Facebook or MySpace or should you even care?

facebook.jpg OR myspace.jpg

Alok (MindShare, Regional team) writes:

During a recent business pitch, after we were done waxing eloquent of social networking and the web 2.0, the marketing honcho asked us a simple question – “Should my brand be on facebook or myspace?” At the time our response was, given what we knew of the clients’ brand and the two sites, facebook.

In hindsight however, though the question seemed sapless at the time, I have been perplexed about what the right response ought to be and on what basis one formulates a response.

Should the response be guided by the buzz surrounding the site, a measure of its perceived popularity? The fact is people have been flocking to facebook since it opened its doors to the hoi polloi. It does seem like the next big thing and why should we not be tempted to seed our brand there. Scratch the numbers a bit and it does not seem so cut and dry. On measures like average daily visitors & time spent per month myspace scores over facebook. So while the current trend and buzz favor facebook, this in itself is not sufficient to dictate a response.

Implicit in the question is an assumption that facebook and myspace are distinct brands and not social network commodities. So does the answer lay in assessing which has a better fit with the client’s brand ala CelebZ? Should the current portrait of myspace as ‘a site for soliciting’ serve as a reason to exclude it despite its larger user base?

Social networks by definition should imply a niche. They should be a network of individuals unified around a shared interest or idea. Today, however these networks work more as aggregators of individuals who then, on their own volition, form their social circle of interests. In absence of distinct identities, what motivates individuals to choose one network over the other (or am I wrong and they do have distinct personas…)? And if someone should host a network focused on college students, will we see a migration from facebook of its original members?

In the future, as social networking sites proliferate, will they define their identities more sharply or will they remain the generic places for friends to connect, meet, and get together? And if this should happen, will it make it easier to choose which one would be right for our clients’ brands.

Still trying to get my head around this one and urge blog thoughts.

September 28, 2007 at 6:21 am 14 comments

Asian youth and the mobile phone

Ju (MindShare, Regional Insights) writes:

mobilelife.jpgThe mobile phone has become an indispensible equipment for Asian youth. PwC’s 2007 survey of nearly 8,000 of their staff from 17 countries around the world (78% aged between 16-34 yrs) revealed a whopping 98% mobile penetration rate in Asia-Pacific countries, with a significantly lower 62% fixed-line penetration rate.

The first Asia Scout Network pan-regional summary report by MindShare is therefore dedicated to the mobile phone – how mobiles mold the lifestyles of Asian youth and vice versa.  Findings are based on updates on the Asia Scout Network blog from our city scouts in Tokyo, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Sydney, Shanghai, and Kuala Lumpur.

The headlines are:
1) Asian youth pimp their mobiles
2) Mobilizing communities
3) Japan’s contagious QR codes
4) Mobile multimedia gains momentum
5) Making ‘Hero’ features visible
6) What lies beyond

Download the full report:asia-scout-network-the-mobile-life.pdf

August 28, 2007 at 3:00 am 2 comments

Do media agencies need to hire creative people?

left-brain-right-brain.jpg

Praveen (MindShare, Bangalore) writes:

As the monopoly of the 30 sec TV ad is fast diminishing, marketers are increasingly using the Media “Long Tail’ to build their brands (“the long tail” is a phrase coined by Chris Anderson; used in the context of media to show that the demand for new/niche media is larger than the demand for mass media). Media agencies are perfectly placed to take advantage of this phenomenon, and prove their worth as the primary brand custodians in this age of new media. However, how well placed are they to be able to convert this into reality ?

The steady influx of strategic planners into media agencies is certainly a start. But unless the creative people enter the fray, they would still be lagging behind. When it comes to creatively and innovatively integrating the brand and its message in media, be it on TV, Internet or ambient, a large dose of ‘right-brains’ is really the need of the hour – a skill which the number-oriented media planners and buyers are not really proficient in. An experienced creative director would thus make all the difference in the final product presented to the client. Only then will media agencies finally make the ‘big switch’ to becoming true ‘communication agencies’.

So, does this mean full service agencies will have come a full circle ? No, because unlike before the time when the creative-media split happened, here it is the media which will drive the communication strategy with the creative being a follow-on product.

What do you feel ?

July 25, 2007 at 9:28 am 37 comments

APAC Internet Usage study reveals less time spent on Net than the West

Praveen (MindShare, Bangalore) writes:

We know how Internet usage is increasing across the region. comScore’s first comprehensive review of Asia-Pacific Internet Usage comes up with a few interesting findings.

One, Netizens in APAC spend less time on the Net when compared to the West. But it does vary across countries – ranging from less than half an hour daily in India to more than 1 hr/day among the South Koreans.

Two, Yahoo sites are the most popular in the region, unlike Google, which leads in the worldwide stakes.

comscoresmall.jpg

*Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.
**Estimated Users age 15+ active within 30 days from Home or Work computer as a percentage of total country population age 15+.
*** Total Asia-Pacific, including countries other than the 10 countries that comScore provides individual country-level reporting

July 25, 2007 at 9:01 am 6 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

Where’s the ‘social’ part of the iPhone?

Peck (MindShare, Thailand) writes:

I came across a really nice iPhone review from Peter S Magnusson’s blog. He’s emphasized on the important of social networking and point out that Apple fails to intregrate social networking in the iPhone. Magnusson writes:

(Steve) Jobs does not understand the 21st century computer usage paradigm…..Today, people chat; they blog; they share multimedia like pictures, video, and audio; they flame each other on forums; they link with each other in intricate webs; they swap effortlessly between different electronic personae and avatars; they listen to internet radio; they vote on this that and the other; they argue on wiki discussion groups…..Jobs can’t quite get rid of the notion that a mobile device is nothing but a really small personal computer.

Thoughts?

July 5, 2007 at 11:19 am 2 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:

www.bloggang.com

top-blogs.jpg

http://vip-galz.storythai.com/

blog-example.jpg

June 19, 2007 at 10:07 am 12 comments

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