Australian Politics on G’day World 299.

Debating with Cameron Reilly is like fighting an intellectual tornado. Thankfully I was being grilled after a bottle of merlot.

In the instance of this podcast, I am speaking for myself not my employer (which I make clear in the podcast)

In retrospect, the discussion could go on for another 30 minutes: the concept of Geeks for Good is a concept that is rattling around in my head.

Duncan Riley, On The Pod #9

Thanks to Duncan Riley for a great conversation today – now On The Pod, on The Podcast Network.

Articles mention: Jeff Sandquist in the April 2007 Wired.

"The heat internal being 70x" is a littler hyperbolic – more like 70% of the heat is internal when blogger steps outside our blogging guidelines. Some notes on our Policy has been discussed here already.

"Microsoft Popfly is for making Web Bling" lulz. my favourite quote.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace signup.

I use Editgrid for collobrative financial management in our house.

Microsoft in Australia links, because I could not recall on the fly.

Microsoft on HD DVD

w00t!!1 Podcast Famous


After yesterday’s unstructured Twitter meetup: The Podcast of the Twitter meetup with a random conversation.

Thanks Cameron for letting me be heard on Australia’s #1 Podcast. I’ve gotta stop saying the g-word so often.

Yesterday I had consumed +5 standard coffees (my usual day is +2) by the time the podcast was recorded. You can hear the pace in my voice. Later that day, I Twittered the world to death with random questions (including: does Windows Mobile 6 have a regedit? evidently, yes. Thanks Paulfo) and statements. On the Virgin Blue flight home, I wrote a couple of pages of notes of the day that have spilled into these blog posts.

I’ve had the opportunity to think about the “Marketing and Twitter Strategy” question, and have posted my thoughts from yesterday’s Melbourne experiences.

Social Networking: People, not Messages


What is the Web 2.0 World Saying about you, now?

I strongly recommend any Marketing/PR person just starting out to download and install Particls: You can use Particls to watch the internet for you. Enter the phrases and words that are your products and brands, and watch the conversation that ensues.

It is wise to start your online journey by engaging the existing conversations and existing communities, rather than attempting to start your own lonely blog and talk to noone.


Social Networking use by Marketing/PR

Social network using MySpace/Facebook/MSN Live/Linkedin/Bebo etc etc etc is a perfect mechanism for creating a community; and more importantly: staying connected.

Note that people are largely engaged in these communities for personal social reasons, not to have a product shoved down their throat. The rule of authentic voice applies.


SecondLife use by Marketing/PR:

Know who and where of your audience. Despite heavy hype in the traditional media, the number of people logged in to SecondLife always seems low. (25000 to 40000)

There is something enticing about a completely immersive 3D world, where in a dream-like state you can fly anywhere and build anything. It demos well, and the allure of “instant millions” attracted a certain “type” of initial user.

The web was like this in 1994/5. Not much out there, much hype and a limited few had the hardware and ‘bandwidth’ to participate. I would highly recommend doing deep research prior to significant investment.

Fully immersive worlds such as World-of-Warcraft (note: you probably cannot market here) are very successful; and the future of end-user generated immersive worlds is large.


Twitter use by Marketing/PR:

@Froosh expressed it best: Twitter is micro-blogging: thoughts in 140 characters. It is also more instant. What is happening now.  An organisation’s existing blog strategy should also cover Twitter.

Running 2 bots ( and and an event alias ( my assessment is that Twitterers are looking for real people, not chat bots at the other end of the line. Twitterspam such as “go visit this link” and the like causes mass unsubscribes. “Our product x is now shipping” the same.

What the Twitter-verse is looking for is the instant human reaction and feeling from events that precedes the formal cycle.

So, just Twittering to get a “message through” or hype a product/event does not work. What is needed is an authentic, honest voice of a real person. It is part of your Word-of-mouth, viral strategy.


In a Write/ReWrite/Read Web, People matter. Not Messages

Follow the Eyeballs. And the Money.

Breakfast Bytes

At the Hill and KnowltonSurviving and thriving in the next decade – Technology PublishingBreakfast Bytes this morning, a group of eminent panelists in picture above, from the left:

  • James Tuckerman – Publishing Editor, AntHill. New relatively magazine about ideas, money and skills. Previously more print than online, but adding new online projects later in 2007.
  • Heather Craven – Director of Marketing & Communications, Circulations Audit Board,
    Australian Circulation Bureau. Sub-committee researching digital.
  • Brian Haverty – Editorial Director, CNET Networks Australia : Readers first, video and text style publishing.
  • Tony Sarno – Editor, APC. Adding new online APC projects later in 2007.
  • Peter Roberts – Managing Editor, BRW. Part of the Fairfax group, around since 1857. Noted that relaunched this week, and closed content model AFR Access continues.
  • Andrew Kirk, Hill and Knowlton: Chair

The theme from the morning’s panel and Q&A is that “there will be a mixture of online and print” and that “online and print” readers are treated as different readers by the big-names. My perspective as a corporate online/citizen journalist is slightly different.

Like the quintessential investigative journalists: Woodward and Bernstein learnt: follow the money. In the above listing of panelists, notice where their stated investment is going. It’s online.

From a traditional publisher’s perspective, the business is about employing journalists to gather hidden facts, connect, analyse and write stories. People buy the paper (atoms) to read the stories and maybe their eyeballs will stray onto an advertisement. The marketing groups of companies buy these positions on the paper in the hope that the right eyeballs are enthralled by the product and/or service – and buy the product. The core of a publisher’s job is managing the compelling content such that a specific audience is created that advertisers value.

The web is no different, except that anyone can be a publisher, and outsource the revenue side (advertising) to Microsoft or Google. Large publishers, such as Fairfax, are unhappy that their expensive infrastructure is subverted online: Peter Roberts mentioned twice that Google made $200 million in Australia without investing in the content-side.

Peter Roberts also commented on one of his competitors, Alan Kohler’s Eureka Report, having only an online mechanism but successful business model. My perspective is that Alan’s business is successful as he is seen as a respected and independent entity within Australia’s financial community. Alan Kohler is a trusted brand.

The Gadget Guy, Peter Blasina’s question near the end summarised the morning for me: What does the future really look like? Each of the represented panelist’s organisations (maybe with the exception of cnet) have their business strategies weighted toward print, and the brand-value that print brings.

Peter Blasina comes at this with credibility as a true multi-channel brand and personality: print, online and TV – and surmised that the coming generation will change the face of the print publisher’s world. And they know it.

The future for publishers is where the eyeballs are. And eyeballs are not going to be in print, it is going to be online. Eyeballs stay longer where this is trusted value, and most importantly where there is a community. Reading a magazine is an almost high-latency feedback medium; where two-way interaction is slow if attempted at all.

Demographics of the eyeballs are changing to more online: younger readers being digitally native and older generations having more time to explore online; with more females than males desiring a community and interaction rather than passive acceptance; high bandwidth connection to permit TV, Radio and Print being equal online mediums.

Whilst I have no research to back this up, I am going to state it here. A common refrain from print publishers is that “Radio did not replace newspapers, and TV did not replace radio” as their backwards looking perspective on why online will not replace these old media. My argument is that the internet can replace the media styles: with web pages, podcasts and vidcasts. As Rupert Murdoch is quoted as saying: “Big media no longer controls the conversation” 

James Tuckerman knows his readers, and I think has a plan to create value in Anthill’s community. He understands the emotional connection that he has with his readership. James also stated there are “population lumps” at birth-years of 1949, 1974 and 1985. According to the ABS, there is another population lump in the 2005-7 range too. My suggestion is to watch Anthill as a publisher. They are starting a conversation with their community.

A Question about SecondLife, the current “craze” in Australia potentially due to a visit in meatspace by a Linden Labs persona, resulted in Tony Sarno saying that “many PBL management have visited SecondLife”. I fear it is because of the gambling dens rather than the community aspect. About 20% of the audience of largely PR and technology industry attendees had logged into SecondLife, of which most had logged in once.

So, in industry parlance, what is the tip-on for online? It’s the community. Community is the new Brand.

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Difference of Opinion: Digital Age

It has been an excellent week for the ABC. The Curtin “docu-drama” gave a portrait of a man of his time: Prime Minister John Curtin during the 1941 through 1942.

Last night, Jeff McMullan did a standard “journalistic show” wrapped as debate on new technologies, and the impact on community on “Difference of Opinion: Growing Up in the Digital Age“. Captured inthe freshness of the moment, this Podcast captured by Chris Saad of Particls. Discussion boards on the topic are interesting to read.

Another essence is that people’s online and digital life is real. It is a part of generation-y identity. The base-level morals and ethics still apply; and probably more so in a world that is flat and always on.