Communication Expressway Ezine

Judy Vorfeld's Communication Expressway Issue 9

 August 2002 - Issue 9



  INTRO


* WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE MECHANICS OF WRITING A TEXT EZINE? It recently occurred to me that many of you understand part, but not all, of what's required to create and publish a true ASCII text ezine. Do you want an article or tutorial that gives all the basics? If so, email me at feedback@ossweb.com.

* THE WINNER of our monthly book drawing is Michael Wildhack of Bolivia: "I have been a loyal and avid fan of ALL of Judy's websites / offerings for almost three years." Congratulations, Michael! Your persistence in signing up each month has paid off!

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  INTERVIEW - Subscribers talk about ezine programs and issues


In lieu of specific interviews, I'm giving space to subscribers who responded to my questions in the last issue. Let's hear from Mike Banks Valentine and Robert Spivack:

VALENTINE:

* What email program do you recommend for someone who can't send a publication via his/her ISP?

VALENTINE: ListChannel.com List Hosts. They offer the best customer service I have ever experienced and I've done ezines for 4 years now via every conceivable method / software / by hand / free groups. Having professionals do the job right and support you when you have questions is immeasurably valuable!

* What are the best sites for explaining spam so we not only learn filtering techniques but about the need to opt in and opt out?

VALENTINE: My own is a great start: http://www.website101.com/email_e-mail/ it explains the basics of email and begins discussing spam. SpamFilter at: http://website101.com/SpamFilter Discusses Spam in depth. How to avoid it, definitions, evildoers, etc. Another site, at: http://website101.com/Privacy talks about protecting yourself from marketers and advertisers and Big Brother.

* What ezines do you recommend that someone emulate in terms of style and presentation?

OK, I can't help it. How about the WebSite101 Reading List? If I didn't think it was the best, I wouldn't bother doing it at this rate of pay. ;-) ZERO! http://www.website101.com/arch/index.html

Mike Banks Valentine - Website 101
1275 Fourth Street #308 - Santa Rosa, CA 95404
learn@website101.com
P 805/495-1092 F 707/924-0940

SPIVACK:

I enjoy reading your newsletter and in your current issue you requested input on the topic of handling newsletters.

We are a hosting company that specializes in hosting websites and other services for small and medium businesses. We've been in business for over 4 years and now have just over 1000 sites active on our servers. As a privately held (no Venture Capital funds) startup, we are proud of our record helping small businesses leverage the use of the Internet to improve their marketing efforts.

We publish a small monthly ezine for our own customers and had been doing it manually. Unfortunately, the time and effort involved to manage the list and publish the newsletter was making us dread a task that should be a no-brainer. After dragging our feet and not publishing a few issues, we finally decided to do something about it.

As a hosting company ourselves, that meant implementing a solution that would meet our own needs and be suitable for our customers. We tried a few of the "free" services and found that the tag-along advertising was very unprofessional and made it suitable only for a club or hobby, not a professional business. After experimenting with some of the "shareware" and "freeware" programs, we did an extensive review of the commercial software available and chose to purchase and deploy Lyris from Lyris Technologies.

We charge $30/month and $1 per thousand emails delivered for our newsletter hosting service, so a typical newsletter sent once or twice a month to a few thousand people is very inexpensive. Our normal setup fee is a one-time $50 charge I would like to offer a special incentive to all your own ezine readers we will waive the one-time $50 setup charge for anyone that signs-up and mentions that they heard about us from your website or ezine.

Robert E. Spivack - Vice-President of Sales & Marketing
SPIV Technologies Group
441-17 Camille Circle - San Jose, CA 95134
Tel: +1-408-428-0846 Fax: +1-408-954-0609
spiv@spivtech.com - www.voicegateway.com

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  THE OFFICE CORNER


1. THE NAMING NEWSLETTER: A quarterly report on the strategies and tactics of naming (companies).
http://www.namingnewsletter.com/

2. INTERNATIONAL POSTAL RATES DIRECTORY: Impressive information about postal rates, stamps (philately), codes, and authorities. The Links Resources gives a glossary, travel tips, weather, currency converter, spelling assistant, addressing formats, and direct mail information. Also ideal for travelers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
http://www.postalrates.info/

3. USE THE D SYSTEM TO GET ORGANIZED AND REDUCE CLUTTER!
http://www.writethinking.net/Articles/How-to/dsysorg/dsysorg.html

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  FREE STUFF


FREE BOOK! Subscribers are eligible to sign up to win a free copy of "The Home Office and Small Business Answer Book: Solutions to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Running Home Offices and Small Businesses" by Janet Attard. Sign up once a month at http://www.ossweb.com/freebook.html - Winners announced here!

FREE DICTIONARY! Webgrammar offers all site visitors the chance to win a free Webster's dictionary, monthly. Sign up! www.webgrammar.com/contest.html

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  GRAMMAR QUESTION OF THE MONTH


Q. Is the title of a newspaper underlined or placed in quotes? For example, The Arizona Republic.

A. Book titles are underlined in bibliographies, but other than that, it's not done much. Same with periodicals. Underlining was used initially to tell the typesetter to put specific words in italics.

The latest style guides say to use italics for titles of books, films plays, and long poems, works of art, and periodicals when they are mentioned in text or notes.

Sources: The Web Content Style Guide by McGovern, Norton, and O'Dowd, the Associated Press Stylebook, and the Chicago Manual of Style.

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  TECH TIPS BY CLAUDIA SLATE


Of Mice and Email Re-routes

1. If you own an Explorer, IntelliMouse Optical or Wheel Mouse Optical and are having any problems with it, read this letter from Microsoft: [LINK NO LONGER VALID]

2. Re-route E-mail Forwarding Service - http://www.re-route.com/
Change ISPs without losing e-mail. Re-route provides "change-of-address" e-mail forwarding for people changing Internet Service Providers (ISPs). You are no longer trapped at your ISP because of your e-mail address. Re-route forwards all messages, and can also inform your contacts of your new address.

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  TECH CORNER


1. 2000TRAINERS.COM
This site is perfect if you're studying for certification. Free training for a number of software packages. New information/tutorials go up almost weekly.
http://www.2000trainers.com/

2. FINDTUTORIALS.COM
Online IT training courses and a number of free tutorials.
http://www.findtutorials.com/

3. PROBLEMS BACKING UP QUICKBOOKS ON A FLOPPY?
Why not try saving to file rather than disk? I recommend that you do a backup copy of that file to some place on your hard drive, zip it up in WinZip and then send it to your computer via email and not on a disc. Sometimes trying to save those large files to a floppy disc doesn't work, and I've found that zipping them up and emailing makes it a lot easier.
... Julee A. Beigay, IVAA CVA - VirtualWebgistics@msn.com
www.VirtualWebgistics.com

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  WRITING CORNER


TECH WRITER (TechWR-L) LIST
Subscribe at http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/techwhirllist/index.html

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  TRIVIA


1. HOW SATELLITE RADIO WORKS:
Satellite radio is up and running. This means nonstop music, no ads, and coast-to-coast reception.
http://www.howstuffworks.com/satellite-radio.htm

2. THE MICHAEL J. FOX DATABASE:
The site map helps you zero in on specific Michael J. Fox topics, including TV acting credits, news, quotes, plot synopses, and links. Picture gallery and a lot of Michael J. Fox original wallpaper and postcards.
http://www.michaeljfoxdatabase.com/

3. HOOD ORNAMENTS:
Learn about hood ornaments. This site offers information on (primarily American) hood ornaments produced by the automobile industry between 1930 and 1966. Also gives the range of prices to expect on eBay.
http://www.lepoix.de/index_hood.htm

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  WORDS OF THE MONTH: ASCENDER AND DESCENDER


The part of a lowercase letter (like "b") that rises above the main body of the letter is called an "ascender," and the part of a lowercase letter (like "p") that descends below the main body of the letter is a "descender."

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  RECOMMENDATIONS


1. ECLECTIC ACADEMY:
An online six week courses in art, business, graphics, website development and eclectic studies. $20/course.
Thanks to Marsha Kopan of http://www.execsecsrv.com for recommending it.
http://www.eclecticacademy.com/index.htm

2. VTC (Virtual Training Company USA):
A great resource for online training in hundreds of software programs. Online and Video classes. Thanks to Pam Crone for her recommendation.
http://www.vtc.com/

3. UNIVERSAL CLASS:
Online courses, some for certification, and the prices are very reasonable. There's even a course on Criminal Studies.
http://www.universalclass.com/

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  JUDY'S CORNER


ARE YOU A GOOD AUTHOR OF ACTION STORIES? DO YOU KNOW OF ONE? A good friend of mine, Bob McElwain--who's fantastic at marketing, and who is also someone I trust without qualification--has a terrific offer for authors of quality fast-paced action novels. Publish an ebook. Free.

If you qualify, there is no charge for publishing in electronic formats. And the author retains ALL rights to the book. "We'll make enough bucks in commissions on sales," Bob says. "We don't feel it's right to pick an author's pocket going in."

If you're interested, or know someone who is, click over to http://actiontales.com/authors/ It's a fascinating offer. And knowing Bob, he'll be able to sell your book like crazy, once the site is opened to the public.

Why this offer? Bob writes action stories, and finds the entire publishing/selling process for his books to be full of frustration. So he decided to go the ebook route. For himself, and for others. He's a former teacher, and if you've been around the Internet, you know Bob often reaches out with a helping hand. Read more about Bob at: http://www.actiontales.com/about_us.html.

CALAMITY JAN
Speaking of action tales, this type of storytelling has always been one of my sister's gifts. When we were small, Jan's vivid imagination kept all of the Crook kids going. She never stopped. Later, she enthralled her three children and their friends with her wild and wacky adventure stories. Finally Jan (now Jan Pierson Gudkov) wrote a series of books, with the backdrop of our beloved San Juan Islands: The Carson Kids Mysteries. Some were translated into Finnish.

A few years ago Jan decided to write another series for middle school readers: Ghostowners. She visited Bodie, California; Nighthawk, Washington; and Shaniko, Oregon. She's publishing this series as we speak. Self-publishing is a tough experience, but for many authors, it's the only way. I'd love to have you to drop by the site I put up for my spunky sister and wish her well: http://www.calamityjan.com.

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If you need copyediting help for any type of e-mail letters, sales letters, press releases, or text on your website, email me at copyediting-help-needed@ossweb.com - if I can't do it, I'll find someone who can.

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Contact Judy Vorfeld at www.ossweb.com.contact.html

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