China’s economic analysis

The Wall Street Journal’s Andy Brown on China’s economy. It is an interesting interview. As to the main question about whether China’s economy is about to stall or not, have a read around and make up your own mind.

The video is the Wall Street Journal’s own player so not sure if all readers will be able to see it.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Porn sites get more internet traffic in UK than social networks or shopping | The Guardian

Civil War in Men’s Shaving – Analyst Insight from Euromonitor International

Two Ad Giants Chasing Google in Merger Deal – NYTimes.comWhile advertising agencies often work hand in hand with Google, Facebook and Twitter, those same companies can also work directly with companies like General Motors and Coca-Cola, including sharing data – add additional value or be canned (pay wall)

Worldwide gaming audience figures – Digital Intelligence

Reach of sports sites across Europe: Top 18 countries – Digital Intelligence

Texas students hijack superyacht with GPS-spoofing luggage • The Register

The ‘Australia tax’ is real, geo-blocking to stop | ZDNet

Google’s Gmail ‘Promotions’ Tab: Why It Won’t Hurt E-mail Marketing |

Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is | Technology | The Observer“If businesses or governments think they might be spied on,” Neelie Kroes said, “they will have less reason to trust the cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes? Front or back door – it doesn’t matter – any smart person doesn’t want the information shared at all. Customers will act rationally and providers will miss out on a great opportunity.”

China should probe foreign luxury carmakers over prices: Xinhua | Reuters

Uberflip | Behind the scenes of content marketing – (reg wall) free e-book

Deloitte Survey: Gearing up for Back-to-School, Shoppers More Upbeat but Still Sticking to The Basics

Google Glass is the next Segway says venture capitalist | T3not terribly surprised

WeChat took Facebook’s mantle in China and now it’s going global – The Next Web

Social Media and Consumer Empowerment Study | Social Media Today

OTT Messaging blossoms but SMS still growing and delivering the big revenues“During 2012 and 2013 we have seen many reports that operators are losing $20bn – $30bn in SMS revenue to OTT messaging apps,” said Karl Whitfield, a Director at Portio Research. “We see reports that OTT traffic will be double that of SMS by the end of 2013. This is wrong on both counts. It may be true that SMS revenues are levelling off and that OTT is on the rise, but SMS is still generating revenues of $15.3m per hour, 24/7, that’s a massive $133.8bn in 2013. Worldwide SMS revenue has gone up year on year since the early 1990s and will continue to be above 2010 levels until 2017. SMS was levelling off before OTT apps came along, and now MNOs are gaining revenue from increased data usage instead.

Nokia blames Microsoft for poor Windows Phone app selection- The Inquirer

Evernote Wants to Become the Nike for Your Brain: 10 Questions With CEO Phil Libin | Wired Business | – I am not an Evernote user but this is an interesting interview

The 6 Types of Digital Consumers and Their Paths to Purchase | Compete Pulse

Indonesia social media profile | Social@Ogilvy

The Power of Context and the Future of Real-time Marketing | VML – it makes sense

Newspapers: A decent proposal | The Economist – interesting comparison with the US market, however the UK doesn’t have the same infrastructure of important regional papers that the US does

Ballmer admits Microsoft built too many Surface RTs, disappointed with Windows sales | The Verge

BBC News – ‘Lads’ mags’ set cover-up deadline by Co-operative

comScore Releases the “2013 Southeast Asia Digital Future in Focus” Report – comScore, Inc

Spy agencies reportedly have a long-standing ban on Lenovo PCs due to back-door vulnerabilities – The Next Web – the interesting thing is that most laptop components come from someone else rather than the name on the outside of the machine

Insight: How Samsung is beating Apple in China | Reuters – you can make up your own mind on the conclusion but it’s a really nice overview of the divergence in MO between Apple and Samsung

Scientist banned from revealing codes used to start luxury cars | – the real question is what other dirty little secrets Volkswagen Group has gotten hidden in their technology?

China has had enough of singing competitions thank you very much: Shanghaiist

The nanny state

There is a creeping trend in the UK of that much derided phenomena the nanny state; which has now moved online. If one looks at coverage of the current government from his election onwards once can see how the nanny state rhetoric changes from something to be derided, to expanding regulation further. Looking further back one sees a similar pattern emerging with previous administrations; a common pattern that spans the whole of the mainstream political spectrum. The nanny state is derided whilst in opposition and implemented when in power.

Whilst this is meant with the best of intent, the measures paint a picture of an immature society unwilling to take responsibility for its own actions. The latest measure is the much derided default content filter designed to curb some 8.5 per cent of current UK internet usage, to put that into perspective – it is more than Facebook.

Search engines are forced to censor content by court order under the Digital Economy Act and Twitter is about to be grilled in the autumn when politicians looking with one eye to gallery berate them for not stopping Twitter users from being horrible to each other.

The thing is; as great as people can be, they can also be horrific in terms of what they think, what they say and what they do.

Technology won’t change this, it is merely a mirror to society; if it is restricted it will be circumvented and worked around. Technology has it’s own momentum what the author Kevin Kelly called The Technium. As regulatory measures fail, more draconian measures will be demanded. Delegating responsibility to technology rather than the individual isn’t smart. It disenfranchises people from the role they should play as a member of society and it wastes time and money for businesses that should be fueling economic growth.

If you want behavioral change to happen it needs to happen at the societal level – that means hard work over time with people on shared values. Not fast, ill-thought out ideas pursued without consideration for the likely secondary consequences. Legislation and regulation are only effective if they match the values of the majority in the country and there seems to be chasm between policy and the general public.

Let’s take the nanny state rhetoric to its logical conclusion: if adults aren’t responsible enough to use the internet properly and parents can’t take responsibility for their children’s behaviour, at what point do we decide that not all adults should be allowed to vote as they don’t have sufficient moral substance – as judged by…?

So what does this mean for the PR industry? PROs we will face greater challenges:

  • Technology and media clients will need to be defended against the rapacious demands placed at their door by regulatory and policy makers looking to delegate society’s responsibilities on to their businesses
  • The freedom to influence is essential to the democratic process, yet lobbyists and PROs (or spin doctors as the tabloid media would say) make easy targets for political rhetoric on all sides
  • This creeping tide of demands will eventually impinge further on our freedom to communicate as demonstrated by the debate on lobbying
  • Developing behavioural change at the societal level is an opportunity for PR. One only has to look at the Prevent work that has been done to address both far right and religious extremism in the past through engaging disenfranchised communities; whilst contentious it recognised that regulation alone wasn’t enough

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week

China and mobile behaviour

Get an understanding of how Chinese consumers use their smartphones via this short video.

The video is hosted on YouTube so may not be available to all viewers.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

7nm, 5nm, 3nm: The new materials and transistors that will take us to the limits of Moore’s law | ExtremeTech

Survey Finds Higher Unemployment in China, Wide Wealth Gap and High Inequality – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Yes, Samsung is acutely aware that we’ve reached “peak trophy smartphone” – Quartz – hollowing out of the business a la the PC market

Recipicheck – Prevent emails being sent to unintended recipients. – interesting, they could have played embarrassment as a bigger card

Download: Whitepaper ‘Avoiding the Pharma Digital Trap’

New research on measuring Social Media ROI – Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

The Future Of Facebook Is, Without A Doubt, Asia – and the ARPU number will be a fraction of the current value

How technology has stopped evolution and is destroying the world | Guardian – it reads a bit like the unibomber manifesto

Apple’s Secret Weapon: the IPhone 4 – WSJ.comMany customers buy iPhone 5s for gifts, he added, but usually buy the iPhone 4 or 4S for personal use

Government Access to Information Survey : Cloud Security Alliance – not sure that the design is that robust, but the results won’t make US technology providers happy

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

This week I went back to the roots of the Pure night I used to play in ‘Birkenvegas’ during the middle of a week that was a mix of vocal house, some Italian stuff and a bit of Cowboy Records era progressive. I had the Basement Boys on heavy rotation. We used to play for a mixed crowd of emotional office workers and the unemployed.

The UK government announced a great britannic firewall to protect subjects from smut; whilst reading about the analysis surrounding this, I came across an animated infographic which provided backgrounds into the kind of adult content searched for by different regions.

Durex has been pushing a micro-film that they created for the local market called Performan which has really high production values.

Vietnamese mobile coupon app Shoppie put together a really sophisticated demo video for their product.

My hack of the week is Embed Responsively which provides you with dynamic iFrame code that adjusts to the width of a web page.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

What would best [insert name here] do? – Brand Republic News – Westwood wants us all to stop to think about our culture, about “the pursuit of our perfection”. According to her, we all have an inner “best self” – and this, not authority figures or celebrities, or conforming to the norm, should be the one to guide us

Builders of the Digital Ecosystem: The 2013 Booz & Company Global ICT 50 Study

Chinese films gain box office edge with reality-based films| – domestic film producers have managed to attract wider audiences, especially people in their 20s and 30s, by relaying stories that resonate with the daily lives of ordinary people.

Don Norman on Wearable Devices | MIT Technology Review

Looking for Jack | The Sun |Clubz – oh the irony! The Sun which in the space of a few weeks went from doing a reader offer on smiley t-shirts to demonising the music, jumps on the house bandwagon again 25 years later

PR Industry Inches Towards A/B Testing

How Apple’s profits stack up against Google and Microsoft | The Verge

James Murdoch is not afraid to get things wrong – Fortune Technever underestimate the customer’s satisfaction with the status quo

Dominic Mohan severs staff ties with Rupert Murdoch | – it’s weird I forever think of Dominic Mohan and the the Bizarre column

Penguin’s Book Country plans store where self-published authors can sell their ebooks — paidContent – interesting approach by Penguin who seem to have learned from the mistakes that record companies made

Alibaba Offers Smart TV Operating System to Lure More Users – Bloomberg – interesting mix in business advertising / commerce in smart TV

China Manufacturing Weakens Further in July as Slowdown Deepens – Bloomberg

Insights from Opera Mediaworks | The State of Mobile Advertising Q2 – 2013

Intel Tips Custom 14nm Server Chips | EE Times – customisation is interesting, wonder what that will mean in terms of support by Linux distributions and Windows for that matter?

China Has 261M Active Smartphones And Tablets, 65% On Android

China’s Demographic Dividend Could End By 2015 | The Diplomat

Mobile Users from Three and Four Tier Cities in China — China Internet Watch

Video Advertising Benchmarks | InnovidThe Entertainment vertical generated the greatest amount of user activity (5.5 percent) and time earned (35.73 seconds), while the CPG Food & Beverages vertical saw the greatest completion rate (77 percent) and average percentage of Ads Viewed (84.3 percent) – (reg wall to get the report) (PDF)

Faster: cannon fodder and real-time media

At the beginning of the week, I read about Sarah Leibowitz  who is an account coordinator at Sparkpr* in New York. Sarah had sent an email to Valleywag on behalf of client Paltalk who had been mentioned in Edward Snowden’s PRISM slide deck.  Sarah mentioned this in her email introduction and the Valleywag journalist dissected her pitch so that the whole of the PR industry and the technology sector could read it. I imagine it’s going to take a good while for Sarah’s personal SEO campaign to bury this article.

As an industry we trust the core part of our value proposition to the most junior people often without the necessary oversight and coaching to prevent these kind of mistakes. It is not intentional, client demands and new business pitches get in the way of the best intentions: most of the time we get away with it. Show me an experienced PR person that hasn’t made a potentially embarrassing mistake at any time in their career and I will show you a liar.

We sell influence: by influencing influential people, be they bloggers, journalists, editors, researchers or DJs. Reputation management is an outcome of this process, strategy is the management of the process: neither are the core value we provide. Ms. Leibowitz is likely to have been a casualty of an industry trying to run ever faster.

Moving forward to this morning I read about David Monagan writing for Forbes who made a grovelling apology for calling Irish president Michael D. Higgins an “acknowledged homosexual”. Mr Monagan in his apology talks about having never made a mistake like that in his 35 years as a journalist; the mistake came about due to a tight deadline. It then went through the Forbes editorial process without question and was published. Mr Monagan is an acknowledged casualty of faster media s we move towards real-time.

Watching the content-free real-time TV coverage of the royal birth and the numerous lame brand #royalbirth hashtag hijack attempts this week showed me as an audience member how an attempt to do real-time media can wear down the the consumer as well as the other parts of the media chain. It is time that we opened a dialogue about taking a step back from this self-defeating treadmill.

More information
Apology as Forbes withdraws ‘homosexual’ claim about President Michael D Higgins | Irish Independent
Reminding People About PRISM Is a Terrible PR Strategy | Valleywag

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week

I like: Kiehl’s vending machine

Luxury skincare brand Kiehl’s has a set of vendinng machines in department stores.  It is an interesting idea since it democratises samples. Instead of them being given out at the discretion of shop assistants, they are instead bought for a nominal payment.
So I bought a pack just for demonstration purposes:
The only thing is that the sample pack doesn’t have marketing bumpf but a plain packing card. A missed opportunity?

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Anne-Marie Slaughter: ‘I think we need a men’s movement’ | – read the comments

Anonymous unmasked | The Irish Times – Sat, Jul 20, 2013

Fast food shocker: Taco bell dropping kids meals, toys | News – Home – Taco Bell says kids meals only account for half of 1% of its overall sales

What to expect from Apple’s Q3 results | FT Tech blog – share price movement isn’t reflecting the company news (paywall)

Study: Global comparisons of news consumption and shifting channels | Trends in the Living NetworksTrends in the Living Networks

A Third of China’s Potential Car Buyers Reside in Just Eighteen Cities – Analyst Insight from Euromonitor International

Facebook’s drive into developing nations scores 100 million users | The Verge

The Rise Of Social Gaming Doesn’t Mean Gamers Are Becoming More Social | WebProNews – gamers prefer single player games. Probably says something about the satisfaction that gaming gives (individual achievement?)

Touch: Where Microsoft Went Wrong | TechCrunch – I don’t want to say I told you so, but I did…

Why Opt-In Porn Is a Terrible Idea – Businessweek – this isn’t good for Digital Britain

Chinese iTunes Accounts Compromised to Boost App Rankings – or diminish confidence in Apple eco-system?

Online porn block: Legit sites to suffer from David Cameron’s ignorance- The Inquirer

The irrelevance of Microsoft — Benedict Evans – IBM’s mainframes have been irrelevant (Benedict Evans choice of words rather than mine) for a long time but have hung around. Microsoft will do the same

Finland Writes History With Crowdsourced Copyright Law | TorrentFreak – Hollywood is going to hate this. Expect Finland to roll out data havens

The Value of Google Result Positioning | Search Engine Journal – zero sum game

iPhone activations on Verizon grew 41 percent year over year, and analysts seemingly didn’t notice | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Metamaterial Invisibility – Business Insider

The Social TV Ecosystem In One Chart – Business Insider

How to Import Web Data into Google Docs with ImportHTML

Whitehall says EU status quo suits Britain | City A.M. – but would that be enough in a referendum?

Big Law Firms in Trouble: When the Money Dries Up | New Republic – globalisation and software shake up law practices

A British Porn Ban Is on the Way – Alexander Abad-Santos – The Atlantic Wire  – going for female voter gold, but likely to affect UK image abroad and business investment. What is really interesting is the timing to distract from Tempora / PRISM blanket suveillance scandal

Wearable computers might use a new paper-thin interactive “e-skin,” the first made of plastic — Tech News and Analysis

Hedge funds to negotiate hard with the Co-op | City A.M.‘The bank this month launched a review to uncover when and how the capital hole built up‘ – I wonder what will come out of this?

‘Turbo’ and ‘R.I.P.D.’ Open to Disappointing Results – – quality, budgets seem to be an issue. I can recommend Pacific Rim and the Lone Ranger however

Microsoft and Steve Ballmer have a major shareholder problem – Quartz – I suspect that things will be like the Berlin Wall. Things will look solid with the current management team in charge until it crumbles. Shareholders should be thankful that neither the Yahoo! or Nokia deals went anywhere as this would have made things much worse for Microsoft’s financials

Ignore the hype: Britain’s ‘recovery’ is a fantasy that hides our weakness | Will Hutton in The Observer

UK sees signs of recovery, but who has been left behind? | The Observer

Tesco boss says cheap food era is over | The Observer

Forget second-screen apps. Today, the TV is the second screen — Tech News and Analysis

Communities Dominate Brands: Nokia Q2 Analysis – This is Textbook Comprehensively Failed Strategy in Numbers – ignore Tomi’s narrative just go and look at the numbers at the bottom of the post

Etymology – of Chinese characters

How China has transformed the global order

Interesting video presentation with a perspective on China:

The historic perspective shows how development and technological advantage can be fleeting when looks at a longer historical perspective.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Nokia’s struggles suggest consumers are ‘content’ with iOS and Android duopoly – consumers might be, but carriers are also influencers in this process

Microsoft now has one million servers – less than Google, but more than Amazon, says Ballmer | ExtremeTech

Sign Of The Times? Investments in Asia Increase, Investments In Silicon Valley Decrease – is this really surprising when engineering has been outsourced by visas and offshoring and hard innovation doesn’t happen in Silicon Valley any more to the same extend that it used to

TelecomTV | News | Just in case you thought Nokia had turned a corner… it hasn’t

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates – WPP

The History of App Pricing, And Why Most Apps Are Free – downward spiral

The Companion Web: The Internet And How We Use It Is Evolving

Family albums fade as the young put only themselves in picture – Telegraph – phenomena of selfies

Why Behavior Change Apps Fail To Change Behavior | TechCrunch

Quantifying the Invisible Audience in Social Networks – Stanford University and Facebook Data Science

Re-imagining Segmentation In Analytics To Help You Make Better Decisions, Faster – Analytics Blog

Nokia Earnings Analysis Q2 2013: Smartphone ASP plummeting | BGR

Nokia Earnings Preview Q2 2013: The moment of truth | BGR

Microsoft Windows 8 tablet criticism: too flawed to recommend | BGR

Chrome for iOS adds improved Google apps integration, ‘experimental’ data compression | The Verge

6,000 mobile developers: Android most popular, iOS most profitable, Windows Phone most ‘next’ | VentureBeat

Transitioning To a Mobile Centric World | Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley

Apple Wants to Sell More iPhones Through Its Own Stores — But Can It? – John Paczkowski – Mobile – AllThingsD

“Everybody has got a smartphone” | asymco – no they haven’t

How to Set Up New Facebook Reports – Search Engine Watch (#SEW)

Bernanke says Fed may taper QE in 2013 but monetary policy is not on a preset course

iOS 7 Implications for Marketers:

The Believer – Wanted: Macho Men with Mustaches – interesting cultural study

Share This Too: try before you buy

In what seems like a long time ago back in London that I spoke with Wadds about contributing a chapter to the CIPR’s Share This Too which expanded on their 101 social media for PRs book Share This.

Share This Too will be published at the end of the summer, but to give you a feel of what to expect I have embedded my chapter here. It provides a really simple guide to online tools that can aid in the planning process for PR; from key opinion leader identification to developing messaging in a more scientific manner.

You can pre-order a copy here, I promise the other chapters are better written and more informative than my one.

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week:

This piece of satirical comment on the recent internet surveillance debate was a nice homage to the Pixar ident

It’s the start of the movie season and I am looking forward to seeing Pacific Rim

The Time Square shopping centre has this awesome Gundam mecha outside.
Gundam mecha
This week I have been listening to the sounds of Trevor Fung who was one of the people who pioneered house in the UK

Loving the Nordic noir series Arne Dahl at the moment on iTunes.