Posts Tagged ‘crass commercialism’

Twitter for commercial use

I’ve seen a bunch of sites/articles that are Twitter related recently. I’ve compiled them, and commented appropriately.

  • Splitweet – this is useful, as it allows multi-account Twitter management. A lot of corporations are using Twitter for business, and if you’re a small business owner, chances are you have Twitter accounts for all your businesses (if you’re social networking savvy, that is ;-)). Today? I use twhirl for that sort of thing (multiple account management, that is).
  • Twitter to begin charging brands for commercial use – I wonder how this will work? Go after the folk that have trademarked their brand? Go for people with more than n-followers? I just don’t see this as completely viable, without also affecting all those pro-twits. Maybe Twitter should acquire a service like Splitweet, and sell that interface?
  • StockTwits – this is Twitter search, for stock lovers. Looks like its only useful for the American stock market, but there can be lots of potential here. Some popular ones to look at: JAVA, GOOG, and even AAPL. Note the comments (looking to short, etc…) When will there be insider trading thanks to Twitter, one wonders?

Adobe needs cheaper local pricing

I should make it clear, that I am against software piracy, and do not support it in any way, shape or form. However, I want to provide some context to my tweet earlier:

RM8,599 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 bundle, at machines. I’m sorry Adobe. I’ll limp with open source alternatives, and others will pirate you

I have an inkling to play with, and use, Photoshop CS4, as well as Illustrator. So I started calling around and finding out a little more about it. Only to be shocked that the entire “bundle” of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium would cost me a meagre RM8,599 (then again, it might be the Master Collection – I was just told it was a bundle). I called elsewhere, to find that the Standard Edition is RM5,500, but I can get a discount for a mere RM5,300!

I prodded around the Adobe website further, to find that they had some offers, like bona fide students can for a mere RM399, get Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium (normally US$2,313). So that’s a good deal, if I were in an educational institution.

However, Adobe doesn’t seem to understand Asian economics (something, even Microsoft is getting with lower priced software, including for their flagship Office products). I can go to my friendly neighbourhood software retailer, and for a mere RM10, pick up RM5,300 worth of value. Heck, I won’t be surprised if I can pull in RM8,599 worth of value, even.

On Twitter, I was advised that its cheaper to buy an older version, then upgrade from there. I cannot imagine many a Malaysian wanting to pay this much for software.

Adobe is a member of the Business Software Alliance. Doesn’t the organisation dole out advice to members, to keep software prices in check?

How many legit users of Adobe Creative Suite are there in Malaysia? Please stand up. Remember, you could get a MacBook, a MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, or even an iMac for less than the entire bundle.

Me? I’ll just happily limp on with using The GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, and the like. For others that don’t grok open source software? They’ll shell out RM10 (or fire up their BitTorrent client).

Long live proprietary software license fees, and ridiculous prices that go with it.
(and I hope that the open source alternatives eventually force Adobe to rethink their business model)

The Apple Store Malaysia Phone Experience

On the 24th of December 2008, I came back from my little hiatus in Georgetown, Penang (in where I discovered the heritage and history of the city), and immediately started ringing up Apple Authorised Resellers to find out where in the blue hell, the new MacBook Air was. (Emphasis on the new, because all the resellers try to push the old one, to clear out their stock – in fact, they actively discourage you from getting the new one, saying the only modifications are the bigger hard disk, and better video card. They don’t mention the new Trackpad option in System Preferences, that leads you to four finger scrolling which allows you to bring up Expose or switch between applications – Mac+Tab).

Its constant delays, the fact that it was supposed to be out after Thanskgiving weekend, and so on, started really getting on my nerves. I had been waiting for this feather-weight laptop for a while, since the announcement.

Machines had none, and didn’t know when it was coming. EpiCentre had none, and didn’t know when it was coming. So I thought I’d take a chance at calling up the Apple Store Malaysia at 1800-80-6419. They even advertise saying things like “Kami juga berinteraksi dalam Bahasa Malaysia!”, which I loosely translate as “We can interact in Bahasa Malaysia too!”.

I get someone who barely speaks any English. But she has an accent. I ask her why they don’t sell any Air’s, and the fact that Christmas is tomorrow, how am I supposed to make my loved ones happy? She tells me she has no idea why and EpiCentre is the best place to ask. If they don’t have it, no one else will.

I say I will come into their office to pick a unit up. They tell me that that is not possible, they’re not Apple Retail. I say I know where such an office exists (I’ve vaguely remembered it from eons ago), and then she tells me she’s in *drumroll* Singapore.

So there, Apple’s support line for Malaysia routes to Singapore, and they’re generally not very helpful. And apparently, their QA on language skills is just not there. In fact, had I started off a conversation with her in Bahasa Malaysia, I have a feeling she wouldn’t have survived – Mandarin, maybe.

As an aside, EpiCentre in Pavillion had a couple of units available on 30/12/2008. I think as of today, they have one unit available… Go, go, rush to get ’em :-)

On whoring oneself

In what I call a great advertising scheme, Leora Zellman, a blogger, photographer, brand evangelist, etc. is offering her sexy body as ad space.

Her body will cost you on an hourly basis, she’s mostly logo focused, but will also wear schwag, like t-shirts and caps. Buy her back, butt, or chest, they all have varying prices. If athletes do it, why not us regular Joe’s, right?

Well, its not like we all don’t do this. I wear t-shirts with penguins, dolphins, and various other bits all the time. In fact, I haven’t bought a t-shirt in over nine years.

Will this work? Maybe. At a geek conference, every other geek is probably wearing stuff with logos on them. Might be useful for new products? I’ve never actually looked at a t-shirt and thought to myself, “Hmm, I need to check that URL/product out”. Maybe other’s have?

Reminds me of the time Leah Culver sold advertising space on her laptop. Also, on another tangent, Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur spoke about Amanda Congdon using her body to promote her content, Leo basically saying it wasn’t smart. Check out net@night episode 51 for more.

Well Leo, most of the popular blogs in Malaysia, are “photo blogs”, of people “camwhoring”, i.e. showing themselves off in places. Is it sustainable? Maybe not. But will it bring popularity and money in the short term? Probably yes. Some even go on to getting fame ;)

Anyways, enough ranting on this. Best wishes Leora, and to all the other “camwhores” out there.