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Website or app: what should start-ups build first?

I was recently interviewed for the Sydney Morning Herald on the topic of app building. As the title suggests, the theme was ‘Website or app: what should start-ups build first?” This is a question that many start-ups ask themselves, as apps are starting to become so popular that some start-ups start by building their apps, before they even have a website.

Weather this is the way to go depends on your business model and of course, as in most projects, it all comes down to the problem you are trying to solve. Will the website be a complement to your app or should the app be built to boost your website?

Location specific businesses will naturally benefit from focusing on building a great app and let the website be priority number two. But, regardless of what your focus is, every business will benefit from having a website.

You can read the full article here.

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Steve Jobs Passes Away

Apple’s former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56.

Apple has released a statement confirming Jobs’ death.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the statement said.

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

In August, Jobs resigned as Apple’s CEO with Tim Cook named as his successor.

On the website – Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

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In the Blink of an Eye

Today’s guest post blog is from Mark Toomey from Infonomics and author of Waltzing with the Elephant.
Mark Toomey is a specialist in Corporate Governance of IT and an Expert in ISO 38500 and related standards.

Some time around the middle of June, one or more malicious individuals breached the security controls of an Australian web-hosting provider known as Distribute.IT, gaining access to several servers which were used to run websites owned by Distribute.IT customers. These malicious individuals then ran programs that effectively destroyed the data storage facilities of four servers. For the uninitiated, this can be likened to exploding a bomb in a library, destroying all the library catalogues and shredding most of the books. Given that computers do their work very quickly, it should be no surprise that the damage was caused in a very short amount of time.
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AVS Networks has been nominated for the City of Sydney Business Awards 2011

AVS Networks has been nominated for the City of Sydney Business Awards 2011

The Sydney Business Awards is designed to embrace the wide range of businesses operating in Sydney, and AVS Networks has been nominated in the Information & Communication Technology category. The finalists’ selection is based on public votes, so if you want to support AVS Networks make sure you vote for us today!

You can vote online or by SMS

Vote Online – Go to and fill out the form, then click on VOTE.

Vote by SMS – Send the code “AVS” to the Business Awards hotline: 0447 447 070. Standard rates apply.

All voters enter a draw to win $1500 cash!

Thanks for your support.

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Ethical advertising challenge feedback

So how did you go on the challenge I posed in my last blog post?

The fact is that two of them were convicted for discriminating sexes.

The ad above for Boxer (above) was convicted on the grounds that he is posed as a sexobject which can be offending to men. The company used a humoristic approach in the ad but the ombudsman did not find it funny. So how can it be reasonable to have a law like that, you might ask? Are the underwear companies, for example just going to show their products on dolls in ads? Well as with most rules,  there are exceptions. You can show men or women in underwear/swim suits and the like IF it is related to your product! That is why Stadiums ad (below) did not get convicted.

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Advertising Ombudsman

internet advertisingMy name is Jenni Hagman and I will be a guest bloggers today on Nigels blog! :) I am from Sweden so I thought that I could share some marketing practices from my country. Today’s post will be on the subject of ethical marketing, more specified: an ethical advertising ombudsman and pose a challenge for the readers on this topic!

An ombudsman is a “Government official appointed to investigate citizen’s complaint against government officials, large public and private corporations, and/or print media” ( The word ombudsman originally comes from Swedish and is actually one of the FEW words that have migrated from Swedish into English!

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Google: Introducing Chrome Operating System

Google showed of it’s new operating system (OS) yesterday. You may have heard about this on the news but you may be wondering what the big fuss is all about. It’s just another software launch right?

About Google
Google started out as a search engine company. They provided great search engine results to everyone. A high ranking in Google is great for business because it generates so much traffic.

Then Google started introducing other applications such as AdWords, AdSense, Google Apps, Maps, and a whole heap of other services. Essentially moving away from it’s core focus of search results.

Google Chrome Browser
The Chrome browser has re-ignited the browser wars yet again. Before Chrome, MS Internet Explorer had 69% of the market share and FireFox had 16%. Things have changed here. MS Internet Explorer now has 49%. FireFox has 29% and Chrome has grown to 12%.

News Corp – Loses 87% of Online Audience After Introducing Pay Wall in the UK

Earlier this year, I wrote about how newspapers and magazines were dying. They are suffering from lower readership and Rupert Murdoch wanted to introduce a ‘pay wall’. A pay wall is where users have to pay to read the news online. I do not think many people would want to pay to read the news when they have been getting it free for so many years.

The Times and the Sunday Times, owned by News Corp in the UK, have introduced a pay wall to read their newspaper online and through iPad Apps. It was far from successful.

The online audience for the Times and Sunday times has gone from 3 million unique visitors to about 200,000 paying subscribers. 100,000 of these subscribers are free accounts for customers who are already subscribed to the print version. About 105,000 are new paid users.

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Affiliate Marketing – Even My Mum Gets It – Do You?

Affiliate marketing is a term usually used within the Internet marketing community. Ask the average person what an affiliate marketing program is and they’ll give you a vague description of something. It might not even be an Internet related description!

Affiliate marketing usually means that you lead people to a particular website that is tracked with the use of the URL and cookies. For everyone that buys a product or service that you led to the website, you get a commission.

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Google TV – Is Your Website Optimised To Be Viewed On A TV

Users browsing the Internet with their TV seems like it might be the next big other other than mobile Internet. Google TV is now here and Microsoft will be coming out with their version soon. Apple is re-launching their AppleTV product.

TV Optimisation
But is your website optimised to be viewed on the TV? There are many sizes of TVs from large 10 foot screens to 32 inch screens. Users are not sitting half a metre from their TV. They are often sitting 3 or 4 metres away from the TV.

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Google Instant Results And How It Will Impact Your Search Engine Rankings – Your Questions Answered

Google Instant has now been rolled out in Australia. You may have noticed that search results start appearing as soon as you start typing. Each time you type another letter, the results are refreshed.

The biggest question in the world of search engine optimisation and website rankings is – How will this affect my search engine rankings and amount of traffic you receive?

Local Search Results Just Got Easier

Marissa Mayer, one of Google’s top executives was moved from Head of Products to Head of Location and Local Search. She has already started making changes with a great new improvement for local search results.

Previously, if you did a search for Pizza, you were assigned your location based on the information your ISP gave to Google. It was often inaccurate and it didn’t help the search results. I was located in Wollongong and a local Google search would often generate results for Sydney. Now that I am in Sydney, it would be a different part in Sydney.

The Social Network – The Movie

The Social Network is a movie about the creator of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg.

The movie has received mixed reviews in the US because the movie portrays Zuckerberg as someone who copied the idea. We all get ideas from somewhere but Zuckerberg created Facebook nad is now a multi-billionaire because of it.

“You don’t get 500 million friends without making some enemies”

Here’s the preview –

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Google Places: Mt Everest Gets Bad Reviews

Mt Everest is getting mixed reviews on Google Places at the moment. People are complaining about the lack of service, facilities and staff. Others enjoyed the views and will be back again next year with the family.

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Great day out if you are properly prepared.‎‎ I’ve read many poor reviews of this venue from people who seem to be surprised at the lack of facilities. All I can say is that if you are unprepared then you can expect to be disappointed. There are no food outlets at the summit and those along the route take advantage of their near monopoly by charging tourists exorbitant prices, so it’s worth remembering to pack a few sandwiches and a flask of coffee before setting out. It can get quite chilly in winter which makes warm drinks preferable to cold ones. Remember also to bring a sweater in case the weather worsens and maybe a waterproof jacket in the event that it rains. The weather can change quickly, so it’s worth packing an umbrella even if the morning is bright and sunny. This is not a beach and some walking can be expected, making the correct choice of footwear essential. A good pair of walking sandals will be adequate under most circumstances although to be on the safer side boat shoes or similar might be wiser. One ‎

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Most Visited Sites in Australia

Nielsen has just released their third quarter report for 2010 showing the list of websites that are most visited by Australians.

There is an estimated 14.6 million regular Internet users in Australia with 17.8 million having some kind of access to the Internet.

Chances are that you visit many of the websites owned by the list of companies below. I’ve been to all of them over the past month myself.

According to Nielsen, the organisations with the biggest reach are:

  1. Google 12.7m
  2. Microsoft 11.412m
  3. Facebook 9.063m
  4. Telstra 7.274m
  5. Yahoo! 6.909m
  6. News Corp 6.904m
  7. eBay 6.829m
  8. Australian Federal Government 6.479m
  9. Wikimedia Foundation 5.902m
  10. Fairfax Digital 5.769m
  • Domains Visited per Person 86
  • Web Page Views per Person 2312
  • Active Digital Media Universe 14,576,475
  • Current Digital Media Universe Estimate 17,750,750
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Yahoo Launches Advertising Solutions Portal

Do you advertise on Yahoo? Not as many people advertise on Yahoo and Bing which means cheaper rates for traffic compared to the sometimes over-competitive Google Adwords.

Yahoo Search attracts a different kind of traffic audience as well. Just like Bing users are sometimes more beginner types because they use Internet Explorer and do not know how to change their search engine preferences in their browser. They are just happy to use any search engine that is conveniently located in the browser.

Google New: Read About Anything New at Google at One Place

Google has many products, not just search. This includes News, YouTube, Maps, Checkout, Chrome, Earth, Gmail, Picasa, Talk, Blogger, Gears, Buzz, Docs, iGoogle, Orkut, Wave, Latitude, Goggles, AdWords, AdSense  and the list goes on. Check out the full list here –

There are about 100 blogs that Google uses to keep everyone up-to-date with all the different products. I subscribe to about 20 of them! But no one place to go to get everything new so Google created Google New.

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Introducing Internet Explorer 9, the new Bing (Microsoft search engine) powered by HTML5

Internet Explorer 9 was launched by Microsoft last week and this week, Microsoft has launched the new version of Bing, the decision engine powered by HTML5.

You may not know this but nearly every website uses HTML version 4. The next generation of HTML, known as HTML5 is incredibly powerful. It gives developers a lot more flexibility in creating user friendly websites.

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Search Engine Comedy

There really isn’t much funny stuff that goes on in search engines. It’s all about the numbers, ranking, results, money, return on investment etc.

It does get repetitive – believe me I should know!

That’s why I would like to share with you this video from the Comedy Channels’ The Colbert Report. It features a funny interview with Google’s CEO – Eric Schmidt.

12 Must Read Blogs For Any Serious Marketing Professional

Every professional needs to stay up-to-date with the latest news.

That is why I have composed a list of the 12 must read blogs for any serious marketing professional (excluding my own) –

  1. Advertising –
  2. Branding –
  3. Blogging –

Foursquare 2.0 for the iPhone Has Arrived

Foursquare is probably something you may never have heard of. In Australia, it is relatively unknown. Only early adopters are currently using it but it’s usage is rising.

Foursquare allows you to check in to places and businesses, leave comments, make suggestions to friends – very similar to Facebook Places.

I believe Foursquare will be a very big thing in Australia within the next 12 months. It’s taking the US by storm. It has grown from 50,000 to 2.5 million within a year.

Facebook Places coming to Australia within weeks

What is Facebook Places?
Facebook Places brings location-based functionality to Facebook.

It allows you to easily share where you are, what you’re doing and the friends you’re with right from your mobile.

You can see who is in your area and catch up with your friends. You will never miss an opportunity to meet a friend when you were so close to them.

Introducing Google Instant Search

Google has done it again! Caffeine made the indexing of web pages a much quicker affair. New results are entered in the grand database very quickly how, often within hours instead of days and weeks.

Google’s new innovation is Instant Results. As you type your search query, the results are display. This means faster, quicker searching for everyone.

Here is a video from Google explaining it in a very easy to understand way –

Top 10 Ranking Factors for Local Business Listings in Google Places

What is Google Places?
Local business listings is very important in Google. If you do a local search which includes a place, town, city or local service, Google will display the local business box. That’s how important Google thinks local search results are.

What determines your Google Places Rank?
Everyone is wondering what the ranking factors for local search engine optimisation. Do you stuff your Google Places page with as many keywords as possible or what?

Here are the top 10 factors that determine your Google Places ranking – From Least important to most important –

Keyword Research Tools: Google Trends: What is it? and Other Keyword Research Tools

Google TrendsWant to know what everyone else is searching for? Did you know that Google publishes the top search queries and it’s called Google Trends.

It is broken into two areas –

Hot Searches – This is a list of the fastest rising searches on Google – updated daily.

Hot Topics – This is a list of popular topics in the news, Twitter, FriendFeed and other messaging services. – updated hourly.

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Internet Marketing: What is Local Search Engine Optimisation? How Can it Help My Business?

local internet marketingWhat is Local SEO?
You may be wondering what exactly local seo is and how it can help your business. ‘Local Search Engine Optimisation’ is getting your business listed at the top of the search engine when local searches are performed.

A local search is defined as a search including a location, city, suburb, town, place, country or a local service.

10 Most Common Mistakes Advertisers Make With Google AdWords

Google Adwords is the sponsorship links that you see on any Google search. They appear above the organic search results and in the right column. They can also appear in the Google  content nextwork.

I have created hundreds of campaigns using Adwords and optimised campaigns for a lot of customers.

Many of the campaigns created by small business owners often have the same mistakes appearing time and time again.

I have complied this list of the 10 most common mistakes that advertisers make when creating and running their Google Adwords campaigns.

Book Review: Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Internet marketingThe subtitle says it all – “The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide” and the author, John Jantsch is not kidding.

Many business owners I talk to tell me they don’t have time to do any business planning or marketing just isn’t my thing.

The bad news is that no one is going to do your business planning and marketing without involving you so you may as well understand how it works.

Book Review: Get Found Now! Local Search Secrets Exposed by Richard Geasey and Shannon Evans

internet marketingThis is a wonderful introduction into the world of getting your business listed on the major search engines and business directories.

The book is from the US but the explanation of local search engine optimisation and Google Places information is great.

If you want a shortcut to the top of search engines, the local business listings in the major search engines may just help you.

If you do a local search, the major search engines may display a listing of local businesses.

Internet Marketing Rumour: Google to Introduce Newspass

Internet MarketingThere are currently rumours floating around the Internet that Google may introduce a payment system for paid content.

What is Newspass
Newspass will be a micropayments system for viewing premium content. This premium content listing in the search engine result pages will be indicated with a Newspass icon. When you click on the link, your Newspass account will have the cost deducted from it.

Web Design: What is an Alternative to Adobe Photoshop That is Free?

The answer is GIMP!

GIMP is a free graphics program which is comparable to Adobe Photoshop. GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

I am often asked what graphic programs are good to use for basic graphic design. GIMP is a pretty good candidate for this. It can even save files in Photoshop format.