Haven't heard from me in a while, huh? Well, like everyone else, the new year caught me off-guard. Don't you remember when you were in high school and you figured out how old you'd be in the year 2000 and now you're almost that old? It's scary, isn't it? (Unless you're just out of high school, in which case, no one feels sorry for you.)

What's the point? It's time to improve your web site! So click, don't walk, to http://www.eFuse.com to learn how to build a better web site.

What's new? Besides the year? Can you say "Plenty?"



- First, if you want to get more people to your site, more often, then read this. eFuse has a really great piece about mass e-mail by Mr. Bob Weibel, a writer who can explain ice to Eskimos. When I say "mass email," I don't mean Spam (the unwanted e-mail, not the pork-like product). Spam is bad (the unwanted e-mail, not the pork-like product). I mean really useful, productive, wanted e-mail that helps people know what your company and site are doing. Useful mailing lists educate and inform, as well as bring people back to your site.


I'm working on new technology that will let us add "scratch and sniff" to the FuseLetter so it can smell either like Calvin Klein's Obsession or a kind of pork-like product. I'd also like to ask you some market research questions—and will give you more FREE STUFF if you just answer a few questions. What kind of free stuff? Well, how's about a terrific Gary David Bouton icon font (PC TrueType) called Webknobs. It's got a bunch-o-icons you can use as buttons, icons, logos, tattoos—you name it!


Next—there's eFuse's introductory tutorial about how to make an animated GIF, written by the ever-popular Gary Priester. He points you to my personal favorite graphics program (CorelXARA) that you can download for a free trial, then walks you through creating your first animation. If you've ever wanted to know how to make an animated GIF, or are looking for software to help you make better ones, check this out.


Gary Priester is at it again, with another makeover, this time of a Purple Elephant. Every makeover begins with one small step, and in this case, although the step is taken by an "elephant's foot," the foot is "mouse sensitive." Interested, aren't you? Come on, admit it. Take a look.


Then eFuse has Christopher Meeks' new column called "Write Away," that will help you become a better writer (whether you want to or not, though wanting to is always helpful). If you're interested in creating a web site, then you're interested in communication, and you should know how to write. Chris (or "Mr. Meuke" as a piece of junk mail once called him) will help you. Yes, you, there, playing with your coffee cup and wondering if anyone will notice if you don't read this. Trust us, they'll notice. Read it.



The web is global, yet your site is probably only in one language. Now there's an easy, free way to have your site translated to or from English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, complete with graphics (though it can't convert text inside of graphics, it can translate ALT tags, another reason to use them!)

How? Using AltaVista's incredible translation service. If you're using Fusion, follow #1 instructions. If you're using something other than Fusion, use instruction #2.

#1 TRANSLATION FOR NETOBJECTS FUSION Create a text box. Click on the "Text box is a form" box in the properties palette. Click on the "settings" button. Set Method to "Post" and into the "action" box type or paste: http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate? (yes, there's a question mark on the end!)

Under Hidden Fields, click on the plus. Under Name, type: urltext

Under Value, type the full URL of your web site, including the http://

Click on OK, OK.

Choose View/Toolsbars/Form Tools and click on the first icon, the raised button. Click in your text box. In the properties palette, under Text, type: Translate

Make sure the "type" set to set "submit" and click back on the page.

Now, when you publish the site, clicking this button will automatically take your visitors to AltaVista and the URL of your page will be placed in the translate box.


If you're not using NetObjects Fusion, add the following HTML to your page (making sure to change http://www.eFuse.com to your own URL, unless you want people translating OUR page, which is fine with us!):

<!— Translation menu —> <P><NOBR>

<FORM ACTION=http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/tr ansl ate? METHOD="POST"> <INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="doit" VALUE="done"> Use <i>AltaVista</i> to <B>translate this page:</b></A> <INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="urltext" VALUE="http://www.eFuse.com"> <INPUT TYPE=submit NAME=Translate! value="Translate"> </FORM> </NOBR> <!— End translation —>


Need to create "liquid" pages that reformat to the size of the browser? Or perhaps you want to work with Fusion in a more "word processor-like" way.

You can do it in NetObjects Fusion, and it's easy!

First, click in a MasterBorder, or around the edge of a page, then choose "ZeroMargins" from the Properties Palette.

Then create a text box and choose "Size to layout" from the properties palette. The text box fills the space (and resizes with the browser window). Then you can just paste in text, drag in graphics, etc. This isn't obvious and it's easy to overlook (but it is easy!), so if you need pages that reformat with the browser (and have the smallest possible HTML file size to boot), check this out.


Got ideas for articles you'd like to see? Just email me (editor@eFuse.com)

Got an article you'd like to write? Send your story idea to me.

I'm especially looking for writers who use NetObjects Fusion—even if you've only created your own site with it. I'd like to hear about your "first time"

Come on. "Write like no one is looking" and send it to me. Who knows, you, too could live the life of a writer who gets to work at home in their bathrobe. Ah, the glamour! The excitement! The macaroni and cheese!


Well, that's it for this FuseLetter. I hope you found it useful. Please do visit http://www.eFuse.com and let me know what you think. Your opinions and suggestions are important to me. Thanks!

Daniel Will-Harris



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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.