The A-Z of SXSW 2012 (a beginners guide)

So you’re considering attending SXSW. Awesome. I had my first experience of this melting pot of cutting edge start-ups, countless bands, good ol’ fashioned Texas BBQ and handguns earlier in the year and I can’t wait to get back for another go. Time to drop any preconceptions, decide on your badge, bock some flights, and prepare yourself for a huge couple of days. So what do you need to know to get the most out of your experience? Here are a... Read More

Bank of Melbourne – *Is* better banking closer?

Big news out of bankland this morning is the Westpac announcement that they will be resurrecting the Bank of Melbourne to replace St George’s presence in Melbourne. The Bank of Melbourne brand has been absent from Victoria since 2004, following acquisition by Westpac in 1997. By relaunching this brand the Sydney based Westpac is making a strong statement of commitment into traditionally ANZ and NAB held retail and business heartland, investing... Read More

SXSW Day 2 – Banks: Innovate or Die (or just shout at your audience)

My Poor Head It’s now day 5 of SXSW interactive, and as much as I had hoped to report back on a daily basis, the constraints of epically good tech sessions, combined with what appears to be limitless free booze has provided somewhat of a stumbling block to my mission. I’ve been taking some notes from a few of the sessions so I’ll try to dump those here to give you a feel for what’s been going on. Banks: Innovate of Die –... Read More

#nabfail – viral, done wrong

Full disclosure: Prior to my current role, I worked for the NAB. Most of my time spent in the business was around the wealth management space, but most recently I had been helping the guys with some work for retail banking customer development. With that in mind, I’m not 100% certain how appropriate it is I discuss the strategy or approach of my former employer. As a result, if anyone from the bank does feel that this over steps any boundaries,... Read More

Margin Call

Booking a Victorian ski trip over the wettest weekend during the season, investing in JB Hi-Fi three months out from USD/AUD parity, Wall Street 2. Yep, if I had to list them, these represent my three biggest disappointments of 2010. But while I probably need to suck it up and admit poor foresight for the latter two, I can’t excuse Oliver Stone ruining the legacy of the 1987 classic with the pedestrian, cash-grabbing insult that was ‘Money Never... Read More

Banking reforms and the fifth pillar – what it really means?

  Following tireless lobbying by the Australian people (via the reader comments section), the government has finally acted on the unscrupulous fat cats in bank land, with Wayne Swan yesterday announcing sweeping, industry transforming reforms aimed at increasing bank competition and establishing a “fifth pillar” of financial service.    Oh wait. No he didn’t. No, instead of any real, decisive change, the Treasurer has introduced... Read More

Is Facebook going to be your next bank?

As Facebook continues its roll towards 1 billion served, attentions are focused on its next move. Already close to surpassing Google in both volume of hits and time spent online, and holding arguably the best customer insights of any online provider, it’s safe to say social networking is not the be all and end all of Facebook’s offerings. So what do you do when you’ve got the world’s biggest, most interconnected platform? You start making... Read More

Are Aussie Banks “Getting” social?

Where we at? Up until recently most Australian banks have appeared purposefully unaware of the impact Social Media was creating as a customer service channel. Australia’s bank oligopoly ensures that innovation need only move at a snail’s pace, and disruptive change allowed to be monitored, understood, and then acted on in due course. In comparasion, organisations in other industries have needed to be considerably more agile if they hoped to... Read More

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Long Straws is the personal blog of Stephen Colman.

The views represented here are mine and should not be considered representative of my employers.

Any posts containing statements around the suitability of financial service products should be considered "general advice" which does not take into consideration your financial background or circumstances. Please contact a licenced financial planner should you require advice in this regard.