Hong Kong's first BarCamp is this Saturday!BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences - open, participatory workshop events where the content is provided by you!
Meet with people from all walks of life with one thing in common - a passion for how technology changes lives. We are expecting start-ups, students, artists, designers, bloggers, programmers, lobbyists, privacy lawyers, gamers and digital media professionals. Be sure to come with an inquisitive mind and at least a few thoughts to share! It is an open agenda and the only rules are below (thanks to an article on unconferences in Businessweek).
Yahoo! Hong Kong will be hosting BarCamp in their offices on 27th Floor, Sunning Plaza, Causeway Bay. They are generously providing 4 conference rooms and a lounge area. Sessions kick off at 10:00 a.m., break for lunch from noon to 1:00 p.m. (food sponsored by Outblaze, drinks by Drinkazine) and then continue from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. That gives a total of 48 available speaking slots.
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To register add your name to the Hong Kong BarCamp wiki or join our Facebook group. This event is free of charge and open to everyone -- students, professionals, and hobbiests. The first 100 attendees will receive an unique event t-shirt, sponsored by Dookaz. To get yours, show up early!
Break the ice the night before with other BarCampers at our Friday Night Mixer, held at Why Club in Tsim Sha Tsui (see map) from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The first round of drinks is kindly sponsored by Zendesk.
Book your speaking slot that evening with the latest conference organising software, post-it labels!.
Dr. Steve set up a group on Flickr to share photos of the event. Victor Isaac Cheung has introduced the event on CNET Asia and the local Hong Kong blogosphere has already started to make noise, with postings from Aaron Farr, Ben Lau (Chinese), Sidekick (English), Sidekick (Chinese), Hong Kong Phooey, Drinkazine (Chinese) and 852signal.
December 13, 2007
December 12, 2007
Our last Web Wednesday event for 2007 (aptly named "Social Mixer V7.0") stepped out of the local internet community to pull in people from large multinational organisations. We were graced with the presence of media owners, Turner Broadcasting (CNN), National Geographic, TVB and Warner Brothers, as well as global ad agencies, JWT, Ogilvy One and Y&R/Wunderman.
Our guest for the sofa session was Sean Seah, General Manager of ZUJI Hong Kong. Sean confessed to being a "reformed lawyer" who "ditched legal for digital".
His new career began with test-driving cars for Toyota Australia but he was soon called in to market their Australian website - the first online car-sales site in the world - back in 1996. He then accelerated into the jet engine world helping Air New Zealand launch their e-commerce website, took a stint at a now defunct dotcom (BondsinAsia) and is now satisfying the travel needs of the "me" generation as head of ZUJI Hong Kong.
Sean explained how ZUJI benefits from being part of the Travelocity family, which includes lastminute.com in Europe and the traveler recommendation site igougo. He was most excited about web 2.0 adding a wealth of user generated content to the whole travel booking experience.
You can listen to the whole interview by clicking on the play button below.
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December 11, 2007
December 7, 2007
Tear yourself away from your computer screen on Monday 17th December to do an act of kindness, preferably to a stranger. Far too many bloggers moan and bitch so now let's finish the year of by sharing some love!
Bloggers Unite challenges bloggers everywhere, on December 17th, to do something good offline — an act of kindness — and then post about it on their blogs, using words, pictures, and/or videos to tell the story.
The Acts of Kindness bloggers unite challenge aims at putting a human face on bloggers who are responsible for so much good in the world. The goal is to expose their kindness and generosity as well as serve as an example to non-bloggers that volunteering for a charity, donating to a cause, or simply doing something kind for another person has a ripple effect around the world.
"Maybe 20,000 bloggers, vloggers, and photographers will make a difference."
For more information, please visit the Bloggers Unite website. Please act and sign up now.
December 6, 2007
For those of you who came to Social Mixer V7.0, thank you for joining! And for our two winners of the SMS contest - Marcus Crowley and Roman Liptak - congratulations!
Apart from making good business contacts, I hope you enjoyed the insight into the online travel industry given by our guest speaker, Sean Seah, GM of ZUJI Hong Kong. We will be posting a podcast of the interview to the web soon.
NOTE: Due to holiday commitments, our next event will be held on Wednesday 9th January, which is in fact the SECOND Wednesday of the month! If you're on Facebook, you can sign up or the event here. If not, please feel free to turn up on the night. There's no entry fee!
Zuji's offer of a HK$188 instant discount off flights is still open (until 31st Dec 2007)! If you haven't made your travel plans yet, please visit this site below and enter our special code for Web Wednesday members: gift234567.
(NB: You need to book by 31 Dec 2007 but can travel anytime from now until 31st December 2008).
As for our cocktail contest, we will be extending the entry deadline to Monday 7th January 2008. For your chance of 15 minutes of fame as a 'mixologist' and the chance to win dinner for two at Lotus (worth HK$600), please submit your favourite cocktail mix to our event posting on Facebook.
We accept entries as text (wall posting), photo or video. Be creative, get mixing!
December 5, 2007
You're just 4 steps away from a complimentary cocktail at Lotus tonight:
Step 1: SMS the letters (with the space) "WW QUIZ" to 523523
Step 2: Answer the question.
Step 3: Download the mobile coupon from m.webwednesday.hk
Step 4: Show your coupon at the door and swallow down that cocktail!
NB: If you've entered the SMS quiz, you could be the lucky winner of HK$500 credit on hotel bookings on ZUJI Hong Kong.
(Each SMS costs HK$1. Quiz is open to subscribers of all major Hong Kong mobile networks.)
See you tonight!
November 29, 2007
Come join the local digerati at our seventh and final social mixer for 2007, held at Lotus Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge from 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday 5th December. If you're on Facebook, please confirm your attendance by visiting the Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V7.0 event page.
Our guest at the sofa session (7:00 - 7:30 p.m.) will be Mr. Sean Seah, General Manager for ZUJI in Hong Kong.
ZUJI positions itself as being "Your online travel guru" and gives travelers access to over 400 airlines, 77,000 hotels, 50 car hire companies as well as 3,000 activities and attractions.
Zuji is now part of Travelocity which also owns lastminute.com.
Given that the holiday season is fast upon us, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about the 'ins and outs' of running an online travel company in Hong Kong, a busy city where people are used to calling up their travel agent for deals.
If you haven't made your travel plans yet, take advantage of Zuji's current promotion - HK$188 instant discount off flights. Zuji has issued a special promotional code for all Web Wednesday members to use: gift234567. Instructions on how to use the code during the check out process, can be found here. (Note: You must book by 31 Dec 2007 but can travel from any time through until the end of 2008).
A special thanks to our sponsors for this event:
A witty and profoundly moving talk that will change the way you look at education. Sir Ken Robinson makes a case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. With ample anecdotes and witty asides, Robinson points out the many ways our schools fail to recognize -- much less cultivate -- the talents of many brilliant people. "We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says. The universality of his message is evidenced by its rampant popularity online. A typical review: "If you have not yet seen Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk, please stop whatever you're doing and watch it now."
November 26, 2007
Wondering how you can keep up with the latest developments in China and be on Facebook at the same time? Here's your answer... the South China Morning Post news widget, created by Palava Digital and developed by our tech friends in Israel and Eastern Europe.
Quietly launched on 15th November 2007, this custom-built Facebook application has already attracted over 130 users in two weeks. To enjoy access to headlines of the South China Morning Post's daily news coverage of China and Hong Kong, click here to add the application to your Facebook account.
November 23, 2007
With the proliferation of platforms for sharing every second of our lives over the internet, do we need to continue asking that simple question, "where are you?"
Watch and listen below (thanks to fora.tv) to the entrepreneurs behind these new life-sharing platforms as they give us insight into why we humans have taken so rapidly to publicising our meagre existences over the internet. Recorded at the recent PICNIC '07 Conference in Amsterdam.
Linda Stone, a writer, speaker and consultant, brings up the fascinating question, "Are social networks continuous partial attention for continuous partial friendship?" and interviews:
- Jyri Engestrom, Founder of Jaiku
- Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Xanga, Blogger, Odeo and Obvious
- Raymond Spanjar, Co-Founder and Chief Hyving Officer of Hyves
- Felix Petersen, Co-Founder of plazes
- Matt Biddulph, Founder of Dopplr
November 22, 2007
If you're looking to create content online and are wondering how to protect and share it, then here's just the event for you: Creative Commons - Practical Workshop.
Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright (c) — all rights reserved — and the public domain (pd) — no rights reserved. By making content "Some Rights Reserved" you let people easily share your work all over the world. This also gives others the right to remix and reuse creative works under Creative Commons licenses legally, without the fear of infringing others copyright.
The workshop will be held from 9:30 - 12:30 on Saturday 24th November at HKU SPACE Admiralty Learning Centre. Topics to be covered
1) What is Creative Commons, how it works, and what is the value of Creative Commons for Hong Kong, and its policy implications.
2) Tips, tools and practical skills of using Creative Commons licenses - how to use Creative Commons licensed work, and how to publish your work under Creative Commons license.
3) The variety of creative works available in the Creative Commons including music, photos, educational materials, and others.
November 13, 2007
Another Web Wednesday social mixer is in the bag!
Now that the event is regularly attracting over 100 attendees, we're happy enough to stop counting and spend more time socialising. (Or perhaps we'll just wait until Google launches it's 'party tracking' app).
Our guest at the sofa session was none other than Yat Siu, Founder and CEO of Outblaze, a global digital media and collaborative messaging powerhouse that now houses 16 separate companies under its roof.
Yat's reputation as a humble but successful internet entrepreneur attracted a wide range of people, including start-ups, web strategists, interactive agencies, media buying houses, designers, programmers, bloggers, students, job hunters and even lowly marketeers.
Although we skimmed over a wide range of topics, from benefits of open source to the meaning of web 2.0 (simply "a marketing term", according to Yat), the packed audience remained attentive for a full 45 minutes.
The need to replace dying audio recorder batteries (for the podcast) offered a short interval and a natural seque from the topic of re-education (by labour) of local software programmers to the hotter topic of media sharing, as practiced by 172 million Chinese copyright "sharers".
For ease of listening, we've separated the interview into two parts, the first being about open source and the second about social media and advergaming. Simply click on the play buttons below and enjoy! (Download speeds will depend on your bandwidth connection).
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November 7, 2007
Within the first seven days of November, we've seen two ground-breaking announcements that are going to dramatically change the way we interact over the internet: OpenSocial and Open Handset Alliance (OHA).
For those of us who belong to more than one social network, OpenSocial will allow us to conveniently manage one profile across multiple sites (finally!). So far the following social sites have signed up: Bebo, Engage, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.
By pioneering these two open platforms, Google has provided a massive distribution channel for developers to launch and monetise new applications, be they accessed via your PC or mobile phone. Popular apps that have joined include ilike, flixster, rockyou and slide.
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and social networking has fostered an explosion of information ripe for the picking and monetization. Google naturally is not going to miss out on this one. The official site for OpenSocial APIs is here and have launched Campfire presentations to promote the use and understanding of these new platforms. The first one contains demos of most of the above partners and can be enjoyed below (don't worry, it's not all technical geek speak).
November 6, 2007
In preparation for tomorrow's social mixer, a fascinating panel (although recorded back in November 2006, still relevant today) about online personas and social networking with Robin Harper, Vice President of Community & Support, Second Life; Shawn Gold, Vice President of Content and Marketing, MySpace; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook and Reid Hoffman, Founder & CEO, LinkedIn. Conducted by David Ewing Duncan, award winning author of six books, at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
October 30, 2007
Thanks to Microsoft's recent investment, Facebook now has a war chest of USD240 million to expand overseas. According to China Business News, Facebook is not going to follow in MySpace's footsteps and set up its own local China site, but instead it plans to buy a local social network. The question is who? Given than Xiaonei is an exact copy of Facebook, let's see if Mark Zuckerberg has the gall to buy these guys.
We guess that Chris Pan, who recently left PepsiCo China to join Facebook may well be the man driving the launch of the new Chinese Facebook.
October 28, 2007
Come join the local internet crowd - "Hong Kong Digerati" - at our sixth social mixer held at Lotus from 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday 7th November.
Our guest at the sofa session (7:00 - 7:30 p.m.) will be none other than Mr. Yat Siu, Internet Entrepreneur, Gamer and CEO of three successful companies (to name a few):
1. Outblaze, a global provider of of white label Messaging, Collaboration and Social Media services;
2. Typhoon Games, a video game publisher and distributor; and
3. Sanrio Digital, Hello Kitty's digital entertainment and online community powerhouse.
Yat is also pioneering the introduction of the FON Wifi service into Asia, which is why Outblaze will be kindly providing the prize for this month's mobile quiz.
To enter, simply text* "ww quiz" to "523523" for your chance to win a Skype Wifi phone or FON wifi router. The lucky draw for correct answers will be held at the venue.
Speaking about phones, Lotus have also generously offered a complimentary cocktail for any one who is smart enough to visit our mobile website, m.webwednesday.hk
*Each outgoing SMS message will be charged at HK$1. Quiz is open to all subscribers of major Hong Kong mobile networks).
Looking forward to breaking our last event record of 100 local and international digerati!
October 23, 2007
YouTube co-founder and CTO, Steve Chen, was in town to announce the launch of the local Youtube site. Not only has the interface being translated into Traditional Chinese with Chinese search capabilities, but it also has content from local providers such as Asia Television (ATV), the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK).
This photo (thanks to the Hong Kong Standard) shows Cheung Wai-Kit, ATV Vice President of Programming; Miranda Chan, RTHK 's Head of Program & Content Management; Steve Chen (the spikey haired YouTube co-founder); Kenneth Wong, HKTB's Head of Consumer Marketing and singers at the front from the local band, A-dAY.
'Chen sinsaang' had some rather flattering comments to make about amateur content he'd seen on Youtube HK, "The video clips and music added by the Hong Kong people have been great and full of creativity. The Hong Kong version of YouTube will allow such talents to reach the globe."
Here's our chance to prove to the world that Hong Kong is more than a city full of bankers and garment traders!
October 14, 2007
This year ad-tech comes to Beijing. In it's third year, the conference will attract a wide range of foreign firms wanting to enter China's blossoming and highly-competitive online advertising industry. The event will be held at the China World Hotel on 16th and 17th October.
The conference attracts a list of the top national and international speakers but scares away many local delegates due to it's overpriced entry fee (US$595-895). Many will opt to either wander around the booths of the 27 exhibitors (at no charge) or to take up the last minute email offer to sign up for free access to listen to the six key note speaches, given by dignitaries from Tencent, Sohu, Netease, Yahoo! China, Sina, PepsiCo, Northwestern University, OgilvyOne, Friendster, Softbank China and India, China Market Research Group and EF.com.
HDTWorld, a leading local online ad network, will also be carrying out some ambush marketing and have set up the 3rd Rich Media Industry Forum to be held on 17th October in the same hotel.
For those who want to get real grass-roots insight into the local internet industry in China then I'd also suggest attending a rival / additional event - Web 2.0 and Internet Investment Annual Conference - run by iResearch, who spend their days researching and reporting on Chinese internet usage. This event is sure to give a deeper understanding of the wonderous workings of Chinese web 2.0 companies and the goals of their backers.
October 11, 2007
For those of us wondering whether we've earned enough in 2007, the regional recruitment firm, ambition, has come out with it's annual report on trends in sales & marketing salaries in Hong Kong.
Apart from being informed that we should have raked in an additional 15-20% more this year, the report pinpoints the influential role that digital media and the internet are having on this immense growth. As stated by Richard Broadhurst, Manager of Sales & Marketing Recruitment, "There are few signs of a let-up in the pace of growth in the 12 months ahead and the expansion is being fuelled strongly by the re-emergence of the internet."
Perhaps, this is best shown by comparing the salary expectations in their report, whereby a Head of Online Marketing (12+ years experience) can earn as much as a traditional Director of Marketing with equal experience. Given that only a few brave souls in Hong Kong dared enter and stay in the internet space since the late 90's, I'm not surprised that recruiters would find it a challenge to identify the right candidates locally. Again a simple case of supply and demand driving the prices!As more clients start to accept the value of digital marketing and direct larger portions of their advertising budgets onto the internet, salaries for online media sales staff have started to head north but are yet to reach levels of their peers in the offline world, as can be seen by comparing the two charts below (online vs. print publishing).
As Richard so nicely summaries it, "The second coming of the internet has seen it rise from the ashes as a way to bring a sophisticated, scientific edge to marketing which is delivering solid and calculable returns on investment."
After a decade of on-and-off dating, the Asia Digital Marketing Association and the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of Hong Kong (4As) will be finally joining in happy matrimony to run this year's Digital Marketing Conference.
The event has been given a grandiose title - "Creating the Future" - and will be taking place on Friday 2nd November 2007 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. If you're a member of either association, you'll need to pay HK$1,000, if not it's an extra HK$200. You can register here.
There will be speakers and panelists (my lucky self included) discussing the following topics:
- Creativity across channels: A tight budget is the mother of invention!
- Being brave in Thailand.
- New media & non traditional channels: How EA Games is making marketers re-think their approach.
- Multiplatform media: Planning and buying in a changed world.
- How ZUJI developed a successful eCommerce business.
- Amazing things you can do with Flash Video.
- Adapting your campaign for mobile.
- Migrating a traditional cosmetics VIP loyalty program online (on a shoestring budget!)
- Why we moved from traditional to online marketing.
- Social Networking: How to leverage this phenomenon in your marketing campaign.
- Best of the best: top work from the world’s top creative shows.
October 5, 2007
Thanks to all the 100 or so digerati who joined our fifth Web Wednesday event held on 3rd October 2007. Our stylish new venue, Lotus Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, was admired by many, with special compliments paid to the beautiful South African greeter (or was she the bouncer?).
Plenty of new faces, with a couple of visitors from the likes of Shanghai and Singapore. The following companies were brave enough to drop their cards in the colourful card collection box: addict, aiya media, Beansbox, Born For Sports, Deyey (pronounced "d-eye-y"), Digital Dimension, doremus, Dookaz, fast search, fon hk, gjones, gravitas, , Hong Kong Phooey, Intel Semiconductor, International Herald Tribune, Metia, Milaga, Red Bricks Media, South China Morning Post, the interactive channel and outblaze.
We tested out our first on-site casual interview, known as a "sofa session chat", with Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixel Media Asia. Initially, the circular room was quite conducive to holding an interview but soon the audience was too big to fit. So next time, we will open up and start to use microphones. For those of you who couldn't catch everything, you can listen to the entire interview in our earlier posting here.
Only once did the rawdy crowd quieten down, when Howard Hunt (The HyperFactory) stood up to announce the winner of this month's mobile quiz. People's hands expectantly grasped their mobile phones as Howard called the winner, 'and the lucky winner of a HK$1,500 Lotus bar tap is...Eda Chow (Frenzoo)'. So you know who to invite out for a drink now!
Apart from Lotus and The HyperFactory, we also like to thank Outblaze for sponsoring the event. You can expect to see a lot more fun involvement from this provider of white-label Web 2.0 platforms in the future.
The event has already received some coverage in the local blogosphere with a posting on Hong Kong Phooey, a popular blog on the latest gadgets.
For those of you who couldn't attend the October event, here is a recording of our first 'sofa session' chat with Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixel Media Asia and Vice Chairman of the recently launched Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing. Kevin gives us the low-down on the online advertising industry in Asia, where it is now and where it will be going in the future.
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October 2, 2007
Apart from providing a lively venue for mixing with people in the internet and digital media arenas, we also set up Web Wednesday as a platform for testing new digital marketing techniques.
Over the last two months, we ran a successful user-generated contest - with video and audio submissions - with the backing of the South China Morning Post (more precisely, scmp.com).
This month, we are running a simple but fun mobile quiz with the support of our friends at The HyperFactory.
To start playing, simply SMS the word "SOHO" to "523523" and you could be the lucky winner of a HK$1,500 bar tab at Lotus Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge. Keep in mind that each SMS message will be charged at HK$1 and the quiz is open to subscribers of all major Hong Kong network operators.
What are you waiting for? Get thumbing!
Now that Web Wednesday has matured into a 5 month-old community with over 220 members on Facebook and 80 digerati at the last event, we've had the fortune to be able to upgrade our digital invite to a stylish new look and feel as per this image (click to see a larger version). It was designed by Sketchbook, who work on all the marketing collateral for Lotus Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, our generous venue sponsor.
Feel free to share this link with business partners and colleagues who may be interested to come along.
September 28, 2007
One of my closest friends, Andrew Pagliero, died in a car accident in Dong Guan last weekend. He leaves behind an adoring wife and charming seven year-old son. Sadness is not a strong enough word to describe the loss. So I'll leave it to Bob Dylan...that man with a sad, wiry voice.
September 21, 2007
On Thursday 2oth September, a crowded room in HKUST's premises in Central saw the official launch of the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing, to be known under its catchy acronym "HKAIM" or "Hong Kong AIM".
We were lucky enough to pin down the founding chairman, Francis Fong, to ask why he had set up HKAIM. Click below to listen to the interview.
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Given the masterful job the executive committee carried out in recruiting notable dignitaries - PCCW Chairman, Richard Li and IT Legislator, Sin Chung Kai - I believe they have started off on the right footing with the local business community. Now is the time to engage the actual interactive agencies and people who practice digital marketing every day and give them a powerful path to promote and educate the rest of Hong Kong's business and student communities as to the successes and pitfalls of interactive marketing.
We recorded the speeches below for anyone who missed the event:
Richard Li, Chairman of PCCW Ltd
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Sin Chung Kai, Member (Information Technology Functional Constituency), Legislative Council, Hong Kong SAR
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Charles Mok, Chairman of ISOC-HK
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September 19, 2007
September 18, 2007
September 17, 2007
To all wiki'd Web Wednesdayites,
Thank you for enthusiastically taking part in our recent contest, sponsored by the scmp.com.
We are now happy to announce the full list of winners as per their names and renditions below. The top prize was presented at the last event and the remaining prizes will be handed out at our next event on 3rd October.
Top Prize: "Hong Kong - A Portrait in Photos, 1997-2007", awarded to Howard Hunt , the HyperFactory, for his creative video rendition, filmed and edited solely on his mobile phone.
Second & Third Prizes: "They Mean Business - 50 Exclusive Interviews with Hong Kong's Top Executives".
2nd Prize: Rebecca McKinnon, HKU. Listen to her response.
3rd Prize: Aaron Farr, Jade Tower. Listen to his reponse.
Runners Up: three award-winning USB mugs, to warm your tea during an aircon-induced Hong Kong winter.
Ivy Ho - Jones Lang LaSalle. Listen to her response.
Sherry Wong, Digitas China. Listen to her response.
Peter Burton - Activ8 WorldWide. Listen to his response.
Brace yourselves for the next round of sponsored contests and you could be the winner of free cocktails at Lotus.
September 13, 2007
Thank you for your enthusiastic participation in Web Wednesday. Now that the event has over 170 members on Facebook and attracts 80+ people, we have some exciting developments to announce.
Firstly, a change of day: from the last Wednesday to the first Wednesday of the month. This is mostly due to the conflict with public holidays in the upcoming months. So the next event will be on Wednesday 3rd October.
Secondly, a change of venue: from the Bohemian Lounge (still a great place, especially if you enjoy live jazz music) to Lotus Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge, 37-43 Pottinger Street, Central Hong Kong. On top of the 2-4-1 extended happy hour drinks offer, they are generously providing free finger food.
Thirdly, a change of format: we will be introducing a new "sofa session" where I spend 30 minutes (7:00 - 7:30 pm) conducting an informal interview with a prominent member of the internet community in Hong Kong. Our first guest will be Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixel Media Asia and Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Internet Marketing.
Look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday 3rd October at Lotus! Please continue to invite friends, colleagues and business acquaintances to join in this fun networking event.
September 10, 2007
On Thursday 20th September at the Hong Kong Club Building, a bright new dawn will break over the local internet industry - the birth of Hong Kong's very own Association of Internet Marketing (HKAIM). The founders of HKAIM have successfully obtained the backing of the relevant departments of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and various educational institutions and will be promoting all aspects of the local Internet industry as well as encouraging graduates to consider it as a worthy career path.
The main draw cards for the inauguration event are Richard Li, Chairman of PCCW, Marion Lai, Director General of Telecommunications - OFTA, Sin Chung Kai, Legislative Councilor and Charles Mok, Chairman of the Hong Kong Internet Society.
If you want to be part of this exciting new movement and rub shoulders with Hong Kong's top telecom dignitaries, you can click here to fill in the official invite to the inauguration. We look forward to seeing you there!
September 5, 2007
What started off as a contest on Facebook has now been extended into the wilds of the Web Wednesday event. The braver members contributed their great minds to fill in the blanks - "I can't live without my daily fix of ... because..." - and we have now posted these to our blog for you to listen and enjoy. Click on the icon below to be taken to our podcast page on Odeo.
The judging panel at the SCMP.com will be patiently listening to each one to decide who shall receive the remaining five prizes and we will announce the 'talented' winners at the next social mixer on Tuesday 25th September.
September 4, 2007
Sing Tao News Corporation, the local media powerhouse, announced that from Monday 10th September 2007 it will no longer charge subscription fees for it's English language newspaper, The Standard.
Although industry observers expect this move to change the local media landscape, it's not the first time that Sing Tao has ventured down this path. It has succeeded before with Headline Daily (頭條網), which has become the largest-circulating free newspaper in Hong Kong at 700,000 copies.
The big question is whether advertisers will flock to the Standard given the stronghold of it's main rival, the South China Morning Post, which dominates the English newspaper market and is making a good run of it's online presence, the SCMP.com, with multimedia content (podcasts, videos, audio) and creative ad formats.
Or are they simply preparing themselves for a future new life as a purely digital paper?
September 3, 2007
Be warned! New social networking site, quechup, is using under-handed tactics to acquire members. When it seems that you are simply being asked to "check for friends" by entering your email address and password, the bandits will proceed to mail all your contacts without asking permission.
If you've fallen for their trap, like many networking addicts have, be ready to issue apologies to your friends for “spamming” them inadvertently.
On the flip side, we have to thank these crafty crooks for making us aware of such an easy way to access our address books, all because we want more friends. The PR fallout from such an event is going to lead to change in the invite process and may well halt some of the viral referral elements of social networking.
August 31, 2007
More evidence of good times at the recent Web Wednesday event, provided by the creative fellow at Hunt Handheld Productions. Photos captured and converted into slides on his mobile phone, no less! Wonder what business, he's in?
August 30, 2007
Last night, we saw a rambunctious (haven't used that word in a long time!) crowd of 80 or so digerati turn up for Web Wednesday V4.0 at the Bohemian Lounge.
Although that colourful collection box didn't catch everyone's attention, here's a list of the newcomers who's namecards we managed to collect (apologies to those who missed out on this free promo): CD WOW!, Concept Idea, Debian GNU, Double Click, Dream Cortex, Global Sources, heathwallace, I Love Colour, Intel, Jade Tower, Kanda River, monimedia, Outblaze, Prodigious, QTEC, Shiny Leung Design, The HyperFactory and vquence.
Being a shy bunch, you seemed a little reticent to enter our first ever contest on Facebook, generously sponsored by the South China Morning Post. So we decided to extend the contest into the venue itself and sent out our intrepid host, Napoleon Biggs, to record your responses to "I can't live without my daily fix of...because" in person. All contributions (some of them were wild!) will be submitted to the SCMP for final judging and presented at our next event on Tuesday 25th September. Please note the date change is due to this year's Mid-Autumn Festival falling on the following day.
However, amongst the three entries bravely submitted (Kevin Huang, Howard Hunt and Buzz light year), there was a winner selected for the top prize; namely, Mr. Hunt for his gloriously boyish production (all filmed and composed on his mobile phone!). You can enjoy his work below...
August 28, 2007
Come join the fun at our fourth Web Wednesday Hong Kong event, held at the Bohemian Lounge, 3-5 Old Bailey Street, Central from 6:30 p.m. onwards. If you don't know where it is, take a mouse-stroll around the embedded Google map below. Looking forward to seeing you there! Mix with the crème de la crème of the Hong Kong digerati, join in the SCMP contest, take part in our video and radio interviews and, more importantly, enjoy 2-4-1 drinks.
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PCCW has just launched Netvigator Everywhere which gives you high-speed wireless Internet access all over Hong Kong. Their modem (pictured here, provided by Huawei) auto-switches between Wi-Fi (1Mbps downstream), HSDPA (72Mbps) and 3G (3Mbps). Following in the tradition of all Hong Kong telcos, who like to confuse users, packages are structured in order to incentivise long-term commitment. If you sign up for a 24-month contract at HK$388 per month ($488 for non-Netvigator subscribers) and pay HK$2,480 up-front, you will get a monthly rebate of HK$104. In effect, over the first two years you end up paying HK$225 per month for unlimited wireless access.
This all sounds great, but why would you want to pay for all this access when you can get it free from FON? Just pay HK$119 to buy your own modem to become a 'Fonero' and enjoy over 4,000 hotspots in Hong Kong and many more globally. Admittedly, FON only provides Wi-Fi connections and not the most reliable at times, but its' free. The truth is that most of us access the Internet either from our computers in the office and home or via our mobile phones (GPRS, 3G and HSDPA). Alternatively, you could sit in the back of a taxi and surf the net on Smartone-Vodafone's Broadband To Go at HK$100 for 50MB.
August 24, 2007
Plenty of categories so the chances are high for you to win at least one award!
People awards: Best...Digital Strategic Planner, Digital Marketer and Digital Creative.
Industry awards: Digital Media Agency, Interactive Agency and Digital Brand...of the Year.
Campaign awards: Best Innovative Approach, Best Loyalty Campaign, Best Activation Campaign, Best Viral Marketing, Best Online Campaign, Best Use of Mobile, Email Marketing Campaign of the Year, Search Marketing Campaign of the Year and Digital Media Award 2007. (Sorry, no separate links for these).
Bear in mind that each entry will cost you US$125 (HK$995) and that you'll need to submit your entry on paper - what's that?
August 23, 2007
The web, the great equaliser has finally come up with a way for us life-giving entrepreneurs to anonymously comment on the people who could/should/do fund our follies. It's called "The Funded" and has been set up by Mr. Anonymous him/herself.
Here's the thinking behind the site: "First, fundraising is far too time consuming for the entrepreneur, wasting valuable time required to grow the business. Second, the fundraising process is often like speed dating with a long-term relationship at the end, and you split the proceeds. Everyone puts their best face on, and it is only when the deal is done do you get to see the real value, if any. I have personally been burned, and so have many of my friends. So, I set out a guide to help entrepreneurs find the perfect funding source for their business. Imagine if you had a comprehensive database of funding sources with practical insights from entrepreneurs who have dealt with the funds..."
Apart from a great resource to search for funds, it's rapidly becoming a community and some of the more adventurous funds are even posting job adverts on it. There are over 3,600 funding firms on there, with around 40 in Asia.
Before your rush on over, be warned. It's tough to become a member; you have to be invited by an existing member and then apply. 33% of the 1,500+ applications received to date have been rejected.
August 21, 2007
南华早报网上比赛开始啦！请参加 contest 2.0!
In support of social networking as a valid advertising channel, we invite you to enter Web Wednesday's first Facebook contest, with prizes sponsored by the our friends at SCMP.com, who 'make China make sense'.
Show your creative flair by completing the following sentence:
"I can't live without my daily fix of ... because...".
Respond by posting your answer to the Web Wednesday Group in Facebook in any media format you desire - text, audio or, for the more daring ones, video. (You'll need to join as a member of the group first).
Closing date is 12 noon on Monday 27th August.
The winning entries will be chosen by Peter Dedi, Editor of the SCMP.com.
Prizes will be awarded at the next Web Wednesday Event on 29th August at the Bohemian Lounge, 3-5 Old Bailey Street, Off Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong.
Top Prize: "Hong Kong - A Portrait in Photos, 1997-2007". One picture book of 10 years of life in Hong Kong since the handover.
Second & Third Prizes: "They Mean Business - 50 Exclusive Interviews with Hong Kong's Top Executives". An insightful book written and signed by Enoch Yiu, Chief Reporter at the South China Morning Post.
Runners Up: three award-winning SCMP USB mugs, to warm your tea during an aircon-induced Hong Kong winter.
August 16, 2007
August 15, 2007
In a clever move to further tap into it's country-wide base of SME customers, Alibaba has launched China's first online advertising exchange and they're calling it "Alimama" (阿里妈妈).
Although there are questions about whether the market size can support such an exchange - China's online ad spend for 2006 was estimated at US$4.6 billion as compared to the US at $15.9 billion - there is no doubt in my mind that if you have the advertisers, the websites will come. Especially in an emerging internet market like China, where website owners are hungry for other revenue sources apart from Google Adsense.
As an aside, it's also a smart move by Jack Ma as he prepares his Alibaba empire for an IPO in Hong Kong later on this year.
Yesterday's ADMA event on unsolicited elecronic messages (UEM) and its implications went down a treat. Of the 64 attendees, only one person admitted to reading the government ordinance in full! So I guess that means that the rest of us are all spammers!
Basically, if you've been a responsible permission-based marketeer, nothing has really changed. The ordinance simply formalises the fact that you need to ask for people's permission on how and when to communicate with them, you need to let them know who you are and at all times give them the ability to op-out or, in the case of email, unsubscribe.
Interestingly enough, Hong Kong spam has decreased by 30% since the beginning of this year; Epsilon's Dominic Powers believes that this more to do with the legislation in the mainland rather than the UEM Ordinance in Hong Kong. China now requires all sender of commercial emails to have a value-added telecoms license and start the subject line with "广告:", much like the use of "ADV:" in the US.
If you're eager to catch up on the ordinance, you can visit the relevant page on the OFTA website or download a PDF summary in English or Chinese. Any responsible marketeer using electronic means, be it email, sms, blue tooth, voice recordings or whatever future technology comes up, should be au fait with the rules. If not, just to understand how far they can be stretched!
As an aside, in Asia only Japan and South Korea enforce opt-in legislation which has led to almost zero spam.
August 13, 2007
If you're wondering what to do for lunch on Tuesday 14th August (tomorrow), then drop by the ADMA event at the Tai Yau Building, 181 Jonhston Rd, Wanchai. Fill your stomach with the latest tricks in email marketing and how recent legislation will effect your email campaigns.
The sandwiches and fruit juice are a bit expensive, HK$180 for ADMA and AustCham members (or HK$250 for non-members), but you get to learn from two of the email industry's leading lights, Dominic Powers from Epsilon and Nigel Mendonca of Premiere Global Services.
See you there!