1216…

is the number of people who have completed our survey, which is based on Forrester’s Social Technographics, which classifies consumers into six overlapping levels of participation (creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives). As of this writing.

Social Technographics Profiles

Social Technographics Profiles

Our idea is simple: we want to gain a better understanding of how Vietnamese Internet Users are using Social Technologies (Blogs, SNS, Forums, etc.) everyday so we can target at them more effectively. Or to put it another way, we strive to build a big picture for the Social Computing scene in Vietnam.

On Tuesday October 13th we started the survey, which essentially asked people which technologies they are using. After receiving some very constructive feedbacks from @nhnguyen and @chipro, we decided to restart the survey, sacrificing the first 300 samples. However, since we mostly used social media to push the survey to people, it’s worth it, especially when the data were very skewed (asking Facebookers if they use Facebook, for example.)

It didn’t take long for us to achieve the same number on the next day, and with Raovat123‘s support, our samples have grown substantially since then. What’s more, samples from this Classified ads site are very neutral to our survey and the random people who come from search engines through this site have been a great comfort to us. Thanks @ncchinh a bunch!

Raovat123s Frontpage with our Survey Banner

Raovat123's Frontpage with our Survey Banner

After talking to many people we understand that this is not a really perfect survey in terms of methodology and the questions that we asked. However, we’re pleased with the progress and pretty confident that this is a very good start in our venture into the real world of social media in Vietnam.

The survey will be closed by the end of Monday, whose initial data will be available to the public before long. A more detailed discussion will be presented at Barcamp Saigon. In the meantime, stay tuned by taking a look at our daily updates (in Vietnamese) here.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook: the return of the Sith

I woke up to this morning with some twists and turns on the Facebook homepage, following the recent changes on its Event Management and Group features.

It wasn’t a very pleasant moment at first, and I was not alone. Let’s take a look at the new design when it’s still fresh:

  • The highlight is gone. For the past month we’ve experimented with different kinds of media on the highlight as a marketing tool for our Fan page and all of a sudden it disappeared. Without this, advertisers’ve lost a valuable estate, but thanks god the suggestion box is still there. I will take another couple of weeks to see how this hurts our work ( or how other changes may compensate for it.)
  • Live Feeds are back. Oh dear, I almost fell in love with these feeds a while ago when Facebook decided to pull the plug. Now it’s back! It’s not the same as before though. Things can go viral more easily but I’ve heard the neighbors saying it’s too noisy and irrelevant. “Why do I need to know someone becoming friends of all of these strangers?” or “why they don’t they group those tagged in the same post together?”. Hopefully it will be better with time.
  • News Feeds are the new Friendfeed. I haven’t used Friendfeed a lot but I can tell that this new option looks a lot like FF. Basically content that gets the most reactions stay on top. It makes life a lot easier for those whose motto is “content is king” but this is probably not a good thing. It’s going against the long tail, and fat cats just get fatter. Now we can start seeing the fruit from Facebook’s acquisition of FriendFeed.
  • Friend suggestions are confusing to me. Seeing “Reconnect with him/her” makes me wonder when I removed that person when in fact we’re still good friends.

The old design of Facebook has come back with more bells and whistles. But I’m trying to refrain myself from giving any opinion of these changes now but will come back in a few weeks when data are available for analysis. For the time being, I’ve switched to the Live feed option.

For those who like the new design, here’s your friend. How about you? Do you “like” or “dislike” the new design?

Posted in web services | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

December 6th or 13th? Vote for your date of choice for Barcamp Saigon 2009!

Barcamp Saigon is on it’s way, but we still need to figure out the date. We had November 29th before, but the venue is not available at that date. So we know checking either December 6th or December 13th. We want to confirm the date in the next two dates.

Please take part in our poll to vote for your preferred date HERE

Posted in Barcamp | Tagged | 1 Comment

Is this confusing?

From the Linkhay‘s homepage:

  • If I navigate to “Tin mới” [New News], and choose Technology, I get newly submitted Tech news.
  • If I navigate to Technology, and choose “Tin mới”, I get general submitted links instead of Tech ones.

It’s weird. Can you guys fix it?

Posted in web services | Leave a comment

Twitter or not Mimo?

Mimo, yet another microblogging service, has surfaced on the Vietnamese Web scene today, this time drawing more attention than its previous competitors because Henry Nguyen Bao Hoang, IDG Ventures Vietnam’s General Partner, is reportedly one of the earliest adopters. This, therefore, may lead to speculations that Mimo is one of IDG’s unamed portfolio companies.

It has been a long while since we have heard something from the only Venture Capital firm in Vietnam, and it looks like some good news. Are our men back to business? (wink)

Looking back, I used to be one of the Twitter “evangelists” who would excitedlt pitch this shiny social technology to anyone in contact. But that’s changed now. Not that I don’t believe Twitter will be something in Vietnam in a foreseeable future, but it’s practically not practicable for brands to take advantage of this as a communication/ PR platform. If I were to advise a client on which social technologies to use for the next social media marketing campaign, Twitter would be at the end of the list. Sorry, my blue bird.

Haven’t we had enough local microblogging services? And what sort of difference does Mino bring if cheap SMS message is the only difference from the others? Maybe, just maybe, this can help them push more users to the platform, but it might take them at least two years to grow like Twitter used to. Because it looks exactly like Twitter on first look. How much percentage do 5mil users account for out of the total Internet population? And how much would that be for the Vietnamese market? Plus, what’s the point for the English interface anyway? Did someone just mention Facebook? Tee…hee…

I’m a little clueless.

Posted in web services | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Facebook’s redesign of Event Management is fantastic!

I’ve just created an event for the 2nd Barcamp Saigon Organizers Meeting and noticed some very nice changes from the Event Creation process.

It’s mostly related to the look and feel of the pages, not the work flow. Anyway here are a few screenshots:

Facebook Event Guest Invite

Facebook Event Management

Facebook Event Management

Facebook Event Guest Invite

I like*:

  • The UI looks a lot sleeker than before
  • Instead of just using texts as navigational cues, Facebook is now explicitly showing the 3 Steps in which to complete the event creation process, which is great!
  • The page’s length has been shortened a lot to fit into one page, no need to scroll down like before, thanks to the use of select boxes and in-place editors.
  • Event managers can invite people from past events. This is the most impressive improvement. As someone who’s creating periodical events, this change makes my life a lot easier. No need to pick up guests from a list of 1000 friends any more!

Thank you Facebook. Love it!

P/S: I’m looking forward to seeing you at our second Organizers’ Meeting.

Posted in Barcamp, Social Media | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook: how to convert Friends to Fans?

I was helping Wonderboy Entertainment with the Social Media Campaign for “Passport to Love“. In fact, it was a predicted failure. How were you supposed to run a Social Media Marketing Campaign in one month? Quick answer: Spamming (wink)

But thanks to that, I learnt a couple of things. I believed @taitran wrote this blog post: “Social Media engagement on Facebook: Fan Page is the better channel” partly to remind me that creating a Facebook Profile for the movie was not the right way to do it. And he was right.

For the past months, I’ve seen local businesses going to Facebook to promote themselves, unfortunately most of them’ve created a Facebook Profile instead of a Fan Page. Certainly it wouldn’t hurt a lot in the beginning but the cons of doing it eclipse the pros.

Now, the question is: what are you gonna do about it? How do you convert your “company’s friends” to loyal fans? Yesterday a friend called me asking this very question and I wasn’t able to come up with an immediate answer. So here it is.

Suggest them to become fans of your business.

But suggesting fans needs some delicate handling. During my experiment with fan suggestion, I’ve found that suggesting a whopping 500 fans won’t work as expected. Facebook seems to have implemented some prevention measures that disallow mass fan suggestion.

Another weird “bug” I’ve found is some people who have become fans are still in the “not-fan” list, which causes a lot of confusion.The best tactic to fix it is send suggestions to 50 persons at a time. This works better than sending them messages because your limit is only 20 persons at any given time. And you can still attach a personal message alongside.

Key takeaways:

If you have been one of those who’re building fan pages for your/others’ business, please kindly share your experience here.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

WOW Vinabook!

Yesterday I decided to purchase some books from Vinabook, the leading online bookstore in Vietnam. Shortly after creating my account, I headed to the Best-seller section and picked up “Giận” [Anger], by Thích Nhất Hạnh. I’d long wanted to purchase this book thanks to @epi_longo‘s recommendation. Then I was also suggested to buy some related books, so I bought “Rich Dad Poor Dad” Part 1.

Seconds (I really mean it, SECONDS!) after I pressed the “check out” button, Vinabook called me to confirm the purchase and reminded me that because my house is in the outskirts of HCMC, I would have to pay additional cost for postage, which was fine.

But what I found amazing is that the response came so fast on a Saturday evening!

I later posted an update on my Twitter and Facebook. A couple of friends confirmed that Vinabook’s done a really good job regarding Customer Service. Awesome!

This reminds me of Zappos!

Disclosure: @sonnymotives – Vinabook’s Marketing Manager – is an acquaintance.

Posted in Startup, Vietnamese service | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

BarCamp Phnom Penh 2009: Who’s coming with us?

What: BarCamp Phnom Penh 2009, an open conference of all things Technology, Communication and Innovation
Where: Paññasastra University of Cambodia (PUC) – #184, Maha Vithei Preah Norodom (South of Independence Monument)
When: October 3rd – 4th
Website: http://barcampphnompenh.org/

It’s here again. We (the folks in Ho Chi Minh City) will be flocking to the capital of beautiful Cambodia once again to attend the largest technology unconference in the country to date. Last year it was a greatly successful event attended by some 300 people from around South East Asia. There were about 10 of us, most of whom were Barcamp Saigon organizers being there.

It was also my first time going abroad and first time attending a Barcamp. No need to tell you how cool it was, right? That’s why I’m really excited to be back in Phnom Penh again. My friend is studying at the host university so it’s even more tempting.

We’ve talked about how we might want to go there together. Possibly we will rent a bus or buy tickets to go on the same bus, buy some beer and toast on the bus. Sounds kinda fancy hehe.

Anyway, just to let you know that this year we’re going there in big numbers, and would love to have you join us. If anyone is planning to go Cambodia this October for Barcamp Phnom Penh 2009, please register for a seat here and leave a comment so I know you’re coming :-)

Posted in Barcamp | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The coffee machine

svenfuchs have you been programming in some other language before?
intangibleliquid html & css : yes
svenfuchs ok :)
intangibleliquid ruby is my first language.
intangibleliquid talking ruby like a baby lol
svenfuchs i guess the first thing to do then is face the fact that we’re really not talking about an easy task :)
svenfuchs think of adva_user as a part of your coffee making maschine that can be replaced by some service guys
intangibleliquid I know :-) It’s a training task for me
svenfuchs or maybe the printer ink cartige or something
svenfuchs so
svenfuchs when you want to replace this piece with a piece that’s not been built from the same manufacturer
svenfuchs you have to make sure that the new piece does two things:
svenfuchs it fits into your machine and it behaves the same way
svenfuchs in terms of programming this is the api
svenfuchs it accepts the same method calls and the methods return the same stuff
svenfuchs so, when you replace adva_user with your own adva_authlogic
svenfuchs you’d need to make sure that the rest of adva_cms can still call the same methods on objects like controllers, user models etc
svenfuchs and that these methods return the same things OR change the same stuff in the system (state) that other portions of the code rely on
svenfuchs that’s one means by “support the same api”
svenfuchs does that explanation help at all?
intangibleliquid yes, which basically means I have to fully understand how both AuthLogic and Adva work. And then “sync” the methods
intangibleliquid which is not easy for me I think
svenfuchs exactly
svenfuchs except that you might not need to understand *all* of adva-cms and authlogic, just the relevant parts where they are supposed to interact
intangibleliquid I have one more day to work on this. Will be looking through the codes now instead of blindly work on stuffs
svenfuchs if that’s a training task it’s certainly a cool one
svenfuchs that’s a good idea i guess
svenfuchs there might be two general approaches. i have no idea which one works in the end …
intangibleliquid so basically most of the codes involved are in adva_user. But then other things like sitesrolesetc also need modifying
svenfuchs 1. swap out adva_cms with something like adva_authlogicsvenfuchs
intangibleliquid go on please :-)
svenfuchs 2. only swap out the internal pluggable auth module that adva_user uses to authenticate from the database
svenfuchs i guess the first one would be the easier one, but also involves some more work
intangibleliquid does 1. mean rebuilding adva_cms from sratch and does two mean adjusting it side-by-side with auth_logic?
svenfuchs building adva_user from scratch, yes, so it completely behaves like a wrapper for authlogic
svenfuchs and yeah, 2. might mean that both apps use the same database, but use different code to validate tokens etc
svenfuchs so that would be side-by-side
* arpu has quit (Read error: 110 (Connection timed out))
intangibleliquid maybe I should try 1. first and see how it goes. This is surely interesting (and damn tough)
svenfuchs it’s a great task :) let us know how it goes

P/S: svenfuchs is the lead developer of adva-cms, a Ruby on Rails Conten Management System. IntangibleLiquid is my other nickname on IRC channels.

Posted in Ruby on Rails | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment