From the couch

December 18, 2008

Having recently become a member of the iPhone club I can now blog from the couch, or the bus, or even walking down the street.
Surely, you ask, this is nothing new?
Well yes you could do that from a laptop, but as the burgeoning netbook and iPhone markets clearly demonstrate there is a strong demand for ultra portable devices.
That I can manage a range of blogs from this iPhone is an amazing thing. Time will tell if it results in more blogging on my part.

“The Twitter Agency” Spontaneously Appears

October 2, 2008

Showing the power of hyper-connected people, a brand new social networking / media ad agency has spontaneously appeared in Australia this afternoon.

Calling itself “The Twitter Agency”, inside of two hours from the first idle mention of the idea on Twitter the blog was created. Fully twenty two people stepped forward to participate in helping businesses not suck on Twitter.

The Twitter Agency

Tagline for the agency? “How not to suck on Twitter”? “Making $30 million from 1 million Twitterers”?

How did this happen? Why did this happen?

The how is simple. Take a group of hyperconnected people, hand them the tools to publish and stand back. See Wikipedia for an example of that.

Why? A better question. Perhaps the main motivator was the entry of Australia’s largest telco, Telstra, to Twitter. With messages like this :

11:47am September 25, 2008 BigPond® would like 2 chat about the concerns U have. Click & a BigPond consultant will email U back.

There was immediate pushback from the community lambasting the automaton like style and appearance of the registered trademark symbol. Fortunately the BigPond support team have been listening and have already humanised their style.

So – here we are. Ready to help your business learn to communicate humanely with the people you do business with. For we are people. We are here. We can help.

Internet Gurus weigh in on what’s hot, what’s next

August 19, 2008

Lachlan was asked to be one of five ‘Internet Gurus’ to comment on what’s hot on the web for the SMH. Naturally Lachlan reached out of his blog to ask his friends what they thought – and the results are a wonderful read …

Internet Gurus – LachStock

1 What are the three things online that are exciting you most?
2 What gadget do you never leave home without? And given most everybody will say their phone or their laptop, why?
3 What will be the Next Big Thing?

Looking into the ‘Paperless Office’ – or, How to organise all your documents

July 24, 2008

This all started with an archive deleting session at my father’s business. Currently under Australian law most documents need be kept for around five years. Since he’s been in business for over 15 now, there’s an annual culling of old documents. Until now that has meant a couple of weeks of shredding documents in the quiet times in the business.

There just might be a better and cost effective way to do this. Enter (drumroll please) the Paperless Office!

Yes, IT people have been on about this for a very long time. In fact I remember this coming up when I was at Uni, which was longer ago than I care to remember 🙂

Without further ado, here are some of today’s tools of the paperless office trade.

EagleFiler: Collect, Organize, and Search Your Information – For Mac OS X

Organize, search, and archive mail, Web pages, PDFs, RTFs, and more.

Organize your life · ReceiptWallet · GGT Enterprises, LLC

ReceiptWallet is a Mac OS X program that allows you to scan in and manage your receipts and documents. When you scan in each receipt or document, you enter a few pieces of information about it and then you can quickly and easily locate your receipts and documents.

What is Evernote? | Evernote Corporation

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

Software to get my house organized – MacTalk Forums

I was wondering how others set themselves up to manage all their electronic/paper bills, council documents, contracts and agreements (ie. for utilities), even manuals for whitegoods or a new tele

Vox Pop: Workflow for the Fujitsu ScanSnap? | 43 Folders

I know at least a few of you are ScanSnap studs who have come up with workflows that are really happening for you (hint: looking at you for a blog post here, Mr. Norbauer). In the absence of a more detailed report from me, I’m hoping a few of you can chime in here.

So that’s a few references for you so far … any thoughts from you lot?

Wikis : For and Against (Wikipedia in particular)

March 27, 2008

Let’s begin with the FOR case, as presented by the ever engaging Mark Pesce :

the human network » Blog Archive » Why We Wiki

[…] creates a situation where the community is smarter as a whole (and as individuals) because of their interactions with the Wiki. In short, the community will be more effective in the pursuit of its obsession because of the Wiki, and this increase in effectiveness will make them more closely bound to the Wiki. This process feeds back on itself until the idea of the community without the Wiki becomes quite literally unthinkable. The Wiki is the “common mind” of the community; for this reason it will be contentious, but, more significantly, it will be vital, an electronic representation of the power of obsession, an embodied form of the community’s depth of expertise […]

Then we have the NAYs – leading off is Dave Winer :

What’s wrong with Wikipedia

[…] Wikipedia is therefore a puzzle to me. Because while it’s helpful, it also hurts me, because my biography there is more of a vendetta, by anonymous people, who seem self-centered and immature, but it’s impossible to tell what axes they have to grind, because they’re largely anonymous.

Same is true for various activities I’ve participated in. You may argue that I didn’t invent this or that, but surely I had something to do with RSS, blogging and podcasting? Yet depending on when you look, I’m often not mentioned on these pages. This makes it hard for me to claim my work in professional dealings because people consider Wikipedia authoritative. What it says is considered by many to be the truth […]

Followed up, briefly the next day in What’s wrong with Wikipedia, day 2

Anonymous people writing with supposed authority about living people. Too easily (and often) gamed

Finally a useful piece from ‘big media’ (The Guardian) highlighting some specific problems of late :

Wikipedia’s school for scandal has plenty more secrets to reveal

[…] To effectively understand Wikipedia, it’s important to keep in mind that while it’s hyped as a quasi-mystical collective endeavour which spins straw into gold, in reality it’s a poorly-run bureaucracy with the group dynamics of a cult […] ultimately, one lesson from all these scandals is yet more evidence that Wikipedia fits a familiar pattern of idealism being vulnerable to exploitation. I sometimes remind people that ideological communes tend to end badly, too often with a few manipulative leaders extensively profiting at the expense of a mass of followers who lose everything […]


OLPC Downunder! Soon!

March 27, 2008

This is fantastic news – the One Laptop Per Child project has supporters working on bringing the machines here. Of course we have had hackers working on *building* the project as well for some time – kudos to them!

OLPC Australia » About

OLPC Australia has been established to further the goals and aspirations of the One Laptop per Child initiative and those inherent in the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.Specifically, we will seek to directly address local, regional and international educational needs by fundraising, procuring, developing and distributing educational solutions from the One Laptop per Child initiative.

More links:

Farmer  gives low-cost laptop a proper field test

OLPC laptops set to hit Australia

BarCampSydney3 Date and venue set – 5/6 April 2008

March 10, 2008

Make a note of this on the back of your hand, post-it on your forehead or in whatever you use for your productivity system :

BarCampSydney » BarCampSydney – now 5 and 6 April

BarCamp is a must attend unconference – “an intense community event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees” where the motto is “No spectators, only participants” meaning “EVERYONE can participate – in whatever capacity […] helping organise rooms, sitting on a panel, moderating a discussion
or even helping with network issues […]  taking part in lively debates and discussions – whatever form they may take.”