Atari is a name that has been synonymous with electronic gaming since 1972. Last Friday I had the chance to chat to executive vice president Thom Kozik about the rise of social and casual games and what this means to both games developers and brands. That story should be appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald tomorrow, but if you want to hear from Thom in person he'll be speaking at a special industry forum organised by AIMIA in Sydney on Wednesday. For more information click here, or click here to book your place. He certainly had a lot to say ...
Few entrepreneurs achieve significant success. Even fewer manage to do so twice around. But Adrian Giles and Andrew Barlow are hoping to do exactly that with their latest venture, the listed company Webfirm Group. At the heart of Webfirm is Adslot, a technology that helps publishers sell their online advertising industry. Whether they can emulate the success they achieved when they sold their web measurement company Hitwise in 2007 for US$240 million remains to be seen, but they've just raised $7.5 million to ge them started. You can read about them in this article for the Sydney Morning Herald by clicking here.
August/September edition of Government Technology Review magazine carries a somewhat glum picture of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on the cover. It also carries my first feature article for the magazine on government archiving and record keeping. Thanks to the massive proliferation of data within corporate systems and the desire for government agencies to expose more services online, life for government records keepers is a lot more interesting than you might think ... You can check it out by clicking here.
No physicist will ever tell you that the chance of something occuring is zero. There may be a greater chance of them eating the moon with a plastic fork, but the odds are never zero.
Hence when physists working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland were asked about the chances of their device creating mini-black holes that would destroy the earth (and possibly the universe), the answer can never be zero. It is just very, very, very, very unlikely.
Hence this kind of risk is pretty low on the agenda of Dr Steve Myers, the head of accelerators and technology at CERN. Dr Myers is much more worried about the risks involved in managing a US$9 billion device that is essentially a massive prototype - CERN will never build another one quite like it - and that has already proven to be prone to very expensive problems.
In this, my first article for CPA Australia's InTheBlack magazine, I spoke to Dr Myers about the risks involved in managing a project like the Large Hadron Collider, and the lessons that can be taken away by anyone involved in risk management.
You can't ever 'create' a viral marketing campaign. All you can do is create a great idea and hope that it goes viral. Many of the most successful viral distributions have occured with almost no planned thought on behalf of their instigators, such as the Clare Werbeloff 'chk chk boom' clip. In other cases, it has just been blind luck, such as this clip from The Amazing Race of a woman taking a watermelon in the face at high speed (although just how many YouTube watchers would have connected it to the show is debatable).
Getting an idea to go viral generally means starting with a truly great idea. Indeed, a lot of the campaigns that are intended for viral distribution are the product of a limited distribution budget and minimal planning.
In this article for SmartCompany I look at one example in detail, the animated short series Beached Az, and spoke to a few folk in the marketing industry about what makes a campaign more likely to go viral.
Despite Australia's poor showing at this year's FIFA World Cup, one group of Australians came out winners.Sydney-based start-up Sportstec's tools for video analysis were used by coaches of 10 of the competition teams to help them find a competitive advantage. For Sportstec, the World Cup was just the continuation of a great few years where it has found its way into the coaching box of some of the world's greatest sporting teams. You can read more about its success in this article for ZDNet Australia.
Last year I profiled the Australian-born start-up Liaise as it wowed the crowds at the DEMO Fall 09 conference and showcase in Silicon Valley (Aussie start-up Liaise wows Demo). Since then founders Sidney Minassian and Alon Novy have been toiling to take the software out of beta and into a commercial release.
Liaise's software uses natural language processing to scan email messages for potential action items. Hence an email to a colleague asking for a report to be filed by "next week" can be automatically translated into a work flow item when it is received. Liaise is now available for a free trial.
Liaise is typical of many start-ups that are trying to reintroduce productivity into the run-away time vacuum that email has become. Minassian says that keeping the software as easy to use as possible has been a key design criteria, as he acknowledges that its introduction into any business could easily be considered disruptive to the way that employees work - and hence would be quickly ignore. Liaise is currently on the lookout for professional services firms that already use email as a work-flow originator.
Compiling any list of blogs that ranks one group ahead of another is fraught with danger - there is no group out there likely to vent their misgivings as loudly as bloggers. Hence when it came to compiling this list of 25 of Australia's best business blogs for SmartCompany, I turned to the the people who count for suggestions - the crowd.
Many, many blogs were considered, but the list compiled is those that rose to the top when it came to comments and suggestions.
There are plenty of others that could have been there too, and I have listed some of these below. And if you don't agree with any of the suggestions, please let me know ...
Some that could have made the cut but missed out this year:
Aide-Memoire http://katecarruthers.com/blog/: Long time blogger Kate Carruthers’ blog on social media, marketing and communications.
CP Communications http://www.cpcommunications.com.au/_blog/PR_and_Marketing One of Australia’s most comprehensive PR blogs written by Catriona Pollard, with extensive advice on public relations practice for small businesses.
Gateway Credit Union http://www.gatewaycu.com.au/blogs.aspx: one of Australia’s few business blogs, Gateway Credit Union CEO Paul Thomas blogs on financial issues relating to his customers.
Get Shouty http://katiechatfield.wordpress.com/: Katie Chatfield covers marketing and social media news from Australia and around the world.
Kogan http://www.kogan.com.au/blog/: Maverick consumer electronics retailer Ruslan Kogan's blog about business, gadgets and Gerry Harvey.
Servant of Chaos http://www.servantofchaos.com/: One of Australia’s most popular business blogs, by marketing and business strategist Gavin Heaton