Simon Julian


Thoughts, caffeine and other bits

Melbourne Stencil Festival

Haven’t had a chance to write much lately – a few weeks ago I became the Treasurer for the Melbourne Stencil Festival, which is a celebration of Street Art and Stencilling that is held once a year in Melbourne.

Plan is to take the Festival and turn it into a much larger, year round calendar of events and workshops that both raise the profile of the art form and provide positive outlets for artists and others.

Mobile Surfing – FaceBook and Bebo

This one from Business and Leadership – FaceBook and Bebo are now apparently the most popular social networking sites for mobile surfers. See article here

The Content Architect

Have been doing some more reading and thinking about the content architecture role tonight as I sit here and read discussions around ECM and some of the commentary on Bloom and social marketplaces.

I really like the idea of the Content Architect, it makes sense and it is a concept that I can easily understand. Kyle McNabb’s post from Feb this year “The Emerging Content Architect role” is a good read on the topic. But I have an issue on this that I need to get past, and that is the firm view that the idea of a Content Architect (and the Content Resource department, which is another concommittant concept) are great from a theoretical perspective (and an aspirational one!) but maybe not so good from an implementation perspective.

Some similar themes in this one as well that are worth a read.

Let me explain through background…

Many years ago there was the webmaster. Invaariably noone knew where to put this strange individual who knew many interesting things about websites (Marketing, IT, the car park, who knew?). But they knew they needed one. Now there is the content architect, and as with many a wonderful corporate website the CA will be shuttled back and forth between Marketing, Corporate, IT etc (maybe even the car park) without anyone really knowing where they should sit.

And that is why Organisational strategy is important. Unless you can actually look at real change in the organisation and restructure around the organisation’s core knowledge (read content), the Content Architect (and the Content Resource department) will live out on the edges like the webmaster did, without the proper ability or authority to effect change and without the corporate mandate.

Selling the value proposition is always going to be the most difficult thing here, and without all levels of the organisation seeing the value for themselves in this role and in the effective centralised/distributed management of organisational knowledge it is very hard to accept that this type of role will be quick in coming…

Content is no longer a competitive advantage…er?

Okay so I was happily doing a bit of reading this evening (as is my wont and the fact that I am trying notto spend another marathon 5 hours playing FarCry 2 may have something to do with it). Or not. Anyway, reading – and I was reading this article on Digital Ministry.

Side note on this, while the article is interesting and Stephen Byrne is definitely a smart guy, that wasn’t what I thought was interesting here or why I’m writing this post (Surprise!). Why I am writing this is the somewhat throwaway line in the article “(everyone accepts that content is no longer a competitive advantage)…”

Okay, so I disagree.

This has come up in other discussions that I have been involved in on LinkedIn and other sites in regard to content and especially newspaper and magazine content where there are multiple sources and multiple ways of accessing the news (or whatever it is).

My point has always been that what becomes important (and of value) in this case is not the content itself, but the opinion, the ability to dissect the content, the meta information and other additional value that can be moulded around the content – I’m getting a little tired of people making bold statements like the one above as it misses the point as far as the opportunities presented by far better and more targetted search and better and more nuanced meta information.

Content can well still be a competitive advantage if it is of value and sits within in a cloud of smart meta information that helps the user to find/understand/learn/answer.

Storm Sunskool

Areeba has an excellent relationship with Storm Sustainability and we’ve just completed another upgrade for the SunSkool website, which is focussed around the National Solar in Schools program.

Photography Post – the first

Okay so one of the things that I really love is photography but haven’t put anything up onto the blog until now. Thought that it would be worth doing so tonight since I am in the middle of things here.

Spring Flowers in the tree out the front of my house

Spring Flowers in the tree out the front of my house

Spring Flowers in the tree out the front of my house

Spring Flowers in the tree out the front of my house

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers


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Simon Julian
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