Friday, January 13, 2006

Aussie Web 2.0 startups hit the MSM

On Wednesday, Nik Cubrilovic of online storage startup Omnidrive got his first taste of mainstream media (MSM) coverage, with AustralianIT reporting on his investor-seeking invasion of the Valley and ZDNet Australia adding a profile. It is excellent to see Nik getting recognition from local media, though they are trailing badly behind Mike Arrington's cheersquad routine for Omnidrive over at Techcrunch. With friends like that, Nik is in a great position to start talking serious turkey with SF VCs.

On Thursday it was Ben Barren's turn. Those of us in the local industry have been waiting with bated breath for what the prolific A-list blogger (A for Aussie) and his consiglieri Michael Leone would come up with, since Ben's hinting has been so interesting, if hard to parse. Finally, Renai LeMay of ZDNet wheedled some details out of him on the site.

It's called Gnoos, which puts me in mind of that old Muppet character Gary Gnu, whose tagline was: "No Gnoooooos is good gnoooooos... with Gary Gnu." I guess that name makes it a lock for Google to be the primary buyer. Gnoos will apparently be all RSS all the time, which certainly explains Ben's rosy attitude towards Dave Winer. Ben claims the launch will be in late February, which means at least mid-to-late March if Tinfinger's launch schedule is any guide.

Who will it be on Friday? Maybe me. I recorded an hour-long interview with Chris Tolles of on Tuesday for the NextStuff Now show he hosts on and it's on rotation there at the moment. I'm waiting for the downloadable mp3 to appear on the NextStuff Now archive page.

One very noticeable trend in all of those news stories: Australian venture capital for B2C companies is dead, dead, dead. Nik's not flying to the States for the weather, it's because funding is far easier to get over there. I'll blog about that in depth later.

I've been hanging out for some enterprising Aussie MSM journo to twig to Web 2.0, so it's great to see some coverage after multiple rounds of haranguement by myself and Phil Sim to the closed audience at Phil's local IT lizard site ITJourno. Renai LeMay of ZDNet seems to be out in front in the race to be the go-to guy for local Web 2.0 stories, since I think he was also the first to report on Remember The Milk and his name keeps popping up here and there in the comments of important blogs, something which Phil pointed out quite rightly on a recent ITJ piece is the sign of a keen student of the game. It won't be long before Renai's going to have to fight for stories though, and I wish him and all the other local journos luck in evangelising the role Australians will play in the coming Internet boom.


Blogger redbarren said...

Web 2.0 hits MSM Australia !!!

gnoos was my Mums response to the request for a 4 or 5 letter URL. She remembered (quote from wikipedia) "a song 'The Gnu' by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, in which all words starting with n have a g prepended: 'I'm a g-nu, I'm a g-nu, the g-nicest work of g-nature in the zoo.'"

And I wish I was kidding to say that there is research which says having g and double o in your name adds to potential success. Too many companies use highly functional names or expressions for their website that describes what their service does. I could call my service : or or,, but they're not great brand names. Just as google is named after googol, which "is the large number 10, that is, the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeroes." we wanted a brand name with meaning...

for us that was two fold - the south african wildebeest, and the free software movement GNU invented by Richard Stallman (we've built gnoos on open source technologies)

and then it depends whether the g is silent or not and if the url is available. com +, which is increasingly hard for a 5 letter URL. word of mouth and easy to type

we have to give the corporates something to read now most of them are back at work. everyone is suddenly emailing !!!

3:49 pm, January 13, 2006  

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