Archive for the 'social networking' Category

Singapore2010 – New media to be extensively used in Youth Olympics 2010

Perhaps in recognition of the power of social media to transcend national and geographical boundaries as well as its ability to generate awareness and build excitement, the organizing committee behind Singapore’s successful bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010 announced that new media will be extensively used. 

This is what the Straits Times–the country’s state paper–said: “The new media platform will be extensively used to reach out to youths worldwide by developing youth communities and strengthening the connections between young people even before the YOG begins.” (Feb 21, 2008, ST)

Check out the following 2010 social media sites:




yog2010_facebook.jpg 2010 discussion forum



Institute of Public Relations Singapore PR 2.0 Conference

I recently attended a conferenced organized by the Institute of Public Relations Singapore, entitled “PR 2.0: Engaging Stakeholders in the New Media Landscape.” 


It featured a number of great speakers with interesting ideas to share.  An example would be Christopher Graves (Ogilvy PR’s President, Asia Pacific), who shared the agency’s thinking on the social media landscape.  It was of course also a subtle plug for Ogilvy PR’s newly launched 360 Degree Digital Influence practice


Other speakers include John Kerr of Edelman, who by now is a familiar face in the social media lecture circuit, but who nonetheless always makes it a point to customize his presentation to suit the needs of the audience and occasion. 

Melvin Yuan of The PR 2.0 Universe moderated what was probably the most scintillating panel discussion, owing to a penetrating question asked by Dr. Jim Macnamara (General Manager, Research, for CARMA).  Jim’s point was that while outreaching to “celebrity bloggers” to evaluate or endorse a product was a great promotional tactic, it wasn’t authentic (which was a word one of the panel speaker used to describe such efforts).  I have to agree with Jim.  Even though bloggers are not technically obliged to blog about free products they receive, those who do have made a business out of blogging know that if they don’t, or if they write an overlydisparaging review, companies and PR agencies may start giving them a wide berth.  Even in traditional media organizations, marketing preriodically exert influence over editorial.  Having said that, I hope that consumers will be sophisticated enough to take what they come across in the media–old and new–with a pinch of salt and look for corroborative evidence instead of relying on any one souce to make a decision.


My colleague and friend Walter Lim, who heads corporate communications and industry promotions at the National Heritage Board, shared how blogger outreach made a difference in the International Museums Day 2006 and the success of NHB’s blog.

SMU PodCamp 2007 – The seeds of a social media movement in Singapore?

While, as organizer Michael Netzley said, the SMU PodCamp 2007 was more a hybrid powwow than an unconference in the purest sense of the word, I think it was an excellent way to get the local social media types–and hopefully a few skeptics–excited about the new vistas that social media can open up to communicators and companies.

podcamp_michael_netzley_1.jpg podcamp_mitch_joel_1.jpg

The primary feature speaker was Mitch Joel, president of Quebec-based marketing firm Twist Image.  Mitch did his “Six Pixels of Separation” presentation–essentially making the points that we live in a world that is more connected than ever before and that it is not technology that connects us, it is content.  In fact, he made the point that content is media.

podcamp_six_pixels.jpg podcamp_mitch_joel_2.jpg

The afternoon featured local mobile operator StarHub‘s marketing VP sharing a case study of the company’s blogger outreach campaign in the lead-up to the official launch of its Pfingo service.  What I thought was quite fascinating was that some of the bloggers StarHub provided pre-release handsets and information to were journalists of traditional media who also happened to blog (mentioned was Alfred Siew of Straits Times, among others).  Sure, it’d be a scoop for a blogger to be the first to break the news on a pre-release product, but if that blogger also happened to write for a traditional media organization, what would his/her editor think?

starhub_pfingo.jpg starhub_pfingo2.jpg

John Kerr, who leads Edelman’s Southeast Asia social media practice also presented some interesting slides on media consumption trends in Asia, as well as its now annual Trust Barometer study.

podcamp_john_kerr.jpg  podcamp_michael_mitch_1.jpg

The second day was spent mostly with Mitch doing a demo of some of the cool social media sites such as, Linkedin.  I have to say I wasn’t motivated enough to start my own accounts until I saw what they could do through Mitch’s demo.  Now, my account is at, and my Linkedin account is at  I will continue to build on them over the next weeks and months ahead.

Hopefully this podcamp will sow the seeds, creating ripples of change in Singapore when it comes to social media communication.  Kudos, Michael, for putting this together, and till PodCamp 2008!

Page views versus time spent — the Web marketing conundrum

For a while now, new media marketers have been vexing over various models of calculating their Web marketing ROI. 

Is time spent more meaningful a measure than page views?  But let’s say John Doe spends 3 minutes on a given Webpage, how do we know how many minutes (or more likely, seconds), he has spent on, say, a banner ad at the top, a video ad embedded onto the page, ads on the side bars, etc?  Or if he only focused on the article/text he was reading and managed to ignore the blinking ads?

 KD Paine has a take on this issue that is well worth considering.  Check it out.For all its limitations (which is closely tied to the nascence of the medium), my view is that ROI for online marketing is still more trackable than say, an ad placed on the newspaper.  We don’t even know if anyone encountered the newspaper ad, and often, all that we can rely on is what the ad sales person assures us is the circulation, readership profile, etc of the paper in question.

Avoiding the MySpace mistake – 8 dos and don’ts for social media marketing

BusinessWeek is one of the most prolific general business periodical I know of when it comes to articles on social media marketing.  While the latest May 8 piece shared some quick tips on helpful (and unhelpful) behavior when trying to market a small business using social networking sites such as MySpace, the principles are applicable across other social media platforms such as blogs and podcasts.

Most useful is the reminder to avoid hard sell.  Nobody wants to surf on to a blog overtly hawking the supposedly latest-and-greatest ware, nor are people interested in tuning in to a podcast droning endlessly about the matchless virtue of a product. 

 This is linked to what I think is the next most important point, i.e. participating in social media is about giving, not taking.  Of course, marketers and public relations professionals in a business environment have bottomline imperatives and are not expected to be doling out advice and tips with no clear objective.  But part of being in a conversation means listening, acknowledging, and contributing.  And when you establish yourself as a credible, constructive voice, your messages will be received with greater receptivity and you’ll find that the community is more reciprocal when you have a conundrum that could benefit from more brain waves. 

And of course, along the way, you establish valuable contacts and grow a community that is actively paying heed to what you have to say about trends and developments in your industry, adding to your brand value and reputation. 

Click here for the BusinessWeek article (or here for the print-ready version).

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