Web 3.0 Asia?

I have mentioned the decreasing popularity of the term “Web 2.0”, this brief speech by google CEO Eric Schmidt in Seoul Digital Forum might provide us with a more concrete evidence.

 According to him, Web 3.0 is “applications that are pieced together. They are relatively small…very fast and customizable, and distributed virally…” I looked up for some other definitions about Web 3.0, it has been frequently referred as a form of “semantic web”, with applications that tailored to the specific individual’s needs. It is not necessarily restricted to specific web sites or services, but is more invisible and embedded in our everyday life.

 

What I’m concerned about is how such new form of web construction might influence the Asian web system, as it is based on highly customizable feature and rapid communication, would it make people more connected to each other, or further separate them as distinctive individuals? With its penetration into everyday life, would it bring about more freely expressed content, or actually be applied as a new system of censorship? And as for its feature of viral distribution, would it become a network that is truly global or actually generates networks that are more locally focused? Anyway, looking forward to the spread of this new wave of technical revolution.

 

Tokyo SOWN 2009

My friend was invited to attend this event called “Sense of Wonder Night” (SOWN). This event was a part of 2009 Tokyo Game Show, and she described it as “amazing and inspiring”. Personally I’m not a fan of video games, but I went to check the website of this event and found it pretty interesting.

Basically, “Sense of Wonder Night” was started in 2008, according to its official website, it aims to

  • To introduce games with a game design and ideas that are experimental and creative, and that cannot be called conventional or traditional
  • To heighten awareness of the importance of creating a game that gives people a “sense of wonder”, a sense that something will change in their world, and to invigorate the game industry
  • To offer people creating experimental games opportunities for the future
  • To create new domains in the game industry

Having watched some presentations regarding the video games that won awards in SOWN, I think this event is a very good chance for people to dig what is behind the production of innovative video games, and gain an idea of the game developers’ brainstorming process. Not only did this event reveal these production concepts embedded in these awesome video games to the audience, it also brought the discussion to the next level by exploring the possible potential of these concepts in shaping people’s thoughts and perceptions within many other cultural areas such as architectural, music, advertising industries.

Here is a game titled Hazard — The Journey Of Life  developed by Alexander Bruce from Australia.
Check out the presentation of this game:

& the Trailor of the game:

 

Just Plane Thoughts by Malaysian Brand AirAsia

I found this interesting site while navigating through the Malaysian AirAsia website. The company innovatively embedded this blog called Just Plane Thoughts into its customer service website.


 (Source: AirAsia)

It is like a digital version of those magazines offered by airplane company for you to read while sit on the plane. In this blog, the readers (not just AirAsia customers) can submit blog posts related to their travel experiences. They feature a wide range of topics like shopping and dining accounts as well as experiences in airports around the world. Some posts also include personal photos and videos. The blog also provide information about the company’s latest offer and services, and encourage people to comment on it and provides recommendations for their future improvement (See here). Besides, the blog is also a platform for the company to handle some of their public crisis, as it has posts showing how the corporate deal with people’s complaints and respond to issues related to the damage of corporate’s public image (like this post). 

I think the function of this blog involves a mix of public relation and advertising. It plays an important role in presenting the corporate’s respect and responsibility to its current and potential customers. So it can be seen as a good example which incorporates digital social media into corporate business.

For extra example of using digital media for promotion of corporate culture, see my previous posting here. Besides, I found here is also an excellent posting regrading Lipton.

Singapore: Tweet for Treasure

One friend invited me to this very interesting Twitter activity started by StarHub, the second largest broadband company in Singapore. The activity is called ‘Great Singapore treasure hunt’. Although the participation of this activity involves both getting clues online and “hunting for treasure” offline in the city of Singapore, I found this activity a very successful case for the broadband company to engage its current and potential customers via social media.

 

Basically the website releases a new round of task every one or two days via Twitter, the task includes the hunting for “treasure” within CBD of Singapore, and  the details of the instructions and clues will be only tweeted to people who joined the twitter group. It usually requires the participants to solve the riddles online with the help of tools such as Google, Flickr, YouTube and Windows Live Messenger. The first person who solve the riddles (by tweeting the answer back) and get to the location where treasure is placed can win a cheque for S$10,000. The “treasure hunt” actually emphasizes the importance of the speed, which is an important part of the brand image of StarHub broadband.

 

The fans of the activity also have a Facebook group, which is said to have amassing over 25,000 fans in a three-week period and became Singapore’s largest Facebook fan group.

(Pic Source:tweet a treasure in Twitter)

Iphone Asia

Iphone has started its expansion of Asia market since 2008, while it seems that there are a number of complex issues they need to take care of at the same time of the launch of this world’s revolutionary smartphone in Asia. 

Japan— Aggressive Competitors
Release date: July 11, 2008

( Source: NY Times)

Japan is one of the earliest Asian market targeted by Apple, while its selling in Japan hasn’t been very good compared with other smartphones produced by companies like NEC, SHARP, and PANASONIC. Acccording to a report in 2008, iPhone only made up a tiny portion of Japan’s 115 million cell-phone market. Takeshi Natsuno, the Japan smartphone pioneer who developed Japan’s first Internet-linking cell phone service “i-mode” in 1999, said “smartphone has already reached a very mature market in Japan, so Apple might need to struggle a bit to reach its expected share of Japanese market.”

 

China – Priracy, better choice?
Relase date: Oct 30, 2009 

It is said that the largest ratio of pirated digital application is found in China (37%). Like some people commented, “Chinese don’t wait for Apple launch to get ‘iPhone’ ”. Actually the pirated version usually share a very similar looking of iphone, but integrates with a more local smartphone features such as handy Chinese typing applications, more compatible hardwares, and functions that help to speed up its internet speed under the Chinese telecom network…..and more importantly, their price is usually stunningly low.

 

(Source:www.iphonasia.com)

 

South Korea — in the shadow of battery meltdown

Release date: possibly November/December 2009

 

One of the main reason for the delay of the launch of Iphone in South Korea is related to Apple’s recall of 1st generation iPod nanos in South Korea happened early this year. Since December 2008, four users filed complaints with the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards over bugged iPod Nanos — three of them were for battery meltdowns while recharging. The issue was reported by mainstream Korean media and the pictures of melting Nanos have been circulating on the internet. In June 2009, Apple apologized for their neglect in selling the problem products and issued the recall and later released a statement reassuring owners of current-model Nanos. This incident generates pretty negative brand image and reputation for Apple Korea. As a result, South Korea’s telecommunications regulatory body has not given approval for iPhone to be sold in the country until 23 September 2009, and the actual launch date is still not known.

 

 

(Source: http://www.cultofmac.com)

YouTube Korea: Social Responsibility or User Right?

On April 1st, 2009, South Korea’s telecommunication authority deployed an act which obligates the Internet user to publish his/her real name when uploading a video or leaving a comment on large social networking sites as in Korea, increasing rate of crimes and suicide cases have been caused by slanderous messages posted on social websites. YouTube was also specified as one of the websites to which the act should be applied. However, after discussing with Google World Headquarters, Google Korea (who owns YouTube Korea) refused the authority’s request on the grounds that anonymity is essential to guarantee freedom of expression on YouTube, and the company disabled any video uploading and commenting instead. YouTube customers in South Korea can only use these features by changing the current region in their personal settings into country other than South Korea.


(Source: Asiajin/Korea)

It was highly anticipated that users would eventually leave YouTube in favor of local competitors Like Pandora.tv after YouTube’s decision. Surprisingly, it was not the case. According to a survey by Korean Times in June 2009, for the first time since its launch in Korea in 2008, YouTube became the number one video portal in terms of overall usage time with a 42.79% market share. It shows that Google’s move of disabling the uploading and commenting system does not influence people’s use of the YouTube website. People believe that YouTube’s features like quick registration process, the possibility to embed videos on Cyworld (first social network in Korea), as well as the amount and diversity of content made available from its worldwide user base are all reasons they decide to stick to YouTube.

It was commonly known that it is important for global websites such as YouTube to tailor to the specific local market so as to localize its brand image, this involves operating with respect for local morals and ethics. The response by YouTube Korea here seems to strike a balance between its social responsibility and the protection of its users’ right. It is obvious an excellent way of building a strong position in the Korean market and at the same time casts no negative effect on the corporate’s business.

Australian Pavilion for 2010 Shanghai World Expo Homepage

As a local Shanghainese, I pay particular attention to Shanghai World Expo, which is to be held between May and October 2010.

The website for Australian Pavilion was launched in early 2009, it provides very detailed information about the Pavilion itself including its construction process and the series of events to be held in the Pavilion. It also contains a significant proportion of content in promoting the national image of Australia and the country’s culture. Besides, there is also a page devoted particularly to Australia-China relationship.

 

I guess the presence of Australian Pavilion in Shanghai World Expo is a good chance to tighten the cultural ties between the two countries, which would be beneficial to the business development for both. This seems to be even more important especially after the wide media coverage about the incidents that caused fluctuations in the relationship, such as the Rio Tinto case as well as the issue related to Rebiya Kadeer.

The theme of the Pavilion is positioned as ImagiNation.

And the  mascot is one cheeky kookaburra named “Peng Peng”.

(Source: http://www.australianpavilion.com/en/default.aspx)