Winning fans through facebook

The search giant Bing can now eyeball updates posted on “fan pages” – Facebook spaces popular as a branding tool. Bing’s attention looks set to raise the profile of fan pages, which are already making waves. Just ask new media fan James Plouf.


“Soon, people won’t be asking if you have a web page,” Plouf wrote in a May 2010 post. “They will be asking if you have a Facebook fan page. You laugh, but big brands are already dumping standalone web sites and moving over to just Facebook,” Plouf said, adding that Google should worry because Facebook is “unstoppable” and just getting started. Read more at the Age…

Gravitating to Gravatars

First came the avatar – typically a one-trick and makeshift badge of identity liable to be ditched like an outdated document dragged to the trash can. Now, tech wizards have conjured up a new kind of visual signature.

Meet the ‘gravatar’ (globally recognised avatar) – a personal imprint that automatically appears on gravatar-enabled sites when you post a comment.

Getting a gravatar is easy. For starters, hit the home page that features a multitude of surprisingly plain staring faces. Upload and crop your preferred mugshot or logo, then rate it. Read more at The Age…


August 3, 2009

What’s your favourite gadget?

This is the age of the gadget, and we all have a handful of them for work and for play. Some we use every day and others are sitting in a drawer somewhere, an impulse buy that never quite lived up to its hype, or that was obsolete before we got to grips with it.

They can be big: like a printer that also copies and scans, or a notebook computer – or small: like a bluetooth earpiece or any size in between.

We approached a pretty good cross-section of small businesspeople and asked them to name their favourite gadget.

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Inevitably, several upmarket tactile smart devices make the cut, but so too do geeky gizmos all about substance and getting things done – rather than cachet and contours.

Even, it turns out, a humble charger can inspire devotion. Read more…

Attack of the Androids: phone war hots up

The Androids are coming!

Research suggests that Australia is becoming a country of smart phone fanatics. Aussies deploy the devices in bed, on the loo, even when driving, according to Telstra, which says that, in the last year, smartphone use has soared.

No wonder. A smartphone’s sleek shape, tactile buttons and blinking lights positively invite compulsive use. The question is which, if either, leading smartphone in a constantly escalating high-tech race deserves your dollar. Read more…


March 11, 2011

Tapping the power of service aggregators

Physical phone directories of a certain sunny colour are often demoted to doorstops. For the clued-up consumer in search of a service, it is much more convenient to click links than physically flip a reference bible’s paper pages.

The virtual version of the directories,, addresses the itch for quick-fix business information, supposedly luring 2.5 million unique visitors each month. TrueLocal performs a similar function. But you might win more work if you drop directories and court clients through an alternative conduit with an interactive tilt. Consider the charms of the service aggregator.

Despite the clunky name, this alternative marketing tool can be powerful. Think of it as a client capture magnet or matchmaking machine, which spits out job leads to listed businesses via SMS or email. Read more at The Age…


November 30, 2009

Halloween brings out the online nasties

Like a ghoul in a ski mask, “’scareware” is scary. Of all online nasties, scareware – programs posing as legitimate anti-virus software – poses the highest threat, thanks to its uncanny cunning.

Scareware lurks embedded in “seed pages” laced with seductively topical keywords. The hot word now is Halloween, according to the Chief Research Officer for the security firm AVG, Roger Thompson.

Over the last  week , many Halloween-linked scareware cases have emerged, Thompson blogs, adding that people often ask him: “I don’t visit porn pages – I’m pretty safe, aren’t I?” ’ Read more at The Age…


October 30, 2009

The need for speed

However spiffy that your company is in your view, remember: you only have seconds to grab and engage the visitor who lands on your website.

To ensure that your website rolls up with silky speed, you must maximise its performance.

Do not forget that some people are still shackled to dial-up connections. Or they may have cheap broadband that limps along like an ancient, dust-choked ute.

Rural areas in particular still count on slow connections. As a result, if your site is a slouch, rural visitors will flit to your rival’s in the time that it takes to say “clickstream”. Read more at The Age…


October 1, 2009