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The latest on Web 2.0 in Australia: Showcasing the best

[POST-EVENT:] Also see post-event comments and release of Web 2.0 Framework.

The Web 2.0 in Australia event on 6 June is turning out pretty much exactly as designed. It will be a compact, senior executive, invitation-only event covering topics including frameworks for thinking about Web 2.0, why progress has been slow in Australia, current leading examples of Web 2.0 in Australia, and implications and opportunities for corporates, start-ups and marketing.

Sponsors and partners include BEA Systems, KPMG, Australian Venture Capital Assocation, Australian Information Industry Association, Department of State and Regional Development, Australian Interactive Media Industry Assocation, Smart Internet Technology CRC, and Innovation Bay. The latest information on the event is here.

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The final speaker line-up is absolutely fantastic, including:

* Richard MacManus, Editor, Read/ Write Web

* Allan Aaron, General Partner, Technology Venture Partners

* David Backley, Chief Technology Officer, Westpac

* Brad Howarth, Journalist and Director, LaGrange Communications

* Randal Leeb-du Toit, CEO, Yoick

* Adrian McDermott, Vice President of Engineering, BEA Systems

* Chris Smith, General Manager, Sensis Interactive

I’ll also present our Web 2.0 framework (which will be released next week) and chair the event. Richard and Adrian are flying in from New Zealand and Silicon Valley respectively. Richard’s been keen to get over to Australia to get a better feel for the local Web 2.0 community. The event is partly intended to help Richard – and of course others! – to do this. We have a fantastic audience of some of the most senior executives from the corporate and technology sector in Australia coming along on the day.

The main reason for this post is to announce the companies we’re showcasing as “five leading examples of Web 2.0 in Australia” at the event. These have been selected purely on merit. We did a good scour of what’s out there in this space to make the selection. The results of our research, giving a quick rundown on the top 50 or so Web 2.0 companies in Australia, will be released in the next few days, appearing first on Richard’s Read/Write Web, which is one of the top few technology blogs in the world. I’ll post it on this blog shortly afterwards.

In the meantime, the leading five companies that are being showcased at the event are (in alphabetical order):

Atlassian. This is a true success story, with the company’s founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar now feted as Australia’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. Mike will not be able to make the event as he’ll be in Monte Carlo for the global finals for Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlassian has a range of interesting software products, of which the most relevant here is Confluence, an enterprise wiki which has gained significant traction in the global marketplace, claiming to be the largest commercial wiki, with over 3,000 clients. It can be run in installed or hosted versions, and has a wide range of integration, security, search and other tools necessary in enterprise environments.

gnoos. The indefatigable Ben Barren launched this Australian blog search engine early last year. Since blogging activity in English speaking countries outside the US tend to get pulled into global discussion, local blog search is particularly important in bringing together blog communities. Gnoos.com.au includes highlights from Australian blogs and Australian media referenced by blogs, and allows tagging of highlighted articles.

Omnidrive. Omnidrive is both a successful technology start-up, originally from Wollongong and now in Silicon Valley, and is also playing an important role in Web 2.0 standards development. The heart of the service is an extremely sophisticated virtual disk drive, that enables online document editing, smart caching of large documents, and instant publishing of documents to the web. In addition, it provides rich interfaces into its database application to provide a powerful web utility for developers. One of Omnidrive’s claims to fame is that Michael Arrington of Techcrunch is an investor and on the board of directors, one of his rare direct involvements in start-ups.

Scouta. This is a recent launch from Perth entrepreneurs Richard Giles and Graeme Sutherland. It squarely hits what I believe is a fundamental sweet spot for the internet and Web 2.0: collaborative filtering for audio and video. Music collaborative filtering has become a prominent space, while video collaborative filtering is just getting going. However it makes eminent sense to combine these spaces, since people’s music preferences will correlate strongly with video tastes. Scouta’s style aims primarily at the youth market. It has been getting better traffic than the comparable but better-funded Divvio.

Tangler. Sydney-based Martin Wells and Mick Liubinskas (who are also fabulous at bringing together the local Web 2.0 community!) created Tangler as a rich media discussion network, including video, audio, and integration with instant messaging. They’ve promoted it as a platform for beta feedback on applications, and been rewarded by a very good rise in traffic lately.

An extremely cool company that was invited to showcase but unfortunately could not make it is Particls (the former Touchstone), the new brainchild of Chris Saad. They’re about to go into public beta, so Chris wasn’t able to make it down from Brisbane for the event. Particls filters and ranks RSS feeds and the web based on explicit preferences, and integrates web applications. This is very promising space, and I very much look forward to seeing how this progresses.

On a related score, Chris established the Attention Profiling Markup Language (APML) Workgroup, which provides the foundation for Particls. Richard Giles and Graeme Sutherland of Scouta.com and Phil Morle, CTO of Omnidrive, are also members, with other notable members globally including Mitch Ratcliffe of Buzzlogic and Jon Cianciullo of the very interesting Cluztr.com, which I wrote about recently.

In short, there are unquestionably some extremely interesting, world-class Web 2.0 applications and development coming out of Australia, with the companies listed above being some of the most prominent examples. Keep posted for the full rundown on Australian Web 2.0 companies, coming shortly on this blog…

For the most current insights and trends in the living networks, follow @rossdawson on Twitter!

  • KH

    Hi Ross
    I think it’s great that you’ve put together this conferenceand managed to get some excellent speakers/sponsors involved.
    I’ve posted information about the conference to members of the Sydney Open Coffee Club – a group set up to let members of Sydney’s tech startup industry get together socially, informally and regularly (details are here – http://entrepreneur.meetup.com/1136/)
    Hopefully some of them will be able to get down to check out your event
    K

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Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

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