Friday, January 18, 2008

MySpace & Facebook = Hollywood & Silicon Valley?

Glam VS Geeks

Do you Facebook or MySpace? Increasingly, membership in one social network does not necessarily rule out the appeal of belonging to the other. Of course, each company wants you visit their site more often than the other (if not exclusively)—all the more reason to differentiate. To that end, MySpace, the 800-pound News Corp.—owned gorilla, made three major announcements this week—two of which served to underscore a deepening fundamental difference in philosophy from its closest rival, Facebook. "MySpace is Hollywood and Facebook is Silicon Valley," says David Card, a senior analyst for Jupiter Research. Or you could put it this way: MySpace is glam; Facebook is geek. Not that there's anything wrong with either.
MySpace announced Tuesday that it has forged a splashy licensing agreement with Sony BMG—the world's second largest label—for access to streaming videos, music and other content. The partnership calls for the social-networking giant and the music studio to share advertising revenue. And in a bid to conquer the social-networking world beyond U.S. borders, MySpace will soon be offering its 110 million active monthly users free voice chats via a new partnership with Skpe (220 million strong, mostly outside of the States). In a new service called MySpace IM with Skype, the Internet phone company will enhance the MySpace instant messaging service with new free VoIP capabilities starting November. (The companies will split the revenue, but specifics of the arrangement were not disclosed.)

These moves stand in direct contrast to Facebook, which instead of teaming with major media players to build services for its network of 47 million active users, allows third-party developers to build applications. A staggering 6,000 applications have been built for Facebook just this year. "We are not a media company," Mark Zuckerberg, the wunderkind brains behind Facebook, announced at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco this week. Analysts are inclined to agree. "I think there's a core philosophical difference, but [it's] the same revenue engine at the end," says Jupiter's Card. That engine, of course, is advertising. But with its Skype and Sony BMG announcements, original programming and hosting concert tours, MySpace seems to be morphing into an entertainment portal where everyone is in your extended network (and a potential audience member).
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Facebook, on the other hand, has tended to be more of a communications hub than its rival. Its platform infrastructure is built around connecting you to your actual friends—hence the viral appeal of applications like Scrabulous, Where I've Been and Top Friends. Oh, and it's even already possible to make calls on Skype through some Facebook apps. And, to be fair, the private company is a chic geek. It's a media darling despite having about half the active users of its chief rival. Its enviable flavor-of-the-month veneer is due in no small part to the cagey Zuckerberg, who has declined outlandish offers for his company in order to stay in control. He's also maintained a vigorous reluctance to publicly adopt anything as mundane as a business model. Meanwhile, Microsoft, Google and other funds have reportedly been in talks with the site, considering investments that industry-watchers say would put the value of Facebook at a hard-to-fathom $10 billion (MySpace has been estimated at least $16 billion).
This is where MySpace's third big announcement this week enters the picture. Perhaps in a bid to make inroads with the developer crowd that has become so loyal to Facebook, MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch confirmed at the Web 2.0 Summit that the company is working on a developer platform of its own. Details were sketchy and the date of its launch likely farther off than "within a couple of months" as vaguely promised. Even Kyle Brinkman, vice president of product development of the social network, wavered slightly in his enthusiasm for third-party development. "I do think there's a place for widgets and add-on applications," he tells NEWSWEEK. "But where we see core propositions for our users, that's where we want to build services ourselves."

Which means MySpace is thinking like, well, an old media company. "They may be creating some big synergies for partnering and monetization, but I don't think it's really revolutionary thinking at all," says Rodney Rumford, a consultant and publisher of FaceReviews, a blog that tracks and critiques the network's applications. "Where Facebook has a great advantage in the long term is the ability not to serve me ads based on what page I happen to be on, but through my behavior. It knows what groups I'm in, it knows my behavior and it knows my friends." How they end up doing that remains to be seen. But as far as users are concerned, it increasingly seems to make sense to belong to both: one for your music fix and the other to keep tabs on your friends.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Manchester United tops the table!

Fernando Torres paid off another portion of his £26.5million transfer fee with a dazzling equaliser for Liverpool but it was only enough to secure the reds ... 1 point.

So i suggest you turn your heads to Christino Ronaldo instead, who nipped in his first hat trick of the season.

Manchester United 6 - 0 Newcastle United

video

Hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo led a merciless second-half destruction of crisis club Newcastle as the Red Devils soared back to the top of the table with a 6-0 rout

With Ronaldo in this mood, it is difficult to see how they can be stopped.


After a goalless opening period, the Portugal winger broke Newcastle's resistance with a low free-kick, added a startling second with a neat finish to a move involving Wayne Rooney and double scorer Carlos Tevez, then completed his first United three-timer two minutes from time.

Ferdinand was full of praise for Ronaldo.


'He's been doing it for two years now and long may it continue"


'It's about time he had a hat-trick and he's done it today.'


Ronaldo, meanwhile, added: 'It's a special day, I'm very happy for the win and going top of the league is most important.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Chrysler 300, engineered beautifully

I came across this Chrysler campaign on You Tube with the tagline "engineered beautifully" and i must say the tagline reflects not only the 300 but also the execution of this online campaign


I've posted the above link to some of my friends, and ive seen some very intrigued responses.

It sparked immediate interest especially with one of my mates who runs a business selling vintage japanese guitars and who is also thinking of an internet setup to promote his guitars.

However, his interest was subsequently killed when he thought of the cost that's gonna be incured to setup a similiar campaign

Well, that is really the magic of this campaign. Perceived to be posh, but the actual and only cost commitment to this campaign was only the spot on You Tube's homepage that drives traffic to the contest platform, which leverages on You Tube and which is totally free. You just need to create an account and customize your personal page, then drive traffic there

Even the ambassador Chrysler 300 adopted was their own vice president of design & specialty vehicles, Ralph Gilles. By the looks, he's the pimp, the Dr Dre, the perfect image for the pimp ride, Chrysler 300


Not only is it cost effecient (relative to hiring Snoop Dogg or Justin Timberlake), but its proven to be an effective way of marketing. That's why you've been seeing so much of Tony Fernandes & Shazali Ramli in the media


In a nutshell, this campaign is a mix of leveraging user generated content - inviting normal consumers to be the brand ambassadors. Not only you save on production cost, but normal consumers provide genuine & credible testimonials for your brand. No fees required for adopting celebrities, instead their own VP from Chrysler. They did not even need to pay hosting charges or buy a domain name as the platform fully leverages on You Tube, the leading video network globally. Best of all, not a tickle of harrasment / intrusiveness and yet caught my attention big time.

Besides the campaign, the Chrysler 300 is a real beauty. The Mustang of the 60s



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Venice

I recently travelled to Venice after celebrating New Years in Rome and it was quite a pleasant experience.

I was also on a budget but i made it through the stay without any thoughts of retrieving my credit card. Venice is actually pretty affordable, thats if you dont splurge on the souveniers of course.


If you're on a budget too, here are some tips that might come in handy...


We'll start off with the accomodation. To be in Venice, you don't actually need to stay in Venice, especially in the San Marco Square because you'll end up paying about 250 euros a night in that area. Opt for the suburbs where you can easily find a room for 30 euros a night and it only takes a 5 minutes bus trip to Piazza Roma, where you'll need to be on foot for 15 minutes before you arrive at San Marco. When you're on foot, you'll come across the Rialto market where they have a maze of stalls selling all sorts of souveniers, including the carnival masks



I stayed in Venice Rooms off via Casona and i fully recommend that place to anyone travelling to venice on a budget because you have a bus stop 15 steps away from your door step and a supermarket just across the road and you're only paying 36 euros a night for a private room. Plus, it includes breakfast and allows you to cook. And if you cook in Venice, you'll prolly just need 5 euros to buy yourself 3 meals that includes pasta, bacon and red wine. Yes, stuff in the supermarket is amazingly cheap. 39 cents for a bottle of red wine - how does that sound? In the morning, take bus number 12 or 24 and that takes you straight to Piazza Roma for just 1 euro






When you arrive at Piazza Roma, you'll start to see stalls selling souveniers. Kill the temptation and keep heading towards Rialto or San Marco because the deeper you go, the cheaper the stuffs go. Its the opposite for food tho where the deeper you go, the more expensive it gets. Near Piazza Roma, you can buy focaccias or slices of pizzas for anywhere between 1.50 - 2.50 euros. At San Marco, it can go up to 6 euros.





When you've in Venice, drink plenty of wine and beer because you'll never find a shop that sells Coke cheaper than wine or beer. A can of coke is usually 2 euros and its only 88 cents to fill up a 1 litre bottle with wine


Take note that the gondolas will cost you 80 euros per head per hour so if you're on a budget, go on foot because you can literally get anywhere on foot. And trust me, you see far more stuff if you go on foot - especially the alleys in Venice



OK, let's come back to the souveniers because very unlikely, you'll leave Venice without buying some souveniers. Venice is known for their carnival masks & murano glass. My best advise is get to Rialto before you start shopping. There, theres not much difference in prices amongst the maze of stalls there. When you get a mask, get it off the street stalls because they sell for like 200 euros per mask in the boutiques. At the stalls, it ranges from 10 - 30 euros, depending on the architecture and design.






In terms of places to go, Venice is actually not that big and you can pretty much cover it in 1 full day. An easy guide will be to walk from Piazza Roma to San Marco and you'll pass the Rialto and thats pretty much the must go places. Spend a lil more time at San Marco, especially in front of the Basilica where you can buy bread crumbs for 1 euro a packet and start feeding the pigeons. After that, head towards the sea shore and snap many pictures there. You can also opt to take a gondola there to get to the island














Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chua Soi Lek resigns over sex tape

First of all, Dr Chua Soi Lek is the Health Minister, a member of parliament & vice president of the Malaysian Chinese Association. Brought into the cabinet by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2004 - risen quickly in the government in recent years

Second of all, at the rate Malaysian ministers are going, he should have at least 40 billion in his savings. I've designed an algorithm to estimate the wealth of a particular minister by looking at his age, name & government ranking. At least it worked on my Chief Minister who about 15 years ago, was publicly reported to own a total asset of RM20bill

Now put 1 and 2 together and consider his age - 60. Now heres the story

A 60 year old Chua Soi Lek suddenly feels an itch on his dick so this multi billionaire eventually went to a run down hotel to find some sex with a personal friend.

He then admits calmly and conveniently that he was involved in the sex video and is relinquishing all his positions.

And he doesnt realize that as a politician, you just need to shed a few tears like Rafidah did and you get away with things. He was just as calm as a praying mantis when he publicly tendered

Now consider our late deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. Looked good, on a roll in the government, on his way to be PM and one bright morning, they found his sperm in his family driver's ass. Expelled from the rulling party and was arrested for allegedly sodomising his driver.

Best of all, the general public thinks - Malaysia boleh. Malaysia upholds justice and enforces a good civic mentality. You fuck around, you either resign or you get expelled. Malaysia boleh!

WTF is this country heading towards?!?!?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bangkok

I've recently been to Bangkok.



Besides the nasty haze in town, i thought the culture was pretty awesome
When i stepped into Bangkok city, this is the man i wanted a shot with, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He da man!

He's the ruler who invaded his own land with tanks and shit, ousting his late prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who eventually went on to take over Machester City with more than 80 mill pounds. And now, its all cool. Talk about cool culture yea?

Besides, a couple of things you'll definitely bring back from Thailand are like their taxi rides. Or what they call tuk tuk rides

If you havent been to Bangkok and you go on a Tuk Tuk and the driver wants to take you to a ruby shop, or diamond convention, or any jewelery related outlets and tells you that today is the last day of a huge ruby sale in Bangkok when jewelerers travel from all over the world, sometimes from outta space, just to be there to buy the finest rubies in all mankind and if he wants you to bring you there, i say you say NO coz that's all cockshit.

They get petrol vouchers from dropping tourists in those outlets. Im not ashamed to say this but i ended up in 5 different jewellery shops, each of them claimed to be open for the last day in 2 centuries

The other thing i dint forget bout Bankok was a tour guide in the Grand Palace



He said "Bangkok must not be forgotten as a third world country but once a rich civilization. If you dont believe me, you can check out the amount of gold in that temple".


I was like wtf, when i was in istanbul, they had prophet mohammads sword and st john the baptist's hand preserved in their palace and they dint boast about it

Now how about the world's tallest standing Buddha? We have the longest sleeping Buddha, they made it stand and it becomes the world's tallest, well done.


What say we make the world's strongest leaning Buddha?




But what i really dint forget about bangkok was my meals. They were heavenly
Ive never liked seafood until i stepped foot in bangkok - to that extent



You know why lobsters in Thailand taste so good?
Coz they aint exactly lobsters...

Sex Ball in Wodonga, Victoria

We're going back to 2003, when life was a literally ... easy
No school, no work - just all laid back, all chill-outs. Booze in the winter, booze in the summer.
And this was Albury Wodonga, 2 towns that part New South Wales & Victoria

I remember haloweens, booze parties, boys parties, girls parties but i certainly have not been to a sex ball. And fortunate enough, i was at the right place, right time

La Trobe University's Sexual Deviant Ball

I was like yo motha fackers, the world's finally made some sense now

So obviously i went ... ... in a Travolta suite and i thought i was gay enough before this black, or maybe Indian confused bride came to hug me.

Who else came...

Sexy whores in nurse suits. Red bearded fat nuns? An a one eye jack in a suit?

Pimp on drips

Santa's naughty little helper, properly dressed for the winter occassion (the down part at least)


Bitches who were more straight to the point
And hey they do it! they do it! and it again and again trust me.
They f*ck for money, they f*ck for pleasure, they f*ck for love
But hey, this guy will fuck for somethin else


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ad Tech Beijing 2007

More from 2007 - Beijing

Before i set foot on native China soil, people have been telling me stuff about China

1) People spit around like its a legal requirement
2) People dont shut their doors when their shitting in the toilet
3) People pick your pockets when you're trying to bargain with the stall keeper
4) When they stall, they curse the blacks. They go "neigerrrrrr". If you dont know what i mean, you should watch this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbeLGqvpQDw

Anyway, when i got to China, only number 4 was valid.

That aside, China was far more civilized and advanced than what people say. My Chinese descendents also tell me that Chinese are very "kia su" and i wasnt wrong. The leaning tower of Pisa is one of the 7 wonders of the world because the soil used for its foundation was claimed to be holy soil - China had no holy soil but they put 2 towers lean towards each other. In case you didnt know, this is the upcoming CCTV building in Beijing


I was actually in Beijing to attend Ad Tech Beijing 2007, an internet advertising conference welcoming delegates from all over the world

We met up with our Singapore counterparts like Ben, Yew Leong and Cecile. I was there with a close colleague, Ai Ping


We were also warmly welcomed by the Pixel team and i must admit, they had 5 star hospitality ;). In the picture is Pixel Media CEO Kelvin Huang, MY sales director, Daniele Wong, Melanie, and Lilian Hor from Green Packet

In the Chinese tradition, food symbolizes wealth and health. In any eventful dinner, food must be over-served to symbolize an abundance of food that will endure us throughout the year. Its also about being polite to the guests. Pixel media invited us to a 'Yun Nan' meal and i must say i was flattered with their "politeness"

This was just the appetizer

Followed by fish soup served in a bowl, the size of my washroom basin. I'll let you imagine the main course.
In Sarawak, where i was borned, we experiment alot with our food and the menu can be quite exotic. I've had in my life, dog meat, iguana meat, bat meat, snake meat, dear meat, turtle meat, frogs leg and so forth. When i was in China, i realized that i was far behind.
Can you imagine eating sea horses & scorpions on skewers?
And lastly, this is a place where everone goes to, the forbidden city.
The forbidden city was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.
President Mao Tse-Tungs protrait on the main gates is pretty wicked


2007 - Filed!

2007 was a blast, an eventful year maybe a better way to phrase it.

Coming from a conservative borneo continent (Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia) - where filthy coffee shops, dodgy hang-outs and triad populated discotheques are the kill-time hangouts, a teaser of the different tastes of the world was quite replenishing This was the best indulgence in a vast variety of cultures within a brisk of time

Well, this was also an extension to my inaugural taste of the world when i pursued my education in Australia. Where i also extended my experience to the great australian deserts with the aboriginals, bush camping with OZ farm boys, life in rural Albury & Wodanga, travels with my gf to Gold Coast, Auckland and the north island of NZ and travels with my family to Camberra & Sydney. Shall blog about this soon!

Anyway, back to 2007 - News Years was spent in Istanbul, Turkey.
This was an Istanbul city cruise we went onto. We have in the picture Juliana on the left, followed by Enddee, Farah Fauzana and myself
Our trip was also topped up with an extravagant display of fireworks on new years eve 07 at Thaksim Square of Istanbul


Nights before, we had many Turkish Beers including the locally produced Efes. How wicked - a country with a 99% Muslim population produces their own beer!


In Istanbul, we also had the opportunity to visit the Blue Mosque aka Sultan Ahmed Mosque and the Hagia Sophia - a former partriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a musuem in Istanbul

This is our tour group in front of the Sultan Ahmed Mosuqe

Subsequently travelled to Bangkok in January

February was spent in Kuching, Sarawak (East Malaysia).


Attended an interactive advertising conference in Beijing later in the year.


This picture is taken in front of the forbidden city (tian an men), Beijing China. The potrait in front of the building is of president Mao tse-tung's, the founder of the Chinese Communist Party

This picture is taken at the back alleys of Wang Fu Jing Street, the city Centre of Beijing, hosting a series of shopping malls and restaurants. The walls on the alleys were quite interesting with Chinese graffiti.

2007 was adjourned by a year end trip to Genting Highlands, Penang, Rome, Florence, Pisa & the Vatican City

This is the colloseum in Rome, Italy. This is a day before new years eve 08 and picture is taken with Sasi The Don, a local raggae artist who has flown off to amsterdam for a couple of marijuana joints before heading to sweden to record a song with Dr Alban (according to Sasi the Don)

This picture was taken in front of the St Peters Basilica in the Vatican City. We missed Pope Benedict by an hour.
Nevertheless, air in St Peters Basilica was mind blowing. This church took 200 years to built. I wasnt surprised when i saw the amount of artwork in marble they had- the whole church was actually covered with it. This was topped up with a Latin conducted Mass - even the feeling of being in the church was sacred. Most amazing of all, the body of St Peter the Rock (a disciple of Jesus Christ) is buried under the main altar of the church

Also had the opportunity to feed pigeons in front of the San Marco Basilica, Venice
I will, when i have more time, break down all the trips and blog more about them.