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 30, 2007
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.
powered by ODEO
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.