Registrations now open for Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications Launch Event


[UPDATE:] The complete Top 100 list is now up.

The Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list I wrote about earlier is being readied, and the launch event on 19 June is now open for registrations.

A few exciting developments:

* A great cast of panellists to uncover the state of online innnovation in Australia, including John Butterworth, Duncan Riley, Foad Fadaghi, and Malcolm Thornton

* Showcases of five leading Australian Web 2.0 applications

* The Web 2.0 list will be featured on the cover of BRW magazine that morning

* Sponsors including KPMG, Adobe and Starfish Ventures – a Gold sponsor will be announced shortly

* 10% of ticket proceeds to be donated to the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation

Click here for full details on Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications – Launch Event.

Note that every event run by Future Exploration Network has been sold out (last year’s Web 2.0 in Australia was fully booked two weeks before the event), so register soon if you’d like to attend!

More details on the event, including the showcased companies, coming soon.

There is still an opportunity for applications to be considered for the list – please get in touch in comments or by email to submit if you think we might not be aware of you.

The rise of professional-quality user generated media


The launch of Blogger in August 1999 opened the door to anyone and everyone creating media. Since then platforms to share writing, photos, video and more have enabled an extraordinary volume of content to be made available to the world. The media world has at least doubled in size this decade, adding many new content formats to the existing professionally produced media on channels such as TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers.

Despite cries from many that all user generated content is crap, that’s not true. It’s just that most user generated content is crap, and a small proportion is outstanding. Anyone who has browsed through the best photos on Flickr, for example, will see some extraordinary images they never would have seen otherwise. The best industry blogs are certainly considered on a par with mainstream reporting and analysis.

There are now some compelling examples of businesses that are based on professional-quality submissions from their users. A great article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle titled Everywhere, JPG – magazines for the future describes how these glossy magazines are compiled from people submitting their travel stories and photos, with the promise of being paid $100 and a year’s subscription to the magazine if their contributions are published. The selections are in fact made by the readers by voting on the site.

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Enterprise 2.0 in Financial Services: upcoming keynote


I have long been interested in how collaboration technologies are applied in financial services, having come from a career largely at Merrill Lynch and Thomson Financial, and spent much time consulting to the instittutional financial services sector.

A few years ago now I ran the Collaboration in Financial Services conferences in New York and London, and wrote a white paper on How Collaborative Technologies are Transforming Financial Services. Since then I’ve been heavily involved in the Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 spaces, and I’m finding that these are extremely relevant to the financial services sector.

I will be doing the opening keynote at this year’s annual Financial Services Technology forum on Enterprise & Web 2.0 for Financial Services in Sydney on 29 May. In my presentation I will look at the big picture of the history and relevance of these technologies in the sector, and drawing on my recent work helping organizations with the governance issues of Enterprise 2.0.

Financial services are certainly very diverse, however many of the sectors within it handily illustrate the themes I have been discussing for some time: there is a deep layer of highly process-driven work, supplemented by a layer of connecting expertise to make highly time-sensitive decisions. Enterprise 2.0 technologies and approaches are outstanding in supporting the latter, which is where there is the most potential for competitive differentiation – which can be very fleeting in the world of money.

I’ll provide more details later on what I cover in my keynote.

Thinking about the future of museums: fourteen key issues


Today I participated in a Future Directions Forum at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, which after 20 years in its current location is looking to the future.

To provide some context, the Powerhouse is specifically branded as a science and design museum, implicitly being about technology and it’s impact on people’s lives. It’s worth looking at the excellent online resources section of the Powerhouse Museum website, which provides value to many people who never visit the museum. I’ve previously written abouut the very interesting Web 2.0-style initiatives of the Museum (and listed them in the Top Australian Web 2.0 applications), which among other features enables user tagging of the museum’s collection. In a number of cases visitors to the website have corrected or provided more detailed information on the museum’s collection, exemplifying how to tap collective wisdom.

The session raised many interesting questions and thoughts for me. I haven’t been significantly involved with museums in the past, and was struck by many of the issues raised. The points below represent my perspectives as well as reflections on issues raised by people at forum. While the issues below were raised in the context of museums in areas like science, technology, and design, I think they apply across most kinds of museum.

Below are fourteen key issues in the future of museums.

What is a museum?

On the face of it, a museum records and makes accessible artefacts the past that have cultural value. The curatorial process is one of showing people things that enrich them. Museums need to have a clear idea of why they exist. In most cases (in addition to any financial imperatives) the objective is to benefit society, by educating and creating culturally richer and more well-rounded members of society.

Entertainment vs. education and onto experience.

Entertainment and education are quite different intents, but they can be integrated to achieve both aims. Certainly the demand from younger people has shifted strongly to only paying attention if content is truly entertaining. Beyond that, museums are fundamentally about providing experiences. People will seek engaging and powerful experiences, and if museums can provide them, their can fulfil their roles.

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Picking the future of Microsoft


Microsoft’s withdrawal from its bid for Yahoo! has hardly clarified the the tech landscape. In fact it has made the shape of the industry far more uncertain, as Microsoft mulls moves to shore up its future.

Microsoft is one of the most financially successful companies on the planet. It anticipates operating income this year of over $26 billion, maintaining strong growth from the last few years (just $9 billion in 2004), making it arguably stronger than other highly profitable companies in financial services and oil, which have more inconsistent incomes. However their success is founded on operating systems and client-installed office productivity software. Online services account for around 5% of their revenues, and entertainment 12%. There is no question that their core revenue is under attack. The summary of the challenge is “lower cost alternatives”, including online software and services, and open source.

So what will Microsoft do? The latest rumor is that Microsoft intends to buy Yahoo!’s search business, then buy Facebook for $15 to $20 billion. This is highly credible, though gossip is rife. Unquestionably this would give Microsoft a very strong position, both in the online advertising business, and also in leveraging what is now the dominant social network platform. In addition, the total price would be less than what Microsoft was prepared to pay for Yahoo! as a whole, keeping some of its financial powder dry.

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Search engines and journalism: Seven key issues as news goes online


Recently the Future of Journalism conference was held in Sydney, run by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, the body that represents workers in media and entertainment, including journalists. One of the broadcast media channels which covered the event called me last week to get some ideas for their interviews with the keynote speakers at the conference.

Their first question to me was about the impact of search engines on journalism. While our conversation went off in quite different directions regarding the future of journalism, I think it’s a very interesting issue to address. There are seven important issues for how search engines impact journalism:

Traffic from search engines provides a significant proportion of online media income. In some cases up to one third of traffic to online news sites comes from search engines. With the primary revenue from most online news coming from advertising, search engine optimization is not an optional activity for news sites and editors.

Headline writing is becoming a completely new art (and now science). As many have written on headline writing for search engines before, including the New York Times and an article I wrote on newspapers, search optimization, and old-school editors, publishing online requires a very different approach to headlines. The cute wordplays that have characterized newspaper headlines through the last century (Headless Body In Topless Bar; Ice Cream Man Has Assets Frozen; Two Convicts Evade Noose, Jury Hung etc. etc.) don’t tend to bring search traffic. Morever, visitors will usually find the content was not what they were looking for, and will leave in seconds.

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Interview on SkyBusiness: Facebook And Other Social Networking Sites Can Be Beneficial For Corporations


Here is an old (November 2, 2007) interview I did on SkyBusiness about social networks, examining both the industry landscape and how social networks can be valuable inside organizations. What I like best about this is that for much of the interview they had up a banner reading “Facebook And Other Social Networking Sites Can Be Beneficial For Corporations”, a message that business audiences, especially at the time, hadn’t heard much before.

Some of the things I discuss in the interview:

* The role of advertising networks in social networks

* The upcoming launch of Google’s Open Social and what it means for the sector

* The value to organizations of encouraging strong social networks

* Examples of companies using Facebook and other social networks internally

* How Enterprise 2.0 takes social media tools to apply to organizational productivity

Participate in creating the list of top Australian web apps


[UPDATE:] The final Top 100 list is now up.

In researching the Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list, I created a draft list on Google Docs of 125-odd applications I was aware of, and invited a dozen of the most connected and influential people in the space as collaborators, to add any applications I wasn’t aware of and provide updates on any apps in the list.

Phil Morle of Pollenizer told me the Australian Twitter community has been asking for the spreadsheet to be opened up. Click here to view the early draft list of Australian Web 2.0 applications. Note this is absolutely a draft, does not necessarily cover all the applications we’re looking at, may have incorrect information, and comments are unmoderated.

If you want to add to the list and are not currently invited into this list, either email me or comment on this blog, or ask me or your favorite leading Australian Web 2.0 entrepreneur for an invite to collaborate on the document.

Living Networks – Chapter 4: Relationship Rules – Free Download and Commentary


Download Chapter 4 of Living Networks on Emerging Technologies

Every chapter of Living Networks is being released on this blog as a free download, together with commentary and updated perspectives since its original publication in 2002.

For the full Table of Contents and free chapter downloads see the Living Networks website or the Book Launch/ Preface to the Anniversary Edition.

Living Networks – Chapter 4: Relationship Rules

Building Trust and Attention in the Tangled Web

OVERVIEW: Connectivity allows companies to integrate their systems more deeply and form many more business ties, but these opportunities are often neglected. In an increasingly transparent world, trust is becoming more rather than less important, and organizations must take steps to develop trusting relationships with their partners. The one scarce resource today is attention, so you must earn it from your clients and partners in order to create and maintain profitable relationships.

Chapter 4 of Living Networks – Commentary and updated perspectives

I opened the introduction to my first book Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships with the words: “Knowledge and relationships are where almost all value resides in today’s economy.” For the last decade I have explored the apparent paradox that in an increasingly digital world, human relationships, particularly trusted relationships, are becoming ever more important. At the same time, as the amount of information available swells, attention is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity. It is commonplace to talk of the attention economy, where value is based primarily on attention.


The feedback loop of customer attention and personalization

(See below for description)

Since trust and attention are so fundamental to where business is going, this chapter is absolutely as relevant today as when it was written. Arguably the underlying principles will become even more important in coming years.

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Announcing the 2008 Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list – Launch is on 19 June


[UPDATE:] The final Top 100 list is now up.

Following the great success of last year’s Top 60 Web 2.0 Apps in Australia list and Web 2.0 in Australia event, this year we will release a list of the Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications.

The list will be launched on 19 June in BRW magazine together with feature stories on the relevance of the leading online applications to business, including on investment, corporate productivity, customer engagement and innovation. It will then be published online on the Future Exploration Network website and this blog.

A lunch event on the same day at KPMG’s Sydney offices will formally launch the list, including showcases of some of the winners and a panel discussion by leading figures in the Australian scene. Full details of the lunch event, including registration, are coming soon. It will be in a similar format to our full capacity Web 2.0 in Australia last year, though open to everyone instead of invitation-only.

We are again looking for event sponsors. I’ve approached the obvious candidates in the last couple of days but we’re open to interest from any organization. Download the event and sponsorship information here or by clicking on the image below.


We currently have over 125 candidates for the list. Please email me or comment below if there are relevant apps that you think I am not aware of. We have information on all of the apps listed last year and those that applied to Vishal Sharma’s Startup Carnival earlier this year and those featured on his startup blog (a great resource!).