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.