It’s blazing hot this summer! As I go through drafts and drafts of manuscripts, I have one beacon of hope: ice tea in a box.

Here are some pictures of what’s happening these days….


Coming to the end of a three year project. Can’t wait to see the final book published…. Tamar; the Art of Construction by me!


Suiting up Jeremy Lin – Black Lapel

Jeremy Lin suiting up in a custom made suit from Black Lapel

Linsanity took over the world this year and it seems there is nothing stopping young Jeremy Lin – who rocked into  TIME’s 100 most influential awards gala sporting a custom made Black Lapel suit. Congrats to my brother (co-founder) of Black Lapel for drumming up great buzz from a noteworthy Asian-American! Check out his site for your next chic addition….

Tweeting from the red carpet of the TIME gala event, Lin was responsible for crashing Black Lapel’s custom clothier’s site! The 23-year-old (third backup!) point guard took the world by storm by leading the New York Nick’s six game winning stream. A tear in the meniscus of his knee and subsequent surgery has kept him off the court, but the celebrity status of this free agent player is still hot.

From the blog of Black Lapel: “Jeremy is as solid a guy as they come and simply oozed class and charisma in his Black Lapel suit.  So we won’t hold it against him for crashing our site within 5 minutes of tweeting and posting about the suit.  Stay classy Jeremy and godspeed on your recovery.”

Update update update - Black Lapel!

Lin and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (wow!)

Social Media – How do you demonstrate real value and relevance? #SMWHK

My favourite quote of the week – so far:

For the everyday man, the benefits of Social Media don’t make much sense. Who cares about a random and their 300 ‘friends’ on facebook? Shockingly, Twitter and Sina Weibao are not just platforms to tell the world about what you ate for breakfast! Pinterest is a marketer’s dream as people create walls of the most beautiful and unique things they find around the internet. Well, we do care. And we are dying to get you involved in our piece of the pie….

Participant A: “How does me ‘liking’ something on Facebook help Animal’s Asia Foundation?”

Participant B: “It’s not just you. By you ‘liking’ it, your friends have a higher chance of going onto the Facebook page, learning more and liking it too.”

Participant A: “But it’s just a ‘like’”

Participant C: “It’s more than that because you like it, look at the page and your friends will also follow suit. This type of engagement taps on you and your friends looking at the page. It raises the profile of the company: especially when they have donation drives, events and campaigns.”

Participant A: “But I am just ‘liking’ it…”

This is verbatim.

What is Social Media? 

Social Media: web-based and mobile-based communication through a community of users on website social networks who share ideas, information and messages in an interactive and engaging format.

This week is Social Media Week (#SMWHK – for twitter followers) and industry insiders are out and about to build their network in real life (#IRL) and also educate, discuss and get the word out on their various buzzwords: engage, tweet, strategize, community, align…

To the everyday man, there is still much mystery surrounding Social Media. How is it different? How can it help me? What is it exactly? In the bigger picture – how does one translate and or measure the benefit of Social Media for a company’s P&L?

Social Media Week – The AdMan:

Sitting in the audience of one of the talks was a traditional AdMan who used his 30+ years of experience to transform his traditional business into a digital marketing agency. One would think that he and his company would be able to take the natural step from digital marketing to social media engaging – but like many companies, he is skeptical.

He questioned the measurability of Social Media. How do you demonstrate real value? How is it different than digital marketing? How do you package social media to clients? And the big question: how does social media translate to profit…

Well, how about running a Social Media campaign about a product. Measure the sales in the market before, during and after the campaign. Compare the numbers to a market where there was no Social Media push. As well, there are “Engagement metrics” which is data from your consumers on how engaged your customers are (time spent on page, click through rates, impressions).

This is the time for Social Media. Traditional marketing brand managers need to take note, start understanding the platforms, align their business strategies, engage their audience and above all – tell a story. By optimizing your levers in a relevant and exceptional manner, companies will be able to maximize share potential. This is real-time marketing, so plan less, use the data and manage more!

Highlights from #SMWHK:

@DarthVader – There was an ongoing competition as to who is the most ‘active’ tweep. Translation: who writes the most tweets using the hashtag #SMWHK to amplify the chatter around town. We loved how Jay Oatway and Kiri Sinclair set out to tweet @DarthVader together with #SMWHK between the two of them to raise the profile of Luke’s Father. He finished the day ranking #13. Not bad….

Sina Weibao – China’s version of twitter – is even bigger! 250 million users with more than 50,000 corporate accounts and every day there are more than 100 million posts. While news spreads fast on twitter, on Weibao the interaction is so high that news spreads in seconds. If any company is keen on getting into China – this is your portal into the hearts and minds of millions.

BINGO – Chic PR firm, Ogilvy, have been main-stays in panels around the city for SMWHK and let’s not forget they have been “shamelessly” raising the profile of their social media team – dubbed Social@Ogilvy with their inventive shirts highlighting buzzwords including pintrest, action, community, leverage, twitterfall and influencers. Love the unique theme!

Dating & Twitter – Dwitter, the must have event for singles on Valentine’s Day! While Single Awareness Day (S.A.D.) is tough for many, what a great and fun way for geeks to get together. Yes, we made fun of it – but secretly were tweeting mates to get the low down. Three couples ended up on future dates. Not bad, I say!

Best Panelist – Peter Dingle, APAC Digital Marketing Manager at Intel has great presence and also tells a good story. I am one to enjoy panelists who do it “Jerry Springer” style and disagree with everything the other panels say. This brings about a real discussion about how things actually work behind the scenes and draws out the stories we really want to hear about when it comes to managing staff, campaigns, and clients; all with real-time needs. Good insights – and would subscribe again to his talks…

Content is King – Useful Lists for Blogging

When starting a blog, content is king. The first step is to create a list of ideas. Brainstorming in a focused environment is key. Think about who your audience would be and how your blog would appeal to them.

Smart, sassy and seasoned commentary is key element of success for any blog and a focused direction for all this aspiration is vital. While I want to blog about my thoughts on the digital marketing, hard news and custom publishing trends around the region, to keep things fresh, my personality also needs to come through. So I am aiming for a breakdown of commentary as follows…

~60%: social media, journalism, marketing, news, China/HK

~40% – cultural, humour, food trends and links

While a blog should remain flexible and timely in this fast-paced environment – there should always be a list of ‘backup’ subjects to touch upon. This is the journalist side of me coming out! Relying on trend reports, regional experience and personal anecdotes, here is a following list which might pop up in the next few months when it’s a slow newsday.

A New Blog’s Newslist:

  • How to create an interesting website?
  • When should you rebrand your company?
  • How to manage a social media blunder?
  • Why write a book and how?
  • Where to find great traditional and digital content providers?
  • What makes a great writer?
  • What does Project Management mean?
  • How do you make money as a content provider?
  • Where does one go to school to become a journalist?
  • How does one move from being a journalist to becoming a marketing strategist?
  • How to manage client expectations?
  • How do you create a brand?
  • How much do you charge clients?
  • What is great marketing?
  • How does Asian marketing differ from xxx (UK, US, Australia, German, etc)
  • How do you finish on time?
  • Common mistakes total solution providers make
  • When to work for free and when not to
  • How to start a successful freelance business?
  • How to create an online presence?
  • How to best manage multiple social media pages?
  • How to create interesting content for social media?
  • What to include in a good design portfolio
  • What makes a good business logo?
  • What is the going rate?
  • What makes a good twitter feed?
  • How to improve your Facebook interaction loop?
  • How to target a particular audience?

What have I missed? Suggestions and or additions are welcome and who knows, the next blog might be about lamentations on missing (yet again) the next star trek convention… Let me know your thoughts!