Mumbrella Readers Choice Awards – industry blog of the year shortlist

Mumbrella Awards trophiesThe following entries have been shortlisted in the media and marketing blog of the year category of the Mumbrella Readers Choice Awards. The order that follows was deliberately randomised so there is no alphabetical advantage in the order they appear.

Subscribers to the Mumbrella daily email will receive a link to the voting website.

While readers are invited to comment on the entries, please be aware that we will be alert for both astroturfing and deliberate attempts to sabaotage a particular entry. Multiple comments from the same IP address, or otherwise suspicious postings will be moderated.

Please remember that including a video was optional, so entries that do not do so should not be judged down for that reason. In this category, please do take the time to follow the links to visit the blogs themselves.

The shortlist:

  • Erica Bartle –Girl With A Satchel
  • Julian Cole – AdSpace Pioneers
  • Shane Dawson/ Ben Birchall – The Sack
  • Zac Martin – Pigs Don’t Fly
  • Catriona Pollard – Public Relations Sydney
  • Mark Pollard – Life, Then Strategy
  • Ben Shepherd – Talking Digital


I write a blog called Talking Digital. You can find it at http://talkingdigital.wordpress.com

It was spawned from another blog called ‘A Blog About Digital Media’. Funnily enough, the blog was about digital media.

Liam Walsh and I got talking and we thought it was a good idea to combine our industry expertise to try and piece together a blog that allowed us to feel important. Ideally I’d like to write a killer blog around gardening or AFL or Supercoach but there’s already plenty of good ones out there.

This was November in 2008. So what I did was shut down ‘A Blog About Digital Media’ and we started ‘Talking Digital’. The world was different then, it was pre Mumbrella … but seriously, there wasn’t a whole lot of analysis/opinion around digital with a local slant online and we felt we could add something. It doesn’t have a mission statement or a ‘single minded vision’ … it’s just a place to piece together some opinions ideally backed with a mix of data, experience and poor humour.

In month 1, November 2008 we had 2,230 visitors. In December 2008 it went to 2,900. January 2009 4,754; February 5,009; March 7,464; April 5,864; May 7,878; June 7,348; July 7,251; August 7,578; September 7,973. In October traffic dropped to 6,368 and November is sitting at 2,155 … the drops in October and November are mainly due to less content being added due to me joining Business Spectator.com.auas a weekly columnist. The fact a seasoned business journalist like Alan Kohler drove this initiative was both humbling and flattering.

Liam pulled back around March, potentially due to growing tired of my relentless MSN harassment (not confirmed) so I took the wheel alone.

Personally, I write the blog to explore professional areas that interest me. I don’t think it’s a particularly good form of exposure in a business development sense – nor was it ever meant to be – but it does allow me to have a voice around areas I have an interest in. It hasn’t helped win any pitches, impress any potential clients but it has been a good resource internally for the agency. Unlike many blogs, it doesn’t have a professional services agenda and I thank my employer, Maxus, for allowing me to maintain the blog and develop an opinion with their full support.

In the areas of measurement, ad effectiveness, engagement and pricing/commercial positioning I feel Talking Digital has added at least something to the debate. Whether or not what has been added is right or wrong, it’s sparked some reasonable discussion by some smart people both on the blog platform and off.

Talking Digital has 471 email subscribers and 146 via Google reader. RSS numbers outside Google Reader are low – around 50. In the past 12 months I have posted 312 pieces, which have generated 995 user comments.

***** Stats correct as of 23 November, 2009. Source data can be provided on request ******



‘Life. Then strategy’ by Mark Pollard






If you’ve ever read my blog and it’s stirred you to look at things a bit differently, to challenge the status quo, or to not get caught up in things that don’t matter, then I ask for your vote. If not, then I’d simply ask you to read it or demand I write better.


Six reasons to vote for Julian Cole’s Adspace-Pioneers:

1. AP shares personal case studies of the good and the bad
While others have a bitch about the industry, I try and do something positive by writing up every social media campaigns I work on. I include the good (link – http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2009/09/case-study-dosh-wallets-blogger.html) and the bad (link- http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2009/10/case-study-yves-klein-blue-twitter.html), with the aim of sharing the key learnings from my experiences.

2. Nothing says Marketing like Rambo on a Unicorn as your blog banner

3. Resource for the industry
Adspace Pioneers is home to the Top 100 Australian Marketing Blogs (link – http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2009/06/top-164-australian-marketing-pioneer.html), it acts as a good resource for people looking to read more industry blogs.

4. Finding the Global Young Guns
Along with the Aus Top 100, I also run the Top 27 Advertising Bloggers Under 27 (link – http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2009/09/advertisings-young-minds-top-27-blogs.html)which is a ranking of the best ad bloggers in the world under 27.

5. I make mistakes
What started out as an office joke of getting a Facebook Tattoo (link – http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2009/09/facebook-tattoo-story.html) on my arse ended in me getting a temporary tattoo and creating a Photo Calendar with proceeds going to Bowel Cancer Research

6. Microbloggin the LOLs
Every Friday at 4PM, I share the funniest clips from Youtube on Twitter in a segment called Youtube Gold! (link- http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2009/11/top-50-youtube-lols-of-2009.html)’


When your blog becomes a slog, it’s time to reevaluate just why you do what you do – as such, 2009 has been a year of contemplation and redirection for Girl With a Satchel, the glossy magazine blog started by Erica Bartle in January 2007. And it appears to have paid off. It’s not every day you get a phone call from Channel Nine asking if you’d care to play yourself in a TV show*.

While Girl With a Satchel harbours no illusions about becoming the next Kerri-Anne Kennerley, she’s fast becoming a recognised and respected face – and voice – in the Australian media community. As a former magazine editor and Macquarie University media graduate, Bartle is able to imbue her blog with the professional take of an insider but also tap into the perspective of the magazine reader.

As such, Bartle sees herself as conduit for discussion about industry practices, content direction and consumer issues. An aggregator, disseminator and creator of new online content, she works hard to generate original posts to provoke thoughtful examination of those things the industry takes for granted, while buffering her opinions with explanations about why things are so.

In 2009, Bartle has become a glossy figurehead of sorts – a resource for relatively unbiased opinion for newsmakers. She has appeared on Today Tonight twice, been quoted in several newspapers, including The Australian and Gold Coast Bulletin, and has received accolades for her work, including a 2009 Bloggies award for “Best Australian and New Zealand” blog and a nomination in the Nuffnang Blog Awards “Entertainment” category.

Soon to celebrate three years in the blogosphere, Bartle is most proud to have attracted an array of esteemed contributors to Girl With a Satchel – including former Vogue Australia fashion director Clare Press – and sees part of her role as giving advice to the many university students who frequent her blog. She is also an advocate for the magazine industry, using the likes of columns in The Walkley Magazine to challenge the industry to rise above the pooh-poohers and publish titles of good character.

Visited by up to 3,000 people a day, Girl With a Satchel strives to maintain a balance between the serious and the frivolous, imbuing the content’s tone with dashes of humour to keep the talk from getting too “industry” – the aim, after all, is to bring the glossy ivory tower a little closer to the newsstand, where readers are buying magazines.

Authenticity, trust, transparency and thoughtful analysis are key to this industry blog, given the readership’s media-saviness and exposure to a wide range of news media. GWAS is beholden to the very same standards she expects of the magazines she critiques, making innovation, excellence and creativity a priority.

cutting through the crap to produce something of worth in a cluttered, me-too online media environment is no mean feat. And it can be taxing. And not particularly financially rewarding. But the passion Bartle has for her blog and for bringing out the best in gloss continues to attract a loyal readership, even if many of them are silent below the blog-post line.

Even as the industry ebbs and flows, GWAS aims to remain a constant source of information, respite and encouragement. A place to celebrate good work and question the “not-so-good-bits”.

*Of course, you will have to visit the blog for more on this!




Blog: Pigs Don’t Fly

I’ve never written an award nomination before. So you’ll have to excuse me if there’s certain things I should or shouldn’t include. Unfortunately it’s not something they teach you at uni so I’ll just have to make it up as I go.

In fact, I had no intention of entering my blog for a nomination at all. I decided that the $120 would be better spent on rent, meals, a few cheeky beers and a bus fair. Then I got an email informing it was free to enter in this category, so I sold my soul and jumped on board.

Anyway, should probably get onto telling you how awesome my blog is and all that. But honestly, I don’t think it’s all that amazing. People often accuse me of being too arrogant, pretty much every day, but I could suggest at least a dozen or more other blogs that are both more entertaining and informative.

But I suppose the thing I have going for me is that my blog is different. There is no other blog out there written by a 20 year old marketing student who doesn’t give a shit what other people think about him. I pretty much have little to no experience in the actual industry, but it’s bloody fun to write a blog about it.

I can’t think of anything better than ranting about a shitty campaign, criticising the biggest names in the industry, pissing off a few publication editors and writing about anything and everything on any given day. Perhaps my favourite post of the year was a parody telling people to LEAVE SETH GODIN ALONE!

In 2009, the blog received 40,000+ hits, 600+ comments and brought my subscribed readers to over 500.

Not bad for a 20 year old student with no idea what he’s talking about.



I just interviewed a potential intern and she said “Your blog was a great resource for me while I was studying”.  What great feedback! As a long serving (or do I mean suffering?) PR practitioner I set up the www.PublicRelationsSydney.com.au blog to share my experience and give away my IP.

Yep, give away my IP.

See I think the more people that understand how to do PR well – the more well regarded the industry will be. It also means that more businesses have access to free resources that help them build and grow better businesses.

The blog also includes articles and links from other people and publications that I think will add value to my readers.

The blog doesn’t just focus on old school PR – i.e. how to get print coverage – but embraces what all good PR practitioners need to do – social media.

This year I really wanted businesses to stay loud – using PR to push through the GFC.  So my article Top 5 Tips how to use PR to beat a recession set the tone, and some of my other favourites are:

Aligning your brand with a charity, more than just PR

Get the LinkedIn advantage

Top 7 tips for developing story angles

Blogging- the essential marketing tool


On 09.09.09, advertising creatives Shane Dawson and Ben Birchall found themselves out of a job.

For the next 26 days, they filmed themselves searching for work, seeing top ad agencies, discovering themselves and drinking. Lots of drinking. They filmed, edited and posted a video every day on their blog, The Sack.

The result was over 40,000 views, a rabid following on Twitter and Facebook, exposure in local advertising and media publications Mumbrella , B&T and Campaign Brief, posts on international blogs Adrants and Campaign Brief Asia, an article in Melbourne broadsheet The Age and the Brisbane Courier Mail, radio interviews on ABC radio and 3RRR in Melbourne and B105 in Brisbane, and even an (admittedly unaired) feature on high rating current affairs program A Current Affair.

In gen Y language, the boys went viral.

As well as media recognition, The Sack also drew interest from international ad agencies in Asia, the UK and the USA.

And the result? ‘Unsacked’, a freelance creative consultancy that has been inundated with offers from the advertising and media industries, including discussions about a lengthier series. Watch this space.


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