August 31, 2007

Wiki'd Web Wednesdayites!

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

Social Mixing in the 80s!

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

Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V4.0

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.

View Larger Map

PCCW launches Netvigator Everywhere

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

Digital Media Awards - Deadline 7th September

Quickly, drum up some courage and enter the Digital Media Awards, deadline is Friday 7th September and the awards will be presented at the gala lunch event on 14 November at Conrad Hotel Hong Kong. You can donwload the application from from here.

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 Truth about Venture Capitalists.

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

A Facebook First!

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, 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

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

Beijing Olympics - Countdown Clock

August 15, 2007

Alimama - China's 1st Ad Exchange

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.

Have you read the UEM Ordinance?

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

Email Best Practice - ADMA Event Tomorrow!

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!

August 9, 2007

ADMA gets with it.

The Asia Digital Marketing Association has finally set up a group on Facebook. Click here to join. Can we expect to see their event postings as well?

August 7, 2007

Gmail Goes Video Viral

Google has come up with a intriguing campaign, called "Gmail: a behind the scenes video", to tap into the creativity of people around the world.

The simple idea is that you print out a gmail envelope, film it being passed on - in whatever way you can imagine - and then share it on Youtube. It is a great example of asking the internet community to generate content to promote your brand and its core essence of global communication. Of course, there are only a handful of brands for which such an approach would work but, nevertheless, the audience wants to participate and there's no need to give away cash prizes. In this case, all you win is an excuse to show off (as the top videos will be hosted on the gmail homepage) and a strong sense of global participation. Here is an example of true creativity around this idea.

Enough to eat for all of us?

And the list of recent acquisitions doesn't stop there. Here's some more cases of big global players coming into the Asian interactive arena: Avenue A | Razorfish hooking up with e-Crusade, WPP going all out for Blue Singpapore and Nurun nutting China Interactive. The question is whether there will be a enough business to keep all these hungry mouths satisfied?

August 3, 2007

Buying spree!

Hot of the back of Publicis' purchase of CCG (now formerly known as "Digitas China"), Aegis has snatched up Ion Global. The Hong Kong operation, under the master tutelage of Marcus Crowley, will become wwwins Consulting and will join the Isobar Network. Can't help wondering who's next?