What I’ve been reading: w/c 17 August 2015

The future of eSports and what’s holding it back in Australia; the journey of Airbnb globally and its presence in Australia; I bought a house last year and this is what you should know; and what it takes to be the best in PR. Welcome to the inaugural What I’ve been reading (this week).

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Airbinb’s (sic) Nate Blecharczyk explains how the company achieved the impossible via The Australian

Simon King visits Airbnb’s San Francisco office and speaks to the founders of Airbnb about their history, their learnings, its $US25 billion value, and the future. It’s very interesting to see that Australia’s a popular market for the house-sharing service: 25,000 Australians booking accommodation with 40,000 property listings.

Airbnb lists more than 1.5 million properties in more than 34,000 cities in 191 countries. On average it manages stays for more than one million people every month. Around 40 million travellers regularly use the site, and following one of the biggest private-funding rounds in June, which raised $US1.5 billion, Airbnb is now valued at around $US25bn. The numbers are astounding, even in a relatively small population like Australia’s. There are 40,000 Airbnb properties listed locally, a figure that doubles or triples every year, depending on the city.

Earlier this year Sydney joined Paris, New York and London in the top-10 cities for most properties listed on Airbnb — with inner-city Darlinghurst at the top of Australia’s list. Every week about 25,000 Australians use the platform to book accommodation.

via The Australian

I bought my first property in Sydney’s wild housing market a year ago — here’s what I’ve learned via Business Insider Australia

In an article, which does not minimise any personal anxiousness entering the housing market, Alex Heber writes about her experience of becoming a new home owner. To summarise: Buy as soon as you can, because even though there’s a property bubble, it doesn’t look like it’s going to burst anytime soon. Essential reading if you’re looking to buy a property in the next few years.

Over the past 12 months I’ve come to a few realisations. I feel like I have more freedom, even though the bank still owns most of our place. I’ve learned to budget a bit better, although it’s probably more about prioritising bills and juggling expenses than budgeting.

I also pay much more attention to even small changes in rhetoric from the RBA now, because it has an impact on personal life now as well as my work.

via Business Insider Australia

The Future of eSports via Intel

eSports is growing in momentum. From multi-million dollar tournaments to the States recognising gamers as professional atheletes (granting visas that recognise this profession), competitive gaming has come a very long way since the days of the prestigious CPL in the late 1990s. Intel’s article investigates the future of this sport (with comment from ESL’s Carmac and Intel’s Woo – both great people IRL and really easy to talk to btw) and predicts some interesting changes including virtual reality and the rise of mobile gaming.

From the games to the technology, experts explain why the next generation of competitions are in flux. The current temperature of eSports is sizzling.

These silicon-rich, stadium events feature the latest gaming rigs and highly competitive video games. But beneath all the electric festivities is a sneaking suspicion that no one knows what the future will bring.

via Intel iQ

Pro gamers are being held back by Australia’s dismal Internet via Mashable Australia

In a topic that’s close to me growing up and playing competitive Call of Duty, Australia is severely bottlenecked by our subpar Internet speeds (the difference timezones don’t help us either) creating a barrier that prevents local gamers competing (and improving) against other gamers worldwide. The rise of gameplay streaming as an income-generating channel is also being limited by Internet speeds.

In Australia, the esport scene is younger than in the U.S. and Asia, but slow Internet speeds are not doing it any favours. Not only is the country’s digital infrastructure not up to the task of allowing the pros to game uninterrupted, its slow upload speeds are stymying the ability of some players to make a living off their skills on live streaming platform, Twitch.

via Mashable Australia

Cannes PR Lions 2015: Looking Back on New PR’s Bright Future via Fleishmann Hillard

A great article summarising the pinnacle of PR campaigns from this year’s Cannes PR Lions and the reasons why they won. Complemented by the video case studies, the article is a great read for anyone working – or looking to get into – PR.

This is PR’s time. Since its debut at Cannes Lions in 2009, the discipline has evolved its soft power into an undeniable force for change. New PR is demonstrating its full, channel-agnostic forte for driving conversation and conversion. Rising fast in a world that rewards real-time creativity, transparency and authenticity more than ever before. Wielding paid media, analytics and irresistible video content with deft and ease. The industry has expanded its signature influence dramatically in a socially centric world.

via Fleishman Hillard

The Sad Truth About Today’s World Illustrated By Steve Cutts via Bored Panda

A distopian observation into what today’s society looks like through illustrations from the brain of a talented artist and human.

Art isn’t all fairytale photoshoots and landscape shots – it can also act as catalyst of change. And Steve Cutts thinks that many things in the world should be different. Work shouldn’t be a grinding, soul-crushing rat race for the almighty dollar. Consumerism shouldn’t hold a vice-like grip on our lives. And social media, well, we need to throw-off the shackles we so eagerly put on ourselves. Wouldn’t life be better then?

via Bored Panda

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