Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nerds & Jocks: The great conflict of our time

Excellent speech by John Hodgman (The PC in the Apple ads) during the Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner. I'm sure he had nerds rooting for him all the way.

Underneath the comedy though, I do think he's touched on a topic that's brilliantly real. As much as you think race is a divider, the philosophies between Jocks and Nerds are real. We think differently. We have fights in school. We sit apart at the canteen. And when we grow up, well... let's just say we hang out with our own kind.

Okay, maybe that's just the elitist in me talking.

Friday, June 19, 2009

No, tweeting isn't the end of journalism

So a couple of days ago, MPs went head-to-head with each other on Twitter during the Parliament sitting on Tuesday where Bukit Gantang MP Nizar Jamaluddin got kicked out.

Interestingly, a journalist mused whether this would spell the end of journalism on the competition MPs (and brands, companies, individuals) who could go directly to readers on a mass-distributed platform such as Twitter would bring to journalists in breaking news.

I'd add: would this actually mean the end of journalism as a profession? Well, actually - no.

In fact, I don't think there's ever been a time where the journalism profession has ever been so important. Yes, I could hear what Lim Kit Siang or Khairy has to say, straight from the horses mouth, on Twitter; but I also want to hear a 3rd party with an unbiased viewpoint provide a report of the proceedings.

As uppercaise so kindly points out: breaking news is just one aspect of journalism.

I'd want to hear a 3rd party commentary from someone who's trusted as non-partisan, non-biased and with my best interests at heart. That's what a journalist is (at least, that's how I was sold when I went to journalism school) and that's why people will keep reading news - whether on paper or online.

"Journalists serve as the main purveyors of information and opinion in contemporary society" (source: Wikipedia). They aren't the source

So it's sometimes funny how I hear social media is killing journalism. Journalism is a profession that isn't tied to its medium. People will still want to read gadget reviews from an expert, whether its on a blog or in a magazine. People will still want to read good political commentary.

What's changing is how a journalist does his / her job. Mind you, there can be no generalisation here - not every journalist needs to get a Twitter account. Rather, the journalist can reach his / her audience in the most relevant way possible. Even if that's handwriting news on papyrus. But new and social media are opening up new vectors to receive and disseminate news, and the best journalists will always be the ones who can get their news out in the most timely and relevant fashion.

And that could be tweeting.

Note: I've updated and edited this post to more accurately reflect Uppercaise' views.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beam me a new one!

Sorry for the long absence. You know, life gets in the way... no time... yadda, yadda.

I'm tip-tapping away right now from my room at The Scarlet in Singapore after a long day at Nokia Connection 2009 (disclosure: that's my day job - public relations consulting for Nokia amongst other clients). Naturally, being surrounded by journalists, bloggers and other intelligent people from the mobile industry leads to a whole lot of discussion about mobile devices and where its all heading.

Of course, what most people were most excited about were mobile apps.

A thought struck me. Have we come a full circle? What could really be a killer app today is what was a killer app more than a decade ago - beaming!

Let me explain. In the mid-90s, when a phone was still a monochrome block that made voice calls and sent SMSes, Palm ruled the roost in a category called the PDA. I remember reading a report at one point that the Palm OS had some 300,000 applications in existence. Like today's application scene, most were pointless apps that let you read random quotes from Star Wars, display a Beer picture, and much much more.

But the beauty of the 90s scenario was this - one Palm device could easily beam across any application (as long as the developer didn't lock it) to another via infrared. Want this cool freeware game? *ZAP* its yours. Want my Yoda application? *ZAP* its yours.

Beaming made sharing and spreading applications easy peasy and fun to boot. On a macro scale, this meant popular (though often pointless) apps could spread "virally" through super-distribution.

So what if we brought beaming back today? Would it work?

Beaming would lead to piracy. Not every developer will want his application freely beamed. There's always the option to lock apps. In any case, people who really want to pirate an app would find a way to do it anyway.

There's nothing to lose to let a free app be beamed. In fact, there's massive opportunity. Developers could make money thru ads within the app and a larger distribution means more revenue. Brands could easily "viral" good marketing apps (think iBeer).

IRDA is not commonly found on phones and Bluetooth leaves me open to viruses. Leaving Bluetooth on all the time does pose a security risk and its really annoying to keep rejecting requests to receive a virus application. But wait, new technology is on the horizon like Near Field Communication (NFC) and similar technology could be the new IRDA allowing short-range transmission of apps from one device to another.

So there you have it - my argument for beaming. Now, I know there'll be differing opinions, but I'm thinking, with mobile apps coming to the forefront again, maybe it's time to bring back the ability to share fun apps we love with one another. Let's hope some manufacturers are listening.