Organizational Structure education for high school students in Hanoi Vietnam

By , November 30, 2008 3:34 pm

High school of Foreign Languages, a member of National University Hanoi introduced a new class structure for students.

Read the story here

Summary: classes are groups into Houses which resemble Hogwarts Houses from the novel series “Harry Potter”. The name of the Houses are oriental holy creatures which protect the country: Thanh Long (Oriental Green Dragon), Bạch Hổ (White Tiger), Chu Tước (Oriental Phoenix), Huyền Vũ (Tortoise).


This model is an interesting when we look into details.

Originally, there are a number of classes.


Because they major in different languages, students doing the same major naturally share closer bond between one another to those doing different major.

For instance, students from English class 1, English class 2, English class 3 and English class 4 are usually closer to one another than an English student is to a Russian student.

This forms Career Orientation in these students.

Students from different major might want to prepare themselves for their careers in different ways. A rough scenario might be: German major students may want to acquire domain knowledge on heavy industries, telecommunications while Chinese major students might way to know much about trading and consumer goods industry.


What the school is doing is: group different classes into Houses, each House consists of classes doing all different majors.

For instance, the Green Dragon House could consist of English 1, French 1, Russian 1, Chinese 1, German 1, Japanese 1; the Phoenix Dragon could consist of English 2, French 2, Russian 2, Chinese 2, German 2, Japanese 2… and so on.


The benefit of this model is that it resembles real life organizational structure.

In an organization, people with same expertise form a Group of Expertise. However, different individuals are usually put together to form a Team to achieve certain goals.

For example: In a Software company, there should be Project Managers, Product Managers, Software Architects, Business Analysts, System Analysts, Consultants, Software Designers, Implementers, Graphical Designers, Testers… This forms Career Paths.

Different individuals then assigned to form a Project Team which consists of different people playing roles. This establishes Organizational Divisions.

Theoretically, Project Managers should gather in either both formal or informal meetings to share their experience in managing projects. Similarly, Consultants should also share their lessons in consultancy skills with one another. The same for Testers with testing skills. While a Project Manager can provide certain on-the-job guidance for beginning Testers, it is usually better if knowledge sharing and mentoring is done from Tester to Tester.

Career Path is vertical. Organizational Division is horizontal. Organizational Division makes sure the organization achieves its objectives by combining the skills of different resources. Career Path ensures the growth of individuals within a company, knowledge management and organizational expertise.

Let’s get back to High school of Foreign Languages Hanoi. The new organization structure should equip the students with knowledge of organizational behavior, team work and collaboration and thus prepare them to work for organizations later on.

What this slow time means to us

By , November 26, 2008 4:17 pm

Corporate Level

An opportunity for thinkers to take a step back and strategize for the next steps. Haven’t they we been too absorbed in the fast-moving everyday tasks before?

Companies can spend the time to actually sit down uninterruptedly with their Consultants.

A good excuse to hold on to the core business.

Innovate. Pull ideas from the pool, try some.

Individual Level

Self-teach new skills or pursue formal higher education.


Suggestions for alternative free Blogging solutions to Yahoo! 360

By , November 23, 2008 12:03 am

On the occasion of Yahoo! 360 being closed in April 2009, I have some personal recommendations for alternative blogging solutions.

Where to migrate automatically copy legacy Yahoo! 360 contents to

Yahoo! 360plus Vietnam

This product is the official product for Vietnam market with Vietnamese interface.

Click here to see instructions of the utility.


  • Compatibility between Yahoo!’s products
  • Local events


  • Community outspread: 360plus Vietnam is for Vietnamese users only

Publish to FeedBurner

FeedBurner is a Google’s property to manage contents via RSS.

This method requires certain technical experience.

Publishing using FeedBurner does not migrate your data to another SNS, but to HTML format where you can backup your contents manually.

How to do that

  1. Set your 360 blog to public mode
  2. Register an account at FeedBurner or login using your Google account
  3. Burn your feed
    FeedBurner burn feed screen
  4. Go to Publicize, select BuzzBoost
  5. Fill in the form activate the BuzzBoost function
    FeedBurner BuzzBoost screen


  1. You go where your friends are. Is Facebook where most of your friends reside now?
  2. You may want to choose the platform that will be easy to backup your contents. WordPress is best to fulfill this desire


Before you go on with further introduction on the blogging alternatives, here are a few immediate recommendations:

  1. Professional blogging: Blogger, WordPress
  2. Personal blogging: Facebook
  3. Blog to update family and friends: Facebook
  4. Don’t really care about receiving comments (but still can receive response): Tumblr
  5. Mostly copy & paste: Tumblr

Best choices today


Facebook is world’s #1 Social Networking Site. It has a powerful Notes function with very good privacy settings

Click here to see its Notes.


  • Contained within world’s #1 SNS, which means all your social graph and contents are in the same place
  • Your friends are updated of your blog post
  • Person tagging, which notifies the tagged persons
  • Privacy option to item level


  • The ‘sense of blogging’ is drowned within a complex SNS
  • Ads


Blogger is a well-known blogging platform from Google.

What people usually hesitate about Blogger is that it seems to be stand-alone, i.e. no feeds.

However, few know that it has a very useful Follow function where you can get updates from other bloggers using Blogger.

Update from Official Google Blog

KhanhLNQ, Tính năng Following mới nhất của Blogger


  • Professional platform with many built-in widgets
  • Good SEO optimization
  • You can choose your own domain
  • No ads


  • N/A

Windows Live Spaces

Windows Live Spaces is in Live network with more than 40 millions users.


  • Professional platform with many built-in widgets
  • Very trendy themes
  • Potential to integrate into the new Microsoft’s Live product package
  • Privacy option to item level


  • No permalinks
  • Ads


WordPress is a highly regarded blogging platform. WordPress is offered in two ways: a blog on or software package to run a self-hosted blog.

This blog is WordPress itself.

While WordPress has limited social networking features, one can use plugins or external service to achieve this goal.

For example, MyBlogLog connects readers with the author(s).


  • Professional platform
  • Free plugins developed by many supporters
  • Free theme designed by many supporters
  • Good SEO optimization
  • Full control over the contents on self-hosted blog
  • One’s own domain
  • Privacy option to item level
  • No ads


  • Limited built-in social networking features


Tumblr is not a blogging platform, but instead a tumblelog, which is much more of a free-form log.

There are interesting features of Tumblr:

  1. You can Follow other tumblrs. All posts of yours and people you follow are displayed in the Dashboard
  2. You can reblog other tumblrs, which means copy exactly the content into yours
  3. Privacy option to item level
  4. No ads

It is much different from a regular blog in ways that:

  • There is no comment function
  • There is no category or tag

Then why would people want to use it?

  • Just log it, no need for meticulous and time-consuming editing

Tumblelog creates a much different experience so it is incomparable to a full-pledged blogging platform. Try it and see it.

Other global sites

The services that I mention here are perfectly social network sites with blogging, photos sharing and communication channels. Explore them as you please

  1. Multiply
  2. Xanga
  3. MySpace
  4. Friendster
  5. opera

Sites targeting Vietnamese market


YuMe‘s features and design remind me of Vietnam 360plus Vietnam. However, I find the themes more attractive.

The team behind YuMe is also high active and helpful.

A data migration tool from Yahoo! 360 is provided.


faceViet is a Facebook clone built by a team based in San Francisco.

faceViet also provides the data migration tool from Yahoo! 360.


Among Facebook clones for Vietnamese, TheGioiBan is the most advanced in terms of design and features.

Until this entry is written, certain features of TheGioiBan is under construction, however.


Technically speaking, Blogger and WordPress are purely blogging platforms with certain connecting features. Others are social network sites that provide blogging feature.

You might be interested to read my ponders over Content-centric Social Networking one year ago. One year has past and I’ve witnessed Follow feature standardized by Twitter it has spread to Blogger.

Tai Tran’s presence

While the majority of my blog content is right here on this blog, I am present on all the sites that I have mentioned.

Kindly comment if you want to connect to me via any site listed above.

What is your choice?

Now that Yahoo! 360 will officially be closed, where will you move your blog and friends to?

By , November 20, 2008 12:30 pm

Yahoo! Singapore country manager in Vietnam confirmed: Yahoo! 360 will be closed in April 2009.

Yahoo! 360 is hosting more than 4 millions accounts, 2 millions of which are from Vietnam. The service has been very buggy for more than a year and development was ceased.

Yahoo! introduced Yahoo! 360Plus Vietnam with Vietnamese interface in April 2008. A utility to migrate part of data from 360 to 360Plus Vietnam has been provided.

Local players from Vietnam are in a race to win users dropping out of 360. Meanwhile, Facebook Vietnamese interface is going to be launched.

If you use Yahoo! 360, where do you plan to move your social graph (connections) to?


  1. Yahoo! 360plus Vietnam is expected to be integrated into Yahoo! Profiles in April 2009.

Hypothesis of Emotion-driven Deal

By , November 19, 2008 12:25 pm

Hypothesis of Emotion-driven Deal

Business lessons from Keangnam Vina, observed through the Request of Commitment

By , November 18, 2008 1:32 pm

The Request that invoke excitement

Vietnamese citizens, especially Hanoians and people in the construction industry, are excited by a recent request for fulfillment of commitment sent to Keangnam – Vina (K) by a group of war veterans and construction experts (R).

The request, as reported on many newspapers, can be summarized as:

  • The 1000th Anniversary of Thang Long – Ha Noi, the one millennium year-old capital of Vietnam, will take place in 2010.
  • Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Towe, constructed by Keangnam Vina has been appointed as a tribute to the great event.
  • (R) believes that (K) will not be able to meet the deadline for the event.
  • (R) challenges (K) to an agreement:
    • If (K) can meet the deadline, (R) will reward (K) with VND 100 billion (approximately USD 6.25 million)
    • If (K) cannot meet the deadline, (K) will then apologize Hanoi citizens and compensate VND 100 billion to (R)
  • Both sides propose to donate the money to charitable organizations.

Media and observers’ reactions

Almost immediately, the buzz rose throughout Vietnam on this agreement. Two topics are usually exchanged in conversations:

The technical aspect of the agreement “can they (K) make it?”

and who would win the what-they-call wager.

The business lessons

What I am intrigued is I have learned various business lessons from Keangnam Vina’s response to the challenge.

Asset Management

(K)’s offer for the deal includes 11 apartments on the sixth floor and one penthouse whose total value is estimated to VND 1 billion.

It is important to note that during this economic recession, the real estate market is going slower. There has been evidence of downturn on luxury apartments’ price. While it is difficult to predict the price of these assets in 2010, experts agree that the chance these assets will increase in value in the next two years is slim.

Keangnam Vina’s offer can be considered smart in terms of financial values.

Reputation Management

(K) has been very responsive to inquiries regarding the agreement. This has boosted their visibility on the news and the company is now more well-known by Vietnamese people than ever.

(K) also promised to donate the money if they win to charitable organizations, makes it a diplomatic move.

They have done a very good PR pitch on the field.

Project Management and Resource Management

Though this is usually not easy to observe from outside, we can expect more advanced Project Management and Resource Management techniques by (K) to reach the committed deadline.

Quality Control

Quality Control is also an interesting area we can watch.

What do you think of this incident?

How to use Facebook as a Social Customer Relationship Management tool for FREE

By , November 13, 2008 12:20 am

How to: get the most out of an article

By , November 12, 2008 2:37 pm

When we read an article, what do we look at?

CTC scan head

Creativity and sharp words are like skin. They beautify the article.

The knowledge the author presents is like flesh. Arguments, hypotheses, conclusions, opinions etc. are what we learn from the author.

The methodology is bone. If we look past the knowledge presented, we might be able to see the method/approach with which the author employs to reach what s/he presents. What we learn from methodology can be re-used to establish our own reasoning.

We want to get the most out of an article by examining each and every layer of it.


Image courtesy: ThinkQuest

Social Media homework: how do you plan to be a Social Media Consultant?

By , November 3, 2008 3:12 am

Assignment 1: promotion and expectation management using social media


Chan Than San is a Vietnamese model working in East & South East Asia region. He has a Xanga site, a Yahoo! 360 site, a MySpace account and at least 2 Facebook accounts which he maintains manually himself. In 2010, his modeling career is rocketing it consumes most of his time and his manager wants him to fully focus on his main task as a model.

Suppose you are hired to be the Social Media Manager for Chan Than San.

  1. How will you get to know him both professionally and personally? Detail all assumptions made.
  2. How do you plan for the transition from he to you on the current accounts? Also clarify the legal and ethics issues relating to account management.
  3. How do you manage expectation in communities in which the language used is not comprehensible to you? For example, you speak English and Vietnamese and want to see what Indonesian fans say about him – of course they use Indonesian.
  4. Which media will you use to promote him? Why?
  5. How do you manage the community? Detail all assumptions made.
  6. How do you deal with criticism, negative responses, flaming, spamming, trolling from the communities both within and out of your management? Detail all assumptions made.
  7. How do you collaborate with his manager, stylists, event manager, photographers and fan club coordinator?
  8. How will you do SEO on his fansite (if any)?
  9. Who do you expect to report to? Detail all assumptions made.
  10. Think of a case when conflict of interest arise. Detail that case. Propose solutions you want to take in order to tackle the conflict.
  11. Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years in your career?

What the…?

What is this joke about?

No this is not a joke. I’m serious.

This is a piece of career orientation I’m giving for the enthusiasts in the social media industry – if you care enough.

Social Media gives a platform on which new business opportunities are built. What businesses? Every single kind of business you can name.

In social media, there are not only the product implementers (creators), the advertisers (trader), the analysts (observers), the investors (angels), the users (clients). There is also the role of the consultant.

Consultants are ones who utilize knowledge and reputation influence to assist the business growth. Financially, this role helps generate revenues, and adds another link in the cashflow of this industry. These are also people who spread the words, standardize the concepts, educate users and businesses.

Where are these people in Vietnam? I can see Nguyen Viet Hai from i360 and Do Quang Tu. I know some others who are doing jobs very close to this role.

Are you interested? Think about it. And I hope you have been inspired.


Do you wonder why I chose this particular person to write about, not another more well-known Vietnamese celeb? The reason is that he is not known only within Vietnam, but in other adjacent countries as well. The regional opportunities and challenges if working with this person are interesting to raise. The second thing is that he is using some social media properties including Xanga & Slides, apart from the default-in-Vietnamese Yahoo! 360 + Flickr, which should intrigue/interest the social media experts. This is similar to the buzz in the social media world about Britney Spears on Twitter.

I’ve heard about a fansite for Hoang Thuy Linh being developed by several young social media initiators. This could be a great opportunity for experiment with new media interactions. It will be interesting to see how a fansite built by the 2.0 people will differentiate itself from other sites.

What do you think?

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