Introducing the Today Club

I have advised the founders of the Today Club in Shenzhen since January. Here is a video explaining what they do far more eloquently than I can

More details on their website.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The trouble with ‘Mumennials’ // Weber Shandwick

WeChat era’ killing intellectual property: academic – Creativity Originality and intellectual property in China are at risk of extinction given the rampant illegal copying and reproduction of information and original content in what has been dubbed the “WeChat era,”

HSBC can’t shrink its vast banking empire fast enough to satisfy investors | Quartz

Ford Sync Said to Drop Microsoft in Switch to BlackBerryCraig Trudell and Jeff Green, reporting for Bloomberg: Ford Motor Co., struggling with in-car technology flaws, will base the next-generation Sync system on BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX and no longer use Microsoft Corp.’s Windows, according to people briefed on the matter. – It makes sense, despite BlackBerry’s problems QNX is a robust real-time operating system

How a German Soda Became Hackers’ Fuel of Choice | Motherboard“If we run out,” she said, “it’s a problem.” – Soundcloud on their fridge of caffienated soda

Acid house and the dawn of a rave new world | Music | The Observer“Whenever it hit a new town, the first people in that town felt like they had the best secret ever. But it was a very evangelical secret, so they had this desperate itch to tell everyone and spread the word.” – Terry Farley

Qualcomm unveils its 64-bit, eight-core mobile processor family | VentureBeat – Not so long ago, Anand Chandrasekher – a (now former) Qualcomm marketer dismissed 64-bit mobile processors as “marketing gimmicks.”

Unilever partners with Facebook alliance to reach millions in India – investing in ways to better reach consumers

GSMA World 2014 in Barcelona, time to end the show? | Digital Evangelist – The global get together that is GSMA World rolls into Barcelona this week and I am left with the feeling that as with Telecoms World before it no longer fits a purpose

Shenzhen property heads for dizzy heights | FT – Southern Chinese city is posting double-digit rises in house prices thanks to the emergence of big technology companies such as Foxconn and Huawei

6 Ways to Brown Nose Your Way to the Very Top |

Turning Japan into global gambling hotspot maybe just the thing for Abenomics

Nokia gives in to Android phones – I get using Android to replace S40, but how can Microsoft Windows have a premium position when the other Windows partners are all low-end phone makers?

Chinese slang ‘diaosi’ causing social instability: official | Nanfang Insider – otaku is probably the closest translation I think of for diaosi

A Global Snapshot of the Dietary Supplements Category – Euromonitor International

Tactics Cloud – really useful for Twitter social media campaigns

The Beginner’s Guide to Growth Hacking – via the Digital Orange Concentrate newsletter

Tizen signs up new allies, but still no real phone | Mobile World Congress – CNET Reviews – the Tizen Association on Sunday talked up its 15 new partners, including notable names such as Japanese carrier SoftBank, Sprint, Baidu, and ZTE

Microsoft announces new Windows Phone partners & spring update for Windows 8.1 – interesting that there is a bunch of tier two Chinese phone makers, ZTE and LG

MICROSOFT: This Is Our Newest Plan To Get People To Love Our Controversial Windows 8 Design (MSFT)

In a First for Spain, a Woman Is Convicted of Inciting Terror Over Twitter

★ On the Timing of iOS’s SSL Vulnerability and Apple’s ‘Addition’ to the NSA’s PRISM Program

Anything You Can Do, Icahn Do Better | BusinessInsider – just like the 1980s and junk bonds; the striking point is that it suggests the technology sector has reached an inflection point from being growth to value businesses – time for entrepreneurs to look for a new frontier

WhatsApp, Facebook, Google and the acceleration of the Network Effect in a Mobile World

Xiaomi makes profit on smarter strategies | WantChinaTimes

Veronica 2 Gopher search engine

Broadcom Chip Locates Wearables | EE Times

5G Needs MIMO, Multi-GHz | EE Times

Eight trends for the future: contextual technology

Let’s start with a little journey through internet history; the first search engine the way we would understand it was rolled out in 1990, which downloaded directory indexes from different FTP sites and allowed manual browsing (the web was a small place at the time). A year later there was proper keyword searches for Gopher files. Gopher was a precursor to the web and HTTP as we now know it.

When I started using the web at college, internet portals started to come into their own. I used to use which I configured the news from a number of sources, stock prices of companies I followed (a sickly Apple Computer and Silicon Graphics, which was on the the rise at the time). Think of it as being like the front page of a newspaper designed by me to mirror my interests at the time.  The search business back then was to sell giant black boxes called search appliances made by companies like Inktomi; which provided a search box at the top of the page of your web portal of choice. The advertisements that funded the portals were similar to the display ads that we see today.

Two developments changed the way that we look at information, firstly Google built upon work done in the 1950s at the University of Pennsylvania and the HITS algorithm created at IBM’s Almaden Research Centre and came up with the PageRank algorithm that provided a superior search experience in comparison to competitors like HotBot and AltaVista. came up with the paid for placement model which changed the way search engines made their money from selling search appliances to selling advertising inventory. The paid-for placement model combined with a search engine that was pretty good at delivering what people wanted changed things dramatically; suddenly understanding the context of the user became the centre of the world’s most lucrative advertising technology business.

Google says that its mission is:

…to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

This means putting context on every aspect of ones life. Mobile devices and the increased accessibility of data allows internet services to provide increased context. Location could be pulled together from services like Skyhook Wireless which used cell tower triangulation, Google uses a directory of Wi-Fi MAC addresses to enhance location based on phone GPS-derived co-ordinates.

At the simplest level  you will have noticed this in the desktop web experience you get when visiting websites like Google and Yahoo! which will try and direct you to the local site for the country it thinks you are currently in.

Things get a bit more sophisticated when location is cross-referenced with other data. Burton Snowboards had functionality on its website back in 2011 which suggested products based on your local weather at that time.
Burton Snowboards weather site from a few years ago
This may not be great if I live in Wolverhampton and want to shop for items that will be ideal for my trip to Snowbombing this April.

Now contextual technology is becoming ubiquitous, the latest version of iOS now appends weather information based on your current location to the ‘at a glance view of your diary and other updates.
Contextual technology
Retail information and location is being used by Verifone and Brightmove Media’s taxi advertising services that allow geo-fencing of advertisements and even changes in content based on contextual information like footfall, retail locations, weather to provide tailored messages.
There are hints to where this will go next as more part of one’s life are connected together; the coffee shop that gets your order ready as they know you are close by, the house that turns it’s heating on as it knows you are on your way home from the commute. Wired magazine called this the programmable world. Without contextual technology the Internet of Things is largely useless technology.

Like all technological developments contextual technology has a dark side to it, you can be tracked, hacked and marketed to. Our smartphones will be like unwitting black boxes, their data used against us in an opaque and apparently arbitrary manner. Pricing strategies can be gained against you as an individual to wring the maximum amount of revenue out of it. The price of umbrellas or ice cream can be varied in near real-time based on footfall and local weather.
More information
Eight trends for the future
Eight trends for the future: digital interruption
Eight trends: Immersive as well as interactive experiences
Eight trends for the future: Social hygiene
PageRank myths
Google – About Google
Welcome to the programmable world | Wired

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Only in Indonesia: Twitter votes come at a price on popular TV show – how did they manage to charge for tweet vote entries?

Spain exporting it’s way out of trouble | Quartz – something the UK could learn from, Spain still has a long way to go however

Homoglyphs for SEO | Terence Eden

Benedict Evans InContext Keynote | A VC – worth a watch during your lunch hour

Boots to sell Puritane e-cigarettes from Imperial Tobacco subsidiary | Marketing Magazine

Tim Cook on Big Acquisitions: ‘We Have No Problem Spending Ten Figures for the Right Company’

Lecture: Trust and the Fall of Public Relations | Jericho Chambers

US v China: is this the new cold war? –

Surprise, you’ve got a Windows Phone app! Microsoft irks big brands in bid to stock mobile store – GeekWire – is this dodgy from an IP point-of-view? One has to view their app numbers with skepticism

Intel, Sun vet births fast, inexpensive 3D chip-stacking breakthrough | The Register – a way to allow communication in 3D stacked chips without the expense and fabrication hassles of creating physical connections

How strategists level up — Undercurrent Collection

Huawei has created the world’s ugliest smartwatch | BGR

Google reportedly forcing Asus to ax Android/Windows tablet project

Digital Intelligence :: Europeans spend 18% more time using apps than Americans – report – the European user base launched their apps more than their US counterparts

These Are The Metrics That Really Matter For Social Media | BusinessInsider – Many brands are finally realizing that social media isn’t a transactional engine or sales machine in the traditional sense. As they do, they’re dropping half-baked indicators and letting go of the idea of social ROI

Custom-Order ‘Mix-In’ Ice Cream Chains Realize They’re a Rip-off

Sophisticated Brands for Sophisticated Consumers | Wolff Olins – how Chinese consumers are altering the requirements for their brands

Facebook, Twitter and the User Narrative | GroupM Next

There are six kinds of Twitter conversations, and here they are | io9 – researchers say they’ve found six distinct shapes that Twitter conversations take

Apple Confirms Burstly Buy – owner of the popular iOS beta testing platform TestFlight

How To Build (And Sustain) A Remote Workforce | FastCompany

Chinese brand equity makes for stock hits | beyondbrics – who says that China doesn’t get brand. I think that many Chinese companies don’t understand the difference between sales and marketing but that’s changing

Esprit embraces “fast fashion” in China turnaround | beyondbrics

The European banking system still is a mess: RBS edition | Quartz

China is spending a fortune on science—and is getting robbed blind by corrupt scientists | Quartz

China’s giant pile of copper is inflating its credit bubble | Quartz – China’s import data surprised many today when it revealed that its traders bought397,459 tonnes (438,124 tons) of refined copperin January, just shy of the record 406,937 tonnes imported in December 2011, and up 63.5% on January 2012

Can the Same Manager Sell Pampers and Pantene? P&G Says No | Wall Street Journal – beauty needs specialist management

Gucci is selling too much to the wrong people | Quartz

Lookout study: hackers target mobile attacks by region | PCWorld

Life Before (and After) Page Numbers | The Atlantic

Social media is making you stupid | Time

WhatsApp is the first of several big acquisitions for Facebook – I, Cringely

Nokia may consider merging with Juniper: reportGerman outlet Manager Magazin Online has reported that Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), the bits of Nokia Microsoft didn’t buy, is considering a transaction of some sort with Juniper Networks.… – interesting move, I think that this is better than Alcatel Lucent

South Korea green lights Stuxnet-like code weapons to nark NORKS – how successful would this really be against North Korea? Also given that South Korea is one of the most connected countries on earth and reliant on poor quality security enshrined in law based around ActiveX, retaliation would be devastating

I am out of tune with these times |Bronte Capital…but the valuation has to make sense on fairly modest assumptions before I get excited. I owned Facebook in the twenties. I could make the per-subscriber numbers work – interesting read, I imagine Warren Buffett’s take would be similar

Chartered Institute of Public Relations – State Of The Profession – once you take account of their natural bias to flog CPD and qualifications it makes an interesting read (PDF)

Want to sell luxury handbags to Chinese tourists? Open more stores in ParisSteadily growing throngs of spendthrift Chinese tourists have been one of the lone bright spots for consumer economies around the world – luxury tax, tax avoidance by business people and a desire for experiences drive overseas purchases

Jolla’s Sailfish OS and smartphones are commercially ready and heading into new markets – smart of them to get this new out in advance of MWC media scrum

Android users will get to install Jolla’s rival Sailfish OS, bit by bit – Jolla’s Sailfish OS isn’t Android – not even an Amazon-style fork – but it can run Android apps and manufacturers can put it on the same hardware they use for Android devices – now if they could get this running on Huawei hardware so you can bin the crap Emotion UI…

What to do if your organisation is the victim of a fraud attack |

David Beckham a role model for Hong Kong househusbands | CampaignAsia – Describing the inner life of a misunderstood species of Hong Kong consumer. (Paywall)

E-cigarette lets you smoke, take calls, and play music | Irish ExaminerThe new Supersmoker Bluetooth e-cigarette, you’ll be able to receive calls right from your e-cig. For €79, the Supersmoker also acts as a speaker for your music. – wrong, just wrong

China-based social marketing service Kmsocial raises ‘tens of millions’ – good quality near real-time measurement and analytics tools that actually work in China are a big need. Marketing automation than then follow

NTT DoCoMo on 5G mobile – (PDF)

The UK and it’s similarity to ancient Greece

At the moment in the UK, there is an ongoing exchange of ideas in the media and by politicians in favour of, and against Scotland becoming an independent country outside the union of the United Kingdom.  What I have noticed during my short time in country is the vast difference between London and the rest of the UK.

For as long as I can remember there were different scenes in London compared to the North. Rare groove was a very London thing, whilst acid house started to percolate through the clubs in the North of England. (Admittedly Colin Dale doesn’t get enough credit in his work championing early house in London).  Going back further, the Ska revival came out of the Midlands and Northern Soul was called that because it was played from Wigan to Stoke-on-Trent.  All Around The World Records regularly charts with singles and compilation albums that seem crass and unsophisticated to a London audience, precisely because they are aimed at audiences outside the capital.

This cultural divide extends online, tools like Foursquare have a much lower adoption rate outside the M25, part of this is down to poor mobile infrastructure – which is worse than the Swiss cheese nature of networks in London.
The disparity between London and the rest of the country reminded me of the old city states in Greece, I don’t want to flatter London by comparing it Athens, (lets face it Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney are more akin to Sparta), but the difference between London and the hinterlands hints at a de-facto independence.

So what does all this mean for social media marketers? This is something that I have pondered the past few days. I think that there is a case for a definite segmentation in the approach; targeted advertising is a given so the change would more in terms of owned media. Outside London; mature platforms like Facebook, with less focus on mobile marketing. In London, a more experimental approach perhaps incorporating WhatsApp to capture mobile phone numbers (which are a more reliable ID than email addresses which can be easily churned).

I would be interested in hearing other people’s ideas on this, please feel free to put any thoughts in the comments box below.