Announcing AngelLoft, the new angel + executive network

I’m very excited to be announcing AngelLoft, the new angel + executive network. It’s for serious investors and executives and it’s seriously Sydney.

The premise behind AngelLoft [website coming soon] is to provide a premium invite-only forum within which to bring together a group of angels, aspirant angels and top business executives.

The first AngelLoft dinner will take place on Wednesday, 15th December in a private loft at a top Sydney restaurant. The speaker will be Yammer’s newly appointed head of the Asia Pacific region. He’ll be speaking hot off the plane from Silicon Valley and will have some incredible insights to share with you.

In addition, one quality venture will be doing a pitch. In fact that is our mantra at AngelLoft: its about quality – of company, of speakers, of pitches and, of course, of dining.

As readers of Metarand, I am extending an invite to you to join AngelLoft and we’d love to see you at the first dinner. Can you please let me know asap whether you would like to attend on the 15th December. Places are limited and we’ll let you know if you’ve reserved a seat within the next few days. Cost for the dinner will be $250 a head, payable on the night by cash or via Paypal bump.

Let me know by emailing me at randal at seggr dot com.

Sydney’s Dust Storm Fail Whale

Red Dust Over Sydney

What a weird and wonderful morning. I was working away early this morning as the usual glow started appearing on the skyline, but it seemed more intense than normal.

It was only when my wireless uncharacteristically died that I stuck my head up long enough to really take notice. Going out onto the deck I saw what looked like a beautiful mist hanging in the forest around me.

But as the morning materialized, it became evident that this was truly an extraordinary morning. We’ve been enveloped by a monster dust storm, dramatically reducing visibility and casting an eery glow over the city.

Yi Ying Lu, who created the now infamous Twitter fail whale, has produced one just for Sydney’s dust storm. If you’d like to see a stream of photos capturing this phenomenon check out Flickr.

UPDATE: I couldn’t go past adding this picture by @jamesielliott (thanks to @paulmckeon for bringing it to my attention):


The New Deconomy: Advertising Under Siege?

Yesterday I mosied around the Sydney ad:tech conference. Being in that wonderfully liberating point of time of seeking my next windmill to tilt at I figured it to be a worthy destination.

My first impression, after factoring in the change of venue from last year, was that it was much subdued. Bearing in mind how photographers see things in capture frames, I spoke with one of the photogs doing the rounds and she had the most wonderful comment which totally summed up the atmosphere.

Her takeout was that she was reticent to take pictures of speakers whilst their slides painted doom and gloom backdrops. She kept finding herself hesitating and waiting for more upbeat slides – which didn’t often materialise.

Last year there was almost a feeling of whimsical discovery – ad execs and marketers in a discovery comfort zone: “tell me again how social media works?”. This year – a totally different picture: “we’ve gotta figure a way to make money from this social media stuff”.

I was also somewhat bemused by the rise of Twitter across the conference consciousness. It was definitely the tech word of the day – much like Google was on everyone’s lips a few years back. Expect a Twitter consultant or two to pop up near you soon. It’s the new SEO in the new Deconomy.

Seriously though, the new epiphany for an industry that is increasingly under pressure, will soon be around engagement and I suspect there to be a panel or more at next year’s event on this topic.

Photowalking Rules: Cockatoo Island Via iPhone

Thomas Hawk is on a quest to publish 1 million photos over his lifetime. This true photowalker and the CEO of Zoomr has reached 14,000 photos already. Much of his success as a photographer can be attributed to always having a camera with him and constantly seeing things through the camera’s eye.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Cockatoo Island, the site of Australia’s largest shipyards. Being located a stones throw from the original European settlement at the Rocks in Sydney it also has a wealth of early Australian history. As the Sydney Biennale Visual Arts Festival was on the go as well, I was really looking forward to photowalking the island as I also habitually see the world through a lens.

Alas, within minutes the battery on my camera died (let me add one more rule to Thomas’s Principles and Guidelines for the Modern Photowalker: check your equipment before you set out). I resorted to the only other camera I had with me: on my iPhone.

While I’m itching to go back with a good SLR and shoot in the RAW, at least I was able to exercise my camera eye on the trip.

MySpace To Roll Out devJams Downunder

MySpace Australia is rolling out series of one day devJams.
The first of these developer days will take place in Sydney on 5th June from 10am to 7h30pm.

Developers will be able to learn the ins and outs of the MySpace Developer Platform, hear inside views from both members of the MySpace developer team as well as from the developers of such apps as Booktagger and Peoplebrowsr.

Developers should “Bring Your Own Laptop” as they will have an unprecedented opportunity to spend an afternoon building a MySpace app with MySpace developers on hand to assist with hot tips.

Developers will also be able to showcase their creativity at the end of the day and benefit from peer review.

Places are limited so sign up asap. There is no cost for this full day event. For further details on the devJam series go to MySpace Aussie Developers.