Monthly Archives: February 2014

Are we ready for virtual nation? The time is very soon.

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to the MIT Enterprise Forum in Hong Kong  in cooperation with the  Hong Kong Science and Technology Park  The speaker was Josephine Cheng CTO of IBM Greater China and Korea. The topic was “CTO Crystal Ball Gazing: Technologies That Will Matter” so I took this opportunity to ask a question and I was quite surprised by the response.

My question:

“Do you see in the future a virtual nation, one that is not based on geographic boundaries”

I based this on some observations of mine. Several years back Google took on the China government and suggested sovereignty by aligning with the U.S. It did not go over well. We then have Facebook which if it was a nation is the 3rd largest by population. And we now see the emergence of Bitcoin and cross border currency. There are many other examples, but it does seem to point in the direction of a virtual nation.

Josephine Cheng’s response (as recorded in my notes):

“I don’t think so, McDonalds makes different hamburgers for China different than Thailand and other places.”

McDonalds

 

I don’t think that Ms. Cheng was suggesting that McDonald’s will be the new world order but  instead that cultural similarities bind people’s together and those are largely dictated by geography. The exception to that being the U.S. which at one time had no dominant culture other than its own emerging culture.

Within most every country are pockets of other countries which are governed by different laws these are usually embassies with sovereignty. Recently in the states we saw how the rights of some persons can be stripped away. We also see tax agreements cross countries as with Duty Free Shopping. I also live in a virtual nation. I am an expat living  in countries which laws are different, but I always have access my passport to mitigate most issues that arise. I wonder if a virtual state was created if people would immigrate? Would it bring us closer together or separate us more?

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

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Whatsapp with Line? Shall WeChat about it?

This blog is about comparing the 3 major messaging apps (Whatsapp, Line and WeChat) to see which is the most interesting. It is not about why Facebook bought Whatsapp. After all a company as big as Facebook does what it is going to do. . . period. I doubt the conversations was “We are the greatest communication tool in the history of mankind. We connect 1.2 billion people each day. Why don’t we use this great resource and billions of our extra dollars to raise the education level and collective well being of all peoples of the planet. Give them the resources they need to be active participants in shaping a better world. Or should be buy Whatsapp and order pizza?”  The 3 apps:

1. Whatsapp – rose to prominence primarily because it was a free alternative to text messaging. Though in its early daze few trusted it and used IM services to send important texts. Since then Whatsapp has included the green check marks to show received and viewed which helped add trust to the service.  Facebook stated it wanted to keep the messaging simple and uncluttered. Well Whatsapp is simple like oatmeal without milk and brown sugar. It’s oatmeal but . . . yuck.

Whatsapp

2. WeChat is out of China and with that comes a slightly odd interface. It started out as a voice messaging app. This allowed easier communications than typing in Chinese characters but it quickly expanded to include text. The user interface seems perfectly normal and easy to use but there is just something about it that is not quite right. It lacks the finesse of Line. Many worry about personal privacy with China based apps which are notorious for allowing businesses to spam customers. WeChat has very clear rules for business and allows 2 types of accounts; Service and Subscription. This gives the user control over the communications they receive. It is not invasive at all and quite good on keeping up to date on a wide range of topics.  Also uses QR codes in addition to username, phone number an email for identification.

WeChat Messaging features

3. Line is out of Japan and when the Japanese do something good they do it very good. Line is a sleek and intuitive app that is easy to use with many features that go beyond messaging. The Band function is cool. It is a social media organizer. However, the additional features do not clutter or confuse the simplicity of using the messaging function whether text, voice or video.  Line is very clean and uncluttered. Also uses QR codes in addition to username, phone number an email for identification.

Line Messaging features

In Summary, if we used a 3 bears analogy, Whatsapp would be too cold. WeChat would be too hot and Line would be just right.

Much success,

Doug

Who me? Yes I am talking to you!

I am really quite peeved with a growing group of sharing sluts that take no responsibility for their actions and are more concerned with their self aggrandizement than contributing anything of value. Perhaps I am a little more invested than the average person because I am a long time student of human behavior and pretty heavy into social media. During the years I have seen dramatic shifts in the decline of “Share” quality. I find this very disappointing as I am a staunch believer that the greatest aspect of social media is that everyone of us has an equal voice. It is the democratization of the Internet and with that comes some responsibility.  There are two basic actions that I find particularly offensive.

1. Several weeks ago an executive in a prominent social media agency posted, what seemed to be, an outrageous article. I called him on it and his reply was “don’t shoot the messenger”. Well, yes I am going to F***ing shoot the messenger. When you chose to select a piece of content and republish it under your name there is accountability. Social media posting allows adding a comment so your position on the content can be made clear. If you choose not to use this then . . .

who-me 2

2. The second is those people that contribute nothing to the conversation other than a stream of reposted, prepackaged content. If these posts are truly an expression of your sentiment, then that is fine. But you could, at the very least, add the smallest comment to personalize it. To demonstrate that you are human and not some bot pulling down content based on keywords and shooting it back out. If adding the smallest of comment is too great a burden than perhaps you should go lie down and rest rather than posting. Really, I think you should.

Recently a friend posted a quote written by him and passed down from his mother;

 “I am a man of few words because my mum used to teach me – if you don’t have anything constructive to say, breathing is better than speaking.” – Michael Lam

Much success,

Doug

Is Google getting ahead of the lawsuits? Facebook ratings display

Recently Google has made 2 changes. 1. agreed to post competitor and 2. include Facebook’s 5 star rating in SERP.

1.  Google dodged a 5 billion dollar bullet by agreeing to share competitor information next to theirs. This is primarily relating to how results display top line for shopping searches. It is unclear on how this will benefit the general public but it was a critical to maintaining an open and competitive market place. Just because people have chosen Google as their main search engine does not mean that they have automatically selected it to make all of their decisions for them. What is curious is why the Europeans are always the ones that need step in and the U.S. does nothing.

Google Search Results Page

2. Facebook 5 star rating makes an appearance in search. Is Google trying to get ahead of lawsuits or do they realize that giving people options is actually better business? Who is to know. But we do know is that you can now find your Facebook 5 star ratings in Google search.

Google search Facebook 5 star

Open and free exchange of information benefits everyone. Businesses attempts to limit access only hurts them and others in the long run. Let’s hope Google is starting to learn from the mistakes of MicroSoft.

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Facebook slows and puts the squeeze on organic

Facebook has been following some disappointing trends lately. These are stagnating growth on new subscribers and increased emphasis on “pay to play” performance. Facebook started out embracing the youthful idealism which staunchly protected the individual. But as Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg mature into more sensible adults, that zeal is replaced by good financial prudence. We see dramatic negative shifts in post performance being exacted on Fan’s news feeds and organic reach while seeing increases in paid promotions are strongly favored. 

Locowise Feb 17, 2014

The weekly stats put out by Locowise clearly shows huge decreases in organic reach and the effectiveness of a non-promoted (paid) post. When Facebook removed itself from the Edge Rank standard, like when Nixon removed the U.S. from the Gold Standard, rules for the common man no longer apply. Only those with money and influence can decipher and influence policy. Facebook is trading it’s most valuable asset, User Generated Content (UGC) for the most tedious of revenue models, advertising. Facebook will be around for a long time with 1.2 billion members, but I for one am quickly losing interest. 

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

PRDA Asia’s leading social media management agency

Facebook troubles today: Less than 1000 users in Hong Kong and more

Today was a very interesting day for Facebook and its users. Here are some of the craziest.  I can only assume it is due to two things:

  1. All the changes to add more paid promotions to the offering
  2. All the changes to include more paid promotions to the offering.

Facebook adverts which measures registered users declared that there were less than 1000 in Hong Kong today. It appears rumors of users leaving maybe true.

Facebook Hong Kong

Cover photo madness as images just randomly disappear. Oops where did it go?

Facebook Cover Photo

There were many other reports of posts missing, error messages and general out of control craziness.

Facebook post errors

Much success,

Doug

Twitter writing starts with a KISS

Keep it Simple and Short (KISS)  Twitter is simple 140 characters, post a message and re-tweet (RT) others messages with a comment. For most the goal is to have your message RTed by as many people as possible. This means you are super cool and very popular.  Keeping your original message intact is important so leave room for others comments and still stay under 140 characters. A simple formula to follow:

80 characters message + 10 character shortened Link = 90 characters

Good:

PRDA Twitter post good

Bad:

Recode Twitter bad post

*note 18 people tried to RT this post

When RTed it looks like this:

Good:

PRDA Twitter post good 2

Bad:

RECODE Twitter post bad 2

* note how the link to the important information is cut off? 18 people RTed a broken message

How to write for Twitter, KISS:

  • Delete unnecessary words
  • Abbreviate
  • Change word order
  • Use punctuation

Example:

Twitter is one of the easiest communication tools to use, but for reasons unknown even the super Gurus of social media make the most basic of errors all too often.

Changes to:

Twitter is easy, but even Social Media Gurus make big mistakes (61 characters)

Much success,

Doug