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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yuhui not surprised by handset influence in shoppers' decisions

Yuhui not surprised by handset influence in shoppers' decisions
Telcos still wield considerable influence, but for the wrong reason

October 28, 2008

News Facts
  • Yuhui read and reviewed the article, "Proof That Handset Brands Help Sell Wireless Plans", by AdAge. This article commented on the findings of a study conducted by Google.
  • He generally agreed with the findings of the report: that shoppers' mobile communication purchase decisions are generally influenced by the handset maker, rather than the telco carrier.
  • But he disagreed with its clear-cut finding that it was solely the choice of handsets that influenced the final decision. Rather, the telco also played an important factor in the decision-making process.
  • Yuhui thinks that shoppers consider the telco, not because of the brand, but because they want the "best deal".
  • He thinks that this puts telcos at the raw end of the mobile communication deal. In the end, telcos are still regarded generally in a negative light.
Link
Yuhui's Apple Blogger: Shoppers choose by phones, not carriers - who's surprised?

Quotes, attributable to Yuhui
"The Apple iPhone proved that the intense lust for this sleek phone could override consumers' opinions about AT&T."
"Is anyone surprised then that no one feels tremendous love for the telco?"
"[S]hoppers are influenced by their mobile handset than the telco that they are saddled with."

Please contact Yuhui to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.

About Yuhui
Yuhui is an independent blogger who has been chronicling his life's experiences since 2001. He became an active member of the Singapore blogosphere in 2005, participating in local blog aggregators and contributing to thought leadership across a diverse range of issues. He came to fully embrace social media and has participated in conversations across the world, both in the physical realm and within the virtual expanse. In 2008, Yuhui launched "Yuhui's Blogger Network", an umbrella of four blogs, each devoted to a specific topic: Apple, Singapore, movies and personal life.

Contact Information
Yuhui
Email: yuhuibc@gmail.com
Twitter: yuhui
Plurk: yuhui
Blog: yuhuibc.blogspot.com
Facebook

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Yuhui reviews "Batman: Gotham Knight"

Yuhui reviews "Batman: Gotham Knight"
Gritty animation brings out true nature of super-hero

October 27, 2008

News Facts
  • Yuhui watched the DVD "Batman: Gotham Knight" this evening.
  • He started by watching the special features, namely:
    • the documentary, "Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story"
    • four episodes from "Batman: The Animated Series"
    • a sneak peek at "Wonder Woman"
  • He then proceeded to watch the five short films, totaling 75 minutes.
  • Being a Batman fan, Yuhui thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Dark Knight Detective in all of his animated glory.
  • He thought that the stories may be too gritty and complex for younger audiences to understand.
Link
Yuhui's Movie Blogger: Review: "Batman: Gotham Knight"

Graphic
Batman: Gotham Knight
(cover art by WB Animation)

Quotes, attributable to Yuhui
"'Batman: Gotham Knight' [...] is a work of wonder in bringing the Dark Knight Detective to celluloid life."
"The grittiness of his dark fight is brought across brilliantly through the use of anime. This form of entertainment has long been known to differ from the familiar Western style, particularly in the areas of violence and self-discovery. Thus, it fits perfectly with the Batman mythos[.]"
"This is a gem not only for Batman fans, but lovers of modern animated entertainment."

Please contact Yuhui to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.

About Yuhui
Yuhui is an independent blogger who has been chronicling his life's experiences since 2001. He became an active member of the Singapore blogosphere in 2005, participating in local blog aggregators and contributing to thought leadership across a diverse range of issues. He came to fully embrace social media and has participated in conversations across the world, both in the physical realm and within the virtual expanse. In 2008, Yuhui launched "Yuhui's Blogger Network", an umbrella of four blogs, each devoted to a specific topic: Apple, Singapore, movies and personal life.

Contact Information
Yuhui
Email: yuhuibc@gmail.com
Twitter: yuhui
Plurk: yuhui
Blog: yuhuibc.blogspot.com
Facebook

Related Links
RSS feed

Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yuhui cooks one week's worth of rice

Yuhui cooks one week's worth of rice
Also his first attempt at using the microwave oven to boil rice

October 26, 2008

News Facts
  • Yuhui boiled a week's worth of rice this evening.
  • This also marked his first real attempt at cooking rice in the microwave oven.
  • He used a large-sized Corning Ware container in his maiden attempt.
  • Previously, Yuhui had only boiled rice with a stove or open fire (ah, camping days...).
  • With only a vague idea of the required steps, he proceeded to cook his rice.
    • After cooking on high for 15 minutes, the rice came out hard and half-cooked.
    • Yuhui added more water and proceeded to cook it for another eight minutes on medium-high.
    • The rice was still too hard for his liking, so Yuhui added a bit more water and cooked it for another four minutes.
    • The rice finally came out fluffier and more palatable.
  • The remainder of the rice is now stored in the refrigerator for future consumption.
Photos
One week's worth of cooked riceOne week's worth of cooked riceOne week's worth of cooked rice

Quotes, attributable to Yuhui
"As the staple ingredient of a true Singaporean diet, rice must be cooked to savoury perfection -- soft and fluffy, yet delightfully tasty."
"The modern Singaporean relies on electronics to perform even the most basic of tasks. Cooking of rice with a microwave oven is therefore simply the next evolutionary step in twenty-first century home cooking -- technologically speaking."

Please contact Yuhui to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.

About Yuhui
Yuhui is an independent blogger who has been chronicling his life's experiences since 2001. He became an active member of the Singapore blogosphere in 2005, participating in local blog aggregators and contributing to thought leadership across a diverse range of issues. He came to fully embrace social media and has participated in conversations across the world, both in the physical realm and within the virtual expanse. In 2008, Yuhui launched "Yuhui's Blogger Network", an umbrella of four blogs, each devoted to a specific topic: Apple, Singapore, movies and personal life.

Contact Information
Yuhui
Email: yuhuibc@gmail.com
Twitter: yuhui
Plurk: yuhui
Blog: yuhuibc.blogspot.com
Facebook

Related Links
RSS feed

Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Social Events calendar - now on Upcoming

Sometime back, I started a Google calendar to keep track of so-called social media-based events in Singapore. Today, I'm "moving" Social Events to Yahoo's Upcoming service.

Actually, it turns out that there was already a group for listing such social media-based events. Not surprisingly, it's named "Social Media Singapore". However, it looks like it hasn't been used at all. So I've started listing the events that used to exist in the Google calendar.

Truth be told, I was never really comfortable with using Google calendar. I had the feeling that not many people were familiar with such iCal services, let alone know how to subscribe to one. Upcoming, on the other hand, uses a familiar RSS feed, which anyone can subscribe to. In addition, anyone with a Yahoo account can also contribute to the group (hint to all social media event organisers!).

(And, of course, I'm an idiot for being slow to pick up on this free service in the first place!)

I hope the move helps to increase awareness of these social events in Singapore. There is definitely a need to raise awareness of social media in Singapore, as seen from growing corporate adoption of it in marketing. I hope the Social Media Singapore group helps to facilitate that growth.

And if you're an organiser, please add your event there!

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Social Media Breakfast 4 at URA Centre: corporate approach to social media

The fourth Social Media Breakfast (or Brunch, as the organisers renamed it) had a different format from previous ones. Whereas they used to be informal networking sessions with food, this one had a panel discussion... though still with food.

The topic was on how companies could make use of social media. Due to the make-up of the panelists, the discussion was very oriented towards public relations (PR).

Here are my notes:

Panelists: Willy Foo (LiveStudios) (moderator), Derrik Koh (Lenovo), Pat Law (Arc Worldwide), Supriya Addanki (Text 100), Daniel Goh (Samsung), Ben Koe (formerly from Hill and Knowlton)

Derrick: Social media is unconventional. It needs selling in to management. Social media is about creating / participating in conversations. 4 Ps: people, privacy, passion, perpetual beta.

Daniel: Conversations have shifted to online. 90% of customer service complaints are online. Marcom execs are resistant to adding more duties / KPIs.

Ben: Social media is not a one-time event, needs ongoing commitment from company even with agency changes.

Supriya: Agencies need to learn and engage in social media first.

Derrick: New metrics needed to measure social media / relationships / conversations, e.g. not measured in sales.

Daniel: Traditional management can barely understand "hits". It also needs to understand about message / tone of conversations (qualitative data).

Supriya: Need to know profile of bloggers that you are talking to. Build one-to-one relationships.

Derrick: Conversations need to be two-way, i.e. between bloggers and companies. Feedback is important between both parties.

Pat: went through her entry, "11 things you need to know when pitching to bloggers".

Derrick: Easy for anyone to talk about a brand, so management is tempted to pay bloggers, especially for positive comments.

Willy: No stopping professional bloggers from demanding payment.

Supriya: Agency's responsibility to educate bloggers, e.g. about journalism.

Derrick: There's a lot of good and bad social media "stuff", but it's up to management to decide how to engage. It's a derivation of the PR side of business, e.g. dealing with journalists. Social media is an evolution of traditional tools, e.g. CRM.

Daniel: Engage bloggers appropriately. Understand level of blogosphere, know who are the readers. Also, no one-size-fits-all solution to engaging bloggers.

Supriya: What do bloggers want in an event? (open to floor)
DK, NTT: It depends on bloggers
Claudia: Something fun, engaging, different
Cullen: Try the product, something friends can be engaged in

Derrick: Companies need to find out if new platform makes sense to them. E.g. Lenovo targets niche groups, not mass public. Give bloggers what they want, e.g. at events. Bloggers are not the same in other countries, understand local norms, e.g. in Japan and India, bloggers and journalists cannot be in the same room.

Geri (from Lenovo): Marcom execs are encouraged to innovate, e.g. seek out new channels.

(lunch break)

Willy: showed a Youtube video to illustrate how social media can bring fame.
Willy: demonstrated how LiveStudios uses Facebook.

(around this point, I dozed off from lunch, so my notes are sketchy)

Derrick: Use social media to build credibility. Corporate blog should be about what people want to talk about.

Melvin Yuan (from Waggener Edstrom): Social media is still in the honeymoon stage. Businesses are driven by bottomline, but social media is about relationships. Social media is today's PR.

Derrick: Companies lose control in social media, but PR still retains control of the message.

Pat: Too frivolous to claim that all companies need to engage in social media.

Derrick: Pick your weapons and tools.

Melvin: Social media affects everyone.

Willy: Different strokes for different folks.

(the end)

There was a much larger turn-out this time round. Aside from meeting some new social media enthusiasts, I also talked with some PR execs too. (I've even been contacted for an event already!) I think this is a good sign, especially from an event perspective. As I've lamented many times, I always see the same faces at different events. Hopefully, this will change after the PR folks meet unreached enthusiasts at SMB4!

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Samsung's first social media event... loses the "wow"

Samsung Innov8
Thanks to Daniel from Samsung for the invitation to their first social media event. Held at the Samsung shop at Vivocity, it was an announcement party for the new Innov8 phone. There were about 15 of us there, half of whom were familiar faces. (There's a real need for new blood!)

After filling our stomachs satisfactorily, we were treated to a presentation about the Innov8. We were briefed about its 8-megapixel camera, wireless connectivity, and localised maps.

But the highlight of the evening was the photo contest. The rules were simple: take three pictures with your camera that demonstrate how you are inspired by the Innov8. While the others took good quality pics, I settled for random shots. Ya, quite lame, but I enjoy such randomness, instead of camwhoring. The top 3 winners won an Innov8 each (ooooooh), though they are now required to use it to take their next 20 pictures, which should be no problem for them.

Having experienced Nokia's similar events for their new phones, I found myself comparing this event to Nokia's. It didn't take me long to realise why I found greater satisfaction in the Nokia events.

At Nokia, I got to play with the product.

As in hands-on experimentation with no marketing ploy. Yes, the product managers raved about their phones' features, but nothing could beat my figuring out if the phones satisfied my (albeit limited) requirements.

Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for this Samsung event. There was no Innov8 to play with. It could be due to a variety of reasons (no trial phones left, phones are already on sale, management resistance, etc.), but the lack of a physical phone was really glaring.

I later found out that there was an Innov8 within the store (I played with the Omnia and was moderately amused by its touchscreen feature). But I think it defeats the exclusivity of the event if my only access to a physical phone was through the store's exhibit.

The lack of a phone also made me question the rationale of the contest. We had to show how the Innov8 inspired us... by using our own phones! That struck me as overly ironic. The Innov8 would really inspire me if I could take those 8-megapixel pictures with the phone itself. It would be better if we could compare pictures from our cameras and the Innov8. I think that would be an even greater "wow" moment, assuming that the Innov8's picture quality is as good as they say.

Alas, it was not to be so. Now, if someone asks me what I think about the Innov8, I'm more likely to refer him to the product brochure or website.

Note: Daniel did say that we could request for trial phones, but we'd have to go through the corporate hoops and hurdles to acquire one. I think that's quite an overkill, since all that any of us needed would be half an hour to play with one.

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