Thursday, January 8, 2009

5 Questions - Anne Bartlett Bragg - MD Headshift Australia

[Article published by Michael Watkins for technation on Sept 25th 2008]

Global Social Media agency Headshift has recently set up shop here in Australia. I interviewed the Managing Director Anne Bartlett Bragg to find out more about Headshift and why they have decided to open an Office in Australia.


What is Headshift’s core business and what scope have you got in Australia currently?

“Headshift specialises in Social Software Development and Social Media Consultancy.”

With a move into the Australian Market, you are obviously anticipating significant growth in the social media and web 2.0 sectors. What indications or observations lead headshift to setup in Australia now?

“The UK and Europe experience has taught us to identify key indicators that point to a rise in popularity of Social Media. i) The interest in Social Media and Social Technologies has started to hit the mainstream media. When the mainstream media starts covering a once unfamiliar technology or way of thinking, suddenly that technology begins becomes justified and less scary in the mass market, leading to larger companies to begin testing the technology. ii) The language is out there. The market is beginning to talk about Social Media Technology in ways that can help their business reach new markets and new customers. Talking is the first step, implementing and using the technology is the next step. iii) Early adopters are seeing results from using Social Media. The few companies that are already using Social Media effectively are talking up the positive aspects of it, which gives other companies the confidence they need to step into this market.”

How does the social media/web 2.0 scene in Australia compare to that of the UK and Europe?

“Currently Australia is 2-3 years behind on a corporate basis, namely in implementation. As I mentioned before, alot of companies are now talking about it, but few are actually ‘doing’ it.”

What companies do you target and why?

We target three types of companies.

  1. Companies that have a high focus on internal communications - as they benefit greatly from internal social networks. These companies are largely knowledge workers that have a dispersed audience and need to share information with one another on a constant basis.
  2. Companies that want to reach their target market by leveraging off social media externally. This may involve building their brand through the larger social networks like facebook or building a network about their brand with platforms like Ning.
  3. Community projects are becoming more popular with us, as more people begin to realise the power of social media and how it can expand the reach and awareness of their cause very rapidly with little financial sacrifice.”

Where do you see the Australian web 2.0 and social media scenes in 2 years time?

“In 2 years I believe Australia would have caught up with the rest of the world. Being slow to adopt is not necessarily a bad thing, as the early adopters lay the groundwork for the rest of the market to springboard off. The result is that Australia will grow faster than the UK and Europe and has a real chance of possibly getting ahead of them in 2.5-3 years time. Australia is also far more dispersed, literally, in terms of landmass than that of the UK and Europe which will mean once Social Media Technologies become mainstream and the infrastructure is there to support them, people will use the technology as a primary source of communication as it is cheaper and far more effective than what they have currently.”

Headshift employs 2 people in Australia, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne, however the company is looking to expand its employee base in the coming months.

These are all promising signs for the Social Media and Web 2.0 sector in Australia, as big players are starting to plant roots here in the expectation that the market is growing and will keep growing significantly in the near future.


Thanks to Anne for the time taken for the interview. To find out more about Headshift visit the Headshift Australia website.

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