“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 http://tinyurl.com/5ufhvf & 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.

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.

When the market tanks … will you try to catch the falling knife?

March 12, 2008

So the markets tanked again yesterday, in today’s trading they are more than making it up again. Once again I ask myself “Should I have bought yesterday?” Hindsight is the easy way to invest, sadly it is not going to tell me what to do now. So I go to a market commentator whose writings have given me reason to value his opinion.

Barry Ritholtz from the must read blog The Big Picture writes an Apprentice Investor column in The Street. Barry is also CEO and director of equity research of Fusion IQ, a quantitative research firm.

TheStreet.com : Don’t Just Do Something. Sit There! | Investing | AMZN

One of the questions we get each correction is whether or not traders/investors should try to pick market bottoms. The background music is an orchestra of bottom callers, the vast majority of who are, shall we say, premature. Eventually someone gets it right, but I never have been convinced it wasn’t a function of random luck.

For the vast majority of Wall Street participants, however, this guessing game tends to be rather expensive.
From a risk/reward standpoint, there are much higher-probability
trades/investments to make, with lower risk. This balance leads to
better overall returns.

Getting started with bank accounts for kids

February 26, 2008

A few days ago I posted the first ‘real’ article on our newest web project, Bank Accounts for Children. Here is an exerpt :

Get Started Now – Make a difference

Simply put, you are looking for high interest paying, zero fees accounts for your children. Kids start with little enough money as it is, we want to rule out any fees at this stage! It is unlikely you’ll find high interest in a child’s transaction account, so we’ll find two accounts to do the job […]

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.

ASX Market Crash January 2008

January 22, 2008
All Ords Longterm Trends in 2008
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Today the Australian markets have had a serious downturn, will this be known as the crash of 2008 or just the start of the crash of 2008? Take a look at the graph and see what you think … the All Ords closed today at 5222.

Mark Pesce asked on Twitter today about a longterm trendline for the ASX, not having one to hand I thought I’d give Skitch a workout and make my own. Too easy!

Then I got interested – going on rough trendlines since 1985 our market could drop another 1,000 points and still be inside the trendlines!

I would prefer to go back further than 1985, and also to see the graphs of PE ratios inflation adjusted that Robert Shiller published in his book Irrational Exuberance. That is a must read for anyone interested in financial markets, most especially when we have events like these.

Australian Share Information

December 31, 2007

where to find a fantastic share investment education and learning for the new and beginning value investor

This morning it occurred to me that new members joining the group will be at various different levels of knowledge and experience when it comes to investing in shares and engaging with the stock market. So to address this, I want to share with you the best Australian web site I have found for introducing new investors to learn about the share market.

I was going to comment on Brad’s new blog but the kinks don’t seem to be quite worked out yet, so here’s the reply I was going to leave :

Another resource you must read (IMHO) is the aus.invest FAQ. Yes, a newsgroup. The group itself is sporadically useful these days, but the most excellent FAQ by Travis is both informative reading in itself, as well as directing you to other resources including a fantastic book list.