Anthill Top 100 Cool Company List (2013) – Why it Rocks to Be On It

Socially Sorted has been listed as one of the Top 100 Coolest Australian Companies in Anthill Magazine's 2013 Cool Company Awards.  

Massively Cool.  But that's not the reason why we give a shizz.  It's not that we reached the Top 100.

It's not even really about the pat on the back or the recognition or the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with being listed as one of the cool kids on the block.

That's not why it rocks.

I care about this listing because of what James Tuckerman, founder of Anthill said, on stage, a year ago….

Who is Anthill and What are the Cool Company Awards? 

Before we get to “what James said”, I want to give a quick rundown of Anthill and the Awards.

Anthill Magazine


Anthill Online  is one of Australia's largest online communities for entrepreneurs, business builders and innovators. Anthill are described as celebrating creativity, inspiration, and commercial ingenuity, providing a fresh exciting and practical perspective on Australian business in a global world.

Anthill Magazine was initially launched as a print magazine, in September 2003, by its current editor-in-chief James Tuckerman at the age of 26.  At its peak, Anthill had a circulation of 30,000 – hot on the tail of the biggest business magazine in Australia – BRW (Business Review Weekly) with 45,000.

But what did James Tuckerman do? He saw potential in digital, started a humble blog in February 2009, shut down the print version of Anthill, and by November 2009 was ranked among the Top 50 Business & Finance sites in Australia by Nielson Online Ratings.

Got your attention yet?  James knows his stuff.

Ok … what are the Anthill Awards (and I am getting to “what James said” – stick around, it's valuable advice).

The “Cools”

The Anthill Cool Company Awards are held annually to highlight organisations that have proven themselves to be “remarkable”, that are doing things differently, are innovative or one-of-a-kind.  As James says, they are worthy of being “remarked” about.

Judging is not just based on revenue or wealth, but also takes into account factors such as the disruptive nature of the product or service or the culture of the organisation.  Previous winners have ranged from 2-person start ups to large private companies and publicly listed corporations.

This year, over 700 companies were nominated in “The Cools”, now one of Australia's largest business awards… so yes, I am extremely chuffed for Socially Sorted to get a mention on the Top 100 List.

But it's not even the criteria that has me feeling like doing a little happy dance.

It's what James said on stage just over a year ago.

What James Said
James Tuckerman
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James Tuckerman
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James Tuckerman (Source: Anthill Online)

In 2012 I attended my first Problogger Event hosted by the well-respected Problogger himself, Mr Darren Rowse. It was an amazing conference and James Tuckerman (CEO of Anthill) was one of the Keynote Speakers.

What James said in his Keynote really stuck with me.  It was not only his story, but his insight into business in general:

  • what makes us tick,
  • what makes for a successful business
  • innovative (sometimes disruptive) advice about marketing
  • building community
  • the importance of making mistakes
  • creating shareable content and
  • empowering your community to do your marketing for you.

So when I got the email saying that Socially Sorted was listed as one of the Coolest Companies in Australia, my thoughts immediately went back to that presentation.

It wasn't the recognition of the award that I cared about, it was that the man that had impressed me with his keynote had recognised my company.  Because I give a shizz about what Anthill thinks, because I believe in what they believe in.

So, I wanted to share with you some of what James said in his 2012 Keynote “Lubricate Your Mind” where he talked about some of the inspiring, and thought-provoking trends that are shaping the way that bloggers, marketers and digital professionals are interacting with technology and services.

And his predictions were bang-on and still relevant a year past the keynote.

Now you too can consider his wise advice and insights for your own Company. Because what he said is cool. Very cool:

7  Insights from James Tuckerman, Founder of Anthill Magazine
#1  You do NOT want crowds of people on social media.

You want to attract a relevant audience.  You want a niche!  This really struck a chord with me. More and more I see that it is about the quality of your audience and not the quantity that can result in quality engagement, leads, sales and more importantly – raving, referring clients that do your marketing for you.  

#2  Learn from your failures.

James recommend that when something goes wrong, simply say to yourself:  “the reason we did this was for “this” reason, we realise the reason we did this was dumb, we have learned from it and now we will fix it”.  In short, you are going to make mistakes all the time – learn from them.

#3  Social Media does one thing better than anything else…  

It empowers your readers to share your message for you. THAT is what we should be getting excited about. Stop thinking about the words “Social Media” and start thinking about the words “Shareable”.  This has been the single most exciting point from James' presentation as far as I am concerned.  

I spoke at the Social Media Tourism Symposium earlier this year about user generated content, using San Diego Zoo as an example of how to curate content from your fans and brand evangelists.  Jess Desjardins (Head of Social Media, Tourism Australia) also spoke at the same conference about how Tourism Australia uses this as their primary social media strategy. User generated content and shareability of content is where the Holy Grail is, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to social media marketing. 

#4  Bloggers and Content Creators “Own the Eyeballs”

They “Own the Eyeballs” because they are bringing people back to their website constantly.  Others will want to rent the attention of their audience. The next decade is for people who “own the eyeballs”.

#5  Involvement begets Commitment

Get people engaged and they will be committed to you.  Which brings me to #6…

#6  Get your Game On 

James' take on the idea of “Gamification” was insightful.  He talked about how we are motivated by “game-playing” mechanics – how we use game playing mechanics for non-game-playing applications. Examples include Foursquare where users become addicted to collecting badges and titles, or Dropbox where we are motivated by the “win” of receiving extra Mb for joining up our friends. Like a Boy Scout or Girl Guide, we love the idea of “gamification”. We love collecting, winning and being rewarded.   You can find  more information on gamification from Anthill's blog.  This article from Buffer also explains why we are so attracted to playing games.   Again, James was spot on with his predictions.

#7  Be Shareable  

Don't ask “which tool should I use?”. Ask “Will this tool help me to be more shareable?”.  I have mentioned Shareability already, but it warrants repeating.  This is not about how many fans or followers you are collecting. It is about customers sharing information with customers, staff sharing information with staff, staff sharing information with customers. How can you make your information more shareable?

There was a lot more in the Keynote that I could share, but I wanted to share this with you – the 4 Pillars of Anthill.  One of the things I also like about Anthill is their use of plain, simple language to explain concepts and ideas.  Their 4 Pillars are a great model for any business to adhere to.  James commented in his keynote that it is important to think like  “luddite” – if you can think like the “layman” and bring in an outside perspective, you can simplify the complicated.  Here he does just that with his 4 “simple” pillars:

The 4 Pillars of Anthill:

  1. Measurable – Don't do anything unless it is Measurable.  Look at your google analytics, unique impressions, visits, pop-ups nad sign-ups. Are they measurable?
  2. Findable – Are you findable?  Look at Google Analytics and get to know how it works.  If 40% of your traffic is coming from Google, then respect that traffic and respect those customers.
  3. Shareable – you must be shareable.  Empower your target market to do your marketing for you.
  4. Manageable – You need to be able to manage your business in your sleep, and run your business without working hard.  Use Autoresponders to make your business run on auto-pilot!

So if you want some insightful business advice, subscribe to updates at Anthill.

And to all of my friends, family, colleagues, readers, subscribers and clients….to everyone who ever commented on this blog or said hi in a tweet – thank you for your support over the past year.  It's very cool.  

Over to you. Do you like what James Said?  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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