What’s the scoop?

July 24, 2010

A Top Model contest intended to showcase talented Chinese female models around the country. Sponsored by Mina Magazine, Scawaii Magazine and Clean and Clear, contestants in teams of 2, across China can either 1) submit a video of 1 minute in duration along with photos or 2) have their video recorded at the official recruiting sessions—members on Tudou will then be able to vote on their favourite wannabe.

Videos taped at recruiting session

Videos submitted by the hopefuls

Why this works?
Many video-based campaigns in Hong Kong and China cannot seem to reach its full potential and generate enough buzz mainly because Companies cannot get very many people to submit videos to contests. Although people in Hong Kong and China love taking photos and sharing them via social media, videos is a bit of a different story.

Video: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/iOkXaZ7-cGg/

Online and Offline
To maximize coverage and reach for this campaign, Clean and Clear has full support—online and offline. Videos and photos of the contestants are viewed exclusively online, while the winner of the contest will also be featured on Mina, Scawaii (print spread deal) and Clean and Clear (television commercial contract).

Optomizing SocialGraph
On the contest website, Clean&Clear also provides a list of guidelines for contestants to help them get the most votes. The main social networking platforms seem to be divided into 3 categories: 1) QQ 2) other messenger application 3) blogs and microblogs (sina, weibo) 4) Forum and bulletin boards. There may be 7 billion Chinese people in the world and digital media has the ability and potential to reach about 150million of them (living in China).

3 Apps 1 Date

July 24, 2010

By: Josie Tao (Hong Kong)

Can we agree that first dates are dreadful? After weeding out dozens of lunatics, social climbers, gold diggers and the downright jerks, you find the one man/woman that you really think you would get along with.

Feating Iphone as Batman on your First Date
You finally have that one chance to have some 1-on-1 time with this person and you plan the most romantic,fun and interesting date hoping to impress him/her. Picking out a restaurant alone is a science—Is the lighting flattering? Are the staff Hooteresque and your date’s eyes are wandering?

After all the planning you arrive to the restaurant in a confident stride. As you see your date arrive from a distance, you suddenly find yourself sweating profusely, tongue tied in a knot and brain numbed. Technology is suppose to connect us and make our lives easier, so does it have the capacity to prevent a first date disaster?

Tech Geek by Day, Sommelier by NightYou are confident that you look smart in your new Ted Baker shirt. Your date looks so hot (not Heidi Montag hot,Eva Mendes hot) you are trying your best to resist snapping a photo of her and sending it to all our friends with a note saying “suck it!”. You are usually the Stella and Loafers kinda guy and she’s probably the jeans and t-shirt kinda gal, but tonight she got all decked out for the date and you know its time to step up and impress her.

With a little help from WineToMatch, any average geek can order wine like a pro to impress the girl. By putting in some information about the type of food you are ordering, the iphone application selects wines to pair with your meal.

The inevitable awkward silence
No matter how much you have in common with this girl, awkward silence always manages to creep in. It has nothing to do with your conversational skills or how interesting she is—you are still getting to know each other and it takes a while to be comfortable with those quiet gaps. However when the quiet gaps start to feel like a dark and steep trenches of silence, a glimpse of Hong Kong 爛 gag is a fun way to loosen up.

If you don’t know already 爛 gag are local Hong Kong brainteasers usually with a play on words. Why not take turns asking each other 爛 gag and see how gets more answers right? It might be a little geeky but keeping a first date light and fun is important.

Preparing for the worst
Sometimes Mr Dreamy who you thought was funny, sharp and smart might actually be a Spencer Pratt–unfortunately, you have discovered this in the middle of your Mango Martini as he makes fun of your iphone cover and checks out the waitress. You can try to sit through it and hope to God that the baked lasagna you ordered will arrive A-sap or you can enlist the help of Fake Call.

This app allows you to stimulate a phone call with a number and name you customized in advance. You can even set the app to keep calling after you decline the first call (while you politely insert line— “normally I won’t take this but they my aunt Lily has called 4 times! It must be urgent….”).

So will technology make our dating life a little easier? Maybe. Or are all these applications over-complicating and manipulating something that is suppose to be simple? Perhaps. You probably would not to use them every time you go on the first date, but the old saying rings true—“better safe than sorry”.

Social Media: In Sickness and in health

July 24, 2010

(Josie Tao, Hong Kong)

Social Media is Fun and Games

Social media is about having fun–sharing your new photos from the junkboat trip, commenting on your besties new outfit on her profile picture. So what happens when you are not living like a rockstar and feeling more like rock bottom? How does Social Media measure up?

A Dedication
Vienna, a woman in her early 20s, have been in and out of the hospital for SLE (Lupus) more times than she can count on her fingers and toes combined in the past few years.

Although she is in serious conditions (an attack left her in a coma for days and in the hospital for months, recently she has had 2 epilepsy in 2 weeks), we slowly learnt that Vienna is actually one of the luckier ones with Lupus in the hospital. Only a few beds away, Jennifer* has been in a coma for 2 months after a fatal attack caused by Lupus. While another woman in the same wing is confined to isolation —her skin is so inflammed and in such poor condition it will be easily infected from airborne germs.


(Yup, LupusOrg is following LadyGaGa, who revealed she tested for Lupus just a couple weeks ago)

Finding support: Online and Offline
Vienna is the kind of woman that can make anybody laugh. Very quickly, she became the nurses’ favourite for her positive outlook and energy. One day, one of the nurses came up to her and goes, “it will be really good if you can talk to Jennifer’s mom, she is having a very difficult time dealing with all of this.”

I can tell both Vienna and Jennifer’s family find relief in talking about her disease with other families going through the same thing—but not everybody in this position is 1) quite as open or 2) get to meet other people going through the same experience. And if the ultimate goal of digital media is to connect with other people and to share your experience, how will it measure it in the time of crisis, sadness and sickness?

Can digital media Band (us) Together?
With Women between 20-50 being most at risk, it is not surprising that http://www.lupus.org developed by Lupus Foundation of America is very digital forward. While visitors may choose to donate online, the website also lists all a variety off offline donation and volunteering options. Connected to a Facebook,twitter, youtube, blog and myspace, LFA is the most interactive and informative assocation for Lupus online. The facebook page has an active discussion board while their website has a Q and A blogpost every month with Doctors that specialize in treating Lupus called “15 questions with”. Each month, visitors to their website submit questions on a specified condition of Lupus.