Monday, September 13, 2010 launches social media section and iPhone app has introduced a social media section to its website.

While this type of approach has become quite widespread overseas, providing a central hub to access all of an agency's social media engagement tools, is one of the first Australian government websites to provide this type of hub.

At the same time has released its first iPhone application. Aimed primarily at business people, the app allows someone to look up ABNs and a variety of information about business from the website.

I've personally found the application a very convenient tool for looking up ABNs while on the go, being much faster and easier than using a website to do it.


  1. Noticing that many of the apps available are iPhone only - shame. Android is a much more open and accessible mobile OS.

  2. cdbragg,

    We all have to start somewhere.

  3. It's a shame but not surprising, Australia is usually behind times when it comes to technology concepts, trends and practices. Having said that, good and smart developers should be looking at building Android native apps already. We will probably see it happening in Australia within the next few years though. but Craig is right, some development is better than nothing. Unfortunately developers don't always have a say on what platform to use sometimes :-(

  4. I agree that we have to start somewhere, but we also need to remember basic principles. IMHO, listing all social media efforts together on one page is not customer-centric. Social media is another channel and our approach to it should be as task-focussed as any other.

    I doubt that the primary task on a user's mind is to see all the Facebook profiles on offer. Rather, they are looking for information and services related to the task at hand. If there happens to be a relevant feed, tool, service, etc then it should be presented in the context of the task not the format of the content.

    Would you list all your PDFs together on one page?

  5. The page itself doesn't do much (other than tick all the standard "2.0" boxes) but, in their defence, I don't think it was intended to be a major navigation tool in itself. I would imagine most people would click through to the Iphone page directly from the homepage. I would hope these buttons would be repeated in appropriate locations across the site in future.

    On the Iphone/Android issue, I agree it's irritating for governments to develop only for one platform. There are also issues for government being seen to support one proprietary platform over another.

    That being said, if I had a budget for a smartphone app, I would probably put my funds into the platform with the largest potential audience, and that is very much iphone, at least at the moment in this country.

  6. If you want to see a site listing all social media on one page look at:

    I imagine the primary audience would be US defence personnel. So from that point of view, the site is quite customer-centric.

  7. Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    Our usage statistics showed that the vast majority of smartphone users trying to access a mobile version of were iPhone users.

    So it made sense to develop this app as our initial smartphone service, especially since one could be developed quickly and cost-effectively.

    We will continue to monitor website usage and user feedback to help us develop other services in the future (including consideration of the Android platform).

    Thanks again - GT