Global Web Builders (GWB)

[Small beginnings - the early years][A time for expansion][Our pivotal role in Global Info-Links][Global Web Builders]
[Expanding Horizons]

Some quick facts about Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd trading as Global Web Builders:

Interactive Presentations' home page


© Global Web Builders, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.

Historical Reference:

Campaign Brief Western Australia's Advertising and Media Magazine November 1991:

Comment by Campaign Brief editor (page 30)
"CB does not usually make a habit of reporting on an advertisement within CB- but we've made an exception this time because of the unique approach of the promotion.

Ten percent of CB issues carry on the page a demonstration floppy disk from Interactive Presentations. The other ninety percent a letter outlining this new innovation".

The disk was attached under the heading "The future of advertising, marketing and promotion is on this page".

How does business define acceptable standards? presentation by Scott Balson -

Extract from the "Proceedings of the 1992 International Interactive Multimedia Symposium." Perth, Western Australia January 27-31, 1992.

"My interest in multimedia developed through an insatiable desire to wrap the philosophical verse that I wrote in my teens into a medium that would touch all the senses.... Yes it was a dream. One that will one day come to fruition.... one that I still pursue." This was the only commercial paper presented during the entire symposium.

McCann to put story on floppy disk - The Australian Friday May 15th 1992 (Page 19)

"A sign of the times, high tech and whiz-bang as they are: McCann-Erickson will become the first ad agency in this country to present its credentials on computer disc.

An interactive computer presentation prepared by Perth based Interactive Presentations..."

Costello's Perth, Linda Celsi, Marketing Manager - November 1993

"I just received word from Sydney that the President of the Asian Gemmological Institute of Studies in Bangkok, Mr Ho, is very impressed with our opal disk and asked for the donation of a copy to the institute."

Business Review Weekly - March 7th 1994 - (Page 56) Tim Treadgold
Computers as sales tools? Simple, really.

"In just two years, Interactive Presentations has grown from a one-man operation in a backyard toolshed to three offices employing fifteen people and winning patent protection for some of its inventions."

Computerworld, May 20th 1994 (page 8)
Interactive wins challenge:

"Delegates at Microsoft's Tech Ed conference last week voted Interactive Databases the winner of the Solutions Challenge.

Interactive's solution, the Qantas Worldwide Electronic Timetable, is a marketing solution that will soon be mailed to Qantas' top 10,000 corporate clients."

The West Australian, Tuesday June 28th 1994 (page 42)
"There is a strong WA flavour to a Au$13 million electronic library project recently given the go-ahead in the south-east Queensland city of Ipswich.

"WA Technology Park based company Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd has won the contract to build an interface for the ambitious Ipswich Global Info-Links project, which has yet to be officially launched.

Interactive director Scott Balson said his brief was to develop an easy-to-use interface to handle both free public services and commercial services that would be used for cost recovery."

The Sunday Mail, September 17th 1995 (page 101)
"Since the island (Norfolk) went online about a month ago, outside response has been "overwhelming", said Monica Anderson, deputy speaker of the island's legislative assembly."
The Australian, Tuesday February 6th, 1996 (page 28)

- Heading "The world's youngest web builder".

"Since the site (Koala trouble) was published in January, 5 year old Alex has received more than 26,500 hits and 500 e-mails.

"The site was listed as a 'Must See' by the Yahoo search engine and also under Netscape's revered 'What's New' listing."

Queeensland Times, 11th November 1995
"An Ipswich business yesterday launched a world-beating product designed to simplify access to the information highway.

Interactive Presentations yesterday announced it would franchise its system, which has been available in Ipswich for about 12 months, on the international market."

Sunday Mail, 26th November 1995
"One of the world's largest makers of lingerie is exposing itself on the Internet, courtesy of the expertise of a Queensland company.

"Japanese clothing manufacturer Triumph has turned to the Ipswich company Global Web Builders to set up its presence on the World Wide web.

"Besides reversing the normal scenario and selling Australian high tech expertise to Japan, the deal extends a recent run of success for Global Web Builders."

"Koala trouble is quickly becoming a cult classic on the Internet for young children."

- Dr Leu, Prof of Literacy and Language Arts, Syracuse University, 1996.

Company background:

The birth of computer based marketing in Australia:

In 1989 Scott Balson, without even realising it at the time, pioneered a new industry in Australia - computer based marketing.

When reminising on the birth of his company Scott recalls, with great affection, working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, developing a software program which he called the IP (Interactive Presentation). He worked in one corner of a large steel garage in his backyard using an extension chord from the house to supply electricity to an XT computer and a bare light globe hanging over his head.

Scott was sure that the office computer could become a powerful marketing tool.

"Those first days were hard, very hard, I recall quite vividly trying to work at 2am in the morning while rain hammered loudly on the steel roof just a few inches above my head".

Perseverance shone through and during 1992 he was invited by the Department of Commerce and Trade to establish his fledgling business in the prestigious Technology Park based in Bentley, Western Australia.

1992 was a big year with many bouquets for the company's work being received:

Valerie Pretzel, Marketing and Promotions Manager, Sunday Times (News Limited) - April 1992:
"The interactive disk has been received very positively by our advertising clients..."

Brian A Watson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McCann-Erickson Australia (part of the world's largest advertising agency group) - May 1992:
"Your interactive presentation format has proven the perfect means of taking our publication into the computer age."

Robert Stocco, Marketing Manager, Challenge Bank Limited (now part of Westpac) - June 1992:
"Many (accountants) have expressed enthusiasm at its innovation (I believe that we are the first financial institution to communicate to our public in this manner)."

Tony Noonan, Acting Senior Curriculum Officer, Ministry of Education - October 1992.
"The professional manner in which you developed the material was greatly appreciated.

"The fact that you have been approachable at all times and provided back-up support of a high standard has made the production of this program efficient and effective from our end."

Douglas Flynn, General Manager, News Limited Suburban Newspapers - November 1992:
"We are delighted with the "Facts on Disk" interactive presentation your company has produced for News Suburban Network.

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A time for expansion:

In 1993 the company expanded into four seperate companies making up the Interactive Group. Scott Balson had 50% partners in two of the companies, Interactive Databases Pty Ltd and Interactive Productions, while maintained a 100% equity in Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd and Interactive Studies.

"These were exciting times, with our second multimedia exhibition held in January 1994 at Technology Park, Bentley. The exhibition being the result of recognition by the Western Australian market of our impact across the multimedia platform - from floppy disk based presentations under DOS and Windows to touch screen kiosks with video, sound and animation", says Scott Balson.

A team of fifteen staff worked for the company with many and varied skills providing the Western Australian market with the finest depth of multimedia expertise in the country.

In May 1994 Interactive Databases took out the award for the best Microsoft application in Australia at the Tech-ed awards. The award was through selection by delegates who viewed the best Windows applications developed in the country that year. The Qantas Worldwide Electronic Timetable swamped all opposition.

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Our pivotal role in Global Info-Links

In May 1994 Scott Balson was invited to demonstrate his concept on the "electronic village" to the Ipswich City Council in Queensland on the east coast of Australia. This came about after he had the opportunity to demonstrate the concept to the city's Business Development Manager, Mr Mal Bryce during the Interactive Group's second multimedia exhibition in January that year.

A four week contract was extended into fifteen months. Scott having to make a very difficult decision to sell out of three of his companies in Perth to concentrate on on-line business services as he saw these as the future of computer based marketing.

He retained 100% ownership of Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd, establishing the new office at Ipswich.

These were early days for commerce on the Internet.

"I recall a one-sided debate at a project team meeting in September 1994 in which I defended the move by the proposed Global Info-Links service to using Mosaic as the information interface - these were times when Netscape and Microsoft Explorer had not been conceived and when the unfriendly text-based gopher was still popular," says Scott Balson, "luckily sense prevailed and Global Info-Links was launched with a web site and the Mosaic web browser interface as its window to the world."

On December the 8th 1994 the first subscribers to Global Info-Links hooked up to the new Global Info-Links service. It was a defining moment in the history of the city of Ipswich - with the success of the service playing a deciding role in the University of Queensland's decision to set up an arm of the University based around on-line services in Ipswich some two years later.

In March 1995 political heavyweight Barry Jones launched Global Info-Links officially unveiling a large wooden pyramid bearing the names of the project team and the Ipswich City councillors at the time of the launch.

By May 1995 several thousand subscribers were enjoying the unique, community based service that Global Info-Links offered the Ipswich community and the commercial Global Electronic Markets (GEMs) had been launched.

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Global Web Builders

In June 1995, after completing his contract with the Ipswich City Council, Scott Balson established a fully owned subsidiary business of Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd called Global Web Builders. The business soon gained recognition and pioneered several innovations on the Internet including:

During 1995 GLOBE International was established with international partners from all over the world participating in this unique franchise based on the success of the Definitive Lifestyle Guide in creating "traffic".

Global Web Builders continued to succeed and grow. The highlight in 1996 was winning the Australian Financial Review and Telstra award for the best web site in Australia. The award was presented in Sydney at a special black tie dinner in September 1996.

By March 1997 the number of visitors to the Definitive Lifestyle Guide approached six million entrenching the web site as the gateway to Australia. At the same time Koala trouble was achieving enormous international acclaim becoming the popular reference in books to children on the Internet. Visitors to Koala trouble topped 150,000.

Global Web Builders clients include:

amongst many, many others.

Global Web Builders operates out of the most beautiful location in the world with the global office being situated on the banks of the Brisbane river - a location where wild parrots play and share the environment with the peope who make up the business.

The dream has become reality....

Expanding Horizons:

During 1997 to 1999 Global Web Builders became the full-time webmasters for the evolving new force in Australian politics - Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

This interest stemmed out of the earlier launch of Australia's oldest on-line daily newspaper which today has a readership of thousands - including reporters in the mainstream media.

The interest in politics arose following research on the net which demonstrated that globalisation by big business was destroying the fabric which had created the lucky country.

The business stopped being involved in politics in November 1999 and today concentrates on building web pages for clients and the owners interest in writing books.

Beside building web pages Scott Balson today writes books - with "Murder by Media, Death of Democracy in Australia" being a best seller.

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