Telstra kills nowwearetalking site

Telstra kills nowwearetalking site

Summary: Telstra has confirmed it closed the shutters on its nowwearetalking.com.au website, which at times has been used as a mouthpiece to promote its telecommunications sector regulatory ambitions.

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Telstra has confirmed it closed the shutters on its nowwearetalking.com.au website, which at times has been used as a mouthpiece to promote its telecommunications sector regulatory ambitions.

It might have been so associated with Phil Burgess and the Sol era that it couldn't get rid of that stench of propaganda.

Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes

The site, which hosted a network of blogs written by various Telstra staff, has been produced since 2005 while Telstra was still under former chief Sol Trujillo. At the launch of the site, then group managing director of Telstra public policy and communications Phil Burgess said a shareholder came up with the idea as a way for investors to see where Telstra stood on certain issues.

A spokesperson for Telstra this morning confirmed the site will shut down. Telstra has since unveiled plans to launch a new yet-to-be-named site which will sit under the Telstra.com domain.

"The end of NWAT will not mean the end of Telstra's online outreach — far from it," the telo told its subscribers via an email today.

A spokesperson for Telstra today confirmed the site will shut down, but was unable to provide further details at the time of writing.

The site was managed by a handful of Telstra's public relations managers, but was initially headed up by Rod Bruem, author of a blog who last year suggested Optus chief executive Paul O'Sullivan see a counsellor and accused parent company Singtel of being an arm of the Singaporean Government, and proceeded to call it "one of the most hideous totalitarian regimes in Asia".

Tim Burrows, editor of media and marketing online publisher, Mumbrella, said he was disappointed by Telstra's decision to shut the site.

"Bloody hell! I saw [the site] as hugely positive. I know it was seen by some as a propaganda arm, but to me it was becoming a genuine conversation. I thought it was a good place for Telstra to tell their story when the whole Fake Stephen Conroy [Twitter issue] was going on," Burrows told ZDNet.com.au.

Telstra recently launched its own Twitter identity, after reclaiming it from a cybersquatter. Burrows said the nowwearetalking site would make a perfect companion to its Twitter account for more complex arguments.

As for why Telstra has decided to take it down, Burrows speculated: "It might have been so associated with Phil Burgess and the Sol era that it couldn't get rid of that stench of propaganda."

Topics: Telcos, Optus, Telstra, Social Enterprise

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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Talkback

35 comments
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  • It won't be missed

    NWAT was just a marketing vehicle for Telstra, rather than what it was originally supposed to be - a site where people coupld openly discuss issues between Telstra and their customers.

    I found NWAT a propaganda machine driven by a bunch of sales-oriented overlords.
    anonymous
  • hmm

    Whatever will Sydney Lawrence do with his time?
    anonymous
  • Goodbye to a load of old nonsense

    Brilliant - Sydney has been figuratively castrated. The only downside is he may appear more often on this site, mouthing his proposterous Telstra propaganda.
    NWAT was a complete load of crap anyway..
    anonymous
  • Hate to be the one...

    Lol...

    About 4-5 weeks ago, I mentioned to our friend Sydney that, with NWAT only being updated every other day, it was on its way out.

    It was obvious that with Mr. Thodey's more concilliatory approach, the us/them, ridiculous Tijuana Trujillo approach, still being clung to by 3 or 4 greedy TLS shareholders on NWAT, just wasn't on.

    In Sydney's typical Telstra are sugary perfect style, he called me a "fool" and said that NWAT was going stong.

    Since then I reminded him that NWAT was only being updated twice a week, once a week and then?

    So Mr. L, just like you were wrong about Telstra MD (misleading and deceptive) wrong about regulations (which are laws) wrong about Telstra shares which have plummeted, you were, umm, wrong again, lol.

    You do get an A+ for consistency however, Mr. Lawrence!
    anonymous
  • A new journey of a thousand leagues began with a few first steps today.

    Bigger and better and more attuned to current events.

    Happy Telstra Shareholder.
    anonymous
  • Bye Bye Sol..

    About time.. Thanks David for undoing the hugely propaganda machine formed by the Sol era..
    NWAT was never about customer service or consumer complaints or any real purpose other than for Telstra and some die hard loyal Shareholders to tout their gross propaganda. The stench lives on, and so it needs a freshman to take its place.I am sure David will be able get some other worthwhile project up and running to take its place. �Nowwearelistening�?
    anonymous
  • @ a journey

    now without nwat, agreed.
    anonymous
  • Congrats

    Congratulations Mr, Massonic.

    It has finally taken the closure of the Trujillo us/them propaganda site, for you to actually see what we have been telling your for months and in some people's cases, years.

    Now that the ego which is Sol Trujillo has gone and so too his hatred site, as you say, Telstra can focus on becoming more attuned to current events.

    Instead of resting on their inherited PSTN laurels (profits), they may now actually (have to) do something.

    Even happier non Telstra shareholder (phew)!
    anonymous
  • Congratulations Mr, Massonic

    Sour Grapes.
    anonymous
  • goodness ungracious, lol

    What an odd comment coming from NWAT's #1 comments man.

    As usual Mr. Massonic you are both ungracious in defeat and ungracious in... defeat. Lol.
    anonymous
  • @Goodbye to a load of old nonse ...

    bah, NWAT was always good for a laugh. If you ever needed a place to relax and read one sided egotistical views, NWAT was the place :-)
    anonymous
  • Play the game.

    Please contributors let us be sensible and do not descend into the depths of unsustainability or the delusion of a victory of some sort with the repositioning of NWAT.

    NWAT served its purpose as a forum for all to express opinions concerning the telecommunication industry in Australia. To some extent it was hijacked by Telstra opponents for their own purposes. That's fine and pro Telstra people gave as good as they got.

    I hope that the revised forum will be the catalyst for the new Telstra ( new CEO and Directors) and be used as a platform for genuine suggestion or complaints, after other normal channels of appeal are exhausted, and be answered quickly by Telstra experts.

    Without doubt Telstra is Australia's favourite telco and this will continue, and accelerate, as Australia moves ahead with communication facilities. I would advise Telstra opponents to forget their hope of unfair regulation and untruths to be their salvation and invest, like Telstra, to compete and perhaps win favour with the Australian consumer.
    anonymous
  • Favoritism

    "Telstra is Australia's favourite telco" Favorite to who? Dont assume that you speak for everyone. Monopolizing the market and therefore have the most customers most certainly does not make it a favorite.
    anonymous
  • NWAT twat?

    It seems that the unlamented (by all sensible people) NWAT site may have seemed like part of the ominous sounding Telstra news service.

    It all appeared a bit like Orwell's 1984, complete with the relentless involvement of the newspeak activists. Pity the Sol conga line missed the boat by about twentyfive years.
    anonymous
  • Quite right Sydney, quite right

    "Please contributors let us be sensible and do not descend into the depths of unsustainability or the delusion of a victory of some sort with the repositioning of NWAT."

    That's right, there's been no victory celebrations, no tickertape parades, no popping of champagne corks. NWAT is gone but Telstra's high pricing, low-spec products and lousy customer service are still in place and running wild.

    Out of the two choices I'd rather the site stay and have Telstra offer more features and higher download limits on their broadband products.
    anonymous
  • Move on Sydney

    "NWAT served its purpose as a forum for all to express opinions concerning the telecommunication industry in Australia. To some extent it was hijacked by Telstra opponents for their own purposes. That's fine and pro Telstra people gave as good as they got. "

    Hijacked by Telstra opponents? Seriously Sydney? NWAT was a Telstra propaganda site through and through, the new Telstra board is smart enough to realise that and have wisely removed it.

    Here I was thinking you were going to embrace the new Telstra management team and their efforts to moving forward and improving the company, but instead you're hung on the crap the old Telstra spilled (like NWAT). Move on, Telstra is better without NWAT.
    anonymous
  • sydeny you big funny silly guy

    ha.

    sydney says. nwat served a purpose as a forum for ***all*** to express, blah, blah.

    the says. it was hijacked by telstra's opponents.

    but you just told us nwat was for ***all** sydney? including these hijacking telstra opponents? this way we could get balance, from both sides, rather than just your telstra yeh opinion?

    now youre saying anyone but telstra weren't really welcome? make up your mind, ha.

    no, by *all* you mean *all* telstra supporters only.

    but obviously the telstra crew didn't give as good as they got or nwat we still be up and running. they must have been smashed so badly telstra had to shut it down, ha.

    let it go sydney, it was a big mistake by telstra, like sol and the linebackers, they know it and are rectifying it.

    all you are doing is relighting the fires as thodey is putting them out.
    anonymous
  • who cares?

    telstra is no longer relevant, it will blunder along for a few more years but its day has passed.

    Good riddance to telco mediocrity.
    anonymous
  • New NWAT can work.

    On reflection of the above Posts, Mel Sommersberg offers the conclusion that makes the most sense and best understands, without bias, the NWAT situation.

    He offers serious and sensible comment which would be considered by those in command at Telstra when he states and suggests "out of the two choices I'd rather the Site stay and have Telstra offer more features and higher download limits on their broadband products".

    See, this is intelligent comment presented in the hope of advancement of quality of product for all Australians and not reflective of the Anti Telstra bash by Telstra opponents we see so often.

    Hope Mel sets the pace and we see the new Telstra Site working in a way to receive suggestions for an improved Telstra service and happy and contented customers.
    anonymous
  • NWAT 2 = JOKE, I believe!

    Telstra's NWAT MK2 is less than a week old and is a joke even more so than the original, already, in my opinion.

    They say we listen, but as Sydney prays for too, apparently ONLY if you are all sugary Telstra positive and there to tell them how wonderful they are, as Sydney ALWAYS does.

    In just 4 days I have already had 3 posts omitted for criticising the old regime and a few blind shareholders but praising the new more open Thodey Telstra, and urging these shareholders to stop the whinging, stop underming Mr. Thodey by relighting all the Trujillo burnt bridges just as Mr. Thodey mends them, but...

    No, there were no expletives, no personal attacks. Ironically, I actually posted a referral to here, where Sydney attacked Simon and questioned his mental capacity for simply disagreeing with Sydney's portfolio driven comments! Just as Sydney was asking everyone to make the new NWAT the holding hands/kumbaya Mr. Trujillo had told everyone Telstra were not and would never be.

    Telstra listen, pffft - I then (and it was also in response to another who had similarly questioned) had a typical sarcastic reply from resident Telstra spokesman Rod Bruem which said this -

    RB 11/9 .."Please no more CRAZY POSTS about leeches, Xenophopes (xenophobes), Telstra "the most profitable company in the world" Telstra's network being "inherited". WHAT A LOAD OF GARBAGE FROM THE TESTRA (Telstra) HATERS. Time to move forward.{end}

    For the record, as usual, there had to be spin - I SAID MOST PROFITABLE "TELCO" - NOT COMPANY.

    So Telstra listens? Let me reiterate. This above comment came from one of Telstra's upper echelon spokespersons, not a member of the public or a shareholder, one who is supposed to be a professional and listening!

    Seems however, he considers anything but Telstra yeah, yeah, "crazy posts and garbage from Telstra haters".

    Especially when you highlight THEIR words - leeches. The fact they inherited the network from the government (which they did, shareholders bought Telstra, after they inherited the network). Deny being the most profitable Telco in the world (but claim to be on investor days, nice).

    I then asked how come Mr. Nassar was hung, drawn and quartered, for making blog comments which were less than Telstra flattering, but it's ok for Mr. Bruem, to make nice sugary comments and attack a Telstra customer x5 (me)! No answer.

    I then asked a few questions which of course mediator Craig Middleton replied with utmost UNprofessionalism, in my opinion, only with short sarcastic replies.

    At least Jeremy Mitchell at NWAT, tried to be open and fair Messrs Bruem and Middleton.

    NWAT 2 is again a Telstra propaganda site, but worse. Where no one but Telstra supporters, shareholders and all round uneducated comms fools are welcome, I believe.

    Obviously that's why me and most here aren't welcome.

    As I suggested, following Mr Bruems nasty reply and particularly following his miserable failure NWAT being closed, Mr. Bruem should have absconded to Tijuana with his mentor when he had the opportunity.

    It's still not too late to take the broom to Mr. Bruem and Mr. Middleton and bring back Mr. Mitchell!

    Ooh, I now look forward to a dispargaging lie fest from Sydney. But Sydney this is a place where people come to air their views and this is my view. So no matter how much you and your portfolio argue with me, you will not change my view.

    You will also not change the fact I have had 3 comments omitted by your wonderful new NWAT in just 4 days and you have conveniently and like NWAT, had none omitted, I'm sure.
    anonymous