Mike Arrington's Time Out and the decloaking the mob with Torches & Pitchforks

I wasn’t that surprised to read Mike’s post today about some really bad stuff happening over the last 6 months.

I didn’t know the details until I read them on TechCrunch, but I knew something was up when I messaged him to let him know I was going to be in the Valley for a couple of weeks in November. To my surprise, he told me he was going to be out of the state, at his parents place, and this was with months of advance warning. The Mike Arrington I know doesn’t make many plans that far in advance, and he’ll the first to admit that being right in the middle of Silicon Valley has as much to do with Techcrunch’s success as the many other factors. Being out of town – and the state – for months didn’t seem right.

I thought it might have been family stuff – I knew where he told me he was going to be was his parent’s place – and was hoping it wasn’t bad news or health stuff with him or his folks, and instead that he just needed to get out of the Valley to get out of the echo chamber for a while.

Of course, little did I know it was work related, and he was trying to get away from it, but instead of another Vulture piece from ValleyWag or a hatched job from the clearly jealous and much less talented writer, Betsy Schiffman, it turns out someone with a felony, and gun and an axe to grind was stalking Mike and his staff.

I’ve lived as a house-guest of Mike’s on a number of occasions, initially for 3 month stint in early 2006, when TechCrunch was less than 6 months old, and during that time I felt like I got to know the guy really well. We chatted about times before Techcrunch, women and relationships, lessons from previous business ventures and more. Those were personal conversations, and they’re going to stay that way.

My point is, however, that I got to get to know a person, a man I regard as my friend, thankfully for me at a time when he still “assumed most people were essentially good, and assumed that an individual was trustworthy until proven otherwise”. I saw someone who’d always take a contrarian position and get you to justify it. I’d watch – and cop – him taking the piss out of people, but we’d give as good as we got. I reckon he’s got more than a small potential to become an honourary Aussie: he didn’t care for status/authority, is direct, and loved to stick it to the man, which in his industry, is the incumbent media outlets. Pure Aussie in my books.

I also saw up close just some of the untrustworthy people, the types who lie even when the truth will do just as good a job, who’ve tainted his perspective. I’ve been frankly stunned that such an insightful and intelligent guy could be so trusting of people who’ve since screwed him over. And still he didn’t raise a finger in anger or retribution using his extensive online influence.

I’ve watched from afar as one storm or another has erupted online as people struggle to realise that just because its easier to click a mouse button, it doesn’t make it any less of a fight, and reflected that, with the exception of the stouch with DEMO, none of those fights were of his making. Sure, he’s no shrinking violet – he’s an attorney who loves a fight as much as the next lawyer, but more for the challenge than for the desire to stand upon the head of a lifeless opponent – but frankly, the vast, vast majority of the attacks and abuse levelled at Mike over the last couple of years have been way off base.

So, what’s the deal with these attacks? Given we’re talking about real world threats and attacks, its really worth having a look at them, and potentially shining a bit of light on the attackers. I believe they fall into one of three categories:

  1. Jelousy and Self-Interest – this one is the de rigueur attack motivation for the journalists out there covering tech. Many of them represent old-media, who see the competitive pressure of TechCrunch to be more than a little intimidating. The story I read on SMH today over lunch almost made me choke: headlined “Tony Soprano of Bloggers Faces Death Threats“, and in a piece that characteristically didn’t link to its sources, feature quotes taking shots at Arrington, including the one used in the headline, from other traditional, dead-tree media, who’ve got a pretty clear self-interest in taking him down. I thought this was a bit rich given most tech stories I’ve seen in SMH Tech News lately have been rehashes of TechCrunch pieces with a 12 hour delay and no links to sources. Moving away from traditional media to the other tech bloggers, a decent amount of the attacks are motivated by jealousy. And in the cases where they’re really legitimate differences of opinion, rather than just hit jobs, things are resolved amicably, and mostly in person. I enjoyed lunch with Mike and Dave Winer not two months after this comment’s little dust up, and there were no hard feelings at all around the table in Palo Alto.
  2. Bitterness of Rejection – there’s been a few recent posts about how stupid it is for startups to pin all their hopes on success, interest from VC’s and the implicit legitimacy of a positive review on Techcrunch. I can see how a want-re-preneur might get angry and upset about getting passed over, but if their key to success was a favourable Techcrunch post, I’d argue they don’t really have a business, just a fantasy of rock-star success and a Tesla in every garage. This sort of bitterness is just sour grapes (ok, enough taste metaphors already). The guy who did the spitting might have been responding to the bitterness of rejection, or he could have just be someone acting out the next point…
  3. Tall Poppy Syndrome – anyone who’s spent any time with Mike knows he isn’t a geek, programmer or deep technologist. To my knowledge, he’s never pretended to be. He does business analysis of businesses that just happen to be in the tech scene. Most of the flames I see posted in comments are either from people bitter after being rejected, or just pissed off that some guy who doesn’t know Perl from Python commands so much attention in the tech world. If you’re some random hater who’s rejoycing that Arrington is ‘out’ because you don’t think he knows tech enough, my suggestion is to think about what you’re going to do when you get pink-slipped because the business bit that pays for your lifestyle doesn’t work out, and hope that XKCD remains free so you can at least have some humour.

Anyway, the key point I’m trying to make here is that Mike’s a great guy: within 10 mins of meeting me and my business partner in Palo Alto, he offered us his house for as long as we needed it. All this stuff about Tony Soprano is just plain bullshit peddled by people with their own agenda, and if we let the bitter, jealous and tall poppy types continue with their baseless tirades without any accountability, we’re going to loose more and more good people.

Lets hope the serious stuff of the stalking ends, and for personally, I hope those enjoying the specatle of watching one of their biggest competitive threats bow out (hopefully temporarily) wake up with a nasty hangover tomorrow when they realise their rehashed and late stories, with little analysis, depth, opinion and conviction, supported by a business model more conflicted that Arrington’s ever was, is crumbling around them.

My chat about #nocleanfeed with Sharon Bird, MP

A month or so ago I was prodded by @pat on Twitter to take some direct action on the #nocleanfeed issue.

For those wondering what the hell #nocleanfeed is all about, check out http://nocleanfeed.com. From their website:

The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access.

What started as an election promise by the ALP during the 2007 election campaign to make a voluntary “clean feed” managed by the ISP available to households (as a counter the Howard Government’s initiative of funding the licence cost of software managed on your home computer) expanded into a proposal for a national, compulsory filter that no internet user would be able to opt out of.

While the compulsory list would be less of a nanny and would filter less content out, it would still mean every Australian would be subject to a filter, the likes of which is only found in places like China and Saudi Arabia. Worse, the super-evil list wouldn’t ever be made public (for fairly understandable reasons) so as a free country, we’d be being censored without any transparency; thoughts like 1984 and Big Brother then come to mind: after all, who watches the watchers?

Anyway, taking @pat’s prod, I emailed my local member, Sharon Bird, Member for Cunningham (ALP), and asked if she’d be prepared to meet me for a chat about it. Thankfully she was very open to a chat and keen to learn more, and we had an hour long discussion today.

My approach was to try and put aside the discussion about censorship, and I think it worked pretty well. In fact, trying to separate the merits of censoring some of the dark corners of the internet – since people have a range of views along – and declaring that the censorship debate right and appropriate, but putting it aside and talking about the problems with the filtering proposal, is a good approach for everyone interested in stopping the compulsory filtering of Australian internet access.

Instead, having defused the debate about whether it was right or wrong to restrict access to some material, I turned my attention to the two big problems with the compulsory filtering, which I saw as:

  1. Filtering web traffic will slow things down; for a new government that stood and won on a broadband enhancement platform, this seemed like a strange thing; and,
  2. Filtering web traffic won’t achieve their censorship or child protection objectives; it’s impossible to create a definitive list of dodgy stuff, filters are easy to get around with Proxies and VPNs, most of the dodgy stuff getting around the net travels via P2P or Email, and lastly, I’d be more worried about a kid being groomed by a real world paedophile in a chat room or on a social network, than I’d be about them searching out porn.

So, how did it go you’re probably wondering?

Overall, I was really impressed with Sharon’s grasp of the way the internet works. She’d been briefed to an extent before Christmas, but that was more about where the pilot was up to. She had read the Crikey article from this week about the Filter and appreciated that internet != web browsing, and that Peer-to-Peer plays a big part in how content gets around the world.

We talked in general terms about the objectives of the proposal to filter the internet, and boiled the motivations down into three groups:

  1. The government is trying to make it harder for baddies to get up to no good, such as browse kiddie porn;
  2. Parents want to make protecting their children from online nasties the government’s responsibility; and/or,
  3. The government made a political pledge in a campaign where they needed to court traditionally conservative voters, and being seen to do something about unsavoury content on the net was a necessary part of getting elected.

We then talked about how these three motivations were (mis)served by the concept of a compulsory national internet filter, and I pointed out:

  1. People doing nasty stuff don’t use websites. They use private P2P networks, they use VPNs and they do a range of other things to cover their tracks. If this was really the Government’s priority, take the hundred million plus they’re committing to the filter and give it to the AFP instead; they can then pose as kiddie porn traders and take the creeps down in a sting (like they do quite well from time to time already)
  2. The most dangerous thing for a kid isn’t looking at some porn; its being groomed in an online forum, social network or other place where people interact virtually, and for them to be manipulated to the point where they give out details like addresses, phone numbers, or God forbid, agree to meet someone in person without telling their parents. Sure, parents don’t like the idea their kids are looking at porn, but I reckon they’d be much more scared of them being physically or psychologically abused. The filter isn’t going to make any of this less likely, and if parents build a false sense of security that the government has made the internet safe for kids, so they don’t bother supervising, then the filter makes the internet a more, not less, dangerous place for kids.
  3. This motivation makes the most sense, but I pointed out that the ALP went to the election promising an opt-in clean feed for households, funded by the government. While many people think any sort of filtering is a bad thing, I really just object to it being compulsory. When it’s compulsory, my internet connection slows down. My business is less competitive. And then the government – perhaps a future government – has a tool to stifle free speech. If the Federal Government wants to waste hundreds of millions on a project of negligible use, I’m not going to start a movement: us Aussies are too laid back and we’re used to our Government’s wasting money – don’t get me started on the $10B bogan cash bonus fiscal stimulus package to prop up retail sales for products we just imported anyway – to get upset about them funding a voluntary feed.

All in all, Sharon was very interested, quite informed on the basics, and appreciative of our arguments and where we’re coming from. While remaining appropriately uncommittal, at the end of our chat I felt like she had a good understanding of the issues and consequences of putting in compulsory filtering technology.

This government has been very very strict on not breaking promises so far, and asking them to abandon the concept of a clean feed at an ISP level, funded by taxpayers is going to be an uphill battle. The solution looked pretty obvious to Sharon and I at the end of our chat: for the Federal Government to fund an optional clean feed for people to opt into, possibly supplied by a subset of ISPs who will take on additional technical complexity in return for government largesse, and to return the idea of a compulsory nation-wide feed to the “that was a stupid idea, wasn’t it” bin.

Other noteworthy parts of our chat included:

  • Sharon suggesting that a better interface between the Minister and Industry might be a good thing; given the ALP have put on the record how important the feel internet infrastructure is to our economic future, the idea of a specific internet subcommittee in Infrastructure Australia could have merit
  • When we talked about what it would take to filter P2P traffic, and we discussed Deep Packet Inspection, Sharon grasped the concept quickly and remarked “that would be like the Government filtering every single phone call people make”, with the obvious inference that that sort of thing would not stand.
  • In Sharon’s office at least, they’re getting about an even 50/50 split between people who support the filter vs those who object to it; when we talked further though, those who support it are really arguing the merits of censorship, where those arguing against it are taking more of the line above – arguing the specific weaknesses, failings and collateral damage of a mandatory filter.

So, in summary, I came away from my chat with Sharon more impressed than I expected to be; those of us in technology fields are used to politicians who don’t have a background in them trying to make decisions and laws about them: and generally making the wrong decisions. On the contrary, Sharon was cognizant of the fundamentals, and was willing to learn more and explore the consequences of the proposed plans.

I’d encourage anyone reading this to get in touch with their own local members. Feel free to use the approach above as a template if you’re interested. If you have success, please post a note in the comments explaining who you got a positive/negative hearing from. Before legislation goes before Parliament, it has to be discussed and voted on in Caucus, so if we can build a list of MPs who understand the issue, and support the principle of the ALP delivering an optional, opt-in filtered feed, if they’re going to waste our money on filtering at all, then we stand a much better chance.

Steve Jobs has 46 Chromosomes too…

I’m in the anti-mac-fanboy-club, but you’ve got to feel for Steve Jobs. Rumors about his health hits the company’s stock price like a profit warning, and now Corporate Governance experts are openly questioning whether the reporting on one man’s health in a company of 32,000 staff was adequate for a public company.

Like Erick at Techcrunch, I wish the man a speedy recovery – while I generally despise the myopic nature of the disciples that make up the global Mac-Fan-Boy-Club, there’s no doubting that Jobs has contributed at least as much to technology as the top handful of humans, ever. I’m glad they’ve found whatever’s wrong, I’m doubly glad it isn’t cancer, and for his sake, hopefully eating meat won’t need to be part of the necessary therapy.

I wish I was a funny as this guy...

I wish I was a funny as XKCD...

Facebook's domination of Christmas Day

Uncharacteristically short post this time: Dan Whitworth has an article at BBC’s Newsbeat site about Facebook being so popular it accounted for almost 5% of all page views on Christmas Day.

I’ve got three theories for why this might be:

  • The Facebook generation have enough of their families early in the day, and want to catch up with what their friends got up to on Christmas Eve more than if they weren’t hanging out with the folks
  • There just isn’t anything else going on on Christmas Day. News papers shut down. People trying to make news don’t say anything cause they think no-one is watching, or if they are, there’s no working journalists or outlets to report and publish it anyway
  • With the cost of SMS messages – the most recent way to wish your friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – coming in at around $1,000,000 per GB, Facebook just plain makes sense.

Either way, Facebook is a phenomenon. When my mum starts asking about it, and my mate’s mum asks to be my friend, its gone as mainstream as you can possibly imagine. And for an advertising based business, mainstream = $$$.

Using FoxyProxy and a spare US Web Server to unlock Pandora

I first discovered Pandora as a houseguest of Mike Arrington’s back in early 2006, and was immediately hooked. Unfortunately a year or so later, back in Australia, Pandora started blocking access since I wasn’t coming from a US IP address – all over about music licencing territories and a dispute over internet radio royalties that played out until late 2008 in the US alone. While I can’t blame them for picking their battles and deciding the rest of the world could wait until they’d saved their business, I was pretty disappointed as an avid user and fan.

After reading Mike’s latest “Products I can’t live without” post, I thought I’d put 20 mins of work into getting access to Pandora back again. Getting first time access to Hulu and other sites that block international users is on the agenda too, but I’ve got Pandora back now, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s how I did it.


  1. Firefox web browser
  2. FoxyProxy plugin
  3. Someone else’s Proxy Server or an Apache Web Server on which you can configure mod_proxy


  1. I’ll assume you’ve got Firefox. If not, step 3 is probably going to seem a bit tough.
  2. Install FoxyProxy. You might see a warning about the plugin being unsigned. This is common for open-source plugins, and since Mozilla recommend this one, I reckon you’re fairly safe, so choose OK.
  3. When FoxyProxy first loads (following a restart) it will probably ask you whether you want to configure it to use TOR (The Onion Router). If you don’t know what that is, choose no.
  4. From the FoxyProxy options (which will be open by default on first run, but which can be re-opened by clicking on the “FoxyProxy” link in your status bar (the bit at the bottom of your browser), you need to configure a your rules so that attempts to go to Pandora go through your (or someone else’s) US based Proxy Server, as described below in “Configuring FoxyProxy”.

What is a Proxy

In the sense we use it here, a proxy is a computer that makes requests for web pages, images and other we content on your behalf to another server. So, you make a request of the proxy, and the proxy then makes the request to the destination server on your behalf, and when it gets a response from the destination server – in this case, Pandora.com – it receives it and then passes it back into your browser.

In default mode, Firefox (like most web browsers) can only run with one proxy server configured at a time; this is problematic because while I want to use my Proxy to access Pandora, I don’t want all my traffic crossing the Pacific (twice): it would slow things down a lot when I’m browsing Australian websites.

This is why you need FoxyProxy: it allows you to apply logic and rules to what traffic you send via the proxy, and which you let go through normally (usually directly). You can even define different multiple proxies, each of them having their own rules or patterns that bring them into play.

Before configuring FoxyProxy, you’ll need to have a proxy server to use. Here, you’ve got two options: you can try using a public open proxy, or if you’ve got a web hosting account that gives you access to Apache’s configuration files, you can make one yourself.

Using a Public Proxy Server

Using a Public Proxy Server is pretty easy, although there’s no promises as to the reliability of the servers you want to connect through: remember, Pandora is streaming radio, which means if the Proxy your using is being used by a lot of other people, you might not have enough bandwidth to suck the music stream down through.

I did a quick Google search, and the xroxy.com list ranked pretty well. I can’t vouch for it or any of the Proxies it lists, but it looked OK. If you don’t have access to your own Apache server in the US, this is what you’ll need to use.

Making Apache a Proxy Server

If you’ve got access to an Apache server, you can make your own Proxy in a few quick minutes. I’ll take you through the steps now.

  • Open httpd.conf, or a file that httpd.conf includes, often found in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf or somewhere similar, in your favourite editor.
  • Scroll down the file, and look for a LoadModule directives that mention “proxy”. There are two we need to make this work: mod_proxy and mod_proxy_http. If they’re there, then you’ve got the prerequisites you need.
    • NB: If the line that mentioned them has a # at the start of this, that means they’re currently disabled: remove the # at the start of the line to enable them the proxy functionality in Apache.
    • If you can’t find these directives, it might be that your hosting company doesn’t let you edit your core httpd configuration file. This isn’t uncommon, particularly in shared environments. If you’ve got the ability to edit at least some configuration files, you might get lucky and find that mod_proxy is enabled already, so keep perservering cross your fingers.
  • Now we’ve established that you have proxy (or we’re hoping you do), its time to configure the proxy. My configuration (with the IP address for Allow from changed) is below:
ProxyRequests On
ProxyVia Off
<Proxy http://*.pandora.com/*>
        Order deny,allow
        Deny from all
        Allow from aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd
  • The block of code allows people from the IP address listed in the Allow from line to access http://www.pandora.com, streaming.pandora.com or any other prefix of pandora.com, as well as allowing those people to access files and subdirectories of *.pandora.com. MAKE SURE YOU PUT YOUR OWN IP ADDRESS IN THE ALLOW FROM DIRECTIVE. You can find your IP address from the aptly named WhatIsMyIP.com site.
  • When you’re done, do an apachectl configtest and if Apache is happy, do an apachectl graceful to reload the configuration files.

Once this is done, it’s time to configure FoxyProxy so that your browser actually makes requests to your new proxy when you’re trying to go to Pandora.

Configuring FoxyProxy

Configuring FoxyProxy wasn’t too hard, but if you’re not familar with the terminology, its easy to feel confused. Here’s a step by step.

  1. Inside the FoxyProxy options box (you can get to it using the instructions described above), you want to click on “Add New Proxy” on the right hand side.
  2. On the next screen, under the “General” tab, give your Proxy a name. If you’re using a public proxy, use the name from the listing website; if you’re using your own, give it a name like “MyProxy”.
  3. From the “Proxy Details” tab, enter the address of the proxy. If you set up your own proxy, this will be your server’s hostname or IP address. You also need to choose a port: if you set up your own server using the Apache instructions above, it will likely be 80; if you used a public proxy, look for the number after the : in the address if they don’t specify an explicit port number. Also, if you created your own Proxy using Apache, leave the SOCKS box unticked.
  4. The “URL Patterns” tab is where you tell your browser to use this proxy whenever you’re going to Pandora.com.
    1. Click on “Add New Pattern”
    2. Type a name for the pattern that makes sense to you, eg, Pandora
    3. Type the following into the URL pattern box: http://*pandora*/*
    4. Leave the default radio buttons (whitelist and wildcard)
    5. Click on OK to save the Pattern, and then OK to save the FoxyProxy settings, and then close.
  5. Now, you need to enable FoxyProxy. Simply right-click on “FoxyProxy” text in the status bar, and choose “Use proxies based on their pre-defined patterns and priorities”.
  6. Try going to http://www.pandora.com – this is the real test of your Proxy server, and whether it will let you pass traffic through to Pandora. The following results might give you an idea of what where a problem lies:
    1. 403 Forbidden Error: the Proxy isn’t letting you get through to Pandora.
      1. If you’re using a pubic proxy, then they don’t like you, or don’t like Pandora. Either way, choose another proxy.
      2. If you’ve set up your own Proxy using Apache, you’re either coming through from a different IP address than you thought (check for typos on the “Allow from” line), or you’ve typed in your “<Proxy>” directive incorrectly; check there for typos too.
    2. If you get the “restricted” page from Pandora telling you your IP address is outside of the US, then one of the following has occured:
      1. If it shows you your IP address, then you either haven’t turned FoxyProxy on (make sure you do Step 5 above), or you’ve made a mistake when setting up your URL Pattern: go in and have another look.
      2. If it shows you another IP address, like that of your Proxy, then Pandora doesn’t think the Proxy is in the US. Use another Proxy.

These are a few instructions that worked for me: they’re not going to work for everyone, and they don’t take into account the myriad of different ways you can set up Apache servers in particular.

Hope you’ve found them useful – if you’ve got questions, please post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

It feels like there's a community forming…

Just a few late night reflections on the (Sydney-centred) Australian Startup Community, and more particuarly, SiliconBeachAustralia.org at the centre of it.

While I’ve personally been playing the startup game on and off for a while now (first with Internetrix, which is now pretty established, then Omnidrive that taught a lot of lessons on how not to do things, and now Hiive Systems, which we soft launched over the Christmas break), including time in Australia as well as Silicon Valley, I’ve never really felt like I’ve been part of a community. Whether the community I associate with SiliconBeach existed or not in the past is something for others to say, but from my perspective, feeling like being part of the startup community is a fairly new thing.

Almost by definition, being an entrepreneur is a lonely existence.

It isn’t that we’re loners, antisocial or isolationists – there’s good reasons for feeling alone a lot of time.

Firstly, we’re kinda busy a lot of the time – more so than most of our friends or family seem to be – trying to create our dreams, but it really just comes across as being workaholics. Sure, we’re having fun in a perverse way with the stuff that really drives us crazy as we learn the things that don’t work, but it does make for a certain amount of loneliness.

Secondly, the things that we care about – investment, scaling, staff, company structures, marketing and so many more topics – isn’t really pub conversation, so while we’re quite happy to talk about whether Hayden should be dropped from the next Test or not, it probably isn’t the thing at the top of our mind.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other things that lead to being a bit lonely in our endeavours, but its late, and I’ll leave it at that…

The thing I’ve been most impressed about professionally over the 6 months or so is that I’ve seen a community start to form and take shape. Again, it probably existed long before I noticed anything or was included, but this is my blog, so I’ll take a naive 1st person reference point or we could be here all night.

So, why do I think a community is forming?

Firstly, entrepreneurs are building relationships. Real relationships. I’ve actually made real friends, people I’ve enjoyed beers with, had lunches and dinners with, and more than anything, have gotten to know and respect. I like these people, and really enjoy their company, and they seem to tolerate mine. Why are we forming real friendships and relationships? It surely isn’t just the work: I think its about a shared lifestyle, a shared passion, and a shared outlook. I might never work with any of them, and I don’t really care – while entrepreneurship (and thus by proxy business) might be the common thread, its the people at the ends of this thread that are worth knowing. This isn’t some virtual social network substituting for real friends and human relationships.

Secondly, people are having real conversations. Talk is cheap? Sure it is, but it takes time and effort, and you know a community is forming when there’s care and passion in the talking. There’s been a few little dust-ups and differences of opinion, but that’s a good thing in moderation: people care enough to contribute, and as long as they listen to the other guy/girl’s point of view, it’s all good. On the lower friction side of the equation, and following on from the relationships thing above, I’ve just come off a 40 minute Skype chat with @Nickhac, someone I wouldn’t have gotten to know – and massively appreciate and value taking the time to talk to – if it wasn’t for the SiliconBeach community.

Thirdly, people are interacting, not just occassionally, but through both casual and signifcant events that cost much more than money – they cost time. It’s now 4 months since StartupCamp was held in Sydney, and StartupCamp II is coming in a couple of weeks. This is on top of the regular Friday Drinks, a range of other events including BBall, and finally the conference circuit which those of us too busy can follow thanks to the likes of @kcarruthers. 2009 is looking like a bumper year for quality interaction in the entrepreneurial scene. I’m really looking forward to StartupCamp II in Sydney, and I really hope Geekdom can handle us, since there’s something like 90 people already signed up to come. I’m mildly concerned about what we’ll do without Bart there to guide us, but hopefully we learned enough last time around on the maiden voyage to have a stab at it.

A big thankyou… to you

So, in summary, I’d like to thank Elias for kicking off SiliconBeachAustralia.org, and I’d also like to thank all the other people who’ve contributed to the 1400+ messages over the last 5 and a bit months. Lets keep this community growing, and don’t be afraid to say hi – introduce yourself on the list, come along to StartupCamp or follow the action on UStream or startup-australia.org or technation.com.au if you’re too far away to make it in person.

But, most of all, if you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t need to be lonely…