Simon Julian


Thoughts, caffeine and other bits

Advisor: My husband has a virtual girlfriend

Okay so I started reading this because I loved the slightly creepy flavor that it left in my mouth…people tend to do some weird shit when confronted with things like dating sims and this was an interesting look into that world.

Plus I always did like Boing Boing. But I digress.

The thing that really got me thinking was one of the comments at the end of the story;

“I have a box of dead Tamagochi from my kids I feel weird throwing them away the kids loved them so much but being kids moved on to other things and you you can bring them back to life I guess but its weird”

I loved the whole feeling of this post – in the end the kids went beyond the bounds of the virtual, got bored and moved on to something else – and yet the slightly weird feeling of harbouring the dead remains (even if you CAN bring them back to life!).

Virtualisation of both pets and relationships doesn’t change our basic frameworks for dealing with existence, and as such we still place the same mores and values around the virtual relationships (and lives) as we do around the ‘real’. So we can end up in some very strange situations (but the Tamagotchi is DEAD daddy!).

I wonder at how this is going to affect us as virtualisation becomes more entrenched in many aspects of society and we get more ‘virtual’ relationships…

Open Text Fax Solutions

Another Open Text site that we launched over the past few days is the Fax Solutions website (the new brand for Captaris).

Relatively short turn-around when compared to the Connectivity site – this one was done in around 2 months and was the result of the trip that Ayesha and I took to Seattle to meet with the Captaris team and Paul Stables, who is Open Text’s Head of Digital.

Very good trip in the end and the site has hit all of the goals that were set for it so far, which is great to see (launched on time too!).

Open Text Connectivity

Went live with the new website for Open Text’s Connectivity brand (formerly Hummingbird) a couple of days ago – really nice to see this one go live finally as it had been a very lengthy project with a lot of technical hurdles attached to it.

Lots of extension of RedDot functionality though so there is likely a fair bit of knowledge and value that we’ll get out of this one (plus it is a great looking website too!

ACMI site refresh is live!

Since 2001, Areeba have partnered with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. The 2009 refresh that we have completed was delivered on the Open Text WSS (RedDot) CMS Platform and is Phase 2 of a rejuvenation project which has seen production workflow improved, the content management system has become the major hub of all the organisation’s published content and the homepage and internal pages have been creatively redesigned.

Managed this one through from start to finish and I think we came up with a really nice result overall

What is a Browser?

I thought that I’d post a link to this – What is a browser? was the question that Google asked over 50 people of different ages and backgrounds in Times Square.

The responses on this were really interesting from my perspective – gives you a real view into the actual understanding that people have of the fundamental infrastructure that they use to view and utilise the internet on a daily basis (not much apparently!).



So Maxim Magazine is now following me on Twitter…hmm

My Property Partner media

One of our latest releases has been getting some nice press recently, thought that I would share…
The site as a social network will be a nice targetted ‘niche’ network in that the people who join are likely to be qualified as far as their desire to engage in co-ownership/investment in property and we can see a lot of good opportunities for extension on the site and its functionality and Brand.
Site is currently in Beta, we’ll see how it goes.

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.

Success in Failure Episode 1

Reading this:

Success In Failure – Episode 1: 7 Lessons Learnt From Letting Expire

Very well worth the read and I wanted to point it out as there is a lot of good that many clients can get from the 7 lessons that Scott Middleton has put together here. In a lot of ways the first one I think is incredibly pertinent as far as the way that many businesses go at digital and their online presence – Scott is talking particularly start-up but I’m going to take the premise and apply to everyone – if you are not able to be 2010% passionate about your online business then it pays well not to get into the space!

Chris Lester, (MD at Areeba) and I were talking about this tonight and agreeing that many online versions of offline businesses that we see are lacking in passion and don’t inspire or add value – it seems in many cases that where an offline business has gone into the digital space with the wrong view of why they are there or a lack of vision for the space they get it wrong and end up showing a real lack of passion and value.

Clive Video

Okay Digital Ministry, I love you but please please please get rid of the Clive Video piece on the home page, video overlays are a major irritation and I really hate having to see the bloody thing every time I come back (which is relatively often!).


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Simon Julian
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