The fun Self-Viraling skill for the Social Media professional

By , March 28, 2009 11:39 am

Facebook on its way of becoming Facebuck

By , March 24, 2009 12:21 pm

1. Facebook Fan Page turns out to be their depot for businesses.

See the URL

A quick note that interaction with pages is the only thing you can’t put a privacy setting on. This is a rather aggressive move of Facebook.

2. Facebook redesigned its Fan Page to take after Profile layout

  • Save the time to learn how to manage Pages for owners
  • Save the time to learn how to interact with Pages for users, respectively businesses’ customers
  • Increase interactions between users (customers) and Pages (business owners)

3. Facebook redesigned its homepage which gives more space coverage to applications. The more applications monetize, the more Facebook earns commissions.

Quick note: where is the big penny going to?

By , March 24, 2009 11:45 am

My caution toward Google was unnecessary and over-acting.

Google has increased their involvement in Vietnam online market by investing in the infrastructure and services. I consider load time is a quality of service.

Yahoo! is extending their presence by marketing and education efforts.

Friendster is crawling in through localization and services.

Meanwhile, Microsoft hasn’t shown a visible sign of interest in monetizing the Vietnam online market. It’s understandable as they’re putting efforts on the competition against Google and Mozilla.

Quick note: originality of social music services in Vietnam

By , March 24, 2009 11:32 am

Through muds and sweats, Zing mp3, Yeah1 TV and Sannhac (*) prevail…

…which are not clones.

Even if they are actual clones, no one would bother remembering the original product.

Good lesson.

(*) @Web2Vietnam mentioned sannhac to me in February H3.

Quick note: Micro-status-updating in Vietnam

By , March 24, 2009 11:25 am

Twitter-like services have 2 usages: status update and micro-blogging.

1. As I clearly stated in my previous slide, it’s safe to drop the term “micro-blog” for discussions in Vietnamese context. That leaves status updates which is a highly desirable feature among Vietnamese users.

2. I gave a wow to LinkHay’s blast collection feature. My impression that it was a Twitter clones killer.

3. A closer glance into Ola Me reveals that it is more than a Twitter clone

  • ASAO, the company behind Ola, has the capability to build alliance(s) that offer SMS incentive to users
  • Which means values to users are tangible and can be quantified
  • And the differentiation is in terms of quality of Service, more than that of Product

4. Two channels to keep track of Twitter usage growth in Vietnam: the Facebook group ‘Twitter Community in Vietnam’ and the Twitter account @twitvietnam.

In terms of (relatively) measurable quality, check out the Grader’s list.

The Vietnamese online industry, the 20-trillion prediction and its Environment

By , March 14, 2009 11:02 pm

Mr. Le Hong Minh’s prediction that the Vietnamese online industry has the potential to enjoy 20 trillion dong revenues has stirred up the discussion among somewhat weary players in the past weeks. The dominant reaction, from my observation, is disbelief in such a huge number.

This short note of mine contributes to the research side of the topic, by not directly concluding the feasibility of the prediction, but by raising awareness of the environment in which the statement was made.

The 3 elements of the prediction

Mr. Minh took the reported number of Internet users by VNNIC of 20 million as the base. Then he predicted that the number would grow by 15% per annum, which constitutes the rate.

A little calculation gives us 40 million: 20m * (1 + 15%) 5 ~ 40m

From there, he gave a rough estimation that if one person would spend VND 500,000 per year, the market would easily be 20 trillion.

From this result, I have these questions:

1. Is the base a precise estimate?

While being the officially published figure, the number twenty million is questioned by some that it might not correctly reflect the true amount.

Duplications might be counted. For example, a person goes online from his company’s workstation, then goes online on his laptop at an Internet cafe during an appointment, then goes online from his PC at home. If for some reasons the internet connection breaks down while he has important documents to send, he may go to an Internet service. At least 4 occurrences might have been recorded. The recorded number increases if he goes to multiple Internet cafes.

2. From where do we have 15% per annum?

The users that contribute to the growth can be roughly grouped into:

  1. Younger people growing up to be able to use the Internet
  2. Adults from big cities learning to use the Internet
  3. Users from farther provinces across Vietnam

Among these, each user from (2) has the greatest buying power compared to each user from other groups.

3. What will be the percentage of the monetizable?

To avoid complexity, we temporarily accept the 20 million figure.

Ratio of market penetration = number of monetizable users / total number of Internet users

Not all users can be monetized on. Not all new users in the following years can be monetized on.

If the total number of users can grow by 15% each year, how will the number of monetizable users grow?

The Environment

Of course, the companies operating in the industry are not separable from the environment they are in. Their possibilities of success also depend on:

The legal infrastructure

How complete will the laws for e-commerce be by 2014?

The technical infrastructure

How ready is the technical infrastructure of companies for e-commerce transactions and online games?

Internet bandwidth? Websites’ load and stress capabilities? Security?

Roles of participants

It is also important to pay attention to the role of participants in this topic.

Mr. Minh’s role is not that of an analyst, or a journalist, or a blogger. He was the Chairman of VinaGame, an entity that would benefit from any possitive information released and any buzz viralled.

Mr. Minh’s statement may have generated the following effects:

  • Created a buzz in the industry at the beginning of a hard year. More than that, it was a buzz that virals.
  • Motivated some of his staff, IT professionals, IT students and online enthusiasts.


This encapsulates some questions I raise in reaction to this prediction. I’m pretty confident I will be able to collect more data to answer some of them by near future. Meanwhile, some questions, nevertheless, needn’t answers.

How have you received this information? What role did you take?

What questions are you having? What arguments do you want to put forward?

Facebook in Australia – initial stats

By , March 7, 2009 9:54 am

My first fortnight in Sydney passed and the only social media entity I’m surrounded by is neither Google, Yahoo nor Twitter, but Facebook.

My experience with the University of New South Wales confirms my hypothesis on the Viralization of Facebook:

In UNSW we have over 100 clubs and societies. Student activities and career orientation programs here are organized make use of Facebook as a platform for announcements, discussions, networking and to some extent, information storage.

Newly arrived students are inevitably invited to create a Facebook account, connect to others and join many of the student groups.

Influencers are ubiquitous. And they’re not necessarily the tech-savvy; mainly, they have something to share.

Around 2,600,000 Australian are in Australian network, around 12% of the whole population of Australia.

A quick check on Alexa shows that Facebook is ranking 3rd in Australia, only after the two Google’s properties. Considering their popularity and potential to dominate the web further, I’m not surprised if Facebook wants to shift from relationship-centric to content-centric.

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