Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook and Google, Two Giants in Digital Ads, Seek More – The New York Times – Facebook combining Nielsen TV data, treating its ads like TV. and Google plays catch-up with targeting by email address

“Negropodamus” disses Internet of Things, predicts knowledge pills | Ars Technica – I think Negroponte gets it right on a lot of IoT applications

Two HN Announcements – Y Combinator Posthaven – big move but interesting why they felt now was the right time

Volkswagen Faces Harsher Penalties Than a U.S. Company Might | NYTImes – interesting that the New York Times admits discriminatory prosecution practices against foreign firms

China’s smartphone market continues online shift | TelecomAsia – implied no carrier subsidies and probable show rooming behaviour. For handsets like Xiaomi and OnePlus this is likely to be trying a friend’s device

Valuing Vodafone | Digital Evangelist – Liberty was a joker of a bid anyway, Ian give its a more in-depth response

Sony to skip PlayStation Vita 2, blames mobile gaming for handheld’s decline | ExtremeTech  – When the DS debuted and promptly tanked, I wondered if there was still a market for dedicated handhelds. Nintendo proved there was, provided you hit price points and committed to supporting it over the long term. Sony didn’t — and that fact explains far more of the difference between the two companies than all the smartphones in the world

Could Didi Kuaidi take on Uber Internationally, and Win? | – probably not but it is gaining traction

Apple Is Sourcing A9 Chips From Both Samsung and TSMC | Chipworks – interesting because of the work that has to go into two different taping out processes

Google To Let Advertisers Upload And Target Email Lists In AdWords With Customer Match – not terribly surprised by this, Facebook and Twitter have done this for a good while. Sina Weibo have been doing it

The Royal Spanish Botnet Army | Motherboard – interesting article on political social media spam in Spain

The Switch – I love the idea of this Netflix switch and the way they have approached making it available

NHS Approved Health Apps Could be Leaking Your User Data | Lifehacker – which makes it harder to encourage adoption

Guess what: Millennials aren’t all the same when it comes to news consumption » Nieman Journalism Lab – not terribly surprising, though the millennials I have worked with don’t read news in the traditional sense

Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future of Computer Chips – The New York Times – new directions required as Moore’s Law is running out of steam

Is Android a monopoly? | The Verge – I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s argument, although I could see that you could argue consumer benefit. I could also see how the government can see clear parallels between Microsoft’s bundling policies which got them in hot water and Google’s bundling of its own services on Android

Here’s what happens in tech when the money runs dry – Business Insider – “Uber for X” or gaggle of startups that want to recreate everything their mom did for them – probably the best descriptor of many start-ups today

China Company Directors and China Criminal Liability | China Law Blog – interesting piece on the differences in Chinese company director convictions and those in the west. It’s about direct responsibility

What Happens Next Will Amaze You | Idlewords – the title is ironic, great downbeat summary on the state of the web

An NPR Reporter Raced A Machine To Write A News Story. Who Won? : Planet Money : NPR – so if machines can turn out stories where does that leave press release writing and media relations?

Ron Arad’s tablet design concept for LG

Ron Arad is more famous for his architecture and art than product design. I went along to see him speak at an event that is part of London Design Festival last week thanks to the China-Britain Cultural Exchange Association. Arad’s presentation felt largely unplanned as the curator of the talk asked him to jump around from project to project rather than a clear narrative being presented. Arad showed imagery or video that he then talked around.

During the presentation Arad showed off the design concept that he did for LG that pre-dated the iPad. It sounded at the event like he had started his thinking in 1997, but the sources I looked at online stated that this project was done in 2002 and the video copy I found on YouTube states that the copyright is 2003.

The video is quite prescient in a number of ways

  • The device was primarily about content consumption and messaging
  • He nailed the in-home use case, with the exception of realising that the iPad may be a communal shared device rather than belonging to an individual
  • It has a flat design interface (though this might be a limitation of their ability to create it on video and a spin on the circular LG logo)
  • The soft keyboard on screen
  • There is no stylus
    There was auto-rotation of the screen
  • It has no user serviceable parts (this was at the time when cellphones and laptops came with detachable batteries)
  • Inductive charging with a table rather than the small pad used by the like of the Microsoft/Nokia Lumia devices
  • The way the controls where superimposed on footage of the user working with the device is reminiscent of the way TV and films are now treating parts of a plot that involves messaging

There were a few things that it got wrong:

  • Arad clearly didn’t understand the significance of the iPod, so the device had an optical drive rather than side loaded video content
  • The device is really big, more like a laptop screen than a phablet, a la the iPad Mini or Galaxy Tab
  • The form factor was too thick, understandably so when they are trying to squeeze a battery and optical drive in the device, the thickness had a benefit in that the device was self-standing. Apple relied on covers and cases to provide the standing mechanism

More information
The Israeli designer who (almost) invented the iPad | Times of Israel
The Simple Way “Sherlock” Solved Hollywood’s Problem With Text Messaging | Fast Company

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Google faces new US antitrust scrutiny, this time over smartphones – CNET – this could fragment Android distributions quite dramatically…

Researchers reveal millennials will take a 25,000 photos of themselves in their lifetime | Daily Mail Online – lifeblogging or qualitative ‘quantified self’?

Here’s where teens shop as old favorite stores go extinct | Fusion – Malls still are super important to teen culture as physical spaces you can go to hangout without parents

Are Millennials Delusional? Half Say They’ll Cover The Cost Of College For Their Kids – Forbes – quite how they will do this is another matter given the hockey stick pricing model that education seems to be following

TBS is giving eSports its mainstream moment with new weekly program – Digiday – interesting move, US media following normal practice in Korea

A brief history of scratching | FACT magazine – a great piece but skips over many of the greats prior to Q-Bert et al such as Mr Mixx, DJ Supreme and DJ Pogo

From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities | The Intercept – basically you have no privacy, presumably this would allow them to zoom in on Tor users at some point?

Traackr – beyond the buzzword event

Thanks to Delphine at Traackr UK for inviting me alone to their event last week. I started to make notes about what was being presented but in the end also started writing reactive notes as thoughts occurred to me.  Here they are below (with the spelling corrected).
IMG_7976The event was given the theme of ‘beyond the buzzword’ which has multiple interpretations – Traackr looks at influencers more like a granular taxonomy than around keywords, but it also signifies a mainstreaming of ‘influencer marketing’.

There was an explanation of why influencer marketing


        • Authoritative content
        • The ability to better scale high touch relationships, something that traditional public relations isn’t able to do. The mix of people in the room from marketing agencies and PR agencies gives an idea of how ‘blended’ the concept of influencer marketing is. PR agencies see it as an extension of PR, specialist agencies see it in a different light and mainstream marketing agencies see it as an extension of their content marketing divisions


What became apparent to me during listening to the introduction and the presentations was that Traackr and the people on stage hadn’t met the same requirements I’d heard from clients with regards a business case for influencer marketing. Influencer marketing wasn’t quite taken as an article of faith, but considered to be a good thing. There was a focus on measurement benchmarking and a lack of concern over RoI or the lack of econometric data to back up the decision. The lack of econometric data to support PR is starting to become an issue and may affect where PR sits (at least in B2B environments at least for those companies with a strong marketing automation programme in place). IMG_7966
There was some hints that influencer marketing was looked at in a similar to customer services, in particular the advocacy journey above reminded me of customer service models.

Coca Cola
Coca-Cola focus the majority of their influencer relations programmes on what Brian Solis calls the Magic middle, the point at between the head and the long tail in a ‘long tail distribution’, the man from Coca-Cola defined this as  ‘people who don’t have agents and strong bonds with followers’. They are likely to know the majority of their followers personally. They use interaction and prize give-aways as a way of encouraging brand advocacy and continued heavy consumption patterns. In a similar way to on pack tokens and giveaways would have done in pre-internet times.
They also like to do activities that encourage co-creation and in-real-life (IRL) interaction was consider the acme of these campaign interactions. When asked about whether they use sponsored / affiliate marketing of magic middle influencers – Coca-Cola generally don’t touch them. They only pay for a-listers and this seems to be on a market-by-market basis.
Interestingly, they use Traackr to consolidate programme data, keep things up to date, integrate with rest of the toolbox. I wonder what would be economics of this approach rather than using Salesforce’s tools to provide the customer records?
 The objectives for influencer marketing at Coca-Cola where around brand love, brand affinity and purchase intent – which makes sense given the dynamics of the mature market oligarchy that they operate in.
De Grisogono
De Grisogono is a Swiss-based jewellery brand that also make mens watches. They discussed their use of influencer marketing as part of a panel discussion. Historically luxury brands had been slow to react to social platforms due to their perception of exclusivity and what it meant to be exclusive. In many cases social was imposed by customers on the brands. De Grisogono sees social and influencer marketing as an extension of their IRL social events. Since they are a relatively new brand there was  also no heritage as baggage.
There overall intent is to drive footfall into stores, however it was interesting that they don’t look at location-based services like Swarm/Foursquare and instead focus on content channels. They don’t need to look at customer segmentation, since their approach to pricing does that for them.
They qualify influencers based on expertise and passion. Generally their jewellery influencers have 30-50,000 followers, mens watch influencers have less. This is in sharp contrast to fashion bloggers who may have millions of followers.
When thinking about influencer relations they put a focus on how they design content and experiences. They also pay a lot of attention to provide clients and prospects at any IRL events that influencers attend with adequate privacy.
The brand produces content that features influencer, to keep the production levels high. User generated content is not obvious for for a luxury brand (despite customers taking selfies) – De Grisogono take a more graduated control of visual content than other brands.
In trying to define the ROI, De Grisogono said that they don’t measure it explicitly but have noticed a causality between influencer coverage  and a 300 percent increase in press coverage.

Happy mid-autumn festival

Especially to my peeps in Hong Kong
Happy mid autumn festival

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Smartphone App Users Spend Half of Their Total App Time With Their Favorite One | Marketing Charts – which had big implications for the app economy

EPIC – Decision by EU Legal Advisor Signals End of “Safe Harbor” – big affect on American marketing companies and requires cloud providers to have European data shards if they don’t already

Bye Bye U-2: CIA Legend Allen Predicts End Of Manned Reconnaissance « Breaking Defense – inevitable. Not having to have the payload of a pilot, with supporting supporting safety and life support systems

Corporate reputation cannot be managed, built or protected by PR people alone | Marketing Interactive – interesting article not so much because of its assertions about social media, but that it implies PR is becoming a philosophy, think ‘marketing orientated organisations’ versus ‘sales orientated organisations’ as marketers used to discuss them

Groupon Is Laying Off 1,100 At A Cost Of $35M, Shutters Operations In 7 Countries | TechCrunch – I was surprised to see Taiwan and Thailand on these lists

Luxury brands can be their own worst enemy | CNBC – devaluing and diluting their brand

Atlas by Quartz – a great resource to find research

Goldman Sachs is using Snapchat stories to lure millennials into its workforce | BusinessInsider – interesting use of SnapChat for corporate marketing

Lenovo appoints ex-McKinsey executive Gordon Orr to board as group diversifies from PCs to mobile and enterprise | South China Morning Post – Orr, who currently also serves as a non-executive director at Hong Kong-listed conglomerate Swire Pacific, retired from McKinsey last month. (Paywall)

Urban Networks: Spreading the flow of goods, people and ideas – Glaeser, Ponzetto & Zau – interesting study on how architecture impacts use, adoption and effects of technology – puts a new take on smart cities (PDF)

U.S. and China Seek Arms Deal for Cyberspace – The New York Times – this isn’t going to solve US problems around data breaches

Alibaba Shares, Down 45% From Their Peak, Have Had A Wild First Year – TheStreet – whilst the Chinese economy is quieter, there is still a growth opportunity in disrupting bricks-and-mortar stores. Chinese department stores have suffered financially, its a train that isn’t likely to stop

Legendary CPU architect Jim Keller leaves AMD – – its amazing how AMD’s fortunes have changed since I worked on them nine years ago. At that time they were a worthy challenger in desktop and server market

D-Link Private Code-Signing Keys Leaked | Threatpost – so potentially lots of compromised routers that can be built into a distributed bot net with the right skills….

Facebook Now Lets Advertisers Pay Only For Fully Visible Ads | Fast Company – which will appeal a lot to of big advertisers like Unilever

Samsung’s S Health is now available for all Android smartphones | Android Central – interesting the way they have expanded it, originally this would have been a Samsung USPP, there must be a gain in having a wider data pool?

Coca-Cola Sees No Sales Impact From Online Buzz; Says Digital Display As Effective As TV | CMO Strategy – Advertising Age – really interesting study on the effect of social. One problem is that of data quality

Unilever Finds Social-Media Buzz Really Does Drive Sales | Advertising Age – interesting how social doesn’t help Coca-Cola but does help Unilever, context is much more nuanced

EPA accuses Volkswagen, Audi of evading emission laws | USA Today – this is huge. The potential reputation damage to VW group brands is huge. It’s also an impressive hack

Beijing goes up against Uber, Didi Kuaidi with its own car-hailing app | SCMP – I thought that Didi Kuaidi was the government’s champion but it isn’t apparently. A bit like ZTE is an outsider compared to Huawei. Is Didi Kuaidi’s expansion abroad through investing in Lyft a factor in this? (paywall)

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

Weiden + Kennedy Tokyo did this great brand video for Nike Korea, they supported it with a ‘Be Heard’ campaign on KakaoTalk

One of the things that had been keeping me busy over the summer was working with Racepoint Asia on the planning and strategy behind this video to promote the Huawei P8. On reflection it could be cut down to 3:15 with a branded end screen to make it tighter, but its a great bit of video shot by Jenn Russell.

Ashley Vance talks about his talks with Elon Musk of PayPal mafia, Tesla and SpaceX fame

Adidas China put together a few videos of local artists in China to promote the Superstar ‘shelltoe’ trainer. They feature musician Eason Chan (Canto-pop veteran with some EDMish remixes), VJ Mian, pixel sculptor Li Tian Lun, and street muralist Hua Tu Nan. This is hosted on YouKu so you will need to be patient to get it to load

There is something meta about the concept of TED Talks at the Burning Man festival; its like a cliche of daikaiju proportions, but if this gets people interested in mathematics, so much the better.

The #piggate post

In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past few days, Piggate is something you will want to be over by now.

A couple of thoughts on Piggate

  • David Cameron lived out his childhood and young adult life in a world without social media. There will be countless people of his generation thinking ‘there but for the grace of God go I‘ due to the youthful high jinks in military barracks, schools and sports clubs around the world. It’s not pleasant to think about, but it doesn’t surprise me
  • Lord Ashcroft has deliberately burnt bridges with this book and it would be more interesting to find out what persuaded him to take such drastic action. It’s the kind of story worthy of House Of Cards

Finally, how did CassetteBoy manage to put together Getting Piggy With It so fast?

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Hackers threaten to take down websites of Hong Kong banks unless they pay bitcoin ransoms – interesting move and good PR by Akamai, the block chain has allowed researchers to see who is paying up

Direct flights from Hong Kong to Ireland would really see bilateral trade take off, says Irish consul general | South China Morning Post – it would also affect the role as Heathrow as the long haul hub for Irish flights

LINE Maps for Indoor – Android Apps on Google Play – Japan only indoor mapping

BeeCanvas – Collect and share your information visually – great for assembling mood boards

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day over the past couple of weeks:

The South China Morning Post do a really good job of short-form documentaries and vignettes, this one about nightlife in the Pakistani city of Karachi struck me as particularly emblematic of the changes in the country over the years. Ageing middle-class liberals play music and party in private houses, where they used to party inside nightclubs and hotels across the country’s politicians paid more attention to Islamists.

Glove-like socks are made from material stronger than Kevlar – a different take on footwear design by the Swiss Barefoot Company.

Amazing mix of projection mapping and contemporary dance.

William Hill made this great advert for their mobile app under the theme Take Control, what I find curious about this and other videos I am starting to see have high production values but basically no promotion budget. This one has 3,163 views as I write this.

LOG-ON in Hong Kong made these great videos to promote their stores, its simple but engaging.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Fitbit becomes HIPAA compliant as it eyes more business customers | ZDNet – there are a whole range of ethical boundaries in this

Tencent Boards ‘Magic Blade’ Remake | Variety – interesting that Celestial is moving beyond back catalogue

Welcome to 1995 | CCS Insight – mobile phones that are well phones is now apparently a thing. Why aren’t they using more modern networks though? It could work with a greater focus on voice, for the right device I would be happy to go back to two phones: a wireless PDA (aka smartphone) and a mobile phone

Bloomberg and Twitter Sign Data Licensing Agreement | Bloomberg L.P. – enhanced custom alerts and tools

A tale of three Asias | McKinsey & Company – interesting data on China

Nestlé likely to lose bid to trade mark shape of Kit Kat bars in light of EU court ruling, says expert – implications for private label lookalikes a la Asda’s Puffin bar?

Dont Get Hacked. Get CUJO. | Indiegogo – it would be interested to see what Bruce Schneier says about it

3UK Launches free VoLTE | Digital Evangelist – voice standards have declined as voice revenue has declined creating a perfect storm. Purely for business users (though I am sure others would want it too) if nothing else having rock solid, good quality voice would be a must have? I always thought it was a powerful sales pitch for One2One’s Precept service of old

News Corp To Acquire Social Video Ad Platform Unruly | Unruly news room – hopefully they don’t mess up like they did with MySpace. Unruly Media are a great company

Kakao Pay passes 5M users in its first 12 months | VentureBeat – so this may nix Samsung’s payment system at home unless the company leverages its credit card company….

Oprah time: Cultural Strategy by Douglas Holt and Douglas Cameron

I was recommended Holt and Cameron by a client to ‘better help understand their business’. The book is an accessible easy read as business books go. Holt and Cameron propose that culture can be a key defining factor in business success:

  • An organisation culture can make it more resilient or innovative providing a clearly differentiated experience between a brand and its competitors in the eyes of consumers. Their concept of cultural orthodoxy is similar to the red ocean strategy, where companies in mature sectors tend to look alike.
  • By understanding consumers and the cultural context of the product or service, a market opportunity can be found. This is essentially what a good planner does in an advertising agency, but the Dougs look to bake this into the organisation rather than having it as a wrapper at the end of the product process

After reading the book, I am still no wiser about my client was trying to say about their business; but that was more about them than my reading material. This story however emphasises an important point, what may be perceived as a cultural innovation internally in a company may not manifest itself as brand innovation or even a differentiated position.

More information
Cultural Strategy by Holt and Cameron
Cultural Strategy Group

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Steven Brill’s next project: 59,000 words in 15 days | POLITICO – J&J PR team likely to be be bracing itself

U.K. Marketers Will Use Fewer Agencies by 2020, Report Says | Advertising Age – focused on doing prospecting and CRM in-house

Apple iPhone Upgrade Plan May Imperil Carrier Roaming Revenue, Says Morgan Stanley – Tech Trader Daily – – is it affecting carrier business or taking on something carriers wish to abandon?

U2 on Instagram: We’re not sure if kids and their smartphones are saving or destroying our concerts | VentureBeat | Mobile | by Chris O’Brien – beyond the cliches about aging rock starts its an interesting meditation on the effect of social media

HTTP is obsolete. It’s time for the distributed, permanent web – interesting model, not sure that it’s ‘permanent’, would bring up some interesting legal implications

Baidu and CloudFlare Boost Users Over China’s Great Firewall – – needed as China goes global on web services and e-commerce

How Ashley Madison Hid Its Fembot Con From Users and Investigators – failed Turing test

Does Huawei’s Mate S really belong in the top-end bracket? | WantChinaTimes – it is questionable whether the Mate S merits its high price tag, the Chuangshiji report said

Internet of Things: a game changer for cities? – what remains unclear is how IoT will revolutionize urban life and who should take the lead in this transformation

Is Mobile Advertising in China Doomed? | Social Brand Watch – probably no more so than in the West, also Chinese businesses ‘get’ online to offline a lot better

Nintendo is developing a mobile game to put Pokémon in the real world – it reminds me of Google’s Pokemon Master April’s fool day joke; but it also a neat idea

Another European brand has crossed the Atlantic to help satiate the American appetite for cheap clothes – interesting that Primark chose to launch in Boston

The US Marines tested all-male squads against mixed-gender ones, and the results were pretty bleak – it does beg the question why this is so?

Can Goldman Sachs Really Take On the Bloomberg Terminal’s Total Domination | Vanity Fair – if you where a rival would you want to use a Goldman Sachs terminal??? It would be like Publicis using Xaxis from WPP for programmatic ad buys….

Sludge Match | Popbitch – interesting legal case between the Daily Mail and Gawker website

Daring Fireball: Brief Thoughts and Observations Regarding Today’s ‘Hey Siri’ Apple Event – more thoughts on this to follow

A day in the life of a Chinese app addict | Quartz – really nice examples of Chinese mobile life

Qatar telecom operator offers free data services for WeChat Myanmar|WCT – interesting move especially considering the popularity of Facebook there versus other platforms

Alibaba’s planning a Singles Day TV event by Feng Xiaogang | Techinasia – imagine Amazon doing a Black Friday TV special…

Europol’s Cybercrime Agency Has Had Some Problems With Truecrypt | Motherboard – the suspect obviously had a sense of humour too

Baidu’s Xiaodu can search too-BusinessShanghaiDaily Mobile – interesting more empathetic approach than Amazon Echo

Social network Gaption pays for your content | Techinasia – interesting idea, it changes cues for sharing

E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts – WSJ – pricing strategy issues or something else?

Google Plans to Bring App Store to China, Without Media Sales (Report) | Variety – good luck with that

SiliconBeat – BlackBerry buying Good Technology for $425 million – BlackBerry buys the competition

Walkman to iPod: Business-Model Transformation | Re/code – interesting analysis of Samsung

Retailers to spend $2.5b on IoT in 2020 | Telecom Asia – integration of existing RFID with consumer electronics

Researchers say people are choosing public transit so they can stare at their smartphones – really?

Pando: The truth about Uber in China – oh dear (paywall)

Net Politics » New Report: China’s Internet Is Pretty Big – despite The Onion type headline some interesting stats

BBC – The world’s most influential shoppers – interesting thumbnail sketches of Chinese tourists

With new iPhones around the corner Samsung sweetens the deal for ‘Test Drive’ customers – SamMobile – this makes sense as people will have to replace a number of paid apps

Why Profit Doesn’t Come Into It For Apple Music | Music Industry Blog – really interesting analysis

Google helps iOS 9 devs bypass Apple’s encryption because adverts- The Inquirer – don’t be evil – yeah right

China general manufacturing PMI hits 77-month low | Out-Law – its 47.1, anything below 50 is contraction

The perpetual delay of a Line IPO suggests chat apps might not be such a big deal after all – IPOs also aren’t what they used to be

People are confusing computer-generated music with the works of J.S. Bach | Quartz – interesting given that some of the first electronic music was Switched on to Bach by Walter / Wendy Carlos

Chinese people want to know “How was China’s economy destroyed?” | Quartz – when you’ve had it good any kind of market correction is going to seem like this

Former Apple CEO brings low-cost, high-design Android smartphones to emerging markets – yes its John Sculley and with the Chinese manufacturers upping their industrial design game I am not sure this is a long term opportunity, particularly if they don’t get the distribution right

Life with the Dash button: good design for Amazon, bad for everyone else | Engadget – not really getting the beauty of customer context

Sony’s new remote adds a boombox to your TV zapper | Stuff – interesting product design for aging Japanese consumers

The Reason You First Started Shopping at Amazon Is Disappearing | TIME – started off with discounter strategy, now uses loss leader strategy to capture market share from hypermarkets and other stores

Robots were able to make pancakes and pizza after reading Wikihow articles | Fusion – better than many people can do

Even the folders have RSS feeds – The NewsBlur Blog – OMG amazing

How to Add Facebook Author Tag in WordPress | Hongkiat – going to experiment with this

How This Agency’s Completely Blank 4-Minute YouTube Video Got 100,000 Views | Adweek – interesting experiment about viewability

Airbnb Will Make You Pay Tourism Taxes in Paris as of October | WSJ – will it become less attractive?

Daring Fireball: iSight vs. FaceTime Cameras – glad that I wasn’t the only person slightly confused by this

Tint: Display Any Social Feeds Anywhere – got to wonder about the potential legal issues around this, but could be brilliant for experiential stuff