Monday, December 23, 2013

SnapChat for Pleasure & Business

What are you talking about? Snap to it...

For the uninitiated SnapChat is an App for your smart phone, officially described as a visual messaging app. It uses video and/or photo accompanied with text that can be sent to a select group of recipients. The best way to think about it is as a visual text message.

However it is the temporary nature of the images that last only for 10 seconds that is the most original function of the application service.

Snapchat logo.png
 Snapchat logo.png*TM

It is very popular among teenagers and twenty somethings that reportedly love the anonymous nature of the communications. Messages abound about it's use in so called 'sexting', where body parts are filmed or photoed and sent to a 'friend' for a peek before disappearing. Some will find this disturbing, others liberating, depending on your age and motivations.

Naturally much speculation has been made about it's use in criminal activity such as threatening behaviour or stake outs of houses or objects. The apparent attractiveness being that there is no evidence of the images left to incriminate anyone.

Can it be used in business of some sort?

We've discovered that SnapChat has the ability to send these images messages to groups and this has been used by some innovative organisations to convey advertising messages or information messages.

If you're looking to differentiate yourself from the mob of social media promotions and wish to target switched on smart phone users then SnapChat is the business.

*TradeMark of SnapChat inc

Monday, December 9, 2013

Elephants and strippers love bitcoin

The internet has always been an elephant in most board rooms. It's big, popular, sometimes ugly and very energetic. The internet elephant uses more bandwidth than all the financial sector put together. Grows faster than a gold mine and adopts radically new business forms every few years. Though one nut the internet has found hard to crack is a simple universal micro payment method. Until now. The digital economy may just about to become turbo-charged.

A relatively new way we can feed jumbo is with a virtual currency and early indications show it's working a treat.

As is so often the case online, look to the online sex industry for an answer to a challenge.
Interestingly the digital porn industry has been suffering from it's own popularity. There are more terabytes dedicated to erotica that anything else. More importantly once a photo or film is taken it's replicated easily by hundreds of others who increasingly dilute the market and drive down the value of a "popular body of work". So much so that most 'bodies of work' are now free. The only commodity left is 'live' shows. These are strip shows where the viewers can login after paying, then 'chat' with the performer, who can choose to interact or ignore the heated banter. How though does the performer get paid?

Enter the challenge of quick, fast and relatively anonymous online micro payments.
Bitcoin and it's sister virtual currencies have recently gained a foothold, fast becoming seriously popular and useful. In the case of live shows it makes good sense to quickly transfer an entry fee to the performer and watch for a fixed time. This is happening too in the live online gaming space with platforms like Twitch.TV broadcasting live games to interested viewers around the world.

It's relatively easy to set up a Bitcoin wallet, there are several providers out there - once you've set that up you have a unique address to send payments to and of course ways to send requests to a bitcoin currency exchange to cash them out in 'real money'.

With the US reserve accepting that Bitcoin is now a semi-legitimate currency isn't time to feed the elephant with virtual 'nuts'. Weird, perhaps but it's happening and growing in popularity.

The author makes no apologises for using such huge, nutty metaphors about elephants. Instead he strongly suggests a small online payment to:

Images are used under a Creative Commons licence via from their respective owners. Click on images to view sources.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Teamwork Travel

Travelling in a team can be a bit of lottery with the best of company at the best of times. Many of us will remember fateful school tours to a monument of some significance. Though the memories are often more aligned with the super silly antics of one or two of your fellow students.
Others remember trips with groups of colleagues on business conferences in far flung towns. Chances are the dramas involved leaving people in bus stations or airports, of lost visas or rapidly changing timetables. Where is Jenny !

Though these days you're more likely to be sitting at a free internet kiosk checking in of your FB status. In the mean time your group has taken the mini-bus to the conference centre in the middle of said foreign town.

This is where a little bit of experience in the form of team management software and methods can make a team trip memorable for the impeccable organisation and e'spirit . We've tried all sort of solutions over the years. Mixtures of email, SMS, document vaults and other free SM solutions. Though keeping it all simple was a challenge. Until we came across a tool originally designed for sporting and construction teams. it works on every platform and is easy to include people and assign delegations. It uses the vTeam engine and comes in many flavours.

vTeam software is used by 10s of 1000s of people in all walks of life to keep the groups ticking over on time and on song. Closed and private there's room for documents, videos, links and event calendaring and with the handy teamSMS you'll seldom be out of touch. vTeam takes the lottery out of organising team travel.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lorde: A Weather Vane for Social Media Culture

A 16 year old New Zealander, Lorde has shot to unprecedented popularity in the global music race recently, topping the US & UK charts. She's a phenomenon that may be a much broader weather vane, signalling a wind of change in the online world. Challenging one of the founding tenements of the current pack of social media platforms; love of self. If so, teenagers like Lorde will again lead change as in the 50s & 60s.

There is evidence in Lorde's poetic song texts that indeed she may be heralding a major shift in our explosive interest in self focussed social media. If the popularity of of her online downloads and messaging is anything to go by this young woman may have pointed out one of those great shifts in online behaviour. One towards a desire for a more constructive, collaborative online reality.

Image of Lorde
Lorde. A weather vane? Pic by Thatboyrion

Lorde, AKA Ella Yelich-O'Connor is a particularly astute representative of her generation, in her own words she's no white teeth teen. A lover of poetry thanks to her mother and of music thanks to her father seems to have provided the ideal environment for a positive artistic questioning of the popular paradigm.

Her first & incredibly popular album named the double entendre 'Pure Heroine' is laced with strong subtexts that the(her) digitally native generation is tiring of looking at glam bang social media posts & ads.
Forbes magazine journalist Liv Buli (@lbuli), a specialist in online data analysis of the music industry published a revealing insight into Lorde's popularity last month in @Forbes. In it she cites an explosive weekly download from Sound Cloud of 825,000 for one song on the album Royals. A song with a strong generational critique of contemporary glamour culture with words like ".. That love just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz" and "My friends and I have cracked the code". There seems to be an emerging commitment to working together for something more real, more satisfying in her texts.

Maybe her prophetic words "We're on each other's team" is a deeper cry for people to work together collaboratively rather than endlessly shout and brag to each other through contemporary social media sites.

Whether her honest observational song lines are game changing influences like Bill Haley's '54 recording of Rock Around the Clock is a matter for the future, Lorde's early popularity suggests she may very well be. It is possible that in being supercharged by today's internet world, her change could be more influential and spread more quickly than in the 50s & 60s.

The internet with it's ability to connect people together certainly can spread cultural change quicker than at other times in history. The internet constantly seems to surprise us. Who would have imagined a FaceBook or a YouTube being a billion people strong in such a short time. Or that Social Media would be a part of national revolutions. Though pretending that the online world will always look the way it does at the moment is foolhardy at best.
Lorde's "I'm kinda over being told to throw my hands up in the air" and "all my fake friends and all of their noise" or "Maybe the internet raised us" taps into a feeling for change in the way teenagers perceive things. Perhaps in much the way teenagers of the 60s used the music of their age to change the prevailing culture.

If the seeds of change are germinating online we should not expect to predict it with specifics. Instead we should be ready for the change by reading the shifting winds, expecting to find the signs in unusual places. Perhaps in the musical poetry from teenagers is a place to keep an eye on.

I'm not sure of the exactness of the sort of changes that will happen, yet there's a sense of a new examination of reality and how the internet can help better reflect that. It's early days, though research & development that OI's been conducting point to a desire emerging of a more collaborative context. A context that creates a more satisfying online reality. Granted a new reality may seem impossibly small as I write. The all consuming strength of FaceBook, YouTube & Twitter are pervasive.

To paraphrase Lorde's song Still Sane "I maybe little but I'm coming for the crowd". That crowd may very well be turning toward a renewed online reality as her songs suggest. If that is the case we've all got a lot to look forward to from her generation and the online tools that they will use.

In the mean time download and/or listen to Pure Heroine

Dave Abrahams
@digitdave - @OrganiseInt


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Data download heading skyward

You'd think that we'd had enough of downloading data, it seems that we've just started...

Freshly analysed data by OI from the Australian Bureau Of Statistics has found that in the 6 months from December 2012 to June 2013 Australia's data consumption rose  18%, making the annual data download growth rate over 30%.
"This is a staggering rate of growth that everyone in business should take note of" says Dave Abrahams, Principal Consultant at Organise Internet. "To put this in perspective if you had 30% more people walking through your business premises in the last 12 months you'd probably start rejoicing and investing in ways to meet the demand" .
With the debate still raging about broadband infrastructure investments this incredible dataset may help guide the background assumptions.It seems growth in this sector of the economy has only just started to be realised.

Media commentary can be organised by contacting via twitter @OrganiseInt or by contacting directly via their website.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Search Gravity rules revealed

Search Gravity

When Isaac Newton founded his ideas about gravity under the apple tree little did he know that in the new cyber world the same rules would apply.

While 'gravity' may seem a strange way of approaching the impact of your online assets. It's one of those concepts that makes more sense the more you work with it.

OI Organise Internet's successful search methodology is focussed around the realities and rules of online gravity. "We've been developing this methodology for 10 years now and it works. The methodology helps us keep ahead in the often shady world of SEO" Says Dave Abrahams, Principal Consultant of OI Organise Internet an specialist Australian search innovation firm.
Clearly the firm isn't going to reveal it's latest innovations it is keen to spread the word about their  research & development.

The first rule of Search Gravity is about QUALITY. 

We make clear to all our clients that when they are building assets in cyber space they need to be quality assets, everything from websites, Social media, videos, blogs needs to be good quality. Using dodgy tricks to attract hits, likes etc simply ruins your online reputation and effectively acts like anti-matter. Likewise poor marketing efforts degrade your organisation, poor grammar and oversized images have negative effects too. Quality is the magic formula of the building gravity in cyber space. Quality differentiates you from the space junk and white noise out there online.

The second rule of Search Gravity is about creating MASS.

To use an obvious pun "It's not rocket science" to create online or cyber mass. It is however difficult to achieve in any organisation. Competing agendas and diverse responsibility chains make the task a challenge. You really need to establish common links and reference rules .This will sew together an organisation's assets and not tear them apart. For example when the Marketing department launch a new Social Media campaign they may be inadvertently diluting your online mass by creating parallel offerings. "We see this a lot in our business" says Abrahams "Many campaigns have different names and syntax to the original product or service. The names may seem cool but they play into the hands of competitors who can take over a top search ranking".

Rule three of Search Gravity™ is about Attraction & Acquisition

Just like any aspiring planet you need to attract mass to get bigger. In the cyber world this can be facilitated by partnering with organisations that not only link to your offerings; blogs, product specials or campaigns but also apply the quality and mass rules that you've created previously.
"We often negotiate on behalf of clients with third parties for positive cyber partnerships. Naturally it's up to the clients to sign off on the partnerships but more often than not this works out to be mutually beneficial" says Dave "In some cases we've even started partnerships that lead to mergers or buy outs"

These are OI's three rules of creating Search Gravity™. Sure they are not the sort of thing that NASA will be adopting anytime soon but gee they are an easy way to conceptualise, organise and report to clients. We're developing new tools and techniques all the time that use these metrics and methodologies. Feel free to talk to us about advanced ideas or campaigns.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stop Complex - Simple Cloud productivity

Administration and compliance getting you tied up? Most modern people would answer yes to this and if they were involved in doing business they would most likely scream YES YES!

Recording what you do and why you're doing it has become an unfortunate default model for a modern world. Just noting down your car trips can become a major drag on your energy and potentially on your productivity. And to what end does all this recording and data collection do? A good question indeed, something we won't go into here, but to say that it can be good to have if and when things get sticky.
Most of us could indeed do a lot more with less reporting though the reality is we're going to have to change that over time.

One classic and true formula is to take a hit stick to your administration with the use of some high tech. Map out your necessary compliance and admin tasks and get creative about collecting the data, archiving it and creating reports. Once you've done this you'll feel a little more comfortable about organising the data into flows.

Now's the time to visit a complex solutions expert like Organise Internet . We'll use your map to suggest brave new ways to collect your data, archive it, process it and report on it. Typically we can halve administration time and therefore deliver significant productivity dividends. 

Apprenticeships at school

One major client in the training and education field has drastically reduced the amount of time used to organise and report on apprenticeships and traineeships in the state of NSW in Australia. The system has also improved the quality of reporting and compliance for this important sector of the state's skilled education training system helping increase the retention of young people in trade training contracts.

Solutions cloud

"The job of organising an apprenticeship for a young person while still at school is difficult, it involves parents, employers, schools and trade training institutions not to forget the apprentice themselves. The legalities and duty of care is significant and the 'paperwork' is a small nightmare. The sbatjobs system has vastly streamlined the process and improved the reporting. In fact most of the paperwork is done by the system" says Danis senior web engineers  at Organise Internet.

The processing system behind the scene has made the once complex task of organising and reporting on the progress of a apprentice or trainee a straight forward and well reported task.

This example is a classic solution of Complex to Simple , something that classic well designed and managed cloud solutions can help solve.

Make contact with us to steer you in the right direction...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Follow the Money: making money online is more than being 'liked'

"Follow the money"! Have you heard the catchphrase?
It was popularised in the film All the Presidents Men back in the 70's as commentary to the Watergate corruption scandal of the same decade.
We can use the same method to easily assess the success or otherwise of any online investment. It's a little brutal, however ultimately, any website, social media presence or app development will be measured by this blunt yardstick. "Money talks BS walks" to coin another catchphrase. Having a profile online and being 'liked' is only a start.

Though we understand that most businesses get online just to profile themselves, perhaps to list a few products and services and have their address and phone number published... just 'to be there' as it were. Yet in a maturing online space this is really not enough.  In other words your investment needs to yield some return. 

We read of super geeks making millions and home bound parents managing huge online stores turning over millions. We read too of bloggers replacing newspapers and teenagers selling their gaming accounts for more than their parents earn all year. A grain of salt should be applied to the most extreme stories. People do however make good money online. We have clients that have gone from zero to hero in 6 -12 months.

How? Connect your bank account!

So how on earth can "I" make money online, I hear you cry.  The short answer is that you need to connect your website, social media presence, app, video etc. to your bank account. It really is as straight forward as that. Not simple, but straight forward.
In our experience you need to make a plan and then work it.
It's worth talking to people that can help you professionally in this space, people that have done it before and know the not inconsiderable trapdoors. Find someone that you can trust to work up a plan and then give them the job of assembling the team and services that are required, in other words appoint a team leader. Don't fall into the trap of having different people do bits of the job for you and expecting them to work together seamlessly. They rarely will.

Most importantly you'll need to give yourself a budget for the project and empower your team leader to deliver on time and within budget for the investment. With the right team and approach you'll be able to follow the money into your business bank account without the fuss of a WaterGate :).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is your CMS a hand brake?

Using a content management system of CMS to manage you organisation's web information is a no brainer, yet are yesterday's CMS really keeping up with your demands?
Content management is such an amorphous term these days, as is the case with so many tech terms CMS has become an anagram with it's own life. The CMS has joined such capitalised giants like OS , SMS, FTP & PC. The CMS used to do what it stood for, 'managing content', simple, easy to understand and a great step forward from direct coding of html. The CMS used to be a small miracle too, in that it opened up the editing of online content to an army of new players to use and publish. Content expanded massively as a result, as witnessed by blogs and wikis. Content production exploded! Indeed it could be argued that today's social media systems are simply great big CMS with some pepper and spice thrown in. Revealing the publisher's long held secret that people love news and  people love an audience, even if it's their own 'virtual' audience.
These days you can sign up and grab a free CMS from a myriad of open source or commercial sources. Weird and wonderful names such as Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Liferay and Moodle have established footholds in their geography of the internet. WikiPedia, itself a BIG CMS lists dozens of CMSs. WordPress indeed has become de rigour on the web as a open source industry in it's own right. With the ever promising 'template' producers selling a million look and feels (strangely never quiet what we're looking for).

Though as we've discovered over the years a CMS is only a starting point to an online strategy it's not an end point!

From humble CMS to Super CMS

A CMS can be also be a full business process re-engineering tool. It can be the basis for everything from customer feedback and reporting to an intranet style form replacement for tablet of mobile computing. More advanced functions that allow complex data flow or financial calculations can harness the use of cloud computing. Then a CMS can be used to closely integrate with your existing internal or external data systems.

Fast, Flexible Alternative to off the shelf

OI has been researching and developing it's CMS Syntara for 6 years as a alternative to off the shelf CMS packages. It's been built for extreme flexibility of use, enabling it to effectively become an innovation platform without the full expense of a pure coded application.

A team of developers and business analysts are constantly improving and developing Syntara through the latest technology research and feedback from the pool of trusted clients. What other system is improved on a weekly basis with upgrades and updates happening automatically? Features of Syntara include:
control: full add/ edit/ view/ delete control over all data records
usability: search, quick-find, backup and restore
integration: full import/ export capabilities, links into your existing website, can integrate into your current PC-based systems
website: full WYSIWYG editors, email, website and performance statistics, file upload and an image library
communications: integral email and SMS communications, post, scheduled communications, and complete transaction logs
administrative: reporting, concurrent users, multiple user permissions levels
calendar: with weekly and month activity views, transaction and activity logs, task and project scheduling
secure: firewall and IP restrictions, user passwords and definable access levels
invoicing: sending via email or post, scheduled and automated invoicing and payment reminders, recurring billing, and MYOB / Xero integration
Streaming video or video on demand integration
Full cross device interoperability - tablet, phone of specialist device.
Plus more… with much more to come.

If your CMS is not keeping up with your demands, it may be worth considering a transition to a secure, fast and flexible system such as Syntara.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Telework in small business - our experience

How can telework or flexible work practices work for small workplaces. Our business Oi: Organise Internet has now been trialling telework for a year. Gosh, we even stuck our necks out and became the subject of a national Telework promotion campaign. (have a look here at our overdone makeup if you're interested:

Three screens may help organise your home office
Multi Screen Telework

Yahoo and Google are great big employers, which ever way you look at it. They reportedly are not fans of staff teleworking any more, at least if recent media reports are to be believed. Apparently some of their managers want people back in the office. The reports cited a need to bump into each other and 'innovate' around the water coolers (does anyone actually have those any more?).
The reaction to those reports as met with amazement in that such a stand seemed counter to the 'work anywhere' discussions that are quite the rage in many workplace HR discussions.

So what was our reality?
Firstly, Google and Yahoo do have a point. Bumping into each other is important, innovating is important and casual encounters are important.
However we've discovered that these important encounters are not going to disappear anytime soon as we only allow telework one day a week. Plenty of time to innovate in the office. One thing I do know is that it does make us a more family friendly employer. For myself and the staff that is important.

There are upsides of being away from the office distractions too. Our Technical Manager, a disciplined mature family man is definitely a fan. He reports that he can focus on specific tasks without the "innovating interruptions " of the office of the daily distractions of driving in traffic.
It's worth noting that he has organised a quiet study at home and no one else is at home when he's working from there.

What we didn't see coming was the fun a games of being discussed even lampooned in the national media. We've attracted attention on ABC National Radio & TV and more interestingly on Channel 10's The Project last week.

Not so sexy - good for other reasons
Our small business telework experience is characterised as being all very organised and disciplined, not sexy and cool, as a Google office. There is real value all the same, particularly for families and I would think for reducing traffic jams.

In the work place it's added a new element in more flexible work practices. Work practices that can benefit both employer and employees in small business if structured correctly.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The year of online sales 2013

Make 2013 the year of online sales

Many people in the industry are calling this coming year the year of the mobile platform.  We tend to agree. Though we're looking to what that may mean for our business clients and potential partners.

It is our educated conviction that 2013 will be a year of opportunity for selling online.
Of course these trends are in fact opposite sides of the same coin; as the mobile platform grows we find people are browsing online stores more often than before.

Contact us at or  for information about moving your sales online. It can be a lot of fun!
Dave Abrahams, Principal Consultant
Organise Internet
Phone: 02 4325 1298
sales @

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