Australian entrepreneur with FanFooty (alive) and Tinfinger (dead) on his CV. Working on new projects, podcasting weekly at the Coaches Box, and trying not to let microblogging take over this blog.

Friday, June 23, 2006

2.0 - 2.0 = Soccer 2.0

I expected Zeljko Kalac at time to bust into a metal toothy grin a la Jaws, as he was the villain of the piece in Australia's World Cup game against Croatia. His howler to let through the second goal was the culmination of a terrible performance in goal, inexplicably brought in to replace our star goalie Mark Schwarzer. At 2-1 down, it was looking like soccer 1.0 would triumph. The old ethnic rivalries were showing, since Kalac is of Croatian descent and the SBS colour commentators Rale Rasic and Ned Zelic, both Croatian, were making some hella lame excuses for their boy and not screaming, as most Aussies were, about why the German-sourced Schwarzer wasn't on the pitch instead.

However the face of soccer 2.0, Harry Kewell, who while not possessing a thick Australian accent at least does not call anywhere other than Australia the mother country, was the hero with a late equaliser to put us through to the second round. For all the times Kewell had blown off the national team, this was the payoff. I feel sorry for Brett Emerton, though - he has rarely said no to Socceroo duties and earned 51 caps compared to Harry's 23, yet Emerton's late cards will disqualify him from playing in the Italy game. We'll miss his tireless work ethic.

I also won a bet on this game on a Web forum which I frequent: a crazy Surinamean called Karel Donk promised to stop posting links to 9/11 conspiracy videos for a whole week. Joker, suck it down! :P

Australia, Australia, Australia, you bewdy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

AdLogger, one to watch

The open source Google AdSense tracking script project AdLogger started by Travis Fitzgerald today made it to version 1.1, which is expected to be the first stable version. The AdLogger wiki is rather sparse, but the forums are active and the project is already getting glowing reviews on WebmasterWorld. Features include performance overviews (page views, unique visitors who clicked, CTR, visitor conversion rate), logs of click information (date/time, IPs, target URLs, channels), auto-banning users who spam clicks in an attempt to get you banned, and blocking your own ad clicks from your IP (something AdSense has sorely lacked for a long time).

I said yesterday that traffic-measuring scripts are kipple, but I should clarify that to mean scripts which load from third-party sites, which AdLogger is pleasingly not an example of, being reliant solely on your own MySQL data store and local PHP scripts. Everyone using the LAMP platform should consider AdLogger, though it may be wise to wait until the code has settled down a bit more and Travis has had time to devise ever more complex ways to slice the data that his code accretes.

Good luck with it, Travis!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Startup idea #19578234: KippleKillr

I agree with Dave Winer's rant against what he calls bug graphics, and which I call kipple. Is this trend going to get bad enough that someone comes up with the bright idea to make a browser plugin similar to Adblock which doesn't only block ads, but also zaps all the stuff in a Web page which is not immediately germane to the user experience? Not just those annoying favicon links that everyone ignores. Not just interminable blogrolls, Wordpress admin links, and "listening to" MP3 listings. How about blocking traffic-measuring scripts like Google Analytics, which I have seen kill pages dead if the Google servers are particularly slow in that nanomoment? How about blocking those useless Flickr collages? How about banishing classified-style structured blog sinppets? (Oh wait, structured blogging doesn't seem to be getting any traction, so that might not be so important.)

It's no wonder that RSS readers have become so popular, because they strip out all the useless parts of a Web page and leave just the pure, rich content. Now the blog toolmakers have figured out that the readers are gypping them out of page impressions, and are starting to embed all sorts of useless crap in their RSS feeds. It's an arms race between the publishers and the users, and pretty soon one of those users is going to take up the cudgel and code a kipple blocker.

Call it KippleKillr. Someone do this idea, please!

Cameron Reilly to Marcus Frind: WTH?

Here's a little snippet from the end of today's G'Day World #134 podcast, with Cameron Reilly and Richard Giles discussing Canadian Marcus Frind's cheque from Google for two months of AdSense revenue from dating site plentyoffish.com:

Cam: $885,273.71 US.
Rich: So that's for two months, two months of earnings. That's pretty good, innit?
Cam: That's just ridiculous. What the hell? ...
Rich: Yyyyyyyep.
Cam: ... ... That's just crazy, no way.
Rich: It's good, innit?
Cam: No, no, that's...
Rich: (chuckles)
Cam: I'm flabbergasted. I'm absolutely flabbergasted that he's making that amount of money. What the hell?
Rich: $5.4 million if he sustained that over a year.
Cam: ... so... he's... actually...
Rich: I'm actually meeting him at ah, he's going to Supernova, so Clay and I are hopefully going to connect with him and hopefully he buys the beers.
Cam: So he's made almost a million bucks in two months from AdSense.
Rich: Mmm.
Cam: What the hell?

An excellent question, Cam. I think we're in the wrong game.

Franklin a future star? Yeah Buddy!

Despite Australia losing to Brazil last night at the World Cup, which was to be expected (though the poor standard of refereeing with 25-9 fouls against us and Harry losing his cool at the end was not), yesterday was a lovely day of spectator sport due to the exploits of one Lance "Buddy" Franklin, who tore the Tigers a new one in sunny Launceston to the tune of six goals and a hand in several others for my beloved mighty Hawks. Imagine Buddy coming off the bench in Munich, he'd have given Cafu the heebie-jeebies! As long as no one told Cafu that Buddy doesn't have a right foot, something Ray Hall didn't seem to figure out. I look forward to many more sunny afternoons watching Buddy run around like a little kid at a candy store, playing keepings-off with the other kids.

Plus my Dream Team is winning, which always brings a smile to my face. Now for that Croatia game. A point is all we need, then bring on Italy!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stay regular with Aussie BRAN

Three of the Australian tech industry's more prominent freelance journalists have banded together to start a weekly half-hour podcast called BRAN. Roulla Yiacoumi, Angus Kidman and Nathan Taylor are the hosts. I've only heard the first episode so far, and apart from some problems with levels (Angus, are you podcasting from a swing?!? ... get closer to the mic and don't move about!) they sounded very professional. Did I detect a splice or two? No matter.

Angus is always the life of the party and Nathan's knowledge is suitably impressive, but for mine the star of the show is Roulla. I look forward to her deadpan putdowns. Cameron: sign this mob up, stat! They could be the Aussie version of TWiT.

Once they get up to speed with Skype tech and get a decent little audience going, I would be fascinated to see if they try out live shows with talkback. Working IT journalists have had far too little interaction with their audience for too long, but hopefully podcasting and blogging will allow more feedback from the people who pay their wages.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

FANTM Gnoos is good gnoos

I was a bit worried that the official launch of feedcorp's Gnoos Aussie blog search engine was going to get swamped by the unfortunate timing of Ask.com's Bloglines media domination on the same day, but Ben Barren seems to have rescued the situation with some well-timed prayers (in the form of urgent emails) so that the Web 2.0 Holy Trinity of McManus, Arrington and Cashmore have finally bestowed their blessing of Techmeme love.

The topic of conversation that Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly have explored in their posts is the question of whether country-specific clones of successful US startups can find a place in the 2.0 economy. My answer is yes, I agree with Ben, for a couple of reasons. The first is that US startups are not equipped for international expansion with sufficient funding, as Richard says (with obvious offstage prodding by Ben). The second is that US startups just don't want to expand. My guess is that most successful small startups would have a hard enough time carving out a place in the ultra-competitive US market to make it an easy decision for them to leave foreign climes to the foreigners. Why expand overseas when there's nobody outside the US who can buy you out for as much as GEMAYA?

Another reason is that those startup founders who are trying to build flipmeat clones will have willing VCs to fund them, and willing local media players to buy them. Few prospects can be as enticing to a 2.0-friendly VC as a founder with industry credentials whose startup concept can fit so neatly into the product portfolio of a proven startup buyer. Fairfax, Ninemsn, Telstra and Murdoch are the usual suspects, and thus we have a local version of GEMAYA, which I choose to call FANTM (I threw in the ABC, where a lot of the industry starts from if not ends up, for a bit of vowel action). Last time round the fundamental boom concepts were cars, employment and real estate, and the Aussie startups in those areas all danced with the VCs and then sold out to the FANTM conglomerates. Just recently, dating has gone the same way. When this 2.0 craze hits the mainstream, why wouldn't those same FANTM players all want a local Technorati, a local Craigslist, a local Netvibes and a local 37signals?