Feeds

Winner of Google's most wired Australian town award is...North Sydney?

Vulture South's declining home gains Google gong

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has decided North Sydney is Australia's “eTown of 2013”, because it is “the region whose web-savvy small businesses are outpacing the others.”

Those who like Vulture South work in the enclave, which styles itself the third-most significant central business district after Sydney proper and Melbourne, may find the notion fanciful because even the tumbleweeds leave at about 6:00PM. The area's last cinema and nightclub closed years ago, one of its two shopping centres has been half-empty for years. There's no bookstore, record store or place to buy basics like socks, jocks or a decent birthday present.

Telco Optus leaving a few years back is held to have been a watershed for the area as it took over 3,000 workers with it. EMC is another recent technology departure. Cisco, Sophos and Fujitsu remain, as does SAP in a building it has inhabited for over a decade. NBNCo is also present, but office vacancies are plentiful and rents are … let's be polite and say affordable.

The only truly remarkable thing in the district is noodle bars, of which three provide excellent lunch fodder your correspondent really should avoid a little more often.

Google's decision to award the precinct the prize appears to be based on the success of an outfit called FORM+DESIGN that was once “limited to the fifty thousand residents who lived close enough to walk into their store.” Now, thanks to the wonders of the internet “customers come from as far afield as Melbourne, Perth, New Caledonia, Germany and Sweden.”

Without bearing any malice towards FORM+DESIGN, if its activities are “outpacing” the rest of Australia, Vulture South is very, very surprised. Make that astounded. In fact the best theory for why Google picked North Sydney might be that it had no travel budget to stage the prize ceremony at the other nominees, Cockburn in Western Australia, Darwin, South Australia's Holdfast Bay, Tasmania's Launceston, in Victoria, South Canberra and Queensland's Sunshine Coast. We advance that theory because Google won't: no methodology for judging eTown excellence has been offered.

Just how the actual digital ghettos of Sydney's Surry Hills and Pyrmont, or Melbourne's Docklands, feel about falling behind a suburb whose name has become a byword for gentle commercial decline is not known to Vulture South. At least the latter just about made the list in the form of near neighbour Port Philip.

Perhaps the affordable office space in North Sydney really does make it a good place for small technology companies to hang out their shingles. Or perhaps the nearby suburbs of Crows Nest or Willoughby, both of which fall within the area's boundaries and have a bit more of a reputation for housing small and clever companies, are the reason for the award. If you work in those areas or for a thrusting North Sydney venture and feel we've just traduced you, feel free to set things to rights. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.