Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week has a lot of a Japanese feel, this maybe some sort of invisible psychological hand of some sort as I am currently reading Ghost In The Shell Man-Machine Interface by Masamune Shirow, but more on that later.

First up Bose have been positioning their brand as having a love for music through a series of short films, my favourite one was about how Japanese people have taken the Jamaican dancehall sound and done their own thing with it.

Usagi Yojimbo is an American comic drawn by a Japanese American author Stan Sakai and based on classic Japanese chambara film, so you can imagine how psyched I was to know that this was a proof-of-concept prior to a possible animated film.

Toyo Tires have combined their Japanese heritage with tire technology to come up with yakatas (traditional summer weight kimonos) with a tire tread based print that still didn’t seem out of place.
Toyo Tire yakatas
Toyo Tire yakatas
Moving away from the land of the rising sun to China, Apple’s new iPad featuring Yaoband who use an iPad in a similar way to the way the Art Of Noise used the Fairlight CMI or hip-hop producers used the famous Akai MPC workstation series. It’s interesting that Apple is focusing the light back on creativity.

Finally a vintage film about the MTR in Hong Kong complete with a stuffy voiceover and pseudo-Krautrock backing track. The trains look retro-futuristic in a Logan’s Run kind of way

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Giving You More Reasons to Share on SlideShare – explains why they weren’t taking premium subscriptions

Researchers find it’s terrifyingly easy to hack traffic lights | Ars Technica – no real surprise

China’s Growing Gray Market for All That’s Foreign – haitao – searching abroad

Google Made 890 Improvements To Search Over The Past Year | Searchengineland – competitive advantage right there in the headline

Twitter now officially says your timeline is more than just tweets from people you follow – Quartz – interesting changes

Google Is Planning to Offer Accounts to Kids Under 13 – WSJ – interesting restrictions and opportunities for marketers willing to play ball

BlueFocus Hires Holly Zheng To Oversee International Expansion | Holmes Report - Because the industry landscape is changing, people are looking for more integrated solutions. We want to be a solutions company — a one-stop shop when it comes to digital.

Tumblr to start searching images for brand info | PR Daily EU – interesting use of image recognition

Sales of wearables set to rocket despite current ‘chaotic’ stage of development | Marketing Week – nothing particularly insightful

The ALS ice bucket challenge post

I was going to write a post on the ALS ice bucket challenge but Thomas Gessemer said pretty much everything that needs to be said on this Bloomberg video.

I am waiting for this to start appearing on agency presentations trying to seduce clients with promises of free advertising.

Key takeouts

  • To allow organic opportunities to engage
  • Have a real-time relationships with supporters
  • Don’t get obsessed with the numbers
  • Social is key to spot opportunities ‘white swan’ rather than ‘black swan’ events and then rallying followers around it. Which is tough when you work in an area where this is hard to justify. Don’t expect to see it happening around prisoner rehabilitation for instance

 

Links of the day | 在网上找到

IWC Aquatimer Deep 3 vs ORIS Aquis – Gear Patrol – Oris’ approach is a really elegant design solution

Are processors pushing up against the limits of physics? | Ars Technicathe struggle to extract greater parallelism from code. Even low-end smartphones now have multiple cores, but we’ve still not figured out how to use them well in many cases.

A portable router that conceals your Internet traffic | Ars Technica - inexpensive pocket-sized “travel router”

A brief history of USB, what it replaced, and what has failed to replace it | Ars Technica – I found an ADB connector keyboard at the weekend

Telegraph “Forgets” Its Own Stories Documenting Google “Right To Be Forgotten” Removals | Marketingland – something recursive in the nature of this and straight from the pages of Franz Kafta

VCs suck (but there’s a way you could prove me wrong) | Fortune – issues in data transparency

Number of Cars Per Household Stagnates in Japan | WSJ – peak car in Japan (paywall)

More Than a Third of Americans Have No Retirement Savings | TIME - shocking and astonishing

Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet – Atlantic Mobile – one of the nicest pieces I have read in a while. Lastly other forms of communications are harder to search or keep a record of.

Orange Bear | Facebook for Business – is it just me or is anyone else trying to see the business case / causality in this case study? It looks like a press release with bursts of numerical tourettes

Lenovo becomes China’s top smartphone supplier: IDC – interesting that Lenovo managed to get a jump on the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei

The simple reason smartphones are getting bigger | Quartz – APAC market preferences dictating global move

Intent and digital marketing

Back when I was at Ruder Finn, I gave variations of the presentation below

Google’s zero moment of truth echoes the merits of an intent-based approach.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Ooredoo heralds commercial launch in Myanmar | TotalTelecom – interesting how Facebook was used to engage Burmese early adopters and potential retail partners. (Disclosure: I worked on Telenor Myanmar, a rival of Ooredoo)

China vs. Qualcomm: Chip’s ‘Nationality’ Still Matters | EE Times – would prefer a bit more balance in the editorial but still interesting article

Oracle rolls out 32-core SPARC M7 chip with in-memory processing – 3 to 4 fold performance improvement

Facebook PMD Sprinklr’s Newest Acquisition: TBG Digital – finally someone bought TBG, they’d been shopped around long enough

Sands China sets first-half record | SCMP – interesting how this US gaming outfit has improved despite an overall cooling in gambling

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

I don’t know what it was about this week, but I ended up looking at a whole pile of time lapse videos:

First up slow motion footage of summertime in New York, this doesn’t give you a real feel of the humidity in New York

Next a time lapse video that zooms pans and warps time in Pyongyang, North Korea

Pirate Jams put together a mix of late 1980s to early 1990s tracks and their own recordings that sampled many others for i-D magazine and came up with this joyful mix

The Vinyl Factory put together 20 tracks as an introduction to the early balearic sound for generation-z

Burberry put together a great video showcase that shows how they use the Tencent WeChat / Weixin platform or as they put it Burberry and WeChat have created a series of creative collaborations and platform firsts that leverage WeChat’s unique functionality and responsive content capabilities.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Meet MonsterMind, the NSA Bot That Could Wage Cyberwar Autonomously | WIRED – what happens if it gets spoofed and attacks an innocent third-party?

Why Robots Aren’t the Bellhops of the Future | Motherboard – If you happen to have a rich person handy, ask them: luxury is an interaction with the world, not a thing. I certainly don’t say this as a rich person

London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites • The Register – the case law around this could be interesting

Cor blimey: Virgin Media pipes 152Mb fibre to 100,000 East Londoners • The RegisterThe company has suffered a number of DNS outages recently and refuses to let either the media or its customers know just what the problem is

Sony Says 10 Million PlayStation 4 Game Consoles Have Been Sold Worldwide – that is a tremendous leap forward for PlayStation, I hope that they can keep up this momentum

Colgate’s Unseen FDA Pages Flag Concerns Over Triclosan – Bloomberg – Triclosan looking controversial

YouTube generation V research – males 18 – 34 years old. Self-serving but useful (PDF)

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Why Ebay Tells Manufacturers in China What You’re Searching For – The Atlantic – interesting thoughts around authenticity and nostalgia

Guest post: has doing business in China just got too risky? | FT – don’t overreact (paywall)

TD Bank Boost Customer Advocacy via ATMs | VisibleBanking.com – nice iteration on the Coca-Cola campaigns of recent years

Oakley Disruptive by Design | Designboom – interesting how Oakley is trying to now associate itself with design goodness, rather than being disruptive designers themselves now

Forget :) Baidu’s Simeji App Captures Teenage Hearts in Japan – Bloomberg – interesting how traditional media is still a major driver of memes and trends

Hacker’s own guide to the exploit | Pastebin - I found it really interesting that Google was do important in the process

Huawei to slash low-end mobile phone models: executive | WantChinaTimes – interesting move, probably struggling to compete against other Shenzhen businesses living on razor thin margins

Photography in the Brick Lane area

My friend Ian and I took a trip around Brick Lane and he helped me to get to grips with the move from Pentax to Canon systems.
Brick Lane shop front
What I saw was a cynical appropriation of street culture to try and make the area cool rather than allowing it to naturally evolve it felt like a giant council-funded youth club. At least there was good coffee around the route.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Here’s The Difference Between Working At Facebook, Google, And Microsoft — According To Someone Who Has Worked At All Three – some cultural insights at different companies. Interesting how stack ranking doesn’t seem to have turned Microsoft into a pressure cooker

The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup | Business | WIRED – great interview with Stewart Brand

Chilling policy announced for China’s instant messaging services | WantChinaTimes – not really surprising, China has already tried to implement real name policy for cell phone SIMs and Weibo accounts. We’ll see how successful it actually is

JWT Launches ‘Forever Faster’ for Puma | MediaBistro – we were watching this advert in the office this morning and didn’t make any sense beyond being mildly entertaining

Reckitt Benckiser and Facebook announce partnership to get digitally closer to consumer – nine year partnership. In the space of nine years Geocities went from vibrant community to graveyard and MySpace relaunched twice – it is a bet against disruptive innovation

An Insider’s Account of the Yahoo-Alibaba Deal – Harvard Business Review - interesting view of the deal from Sue Decker

Survey: YouTube Stars More Popular Than Mainstream Celebs Among U.S. Teens | Variety – self-serving data points

20 of 21 provinces probed engaged in property-related corruption | WantChinaTimes – openness by the Chinese government

Weibo user solicits pics for ‘most beautiful bosom’ contest|WantChinaTimes.com – could you get away with this on Twitter, I doubt it

15 specialist social network apps in China | Techinasia – interesting set of applications

China Online Shopper Spent $12.5 Billion Buying from Oversea E-tailers | ChinaInternetWatch – which is especially interesting given the ubiquity of UnionPay within China

New Strategy as Tech Giants Transform Into Conglomerates | NYTimes – I would have thought that Microsoft and Cisco where already at conglomerate status?

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week:

Some nicely presented data insights on China’s post-90s generation, who are the most likely people to drive China’s next stage of economic growth through domestic consumption.

It isn’t often that you see an interesting accessible presentation on online analytics, which is the reason why I thought I would share this one

An interesting documentary on the relationship between ‘young people’ and brand interactions on social media. In many respects it reminds me of the way that I used brands as a teenager all be it in a real-world setting through consumerism.

A great drone-eye view of Hong Kong

The soundtrack of my week was a mix by Graham Park that he remastered and published online. He played the set at The Hacienda on February 1, 1992. It is a great snapshot of The Hacienda before a myriad of troubles finally closed the venue down. The set marks a time of eclecticism; with deep house, proto-progressive tracks and breaks all being played in the same mix; which would be largely unheard of in a club for the best part of 20 years.

Nominated in diaspora category of Blog Awards Ireland

Unfortunately there is no voting process I could ask you to game at the moment :)
blog awards ireland

A content desert?

I started thinking about the idea of a content desert for a few reasons:

Experian Marketing Services put out a really nice whitepaper out in June as part of their ConsumerSpeak series called Millennials come of age. One graph stood out to me; the split across generations between traditional and digital media consumption.
media diet
On the face of it, two things struck me, consumption of online media increased between millenials and generation X – but not in a way that makes them radically different – . There was also a marginal increase in overall consumption between generation Y and generation X. Is this due to media literacy, less commitments or they were having to work harder to get a similar amount of value from their media consumption?

We had a focus group in the office looking at the personal media consumption habits of 18 – 24 year olds with an interest in sport. One of the things that came out of this was that they would only buy a magazine about their favourite sport if they were getting on a long plane journey. They thought it was ‘too expensive’ to spend £4 on a magazine. A colleague who sits near me loves the magazine and gets a lot out of the long form articles published in it. He uses these articles as social currency, in the office and with friends. However the panelists that we met felt that they could get everything they needed from sources that they perceived to be of equal quality via free online media.

This stuck with me for a few days, then I realised why I kept churning it around in my mind. It reminded me of the kind of dialogue and decision-making process that was made by poorer people around food and nutrition. A mix of skewed value systems and economics brought a food desert into these areas.

I wonder if we aren’t seeing the same thing in the media industry, whilst we know that Buzzfeed and their ilk provide easily-consumed low-quality content usually about first world problems or childhood nostalgia – are generation Y merely getting the media that they deserve? Will there be a content desert?

A few things give me hope that there may not be; Vice Media is building the global news network that is defining the 2010s in the same way that Aljazeera defined the post-9/11 world and CNN defined the end of the cold war. Although you could argue that with Vice the bill is paid by branded entertainment on behalf of sponsors like Nike and Intel.

Television has entered a new golden era in dramas; will media companies take the opportunity to reinvigorate factual programming?