Home Top Web Apps in Australia

Top Web Apps in Australia

Written by Vishal Sharma and
edited by Richard MacManus

intro: Australia is a country of 20.75 million people, 14,663,622 of whom are
Internet users according to 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. 

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

The Universal Web Storage Platform – Omnidrive

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
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

Tracking favourite sites and apps with alerts on desktop – Touchstone

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.

Enterprise Wikis, Project Management, Bug Tracking – Atlassian

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]

Blog search engine – Gnoos

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.

Marketing for bloggers using emails – Zookoda

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.

Internet services on mobile – bluepulse

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.

Podcasting – 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.

Next generation internet messaging – Tangler

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

News rating- PerthNorg

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.

Digg clone for news rating- Sukk

It’s a Digg clone for rating of news from Australia
and New Zealand. The site was lunched on September
5th, 2006

Connecting buyers and sellers – findit.com.au

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.

Property Search – Suburb

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.

Social networking service – Babbello

It is a social networking service inspired by Myspace. It allows people (popular with teens) to write blogs, chat,
download ring tones for mobile, swap photos and more.

File sharing via web links – Zapr

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.

Community for parents – Minti

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.

Connecting students in Australia – Studentface

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:


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.

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