Seven years ago, I lived in Singapore. I was there for nearly two years. And even back then, their adoption of technology was impressive. If I rang for a taxi, the automated system would ask me if I was 1. calling from home 2. calling from work, or 3. calling from elsewhere. Then it would ask me the same questions about where I wanted to go (home, work or elsewhere). If I was a work and wanted to taxi home, it would auto-give me the plate registration of the pickup cab. I heard that the GPS/LBS services now are such that you can watch your taxi coming down the street as a blip on your mobile phone map. Awesome connectivity in that country.

Australia is lagging a little. I don’t catch taxi’s here much – even though I don’t have a car – but I’m guessing we can’t watch our taxis approach on a GPS map? We certainly don’t have the broadband that they have.

Which brings me to Graeme Philipson’s article in The Age (Hat Tip: Lisa from New Zealand).

Australians are just a blip on the global blogosphere. Why is it so?

Australians don’t blog as much as people in other countries. Why is it so? And is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Let’s say straight off the bat that it’s not possible to easily tell who is blogging and where. This here blog, for example, is on Google’s Blogspot and does not register as a Australian blog on most search engines.

So here’s a question for you – and you have to answer it quickly. Which company with an Australian domain name manages most of Australia’s top blogs? Time’s Up! And no, don’t look at me, I have no clue. I know SmartyHost had some and ummm some dodgy outfit (2 or 3 years ago) with a name like Australia’s White Pages. So if we don’t have a blog hosting service that is aggregating and supporting Australia’s bloggers how the feck do we know how many Aussies are blogging? If like, 20, of you, in 1 second flat, mention some site that I’ve never heard of, or slipped my mind, profuse apologies.

Alexa is no help. You can’t register an Australian blog hosted on an international site as Australian if you can’t get to the the root directory e.g. blogspot.com (Google tends to be all security-conscious and funny about that).

Australianblogs.com.au does a much better job of aggregating a list about 1300 blogs. It uses some magic Hogwarts formula to establish rating – I think it’s Alexa rating plus either Yahoo! or Google. There’s also the Top 100 blogs by Meg (we call her Megalicous) over at Blogpond. Meg does a great job of looking at site visits and listing the popularity of Australian bloggers. If you are willing to manually submit a blog, Gnoos is an Australian blog search engine.

I’ve taken a few calls from the press last year and this – and they all start off by asking for a quote on the “woeful state of Web 2.0 in Australia and New Zealand”. And they never want to hear that Australia has a vibrant Web 2.0 community. Having been around for First Tuesday and all those real life webby/mobile social networking events in the ’90’s, I can tell you it is buzzier now than then, and we were world leaders back then. So much so, that Australia was the trial site (and major early adopter) for Microsoft Network. Anyone remember them? It was supposed to be a competitor to the Internet and another walled garden like AOL and compuserve. Didn’t work. Heh. Became MSN instead.

Soooo, something’s happened if we are buzzier now yet still lagging… the rest of the world caught up and overtook us? Or else something’s gone wrong with the gathering of those statistics. My problem is that the top blogs come from the same few sources – Techmeme is a major perpetrator. For those of you who don’t know, Techmeme looks at what it considers to be the top bloggers, looks at what they are saying and linking to each other, then looks at the blogsphere and who is linking to the top bloggers. If you read Techmeme, you cover a huge percentage of the major ongoing conversations in blogworld. Which has it’s pros and cons. If you are in with them, you come top worldwide. If they link to you, you get massive increase in traffic. i.e. Slashdotted, Digg’ed or Scoble’d.

And how important is it to you, to top the global list? If you have a blog on “Australian Knitting Patterns” and you have around 20 people submitting patterns and a few hundred readers per week, aren’t you happy? Do you need to top some global list? Me, nah. I could draw my own conclusions and say that Australians don’t like being tall poppies, that we blog for a small intimate clique and don’t worry about being in Michael Arrington’s BBQ group (I read that somewhere yesterday, heh). But I would be guessing. And not 100% right – I like BBQs – can I have a sausage and sauce?

So cos I was confuzzled by the whole Australian Web 2.0 industry thingie, and because I was bored, I’ve created a Digg-like, Australian-web2.0-submit-new site. Cool huh? Inspiration came from Vishal Sharma‘s top Australian web 2.0 apps site from October last year – I submitted those listed on his post and in comments, to the site under Web 2.0 App Companies. Then I popped across to Richard MacManus (New Zealander, but we’ll steal him, like Russell Crowe :p) ReadWriteWeb and his work with Vishal – and started submitting those applications, companies, social networks and blogs, as well. They are also from October last year. Sure, their info is a bit out of date (some companies have changed names, some folded), but it’s a start. Then I am adding Events, Mobile 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, social networks, jobs, everything web 2.0 and Australian.

The thing is, Bloggerati Australia is dynamic – YOU can check (or even update) the news daily with all things Australian and all things Web 2.0. Let’s see if we can skew some of those statistics on Australian companies, blogs, wikis, application devlopment, social networks and so on. Plus I’m interested to see how voting changes the popularity of some of the top bloggers and Web 2.0 apps in Australia. We might end up with a whole different list than the Vishal or Meg one! *pokes them*

Ah well, let’s see if it works. Given my CSS skills (none) and my programming skills (rusty doesn’t begin to cover it), I did quite well. *pats herself on the back* There’s a Digg-like submission and voting structure on Bloggerati Australia plus a phpbb forum. I think I’ve managed to do the unified login! w00t! And, if you link to an article on your own blog you’ll get the Googlejuice. Get bloggin’ and submittin’. 🙂

Oh and don’t forget – First Rule of Bloggerati. There is NO Bloggerati. Just a bunch of people who like writing blogs, or reading them, and passing them on to friends. It’s for fun. It’s not an excuse to set up an exclusive Web 2.0 clique or groovy club. Cos then I couldn’t be a member. *cries*. BTW If you don’t want to submit your blog post or someone’s site, you can just come and vote.