With everyone scrambling to figure out exactly what works online – what makes people’s mouse-trigger finger itch and why – it was only a matter of time before IT companies looked to the realm of cognitive psychology for assistance.
Melbourne-based Geek IT Group (CITG) is one of a number of online consultancies using cognitive theory (breaking down situations into smaller parts to better understand how thought patterns influence feelings and, in turn, actions) to develop strategies and systems for clients seeking to achieve greater penetration with online audiences and better understanding of web development budgets.
According to CITG founder and CEO, Mary Henderson, many organisations struggle to realise ROI from online investments, let alone justify the spend to secure budgets. “Most companies, big and small, approach web development in a very scattered way with little clear understanding of what they want to achieve – apart from launching a site better than their competitors,” she says.
This new cognitive methodology uses data to define user personality types and breaks strategies into components that a CEO or CFO can analyse and quantify. Designers also receive a wire frame layout that can guide them through a logical process confident that it is understood by management.
It’s yet another frontier being explored by companies as online marketing becomes ever more tightly integrated with offline activities.
Gartner’s top 10 disruptive technologies 2008-2012:
Global research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. has released what it believes will be the top ten most disruptive technologies over the next five years. The list, announced by Gartner Fellow David Cearley during his recent trip to Australia, contains the technologies that businesses will need to watch most keenly if they are to gain/maintain competitive advantage and seize new opportunities in this rapidly evolving space.
- Multicore and hybrid processors
- Virtualisation and fabric computing
- Social networks and social software
- Cloud computing and cloud/web platforms
- Web mashups
- User Interface
- Ubiquitous computing
- Contextual computing
- Augmented reality
Aussie researchers blow a hole in the bandwidth ceiling
University of Sydney physicists have developed a revolutionary optical chip – a scratched piece of glass – that could enable internet speeds up to 100 times faster than current Australian networks. The thumbnail-sized device, a photonic integrated circuit, overcomes the current bottleneck that occurs when information travelling along optical fibres at the speed of light is processed by conventional electronic components.
According to Federation Fellow Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS based within the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, initial demonstrations prove it is possible to achieve speeds 60 times faster than current Australian networks. However, he believes the breakthrough could yield speeds of a terabit per second or more.
The mind boggles at what this kind of bandwidth capacity might enable. But one thing is for sure: the music labels and movie studios had better devise a new strategy to combat personal media piracy. Fast
Selling to China made easy
Australian internet payment service provider Paymate has launched Haiwaibao.com, a Chinese/English language mall that will enable Australian merchants to showcase products for sale to the booming Chinese market.
Dilip Rao, Managing Director for Paymate said: “This is another Australian-first for Paymate. At a time when the Australian economy might soften, we have opened up a significantly larger potential market in China for Australian businesses. With listing fees starting at a low $49.95 per month, this is a no-brainer for any Australian business wanting to export to one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”
In February, Paymate teamed up with Alipay, China’s largest online payment service, to enable millions of Chinese consumers to purchase goods and services online from Australian websites.
Groovin’ goes green
Eco group Club4Climate has launched a new sustainable nightclub at Bar Surya in London’s King’s Cross district featuring a dance floor that captures enough energy to supply 60 percent of its power needs.
FunkySexyCool takes Red Herring 100 gong
Since we profiled Tim O’Connor and his team at FunkySexyCool (“The business of being FunkySexyCool”, issue 27, Apr/May ’08), the New York-based mobile social dating network has gathered steam, being named as one of North America’s top 100 emerging technology companies by Red Herring magazine. For the past decade, the Red Herring 100 has been regarded as an astute guide to which tech companies will lead the next wave of disruption and innovation.
SitePoint cranks up its website marketplace
Last year we wrote about Australian web development/publishing outfit SitePoint on our New Media page (“The commerce of crowds” – Aug/Sep ’07). While that article focused largely on SitePoint’s crowdsourcing marketplace, the site’s website marketplace has been booming in recent months. As Josh Catone noted on ReadWriteWeb, website sales on SitePoint were up 290 percent in April – to US$1.2 million of about US$5 million listed. The site is now considered by many to be rivalling eBay as the first choice for people seeking to buy and sell websites, especially smaller sites, forums, domains, etc.
Aconex and Grocon help Melbourne’s homeless
Aconex, the Global Growth category winner at the 2007 Anthill Cool Company Awards, is donating its online information management services at no cost to facilitate the construction of a $50 million inner-city housing block for the homeless in Melbourne. The Grocon-led project, scheduled for completion in 2010, will house up to 120 people in a 10-storey facility located on Elizabeth Street (near the Queen Victoria Market). It will contain on-site mental health referrals, drug and alcohol counselling and employment services. The project is modelled on “Common Ground”, a New York initiative that has helped reduce homelessness by 25 percent since 2005.