Jargon watch: poor door

In New York with planning requirements forcing developers to build some affordable housing alongside their luxury developments, a separate entrance has been added which keeps lower income tenants away from the amenities that the full fee-paying tenants enjoy. This divide has spurred debate in the US. When I lived on a development in Hong Kong, I didn’t pay for access to the swimming pool and didn’t expect it, so I can’t understand the issue; but it has been tied to wider concerns about income inequality.

More information
New York City Approves ‘Poor Door’ for Luxury Apartment Building | Newsweek
Fancy Upper West Side Building Will Have a Separate Door for Poor People | Daily Intelligencer

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Air Force research: How to use social media to control people like drones | Ars Technica – you’re all sheep

Single Mom Used OKCupid To Make Friends | Social Networking Watch – interesting move and interesting trust dynamics

Huawei Announces 2014 H1 Operating Performance – Huawei Press Center – interesting that smart devices were given such a prominent placement. Smart devices could also cover mobile broadband and there is no indication of contribution to profit of smartphones

Messaging, Notifications, and Mobile – AVC – mobile OS have real power through control of notification

Why Do We Treat PR Like a Pink Ghetto? – The Cut – interesting US perspective on things. Interesting that diversity doesn’t make it into the article at all

The smartphone value system

Benedict Evans in his post Unbundling innovation: Samsung, PCs and China compared the smartphone industry to the PC industry where value began to be hollowed out and the market became commoditised.

Evans claims that this is already happening to Samsung. Part of the challenge is that so much of the design of the hardware layer in phones comes from reference designs by component manufacturers like Qualcomm and reference design work done by manufacturers like Foxconn. Globalisation outsourced hardware design innovation, a plus side of this is that there is a whole eco-system in southern China that can support anyone who wants to make a branded handset building on experience gained working with major technology brands.

As he quite rightly points out some businesses are looking to take control of their business by building beyond hardware and into the service stack.

A number of manufacturers put their own UI over Android like HTC’s Sense UI and Huawei’s Emotion UI. Whilst these contributed to a handset personality, they didn’t provide differentiation. Facebook even tried to get in on the act with Facebook Home, but the user experience left something to be desired according to reviewers.

Manufacturers tried to add applications in their phones, which competed with Google’s own application stack. At the present time, no Android manufacturer has come up with a killer application for their brand of phone, mainly because they replicated Google’s efforts and with the exception of Samsung, the application wouldn’t be sufficiently ubiquitous – particularly if it was some sort of communications platform like say Whatsapp.

Meanwhile, Google hasn’t been sitting quietly on the sidelines but has been using its power within the community to exasperate commoditisation by combatting manufacturers efforts at software customisation. This process has been rolled further into the Android efforts with strict guidance on Android Wear devices. All of this may feel quite similar to Microsoft Windows around about the time of their dispute with Netscape.
The ultimate budget phone shootout: Xiaomi Redmi vs Huawei Honor 3C vs Motorola G.
Deeper innovation requires a fork in the Android OS and a break with some if not all of the services. This break has been forced on Chinese manufacturers anyway as consumers wouldn’t be able to access Google’s maps, email or search. Which is the reason why Xiaomi’s MIUI, Jolla’s Sailfish OS and CyanogenMod have an opportunity to work with phone manufacturers.
Charles' Jolla phone
However, the ironic aspect of this is that any of these platforms became too successful they would wield as much power as Google does at the moment.

A sweet spot for hardware manufacturers would be a hetreogenuous OS environment, all of which will run Android-compliant applications. In order for this to work, you would need an equivalent of POSIX compliance for Unix-type operating systems for these mobile OS’ and a way of ensuring that platform innovation didn’t ossify either the OS or the internet services supporting it.

Where does Apple fit into all this?
Could the HTC One have been built without manufacturers having invested in milling machines after the introduction of the iPhone 5 aluminium monocoque chassis? Apple’s process innovations / popularisation of production techniques opens up opportunities for the wider Android community. This is because of Apple’s focus on materials innovation as well full integration of the services and software stack.

This lends weight to a viewpoint that Apple has in some respects has become a ‘fashion brand’ as one of my colleagues put it, think a watchmaker rather than say a fashion house like Louis Vuitton and the analogy has a certain amount of merit. This also implies that when thinking about the iPhone the value decision lifts itself out of the economic rational actor. However there are also shifting costs. You don’t buy a DSLR camera, you buy into a system since the camera needs lens in order to work. Applications (particularly paid for applications) play a similar role, as do services.  There is an inherent switching cost away from iPhone, this is lower when switching platform from Andrioid to iPhone and practically none existent for many users upgrading their Android handsets.

So in many respects Apple sits apart from this in the same way that the Mac sat within, yet apart from the PC industry.

More information
Unbundling innovation: Samsung, PCs and China
Android and differentiation | renaissance chambara
Messaging’s middleware moment | renaissance chambara
The folly of technology co-marketing budgets | renaissance chambara
HTC One – gsmarena

Links of the day | 在网上找到

HTC ‘selfie phone’ to be launched in Q4: report – only a good 18 months after the Huawei Ascend P6 and probably several other handsets that I can’t remember

Qualcomm to face strong competition in China’s 4G chip market | WantChinaTimes – which explains why Qualcomm is trying to play nice with the government

GE has no business being in retail finance so it’s making a steady exit | Quartz – it makes sense to offload consumer debt

WeChat first: a new frontier in China beyond Android and iOS – interesting how WeChat’s app constellation is fostering new start-ups, the question is will WeChat kill them the way Facebook turned the screw on its own ecosystem

MediaTek No. 3 global supplier of smartphone chips in Q1|WantChinaTimes.com - 1. Qualcomm 2. Apple 3. MediaTek 4. Samsung 5. Spreadtrum

Edelman confirms Rui Chenggang held shares in Pegasus while at CCTV – ahh, this could get messy. Bill Bishop in his Sinocism newsletter pointed out that Rui flamed Starbucks Forbidden City branch on CCTV while Starbucks was an Edelman client. Edelman then bought Pegasus where Rui was a shareholder. The question is will China make this coincidence into an issue making 2=2=5? Will the backwash from all this hit Starbucks or other Edelman clients as well?

Internal memo: Microsoft to cut off all ‘external staff’ after 18 months, imposing mandatory 6-month break – GeekWire – this is an interesting move. I wonder how might it affect PR and marketing agencies?

Future Drama – IBM anticipates Google Glass(holes), from 2000 – interesting thought experiment by IBM which nails some of the issues with Google Glass

Baidu launches search engine for Brazil | PCWorld – interesting expansion by Baidu

Mini-Microsoft: 18,000 Microsoft Jobs Gone… Eventually? – a perspective from inside Microsoft

Rethinking Cold War America: An Interview with Fred Turner | Henry Jenkins - well worth a read

How I stay informed… — Product Club — Medium – Tom Coates on how he stays informed

IBM and Apple just not that big a deal – I, Cringely – probably the most level-headed analysis of the IBM Apple deal that I have seen so far

Microsoft Will Climb Past Yahoo In Digital Ad Share | WSJ – blame Carol Bartz and Carl Icahn, they fucked it up when they didn’t give Jerry Yang a chance to do it right and didn’t manage to sell the business outright

IBM and Apple: Catharsis | Asymco – Horace on the long view

Apple and IBM team up to conquer the enterprise market, and crush Microsoft, Blackberry, and Android – I am less convinced given Global Services trouble in meeting SLAs would I want them providing AppleCare?

Yahoo’s Mayer: ‘We are not satisfied with our Q2 results’ – Media news – Media Week display advertising business fell 8% last quarter, to $436 million (£436 million), compared with the same quarter a year ago, as it continues to lose ground to the market leaders Google and Facebook.

Overall, Yahoo’s revenue fell 4% last quarter, year on year, to $1.08 billion, operating income dropped 72% to $38 million (£22 million), largely attributed to one-off restructuring costs, and net earnings for the second quarter were down 19%, to $270 million (£158 million) – I have a lot of love for the Big Purple, but in the internet world lightning doesn’t strike twice

Two Rail Operators Selling Rights to Advertise on Bullet Trains – Caixin – great ambient advertising opportunity

Is a PR Crisis Brewing For Edelman in China? – Advertising Age – so they may not be compliant at the moment. What does this mean for other large agencies in China and will this delve into some of the more interesting media buying strategies out there?

Welcome to the Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble – NYTimes.com – so potentially we have a bubble in all countries in all classes of assets, what happens when it goes pop? Or is this a devaluation of currency across the global and if so why isn’t this seen as inflation?

New MediaTek Chip Aimed at High-End Phones | Re/code – LTE, 2K video, 64-bit

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Later than usual, here are the things that made my day this week.

Geometry Global Kuala Lumpur and the Lost Animals Souls Shelter animal charity on opening up their fan base to all be admins.

Digital Jungle updated their Chinese and western social media grid for 2014, great slide fodder

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker – Harvard Business Review reminded me how great a lot of Drucker’s writing is

Japanese school girls with ninja skills brought to us by CC Lemon and Suntory. It has had over 2 million views already

Vintage footage of Kanye West before he was famous rapping over beats at Fat Beats record store on 6th Avenue in New York, is it just me or was his flow better back then?

Links of the day | 在网上找到

A Chinese internet giant has an app to help students cheat on their homework | Quartz – firstly is this cheating when we live in an internet enabled age and the collaborative aspect is a handy contrast to an education system that teaches kids by rote. Secondly it seems like a great way for Baidu to burnish its knowledge search credentials. Lastly what a great potential platform for ad targeting little emperors and empresses

It’s hard to put the scale of London’s property boom into words, so here are some charts | Quartz - looking at these numbers makes me feel really uneasy

Samsung, Nest, ARM and others say Smart homes need more than WiFi and Bluetooth, propose Thread IP6 mesh network | 9to5Google – interesting to see how this fits with ZigBee low-power Bluetooth etc.

Trust in Sponsored Content Runs Low | Marketing Charts – there are any number of reasons that this result could have occurred through poor survey design, however if it is true marketers, professional and amateur ‘media brands’ need to revise the way they do sponsored content to be more relevant and less salesy

StarHub encourages locals to donate unused talk time | Marketing Interactive – making a virtue out of the evils of telecoms bundling

China Mobile to quit WiFi rollout | The Register – didn’t make money

Your Selfie Idea Is Not Original. It’s shit. – Tumblr account says it so you don’t have to

Tencent’s WeChat offers personalized, real-world postcards in diversifying move | Shanghai Daily – interesting the ways in which Tencent is experimenting with integrating online and offline through baby steps

Retail review: J. Crew | SCMP.com – interesting issue around retail planning (paywall)

Are your Western Marketing Strategies Failing to Understand the Chinese Consumer? | LinkedIn – a lot of the time, yes

Just Like Facebook, Twitter’s New Impression Stats Suggest Few Followers See What’s Tweeted (Danny Sullivan/Marketing Land) – not terribly surprising given the stream of content

For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music Is a Love Story – WSJ There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie. It’s part of the new currency, which seems to be “how many followers you have on Instagram.” 

Fan Power 
A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. – This then begs the question what would a record label bring to the table for an artist?

Jellyfish Tank Installation Opens After Store Hours – PSFK – this is so cool, I like the mix of forms. It’s like something out of a William Gibson novel

Moves on social platforms

Over the past few years things have been set in motion that are changing social now:

  • The rise of smartphones. I have owned a smartphone for the past decade and a phone / PDA combo for a decade and a half. Originally I had a Nokia 6600 smartphone that nestled in the hand and used a joystick for navigation, but it took the touch screen of the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy to really blow up the smartphone market
  • The rise of mobile messaging. By 2006, I had used Skype and Yahoo! Messenger on a mobile phone, but these were legacy networks that moved from the desktop on to other devices. At the time, messaging was more about presence, was a person accessible or not when I would go to call them; rather like Novell’s directory was used with early IP telephony office networks
  • The pitfalls of truly open social. Blogging had warning signs of what could happen with social that was too open. Heather Armstrong of dooce.com had been fired in 2002 for saying the kind of things online that would have made typical Facebook wall content. Secondly, Facebook moved from being the preserve of your classmates to including: parents, grandparents, siblings, work colleagues or curious HR people

Younger and not so young people are seeing the benefit of instant messaging that is designed around mobile devices. OTT messaging services like Kakao Talk and WeChat allow for group discussions allowing ad-hocratric decisions like what film to watch at the cinema to be made on the fly.

Probably just as important was that the lack of a legacy base in the applications allowed them to be designed mobile first, providing a focused elegant user experience.
All of this provided a compelling use case, which also meant increased engagement at the experiences of desktop-orientated social networks.

In Korea, Facebook has made slow steady progress, helped mostly by a security breach at local network Cyworld. In comparison, KakaoTalk came from nowhere to 90% penetration of the Korean market. This change has also happened in China, it is hard to understand how fast traditional networks like Sina Weibo and Kaixin001 have been left behind by Weixin (WeChat).

“This is a new phase for social media in China,” said Hu Yong, a journalism professor at Peking University. “It is the decline of the first large-scale forum for information in China and the rise of something more narrowly focused.”

In reality Sina Weibo hasn’t been social media in the way we understand it in the west. Most of the accounts tend towards passive consumption, Weibo acts like a stream of news. This makes it hard to estimate how many accounts were ‘real’ and how engaged the audience was. Anecdotal evidence suggested that riends still used Sina Weibo to get celebrity gossip and news but moved to private channels for interaction.  The New York Times considered this shift in China to be one of an issue to do with freedom of speech rather than a broader social movement towards conversations closer to the ‘email’ age.

More information
An Online Shift in China Muffles an Open Forum – NYTimes.com

Links of the day | 在网上找到

China operators form €1.2bn tower-sharing venture | TotalTelecom – smart move, though probably not as profitable for Huawei and ZTE as it could have been..

Minds and Machines | Information Processing – the singularity is a long way off

Classic Song ‘Stems’ Inspire Remixes – WSJ – great to see Luxxury getting some respect (paywall)

Kids still getting too much screen time, experts say – CBS News – we heard the same things about TV

Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies | Popular Science – the scale and sophistication of this network was impressive

Kantar: Chinese Consumer Goods Companies Take Share from Foreign Companies | China Internet Watch – interesting to see how western CPG companies like P&G and Unilever are losing ground in China

Li & Fung spin-off Global Brands wants China brands to compete globally | SCMP – (paywall)

From the editor-in-chief: The death of PR agencies – as we know them | PR Week – no real surprises

Tablet Magazine Ads Seen Garnering Recall Levels on Par With Print – but the reach of tablets is still lower

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Five things that have made my day this week:

Great examination of how real-world hacking matches up with the game pay in Watch Dogs. In summary, it can be done but it isn’t as effortless as the game would have you believe.

Dezeen blog have this great interview with Richard Sapper. Sapper’s best known work is probably the design language of the IBM (now Lenovo) ThinkPad, which he originally based on a bento box. This interview however is about his work with Alessi

Wandjoujia have done a great report on successful foreign mobile applications in China.

I love Baron von Luxxury’s remixes of 80s classics, the latest one that I have on heavy rotation is his reworking of Duran Duran’s Girls On Film

Resonance had some great infographics based on research by TBWA about Chinese shopper types.

The culture of brand collaborations in Hong Kong

On of the more unusual aspects of marketing in Hong Kong is the amount of co-marketing deals and the unusual nature of these tie-ups. For instance last year I saw high-end Japanese streetwear brand Neighborhood have it’s brand on Coke Zero cans.
Coke Zero x Neighborhood limited edition cans
This was used by Coke Zero to promote nighttime cycling. (It would be cooler and Hong Kong looks spectacular at night.)
Meanwhile McDonalds is usually better known for tie-ins with Sanrio character franchises. However, now it is running a promotion with Singapore-based personal care brand Walsh. Think of Walsh as similar to Cussons in the UK. With certain breakfast dishes, consumers get a bottle of body wash free.

Here is the TV advert being run to support the promotion. And no, I can’t really make that much sense of the synergies either, but it seems to work.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

CITIZEN EVIDENCE LAB | Turning Citizen Media Into Citizen Evidence: Authentication Techniques For Human Rights Researchers – interesting experience in media literacy and tips on spotting fake content that goes beyond Amnesty’s worthy if narrow purpose

Juicy Couture Seeks Greener Pastures In Asia | Jing Daily – shuttering US stores and opening up mainland ones. Are Chinese tourists not buying mid-market luxury in the US?

Bits Blog: Intel, Qualcomm and Others Compete for ‘Internet of Things’ Standard | New York Times – the problem will be Qualcomm’s take on intellectual property would be incompatible with the price point of ‘internet of things’ things

Ben Thompson: ‘Smartphone Truths and Samsung’s Inevitable Decline’ | Stratechery – whilst there is an obvious analogue with the PC which benefited only Microsoft and Intel respectively, Samsung’s scale puts it in a slightly different place

VIA’s new Isaiah x86/ARM hybrid CPU outperforms Intel in benchmarks – but will it ever come to market? | ExtremeTech – it reminds me of the hype around Transmeta back in the day

Samsung Finds It Costly to Keep Up with China – Businessweek – Chinese firms treading on their turf

Resonance | The four archetypes of Chinese shoppers. – Checkout China research

Disney Picks 11 Tech and Media Firms for Startup-Accelerator Program | Variety – following other consumer brands like Unilever, Mondelez and PepsiCo

MediaPost Publications Marketers Still Not Sold On Native Advertising 07/08/2014 – measurement and effectiveness

Chow Tai Fook builds loyalty through electronic stamps | Marketing Interactive – kind of, but not Tesco Clubcard for jewellery

Can Social Media Spending Fit Into a Simple ROI Formula? | SearchEngineJournal – looking at this data social web marketing isn’t working that well anymore

How Working on Multiple Screens Can Actually Help You Focus | WIRED – contextual usage

360 Search Gaining Over 28% Market Share | ChinaInternetWatch – interesting that 360 is putting up a credible challenge to Baidu

BBC Academy – Journalism – great set of resources from the BBC

Why the abysmal Transformers sequel is about to become China’s top grossing film of all time – Quartz – basically relevance

Backlash stirs in US against foreign worker visas – looks like the tech industry’s dirty little secret could come home to roost

Huawei D3 could be the world’s first flagship clone! | Gizchina.com – interesting assertion, particularly as Huawei is positioning itself as innovative. Also interesting that it was copying HTC

Metcalfe’s Law is Wrong – IEEE Spectrum – interesting essay

Oprah Time: The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

The Idea Factory reaches back to an age that is now alien to most of us. At one time the most complex devices that people generally had in their homes were a sewing machine, a piano or a mechanical clock or watch. Yet we now view clothes (particularly those from H&M and Primark) as disposable objects, have a limitless amount of media entertainment available at our finger tips and the complexity of a smartphone in your pocket eclipses the complexity of any device in a home just a few decades previously.
idea factory
Gertner tracks the rise of the American telephone company AT&T through its research arm Bell Labs. Reading the book, the first thing that strikes you is the immense complexity of the very young telephone networks with its complex mechanical switches, manually operated patch boards and strands of copper telephone lines stringing the country together in a way far more immediate than railway travel.

Out of Bell Labs came a flurry of developments over just a few decades: the vacuum tube
Valve  or thermionic diode
the transistor
From Satori to Silicon Valley
the laser
A dress with lasers! (Designed by Hussein Chalayan)
fibre optic networks
Amazing table
the CCD (charged couple device) which is the eye of video and digital cameras
R2D2 bonds with a digital camera
and the cellular networks we now take for granted
Sonim XP3 unboxing and comparison
What the book fails to answer is the very nature of innovation that Bell Labs was held up for. Is there an ideal structure for innovation? It seems to be the case that ‘it depends’ is the answer; the innovations seemed to come from brilliant individuals, small teams and herculean efforts.

Robert X. Cringely in his book Accidental Empires talked about Silicon Valley really revolving around the efforts and successes of some four dozen people being at the right place and the right time. Gertner’s book implies a similar linkage bringing in a number of names familiar with technology history: Claude Shannon, William Shockley and Charles Kao.

AT&T launched Telstar based on a range of technologies that had been developed over the previous decades at Bell Labs, from solar cells to vacuum tube-based amplifiers. The company had a tight relationship with the Department of Defence due to the amount of work it had done in the early cold war on radar and guidance systems. The satellite was launched aloft on a first generation Delta rocket, US military payloads now travel into space on a fourth generation Delta rocket.

It was also apparent that innovation seems to have its natural time like the Technium of Kevin Kelly’s book What Technology Wants; indeed the history of the Bell Company had much to do with Alexander Bell’s dash to patent an invention that had also been conceived at the same time by another gentleman called Gray.

There is an interesting case study in product development failure with a look at AT&T’s abortive picture phone service from the early 1960s.

In comparison to Bell Labs early history the book moves at break-neck speed through the history of the labs after the break up of AT&T in 1984.  A few things that sprung  out of this:

Lucent’s rise and decline due to vendor financing of telecoms equipment sales. It is interesting that Huawei arranges for Chinese state banks to put up the financing rather than putting up the money itself, but essentially sells on the same premise that made Lucent successful

The nature of innovation had fundamentally changed, there was now a core body of work that corporate innovation could draw on without doing the kind of unfettered research that Bell Labs had carried out and facilitated great leaps forward.

If you are at all curious about the why of your smartphone, broadband connection or the underpinnings of the software running your MacBook then Gertner’s book is a recommended read, my one criticism is that the post-break up Bell Labs deserves far more exploration than The Idea Factory gives it.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

An Online Shift in China Muffles an Open Forum – NYTimes.com – “This is a new phase for social media in China,” said Hu Yong, a journalism professor at Peking University. “It is the decline of the first large-scale forum for information in China and the rise of something more narrowly focused.” – the authors have positioned this as a Chinese -specific move yet it is mirrored in the west with the rise of Whatsapp, Telegram and other OTT messenger services

IBM betting carbon nanotubes can restore Moore’s Law by 2020 | ExtremeTech – interesting, particularly as there is so much speculation about the state and future of IBM’s chip business as management moves towards a software and services based future. Is IBM preparing to sell the chip manufacturing business to the highest bidder?

The Future of the Workforce May Be Part-Time, Says Google CEO Larry Page | Re/code – utopian spin on zero-hour contracts?

S Korea to break away from Windows by 2020 | WantChinaTimes – interesting move: Windows 8 partly to blame, I suspect also the security decisions made around Active X made Koreans think twice before attaching themselves to Microsoft

Waterproof CD player with vocal removal function | AkihabaraNews – interesting thinking about context. Japan is still a big physical media market (they still have Tower Records) and people love to sing in the shower

Amazon China chief replaced with another expat | WantChinaTimes – the back story is that Amazon has about 2 per cent of the e-commerce market in China

Google bans porn from its ad network | CNBC – Google obviously doesn’t need the revenue, which bodes well for ongoing quarterly number goeth

CHART OF THE DAY: Apple Is Invading The Enterprise – Business Insider – there is also a credibility issue, go to a developer conference and there is a sea of silver lids, this will knock on into the enterprise

Thanks To “Right To Be Forgotten,” Google Now Censors The Press In The EU | Marketingland – once you take the 1st amendment driven angst viewpoint out of this, its a great summary of things by Danny Sullivan

I, Cringely The Secret of Google X – I, Cringely – I think untethered balloons aren’t a smart move either

Tencent Opening Up API for Wechat Login — China Internet Watch – expect WeChat’s app constellation to mushroom outside the Tencent family

HK’s retail sales fell in May | RTHK – its all about valuable gifts: watches, bags etc dropping by 25%

3 Real Security Risks Threatening Your Smart TV Entertainment | Make Use Of – make mine a dumb TV

UK’s Porn Filter Triggers Widespread Internet Censorship | TorrentFreakThe results of ORG’s new tool show that what started as a “porn filter” has turned into something much bigger. Under the guise of “protecting the children” tens of thousands of sites are now caught up in overbroad filters, which is a worrying development to say the least – interesting that some are blocking the Open Rights Group and open source software sites

The top posts for the first half of 2014

Here is a brief delve back over the past six months to see what were the most read posts on this blog:

  1. The WhatsApp | Facebook post (part I) - I hammered this post out in a Starbucks on the edge of the A41 as I took in all the news about Facebook acquiring Whatsapp. Even my Mum talked about after she heard it on the Irish radio news that morning.
  2. Jargon watch: app constellation – I was inspired by Fred Wilson’s post on developments in mobile applications companies, but the abiding memory I have of this was the painful process of research that I undertook to surface many of the major constellations and the having to hand-code in HTML every single table. Which is the reason that this list is crudely thrown together in comparison.
  3. My digital tool box – was partly inspired by work colleagues asking what I used for different things. It is a snapshot as services appear, evolve or disappear with rapid change.
  4. Garnier’s PS Cream campaign – a video case study that took Chinese girls love of the perfect selfie and used it to market a BB cream type beauty product.
  5. I love Cathay Pacific – I wrote about my experience flying back to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific in January an contrasted that with the service that I had received on British Airways. I re-read the piece for this list and found it interesting to contrast my experience with BA’s perception of itself as portrayed in A Very British Airline.
  6. When your PR team is bad for your brand – was about the way 24-hour news agenda had triggered a muscular PR reaction that did more harm than good to brands whose reputation they tried to manage. I am looking at you Microsoft…
  7. Observations from the UK: The rise of the e-cigarette – my trip back in December to the UK and some time in Shenzhen to reflect on my observations meant that I came up with a series of posts about the apparently mundane changes I noticed in the UK having been over a year away.
  8. Living in a mobile laboratory – the time in Shenzhen enjoying a dry pleasantly warm winter allowed me to reflect on the enormous privilege of using a mobile network the way technology companies promise they will be in Hong Kong. In comparison my mobile experience in the UK, US and Ireland have been enormously disappointing.
  9. Observations from Shenzhen, China – my time in Shenzhen contrasted to previous visits as the city adjusts to a more sustainable rate of growth. I also noticed the transformation that TaoBao and Weixin had made in consumer habits.
  10. My Blogging Process – 2014 edition – This was a snapshot in time, rather similar in construction to the digital tool box post.