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.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back + 1

Hello dear faithful reader. Firstly, sorry for the lack of posts on this blog recently. You see, I've been swamped by life and busy welcoming the new addition to my family - Elizabeth Lian.

Yes, I'm a dad now. It feels great; except when I'm awake at 3:30 a.m. still carrying her and she's wide awake.

Some of you might already have heard of her on Twitter or seen some pics of her. In case you haven't I've put together the Picasa album below for you to have a peek. Enjoy!

PS. Regular service to this blog resumes (hopefully) next week. I'll be moving to a Wordpress hosted blog (finally) and am planning to tighten content as well. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 10, 2010

No money go camp? (TVXQ / Wondergirls spoof)

The first Advertorial ever on my blog! And I get no money for it.

Do you think these guys have some talent?

Meet them at my church - Petra Gospel Centre. And join us for Camp Transformation 2010 from 11 - 15 June 2010. At Perting Valley, Janda Baik.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Because it matters to you

Had a chat with someone the other day about the purity of blogging.

"We used to blog what we felt," she said. "Blogging was a way to make friends, and express ourselves." Now, it seems like all we ever blog about are products and events.

The statement struck a chord with me. In no small way, I'm pretty much involved in "engaging" the social media for companies and most of these engagements are marketing driven. Clients love to see blog posts about their events, reviews about their products and generally nice comments about their company.

But somewhere along the way, in the rush to engage social media to sell the next product or market our brands, perhaps we're forgetting what made (personal) blogging such a lovely thing in the first place. To be sure, I'm not talking about news blogs (my friend at MyTechNews.info is a fine example), who's existence is to cover news about a certain industry or theme. No, I'm talking about those blogs that started out as a personal conduit for expression.

Like this one.

And I realise, you may read me for some of my personal views on social media or technology, and in the coming month, you might be shocked to suddenly see I've transformed into a "Daddy blog." Because that is what matters to me in the coming months.

I've included this picture of Lydia preparing for motherhood. Because it matters. From davidlian says...

But if you're looking for a social media lesson here. Don't fret. There is one. In our rush to get products, services and brands "covered" and "exposed" on social media, don't forget the driving force of what makes "social" social is because we blog about what matters to us.

How do you make whatever it is you're communicating, matter to the social?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Google. Being transparent. For real [?]

Was just watching CNN and just caught the breaking news that Google had just launched its "government requests" tool.

Google's own explanation of the tool:
These numbers represent the number of requests we received from government entities for the removal of content or the disclosure of user data from July 1, 2009-December 31, 2009. There are limits to what this data can tell us. Some requests seek the removal of multiple pieces of content, or seek data for more than one account. There may also be multiple requests that ask for the removal of the same piece of content, or data for the same account. Because of the complexity of these requests, the numbers we are sharing do not reflect the total amount of content that we are asked to remove, nor the total number of accounts subject to data disclosure requests by governmental agencies. Also, this initial report doesn’t indicate whether Google complied with or challenged any request for user information, although we do provide percentages about our compliance with requests to remove content. We haven’t yet found a way to provide more detail about our compliance with user data requests in a useful way, but we plan to in the future.
I guess the move is refreshing after the recent, increasing paranoia about what Google might know about our lives (which in my case, a LOT!) Quite cleverly, this gesture helps position Google as more closely aligned with us (the consumers) against the other antagoniser of Internet freedom - your own government.

By throwing us this gesture to show us "we're on the same side!", Google manages to get kudos for being transparent, without actually revealing or promising us anything about what its doing with our data. [Okay, I may be over-reading this here. But hey, you never know what's going on in Google's mind]

But can we actually trust these numbers? Google's explanation seems to indicate that we'll have to take them with a pinch of salt inasmuch as these are the best numbers it's able to release. Like @kBoey shouted on Twitter, there's no admission of Google having complied with the censorship requests for GutterUncensored which is hosted by its Blogger service. Rather, as the screenshot above shows, Google's "transparency" tool tells us that less than 10 requests have been made by the Malaysian government and none of them have been complied with (how else do you read "0% compliance"?)

So, good move by Google, if its a genuine move. But I'm going to have to take any data presented here with a huge pinch of salt.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Who's job is it to serve the customer anyway?

An astute colleague asked me recently: "How long before social media becomes customer service? Will we have to keep dealing with customer queries all day?" She had a point.

Once you get to the nitty gritty of it, social media work looks very much like a customer service job. Once someone tweets you: "Hey, my XXX just crashed on me! Help!" If you're the social media person representing the company, you'd better bet you'll need to respond with a "Sure, let us help you with this. Could you provide this information..."

And yet, would you entrust a regular customer service person to handle your social media aliases?

There's much to be said about the blurring lines between communications, marketing and customer service. In a perfect world, they shouldn't be separate entities. Unfortunately, that's not the way most companies are organised.

So today's social media practitioner finds him/herself on the firing line of customer service. Of course, there are ways to manage the flow of enquiries and information. Setting up a separate alias to handle customer service, and having that managed by the customer service folks is one. But customers still see whatever presence you have online as an official channel of communication with your brand.

And that means, your messages and tone need to be consistent.

And that the customer comes first.

And that it's not a good idea to piss of the customer by not responding, or responding in a generally unhelpful manner.

Unfortunately for us working on Social Media, this means we will HAVE to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. At least every once in a while.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

As if we've not already got not enough time...

The latest earthquake in Chile has cut our day down by another 1.26 millionth of a second.

image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory

According to a report on National Geographic, the impact of the earthquake rocked the earth so hard that it shifted slightly on its axis, causing the shortening of the day.

I'm not a scientist, so I won't bother with the calculations. What bothers me is that the days are getting shorter. Time to focus on the most important things!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I think Google Buzz may finally be IT.

The buzz today is about Buzz. Google's, that is. The last greatly-hyped about Google experiment - Google Wave - didn't quite get the raving response we'd have expected and past social networking experiments - Orkut and the Open Social project - didn't quite scale up to the heights of Facebook and Twitter.

But check out Buzz...

...I think it's got it all. Here's why:

Gmail user base:

An old news story from the Financial Times I found puts Gmail's user base to be "more than 100 million". By comparison, Facebook's official page (as of time of writing) has its userbase at 400 million. But, I'd like to point out that having 100 million users (possibly) turned on in a very short period of time is miles ahead of having to grow organically one user at a time and presents a very real (instant) threat to Facebook.

The other point about having the Gmail user base is that Buzz intelligently identifies connections you've made (by looking at who you've emailed) and takes away the most painful part of setting up a social networking account - finding friends! In fact, if you've already been regularly emailing your friends, you'll soon be buzzing them too, I presume.

Mobile Apps:

Clearly, the next wave of social networking is going to be mobile. Apps that let you share where you are, update while standing in queue and generally be as little of a nuisance as possible while giving you meaningful connections with the people you love is what mobile is about. Checking-in on foursquare or posting a quick picture on Facebook via your mobile device means you won't forget to do it when you get home or be faced with the tedious task of uploading dozens of photos and organising them when you get home.

What's interesting is how Google has launched Buzz simultaneously into its mobile Google Maps app and taken advantage of the GPS feature on most phones to make geo-locating buzz(s?) something easy and contextual.

Simple and Natural

The third reason why I think Buzz will be a success is because of how elegant the system is. People have compared it to Twitter & FriendFeed - calling Buzz out on some very similar features. But there's nothing wrong with a little copying here and there, I say, especially if the system works.

And yet, the best thing is that Google's services help build a self-contained environment for all your content needs. Need photo uploading? Yes, Flickr will work, but so will Picasa. Video? Youtube then. BUt at the same time, it adopts open standards (thanks @paullmf for pointing out) so 3rd party developers get to use it in different ways.

Services built by others expand on Twitter's usability, but Buzz starts with them already - so that's one problem out of the way.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This is why I am not a social media guru...

... I'm a PR consultant.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Resolve to blog.

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Yes, if you say a new post popping up on your RSS reader, it's real. I'm going to make a comeback on this blog.

All because KY personally challenged me.

KY wonders why davidlian never updates his blog. - Share on Ovi

Stay tuned!