I have been based in Nanjing, China, for the past two months, working on the global English content for the official Web site of the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
This is also my induction to the Great Internet Firewall of China. Previously, when I traveled to China for work or leisure, the trips were usually no more than a week or so. No Facebook? No Twitter? Fine. It is just a few days. I can live with it.
For two months, this is a problem. You see, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have become so integrated into my daily life — especially Google and its suite of online services ranging from Google Docs to Google Maps to Google Translate and the powerful search engine. They are part of my work tools, improving ......[more]
30 July 2014 · by Nadine Kamlow
I originally intended to write this post on the World Cup social media results demonstrating the power of hashtags, fan pages, and the pundits.
In a nutshell: There were millions of interactions.
On second thought, I think the world has already moved on, so I’ll spare you the repetition.
I find myself writing this blog post the day before I fly to Naples, and my holiday preparation has been pushed to the side. Once I land, I fully intend to relax as this is certainly not a business trip. Usually when I travel internationally, I put my iPhone on flight mode, and to check a single e-mail is a sin. I want to be unreachable.
In the last two years, this behaviour has changed dramatically. It is not that I can’t switch off from technology these days, but the way I choose to relax and have fun has changed.
By checking and posting to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook ......[more]
02 July 2014 · by Alvin Lim
Recently, I took on a contract position to work with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Organising Committee, based in Nanjing, China. I’ll be working on the global English Web site for the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games, to be held August 16-28.
Prior to my arrival in Nanjing two weeks ago, I did a scan of the Web site and the social media assets for Nanjing 2014. This was how the Web site looked:
This is how the Web site looks currently:
Are you able to dissect the differences?
Simply put, the Web layout got simpler and cleaner with each version.
This might not seem like much, but it is a major change for a Chinese Web site. Do a quick scan of some of the top Chinese sites, such as Sohu.com, Taobao.com, and Weibo.com. Then compare them to their equivalents in the English world: Google.com, Amazon.com, and Twitter.com.
The difference is obvious. Chinese audiences prefer ......[more]
04 June 2014 · by Nadine Kamlow
You might think that you have your social media strategy sussed. Twitter account? Check. Facebook profile with epic cover photo and followers? Check.
Maybe you have a social strategy for the World Cup.
You might need to think again, as social networks Twitter and Facebook continue to innovate their service to brands, including small-to-medium businesses (SMB).
These innovations are enabling SMBs to be better connected to users and fans while maintaining cost-effectiveness over traditional marketing. Brands now have more ways to get their message out there and to drive sales and generate leads.
Some of the newer features that have been released in the UK, however, are yet to be utilised fully by several brands.
Twitter had a busy fourth quarter in 2013. The social giant not only reported ......[more]
04 May 2014 · by Alvin Lim
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) 2014 World Cup in Brazil is barely a month away. How will you be covering this global news event?
Many marketers have touted this as the first social media World Cup, given the crazy-paced advent of social media in the past few years.
Is your newsroom and marketing team ready to tame this behemoth?
While the previous World Cup in South Africa saw some volume of online chatter, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were significantly smaller four years ago.
From my recollection, the African vuvezela horn and the annoying sound it created was one of the most talked about World Cup topics online.
Imagine another vuvezela-like instrument in Brazil this time around. With meme generators like 9gag, social sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and the explosion of independent online content creators/publishers on channels such YouTube and blogs, the impact will be on an epic scale, never previously seen before....[more]
06 April 2014 · by Nadine Kamlow
I regularly write about the meteoric rise in the use of social media in the last decade. What is most interesting is how humans have demonstrated their capacity for expression by documenting their thoughts, emotions, and opinions on a daily basis — ranging from the momentous to the blatantly pointless.
There are billions of people writing posts accessible by billions, as our collective voices go out across Twitter, Facebook, and other social media vehicles. But does all this expression get us a better brand experience? And, more puzzling, do brands pay attention?
I was recently reading about the government blocks on Twitter and YouTube in Turkey that have been in place since last year; it made me wonder why the Turkish prime minister, as in China, would censor social media.
Is he is doing so purely to boost the world’s perception of his leadership credentials, especially in the run up to the election which took place March 30?
The bans on Twitter and YouTube were accomplished by implementing a block that causes Internet service providers to intercept Google’s domain name. The PM’s reasoning: Allegedly sensitive information regarding the Syrian crisis — an audio recording between two officials that led to corruption allegations — was leaked online....[more]
11 March 2014 · by Alvin Lim
Singapore’s government recently released its 2014 budget, with a generous healthcare-centric payout for the country’s “pioneer generation,” i.e. Singaporeans born before 1950 and who became citizens before 1987.
I was following the budget via social media channels Twitter and Facebook, to see what was being shared and reshared and to get a sense of what Singaporeans are most concerned about.
More than 2,900 tweets were posted during the budget speech by Singapore’s finance minister, and “Budget 2014” quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter:
Not surprisingly, most conversations revolved around the increase in alcohol and cigarette taxes, as most of the active users on social networks are unlikely to be in the pioneer-generation group.
Could the newsrooms in Singapore have tried to steer the online conversations to other news topics revolving around the budget?
It is never easy for any newsroom to condense a complex news event like the budget into bite-size, relevant chunks of information for mass audiences. There are lots of numbers to crunch, and there is plenty of information to digest and distill into a few simple graphs and a few paragraph of text.
Social media makes this harder, along with visual journalism. Speed is of the essence, and you are venturing into wild frontiers when sharing real-time news on social channels. There is little room for error, and the repercussions can be fast and furious.
A simple mistake can be shared and reshared millions of times as some kind of running joke, captured online for posterity....[more]
09 February 2014 · by Nadine Kamlow
Some of the most exciting start-ups from the last few years have produced social platforms or apps that many consumers now rely on daily.
What do they all have in common?
- They were founded by tech geniuses with a hunger to bring something new and exciting to the world.
- They have a non-traditional, accessible revenue model, such as “freemium.”
- And they have seamless social functionality that enables them to achieve rapid audience growth, fan recruitment, and promotion.
I want to take you back just two years ago to have a look at one of the winners of The Telegraph’s Start-Up 100 Tech Awards in 2011: Spotify.
The company’s ongoing success since its original launch in 2008 has transformed it from a promising start-up to a global commercial music-streaming service with more than 1,000 employees.
It is hard to imagine a time when we listened to music without Spotify. With millions of songs, instant listening, and only the odd advertisement to listen to, it is fair to say this former start-up helped change the way that we listen to music....[more]
14 January 2014 · by Alvin Lim
Happy New Year everyone!
While I was posting and sharing all these lists on my blog, I tried to fish for a pattern among them....[more]
01 January 2014 · by Nadine Kamlow
The unassailable global rise of mobile and tablet adoption during the last four years has led to a trend in second-screening, most notably in the United States and United Kingdom.
We already know, from eMarketer, that one in three consumers in the UK are regular tablet users. Also, research from Sparkler (commissioned by Microsoft) tells us a massive 70% of UK families use a second screen while watching television, with the main purpose being to communicate via social media.
The biggest real time response-generating medium remains to television. But with the rise of the second screen, engagement and response levels to TV programmes and advertising are higher than ever.
It is worth noting that, in the UK, many users have always interacted with a second medium before the mobile and tablet phenomenon, which has happened only in the last few years. Does anyone remember the red button?
The benefit of mobile and tablet is that these devices are personalised to the users, allowing them to instantly share their reaction — be it joy or anger — to the TV programme they are watching.
Users’ reactions to a show are amplified to their social networks, where their friends, followers, and other fans are invited to become involved in the experience.
This is an exciting new era for advertisers, who now have the potential to innovate TV ads to make them more social and interactive. The benefit of the growing number of users who have the technology at their fingertips is how easy it is for them to engage....[more]