Written by Vishal Sharma and edited by Richard MacManus
a Nielsen//NR report from August 2006. That gives Australia an Internet penetration of 70.7%, which is about average for the Western world. Not as high as New Zealand's though - we're at 76.3% (I had to point that out). A little while ago I asked Martin Wells from Tangler what the web 2.0 scene is like in Australia. He told me that development is great, but surprisingly small for such a typically tech heavy nation (it has produced the likes of Looksmart, Atlassian, Seek, MYOB, Micro Forte, Radiata, EServGlobal and Netcomm). He also told me that Australia has a large and skilled technical workforce, and has a good history with software and innovation.Richard's intro: Australia is a country of 20.75 million people, 14,663,622 of whom are Internet users according to
I always associate Australia, in a business sense, with large and powerful media companies. But Martin told me that so far adoption of web 2.0 techniques within the big media companies has been relatively slow. Personally, I know that News Corp and now Fairfax is active in this area - e.g. check out News Corp's blogs and the social media links at the bottom of some news stories. But perhaps it's more of a 'bubbling up' activity from some business units within those big media companies.
Other than a few exceptions (such as TVP and NEO) Australian VCs are too conservative and have little knowledge of Web 2.0 and Internet business models. For this reason a number of Australian startups - like Omnidrive, Touchstone, PodCast Network and others - are actively looking for VC funds in the US. The Bulletin recently ran a story explaining more about this.
But enough from me. Let's jump into Vishal's list of top Aussie Web 2.0 apps, which is an update of his previous post...
This is a full-scale web storage platform that can be accessed from a web browser, Windows or Mac desktop and even a mobile device. It allows users and developers to easily access and share content (including multimedia) and files on the web with single click sharing and publishing. The company was started by Nik Cubrilovic and launched in February 2005 as a private beta. Over 20,000 users from over 70 countries subscribed to the private beta, while some 500 developers are building apps using Omnidrive's API. It was finalist for the IT category at the 2006 Australian Export Awards and was mentioned in nine msn's The Bulletin magazine.
It keeps track of websites, conversations and interesting bits and pieces that are out on web. Any changes to subscribed sites and applications are notified to you in many ways. It can even work out how important the new information is and displays an alert that is proportional to its importance to you. Touchstone has been in development since January 2006, was launched in Alpha in June 2006 and is ready to go into Beta.
It has developed two applications - Jira (bug-tracking software) and Confluence (an Enterprise Wiki). Jira was Atlassian's first product and half of the Fortune 100 were using an Atlassian product. Atlassian was co-founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar in 2002. Since its debut, the company has experienced over 40% growth every quarter until the past year or so - and is growing at about 20% per quarter. It has succeeded financially without taking any funding from any VC or any other third party. [disclosure: Atlassian was until recently a R/WW sponsor]
It is a blog search engine which is inspired by Technorati. Its main focus is towards local bloggers. It was co-founded by Ben Barren (contributor to Web 2.0 Workgroup) and Michael Leone and the main search engine was launched in May 2006. More local features for this service, available soon, are structured blogging, videos, images and classifieds.
Zookoda is a blog broadcasting service provider. It allows bloggers to spread the word about their blogs by sending blog summaries via email. Zookoda provides blog owners with the tools to manage their mailing lists, design their emails, broadcast blog summaries and track recipient usage. It was launched this year in March and is now up for sale.
To do list - Remember the Milk It allows users to manage tasks online, as any 'to do' list will do. It is integrated with Google Maps, Skype (IM) and is available on Mobiles as well. This is a very popular application around the globe, with more than 100,000 users from 155 countries. It was launched in October 2005.
It provides a free program known as bluepulse widgets, that enables delivery of data based on a user's profile to a mobile end-station - regardless of the network and device used. Services likes instant messaging, movie listings, music, news and RSS are accessible via these widgets. The company was founded by Ben Keighran in 2002 to develop and commercialise this concept. It finally released its first public beta version of its technology in May 2005.
The Podcast Network
The Podcasting Network(TPN), launched by Cameron Reilly in 2005, is one of the world's original podcast businesses. TPN produces over 70 podcasts in various categories, to a global audience of 300,000 people.
It is a group interaction and communication platform which combines chat and forums, and delivers it as a web service. Tangler is founded by Martin Wells and is in beta testing mode. It will be launched in early 2007.
Update: Tangler is calling for groups of 10-20 to test it's group conversation features. Sign up here.
PerthNorg is a local user-generated news site. News can be submitted as an article, a link, video, audio or photo. It allows news to be published and rated separately in different categories like technology, sports, lifestyle, business and others. An interesting feature is that all story votes are halved after 24 hours to keep the news fresh and topical. PerthNorg was only launched in August this year and hopes to launch other news sites some time later this year, or early next year.
Digg clone for funny emails
- FWDitOn This is inspired by digg.
It allows users to read hilarious emails, do a rating and share it with others. It is an interesting concept and has caught attention from few Venture Capitalists from overseas. This site was covered recently on Techcrunch.
It's a portal inspired by Craiglist. It provides a free forum for all community advertisements and listings. There are 850 + news agent partners using this service. It is currently under pre beta and will be launched in February 2007.
It's an Australian real estate search engine for properties to sale or rent. Search results are displayed in Google Earth and on the Google Map. The site was launched in August 2006 and is still relatively new.
It's an application which lets user create web links to any files on their PC, then those links can be sent to friends via email or IM. Hyperlinked files can be directly accessed from the sender's computer via the browser, in a safe and secure way. Zapr was founded in 2002 and in May 2006 it launched a beta version.
Minti provides an online platform for dads & moms to share and rank their advice about parenthood, in a simple way and with lots of fun. It was launched in March this year after raising USD$1.2M.
It is a social networking service inspired by Facebook. It allows students to share information, swap pictures, videos and more. It helps in uniting students with similar interests from all over the country. Membership in StudentFace is exclusive to students who are enrolled in an Australian university and have a valid university (.au or .edu) email address. The site was launched this year.
Other notable Aussie apps are:
- Social search engine - Tin Finger
- Bookmarking Blogs - AustralianBlogs.com.au
- Blog search engine - The Australian Index
- Online and Video games - Gamespot
- Software - Developers Portal
- Personal finance/budgeting - Smooth Budget
- Online social community - 3eep
- Real estate search - Spyk
- Real estate search - Domain.com.au
- Real estate search - Realestate.com.au
- Blog widgets - WyaCracker
Thanks to Vishal for providing the list of top aussie web apps! As always, please add any additions, edits or stories to the comments.
This post is part of Read/WriteWeb's continuing coverage of international Web markets. Other countries profiled so far have been Germany, Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, China, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, France, Japan, India, Austria and Sweden.