Although I am still a great believer in the print format, the spontaneity and flexibility of online can be a great advantage. The TechMo' gallery running on our website at the moment is a perfect example that demonstrates the channel's community spirit.
Like a lot of blokes growing Movember 'taches at the moment, I first decided it was a good idea when a mate suggested it in the pub one Sunday afternoon. I knew it was bound to be fun because a couple of friends had also agreed to do it, and it is also raising money for a couple of very worthy causes - the Prostate Cancer Council of Australia and national depression initiative, beyond blue.
Initially, I asked people to send photos at the end of the month for inclusion in our Out & About community page but our publisher had the much better idea of moving it online.
Never shy of having a laugh at my own expense, my horrible mo' (which one reader has described as 'cruel and unusual', thanks Kon) was posted to our website with an invitation for anybody in the channel to send their mug shots in.
The response was incredible. At the time of writing we already have more than 50 photos in our TechMo' rogues' gallery and the story housing them has had more hits than anything else we have posted to the site in the past day and a half.
In fact, it's generated such interest that we've decided to turn the whole thing into a competition.
We will keep posting photos to the site as they come in for the remainder of the month (one storage vendor alone has promised to deliver 20 this week) and then invite the whole industry to vote online for their favourite TechMo'. We'll post prize details to the site nearer to the time.
For the record, the itchy ginger attachment I am sporting at the moment is my first and last attempt at facial hair. Some people make it look good but I'm definitely not one of them. On a more serious note, but not for very long, it has been great to see technology as a real issue in this year's federal election agenda.
As somebody in the industry said to me recently, the national broadband infrastructure looks set for major improvement no matter which side wins.
Every poll conducted in the past year has suggested that Labor is headed for a victory in the upcoming election. John Howard has tried watching a game of rugby instead of meeting George Bush at the airport in an effort to establish himself as a man of the people, and I even saw him declaring his love of tomato sauce on the TV one night last week, but I can't help thinking his image team missed a trick when they failed to sign him up for Movember. A good, solid set of silver handlebars might just have been the difference between winning and losing when the nation hits the poll booths on November 24.