I think it was Robert Kiyosaki who said you need to spend time 'outside and inside' to build things and it has definitely been an 'outside' time for me.
So what was I doing when I wasn't here?
Last Saturday, TedxSydney came to the Sydney Opera House and we were wowed with presentations from great minds and dreamers who got me thinking about lots of things that I wouldn't normally think about like irrigating green areas on building roofs and democracy in West Papua. I got a nice new drink bottle and had a lovely time playing with the Nespresso machine at the Hub Sydney event. I now want a Nespresso machine.
All the presentations are online - I highly recommend Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum 'My insight into the blind reading revolution'. Ron is blind so make sure you hang in there till the end when he 'feels' his standing ovation, it's pretty cool. Jennifer Robinson -probably known for her association with the Wikileaks/Assange story - 'Courage is contagious' is also well worth a watch.
Then on Wednesday, the ExactTarget tour came to town (the beautiful Sydney Town Hall building to be precise) for Australia's largest interactive marketing conference. It was a fantastic event with a bit of the floaty future stuff but mainly just practitioners bolting together playbooks and workflows around some Australian-specific research, which is my cup of tea.
Mobile and mobile email was the most discussed topic and I found the communication design and activation topics the most informative. The Google mobile report that everyone rocks out was used again to show Australia's leadership in smartphone use and I learned some new things about the high Apple-ness of Australian consumers -around 50% of mobile emails are opened on iOS mail. Good to know and good to think more about responsive design and see some best in class examples and find new sites (to me) like 'mobile patterns'. The '300% year on year' inbox growth figure also confirms what I think we all know but really need to work on fixing. Lazy batch emailing isn't going to cut it and highly customised, relevant communications optimised through social preferences is what we should be heading for.
We ate and drank and tweeted lots and I especially liked the orange notebooks of which I am now a proud owner of three (sorry about that). Slides are going up at some stage so keep an eye on the #etconnect hashtag.