15th Feb2011

Social Media Week – New York; Musings.

by Dorothy

I’ve touched down right smack before Social Media Week New York starts. Jet lag could not keep me away from this. The cold at night, unfortunately occasionally won.

Too many good sessions, too little time, coupled with an inability to divide and clone oneself meant that one had to be selective about the entire week’s events in New York. The level of discussion was amazing, and listening to people who were really into what they did is always highly inspirational.

 

Several themes that surfaced across various talks that were of interest:

 

1. Culture & Digital Identities:

  • Don’t confuse Anonymity with Privacy
  • Mentions of the shift from hiding behind avatars, even in traditionally privacy obsessed cultures such as Japan
  • The question of the impact of culture on adoption?

I love how bits of culture still filter through online. As interactions become increasingly digital, there must be some discount to the 30-70% rule that body language contributes predominantly to non verbal communication. In my work, having a feel of the various digital conversations on the ground also helps – I’ve noticed that posts from India tend to be 2-3 times longer than other regions. Some social media landscapes are much more politically charged than others. We’ve found that there might be higher levels of sarcasm in certain markets than others. A huge bulk of Singaporean netizens might not haVe ReAchEd ThE sAMe MatUriTy LevEl of otheR PlacEs WorXX.~ (Note to self: If someone types like that to you. Run. Do not hesitate.)

Purely digital text conversation is full of nuances. How people behave and participate online is full of nuances. There is all this talk about digital plumage and how people create their identities online, and even how responses might vary to different avatars online (important for all those customer service folk). It’s been 2 years, I am still interested in how research in this field is developing.

The question posed was then, How can brands help people shape their identities, and share? Those who successfully tap into this would become part of the conversation, gain valuable mind space in this attention driven economy.

Another aspect of culture to take note of – organizational culture. Social media empowers a small number of people to change the culture of an entire organization. Like most change, time is needed, but now, all the tools are at your disposal. This is equally fascinating to me about how a dominant culture usually permeates those from a particular organization.

 

2. A Time Sensitive Idea Economy

One interesting thing about cloning was raised, about how the USA could learn from Chinese innovations. A mature culture will equate to more innovation, and it will not be the first time that copy and paste culture exists.

3. Platforms

 

  • Birth of Hyper relevance- Opengraph, the semantic web. Location based advertising and marketing.
  • Facebook positioning as a company to power the next generation of web.
  • Question: Who’s going to be the open graph of China? Since Facebook is not in china. Ans: Localized versions of Chinese platforms? They have the money and resources.

 

4.  Infrastructure, Government & Politics

Big Government and politics also constantly surfaced.  How people used social media to organize themselves in times of unrest.

  • Social media is now permeating up especially where government is concerned
  • Freedom of Speech – With the law finally catching on to the game and laying down the rules, I’m really not too sure of the extent of this anymore.
  • When mobile lines are cut, should an internet “kill switch” actually exist?
  • When platforms like Twitter are blocked – How to use other tools to mobilize people?

 

We heard first person accounts of how some used public phones to stay anonymous, when the sharing of information became their daily goal when dealing with the situation unfolding in Egypt then.

Infrastructure always plays a huge role in communications (do not get me started about the lack of reception underground in the MTA subways.)

  • In India, even the roadside florists are implementing mobile orders for their businesses. Free Wifi is increasingly common.
  • The Delhi Traffic Police Facebook Fanpage allows citizens to upload traffic offences (hopefully the posters were not committing one themselves when documenting this.)

….and many have never even gone to school.

 

Interesting discussions & amazing people aside, this should be the beginning of a good trip.

 

And now, allow me to indulge in some #iphoneography.

Hues of the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

 

Iconic.

NYC,Times Square

 

Advertisement v.s Consumer Sentiments:

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Horses @ Central Park

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Flag.

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NYSE; Wall Street.

new york,NYC

 

 

02nd Apr2010

Social Media – Moving forward…

by Dorothy

It’s kind of past the season where people throw up new ideas of what the future entails (this seems to happen largely towards the end of the year, because for some reason, the new year seems to trigger the sort of “what’s coming next” type of thoughts. Though if you think about it hard enough, it doesn’t really make sense since every day or any day is a good time to attempt some crystal ball gazing. But I digress.

I was at the HP #futureis event earlier this year, and there were many interesting presentations given by the various folk who shared. And yet, right now, while the whole Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare phenomenon has taken various parts of the world by storm, sometimes it easy to forget that there are many out there who still mainly stick to good old fashioned email, and surfing websites. So what constitutes this whole “social media” concept, anyway? It probably means different things to different people, and just when you think that you’re starting to understand the landscape, it moves again. We’re probably not even scratching the surface of what could possibly be done with all the information we have, and even trying to make sense of the upcoming trends in the scene.

Real time is so Yesterday; Predictive Analytics is the Now <?>

Last year around this time, the chatter was all about the real time phenomenon and how microblogging sites like Twitter could contribute to this. A year later, Twitter still surfaces in conversations, but now we’re looking into something that I’ve recently become very interested in – using past and present data to predict the future. Apparently, Twitter can even predict box office revenues of Hollywood movies, better than some established standards. All this is inherently fascinating to me, and something I’d love to explore more. The end of the research pretty much sums up the importance of this.

At a deeper level, this work shows how social media expresses a collective wisdom which, when properly tapped, can yield an extremely powerful and accurate indicator of future outcomes.

So effectively, this could apply to product launches, electorial campaigns (as the paper highlights) and all sorts of other CRM related issues.

What is Privacy?

On top of that, the definition of privacy continues to evolve as well. I’ll have to say that the behaviours linked to Foursquare still border on stalkerish creepy at times, and other sources like Facebook house such an incredible amount of (mostly accurate and genuine) data about demographics, user interests and the like, it’s seriously hard not to see this as a gold mine for marketers/advertisers. Imagine the conclusions that could be drawn from all this information.

What goes viral? Some good folk at UPenn/Wharton have published some research studying the list of the most emailed articles on the NYtimes that suggests that positive, rather than negative news is more viral (all those in PR can heave a sigh of relief) and that “useful” information is more likely to be shared, given that these could enhance connections with others. That goes for awe (inspiring) stories too. The generalizability of the results is a little suspect, given that it was largely confined to the readers of the NYtimes.com, and those who actually use the email function, but interesting nonetheless.

Share Prices & the Bottomline Another angle that has surfaced recently has been the effort to try and measure some real world impact of social media. We have the entire situation with Nestle and the impact of the Facebook debacle on it’s share prices. Zilch, at least according to this article. My sensing is that this is largely to do with the nature of the conversation. I do not deny it’s importance, but CSR for the most part, has been a tricky component to compute in terms of tangible profits. Perhaps it might have been different, should the issue have centered around an actual product, or service deficit. ROI is a tricky thing to nail down, one simplistic formula would probably not be able to encompass all the variables to be taken into account.

These are just some random musings that have come up… More about some other trends and thoughts on those in the next post! 🙂

21st Feb2010

Social Media Sticky Behaviors – Google & Facebook

by Dorothy

One of the great things about digital is that it really helps to crystallize certain behaviors. This means visible, predictive intelligence online. One of the most sticky platforms still remains the ubiquitous Facebook, while Google is practically synonymous with search. While they both started off as very distinct entities, it seems that FB has evolved enough to actually start moving into the Search space.

Games

Ever contemplate disabling or deactivating your Facebook account? You know what is top of mind of users when they worry aloud in the FAQ section of FB about losing their data from Farmville (or any other FB game, really!). This, instead of losing all their friends and contacts. This was a few months ago, when Farmville concerns were right at the top of the discussion topics.

It will be interesting when the games and virtual goods segment in FB grows. The question then is how this will translate in markets like South Korea, where there is an entire virtual economy flourishing. It is also a market where other global players such as Myspace, Youtube and even Google have either had to bow out or simply be content with a smaller pie of the market share. Will FB finally have enough clout to go against the likes of Cyworld?

Another question is what happens when (and if?) app revenues surpass that of Facebook?

Zynga (creator of Farmville, Mafia Wars and etc) which has 230 million monthly active users was reported to have revenues of $200 million in 2009. The WSJ says Facebook revenues could hit $710 million in 2010, so there’s still some distance between the two figures. Still, if a fair percentage of return visits are due to the addictive FB games, it remains to be seen if the gap will narrow.

Facebook: Your One stop Internet Destination

You’ve seen the stats. Early 2009, Zuckerberg quipped the most overused quotable line about how “If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia and Nigeria.”

Then, he was talking about 150 million people. It is now 2010. Techcrunch reports that Facebook now has something along the lines of about 350 million registered users, with over 175 million of them logging in daily.

That’s a whole lot of visits, a whole lot of eyeballs, a whole lot of power.

Enough power to simply change the FB layout AGAIN without word or warning. I hated it, but have since gotten used to it, since there wasn’t anything much I could really do about it (deja vu?). Everyone seems to have gotten used to the fact that we are all experimental guinea pigs, sigh and get on with our lives. And we  still keep going back to the site.

And now, FB has its sights on Google, who apparently has 800 million visitors.

“According to Web measurement firm Compete Inc., Facebook has passed search-engine giant Google to become the top source for traffic to major portals like Yahoo and MSN, and is among the leaders for other types of sites.” – Source: SF Gate

You can also read more about how FB could kill Google here. The gist is that FB and Google are complementary for now (since FB is leading all those eyeballs to Google), at least, until unique visits for FB surpass that of Google. Microsoft last cut a (non exclusive)deal with FB in the last quarter of 2009 to include real time search results from status updates, but it remains unclear where FB may run with the search pie.

What are these sites to you?

Interestingly, at least for now, Google seems to resonate more with users in terms of the serious stuff – maps, translators, finance info, useful software like chrome/earth.. versus more of a slant towards entertainment and games on Facebook.

Many people still use the Google search bar as a place to type in URLs like Facebook.com (for reasons I can never fathom.. why they can’t type it directly into the actual URL bar is beyond me).

These results below do feature a bit on the importance of mobile as well – with the mobile related and FB lite mentions.

I’m still curious as to how all this will play out and how people will respond to all/any of these changes online… What will keep people coming back for repeat visits?  Also,  with all the talk on privacy and merging of identities on various platforms,  something to explore in future posts!

09th Aug2009

Banking and Social Media #2 : Silence is not (quite) a strategy

by Dorothy


As a continuation of my last post, I’m looking into how financial institutions are communicating with their Web 2.0 stakeholders and managing the responding procedure, if any.

The previous mentioned Financial Times article mentions how research with the London School of Economics had uncovered two banks now using blogs to communicate in a much “softer” way than traditional marketing.

In fact, there are not just two, but a whole lot more.

Just to name a few from the Fortune 500 list, we have on Twitter

  • UBank (linked to the National Australian Bank,
  • Westpac Banking Group (not quite a big fan of the “Westpac help” username though)
  • ANZ Bankings CEO used to be on Twitter, but apparently he isn’t anymore (Why?)

And on blogs, we have Wells Fargo’s Join the Conversation. AOL Finance has a pretty nifty blog aggregator that pulls in blog posts around the web on the various institutions, like Bank of America, for example.

Over at this article,”Know Your Customers Means Knowing Your Social Media” some overseas examples of how consumer banking can approach the issue of delving in to the brave new world of social media are mentioned. As quoted,

Peter Aceto, CEO of ING Direct Canada who is personally active on Twitter, puts it, “Banking is our business, and we think our business needs to be wherever people are talking about banking.”

Silence as a Strategy

The questions: when do you respond, how do you respond, and should you even respond at all?

It’s true. Not every single thread, blog post, tweet or discussion online needs responding to. It would also be a near impossible task to respond to everyone. But that is no excuse for not trying. Silence is Not a Strategy, Even If You’re a Pirate.

By remaining silent while netizens raise their voices online, a few of the following situations could occur.

  • You appear unresponsive, worse, unware that anything is amiss.
  • You give competitors a chance to jump in and pacifiy upset customers, and lose the opportunity to engage.
  • You allow the situation to possibly spiral out of control.


Demanding Transparency and Truth, now.

We live in an age where the public demands transparency. The web allows for by-the-minute updates of day to day happenings, from the mundane (what you ate this morning) to the serious (breaking news of attacks in a certain city). If I can receive updates that a friend just had an amazing bacon and eggs breakfast, why can’t I receive a genuine response to a query or complaint online, on platforms like Twitter? Again, if your competitors are already doing so, won’t your customers be expecting that you follow suit? Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t the best way to do it, but shows some proactivness, at the very least.

With regards to banking, two areas immediately jump out- that of risk management/brand reputation and customer service. These are of course, generalizable to any other service orientated organization out there. With openess, comes trust. No industry needs to focus more on rebuilding trust right now. We need to trust our banks, as this article postulates.


Inertia, eradicated

And yet, the uptake of social media hasn’t quite taken this industry by storm, despite the powerful competitive advantages that could be derived from using the tools wisely. Inertia is a curious phenomenon that I can’t quite understand, in an industry that basically is commercially driven, and fueled by competition.

“Currently many traditional bankers tend to reject the concept of
social banking as a fad while others refuse to recognize or accept any
degree of threat posed by such new phenomena,” said Alistair Newton,
research vice president at Gartner. “Although bankers may see current
low usage by consumers as a permanent source of safety, this disregard
for changing consumer behavior with social networking generally may
mean that they miss the possibility of fast, viral uptake of social
banking.
” – Gartner Says Banks Need to Be Ready to Take Advantage of the New Age of Social Banking



I’ll end off by sharing some links, one which touches on a bit of Social Banking goodness and another nice link about managing your online reputation- enjoy!

Community Banker’s Guide to Social Network Marketing

In the Community Banker’s Guide to Social Network Marketing addresses social networks, user demographics and the role of social networks within the greater sphere of social media. Also addressed at length is the development of viral marketing programs, consumer advocacy, conversational marketing, metrics and common pitfalls.

NYT – Managing an Online Reputation

Your customers are talking about you — and the whole world is listening. How do you manage your reputation when everybody is a critic? Monitor – Manage – Promote.

“Social media for business now is life or death,” said Dan Simons, a restaurateur in the Washington area who closely monitors these forums. “You could open a business and do everything right, but if you’re unaware of these social media you will perish. Social media can take a business and put a bullet in it.”


As always, thanks for reading & would love to hear your comments or feedback if any!

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02nd Aug2009

Banking and Social Media #1 : Some thoughts

by Dorothy


It seems like an oxymoron to talk about banks and social media, given the former’s often authoritarian grip over their employees’ access to the web. However, all that looks set to change. Banks (or any other organization for that matter) are finding that the same level of control can’t be exercised over their consumers.


The Financial Times has published an excellent article about business and social technology (or social media). It postulates that organizations need more listening, watching, engaging with interested parties or being responsive to communities.

Banks surely recognize that they need to be where their consumers are. That was probably the premise of the introduction of Internet banking.

“Yet many banks, for example, still refuse to let customers post comments online because they fear what will be said.”
– The Financial Times


It used to be that organizations might be able to “own” the conversational platforms where netizens might find their comments (or complaints) censored on sites hosted by the organizations themselves. The point is, people are talking about you/your brand/organization/product/service whether you like it or not.


FB’s Lexicon gives some interesting data over the content of Facebook Walls over time. Looking at the period of January 2009 to current, it seems the total amount of mentions of DBS and HSBC are going in opposite directions.

Mentions of DBS are going up…

Picture 3

Recent events include:


Whereas, mentions of HSBC peaked around March 2009 and has dipped since, over the same period.

Picture 2

Events that happened in March 2009 that might have contributed to the increase in conversations.

Google Trends gives a much more nuanced analysis because it allows us to narrow down to geographical data.
Some comparisons from Google Trends, of search traffic from Singapore ( I am biased of course, August is the month of National Day 😉 ) on the various trends.

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 8

“Most organisations still think of their boundaries as very fixed – they don’t see the outside world as part of their organisation. They think it’s far too risky to break down their borders – but there is opportunity in blurring the boundary.” – The Financial Times


Between the Lexicon and Google Trends data, it shows people are not only talking about banks, they are actively searching for information on them. And this number has increased from year 2004, regardless of which bank we are looking at (DBS, HSBC, Citibank, in this case). I did try looking for a couple of other local banks, but there wasn’t quite enough data for Lexicon to pull any charts out. No conversations in itself, is possibly an indicator of other things.

Trust (me)
One would be hard pressed to find someone without an inherent skepticism about the banking industry after the global financial meltdown. Keeping silent is simply not acceptable to most consumers anymore, especially in this age where the internet affords so much transparency.

Your consumers are moving their conversations about you online. They are looking for information about you online. If you are not managing what the active netizens are saying, will the first thing that people find while keying in a search term be a negative post, or a positive one? If, a bank, you are not listening, how are you going to respond to something you’re not even aware of?

What is your take on this?
….More thoughts in the next post!

01st Jul2009

September – Looking forward to Social Networking World Forum – Asia

by Dorothy

A blog post to share that DorothyPoon.com will be one of the media partners for the above mentioned event. I am psyched that Social Media finally gets a forum of it’s own, in our part of the world, rather than being a subset of other marketing, advertising, etc conferences.

Digital has definitely come of age… I’m not entirely sure offline will be wiped out so thoroughly in so short a time as Steve Ballmer so radically postulated, but we are definitely seeing the start of this ‘fundamental economic reset‘.

Readers of this blog get a 15% discount, so make full use of it.  If you’re planning to head down, drop a note or give me a shoutout on Twitter and it would be great to catch up in real life!

Details, details!

______________________________________________________________________________

Social Networking World Forum – Asia – Grand Hyatt Singapore, Singapore, 22nd and 23rd Sept 2009

• Two day conference dedicated to social networking

• Featuring key speakers from social networking publishers, advertising agencies, industry analysts, software developers and equipment manufacturers, pay-TV and network service providers, mobile operators, plus many more

• Evening Networking Reception

• Joint exhibition combining social networking and mobile social networking formats

• Free to attend exhibition only pass available

Key Speakers included:

  • Bennett Porter, Head of Marketing – South East Asia, Yahoo
  • Deep Malhotra, Senior Director, MySpace India and South East Asia.
  • Desmond Tan, Brand Manager, Loreal
  • Bambos Kaisharis, Head of Marketing, Singapore & Malaysia Nokia
  • Lai Kok Fung , CEO , BuzzCity
  • Jeffrey Seah, CEO – South East Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group
  • Olivier Legrand, General Manager – Asia, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
  • Paras Sharma, Senior Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications, ESPN Star Sports
  • Plus many more

Early Booking Discount Ends 21st Aug 09 + 15% discount for blog readers

125x125-asia-snf

www.socialnetworking-asia.com

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14th Jun2009

The (Facebook) Name Game

by Dorothy

Picture 7Picture 6Picture 8Picture 9Picture 10

Tadah!Picture 12

For a brief moment, the world was divided into the happy ( I got my Facebook Vanity URL!) and the not-so-happy ( Someone got there before me!). At least, it was for those who were concerned over this issue.

For some sense of reality, there were people out there who had to wait for their lunch because I -had- to be online at noon. I say -had to- because most in the know had already been forewarned that if I did not get my name, grumpiness would ensue.

For the uninitiated, the reason why some people were parked in front of their computers geeking out and getting an adrenaline rush for “no apparent reason”, FB was finally giving people the chance to get www.facebook.com/yournamehere, instead of the very clinical www.facebook.com/id=1230974952365, which is only great for those who qualify for the Guiness World Records for ability to remember strings of numbers, not so great for the other mere mortals like us.

What’s in a name?

Quite a bit, it seems. Judging from the groups of people around the world stalking their Facebook profile for the name grab. It was a moment that defined the importance of this particular social networking site that emerged in 2004 and has since taken different parts of the world by storm, especially in the more advanced markets.

For those who are into numbers, here are the official FB usage statistics. e.g impressive numbers like

  • More than 200 million active users
  • More than 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
  • More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
  • The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older

I would have liked it better if they could have shown some comparisons, but I am not entirely sure that would be allowed. Numbers on their own never ever really help. Great, FB have 200 million active users, but what makes it more significant is the fact that Comscore reports MySpace users total at around 125 million for some contrast.

What’s the BEST name?

A higher level of geekdom came from the bloggers and Tweeters who were discussing SEO issues and the likes:

  • your-name-here or yournamehere?  ( p.s only “.” are allowed, so this needn’t be debated at this time)
  • your.name.here or yournamehere?  (FB doesn’t seem to recognise the “.”, so both options are actually the same!)
  • your.name.here or your.online.nickname.here ( A valid question, since this is the name you’re going to be stuck with, at least while FB reigns). Maybe THE.KING0101 semed like a cool idea when you were 21, not so when you’re nearing 45.

You know you’re a social media junkie if you were on the various platforms discussing with  your friends which was the best name you ought to take. For some reason, Chris Brogan has refused to do a facebook.com/chrisbrogan.  Someone (the other Chris Brogan) out there must be relieved. I bet he is also going to get a whole lot of uninvited hits because of his more famous counterpart.

You have our private geographic time zone details, use it.

I was glad that Facebook eventually gave instructions in our time zone. It’s ironic if they couldn’t, given that being able to figure out where a user is surfing in from and pointing them to appropriate front pages, is not even rocket science right now. Also, telling me that something is going to happen at 13th June, 12 am (EST), leads to a lot of uncertainty and googling for global clocks to do the necessary calculations.

Props to them also for making everything easily accessible and not buried within the account settings because there was no word on how we would eventually be able to choose our name.

All in all, I was impressed that Facebook (unlike Twitter might have) did not go down as feared. It was quick, painless, and clear (unlike their privacy filter settings or any other control feature for that matter), and as you can see, the outcome extremely satisfactory.

An interesting episode altogether!

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11th Jun2009

Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #1 Live event Tweeting…

by Dorothy

…is a brain intensive process.

This was the first time I’ve tried to live tweet an entire 2 day conference, and I’ve found it was no easy feat…

Brain Intensive

A couple of the guys were remarking that it was pretty trying to Tweet, listen, synthesize and breathe all at once. Tiring yes, but I shall credit the factors that supposedly make females more adept at multitasking, and maybe the live blogging practice from Social Media Breakfast sessions.  🙂 Still, end of Day 1, we were Zapped with a capital Z, reflected in the more modest number of Tweets on Day 2, if you were following the live Twitter feed.

Self PWNed.

I love Tweetdeck. really I do. I’d never tried out the Twitter/FB syncing on Tweetdeck so something in me asked why not? I’ll show you why (not). See this, and multiply it a few times in length.

annoying-fb-spam

Basically, I spammed my FB profile with my Tweets. Horrendous. I’m sure I spammed the FB News feed of all my friends as well, giving them sure reasons to filter me out .. haha ( just kidding).

Anyway, by lunchtime of the first day, I decided this was not working (not as fun as I thought it would be, visually or mentally), so I stopped the simultaneous posting to both Twitter and FB, so my profile could breathe. Left a status msg linked to my twitter feed instead.  The really un-fun part was having to go in and delete the posts on my wall..one by one. Didn’t quite erase them all… No more experimenting on this!

Lets try not to parrot

I also didn’t want to repeat every single thing that was being Tweeted, so the plan I had really was to watch the live feed and pretty much figure out on the spot the angles that each of the other people Tweeting were taking, and avoid posting similar thoughts. Not entirely avoidable, of course, since most good points are usually the ones that get picked up and Tweeted, but worth the effort and still manageable due to the number of Tweeters. Which brings me to my next point…

It’s a digital conference

…but where is the tech? went a Tweet that I saw. Should we hope to see more people actually getting their feet wet and using the tools that would help them understand the different aspects of how it could help them in their jobs better? Only a handful of people were live Tweeting, with the rest of the comments coming from interested parties not present at the conference.

Live event broadcasting

I can see why there is the debate over whether or not a portion of the presentation screen should be devoted to the live Tweets while presentations are going on. Possible issues I can think of are:

  • It’s distracting : some people can’t listen and focus on the Tweets at the same time
  • hijacking: some people mistaking the Tweet screen as a stage to send SMS-type msgs like on TV/ or saying something inappropriate.

The Tools are more powerful than you know…if used right

Some thoughts on the conference as a whole – It really would have helped if the folks organizing the conference could have confirmed the #hashtag, rather than the Tweeters finalizing it themselves. I saw Claudia taking the inititaive to try and standardiz the tag, but there was still some confusion and all conversation got divided mostly between @adtechasia (the official one) and @adtechsg, with a huge majority not even using them… so just adtech ought to return those results in Twitter search. The problem with the last option is that it returns all global adtech sessions – Twitter is now “mainstream”…hopefully digital marketers will make more effort to really utilize the power of the tools offered to them.

I found another Tweet about how Ad:tech singapore might end up as the conference with the most number of abandoned conference Twitter accounts ever amusing.

Having said that, it was very encouraging to see progress, however small, in terms of the ad:tech blog, using Twitter to get live audience questions during sessions ( although there was the query about why Wifii appeared to be cut off during sessions without a Twitter Q&A feature. Feedback off the Adtech Twitter stream should show lots of griping comments about a technology centric conference with no internet from both visiting and local delegates… ). Baby steps, but it can only get better!

Are you on Twitter? Drop a note to say hi if you were at Ad:tech too! If not, it would be cool to connect on Twitter anyway, or you can leave a comment here. 🙂

More up next on the Keynote Youth Panel session… and meeting Scott Goodstein (man behind Obama’s digital campaign)! I shall try not to fangirl too much.

My other posts on Ad:tech this year:

Pre Ad:tech thoughts: Web 2.0 & Gen Y: The Other Side of the Story
Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #2 Engage the Youth Keynote session

You can stay tuned through this blog’s RSS here!

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24th May2009

Web 2.0 & Gen Y: The Other Side of the Story

by Dorothy


Frankly, I’m fatigued by all this hype about Web2.0, and how it is being touted as being the ‘cure’ to everything except cancer. Coupled together with its initial links with the irreverence of Gen Y, I believe we are seeing trends of a different sort right now.

In a couple of weeks, I will be speaking at youth panel at Ad:Tech, moderated by the very awesome Graham Perkins. We talked about how it would be interesting if we could carry on a conversation without using some words like Facebook, Gen Y, Social Media, and how everyone and their pet cat is on Twitter. Would this little alternative game of Taboo be even possible, the way people are throwing these terms around lately?

Seriously, at the heart of it all, is communication, good old word of mouth, but through a new medium – the digital channel. It is less about trying to pigeon hole all this as merely a fad or something for “youths”, which is the natural inclination.

I am partially convinced that ironically, most of what we believe we perceive of this digital movement is shaped by the traditional media, dying or not.

A couple of ‘myths’ that are becoming old…

#1. “No one watches TV, anymore.”

But what would you define as TV? The last I checked, a little site called YouTube was garnering a healthy number of hits (though not making much money), as so was Hulu.com (last year they were touted to surpass Youtube in profits in 2009). I wish I wouldn’t encounter so much of the US copyright restrictions where TV viewing oneline is concerned. Nevertheless, looks like the lucky folks over in the UK will get some of the action from Hulu and UK TV shows on Youtube soon.

What they really mean is the weakening popularity of sitting in front of the classical definition of a TV then …and the old channels, but most of us are watching shows and content off our mobile devices, off our laptop and computer screens, and then some. In other words, people are still watching, just on alternative screens, and in fact, for longer hours since mobile allows considerable freedom.

Nielsen Wire reports that Americans Watching More TV Than Ever; Web and Mobile Video Up too.


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04th Apr2009

Search Portals v.s Social Networking Sites – A Fight for the Advertising Dollar (& our eyeballs)

by Dorothy

Social Networking sites have gone mainstream, with news of how people are spending more time on SNS than their email, and how Facebook is sending more traffic than Google to some sites.

However, if it is true that there is going to be an expansion of the available domain names, (think .burger, .cola and so on) search is probably going to come back in a big way. It seems rather counterintuitive to introduce such a system on the grounds that we are running out of domain names to register under the current .com .net extensions. There is already a list of other generic top-level domains such as .edu, .info, .jobs, .gov, .travel for example, not counting the country extensions like .uk, .ca, etc.

I cannot imagine having to go manually go through all the possible extensions if I am looking for a particular website, so I’m probably going to head straight for a search giant like Google instead of trying my luck (and wasting my time) with the extension guessing.

On the flip side of the coin…..

here is what was happening last year, when it was predicted that the advertising dollar would shift from SNS and portals.

Portals, Social Networks Lose Share in Razorfish Ad-Spending Study
Digital Shop Says Clients Shifted Dollars to Search, Ad Networks in 2008

“There were a few surprises when digging into the various verticals where Razorfish spent its dollars. Spending on community sites, which include social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, actually went down to 16%, from 19% the year before.Spending on entertainment sites was way up in 2008, to 23% of share from 18%, for two reasons: First, Razorfish finds that people in leisure environments are more open to advertising and the ads appear to convert better, and second, there were many new premium video sites where advertisers could spend their dollars. Said Ms. Baehr: “Hulu didn’t really exist for us in 2007.”



Right now in 2009, FB might be bringing and directing more traffic than Google to certain sites, but in general, I think it remains to be seen how this will play out. This issue is raised here in this article “Is Facebook’s Rise a boon for Google?” as well.

Personally, I am a triffle annoyed at the multitude of advertisements, repackaged as “suggestions”, in the new Facebook layout. FB is trying to be clever in placing your friends’ updates on the homepage on the right, training your eye to tune into the right sidebar area, so that perhaps you’ll make it a habit to glance through on your own profile page, where the Suggestions are. It’s not working. Too much clutter, and I’m on advertisement block out autopilot viewing mode.

I would rather go with Google’s interpretation of suggestions – sites that I actually am looking for, so that I’m getting help for my results even before the typing of the search term is completed. Talk about reading my mind.

FB needs to clean up their act and clean up their interface. It only takes a little nudge (and perhaps a great new platform that takes its users into account) to spark off a mass migration. This is the potential reverse social network effect looming. Then again, maybe FB shouldn’t listen to anyone, since they have never done so, and some good might come out of that.

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