Newcastle’s 6 point to-do list to create a tech-city ecosystem
23Oct14

jm_sf1One of the unanimous highlights of the 2014 DiG Festival was Jed White’s passionate keynote, The Boulder Experience: Creating a tech-city ecosystem.

Jed is a start-up veteran having launched a successful business in Sydney then moving his family to Boulder, Colorado to work on his next venture Tribe Vibe. During his time in the USA he has had the opportunity to observe start-up capitals like Silicon Valley / San Francisco, Austin and of course Boulder. It was through this lens that Jed came to Newcastle with observations about what makes a great tech-city and how to create a tech-city ecosystem.

Jed is a big fan of good cafes with a quality wifi connections as they are locations where ideas collide.

He noted that most start-up cities are very eclectic and embrace people from different backgrounds. It’s good to be a bit weird. He cited ground level concepts like Renew Newcastle as being important for fostering that culture.

He also stressed that we shouldn’t all aim to create another Silicon Valley, but rather to leverage our own natural assets.

Jed feels that with the Dig Festival, Newcastle has a hook to hang an ecosystem from.

Here is his To-Do List for Newcastle to Create a Tech-City Ecosystem:

1. Support the leaders, the entrepreneurs leading the charge.

2. Get some bandwidth. Our slow internet is a major problem. It is oxygen for business.

3. Build on DiG. It’s only the start, fill the other 51 weeks of the year with activities.

4. Round up the “Feeders” Ie. local, state and federal government and agencies. Lobby for tax breaks, grants etc

5. More caffeine and more wifi. Informal places to meet and work. Newcastle is well-caffeinated already, we just need to add the wifi.

6. Make stuff now!! Don’t await for others, start creating.

The good news is that some of these things are happening already in the region, but they probably need to be more coordinated to enable the full effect.

Apart from DiG Festival we also have regular activities and events like The Lunaticks Society, Newcastle Coffee Mornings, Bits N Pixels and the exciting Slingshot Accelerator Program.

There is also a growing list of co-work spaces and hubs emerging.

The recent announcement of the latest NBN FTTN roll-out (yes I know its not as good as FTTP but its something better than we have today) means that a large chunk of the region will have improved bandwidth in 2015 and that can only help.

I am also mildly encouraged that some of our local political and business leaders might be finally realising the potential for the region through fostering innovation and start-ups.

At the end of DiG Festival quite a few people approached me to say they would like to do more to foster innovation in the area via events and other initiatives. That’s great news. Now we just need to decide how to coordinate and share this enthusiasm. I don’t want to get involved in every activity, I’m busy enough with Sticky and doing DiG with Steph and Tracy, but I’m very happy to help start the conversation and help spread the word.

Who’s on board? Ping me on Twitter or Facebook and lets see how we can complete Jed’s 6 point to-do list.

 

 

 

So you want to be a social media manager….
10Jul14

For many people the idea of being a social media manger is a dream job, and certainly one that wasn’t even considered a decade ago. But as the web becomes even more reliant on social networks, where content is abundant, and competition for attention is extremely fierce, how do social media experts utilise their time and skills to get the best results?

This infographic from the teams at Column 5 and Socialcast attempts to depict a day in the life of a social media manager. Some of the data is US-centric but interesting nonetheless.

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14 important digital marketing metrics for your next campaign
27Jun14

These days, with so much data available and easily accessible, choosing the right type of metric to monitor can be daunting for marketers. Quite often I see marketers who are too engrossed in focusing on “vanity” metrics rather than analyzing data that can actually make a difference to their business. And this applies equally to the most important metric of all –  revenue.

This infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines lists the key metrics to focus on when reviewing a digital marketing campaign. I like that they focus on the big 3: traffic, conversion, revenue.

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Illegal downloads: it’s not about free, it’s about fair
20Jun14

pirateThe finale of the recent season of Game of Thrones has opened up debate about illegal downloading in Australia.

File-sharing website TorrentFreak reported Game of Thrones set a new record for illegal downloads this week, with about 1.5 million file sharers downloading a pirated copy of the season four finale of the show in the 12 hours after it was released in the US.  Data was released showing Australians have increased their lead as the world champions of piracy.

The outcry, of course, was led by the company most affected by the downloading of the program, Foxtel.

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Internet Trends 2014 by Mary Meeker
29May14

Every year around this time Mary Meeker, from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, releases her Internet Trends study. I personally saw Mary present this in San Francisco a few years ago and was fascinated by her insights and knowledge. The whole industry stops and listens when Mary Meeker delivers her annual report.

Which brings me to the 2o14 Internet Trends report Meeker has just unveiled. As usual it is packed with great information, plenty of perspective and a few pointers to what is next. It’s long but it is worth the time to read.

Creating water from whine: can Free Is Better interrupt a $600m industry?
13May14

image via freeisbetter.com.au

image via freeisbetter.com.au

Here’s a novel concept attempting to capitalise upon several ideas.

Do you feel ripped off every time you buy bottled water? It’s amazing to think that what we once drank freely from the tap now costs more than petrol per litre.

Did you know that the average “dwell-time” of a bottle of water is around 60 minutes. In other words every time you buy a bottle of water you carry it around, hold it, place it on your desk etc for around an hour.

What if the bottle became an advertising medium and the water was free?

That’s the idea behind Free Is Better, which has just launched in Australia.

Read their media announcement (below) and tell me what you think. Can using a water bottle as an ad medium interrupt the industry?

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The Economics of Netflix: How to Make a $100 Million Show
24Apr14

There has been a lot of buzz about Netflix in the last year, even here in Australia where the video streaming service hasn’t officially launched (yet is watched by many who find ways around the geo-blocking).

Award-winning new programs like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Lilyhammer, created and aired on Netflix have transformed the one-time DVD mailing service into a new media force to be reckoned with, causing yet more anxiety amongst TV networks and subscription television and acting as a pointer to what could soon trouble the major movie studios.

Netflix is now so popular that it gobbles up a third of peak internet traffic in North America.

So how does this brave new world of streaming content work and how does Netflix make money? This new infographic explains the economics of Netflix. Read the rest of this entry »

Mad Men Marketing: Don Draper’s marketing wisdom in 16 brilliant quotes
14Apr14

As the excellent 60′s era ad agency drama Mad Men enters it’s final season (actually two half seasons), it seems a good time to share these “Moments of Marketing Wisdom” from fictitious advertising guru Don Draper. This infographic by Glow Media captures some of the show’s pearls of wisdom over the years.

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How LinkedIn Referrals Can Improve Your Employment Prospects
8Apr14

The dirty little secret of the recruitment industry is that finding a job is really more about networking with the right people than applying for countless advertised jobs. In fact, most jobs are not even advertised. Therefore, the value of networking becomes extremely high.

Lou Adler, author of Performance-based Hiring, suggests that job-seekers apply a 20/20/60 approach:

  • 20% of job search time responding job postings through a backdoor (via referrals) instead of the front door (applying through a form or sending in a resume).
  • 20% enhancing your resume and LinkedIn profile for findability and readbility.
  • 60% networking the hidden market for jobs.

He also claims that candidates who are “referred to a hiring manager by a trusted person is 50-100x more likely” to get an interview and get hired than those who simply submit a resume to a posted job. The referred person also has the advantage of being considered for jobs not publicly posted.

That’s where LinkedIn can help.

Networking, and the ease of doing so, is one of the primary features that makes professional social networking site LinkedIn.com so different from the countless run-of-the-mill job boards. They’ve leveraged the concept of “six degrees of separation” — the theory that everyone in the world is connected to each other through relationships, with at most six degrees (connections) of separation. To connect with one person in particular, you just need to find at most 5 other people in a relationship chain to connect with the intended person.

Here is how and why you should use the power of LinkedIn referrals to increase your employment prospects.

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Meet the brands who rule Twitter
10Mar14

twitterbird300The massive social media site Twitter now has just under 650 million users and has increasingly become the place to interact with celebrities and corporations. Feedback and opinions that used to be voiced to friends or sent in a letter are now broadcast to a global audience—instantly. It has forced many brands to stand up and take notice. In fact, many companies now have Twitter accounts dedicated solely to customer service.

Yet even in a world where tweets have become a part of every successful brand’s marketing toolkit, some individuals and companies have managed to elevate Twitter to something of an art form, leveraging customer service, marketing savvy, and good old-fashioned personability to dominate the Twittersphere. Some US companies, such as JetBlue (@JetBlue), American Airlines (@AmericanAir), and Rackspace (@Rackspace), make customer service a priority and dedicate significant resources to addressing customer questions and concerns in record time.

Other brands are more focused on using social media to boost sales and eCommerce—including online fashion retailer ASOS (@ASOS), whose #BestNightEver campaign helped push the company’s sales to £78 million ($127,413,000) in December 2012 alone. In the non-profit sector, organizations such as the American Red Cross (@RedCross) and Movember (@Movember) used strategic partnerships and promotional hashtags to raise serious funds for their respective causes.

It’s not always easy to be sincere, informative, funny, and compelling in just 140 characters. But it seems that these organisations have managed to develop successful strategies for interacting with their followers, addressing their customers’ needs, and making a difference via Twitter.

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