SMEs are spending up online… Australian IT salaries surge… Social networks going mobile… Talking books online…


SMEs are spending up online

The latest SmartCompany Roy Morgan Poll found that 92% small business owners have bought something online in the past three months.

The survey of 840 SmartCompany readers found that 80% have bought airline tickets, 71% accommodation, and 46% books. Almost a quarter bought or sold shares online, and a third bought computer hardware or software on line.

The figures reflect a growing trend for small business to shop online in the United States.

In a new report, US Online Small Business Market Category Forecast, 2007 to 2012, New York-based JupiterResearch projects that total online spending by small businesses will exceed $70 billion by 2012, up from $47 billion in 2006 reports

According to the report, an increase in the number of small businesses overall, rather than an increase in buyers among existing companies, will drive most of the growth in online spending.

“One of the interesting things we found is that online buyer penetration is maturing,” said Sonal Gandhi, a JupiterResearch analyst and lead author of the report. With 71% of small businesses now buying online, there is limited potential for growth in the current market.

The report also says that major retail chains will continue to promote the online channel over others because it provides them with better margins.


Australian IT salaries surge

IT salaries in Australia have surged 11.54% in the past 12 months, putting them on a par and in many cases higher than in other developed nations, according to a new survey reported in ITWire.

The survey taken over the past 12 months by one of Australia’s largest IT recruiters, Greythorn Group, shows that Australian salaries in positions such as .Net development, business analyst, database administration and project management are matching and in some cases surpassing those in highly paid centers such as the US, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.

According to Greythorn’s figures, a project manager in Melbourne can expect to earn about $US126,000, compared to $US121,000 in Hong Kong, $US115,000 in Singapore, $US87,000 in the US and $US153,000 in the UK.

A business analyst in Canberra or Melbourne could earn $US95,000 compared to $US115,000 in Hong Kong, $US99,000 in Singapore, $US84,000 in the US and $US92,000 in the UK.

A .Net developer in Brisbane could expect to be paid $US91,000, compared to $US119,000 in Singapore, $US117,000 in the UK and just $US64,000 in the US.

A C++ software engineer in Sydney can earn $US83,000, the same in Hong Kong, $US79,000 in Singapore, $US84,000 in the US and $US102,000 in the UK.


Social networks going mobile

Mobile social networks are a growing phenomenon, reports The Boston Globe.

Facebook and MySpace have added mobile features, and mobile-centered social network startups are jumping into the fray.

But data from M:Metrics Inc finds only 3.5% of US mobile users access social networks or blogs via a mobile device even once a month – so far.


Talking books online

Online music retailer, eMusic is launching downloadable audio books in MP3 format with an initial catalogue of more than 1000 titles, reports IT Wire.

The worldwide market for digital audio books and other spoken word is expected to grow 45% in revenue, from $US138.6 million in 2006 to $US201.1 million in 2007 and $US274.4 million in 2008, according to Piper Jaffray & Co.

The US site eMusic will sell titles from big brand publishers including Penguin and Random House. There will be fiction and non-fiction, new releases and bestsellers. Many narrated by big names like Ralph Fiennes and Julia Roberts. Barack Obama will be reading his own books, Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope.

The titles will be offered on the same basis as eMusic’s music tracks: a fixed monthly fee for a fixed number of title downloads. Subscriptions will be priced at $US9.99 for one book or $US19.99 for two books, with one book free as part of an introductory offer.

The service will be launched on 18 September in the US and be available from


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