Links of the day | 在网上找到

On Death and iPods: A Requiem | WIREDI miss the time when we were still defined by our music. When our music was still our music. I miss being younger, with a head full of subversive ideas; white cables snaking down my neck, stolen songs in my pocket. There will never be an app for that.

As Phones Expand, So Does the Word ‘Phablet – WSJ – the etymology of the word phablet – originally from GSMA and first mentioned in print by TelecomTV

Grandparents Accidentally Tag Themselves As Grandmaster Flash | NPR – genius.

IBM News room | IBM and Yonyou to Accelerate Big Data and Analytics Adoption – interesting Chinese partner on big data

Apple Watch ‘too feminine and looks like it was designed by students’, says LVMH executive – Telegraph – ok a bit over-exaggerated coming from the man who heads up TAG Heuer, but beneath the comments lies a deep truth about the watches that I agree with

Huawei In Bad PR Move With Anti-Corruption Campaign | Young’s China Business Blog – interesting analysis of Huawei’s corruption drive

China May Be Heading for a Japanese-Style Economic Crisis | TIME – the Chinese have a lot more levers to pull and a stable government (rather than a new prime minister every year like Japan); both of which are in China’s favour. On the downside China has bigger internal security issues than Japan

阿里美国IPO首场路演的38张PPT(全) – Alibaba IPO deck

Microsoft is found in contempt of court for refusing to hand over user emails | The Inquirer – Microsoft has to go to the line on this as it is likely to affect future international cloud services businesses

China Misses Out on First Wave of New iPhone Releases | Re/code – I wouldn’t be surprised if the government is holding it up deliberately rather like the FCC did with H-silicon-powered Huawei phones

A Watch Guy’s Thoughts On The Apple Watch After Seeing It In The Metal (Tons Of Live Photos) — HODINKEE – some interesting observations, kudos for their industrial design and manufacturing but some really good questions

For Alibaba’s Small Business Army, a Narrowing Path | Foreign Policy – TaoBao needs to fix its model for smaller merchants

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

BMW made a video about the production of the BMW i8 to promote the car. However the tone of the video feels rather like a corporate video from the 1980s

Reebok’s classic range looked to draw on the history of Manchester in this video. It split opinions in the office. Many of my colleagues liked it, but I felt a dissonance between the big speech about building the future with visuals that came straight from 1988. The MA1 jacket, the Reebok Classic trainer – the chav proto-shoe, brutalist architecture, a nice house with 1970s architecture and a mid-to-late 1980s BMW M535i – allegedly beloved of drug dealers trying to shift a load. The car looked discreet about its performance, but could still go like the clappers

Great demonstration by Grandmaster Flash (of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) of mixing circa 1983

Kickstarter have a campaign running to reprint the New York Transit Authority’s standards manual which was much more than a style guide but went into things like the methodology of planning signage and usability of New York public transport.

Anton Corbjin’s film A Most Wanted Man makes Hamburg amazing and gets great performances out of actors including Willem Defoe and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film feels believable because it’s based on a John LeCarré novel of the same name. As would be expected in the 21st century the US comes out of it pretty poorly

Digital PR report (in the UK)

The PRCA have put together a report on digital PR for the UK market in association with YouGov and the Holmes Report. The report made for interesting reading and raised some questions in my own mind about the industry.

The main challenge raised by the panelists interviewed by the Holmes Report was one of agencies spreading themselves to wide in terms of a service offering. I think that this is about knowing when to partner and when to do it in agency. They flagged training as a secondary issue; I have done training in a number of agencies and found that the issue was having teams be able to implement their knowledge in a timely manner.

Back to the report:

Considering that the report was both agencyside and inhouse the sample size could be bigger. I suspect that the sample skewed towards business-to-business sectors looking at the answers later on. I suspect that the total digital marketing spend was bigger than the figures quoted simply because it probably happens outside the sphere of the communications department interviewed in these surveys.

A smaller majority of respondents struggled to measure the ROI of social, but majority of respondents also said that their goals for social were ‘general marketing’, brand awareness and reach. This would be harder to wrap SMART objectives around to measure the activity against. Perhaps it is a mistake that so many in-house teams were defining social strategies? For business-to-business clients that I work with marketing automation tools are being looked to, in order to provide the ‘last mile’ in attribution and ROI for tactics that would fall under digital PR.

I was surprised that 74% of respondents felt that the communications department was the first choice for digital tactical activity. I would have expected a stronger showing from marketers, this may be skewed by the sample. Part of the reason for my surprise is that many of the tactics used in digital PR would fall under search and digital marketing disciplines; we’ve hit a singularity in marketing and the roles and responsibilities could get messy. The numbers suggested a rise in the number of organisations with dedicated social teams; which was closer to my hypothesis.

Looking at in-house needs versus agency offerings I was very conscious of the fact that search seems to have largely passed the PR industry by; except when it comes to ‘online reputation management’ and ‘digital crisis management’. Whilst agencies think that digital is going to be a massive source of revenue, there seems to be be a reallignment of figures required as more inhouse teams get on with it without agency help.

In terms of branching out into future platforms I was surprised to see Instagram rank so highly for what feels like largely business-to-business respondents. I can only assume that Google+ was considered a future platform as this survey could have been conducted prior to Google recently moving away from attaching content authorship to Google+ profiles. In terms of training requirements, web design and build is probably something that should be provided by a professional rather than training PRs to have a go. Whilst intelligent, generally PR people aren’t that visual in their thinking (despite what they may say, the proof of the pudding is in the multitude of pitch decks that I have seen over the past 16 years or so).

More information
Study: Digital Skills Gap Poses Challenge For UK PR Firms | Holmes Report

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Spectre of Corruption Haunts Huawei | CaixinFacing lukewarm growth in device sales and business with telecom operators, Huawei has focused on the corporate network business. In 2013, corporate business reported 15.2 billion yuan in revenue, a year-on-year increase of 32 percent.

Inside Apple’s Live Event Stream Failure, And Why It Happened: It Wasn’t A Capacity Issue – fascinating review of what went wrong

Microsoft rebrands Bing apps to MSN with iOS and Android versions due soon | The Verge – interesting that MSN has new weight especially after the shutdown of MSN Messenger

Why Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Going Global | WSJ – doesn’t actually really answer the question. The interesting thing with Huawei is that most of their growth is driven in emerging markets, which begs the questions about their premium strategy except as a halo for the main products

PayPal’s Braintree Embraces Bitcoin, One-Touch Payments | TechCrunch – interesting to see how this plays with carrier and handset plans for payment. Also interesting to see Bitcoin gaining credibility

The Watch post

I was underwhelmed by the Apple wearable product. It is impressive what they have done, but from a product design point of view the case looks cumbersome rather like a slightly better Samsung Gear. The use of haptics was one of the smarter things that I saw in the demonstration and the use of emoji as an essential ‘social lubricant’ learns from Asian mobile usage of stickers on the likes of LINE and WeChat.

Looking at the demonstrations, I still think that the use case for a wearable still isn’t there for mainstream consumers. The use cases for haptic communications for instance were downright creepy and I wasn’t convinced by the cloud of spots interface. The fitness app and workout apps were similar to products from the likes of Suunto and Polar or the miCoach app by adidas for a smartphone.

In terms of the industrial design, I was particularly interested in the strap. Apple has borrowed a distinctive looking catch and strap connector  from one of the strap designs from the now defunct Ikepod Watch company co-founded by Marc Newson who recently joined Apple’s design team.

Ikepod Megapod strap

 Watch strap

Overall I think that luxury brands won’t be particularly concerned, at least at this first iteration of the  Watch.