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I have a confession to make. I was watching Star Trek: Voyager when I should have been writing this FuseLetter.

It was a particularly good episode, too, where Captain Janeway was trying to get Seven of Nine to reveal the Borg method of cantilevering used in Seven's costume. Unfortunately, my cable went out before I could hear the secret and find out if Janeway used this intergalactic info to set up an e-commerce foundation store in the Delta Quadrant.

Rather than feeling guilty about watching TV (let's just call it "research"), it actually helped me write this FuseLetter, because it reminded me of something very important. Isn't our life-long mission to boldly go where no man or woman has gone in a long time--like on a vacation?

When I first started using computers, I remember people saying how they would give us all so much more free time. If that promised prediction of everyone having so much "leisure time" had come true, Disney would be bigger than Microsoft.

But you and I both know what really happened. Computers allowed us to do more work in the same amount of time, instead of doing the same amount of work in less time. And strangely, the bottom line has been that everyone I know is working longer hours than ever. Forty-hour work week? Ha! I get e-mail from people working at 2 a.m., which says something about those people (and me).

The real secret to all this web business is finding time to have a real life, one where you're not tethered to some machine (or have some machine inside your head, like the Borg).

So… are you spending too much time building your web site? I know from experience that it takes less time to build a site in NetObjects Fusion than anything else, and now a new study proves it. "NetObjects Fusion is over three times more productive than using Microsoft FrontPage and over two and a half times more productive than using Macromedia Dreamweaver." Don't believe me? Then read this study.

If HTML code looks to you like it was written in Klingon, then why bother writing it if you don't have to? NetObjects Fusion Even a Ferangi couldn't find a better deal than this in the entire universe.

 

GETTING WHAT YOU WANT
(Creating your future through the fine art of negotiation)

It wasn't long ago that most people expected to go through their lives working for someone else. They didn't have to worry about negotiations and contracts because there were whole departments that did nothing but this. Now more and more people are going off on their own, and the Web is letting them create global businesses from their bedrooms (we know, that's where ours started--I mean our office was in our bedroom--sheesh, what were you thinking?).

With your own business, you don't just work for the company; you have to get work for the company, and to do that, you have to know how to negotiate a contract. Being free-lance writers and designers, we've had to do this for ourselves for many years, and each time we negotiated something, we learned from experience (sometimes the hard way)--what worked, what didn't, and most important, what we overlooked. So here are some words of advice.

PERSONAL NETWORKING
(finding like-minded souls)

There's a lot of talk about e-commerce on the web--and sometimes people start to think that the web is only about making money. I've always said that the web is about people and communication, not technology. If you can make money from your site, that's great, but that's not the only reason to get on the web. Robin, a single mother of four, decided to use the web to create a site to provide a cyber meeting place for single male and female parents and their kids. Our man, Gary Priester, performed a site makeover to make the site more friendly and personal, and his article tells how.

A MARKETING IDEA A DAY

Mary Gillen and Andy Attiliis have more and more good ideas for marketing. Come take a look at some of their bright ideas--it may just give you ideas that can help your web site, and business, grow. New this week: 45 Web Marketing Ideas. FREE Money - Sign Up Now! Don't Sell Hours...Package Them! Six Lessons Learned from Large Corporations. Is Your Business Still Your Best Friend? Irresistible News Angles. More Quick Marketing Ideas.

 

WORD2000, YOU AND NOF

I have to admit that I only upgrade software if the new version is really compelling. So I wasn't going to upgrade to Office 2000 because I had no problems with Office90-whatever and I didn't want to cause any trouble with my system!

But after my unfortunate "eclipse" computer troubles, I found myself with a new Dell desktop (which I really like--at least so far!) and it came with Office2000 pre-installed. I thought about uninstalling Office2000 and replacing it with the previous version (one of the reasons, I missed that really great origami cat office assistant--most people only see the hateful paperclip and turn it off--but the assistants are actually a good feature and there are several assistants to choose from, right click on one and select "choose assistant").

But then I thought better of it. I know how much trouble Windows can cause when you start mixing DLL's, so I figured I'd leave Office2000 on, since I didn't want problems.

I don't get the folding menus that hide menu items if you don't use them--I mean, how confusing is that? I also am not happy that some features I use a lot, like FindFast, now take 11 keystrokes where they used take one! I don't call that "innovation."

And when you save to HTML, you get these big and complex HTML files with lots of XML in them. I used to save to HTML, then import that HTML into NetObjects Fusion. Well, now that doesn't work so well.

But the good news is that if you select the text in Word, then paste it right into NetObjects Fusion, it works even better than it did in Word97. Now even anchors import perfectly, so the summaries at the top of each eFuse.com article can import directly from Word.

So, if you find yourself using Office2000 and NetObjects Fusion, never fear--it works just fine.

SEARCH BOXES THAT PAY

Lycos has launched a new affiliate program that pays web site owners for putting up search boxes to Lycos-owned HotBot on their web sites. Site owners can earn 2 cents per search, or 3 cents if they link to other Lycos-powered features. A similar program has run for some time at GoTo.com.

Lycos Affiliate Program

http://www.lycos.com/affiliateprogram/

GoTo.com Search On Your Site

http://www.goto.com/d/ssn/

Neto News

Stop wasting time!

How much more productive can you be using NetObjects Fusion 4.0?  Over three times more productive as using Microsoft FrontPage and over two and a half times as productive as using Macromedia Dreamweaver.  It's just that simple. Try NetObjects Fusion today and spend less time building and maintaining your Web site. Read more about it.

If you're using FrontPage and want to learn how to import that file into NetObjects Fusion so you can save time in the future, download this Acrobat PDF file.

WEB MIRACLE
FEED THE HUNGRY WITH JUST A CLICK

Here's a great idea. All you have to do is visit this site and click on the "Donate Free Food" button. When you do, a sponsoring corporation will make a donation to feed a starving person for one day. You can do this once a day, and it costs nothing to you personally.

This is a form of public relations for the sponsoring company. It gets their name in front of you and associates it with a good cause. It does not cost you anything to make this donation. So bookmark it, email all your friends about it, and visit it once a day!

One Final Word

I have a particular fondness for Star Trek because I used to be Gene Roddenberry's computer consultant. As well as being a creative genius, he was a really nice guy, and that goes a long way on this planet (or any other).

One of the great things about Star Trek is that it's always hopeful. Except for the occasional cranky Cardasian, bossy Borg or "thing from another dimension," most life forms get along pretty well. And that's a good goal to shoot for.


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The SchoomozeLetter is ©1998-2005, Daniel Will-Harris, all rights reserved. If you'd like to use any article on the web or in print, please ask for permission. If you're an agent or publisher looking to publish these pieces, just drop me a note.