The Two Faces of Bali

Posted July 4th, 2012 in Travel

Petulu, Bali

Well, we’re here again. This time, my wife and I have brought along our three children, ages 11, 9 and 4.

I’m always reminded about what I consider the two faces of Bali when boarding our plane from Perth. There’s the usual conversations overheard such as ‘Is Bali a country, or is that Indonesia?’ and the different stories of the travellers eager to arrive in the island of the gods.

There’s the father next to me who is bringing his wife and three teenagers with him. He is looking forward to staying in Kuta, drinking cheap beer, getting a suitcase full of cheap DVD’s and making comments such as ‘They speak funny over there in Bali’.

Then there’s the girl in her early twenties who we consoled on the flight home six months ago, who told us how a week of late night drinking, over-enthusiastic touts pushing their driving services ‘Transport, Boss?’ and eating cheap food from those multinational chains had made her question the ‘hype’ of Bali.

That’s one type of Australian traveller. Then there’s those who, like me, come for the cultural experience, the chance to try local foods and do our best (albiet poorly) to integrate with Balinese life. Okay, so I’m not entirely fluent in Bahasa Indonesian, and I do like the occasional western food, but I try my best to be culturally sensitive and enjoy my holiday in Bali style.

I’m reminded of the two sides of Bali even more so, when watching a conversation on Twitter around a week ago, where someone responded to a tweet about a friend going to Bali with ‘Why bother, it’s all full of Australians?’. The funniest part was this person admitted to having never been; only judging Bali based on the nightly news media in Australia.

And don’t get me started on the target article of a Crikey post from a few months ago, entitled The Age goes to Bali: the worst travel article ever published?.

For those who think Bali is cheap DVD’s, hours of swilling Bintang and eating burgers; try the other side of Bali, you never know, you may just find out you like it.

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Blogs and ghost towns

Posted June 30th, 2012 in Blogging


I’ve always tutted under my breath when I’ve stumbled across a blog I like, only to find that the latest post was some months ago.

Well folks, I’ll admit it here. I’m guilty as charged as well. In fact, by my reckoning, it has been close to twelve months since I last blogged here. Sad but true.

Although I feel I have a genuine excuse. As well as holding down a gig as Managing Director of Bam Creative, I ended up doing another stint as Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association. I’ve also continued writing for SitePoint, which I have been doing at least fortnightly for the last five years.

My public speaking engagements have increased in the last year, with a number of gigs both in WA and over on the east coast; many of which have been private engagements outside of the conference space, so I’ve been reluctant to discuss them.

On top of all of this, I am also doing what I can to be a great husband, and great father for my three children.

It is true, amongst all these excuses, I have had time to visit New York, Bali twice in 2011 and the east coast a couple of times; it hasn’t all been work.

In fact, my plan is to use this blog for the next few weeks or few posts, to describe my trip to Bali in July 2012. I hope you’ll bear with me whilst I get that off my chest, before returning to more business and industry related musings.

After that, let’s hope I can wrangle some more time and effort into this ghost town…

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Ethics in the Web Industry

Posted July 31st, 2011 in Business, Industry

Last Friday, I had the honour to speak at Western Australia’s premier web conference, Edge of the Web.

My talk, titled ‘Services, SItes & Snakeoil’ was a 45 minute run down on the state of the web industry, examples of possibly unsavory behavior amongst the industry, and suggested actions to put into place to encourage better ethical decisions in the future.

I also handed out paper, and requested people jot down some of their own thoughts, which I’ll be sharing here in the near future. Right near the end of the talk, I dropped mention of the wiki environment that a bunch of us have started, in order to work through the concept of a ‘Code of Conduct’ or some-such. I’d love to see you join us there, at

Please enjoy the presentation above, and if you like it, share it with your colleagues. Thanks to Matt Didcoe, Ashul Shah, Helen Burgess and the tram at Partner and Prosper for the great conference – it really was a fantastic event.

Feedback on my talk, or the slides above? Hit me up in the comments.

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