How much is a domain name worth?

How much is a domain name really worth?

That is the question being asked by McGrathNicol the administrator in charge of selling off the assets of jobs.com.au. $10K, $50K, $100K, $500K, $1 Million, it would have to be around $5 million if they are hoping for the sale to start covering the understood losses from the business operations of jobs.com.au.

From my point of view based on the amount of advertising anyone is going to have to do to break into and succeed in the Australia job board marketplace, any domain name will do. It does not necessarily need to have jobs in it, make it 1 or 2 syllables and easy to remember.

On a related note Boss Personnel site, the group were involved/behind jobs.com.au, also seems to be down.

My Rage Top 20

Richard Giles from Scouta tagged me in the latest meme going around the blogosphere, well at least the Australian blogosphere. This one was started by The Thinker’s Podium who was inspired by Rage’s Invade Rage competition.

This is the stuff of my childhood dreams; to program a Rage playlist. Rage is having an ‘invade rage‘ competition over at their site, so get on over and enter your preferences.

If you don’t know what Rage is you didn’t grow up in Australia, kind of like MTV but with music :-).

Richard tagged me a week or so ago and I have been slack in getting my list together.

Over the weekend a carved out a few hours to complete my play list. In pulling together the play list I looks for several things, videos that were popular back when I was a teenager, together with songs that I like both new and old. This means there are a few weird ones listed, eg Walk the Dinosaur so please bear with me. At the end of the day I ended up with 21 song, I could of dropped one but decided to leave in Walk the Dinosaur ;-).

As I could not work out which was my top video they are listed in alphabetical order based on song name, one final thing some videos are not safe for work.

A Long December – Counting Crows

Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil

Big Time – Peter Gabriel

Black Fingernails Red Wine – Eskimo Joe

Bring Me To Life – Evanscence

Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd

Down Under – Men At Work

Erotica – Madonna (Not really work safe)

Forever Young – Youth Group

Girls on Film – Duran Duran (Not work safe)

Guns in the Sky – INXS

I Was Only 19 – Red Gum

Lose Yourself – Eminem

No Aphrodisiac – The Whitlams

Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

Scooby Snacks – Fun Loving Criminals

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show

Wake Me Up Before September Ends – Green Day

Walk the Dinosaur – Was

Update: Ok, I pressed published before I had tagged anyone, d’oh! Frank Arrigo, James Farmer, Molly, Jorge Albinagorta, Trevor Cook.

Water usage

In Australia we are in the middle of a particularly bad drought, in Melbourne the dams supplying drinking water capacity are down to approximately 38% and falling between 0.5-1% a week. Without rain in the near future we conceivable will be without drinking water this time next year. Our households, like many others, have been living under water restrictions for about 7 years, in Sydney and now in Melbourne, which basically limits outside water usage. But still the issue remains one of the biggest social issues we face as a nation!

Add into the mix that the WWF recently released an updated list of the world top 10 rivers at risk, Australia’s Murray-Darling river system made the list. This is significant as the area around the Murray-Darling river system provides around 40% of our food, and 70% our irrigation. Without the river system one could only speculate that our food prices would rise dramatically and our importation of food would increase. In 2007 we have seen a massive reduction in the inflows into the system, prompting the government to restrict irrigation.

Unless there are very substantial early, inflows there will be insufficient water available to allow any allocation at the commencement of the 2007-08 water year for irrigation, the environment or any purpose other than critical domestic supplies.

The irony, if you would call it, is based on the WWF Living Planet Report 2006 Australia is only using 5% of our available fresh water as we are unable at this stage to capitalise on all of our fresh water.

Over the last few weeks a few of us in the office have been talking about water usage, what we are doing, and not doing. We are all limiting shower length, stopped watering gardens or are using grey water from washing machines, leavng our cars dirty etc.
There are two areas we wanted some more information, how much water “should” we be using and how much water do our appliances use. This weekend I sat down to try and find out.

Good Water Usage

According to the a brochure from City of Melbourne on calculating water usage using less than 1,200 litres of water per week per person is great, 750 litres is exceptional.

I pulled out our water bills and for the last few years our household has been using about 600 litres per person per week, which is fantastic based on the report. In 2002 and 2003 we were using about 1,500 litres each every week so it does seem that we have made some adjustments in our lifestyle.

But is it enough?

I went looking to find a reference on what is sustainable water usage, although I feel I had limited success. In the UK a report indicates at least a 20% reduction in water usage across domestic and industry from a baseline of 150-180 litres per day. This is supported by figures from The International Food Policy Research Institute in a report Global Water Outlook to 2025, published in September 2002. From the factsheet we see that in 1995 the average daily demand for water in developed countries was 131 litres, rising to 149 litres by 2025. A report from ACT Council of Social Services also references a 20% reduction in domestic water usage.

What reports don’t state is are these figures direct domestic usage or have they been adjusted to include water used as part of food and consumable production?

Taking these number let’s assume a 20% reduction in our domestic water usage is sustainable. Using the Melbourne City recommendations of good water usage is 1200 litre per person per week (171 litres per day) and the UK report’s base line of 150-180 litres. I assume we need to reduce our average water usage to 120 litres to be sustainable.

Our family is using about 90 litres per person per day, which based on the above is sustainable! Woohoo. But if we need a 20% reduction we would need to reduce our domestic consumption to 70 litres per person per day. Which would be difficult without a major change in how we live our life.

Appliances

The second part of our discussion in the office was how much water is used by our appliances. We have an Asko W640 front loader washing machine which uses between 53-56 litres per cycle depending on our settings. We are averaging 4-5 loads a week so at the top end 280 litres per week.

Our dishwasher is new and based on the manual uses 19 litres for a regular load or 24 litre for a heavy load. We run the dishwasher everyday with about 5 regular loads and 2 heavy or about 143 litres every week.

Random pages and Stumbleupon

I have been resisting signing up to StumbleUpon due to productivity reasons. I caved earlier in the week. There is some really cool stuff out there! If you have not used it and don’t mind losing a few hours I recommend signing up.

Along a similar fashion for a bit of fun I have also installed Matt Mullenweg’s random redirect plugin. It is now in the sidebar of the home page and in the INTERACT section of a single post. A great way of discovering old posts!

Visit a random page!

Australia online job boards

A question was raised a couple of days ago about the number of jobs boards in Australia.  I spent a few minutes today having a quick look around to see if I could get an answer.

I found Australian Job Search being run by the Australian government listing around 100 job sites.  Now I would not classify every single one as a job board but it does give us an feel for the size of the market.

I kept looking and fairly quickly found another 10-15 sites not listed in the Australian government index.  To me this is a bit of a concern as I could speculate that we have somewhere around 130-150  job boards operating in Australia.  Now this is a fair number less than in the UK, where it is said they have 700 job boards and about 6 million active job seekers, but still way too many in my mind!

How many active job seekers do we have in Australia?  According the government’s labour market information portal we had 808,273 active jobs seekers in December 2006.

This means that in the UK the ratio of job seekers to job boards is around 8,500:1, where in Australia it is around 5400:1.   Even if there only a 100 job boards the ratio goes to 8000:1.  Seek has a majority of the market, 60% according to their web site, leaving very little for other job boards to pick up, ignoring the fact the MyCareer and CareerOne pick up a majority of the remaining 40%!

Yes I know job seekers probably visit multiple job boards in their search but this doesn’t make the numbers look any better, there are just no the number of active job seekers to support all the job boards!

Kevin Howard commented that we are about to see a couple of new entrants in to the market who have spent up big, you have to wonder what is their business plan!

RSS 101

I get lots of people ask me about RSS, what is it, why would I use it, and how would I use it. My plan was to write a short primer, but why do that when I can reuse!

Here is an old but good intro to RSS from Lee Lefever from Common Craft, the basic content is still good.

Two things to note the icons he refers to have changed and now typically look like:-

Which is lots better than the mess we use to have:-

The list of readers Lee refers to over at Lockergnome is broken so check out this list from RSS Compendium.

Lee, with the help of his wife, has released a great video introduction to RSS.

http://blip.tv/scripts/pokkariPlayer.js http://blip.tv/syndication/write_player?skin=js&posts_id=209879&source=3&autoplay=true&file_type=flv&player_width=&player_height=


Click To Play

Why Web 2.0 sucks

Charlie over at This is going to be BIG has pulled together a list of 10 reasons Web 2.0 sucks.  In reading the post I found that it tied in nicely with some of the things in my recent post about how many people were really online.  Go read the full post to get all the details but I have pull out the list here in summary format.

  1. The finger pointing culture of fear will always dominate a culture of openness.
  2. The thinking, not just the building, has gotten small and lightweight…
  3. Web 2.0 hasn’t even come close to breaking open the carrier choked mobile world.
  4. Web 2.0 is a conversational vacuum.
  5. Spelling and grammr (beta)  have gone to hell in a handbasket.
  6. M&A Wack-a-mole stopping innovation in its tracks…
  7. Content licensing is still a bottleneck.
  8. The really juicy data will always remain locked up…
  9. A lot of powerful people don’t participate.
  10. MySpace is the most popular social network.

The list probably definitely also has a lot to do with why so many CIO’s are at the moment steering clear of introducing products from these new startup Web 2.0 companies into their organisations.  This is not to say that Web 2.0 is not being introduced, I feel it is just the open source products.  More on this later as I have been cooking up a post on this for the last couple of weeks, I just need the time to pull it all together.

Finally there is lots more discussion on TechMeme about it.

5 minute management practices

Anna Farmery from over at the Engaging Brand, which if you have not described you must, posted about what to do in a spare 5 minutes.

  1. Send a quick handwritten note to someone who has developed, who has delivered, who has had a hard day.
  2. Write down one objective for tomorrow that is centred around getting the best from your team
  3. Smile – the most contagious emotion and let it spread to those around you.
  4. Write an action to have a coaching session with each person.
  5. Pick up your keys and go home. Your health, your energy are needed to keep the pace of change going so rest those brain batteries to improve your performance.

Just think about how much better your workplace would be if employees actually did these things, just once a day!� Not just managers, all employees.� Your organisation would very quickly become an employer of choice.� I would beat that your profits would also start to rise as employees started to feel an attachment to the organisation.

Just a thought.

New search metrics

In the interest of finding out what my readers are looking for I have installed a new WordPress plugin, Search Meter.

Search Meter keeps track of the search terms entered in the search box on the sidebar and provides me statistics such as popular terms today, last 7 days, last 30 days, unsuccessful searches (ideas for new content!) the last 100 and 500 searches. Once I get some historical data I will look at publishing the results for all to see.

So get searching!

Sex and goal setting

I have been using the GTD methodology for time management and productivity for a little over 2 years and found it very effective. One thing I am only just beginning to understand is how deep the system really is. The basic process is simple, list next physical actions by context for each project you are working, a project is anything with more than 2 physical next actions.

Sounds simple. Not so.

As you get in the back section of the GTD book you start to cover activities that are at different levels in your life for example:-

  • 50,000+ ft : Life
  • 40,000 ft : 3 to 5 year visions
  • 30,000 ft : 1 to 2 year goals
  • 20,000 ft : Area of responsibility
  • 10,000 ft : Current Projects
  • Runway : Current Actions

Most of us spend lots of time on the first few levels and less time on the top 3. Recently I have been paying attention to the top levels as well. The top levels is where things get deep.

I try to make sure I have actions at the lower levels that ensure progress toward to top level goals and visions. I feel focused after my weekly review that include a review of these higher level actions instead of just focusing on what is in front of me.

This brings me to goals. Most things at these higher levels tend to be goals. My typical goal reads like “Get mortgage to $XXX in 5 years” or “Go on 2 week skiing holiday”. Exciting right!!

This week I learnt why I have such a hard time achieving them, they don’t entice, they are not worthy of my effort, they don’t create a chill down my spine, basically they aren’t sexy!

Wayne Turmel has a great interview with Lisa Haneberg on The Cranky Middle Manager #91 talking about making breakthroughs in your achievement of goals. Basically Lisa says your goals need to become a driving force, give you a chill down your spine when you talk or think about them. You need to be able to deeply connect to the goal.

Yesterday Cam Reilly pointed me to a Steve Pavlina post about sex energy and using it to help focus up on your actions and goals:

In my early days of goal setting, I fell into this trap often. I kept setting goals that looked great on paper. I visualized them endlessly, but after a few weeks, I’d get the feeling something was off. The initial spark had faded, and I just didn’t care anymore… maybe intellectually but certainly not emotionally. The goals were stuck in my head but never infected my whole being. Consequently, when I worked on those goals, it took a lot of effort to motivate myself to keep going. I always felt like I was trudging uphill.

On the other hand, sometimes I’d get a wild idea for a goal, and even though it didn’t seem the most intelligent thing to do, I’d become totally obsessed with its accomplishment. I couldn’t dive into the action phase fast enough. I’d work hard on it, but the work was effortless. Calling it work would be like saying sex is work… volunteer work maybe. It may involve some energetic exertion, but it’s more fun than toil. Both the goal and the path to get there are enjoyable. It’s like the goal somehow sinks its hooks into my biology; my appetite takes over and does the work for me.

So now I am going to make my goals sexy to the point when I read them I get a chill down my spine in anticipation of achieving them.