Paul (MindShare, Bangkok) writes:
“I’m So Totally Digitally Close To You” from the New York Times…
…is a long but interesting read with some new concepts like “ambient awareness”, which is “very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye.”, describing the online experience of how we absorb bits and blurbs of ‘status updates’ (like those from Facebook, MSN, or Twitter) posted by our social network.
An interesting bit:
“For many people — particularly anyone over the age of 30 — the idea of describing your blow-by-blow activities in such detail is absurd. Why would you subject your friends to your daily minutiae? And conversely, how much of their trivia can you absorb? The growth of ambient intimacy can seem like modern narcissism taken to a new, supermetabolic extreme — the ultimate expression of a generation of celebrity-addled youths who believe their every utterance is fascinating and ought to be shared with the world.”
James M (MindShare, Thailand) writes:
Today I attended a presentation arranged by AmCham with Asia Online as Guest Speaker. Once over the initial shock of the title (Is Machine Translation Ready for Real-world Use?), I found the subject matter fascinating and wondered why it had not struck me sooner? With approximately one billion online, many of whom are comfortable with the English language, what of the next billion? The ‘next generation’ will want (and many will only be able) to interact with the web in their own language.
Dion Wiggins, CEO of Asia Online, explained how currently only 12% of all web pages are in Asian languages (mostly split between Chinese and Japanese – with Thai making up less than 0.03%). Although much was made about making technology available to the developing world, he went on (especially the Nicholas Negroponte-fronted project One Laptop per Child) little progress had been made in making the vast majority of the existing, valuable content available in anything but the English language.
In response, his company is “innovating software translation technology to deliver far more accurate results and to support many language combinations…to translate huge quantities of valuable content and make that freely available in local languages.” They are well aware of the idioms and nuances each language possesses and as such the software requires vast amounts of data (corpus) in original and translated versions from which it can learn. Assuming they are successful, the value of existing content and the ability to create new pages instantly available in multiple languages will be of huge potential to the current and ‘next billion’ Internet users.
Watch this space…
Hope you had a great refreshing holiday like I did and wishing everyone a superb year ahead!
I opened my inbox to find an interesting article on the distribution of content through mobile phones in India, forwarded to me by Alefiyah in MindShare Singapore who gave us the “Bollywood on Mobile” story last year. The article on the Hindustani Times, titled “India’s first serial for mobiles next month” featured another example of how Bollywood is capitalizing on digital technology to bring entertainment to the masses. Rajshri Productions, a major Bollywood production house, has created a “90-episode series, with three minutes per episode, … in the humour genre” offered to the audience via the mobile phone.
With the high penetration rate of mobile phones in the region, other developing countries in Asia-Pacific might want to keep an eye on India to see how the landscape for digital content and platforms will unfold. In the developing world, it is likely that India will lead in terms of creative ideas on producing content for new media like the Internet, mobile phones and mp3 players, given the population’s uniquely insatiable appetite for Bollywood fare.
The article reminds me a recent chat I had with a Thai security guard servicing one of my friend’s apartment in Bangkok. The guard (apparently an early adopter of trends, as my friend tells me) was trying out DTAC’s (a Thai mobile network operator) new GPRS promotion plan that offered a FREE mobile-internet-friendly Nokia phone bundled with 20 hours of downloads for 99 baht (about 3 USD). He was happily connected to the Internet with his phone through the mobile internet browser Opera, but he had one problem. He had no idea where to go to find any kind of entertainment on the Internet! I have a feeling he’d go for a Thai version of the mobile comedy series launching in India…
Read India’s first serial for mobiles next month on Hindustani Times. Thanks Alefiyah!
David, MindShare Thailand, writes:
Fact fest for planners with a predilection for statistical summaries.
To add to the recent post about the new APAC internet study, anyone seriously interested in how the Big Switch will play out around Asia might want to invest a couple of hours in ploughing through the ITU / UNCTAD (International Telecommunication Union / United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) World Information Society Report 2007
It isn’t a relaxing read for the beach (tough luck, Western bloggers, the good weather’s on its way to Asia now). But the world-at-a-glance statistics and maps offer authoritative back-up for anyone working on multi-market digital strategies: “If you don’t like my numbers, go argue with the United Nations”.
While we’re on statistics, it’s self-evident that the wealthiest nations have the highest take-up of broadband. So what sense does it make to charge the highest subscription charges in markets where the public can least afford it? MuniWireless.com posted this piece a couple of months ago.