babies
http://www.funklix.com/FamousBabies/FamousBabies.cfm
These kids might seem familiar if you're a seasoned Net surfer.
They've had more "copy and pastes" than nappy changes. Meet the
Michelin baby, Jaws, Big Boots and other over-exposed baby stars.
Make sure your speakers are turned up.
In a net shell: Cute.

Oozing Goo.com
http://www.oozinggoo.com/
Brush off your platform shoes and enter the ever-changing world of
the lava lamp. Learn how to make your own lava lamp, discover news
and history, or admire weird and rare collector's items. Try the
virtual "lava line" to swap stories and tips (eg what to do with
cloudy water, stubborn lava and broken bulbs).
In a net shell: Ooh la lava.


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6. Reader's Choice (see archives in Surf Club at www.brizcomm.com.au)


Here's your chance to show off your skills as a web site reviewer
or share a favourite site. Email your review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au


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7. Weekly chuckle

I could have been. . .

A computer specialist
But, I was not programmed for it.

A hardware engineer
But, I did not have the drive.

A shoe salesperson
But, I was given the boot.

A stockbroker
But, it didn't make any cents.

A tailor
But, it didn't suit me.

Read the full list at:
http://www.geocities.com/vasudevanvrv/articles.htm


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I could have been a pumpkin grower. In fact, this week I'm thinking
it might be more fun.

Then again, it could just be this rotten cold.

Stay healthy.

Yvette

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
Do You Like This Internet Resource? Recommend-It (r) to a Friend!
http://recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=594232

(c) 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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director@brizcomm.com.au

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