December 18, 2008

Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V20 (Jan 7)

Calling Hong Kong Digerati!

As we all prepare for a thunderous 2009, we're planning the expansion for Web Wednesday across the region and booking speakers for the year.
We will be kicking off the year talking about "The Future of Online Advertising" with Adrian Toy, the APAC Regional Interactive Director for Universal McCann, a global media agency with a client roster that includes Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Coca Cola. Here's the slogan off their website:

As always, the event is free so do Invite your friends and colleagues to join the Asian Digerati on Wednesday 7th January at Q97.

You can sign up for the event on Facebook here.

Looking forward to seeing old faces and meeting many more new ones,

Napoleon Biggs
Founder & Host - Web Wednesday
Digital Media Consultant & Executive Trainer - Palava Digital Ltd

December 15, 2008

Google's Top Ten List - 谷歌全球搜索关键字排行榜

The end of the year is fast upon us (thank God!) and Google has captured the spirit of the times with it's summary of the most used search terms over the past twelve months. Visit and play with Google Zeitgeist 2008.

You can drill down to our very own little home town of Hong Kong which lists the top ten most popular search terms as:

  1. youtube
  2. facebook
  3. 香港討論區 (Hong Kong fora)
  4. gmail
  5. 天文台 (weather channel)
  6. wikipedia
  7. uwants
  8. hong kong weather
  9. apple daily
  10. hsbc
Sina provides the full list here in Simplified Chinese.

Even more fascinating is the China Journal report from the Wall Street Journal that:

Not only shares it's analysis of the Top Ten for Chinese Googlers, who "tend to be more educated, wealthier and urban than those who use Google’s more popular homegrown rival, Baidu" - an extract below:

1. Edison Chen: Hong Kong actor whose x-rated photos with various local starlets were leaked to the world and aroused huge interest in mainland China.

2. Olympics opening ceremony: our highlights here.

3. Sichuan earthquake: China’s worst natural disaster in three decades.

4. List of substandard milk powders: People searched for this after learning that many brands of milk powder had been laced with melamine, a toxic industrial chemical.

But also takes this a step further and provides a comprehensive list of the latest vocabulary to evolve on the Chinese internet. Another extract:

1. Shanzhai: Originally referred to the mountain strongholds of bandits. Now, the term refers to all manner of knock-off, substandard or improvised goods, such as these makeshift vehicles.

2. 囧 : This is an ancient Chinese character, pronounced jiong, used to mean “light shining through a window” several thousand years ago (kind of what the character itself looks like), among other things. Recently it has found a new life among Chinese youth as an emoticon to express a bad mood, since it also looks like a face crying out in a pictographic version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

3. Very yellow, very violent: The year’s first Internet catchphrase came from a CCTV interview with a 13-year-old girl, part of a program on the government’s new regulations on Internet censorship. Netizens who believed the girl had been coached by CCTV into making the statement lashed out against her, launching a human flesh search engine and numerous parodies.

And here is the list of new vocabulary in Chinese, again from Sina:


  1 山寨

  2 囧

  3 很黄很暴力

  4 叉腰肌

  5 三个俯卧撑

  6 槑

  7 打酱油

  8 泡良族

  9 凤凰男

  10 做人不能太CNN

If you really want to be up with the times, check out the list of internet terms, expressions, acronyms and slang (some very raunchy!) collected by ChinaSmack. I guess my Shanghainese friends would call me "WDR", "西数人" or "Western Digital person"?

December 12, 2008

Web Wednesday Guangzhou - Dec. 17th

Meet the Guangzhou "Digerati" and greet our guests from around Asia who are leaders on the Internet! Our main goal is to network and meet new people with common interests in the Guangzhou area, learn from our guests and, oh ya, HAVE FUN!

Topic: "How does the Internet continue to shape the spoken and written word?"

  • Scott Tong, American Public Radio Bureau Chief for China
  • Rebecca MacKinnon, former CNN Bureau Chief in Beijing and Tokyo, HKU Professor of Journalism, Creative Commons Director in HK and founder of Global Voices Online.

  • (We had the honour of having Rebecca as a guest in Hong Kong back in September 2008).

    Web Wednesday Guangzhou is held every third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM at the Paddy Field Irish bar and Restaurant on Hua Le Lu right behind the Garden Hotel. It is managed by Doctor Lonnie Hodge and his super-efficient team at Culture Fish Media

    Sign up for the event on Facebook here.

    I'll be making my way across the border with a bunch of local HK Digerati so see you there, or on the speedy through-train!

    December 5, 2008

    Ending the year with a bang!

    Calling all Hong Kong Digerati!

    Thank you to all our Web Wednesday members for making the Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V19.0 such a fun and insightful event.

    I'm not sure if it was the subject - "Adult Toys - Clicks to Bricks" - or the fact it was this year's last event, but we sure ended 2008 with a bang!

    The buzz was palpable, the venue was packed wall-to-wall with digerati and, as always, there were more new faces then old ones. (Where do you all hide during the day?)

    A special thanks to all our guest speakers throughout 2008 and our sponsors.


    My advice: try to see if you can resist the internet over the holidays and just enjoy the physical company of family and friends.

    Our 20th social mixer will be as follows:
    Date: Wednesday 7th January 2009
    Time: 18:30 - 22:30
    Location: Q97 Bar & Lounge, Basement, California Tower, 32 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong
    Topic: "How to reach women online?"

    We'll be posting the interview to our podcast channel

    In the meantime, you can follow my thought-stream on Twitter or join our group on Linked In.

    A special thanks to the people and companies who support this event:
    1. Q97 lounge club - spacious, groovy venue and welcome complimentary cocktail.
    2. The HyperFactory - SMS contest, mobile website and coupon download.
    3. Outblaze - social collaboration software.
    5. Beansbox - email and logo design.
    6. Epsilon Interactive - email marketing platform.
    7. Asia Digital Marketing Association - official industry endorser.
    8. Palava Digital - Event Organiser (Napoleon's company)
    9. Digital Media - promotion to its reader database.

    Napoleon Biggs
    Founder & Host - Web Wednesday
    Managing Consultant - Palava Digital, Social Media Specialists & Digital Media Executive Coaches

    December 2, 2008

    Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V19.0 (Dec 3)


    After eleven successful Web Wednesday events in Hong Kong this year, we wanted to say farewell to 2008 with a bang!

    So we've invited a guest speaker who runs a business that is the main driver behind all emerging new technologies...SEX (or perhaps we should be politically correct and call it "adult entertainment".

    Chris Lee is the founder of, a sexual well-being store and a great example of "clicks-to-bricks" with a shop that started on the web and now has a store opposite Times Square in Causeway Bay.

    We're lining up a few fun ideas for the event which I will let you know about in due course.

    It is the end of the year, so do make that special effort to turn up and bring a "friend" or two along. is offering a mystery gift to the first 100 guests!

    Click here for the confirm your spot.

    Date: Wednesday 3rd December 2008
    Time: 18:30 - 22:30
    Location: Q97 Bar & Lounge, Basement, California Tower, 32 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong

    November 4, 2008

    Podcast: Henry Oh, Hong Kong Start-Up Association

    Managed to find some time to post the interview with Henry Oh, our guest at Web Wednesday V17.0. Being a musician, Henry kindly offered to clean up the audio quality which, for once, makes the interview sound crystal clear - hard to achieve given that we record in a crowded nightclub (Q97) in the heart of Hong Kong's party centre! 

    And here it is. You can either listen online via the Odeo widget below or download the mp3 file from our channel on Odeo. (Apologies for not transcribing the interview, but time is not on my side).

    October 28, 2008

    Alltop - China Stories in One Place

    Came across a really useful service, Alltop, thanks to a badge on Thomas Crampton's blog.

    Alltop, all the top stories

    Alltop allows you to easily define an interest (e.g. China) and collect relevant blog stories on one web page. They describe themselves as being an "online magazine rack" of popular topics. They import the stories of the top news websites and blogs for any given topic and display the headlines of the five most recent stories. When you place the cursor over a headline, we display part of the story so that you can decide if you’d like to read it.

    Here's a screenshot of the news page.

    On further research, I see that it is the team behind Truemors, including Guy Kawasaki, who set this up. Apparently, they were inspired by how popurls brought as much traffic to their site as Google search.

    October 24, 2008

    Creative Genius - We Feel Fine

    Following on from the general sense of wonderment shown when I presented at BarcampHK (see my slides here), I managed to find a video presentation given by the genius behind the idea, Jonathan Harris.

    His bio is full of amazing ways to measure the pulse of human activity via the internet.

    Jonathan Harris is an artist and storyteller working primarily on the Internet. One part computer science, one part anthropology, and one part visual art, his work seeks to explore and understand the human world through the artifacts people leave behind on the Web.

    He has made projects about human emotion (, human desire (, modern mythology (, science (, news (, and language (, and created the world's largest time capsule (

    He studied computer science at Princeton University, and was awarded a 2004 Fabrica fellowship ( The winner of two 2005 Webby Awards, Harris' work has also been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica, ID Magazine, and the State of Vermont. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and his website is

    October 23, 2008

    Creative Commons Hong Kong Launch - Oct 24 and 25

    Calling all supporters of "free culture",

    This past September at Web Wednesday V16.0, we were lucky enough to have Rebecca MacKinnon introduce us to a new way of licensing and sharing content using Creative
    Commons. If you missed the event, you can listen to the interview here. There is also a Facebook event invite.

    And now Creative Commons is being officially launched in Hong Kong, with two events at the end of this week. If you want to be part of the movement to “Share Hong Kong’s Creativity”, please do make a special effort to attend. (Registration is required and you can get the full event programme here).

    Friday 24th October: 5:00 - 6:30 pm
    Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, Hong Kong University

    Inaugural Speech on by Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Founder of Creative Commons, who will speak on Free Culture and Free Society: Can the West Love Both?”. You'll need to
    register in advance here.

    Sat 25th October: 12- 6pm
    Venue: HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity

    Creative Commons Arts Festival

    • Photographs Exhibit (Hong Kong Flickr Groups)
    • Script reading of “An Instant Patriot” - a play by Mrs. Elizabeth Wong
    • Live Music ( Snoblind )
    • The Making of CC Documentaries ( v-artivist and inmedia)
    • Hong Kong Bloggers workshop (Panelists: Jacky See, Poon Wing Hang, Jeff Au Yeung)
    You'll need to register here so that they can manage numbers.

    Creative Commons has joined forces with the DotAsia Registry, also a previous guest at Web Wednesday, and has set up a new website, with links to all the local site across Asia.

    Hot of the presses! Creative Commons has now been endorsed by Cantopop starlet and actress, Ella Koon. Read more about it on Rebecca MacKinnon's blog, RConversation. I just had to add her photo to show you her "pulling power".

    Will all these good things going on, can you afford to miss this great new movement for creativity in Hong Kong?

    And if you're still confused about how Creative Commons changes the copyright game, watch this video.

    October 20, 2008

    Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V18.0 (Nov 5)

    In these troubled times, where do you turn for support?

    Do you fly off to the virtual world of Second Life? Seek solace in a guild in the World of Warcraft? Or look up to the skies and ask for help from the Big Man Himself?

    Alternatively, just come along to Hong Kong's premier internet gathering - Web Wednesday - to mix with (often not so) like-minded folk and hear the story of the ex-GM of AXA Insurance who became a Christian preacher and leveraged social media in order to build his community.

    Our guest on 5th November will be John Snelgrove, Senior Pastor of the Vine Christian Fellowship in Central, Hong Kong. We'll be talking "God 2.0 - Building a Christian community using social media".

    In is own words, "The Vine is a contemporary church (looks more like Starbucks!) (music sounds more like Coldplay!!) and attracts an international congregation 7 days per week totalling over 1,000. Its music is heard and played worldwide, and through the website, video clips and podcasting the message extends way beyond the walls of the church."

    You can sample The Vine online here

    As usual, we will congregate at Q97 in the Basement of California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong.

    Social mixing starts at 6:30pm and the guest interview at 7pm. If you're on Facebook, tell us your coming by signing up here.

    Come share the digital love!

    October 14, 2008

    Web Wednesday Guangzhou - 15th Oct

    Our good friend, Doctor Lonnie Hodge, CEO of Culture Fish Media, is hosting the 4th Web Wednesday event in Guangzhou on 15th October. You can sign up for the event on Facebook or simply turn up in person, if you're heading "up north".

    Topic: Web Advertising Alchemy with Des Walsh and Peter Burton

    Peter Burton is Operations Director at Oriented Media and a veteran of the internet. He is a co-founder of Activ8 (now Oriented Media) a digital marketing and adserving company. Prior to starting Oriented Media he was a member of the start-up team for SpaceAsia Media, Asia's first adserving network which was subsequently sold to CMGI in 2000. Peter has honed his online advertising alchemy skills at Oriented Media and SpaceAsia Media.

    Prior to that Peter was part of the start-up team at Magictel, Hong Kong's first VoIP phone card business which subsequently became now e-Kong.

    In an earlier life as a Management Consultant Peter worked with a range of Telecom and Financial Services organisations in Asia and in Europe. He has a track record for managing turn-arounds and of leading trouble-shooting and business rescue projects.

    Peter has a degree in Engineering and an MBA from Henley Management College in the UK. Originally from the West Indies, Peter has worked in Asia for 12 years and is currently based in Hong Kong.

    Des Walsh is a social media strategist, business coach, international speaker, blogger, author and podcaster. He is also a fine story teller, gregarious and passionate about helping business people see how social media can enhance their businesses. He established his own consulting, training and coaching business after a successful career in public service. Des also pushes the industry forward through his membership of International Association of Coaching and the Advisory Board of the International Blogging and New Media Association and the Social Media Club.

    The crowd in Guangzhou is very different to that in Hong Kong so do make the effort to pop over to see our cousins up there, if you have the chance.

    October 9, 2008

    Last night's event - Hong Kong Start-Up Assocation

    Great event last night. Good turn out even though Facebook wouldn't let me invite you all to the event and I had no time to send out the usual email invite.

    Henry Oh gave us honest insight into the VC culture in Silicon Valley and how it differs from Hong Kong. He also offered some alternatives for funding, using debt rather than equity. (Not sure if it works in these days were "debt" is a dirty word!). 

    We learnt about his goals for mentoring a local start-up culture and sharing knowledge to help entrepreneurs accelerate and fund their ventures from money in the Silicon Valley.

    I'll be posting the interview to our podcast channel within the next week. 

    In the meantime, you can read the pre-event blog posting or listen to previous interviews on Web Wednesday's podcast channel or follow my occasional musings on Twitter.

    Our next event will be on Wednesday 5th November at Q97 in Lam Kwai Fong. Networking starts at 6:30pm with the speaker interview at 7pm.

    We are finalising the speaker but it'll either be an animation start-up from Hong Kong or a leading video portal in China.

    Keep pushing the digital envelope!

    October 8, 2008

    Web Wednesday Hong Kong - 8th October at Q97

    Calling Hong Kong Digerati!

    Come join our next social mixer (Web Wednesday HK V17.0) tonight
    at Q97 in Lan Kwai Fong. Networking from 6:30pm, guest speaker panel at 7pm. If you're on Facebook, you can sign up here for free.

    Apart from the usual industry buzz and casual social mixing atmosphere, we'll be talking the status of start-ups and funding options with Henry Oh, Co-Founder of the Hong Kong Start-Up Association and Socialutions, his own new venture.

    Henry is also a songwriter and film maker and avid proponent of Free Culture and Creative Commons. (We covered CC in-depth in our last social mixer; listen to the podcast here).

    Henry met his business partner (Rodney Lloyd) at Web Wednesday in Hong Kong. In honour of our role in bringing them together, Henry will launch his new venture, "WikiEnterprise" at tonight's social mixer.

    The common theme underlying Socialutions will be a focus on social benefit (e.g. renewable energy, open source, Creative Commons).

    This social mixer is free and open to any one interested in the internet and digital media in Asia. Sign up here for tonight's social mixer and join our community of over 800 Asian Digerati.

    September 26, 2008

    Community comes to news websites

    Following up on yesterday's Austcham/ADMA panel on "What's cool in social networks?", where I was joined by Simon Newstead of Frenzoo, Ross McNab of Eyeblaster and David Ketchum of Upstream Asia, here are some extra musings and findings.

    Jay Oatway, Editor of Charged, summarised the difference between social media and social networks very succinctly as being "content vs. people". However, I see it more that people become the content in social networks. To me joining a social network is like moving into a new neighbourhood, except that you get to chose who your neighbours are.

    Some stats that I came across (not necessarily accurate):

    • Facebook has over 130 million members, of whom 9 million are in Asia and 580,000 in Hong Kong. (When I started tracking Facebook back in June 2007, there were only 57,000 members in HK).
    • MySpace has over 120 million members, of whom 7 million are in Asia (sorry no HK stats. Help me if you can).
    Our focus was very much on business usage, so I found out that the following news sites have all recently launched social networks or some form of community:

    Even British Airways is riding the bandwagon, with it's community site for frequent travellers between Londoin and New York, called "MetroTwin". You have to be receive an invite but I actually see this one working.

    September 24, 2008

    ADMA: What's cool in social networking?

    The Asia Digital Marketing Association (ADMA) has asked me to join a panel on "What's Cool in Social Networking?" held, in collaboration with the Australian Chamber of Commerce, at 8am tomorrow morning in the Renaissance Hotel in Wanchai, Hong Kong.

    Whilst researching for this event, I came across a highly informative and relevant blog posting on Pingdom which has charts showing the popularity of the top social networking sites across the world. They have used Google Insights to produce charts from the most common search strings to illustrate each site's popularity on world map.

    Here is the one they produced for Facebook:

    September 6, 2008

    Twitter - Visualising Conversations at BarcampHK

    Great turn out today at #BarcampHK - over 200 registered geeks (of which 10 or so were geek girls!). Here's my presentation on Twitter and the visualisation of people's emotions. Grand finale ends with, the most amazing visual captivation of the current human emotions across social media that I have ever seen.

    But, this is only for the English language blogosphere. I lay down the gauntlet for anyone who can develop a similarly captivating service for the Chinese blogosphere!

    September 5, 2008

    Podcast: Creative Commons in Hong Kong

    If you missed the last Web Wednesday social mixer, here's the unedited recording of the panel session on Creative Commons. Do let me know what you think.

    September 4, 2008

    BarcampHK - mobile website goes live!

    Our friends at MobiTMS have set up a mobile website for the upcoming Barcamp user generated conference in Hong Kong (hashtag "#barcamphk"). Simply enter your full mobile number (e.g. 85291234567) in the banner below and you'll get sent the link via SMS. Cool stuff, heh?

    September 3, 2008

    Reminder: Talking creative sharing at tonight's social mixer at Q97

    We will be joined tonight for Web Wednesday's 16th Social Mixer by two local proponents of Creative Commons as a way to share their creations in the online arena:

    1) Snoblind: two local Hong Kong musicians, Vincent and Regina, who license their music using Creative Commons. Their music has been described as ""Hard-hitting rock filtered through pumping electronica with abstract beats colliding with lush cinematic soundscape."

    Come hear their music at Web Wednesday tonight!

    You can also visit their official website - - which uses funky QR codes to help you locate the site on your mobile phone:
    Of drop by their page on MySpace:

    If you believe in supporting local musicians, then yoou can buy their latest album, "Musica Di Digitalia", from CD Baby.

    2) Foncept: a soon-to-be-launched artists community of T-shirt designers. Artists post their creations and earn revenue by selling their works. Founded by Ben Cheng, who has been actively involved with the free culture movement in Hong Kong and has participated in the establishment of Creative Commons Hong Kong.

    For more info, visit Ben's company website -

    The Foncept site is coming to a browser near you!

    September 1, 2008

    Barcamp HK 2008 - Grass Roots Internet Event

    Following on from last year's highly successful Barcamp, I am proud to be one of the organisers bringing this unique user generated conference to Hong Kong.

    This year, Turner International Asia Pacific Ltd has generously offered to provide the venue on the 30th Floor of Oxford House, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay.

    This will be Hong Kong's second Barcamp. The first one (Dec 07) attracted 100 people from all walks of the internet: budding entrepreneurs, web designers, cutting edge programmers, mobile experts, game developers; designers, academics, bloggers, social media specialists, investors and media owners. If you're curious about last year's event, spend time on BarcampHK 2007 wiki, flickr photos,
    youtube video (Dookaz intro) and video (Leon Ho, Stepcase and Rebecca mcKinnon's blog summary.

    If you're new to Barcamp, you can find out more from the Wikipedia listing. From last year's experience, I was amazed by the wide range of people who turned out but how much they were willing to share. If you have an opinion about the Internet and digital media that you feel needs discussing and have an intense curiosity for knowledge, then please do come along. It is free, food and drinks are provided and presentations can be made in English, Cantonese or Mandarin. If you make it early, you may even get your hands on the event t-shirt!

    For more info on BarcampHK, here's is a copy of the event email, which links through to the official website (English and Chinese) and all the sponsors.

    A big thank you to my fellow organisers: Belle Liu, Dennis Tang and the gang at Beansbox (who designed all the event materials), Aaron Far, Ben Crox, Conrad Benham, Ed Chok, Jonathan Sin, Rowland Watkins and Steve Fleischer.

    August 27, 2008

    Shocked into Social Media

    In your face but nicely designed slides to shock you into being engaged with people via social media.

    August 26, 2008

    Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V16.0 - 3rd September

    Our next social mixer (V16.0) will be held at Q97 in Lan Kwai Fong on Wednesday 3rd September. Networking from 6:30pm, guest speaker panel at 7pm. If you're on Facebook, you can sign up for free here.

    Now that the net has become the place for writers, musicians, photographers, artists and all other creative types to promote and distribute their works, we will be discussing a new way to share, remix and reuse this content - legally! - using Creative Commons.

    Here's a video explaining how it works (English version):

    And the Cantonese dubbed version:

    As per the official website:

    Share, Remix, Reuse — Legally
    Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

    Our guest speaker will be Rebecca MacKinnon, Project Lead for Creative Commons Hong Kong and Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre. Rebecca is also a prolific blogger and micro-blogs in English and Chinese on her Twitter account.

    Amongst here many talents, Rebecca is also the co-founder of Global Voices, an international bloggers' network and the former Bureau Chief for CNN in Beijing and Tokyo.

    We will also be inviting a couple of local Hong Kong start ups who use creative commons as a base for sharing content on their websites.

    This social mixer is free and open to any one interested in the internet and digital media in Asia. Sign up here for the event.

    August 25, 2008

    Web Wednesday Singapore - 27th Aug: Kevin Huang, Pixel Media

    This month, our friends in Singapore will be inviting Kevin Huang, CEO of Pixel Media Asia to speak at their 7th Web Wednesday event.

    To quote from their invite, " Kevin has been billed as a 'living legend' in the online advertising industry in Asia and was one of the early pioneers at Doubleclick networks before setting up and launching the publicly listed Pixel Media Asia. Kevin will be speaking on his experience in setting up and running a digital advertising business in China - the challenges and pitfalls on the way to success."

    Kevin was one of our earlier guests in Hong Kong (Social Mixer V5.0 - Oct 2007)and you can listen to his interview here.

    August 19, 2008

    Liu Xiang - capturing the spirit with photo mash up

    There's been a lot of talk about Liu Xiang, one of China's most famous athletes, dropping out of the Olympic hurdles final due to injury. Rather than add more words, here's a photo mash-up by Chinese blogger, Corey, that captures the disappointment. No more words needed.

    August 15, 2008

    Podcast: How will online newspapers survive?

    Quick post of the recent panel interview at Web Wednesday V15.0 with Michael Logan, Multimedia Editor of the South China Morning Post ( and Sam Hui, Business Director for Next Media Interactive, who manages More comments later...

    And a great sound bite from Sam's boss, Jimmy Lai, rebellious owner of the Apple Daily:

    Track Olympic Medal tally in real time, thanks to EditGrid

    Our former guest speaker at Web Wednesday, P.K. Chan of Editgrid, is now offering real time tracking of the Olympic Medal tally (hash tagged with #080808) via his online spreadsheets. Here is an embedded version for you to play around with, although it looks much better on his site.

    August 8, 2008

    #080808 Beijing Olympics - Chinese Twitterati Buzz

    Four renowned Chinese bloggers and active twitterers - flypig, webleon, babechloe and junyu - have come up with a great idea to use the hashtag "#080808" to track people's thoughts, comments and photos of the Beijing Olympics. ("080808" stands for 8th August 2008, the opening day of the Games).

    In a short period of time, a Google programmer, Junyu Wang, has already built a clever mash-up, tracking the latest activities tagged with "#080808" from YouTube, Flickr, Technorati, and Google Blogsearch. See it all live here:

    Drop by their blog (, download some icons and join the campaign. Many peopek have already created their own logos. You can see and edit many more here on Flickr.

    I'm using this one as my Twitter background:

    And this one, designed by Yiying Lu (famous for Fail Whale), as my Twitter icon:

    August 6, 2008

    Hong Kong Social Mixer Postponed to 13th August

    Thanks to Typhoon Kammuri raising the Number 8 Signal and forcing us all to stay at home, tonight's Web Wednesday gathering has been postponed to next week.

    So please reset your diaries for Wednesday 13th August, same place, same time.

    It looks like our two speakers, Michael Logan of the and Sam Hui of AtNext Media, will also be able to come. You can sign up for the event here.

    Enjoy the storm, however wimpy you think it may be!

    August 3, 2008

    Podcast: Chris Justice, MD of Quamnet Group

    If you missed the last Web Wednesday event in July. I can't replicate the networking, but here is the interview with Chris Justice, MD of Quamnet Group.

    Boomtown Beijing - Laobaixing

    Boomtown Beijing - what do the real people of Beijing (老百姓) think about the upcoming Olympics? Here's a trailer of Siok Siok Tan's documentary that may help answer your curiosity.

    August 1, 2008

    Web Wednesday - Social Mixer V15.0 (6th August)

    Calling All Hong Kong Digerati!

    Come join our 15th social networking event. Meet, mix, learn and share your experiences in a casual and friendly atmosphere. To help us know, expected numbers please sign up for the event on Facebook.

    This month, we will have a panel interview with two media experts who are helping their newspaper organisations move into the digital realm:

    Michael Logan, Multimedia Editor for the South China Morning Post ( who has pioneered the print newspaper's venture into audio podcasting and vidcasting. In fact, today they have launched the revamped multimedia channel, using BrightCove to serve and share videos. They've also started to list the audio podcasts in blog format along with the show notes (easier to find on search engines), which contain valuable links to their music selection - these guys have great taste in music so well worth dropping by! Like their Olympic website, all the multimedia content is free!

    Sam Hui, Business Director for Next Media Interactive, who manages and has started an interactive, audience participation video channel, called Apple Action News. Sam is the man behind many of the Apple Daily's ventures into the internet space and is actively involved in their new Olympic website.

    As the event is 2 days before the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony, we will naturally also discuss how online news organisations are using the internet to cover such as large scale event.

    July 31, 2008

    Who's news looks best on my iphone?

    As I continue to discover the mobile web with my trusty iPhone (still the 2.5G version), it dawns on me that this gadget will be the one missionary that successfully converts the non-believers to the ways of the mobile web.

    As the Olympics is around the corner, I thought I'd test out some leading news websites to see which looked best on my iphone, or in this case the web-based iphone emulator,

    These screenshots speak for themselves:

    South China Morning Post
    Mainly text links, little multimedia, need to log in.


    Crisp navigation, nice video, fun audio but SMS alerts only in the UK.


    Crisp, good Olympic site ( with galleries and blogs, videos don't load in quicktime, SMS alerts available internationally, chose your favourite country to keep count of medals, submit citizen postings via email or SMS.

    AtNext - Apple Daily
    Mainly a download site for ringtones, wallpapers. Hard to navigate and safari can't handle most of the files. This one needs some work.

    Tracking Presidential Popularity

    A truly smart mashup for tracking the popularity (measured in times mentioned) of Obama and McCain across the blogosphere.

    Love the fact he has created dynamic pie charts to illustrate the presidential candidates' popularity rankings. Imagine using the same APIs but for tracking green issues, business leader opinions, human rights...

    July 29, 2008

    Vote for Charles Mok!

    Charles Mok is putting his grass roots support network to the test and asking the local IT community to vote for him as "President of the United States of America!". He's even been covered in the US press!

    OK, I'll be honest with you. That was a joke! In fact, Charles has his sights focused on a slightly less ambitious goal, namely to run for a seat in the Legislative Council representing the IT Functional Constituency.

    His first election gathering will be on Thursday 31st July. More details here.

    Apart from being truly plugged in to the local internet community, Charles has illustrated his deep belief in technology by launching a Web 2.0 election website.

    July 14, 2008

    Web Wednesday expands to Guangzhou!

    Back in June 2007, I launched the first Web Wednesday event in Hong Kong, with the encouragement and help of Louise Kristensen (nee Hammond), Online Business Director of Eight Partnership. You can read about it in my first blog posting, "Humble Beginnings".

    Facebook was the vehicle of choice for managing the community, under the "
    Web Wednesday Group", and our membership has leapt from 20 people back in June 2007 to 663 internet movers and groovers as of today!

    Top of my
    new year's resolutions for 2008 was to expand the community; we seem to be well on the way with a regular event in Singapore, now on its 5th social mixer and our first event in mainland China, across the border in Guangzhou. All three events are endorsed by the Asia Digital Marketing Association, who helps us promote our social networking events to it's member database across the region.

    If it weren't for the friendly networking environment that Web Wednesday provides, I wouldn't have met Dr. Lonnie Hodge, who has taken on the mantle to host Guangzhou's "Web Wednesday - V1.0". You can sign up and invite friends to join this free networking event on Facebook.

    Lonnie is not only CEO of Culture Fish Media but somehow manages to squeeze four careers into his busy life! You can gain a taste of who he is by dropping by his blog, "Onemanbandwidth: An American Professor in China", or coming to the event in person on Wednesday 16th July, 2008 from 6:00p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at Hooley's Pub, Times Square, on the corner of Guangzhou Dadao and Tianhe Bei Lu, Guangzhou.

    Lonnie's instructions for those who can't speak Mandarin, "Just tell the taxi driver you want to Xin Shi Dai Guang Chang. It is on the right of the square and (almost) impossible to miss. It has a typical Irish Pub exterior".
    (See the map below). If you're coming from Hong Kong, you can book your 'through-train' tickets here.

    For some odd reason, Lonnie has decide to interview me (here's my linkedin profile) as his first guest, but I'm planning to turn the event on its head and ask him about his life, which has ventured into many fields, some of which I might not be allowed to post in this blog!

    July 11, 2008

    Earn 50 cents to be a Chinese net nanny

    As a follow on to the recent panel on "Nationalism on the Internet", held at Web Wednesday's Social Mixer V12.0 in May, Thomas Crampton has gained more insight from Oiwan Lam about China's freelance censors, known as the "50 Cent Gang" or “五毛党”, and how they are paid to vet the net on Chinese chatrooms, fora (bbs), blogs as well as Twitter.

    If you missed our event, you can listen to the unedited presentations by Thomas and Oiwan below:

    powered by ODEO

    iPhone Apps made in Hong Kong

    Once the initial buzz around the launch of the new 3G iPhone has calmed down, people will be wondering what kind of things they will be able to do with their new gadgets. (NB: It's already being auction on Yahoo! Hong Kong for HKD10,000.)

    For this reason, we've invited these five local web companies to demonstrate their iPhone offerings at the iPhoneParty on 17th July: aNobii, Headnix, EditGrid, Zendesk, 9gag and MobiTMS.

    3G iPhone - how much will it cost to own?

    The world, or at least the iphone-aholics, is abuzz with the launch of Apple's new 3G iPhone. It looks good and can all kinds if fancy things, but how much will it cost to own and, more importantly, operate one?

    Our former guest speaker, P.K. Chan and his team at Editgrid, have compiled an online spreadsheet that answers the above question. You can play with the data in the iframe below:

    July 7, 2008

    iPhone Party - Hong Kong on 17th July (updated)

    Tapping into the grass-roots fan base for all things iPhone, Palava Digital has teamed up with Beansbox, Headnix, MACitizen and Hong Kong University's Mac User Group to welcome Apple's 3G iPhone to Hong Kong.

    We will be hosting an iPhone Party will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday 17th July at Grappa's Cellar, Basement, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central. Grappa's can host more than 500 people so we're expecting quite a crowd!

    To guarantee your entrance, I'd suggest you sign up on the official website,, and see who else is coming along on the Facebook event invite. Feel free to invite friends!

    You can find your way to the venue with this Google Map:

    View Larger Map

    More than just indulging Mac addicts, the event has also been set up to bring together budding application developers and digital marketeers to generate new ideas for iPhone applications, created in our home town, Hong Kong. In fact, a contest has been set up whereby the person with the most interesting idea for an iPhone application can win a revolutionary 3G iPhone. Get your thinking cap on and submit your idea here.

    On the night, you will be able to:
    * Experience iPhone 3G (and get one!) - sadly, no longer thanks to 3HK (see below)

    * Get exclusive special product offers - sadly, no longer thanks to 3HK (see below)
    * Meet iPhone app developers and Mac fanatics
    * Showcase of full Apple product line (iMac, iPod, Macbook Pro, Macbooks, Apple TV ...)
    * Enjoy live demos of iPhone apps

    After initial reluctance (don't these guys get the benefit of marketing to niche audiences?), 3 Hong Kong (Hutchison Telecom) has decided to officially support the party and attendees can purchase their very own iPhone 3G on the spot! Update (10/07/08): Sorry, I spoke too early there. Due to internal wranglings, 3 HK will no longer be involed in this event.

    Ultimate PC & Mac Gallery will be showcasing the full Apple product line. Update (10/07/08): Again, it looks like 3HK has asked its distributors to cease any promotional activities related to the new iPhone so Ultimate will also not be officially involved in this event.

    Editgrid, the provider of online spreadsheets, will be sponsoring the first 100 drinks.

    Wi-Fi will be available at Grappa’s and there will also be a wireless router for back-up.

    July 3, 2008

    Prize winners - Quamnet Goodies

    Last night, at our 14th social mixer, we warmed up the audience with an on-site quiz where you were asked to send your answer to this question via SMS.

    And the winners are...

    Bronze: Quam Financial Advisory x 6 mths (worth HK$1,920)
    Richard Cohen, Talented Open Source Programmer (Linux) who also blogs under the wry pseudonym of Wandering Jew.

    Silver: Quam Money Full Page Ad (HK$15,000)
    Sherry Wong, General Manager of GoHome.

    Gold: Quamnet Email ad x 1 time (worth HK$35,000)
    Peter Steyn, Managing Director of Aha! Research

    Thanks to Quamnet for the generous prizes and Hyperfactory for the mobile quiz platform.

    July 2, 2008

    Quamnet contest - Get your questions here!

    Hi Web Wednesday-ites!

    We're on for tonight at Q97, Basement, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong. Kicks off at 6pm but see if you can get there before 7pm to enjoy the free drink and early mixing.

    Sofa-style interview with Chris Justice, MD of Quamnet, to talk finance 2.0 and whether a website should be free.

    Question for tonight's quiz:

    Which section of costs money?

    "ww a" = news
    "ww b" = stock quotes
    "ww c" = tony's daily

    send your replies to 508507 to have a chance to win one of the prizes below:

    Prize 1 : Quam Financial Advisory x 6 mths (worth $1,920)
    Prize 2 : Quamnet Email ad x 1 time (worth $35,000)
    Prize 3 : Quam Money Full Page Ad ($15,000)

    See you soon!


    June 30, 2008 - One of Hong Kong's top websites?

    This blog,, was recently listed as one of Hong Kong's top websites in "Net Pickings", an article by David Wilson published in the South China Morning Post's weekend magazine. (Sorry not link available as all articles closed to non-subscribers). From a traffic perspective, I'm sure this is not true but appreciate the attention and flattery anyhow.

    Here is the introduction from David's article:

    "Hongkongers seeking information, like-minded friends or simply to vent their spleen are catered to in abundance online. David Wilson compiles a list of the top 20 local websites.

    In keeping with the buzz on its streets, Hong Kong has a humming presence on the Web. The city's digital suburbs have many interesting drawcards - biting satire, an engaging community, investment advice with a twist, even pretty pictures.

    Consider the following list of top Hong Kong websites as a public service, saving residents and visitors the hassle of wandering aimlessly around cyberspace. The sites featured below either have high online traffic or content that is engrossing, amusing, daring or that simply makes life easier. Bloggers are heavily represented in this list, thanks partly to volume. Jennifer McLean, a spokeswoman for the blog search engine site Technorati, says the internet hosts 2,000 Hong Kong-tagged English-language blogs".

    And the description of this blog:

    "More than just a hub for tech talk, Web Wednesday serves as a forum for anyone involved in the online social-networking industry. The site is run by the indefatigable Napoleon Biggs, an internet entrepreneur and sinologist. It blends the geeky with the polemic and includes a video clip on nationalism and how the Chinese and outsiders see the Middle Kingdom".

    Much appreciated, David. Particularly liked the description as being "indefatigable" (Had to look it up) and only wish it applied to all aspects of my life, like child-rearing!

    Other sites listed in the SCMP article are : Hong Kong Disneyland, Mister Bijou, Hong Kong Airport Shuttle, Hong Kong Crawler, Discover Hong Kong, Zorpia, Xanga, Lamma, Glutter, Hongkie Town, Batgung, Ordinary Gweilo, The Underground, Big White Guy, aNobii, Hong Kong Outdoors, Cloudless, Hemlock's Diary and Bullpoo.

    Yes, the list is skewed to the English reader but does include local bilingual sites as well. Would be interesting to see a list of the popular local Chinese sites if anyone wants to post it here.

    June 27, 2008

    Digital Media promotes Web Wednesday V14.0

    And here's our event announcement ad banner, created by Beansbox Studios, that has appeared on Digital Media's weekly enewsletter that goes out to 20,000 subscribers and Media Magazine's enewsletter that reaches 16,000 readers across Asia. A bit cheeky, I admit, but why not?

    Digital Media's new website

    A little plug for one of our sponsors, DigitalMedia, who now have a spanking new website and have taken the daring step of registering it under a DotAsia domain, namely "". In fact, the URL redirects to as they are part of Haymarket's BrandRepublic media empire, originally from the UK.

    The new site is crisp and easy to navigate and is heading in the web 2.0 direction, with blogs (not yet live), story rankings (most popular, most emailed and most read - again not active yet), tag clouds and a vodpod widget for sharing their preferred videos - a clever but cheeky way to get video content on the site!

    Do bookmark the site and drop by regularly for the lastest digital news, analysis and opinion from Asia's client marketers and digital specialists. Alternatively, once they get their RSS feeds up, just subscribe for your daily dose of all things Asia.