Brolly: An innovative Victorian venture in the digital space

Social media archiving is an emerging space in Australia. That’s where Brolly, founded by Victorian digital agency Ladoo, decided it could fulfil a need, and Victoria was the perfect place to launch it.

Under the Archives Act 1983, government organisations are required to maintain records of business-related activities, which now includes social media content. But this poses some difficulties as many agencies are stretched for resources and time to keep detailed records.

“The conversation about social media archiving is only just getting started in Australia,” says Carmen Angerer, Ladoo’s marketing and communications manager. “Organisations know they need to be recording their social media engagement, but many face challenges from resourcing to capturing these records in full context.”

Built for Australian conditions

Brolly is the brainchild of Ladoo managing director Nathan Cram. He arrived at the idea after noticing the urgency of emergency content posed by the Country Fire Authority (CFA), State Emergency Service (SES), and Ambulance Victoria.

“[The platform] was created out of our experience working with local government and organisations that are sharing important public information on social media,” he says.

Brolly was built with Australian government compliance in mind, and the team worked closely with the Public Records Office of Victoria and the National Archives of Australia to ensure it addressed relevant needs.

A great launch pad

As its parent company, Ladoo, is based in Victoria’s capital city, Melbourne, Angerer explains it was a natural choice to launch Brolly in Victoria, which also fosters a thriving start-up scene.

“Victoria has a strong start-up culture and we love being a part of a community of innovators in Melbourne,” she adds.

Brolly was bolstered by Startup Victoria, who Angerer says provided great resources, a passionate attitude and real drive to create innovative products within the community. In addition to Victoria’s burgeoning tech scene, a range of meetup groups embraced them from the get-go.

“Early on in development, we connected with the Social Melbourne group and hosted one of their weekly Melbourne meetups. They provided valuable feedback and encouragement that has helped us launch the product smoothly.”

A social standpoint in Victoria

Since its launch, Brolly has processed 60,000 records per day on average, and in its busiest 24 hours, it handled more than 1.9 million records.

To use Brolly, users connect their relevant social media accounts, and the system stores all published social content and archives previous posts ready to export. This sensitive data is then stored locally on Australian servers based in New South Wales (setting it apart from competitors, which store the data on servers overseas).

“It’s been fascinating to learn what the solution needs to include for individual organisations, whilst collaborating with thought leaders and our early adopters,” Angerer adds.

In addition to hosting an innovative business community, Victoria is also home to LaunchVic, a government initiative, which supports the start-up scene and encourages entrepreneurs to develop and grow businesses. It has invested A$60 million over 4 years into the development of Victoria’s start-up ecosystem.