The image from Qantas' epic Commercial

By , May 7, 2009 1:13 pm

Qantas Logo

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The relationship between viral media and RSS and content

By , May 7, 2009 11:52 am

A response to Techcrunch Steve Gillmor’s controversial article Rest in Peace, RSS

Viral media layer

Observations from Facebook's business

By , May 4, 2009 11:55 am

The previous article of mine sketched the architecture of Facebook’s business.

Bloomberg recently detailed how advertising, the main source of income, is done on Facebook.

Generally, some points from a business perspective can be drawn from this:

  1. Facebook turns market research from “push” to “pull”. Facebook users, who respectively are businesses’ consumers, are given the platform and are tempted to share their preferences in lifestyle without being directly asked by market research people.
  2. Lesson: while Sandberg affirmed “You want to target everyone? We can give you that“, more luxury products/services have higher chance to win than convenient goods. The reason is that people (consumers) usually associate themselves with things they believe make them perceived by their connections as connoisseur. Coca cola is a nice exception to this, partly because it is one of the most expensive brands in the world.
  3. Effects of relationship-centric of Facebook
    • Segment the market for businesses. People with similar demographic characteristics can be grouped together. It is more difficult to do so on ego-centric networks like MySpace
    • People are influenced by their friends and families. Marketing techniques using social and psychological influence can be used

LinkHay's usage architecture

By , May 3, 2009 10:53 am

LinkHay usage architecture 1

LinkHay usage architecture 2

LinkHay usage architecture 3

Toward industry structure of Social Media: erecting the trend of adoption of service

By , May 2, 2009 3:24 pm

I could not find the industry structure of social media, so I decide to graph it, piece by piece.

We’ve been talking about early adopters and near-future critical mass. What links them?

Here is what I propose:

Trend of adoption of service: General vs. Social Media

Characteristics Cause
General trend adoption is polynomial, social media’s is exponential
  • Adoption is done virally
  • Technological platforms for mass and viral WoM
  • A reflection of Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail (see below)
  • Adoption of products from the blue oceans
The number of innovators and early adopters is very small compared to the critical mass High cost of learning for majority
Absolute value of critical mass is high
  • Low cost of acquisition
  • One-to-many relationship between consumers and services of the same category
Abandon rate is high
  • Low cost of exit criteria for providers
  • Moderate cost of exit criteria for consumers, mostly from social graph pressure
Social media adoption is not symmetric Influencing factors are not symmetric
Till this point of this entry, late majority and laggards never existed Social media is very young

Chris Anderson The Long Tail

Any example?

See this measure of unique visitors, which services do you think it represents?

Compete Tracking

Click here to see the answer.


  1. This is a personal attempt to model one aspect of an industry
  2. The decline is purely imaginary as few successful products have reached their decline.
  3. I’ll figure out to whom and how I will want to present this type of modeling.

Evaluate the "Like" button on Friendfeed, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr

By , April 26, 2009 7:52 pm

Friendfeed was the first major social media player to introduce “Like” option of a feed item. Soon this is available on Facebook. Twitter and Tumblr also provide similar feature. Looks like services with streams favor this concept.

The advantages is obvious to many users; they are now simply clicking on “Like” instead of writing comments. However, there are certain drawbacks of this feature.

Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages on each aspect:

Advantages Disadvantages
To product owner Increase frequencies of interactions between users and feed items. Decrease lifetime of a feed item.
To users Quicker to comment. Move on to next item.

Historical data if “liked” items can be traced back.

The “Like” action is usually forgotten more quickly than actual comments with contents (Facebook case).
To community It is tempting to think that if the “Like” action spreads in the feed it would bring values to community.

However, frequency also needs to be considered as people tend to like more than re-share.

Psychologically, when someone hits “Like”, there is a feeling of “accomplishing a responsibility” for the item and no further action is taken. As a consequence, less re-share is made and the life cycle of the item ends sooner.


As the “Like” feature kills off re-share actions, it is appropriate for immediate status that has very short life. i.e. Personal status

It may devalue items which have values increased when shared such as a link or a thought.

At the core, it comes down to value of the feed item. If the item is worth and appropriate for sharing, it should be forwarded, not ended with a simple “Like”.

What do you think of my proposal?

Google Book Search makes way to horizontal expansion

By , April 25, 2009 7:14 pm

A quick review of this article on Boingboing.

As search result becomes relevant to users need and free preview is provided, Google Book Search will soon become the destination of many book readers.

Soon, Google can take advantage of this and allow searchers to actually purchase the books online directly from Google search results.

In terms of business, this makes way for Google to enter e-commerce and even distribution.

If they do, Google has not and will not compete with portal sites like Amazon, but will go from their core competency: search.

Respectively, competition against Google will not be by search, but on other territories that Google has yet dominated, such as virality and social recommendations.

Geert Hofstede Framework of Five Dimensions of Culture's Possible Pitfalls, Limitations and Proposed Solutions

By , April 24, 2009 1:24 pm

Geert Hofstede Framework of Five Dimensions of Culture


  1. Power Distance
  2. Individualism / Collectivism
  3. Masculinity / Femininity
  4. Uncertainty Avoidance
  5. Long-term / Short-term Orientation

Possible Pitfalls

  1. Femininity is associated with interpersonal care of other members in the group / society. It’s not the feminine characteristics.
  2. Long-term Orientation is about building long-term relationships, building trust before establishing business partnership. The orientation is not strategic planning.
  3. Use it to strengthen stereotypes.


  1. The survey was conducted in IBM’s global offices. Possible confusion: was it perceived by IBM employees as a measurement of global culture or a measurement of respective IBM offices’ culture?
  2. The initial survey results was released in 1970s. Things have changed dramatically.
    1. Example: Singapore scored lowest (8) in Uncertainty Avoidance. In 1970s, they were going through reformations in order to grow their economy and defend against potentials threats so risks were being taken. 30 years later, Singapore has been known for its strict legal system and the tendency to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Therefore, its result needs to be reassessed.
    2. The same case happens for many cultures.

Proposed Solutions

  1. Use it as a framework, avoid categorizing
  2. Re-evaluate at least once per decade

A question on Enterprise 2.0

By , April 23, 2009 8:21 pm

Question for Enterprise 2.0 - Communication, Information Sharing, Marketing, Production, Operations, Management, Leadership

The prospects of SMS-powered mass messaging in Vietnam

By , April 20, 2009 2:05 pm

Micro-blogging is raising a trend in Vietnam, not by the number of users, but by the level of media coverage. Obviously, the coverage of Vietnamese media is not as high as the hype of all the global ones on Twitter and its ecosystems, but still, it is perceived by many to be the main trend of Vietnam internet market in 2009.

I don’t. Well I don’t talk about micro-blogs for Vietnam. I see different things.

Moreover, there are two missing pieces of important information from media coverage: appropriate market and the greatest monetization opportunities.

Without the knowledge of the target market of Twitter-like services, reporters easily fall into the trap of comparing micro-blogs and blogs, and users will be confused.

Without seeing the monetization opportunities, people will be reluctant in using/investing for them.

This article solves this issue by discussing the two points mentioned.

1. What is the market for Twitter-like services?

I identify 4 groups of users:

  1. Geeks. Obviously, this group has already been there. They are innovators and early adopters of the services. Most use Twitter and not the clones anyhow.
  2. Users who want to use Twitter as a substitute to Yahoo! 360 blast. Check Kazenka’s out.
  3. Those who want to keep up with the Joneses. i.e. want to show that they’re cool by using a trendy stuff.
  4. This group has not existed: those who want SMS incentives for using the service(s) to send mass messages

It’s the last group which has not existed that is potentially profitable.

2. What is SMS incentive and why is it a group when it hasn’t even existed?

In an over-simplified example:

P1 does not use service S User P2 uses service S and has 1000 followers, 500 in which are followed back. 50 in those 500 are P2’s real friends
P1 organizes a trip to Nha Trang P2 organizes a trip to Nha Trang
P1 sends 10 SMSs to 10 friends. This costs him VND2,000 P2 sends 1 SMS to 10 friends through S with “Incentive” option selected. This costs him VND60
P1 and his friends send SMSs back and forth. At the end it cost them a total of VND50,000 P2 and his friends send SMSs back and forth. At the end it cost them a total of VND6,000
Why VND50? Because:

  • Business B advertises on S by sponsoring S’s users with VND150 per SMS
  • In exchange, B’s advertisements are displayed on the SMSs
  • S gets VND10 out of 150 from B
It’s simple, painless, and costly. Full stop. It’s a market that never existed in Vietnam!
Now. Think about celebrities, attention-seekers and those who want to send mass messages in general.
Is it an attractive market?

3. Devices and platforms

  1. Device: Only smart phones or laptops can access Wi-Fi. All phones can SMS.
  2. Platform: good Wi-Fi is not ubiquitous even in urban areas. Mobile coverage is country-wide.

Hope that (2) and (3) answer @firstjames’ wonder.

4. Which player has the potential?

I would say ASAO. Their Ola Me is more than a Twitter clone; the product is one in ASAO’s mobile package suite. And the company may have the credentials to negotiate for SMS incentives.

Addendum: also has SMS incentives.

5. Summary

This entry is not about micro-blogging. It’s all about the market of SMS incentives, powered by Twitter-like services.

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