Postcodes of affected bushfire areas in the Victoria bushfires

February 12, 2009

(This is also a geek call-to-arms – if you have anything to do with customer databases, please take action!)

A client of mine has a direct mail campaign underway. Across Australia. Mostly rural addresses.

Fortunately they (and by they I mean my father, whose business it is) recognised the need to remove a few mailers from the campaign.

Specifically those in the Kinglake and Marysville areas which pretty much don’t exist any more.

This line of inquiry lead me to ask on Twitter, with these responses:

@aDB : Is there a postcode summary of affected #bushfire areas? Need to create a blocklist for snail direct mail marketing.

@lelak : @aDB: Can you derive it from CFA incident reports?

@WillHughes : @aDB If you know anyone at Telstra, they should be able to dig it up from the Red Zone info that the workforce managers use.

Also on FaceBook I was given a link to an SBS page :,-town-by-town

So is there a better way? Surely we could manage a listing of postcodes to avoid or give special treatment to, according to the business you are in. Perhaps Australia Post have something?

Well, kinda. Mail deliveries to bushfire areas does list areas having trouble with mail. There are descriptions of the ways Australia Post will be helping manage mail in those areas. What about a postcode list for direct marketers?

Community to the rescue! Shortly after all this I discovered an eBay Australia forum that was keeping track of the postcodes. Of course! eBay sellers and buyers who have one or other party of a transaction in these areas are likely to have slow communication for a while.

So that is where we are up to. I urge all of you who have databases with postcodes listed take the time to flag the affected codes, at least for a week or two, and make this flag known to your business people. At least we can avoid hassling customers for non-contact or selling them stuff they don’t need in this terrible time.

As of this writing, that eBay list shows the following areas in trouble:

3099 Arthurs Creek, Strathewen
3315 Coleraine
3400 Horsham
3444 Redesdale
3550 Bendigo/Long Gully
3551 Maiden Gully
3556 Eaglehawk/California Gully
3658 Strath Creek/Hazeldene/Reedy Creek
3691 Dederang
3711 Buxton
3712 Rubicon
3713 Eildon
3714 Alexandra/Taggerty
3717 Yea/Flowerdale/Glenburn/Murrindindi
3719 Yarck
3737 Mudgegonga
3747 Beechworth/Stanley
3749 Bruarong
3751 Woodstock
3757 Whittlesea/Humevale/Kinglake Central/Kinglake West
3758 Wandong
3761 St Andrews
3763 Kinglake
3764 Kilmore, Kilmore East
3775 Yarra Glen/Steels Creek
3777 Healesville/Toolangi
3778 Narbethong
3779 Marysville
3783 Gembrook
3804 Narre Warren
3814 Garfield North
3815 Bunyip
3815 Tonimbuk
3816 Labertouche
3818 Drouin West/Jindivick
3832 Neerim Junction
3833 Noojee
3840 Hazelwood/Jeeralang
3841 Morwell/Gippsland Mail Centre
3842 Churchhill
3844 Traralgon/Traralgon Sough/Callignee/Koornalla
3862 Dargo
3870 Boolarra
3874 Woodside
3895 rural delivery area
3971 Alberton/Alberton West/Balook/Calrossie/Devon North/Gelliondale/Hiawatha/Hunterston/Jack River/Langsborough/Macks Creek/Madalya/Manns Beach/Port Albert/Robertsons Beach/Staceys Bridge/Tarra Valley/Tarraville/Won Wron/Yarram

New site : Tenant Check

August 11, 2008

So I’ve been following along in the Thirty Day Challenge (which is to set up a new business and earn a dollar in 30 days.) My research led to the following niche which looks good – some business happening there and some, not insurmountable, competition.

So I present to you :

Total Tenant Check

No doubt you’ve all heard of having a tenant credit check, but did you know that is just the beginning of the process? Total Tenant Check is all about giving you a wealth of information empowering you to make the best decisions while letting your precious investment properties. But what are the things you need to ask and where do you look for confirmation of good behavior in the applicants previous tenant age?

Now this is someone we can take advice from

August 6, 2008

Warren Buffett, the world’s best investor shares his secrets for living a happy life.

After all, we all want to live a happy life, don’t we? Clearly there’s an enormous focus on materialism around us … something that I struggle with on a daily basis. These words are most though provoking indeed.

Success Soul » Warren Buffett’s 7 Secrets for Living a Happy and Simple Life

The myth of working hard to make more money to buy more things throws us in the vicious circle of hallucination. Our happiness always remains imprisoned when we do work that we abhor yet justify doing it to pay bills for those things that we don’t need.

The Evil Cult of the Internet Start-up

May 21, 2008

I’ve seen this thinking up close a couple of times. It is serious. It must be producing very un-balanced people. It could be one of the major problems of the ‘West’ today.

In one business where I was (very briefly) the IT Mgr, the CEO described business as a “kill or be killed” environment. Luckily I didn’t have to leave, they shafted me and the agency I was placed from at the end of the trial period.

The following is a must-read essay that is going to be a very challenging read if you describe yourself as a ‘workaholic’ …

Stilgherrian · Jason Calacanis and the Evil Cult of the Internet Start-up

I strongly believe this to be a dangerous, toxic, anti-human attitude and it’s infecting others. It must be fought vigorously and with passion.

Calacanis and his defenders reckon that workaholic exploitation is the only way to “change the world”. It’s not.

One of the mavericks of economics

February 26, 2008

Frederick Soddy, scientist on the early 20th Century, was an economic maverick. I love mavericks – right now this has to go down as a to-do item of mine … what I’ve read so far is very intriguing. Take this quote as an example :

The Doctrine of Virtual Wealth

After separating, therefore, wealth from debt, the next step in solving the ‘economic paradox’ of poverty in a world rich enough to satisfy mankind’s basic wants with ease, is to survey the process by which wealth comes into being.

Starting with a scientist’s view of the process of production, Soddy replaces the traditional ‘factors of production’ of Adam Smith (Land, Labour and Capital), with an alternative three: Discovery, Natural Energy and Human Diligence.

Been Working! (with WordPress and others)

March 7, 2007

Haven’t been posting here much over the past few days because I’ve been head down over at Fantastic, mostly behind the scenes stuff. Getting WordPress upgraded a couple of times, finding good extensions to use so that when I offer blogging to clients I can recommend some good extensions, themes and plugins to start them off.

Also I have finally switched on the website for our scouting group – is the new site. The site is running a CMS called CMScout, which is developed specifically for scouting groups. At some point I’ll get a chance to localise the templates to make a Sea Scouts and/or Australian Scouting template.

Hypnomarketing … are they serious?

March 1, 2007

Hypnomarketing – I almost hate to link to them! The whole idea is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

Now I’m sure they would say that they’re up front with everything – and that is basically true. Most people will be happy to see a free show with free drinks and giveaways, all the while thinking ‘but they won’t be able to change my mind…’

That’s where hypnotherapy gets interesting. It does work – and by turning up you are giving permission for them to hypnotise you to love the brand that is being spruiked. All the while thinking ‘won’t work on me…’

Hopefully the Frazzled Mum will have something to say on the subject. [Update: here’s the post]