Posts filed under ‘blogging’

Found in Translation

James M (MindShare, Thailand) writes: 

asiaonline.jpgToday 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…

March 18, 2008 at 10:18 am 4 comments

Games For Lunch

Sanchayeeta (MindShare, Delhi) writes: 

The GamesForLunch blog () seems to be a good ready reckoner of games with interesting and highly usable reviews from an avid gamer.

The blog is maintained by Kyle Orland who has been writing about games since 1997, when he started Super Mario Bros. HQ at the age of 14.  Since then he’s written for a variety of outlets including Electronic Gaming Monthly, Paste Magazine, Joystiq, Gamestop, GameDaily and Gamasutra. He’s the co-author of The Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual.

Games for Lunch is a playlog. Every day Kyle plays one game for an hour and blogs about his experience. At the end, he reviews the game based on the only real criteria that matters to him: Does he want to keep playing?

And while playing a game for just an hour really isn’t fair to the game as a whole. Still, Kyle feels that with the vast majority of games, you’ve seen most of what the game has to offer after an hour. And, if you don’t want to play a game after just an hour, you can pretty safely say it’s a bad game. If you do want to keep playing, you can pretty safely say it’s at least decent.

The blog seems to be functioning for both gamers (to get a sneak preview) and for companies (for game review).

July 16, 2007 at 6:35 am 5 comments

Digital trends in Thailand, Asia-Pacific, and beyond

Peck (MindShare, Bangkok) writes:

PWC’s “Convergence Monitor” survey shows that Thailand has the one of the largest number of social networking (virtual networking and blogging) users in Asia, second only to China which has more than 85% of respondents having engaged in social networking at least once while Thailand has 71%.

Chatting, instant messaging, and downloading digital music are popular services among Thai internet users. 90% of respondents have used chatting or instant messaging at least once, and 87% have downloaded music through the internet at least once, expecting to see higher growth along with increase demand for broadband internet. However, online banking and online shopping are not as popular in Thailand as they are in other Asia Pacific countries. For example, while 39% of Singaporean respondents stated that they had used online banking and shopping at least once, only 8% of Thai respondents had done so.

Download the full report titled “Convergence Monitor: The Digital Home” here.

Examples of popular Thai blogs and blogging platforms:



June 19, 2007 at 10:07 am 12 comments

More free stuff – check out the b-side

James (MindShare Asia-Pacific) writes:

Continuing on the theme of outstanding open source thinking and sharing, don’t miss this great presentation on convergence, given by the super-smart Brian Tiong last month at the Malaysian media congress. Do spend some time at Brian’s excellent blog  b-side which he writes from Singapore and packs with useful data and opinions.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 3, 2007 at 5:26 am Leave a comment

Thai sneakerheads connect to global sneaker movement


Ju (MindShare Regional) writes:

Urban streetwear and its sneaker culture appears to be another youth community using social media to build network strength.

The youth sub-culture is defined by respect for original design, limited editions, customization, and collaborations with urban artists, designers, retailers, and street magazines offline and online (such as Crooked Tongues, HypeBeast, Sneaker Freaker).

Crooked Tongues, the established London-based online sneaker resource, recently posted news on Nike’s AF1 party in Bangkok, with a link that refers to “our extended CT family in Thailand“. The link connects to Thai urban fashionista blogger who writes about sneakerhead events and the release and pre-order of limited edition Nike kicks. On the Nike AF1 party, the blog not only showed details of the actual party, but also included the preparation of the party (with pictures of the construction blueprints, actual construction and site), all told in the eyes of a consumer, which had likely boosted the level of pre-party excitement and grandeur for the event.

A more apparent symbol of the global movement of sneaker culture emerging from the underground is, with a global network similar to the global cosplay community. The website also has a story on Sneaker Society – Thailands First Sneaker Community. , calling it Thailand’s first sneaker website. Its blog links to other local sneaker-freak sites like

From the look of the sites, it seems Nike already has a head start in engaging the Thai community of sneakerheads – the opinion-leaders of urban street culture who are as local as they are globally connected.

February 3, 2007 at 2:10 pm 1 comment

The big switch in news – shifting control to the consumer


Ashutosh (MindShare regional, Singapore) writes: 

Is the user-generated content revolution going to make the old business model of news redundant ? We are beginning to see some interesting developments in the business of news.  

I recently had an interesting discussion with a leading publisher on how online distribution channels are beginning to change consumer behaviour when it comes to news consumption, and how the profile of the consumer who still buys a ‘paper’ newspaper is getting skewed to the generation on the other side of 30. And similarly for news broadcast formats. 

And what is he doing? Hiring 18 year olds to create a supplement for teens in his same old newspaper, which is apparently now being read by anxious parents of these teens to find out what the younger generation is upto! But the teens still don’t read his newspaper!  The old-fashioned way of producing news via a bunch of people who write or present news with their own (or sometimes organisational) biased perspective is distinctly unappealing and therefore does not connect with the younger generation.  There is also a view that the best news experience is a shared social experience and therefore we will soon see the rapid rise of user generated news as well, and I tend to agree with this.   I recently registered at an interesting website which claims to be a ‘global user generated content site on news, with no agenda, political or geographic bias’. It has set itself up as ‘open to everyone in the world to reflect their news – personal, local, national, and international – and share it with the world’. Check out this article at Contagious Magazine. 

There are other experiments going on, some of which have caught on while others are struggling.  For instance, Findory is a personalised general news service which has not really caught on, unlike Digg (which postions itself as user-powered content), Techmeme and Memeorandum which focus on narrowly defined niches (technology, politics etc). For more on this, read Scott Karp’s article on Is news a fundamentally shared social experience. 

What does this mean to the Rupert Murdochs of the world and how will it affect their businesses? I am sure they are waiting and watching…

January 25, 2007 at 3:58 pm 1 comment

Why Filipinos love online communities


James (MindShare regional team, Singapore) writes:

Prolific Filipino blogger Mike Abundo explains an interesting theory here:

Why are Filipinos such natural adopters of social media? Why are half of all Friendster users Filipino? Why is the Philippines among the top countries on BlogExplosion?

Here’s what I think. One of the Filipino core values, passed down from our small-town islander ancestors, is bayanihancommunity collaboration. That’s exactly why technologies that facilitate online community collaboration are such hits with Filipinos.

January 17, 2007 at 3:15 pm 3 comments

Japanese Cosplay takes off in Asia and beyond


Ju (MindShare regional team, Bangkok) writes:

You’ve heard this before – the vast amount of rich, multimedia information flowing rapidly and fluidly through the Internet and other digital means is re-arranging social network structures and creating new ones – globally. From a marketing viewpoint, this calls for a reassessment of the data sets that are used to define user profiles for consumer segmentation . In other words, ‘The Big Switch’ is favoring ways to redefine your customer segments for even more effective targeting.

One powerful youth culture nurtured, thriving, and spreading through these digital means is “Cosplay”, described by Wikipedia as: “a contraction … of the English words “costume” and “play”, is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu, and video games, and, less commonly, Japanese live action television, shows, fantasy movies, or Japanese pop music bands. However, in some circles, “cosplay” has been expanded to mean simply wearing a costume.”

The cosplay community is united by their costumed appearance and unconstrained by national boundaries. The blog, self-described as the internet’s premier cosplay community, already has more than 50,000 registered members, and links to sub-blogs from 22 countries, ranging from Canada to Chile, and from Asia, includes Thailand, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan. The World Cosplay Summit is now onto its fourth year and its website features links to smaller national competitions in places from Singapore to Brazil.

It is rapidly entering the mainstream in the Philippines, where cosplay events are often held within an anime, manga, gaming, or sci-fi convention (source: wikipedia). In fact, the Filipino has their own established cosplay online community, Pinoy Cosplay, with at least 2,900 members, a bookstore, a shop, and forums discussing topics ranging from cosplay celebrities, costume-making tips, and cosplay-related products.

The cosplay society even has their own themed hangouts: pubs, restaurants, or cafes where staff dresses in cosplay, elegant maids, or butlers, and treat everyone like “Masters”. These so-called ‘maid cafes’ have already popped up in Thailand, Singapore, and Korea.

Brands have begun to attach themselves to this subculture: see Garnier’s Manga Head styling gel in the UK and Nike ID in Japan.

How can a brand capitalize on these passion-based youth communities, that are bubbling up virtally and coming together physically? I think this quote inspires many ideas: “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.” (Jean Luc Godard).

January 9, 2007 at 12:09 pm 10 comments

the big switch of control – from companies to people

MindShare's unofficial uncorporate Asian blog


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