Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

HTTPS for Twitter & Facebook – enable it!

Use Twitter? Want to use HTTPS where possible, to prevent accessing it over plain HTTP, and getting “tweetjacked” by FireSheep users? Twitter now allows you to use HTTPS wherever possible. A good start. Its accessible in your account settings.

Twitter  Settings

Use Facebook? Want to use HTTPS where possible? Account -> Account Settings and look at Account Security. Again, you can enable HTTPS. Very cool.My Account

I don’t know how I missed this, but I encourage everyone to enable HTTPS, especially since I see the most common website at cafes, restaurants and other public places that are being accessed tend to be Facebook. I was at the KL Facebook Developer Garage (KLFB) at the end of February 2011, and I saw two speakers get fake updates on their Twitter & Facebook profiles, so I’m guessing this is not very well publicized.

Go, spend a minute, and enable HTTPS.

SMCKL #7 notes: Canon, bfm89.9, MyEG, P1 W1MAX

SMCKL‘s case study night, SMCKL #7 also had some other very interesting case studies. I picked up a bunch of interesting bits.

Rachel from Canon Malaysia

  1. You can find them on Twitter at @CanonCameraMsia. They wish they had more followers on Twitter, because in comparison, their Facebook page has quite a lot more followers.
  2. They’ve got 4-5 people in the marketing department, and most of the marketing executives are very, very young. One thing that was made clear: the marketing folk at Canon are very, very passionate. Corporate policy denies them from browsing social media sites, so they bring their own laptops, and use DiGi Broadband at work, to get their social media stuff going.
  3. Their Facebook strategy has garnered them over 56,000 fans. Find them at their Facebook page. I just visited it, and realised that they have a landing tab (Explore! Canon), so they have invested in Facebook a little. Kudos! To bring traffic, they’ve also decided to engage Canon users: they change their Facebook profile picture on a daily basis. As a reward, you get your avatar, and name displayed on their Facebook page for a day. If you are the monthly winner, you actually get a prize – a printer or a camera! Canon has found this to be a rather successful campaign and it clearly works for them.
  4. They also have a presence on YouTube – iLikeCanonCamera. There are commercials, and more. Now with more video on some of the cameras, like the 7D and 5DMkII, they’re also looking at using Vimeo for video.
  5. They are going to build a virtual community at: EOS World. They already make use of newsletter blasting. They also mention they have a EOS Buddy Club, but that requires some qualifications (i.e. you have to own some of their upper-end DSLRs). The EOS World is open for all. I learned something new with regards to the Buddy Club – I qualify to join!
  6. They do blogger engagement: Brian, aka goldfries, Kim Ong, a blogger called Ah Beng (no link because I couldn’t find it via Google easily), and Namewee.
  7. Something they believe in: under-promise, over-deliver

Freda Liu from bfm89.9 (popular radio station)

  1. They do their own surveys, so it may be a little different in comparison to what other radio stations that pay external organisations to come up stats do. With over 500+ respondents, they found that 46% of BFM listeners earn more than RM5,000 per month, and over 45% of listeners live in homes with monthly income greater than RM10,000.
  2. Their most popular listener age group? 26-30. The next highest are those aged 30-35.
  3. They upload all their podcasts to their website. This is true for all their shows. They get over 7,000 podcast downloads, per week! They might be the most successful Malaysian based podcast channel, for what it’s worth.
  4. They want to give more personalisation via their website in due time. Currently they tweet at @BFMRadio, about upcoming interviews, interviews released as podcasts, and they do try to ensure they are conversational (true – this is one aspect I like about their account), and they do run contests.

KK Chin, MyEG

  1. First up, KK Chin is very funny! MyEG is not a government agency, in fact, they are a public listed company, established in 2001. The reasons they are on social media? “You’re there, we’re there”.
  2. They have about 800,000 users in the MyEG database. They process 3,500 road tax renewals daily (this was five months ago); now, at the end of June 2010, they do 7,000 per day! In comparison, JPJ does about 22,000/day. Incidentally, you can also renew your insurance online, and they’re seeing uptake of 120-150 daily renewals.
  3. They had a Facebook page, started in November 2009, iwth over 8,000+ fans. However in mid-May 2010, Facebook decided to delete the page. They have no idea why.
  4. Their Twitter account started at the same time. They look for words like “myeg”, “road tax”, and “saman”. They will then reply and try to help you! That’s what I call customer service, plus a great customer acquisition strategy. From what I gather, they occasionally also give away free road tax renewals, and more via Twitter/Facebook.
  5. MyEG has crazy ad spend on TV, as well as on AMP radio stations. In comparison, they spend close to 8-10% on social media.

Kenny Wong, P1 W1MAX

  1. P1 believes they were the first to have a digital-specific customer care team in Malaysia. The team has about 8-9 people to engage on social media!
  2. They know being a service provider they do get some flack. They have spent the last 6 months expanding their network, and now believe they will come back on SM a lot more!
  3. They help sponsor Project Alpha, and 15Malaysia. 15Malaysia had some interesting stats: over 510,000 downloads, over 3.2 million streamed, over 15 million page views, nearly 94,000 Facebook fans, and over 1,600 Twitter followers. The most popular video (by viewer-ship and being shared) was Potong Saga.
  4. P1 harnessed YouTube for their ads at one stage. They had spent their limited budget on creating videos, that there was no more money for buying air-time. YouTube was their free distribution mechanism.
  5. Kenny mentioned that if you’re in customer service, working for a telco/ISP< you definitely like pain! You'll get more brickbats, rather than accolades. Sometimes, the same sort of person will condemn, but they will also complement - its about how much people value and resonate with the brand/service. Remember to take the hits. Laugh at yourself. And do that well.

Closing thoughts
Would like to say that SMCKL was very well organised. I see these events just getting larger and larger, and it just gets better, and better. I also enjoyed every single presentation given. I learned something new from every one of them. Yesterday, we also received some schwag: Cziplee sponsored a Moleskine, Papa John’s gave a 50% discount voucher, and Crocs provided a RM20 discount voucher, valid forever ;)

The question about metrics was never really answered. Kenny mentioned brandtology, radian6, and red dot. What is the cost acquisition of a fan? What is the ROI on fans? What’s a fan worth? More fans does not necessarily mean a loyal customer base. Having irrelevant non-targeted visitors also don’t necessarily help.

I also wanted to ask: why invest heavily in Facebook, when they may just zap your page? Sure, go there because people are there. But maybe acquire fans via Facebook, and migrate/sync them to a self-hosted BuddyPress or something?

Crocs Malaysia and race based market segmentation

Update – Thursday, July 1 2010, 5.38pm UTC+8: What happened, happened. What was said, was said. Oftentimes, a slip of the tongue, really is no fault of the mind. Maybe I was a little too harsh here, so when reading this 1,000-word essay, just keep that in mind. I’m sure the MarCom Manager did not actually mean what she said. The calibre of her presentation was good, and we learned some new things about their digital marketing strategy. In fact, you might just want to go read the other case studies (Canon, BFM 89.9, MyEG, P1 W1MAX)! To err is human, to forgive divine. Let’s all take a chill pill, and have a beer or something ;-)

I graced a SMCKL meetup tonight. I haven’t been in about a year (scheduling conflicts); it was fabulous to catch up with all my friends, learn new things and I have quite some notes that I’ll talk about soon. But this is about my relationship to Crocs, and Crocs Malaysia, at large.

I love my Crocs Yukon. In fact, I love it so much, I pretty much buy a new pair once every six months! You might wonder why. The soles tend to wear out, not evenly, just around the midfoot, usually towards the forefoot. But this quick wear has never been a problem to me, because I love my Crocs; I wear them everyday. Crocs™ Yukon | Crocs, Inc.

If I’m on my feet, my Crocs are wrapped around them. The current pair (in its six months with me) is world travelled – it’s been to: Singapore, London, Thailand, Finland, Iceland, Germany, the United States, and China. Its been on numerous planes (Dopplr suggests my carbon total stands at 17,414kg CO2). Its been through freezing winters and rather hot tropical weather. Crocs have been on me when I meet deputy-ministers, ministers, and even a certain prime minister. I wear Crocs to meetings. I wear Crocs when I give talks. Some friends refer to my pairs of Crocs as “government Crocs”. We always have a chuckle at that.

The bottom-line is that it’s quite hard to find me in a pair of shoes. I’m usually always in Crocs. The very rare occasion of me wearing shoes has me wearing a very comfortable pair of Geox shoes, or an amazing pair I picked up from Marks & Spencer.

Back to SMCKL #7 – we had the Marcom Manager for the company that imports/distributes Crocs in Malaysia come speak to us. She mentioned the name of the parent company, but I never did get it, so for all intents and purposes, this is defined as “Crocs Malaysia“. Her presentation was rather interesting, and a few points I took away from it:

  1. They invest heavily in Facebook – they have the regular Crocs Malaysia page, as well as a Crocs Ideas page (which isn’t linked form the main page). They have over 14,652 fans that like their page. Content is largely what’s coming out in the stores, and what’s to become available.
  2. There’s some Twitter engagement (@crocsmalaysia), but it does not seem as popular as Facebook (other speakers had similar comments).
  3. They’re doing blogger engagement. For the year 2010, they’ve picked five: FeeqSays, Rebecca Saw, Marcky.my, MissyCheerio, and Christopher Tock. These bloggers are known as their “official bloggers”.
  4. While the arrangement isn’t made clear with the official bloggers, it is made clear that the official bloggers get free Crocs, in exchange for writing about how Crocs have influence on the daily life of the blogger. Bloggers are basically selling stories, pushing experiences, where their Crocs get involved. I don’t know if there’s a minimum post count/amount of engagement required, or its something you do in passing (which is why I said the arrangement isn’t clear). I do however think that with the proper metrics, story telling and sharing experiences, totally rocks.
  5. To engage with their readers, these official bloggers also get to run competitions on a weekly basis, and the rewards are free Crocs for winners. Good, it gets more Crocs out there, especially to the non-believers ;)

Everything seemed like it was going well, and she was doing a fabulous job at presenting her case study. Until the moderator asked her: How do you choose your bloggers?.

She does not go for “A-list bloggers” like Kenny Sia, or Nicolekiss. A-list Malaysian lifestyle bloggers. She went on to tell the audience that each blogger has value in them. I take it that everyone has a story to tell, and everyone has their own tribe. Then she talked about Feeq. She said that his target market is the Malay market. She did not want to only target the Chinese market. Crocs Malaysia targets all market segments: Malay, Indian and Chinese.

Wait, what? There’s race based segmentation and targeting in footwear? In social media? Online? We live in a time, where Malaysia is no longer just Malaysia; its the cliché of 1Malaysia. And here the faux pas, stated in front of a large audience, the yardstick used, is in which racial segment a blogger is popular in.

I immediately reacted:

Clearly disappointed that @crocsmalaysia is profiling/targeted by race. So much for being Malaysian. Time to find new footwear #smckl

I am trying to break your heartThere was another tweet which wondered what the difference in race brings? And whomever is behind the @crocsmalaysia account stated: it is just our way to reach out to all consumers of all races thru our bloggers. One might think that this is something only I took offence in; lucky for me, I was not alone. People came up to me, replied to me, and even direct messaged me on this very topic.

Social media, and the utility that it travels on, the Internet, does not discriminate against race, colour, creed, nationality, gender, and more. You should choose a blogger because she has a wide Malaysian audience! In Malaysia however, it seems ingrained that there will always be profiling, separation, and a system in where we don’t have one nation, but at least two separate nations. Maybe we only have the incumbent political parties to blame for this.

As an aside, I think it is important to distinguish what you say to a close group of friends, versus what you say on Twitter, versus what you say to a large audience of folk (i.e. when you’re speaking in public). When you start representing a brand, you’ve definitely got to start thinking about how you articulate yourself. A topic to talk about elsewhere.

Either way, I cannot remember when I first shelled out RM209 for my first Yukon. I expect it must have been late 2007, or at latest early 2008. My (extended, truly Malaysian) family is also big on Crocs. However, I think its time to wean myself off from Crocs, and find non-discriminatory footwear.

Twitter needs filters

I don’t know if @ev, @biz or @dickc will read this, but Twitter clearly needs filters. Its not something an external client should do (TweetDeck does this very well, BTW), but the main stream should provide.

The way I look at my Twitter feed, is like email. Twitter currently speaks IMAP, and I can read my feed on many devices: UberTwitter on my BlackBerry, Gravity on my Nokia N97, Seesmic Desktop when I’m on my Mac, and if all else fails, there’s always Twitter web or the mobile version of it.

The way I manage my email is simple – I use server side filters. So when I read my mail on my BlackBerry, or Thunderbird or Apple Mail, I only see what I want to see in my INBOX. Filtration is done using procmail recipes, or Google Mail’s awesome labels, on the server side. So when I look at things on the client side, I don’t have stuff I’d rather skip in my stream.

And is there stuff I’d rather skip in my stream? Sure there is. TweetDeck filters

  1. Live blogging is so 20th century, because in the 21st century, people tweet at an event, using a hashtag. If the event is truly one that I am not interested in following, I can filter out the hashtag.
  2. With the economy recovering, and advertising buyers being clueless on how to spend their money, they start getting people to spam their stream. Now, I must like these folk as people, because I follow them, but their occasional ads do annoy me, and I’d rather filter it out. Lucky for me, they have to use hashtags too, otherwise it can’t be tracked – filtering it out would rock!
  3. Advertising networks are popping up left, right and center. Malaysia is not spared – we’ve got ChurpChurp. TweetDeck allows me to filter from source, something I wish Twitter as being the server, allowed server side filtration.
  4. Foursquare is becoming very popular, but it has this evil ability to auto-post to Twitter/Facebook feeds as well. I can see its use – if I’m bored at a Starbucks and do want to meet strangers, I might tell people on my Twitter stream that. But people are auto-updating, and its getting quite annoying. From Foursquare’s perspective this helps their viral nature; but from my perspective, if I care to know where you’re at, I’d have followed you on Foursquare.

I’m sure the list can go on. The web version should allow me to filter, at the very least, based on Text (a hashtag), and a Source (clients that are known to be spam-generators). TweetDeck allows filtration by Name and Time too. Today, the web version already allows you to search based on a hashtag (think of that as Text + <string> in TweetDeck’s interface). It should allow filtration too.

This will be good – advertising networks benefit from those non-power users (probably the vast majority). Power users however have their own AdBlock built in.

P/S: This is a service I would pay a nominal fee for. I see Flickr and RememberTheMilk charging USD$25/year for a few additional goodies. I would pay Twitter that same price to use their service, and filter out what I’d rather not see (and if they have other features, like metadata support, all the merrier).

Pompous Malaysian Minister discourages immersion in Western-created sites such as Facebook, Twitter

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” – Thomas Jefferson

A lazy Saturday, I’m taking a break from most things, and I figured I’d fire up Twitter and see what’s on. Many people pointed me to: Malaysians advised against being immersed in Facebook, Twitter (a href=”http://malaysiakini.com/news/122094″>Malaysiakini picked this up too). It features Rais Yatim, being more pompous than he usually is (yes, please watch that video – its highly amusing).

He added that facilities like internet could not be accepted wholly because it was a form of business introduced by the West and “Malaysians were just users.”

Don't read newspapersMalaysians were just users. Why were they not the creators of sites like Facebook and Twitter? After all, with organisations throwing money away in the form of grants, so readily to companies, why haven’t we created the next Facebook or Twitter? Ping.fm had only two employees, picked up some angel funding, and have recently been acquired by Seesmic. RM150k for a year, is enough for two founders to hack on something, and make it worthwhile, yet, we see higher amounts of folk gaming the system. What about Twitpic? This list can go on, but that’s not going to be the focus of this post – Malaysian’s can create, if they put their mind to it. To boot, there are also funds that they can have access to.

He goes on to talk about how one must upkeep religious values and be mindful of them when using social networking services. Wow, whatever he’s smoking, I want some.

“We must be strong in our believes and culture because the identity and image of our country depends on us.

Yes. The image of the country today, largely depends on what the people say. Politicians can go overseas and lie to others, but what do people do before the want to visit a country? Invest in a country? Move to a country? They check up on the prospective new place on the Internet. They use Google search. They’ll read Google News. Heck, they might even go read Google’s Blog Search. Others will check out Flickr and Picasa to find good photos, some will check out YouTube. Others will look at TripAdvisor to find a good hotel. Others will check out the newspapers. The list goes on. However, what citizens do, is they speak their mind, when online – so the government clearly lacks control of their old one-way-mediums.

His next statement makes absolutely no sense at all. Maybe he should have spoken in his native Bahasa Malaysia?

“They are just selling Facebook, Twitter, L-Band and various other services, even through space, as a product but we do not do such business. We accept all this in a state of cultural shock,” he said.

Culture shock, eh? Seriously. He continues…

“We should not be quick to condemn or look down on those who do not use Facebook. Newspapers are still relevant, so is Facebook, but do not be carried away with everything and disregard the old system,” he said.

Of course. That would be plain wrong, and ageist. Not everyone needs to be on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or read online media. Its fine that people have a choice. Today, if one chooses to go “old school”, all one has to do is wake up in the morning, buy a dead tree edition of your favourite newspaper, read it, then go over to the boob tube, watch the myriad of programming available on free-to-air channels, and suck in all the propaganda. However, as a society matures, they do tend to disregard the old, and check out the new (for example, if I’d had followed the old system, I’d be seeing this silly media article in the dead tree edition of The Star – I saw it half an hour after it was published because I was on Twitter). Societies mature, and their needs mature, so they do outgrow the old (same applies to political regimes).

It continues, in where he says things about how one shouldn’t use Twitter, Facebook and SMS messaging for the wrong reasons. He tells us that we cannot escape from the law for our actions. And that most people understand the whole 1Malaysia concept. Drivel, in general.

Anyway, newspapers in their dead-tree form are losing relevance. We have two that are free now – The Sun and The Malay Mail. The Star has pretty much all its content online. And Malaysians can read The Malaysian Insider (Malaysian creation) for free, or subscribe to Malaysiakini (Malaysian creation). As the Internet penetration rate goes up, we’ll see more of this. The magazine industry in Malaysia has been suffering for a couple of years (no eyeballs, no advertising ringgit).

So, there are Malaysian creations, used by people, where Malaysians are not just users but creators. I’m sorry Rais, you’re so out of it.

ChurpChurp alcohol advertising on Twitter

Twitter / Niki Cheong: [Churp] The Facebook app f ... While waiting for a meeting to start, I fired up Twitter, and I saw an interesting tweet from Niki Cheong promoting the Heineken Facebook application, which apparently allows you to “plant trees, send greeting cards, and gives you tips on how to party!”. Of course, this isn’t something Niki himself posted – it came via a Twitter advertising network, created in Malaysia, called ChurpChurp.

Malaysia is a country that doesn’t appreciate liquor advertising unless its qualified – i.e. you’re non-Muslim, and you’re of age (I’m uncertain if this is actually 18 or 21, but I believe it is the latter). Heineken basically asks for your date of birth on their website, and I blogged previously about Guinness going so far, to ask for your IC number or passport number! Heineken says you must be of legal drinking age

But look, they’ve found a loophole! Heineken Malaysia has 33,239 fans of this writing. Are they all above 21 years of age?

In fact, Niki’s tweet, just goes to their fan page, and under “Celebrate!”, they ask you: “Are you ready to party?” If you say “Yeah!”, it allows you to go to a Bar finder (note: no checking of age, etc.). What is a bar finder? A place to find lists of bars, in various states, that serve Heineken!!! I mean kudos with the application – the list, allows you to select “Klang Valley”, pick a bar, find all the contact details, show it up on a Google Map, and show you a picture of people having a good time. Kudos to Heineken for embracing social media and creating a Facebook application, and having so many fans on Facebook!

So, it seems that liquor advertising has found loopholes: you do it online, and you get other people to write about them. You do it on Facebook. You might do it on Friendster soon (considering MOL now owns it). You get bloggers to write about it. You get it out on Twitter (are all of Niki’s followers above 21?). Completely brilliant. Twitter’s terms of service doesn’t state anything about this, but it does mention “You may use the Services only in compliance with these Terms and all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules and regulations.” Funnily enough, I don’t think rules that apply to other forms of media, apply online at the moment.

BTW, I’m not picking on Niki Cheong (in fact, I just spoke with him before posting this – I have his blessings), or any of the other Churp’ers. I’m just making an observation on how alcohol companies are “going 2.0″, figuring out how to circumvent Malaysian requirements, by going completely online, by targeting social networks, et al.

Interested to hear your thoughts!


i