Saturday, April 18, 2009

China SNS, mobile internet today, Part 2

How ready is China's mobile users ready for 3G handsets

A recent iResearch research report surveys 3000 China netizens for their awareness, and interest in 3G handset and capabilities. A few major take aways are:
  1. Majority China internet users express 3G handset should be priced at CNY 1000-2000. This group represents mostly the professional working class. Currently, 2G GPRS users represent a much larger number than this professional group and 3G handset maker needs to prepare for even lower ASP in China.
  2. MMS and faster transfer speed are the two major benefits users see in upgrading to 3G.
  3. Operators are still slow in offering MMS service in their monthly plan packages and this slowed the take up rate of 3G even though the infrastructure is ready for larger number of users.
  4. 3G contents and applications are still limited
The still infancy in 3G content/applications, expensive handsets, MMS featured 3G plan still rolling out rather slowly, users are taking a wait and see approach before upgrading to 3G handsets. Netizens in China use Social Network Services primarily for entertainment. Majority netizens use SNS from their PC and much less from the mobile. For applications such as Twitter, Digu to penetrate into China netizens lifestyle, we should be aware that we are only at the early stage of the education process.

Digu "Meet the Bloggers" Social event, April 18, 2009

Yesterday, I was invited to Digu team's "Meet the Bloggers Social" in Shenzhen. The young and highly enthusiastic crowd fills the room with much sharing and excitement. My Mandarin understanding capability hinders my ability to gain more from the session. Dr. Song Li is very kind in sharing a bit more of his vision in English after the presentation, and with the Digu team helping to translate here and there, I am able to gain a fair amount of information afterall. Thanks to the collaborative internet ecosystem, Digu made the slides from Bollin available on slideshare. It's in simplied Chinese so I practice my slightly improved Chinese reading skill and am quite impressed with the vision of the creative mix of usage ideas. You can find the Digu presentation here.

After the presentation, I posed the following question to the group:

"As an active Digu/Twitter user with many followers, what does having ONE account versus having multiple accounts present to you in "issues" and "opportunties".

Dr. Song Li offered his view of using Twitter/Digu as a personal branding opportunity. After using Twitter/Digu for barely 2 months, I agree strongly that many twitter/digu users today are consciously or unconsciously already doing so: building their personal branding.
Bollin, I look forward to your summary of everyone's response.

Readers. I would very much like to hear your comments on this Twitter/Digu identity and privacy matters. I am aware of TwitDeck, Twirl, and the concept of Seesmic Desktop.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

China SNS, mobile internet today, a non traditional Digu user's perspective, Part 1

After three weeks of using Twitter and a week on Digu daily, I observed a distinct difference in the usage behavior between the two services. Twitter has a big community of business users embracing it as part of their marketing strategy. Digu, consistent with most Chinese SNS, is primarily used by individuals as an entertainment channel. Business and technical broadcasting are both uncommon and perhaps unwelcome by the majority SNS users.

How western SNS users use Twitter

Twitter is a three year old service which seem to me has gained explosive growth in the past year. Twitter started out as a realtime short message service that work with multiple networks to overcome the limitations of SMS. Listen for yourself from Twitter founder, Evan Williams, talked about Twitter's explosive growth on the TED show. Evolving beyond individual's chatter about what they are doing 'now', today many businesses, blog sites, trade shows, celebrities as well as TV shows use twitter in very creative and successful marketing efforts. A case in point is my earlier post of theEllenShow twitter page gaining 750K followers in a little over a month. By the way, theEllenShow as of this post has 791K followers, surpassing the twitter page itself which was started over three years ago. Glam Media is launching beta, which follows event streams and Tinker will show you relevant real-time conversations from social media sources like Facebook and Twitter. Combining the use of event twitter page and, event PR agency can generate buzz and engagement marketing opportunities to target audience who wish to follow particular events.

Digu Senior Product manager shed light on China SNS use

Tonight I met up with Mr. Bollin Lai, Digu's senior product manger, in Shenzhen. Mr. Lai received his degree from Beijing University, worked at Xiaonei and ran a web service business prior to joining Digu. I spent most part of my career in the US and only in the past few years focus in Asia Pacific. Our background and experience of the internet and mobile industry cannot be more different and the first half of our meeting you would think we speak foreign language to each other. As opposed to what one may expect that mobile internet users migrate from PC internet users, the two groups are quite separate groups with only about 10% overlap of PC internet users also use mobile internet. This is primarily the professional iPhone, smart phone group of users. The majority of the mobile internet users use simpler featured phones and lower mobile expense. SNS access are primarily from PCs and very little from mobile. GPRS (2G) instead of 3G service is the primary mobile internet access infrastructure.

No urgency for 3G in China, at least not yet

I am surprise do learn that mobile TV in China does not use the GPRS or 3G data network. Instead, mobile handset in China has additional built in hardware capability, separate from mobile operator network, and receives video content from separate broadcasting towers. Lai also commented that the GPRS performance is adequate for much of the services available today. Until larger number of innovative 3G killer applications arrive in the market and drive revenue growth, operators may not be in a hurry to roll out 3G services to every corner in China.

China mobile industry and Tomi Ahonen's Mobile as 7th Mass Media

Since social media marketing, mobile marketing are not common in China yet, it is not surprising that Lai has not heard of many of the mobile business ideas and business models widely written in Tomi Ahonen's books and in practice in the west. We agree to continue our conversation again in the near future and we will explore further how some of the social media and mobile marketing practices in the west may apply in China.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is this a Twitter follower record or not?

I have been testing using both Twitter and Digu watching how western and Chinese users pattern of using micro blogging. The WeFollow twitter directory shows some interesting statistics.

Do you now the Ellen Degeneres Show rocketed to almost three quarters of a million users in a little over a month? Her first tweet was on March 11, 2009. She has posted only 61 updates. Follower count as of this post is at 736,727. Meanwhile, Twitter's own account started the first post in Jul 12, 2007. It has 311 updates and the follower count is at 745,345.

I have spent less than five minutes on the Ellen Degeneres updates. Saw two hilarious video clips of her with other celebrities. This one with Halle Berry is really funny! I quickly added Ellen Degeneres Show to my follow list and already looking forward to see what her next update may bring!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Free content enables near universal access to DIY Learning

Free content, a great contribution to humanity

The title of this blog is Do It Yourself Mobile University, DIY M.U. The idea is that one can educate oneself by making use of the openness of the internet, social network content, mobile content and services that are readily available for free to anyone who seeks the information. This blog was started on March 30, 2009. In just two weeks time, I feel strongly that it is entirely possible for any motivated individual to gain a great deal of learning through online media to a level of competency in any field of discipline as good as traditional education. The availability of free content online compares to the building of libraries and stocking thousands of books that makes better education widely accessible and a great gift to humanity.

Quality web and blog sites and Wikipedia

As far as the content domain is concerned, the abundant availability of quality web sites and blogging sites and the very valuable Wikipedia is in some ways better and much more useful than the university text books I once had. The information is more up to date with today's business case studies that we can relate to. The large number of bloggers having different viewpoints on the same subject matter offers a broader view for the learner to develop non-biased and inquisitive thinking early on. Youtube, slideshare and many more visual, audio tools have made the learning experience multi-dimensional and highly reinforcing.

The more you tell the more you learn

Social networks and free publishing tools enable anyone to easily produce user generated content and exercises both our creative and communicative abilities. Through these channels and opportunities, the like minds connect with each other and further share with and learn from each other.

someone new to blogging and from the point of view of a Web 2.0 layman user, and not as an expert, I am amazed at the amount of knowledge I can gather from online content and the number and quality of people I have met who are eager to both contribute and learn together.

Tomorrow, I'll share what I've discovered so far about some of the business models that successfully use free content strategy to create alternative revenue streams that otherwise would not be there.

Talking Mobile : Making your hotel booking from your mobile

Last October, Tomi Ahonen and I met with a mobile data only MVNO service provider. As of 2008, there were few MVNOs in Asia and hardly any mobile data CRM applications. With 3G deployment gathering pace, mobile internet and location base services are fast reaching the tipping point of consumer applications. We discussed a great deal about identifying what silos are suitable for mobile CRM. GPS enabled travel booking seemed an obvious choice. Six months later and here we are! The UK Travelodge has launched GPS room booking from 3G iPhones. You can read the full story here. I expect we'll see similar service available in Asia not long from now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FREE, the new business model!

From FREE razors, printer, to newspaper and even iPhone app classes

Since this blog is written both for my own learning as well as for those who are new to mobile content business and mobile marketing, it is helpful to repeat using some sources of information in different context as we explore different issues and subjects of learning.

The Generation Mobile Community grows up with FREE content widely available at their finger tips. In the Feb 25 issue of WIRED magazine, Chris Anderson discusses FREE in today's business model. In fact, offering FREE product/content is not an invention of the internet. The razor blade industry has been offering FREE razors since many decades ago and making billions in razor blades. And I would add that the printer industry has been selling printers as cheap if not cheaper than buying the replacement ink cartridges. FREE content offering is most intensified in the media industry. In 2007, the New York Times went free and is paid off as traffic increases substantially. According to CNET news, on March 10, the British newspaper, the Guardian, announced it's launching an open platform designed to offer third parties free access to its content and data, in exchange for carrying the publication's advertising. Today, I stopped by my local 3 mobile operator and check on my husband's last month's billing details and realized that he had spent HKD 98 for the month on 3G data mostly for reading NYTimes on the Nokia N82 while traveling on MTR. The FREE content economy has shifted the revenue model and the more FREE content become available to the mass public, the greater the growth of mobile data and mobile advertising revenue to come.

FREE iPhone application online course from Stanford

This month, Stanford announces a FREE iPhone application development online course for the public. For those who wish to learn to develop iPhone apps, you can now do it from the comfort of your own home or even on the road as long as you have a connected device with WiFi or mobile data connectivity.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Generation Mobile Community, update

Mobile payment as a currency, sampling Malaysia, Philippines vs. HK

In my past 5 years of working in Asia Pacific, I've experienced first hand the use of mobile technology and wi-fi hotspots in the different economies in Asia. Four years ago when I was working at a Starbucks in KL, I am able to pay for Wi-Fi hotspots using my Maxis mobile prepaid sim card. For RM 5.0 a day, I can have unlimited wifi for 24 hours. Three years ago when I was in Manila, my partner gave me a prepaid SIM to use during my stay. At the end of the trip, my partner told me I can transfer the balance of the SIM card to one of their mobile numbers. So no remaining balance go to waste. I thought how convenient! I wonder if and when would Hong Kong mobile operators integrate more payment features into their service. Hong Kong however does have a unique environment where the Octopus card, the smart card which is used to pay from transportation to groceries to fast food, is so successful and pervasive that can raise the hurdle of other electronic payment options.

Web Wednesday and my first SMS marketing participation experience

The journey to discover digital media and mobile industry players in Hong Kong led me to Web Wednesday. Web Wednesday Hong Kong is started by Napolean Biggs, an internet marketing and digital media specialist. In less than a year, Web Wednesday has already attracted 1100 members according to Women in Publishing Hong Kong (WiPS) list serv. In its brief history, Web Wednesday has managed to organize high quality speakers, and good turnouts in the mothly social mixer. The meetings are generally on 1st Wednesday of the month. This month, in order to fit in schedule of speaker Matt Mullengweg, founder of WordPress, the social mixer is held on a Tuesday, April 7 (tonight). Details of tonight's event can be found here.
To promote Mobile Marketing, Web Wednesday also started running mobile marketing campaign Quiz using SMS shortcode. I will update the blog after the event tonight on how many participants we get on this campaign. All I know is I have spent HKD 2 for the chance of winning the prize tonight. Wish me luck!

The journey begins...

Tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to stand in front of 80 college students in Hong Kong to promote the Generation Mobile Community project. This is the first phase of the project which involves conducting surveys of young people 16 - 29 on their habits, understanding their use of social networks, web 2.0 user generated content technologies, mobile technology, and awareness as well as experience in mobile marketing.

Update after April 7 Web Wednesday

The turn out for this month's Web Wednesday is another success. There must be close to 200 people packed at Volar in LKF. Bigg is a fantastic speaker and did a great job in the interview with the rather shy Matt Mullenweg from WordPress. I thought the interview is well balanced to let members understand about WordPress product and business positioning in Asia. Thanks to HyperFactory, an international mobile marketing specialist, the mobile SMS quiz added mobile entertainment with prizes for the audience. There are 40 SMS entries to the quiz on site. Is 20% a high or low response rate?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Moms, internet communities, iPhone a new best friend

Dedicated to the moms of the Generation-C (C for Community!)

Thank god this is still Sunday so I can write more freely, sidetrack from mobile, community, learning topic.

Getting ready for Silicon Valley mom life style

A very good friend who has been a colleague at Sun in Hong Kong, who becomes even closer friend post Sun days, has decided to move back to California in June to settle in Palo Alto. First I wish her well and (email) introduce a cleaning lady contact to her so she can get some help since she will be without her maids and chauffeur in Shanghai and join the Silicon Valley soccer mom club doing much drivings for her 11 year old's to be very busy schedule; hence hers!
Next, I wish to take care of the family dining need. In a recessionary environment and not want to compromise the quality of dining, Osteria, my favorite Italian restaurant at very reasonable price, comes immediate to mind. If you ever visit Palo Alto, you MUST give this a try. Reservation is a must as there is little chance to get a table for walk ins.

iPhone, Silicon Valley mom's new best friend

Gmail and google maps on the iPhone are completely indispensable to me who has absolutely no sense of direction. Google maps on the iPhone is quite smart, knows my home address after I use it once, guess accurately in high percentage the places I want to go but don't really know the name or where it is? If I plan ahead, I will do Google maps and direction on the internet from home and send the direction to my gmail before I leave the house. When I am driving, I open up my gmail and whoa la! the driving direction is right there. Of course I will add the phone number to the gmail I sent myself so I can do one touch of the phone number in email and it rings the place of where I am going. Be sure to use the hands free headphone when use iPhone in the car! It is the law or you will get a ticket and fined!

No more tears! Move announcement: June 10, from Kitty's physical to online network

When I left Hong Kong in 1980s for my university education in US, the airport scene was teary! I felt both excited of my new life, and yet sad to leave my family, friends and my love. The internet community has changed all that. Emails has kept many of us in touch despite of distance, change in job, change in city as each of our lives take us to a separate path. In my own circle, the 30 something, 40 something crowds are increasingly joining social network sites like Facebook, MySpace, etc. I think the important thing is how we choose to use the social network and be mindful of what type of information you input and upload to them. For me, I am glad to use both email and social network sites to not only keep in touch with friends, but also continue to grow the friendship which these sites have made possible. Another benefit of participating in social networks is people generally post positive happenings. I am happy to learn about William's Coldplay concert experience, saw the incredible photos he took of his model car projects, and Napoleon's twit of yesterday's hiking give such positive stimulation to the otherwise idle mind.

Conscientious use of social networks

Use your social network site for positive expression. There are too much 'fear' generated by the media today. Eric Schmidt in Charlie Rose's interview has another nice quote. Schmidt says, "know where the NO button is". There is too much information out there. It can overwhelm even the most intelligent person.

Weekend blog: Badminton Social

No work on the weekend

Honoring the weekend being free, I think the blog on Saturday and Sunday should be free from constraint of the normal topics. Today, I'll share with you a nice story of a Hong Kong young entrepreneur.

The value of face to face social community, the fun stuff

Tonight I attended a badminton social organized by the parents of the Tutoring Center where my husband, Paul, works. During breaks, I met the owner of the Tutoring Center. He is a young man in his mid twenties. In the past few years, he was studying in the University of Polytechnics Hong Kong full time while running his own business past two years, the tutoring center. His center though small but business thrive and expanding. He just graduated with a major in Marketing. He hires extremely high quality teachers and I learned tonight some of the students live very far away from the center.

Hong Kong parents place high value in teacher quality, no surprise!

I asked one of the parent why travel so far. She said good teachers are important and worth the travel.

Seizing the moment to learn from our university Marketing graduate

I shared with this young business owner the DIY M.U. project and where we are in terms of content research, survey status, sponsorship status, etc.. He gets it quick probably with advantage of his business experience and design business involvement besides being a Marketing student. Later, it darns on me that I am looking at one of the perfect Marketing student that can help with understanding HK's education system's preparation for our future Marketing professional. He is thrilled to hear about Web Wednesday HK. He does not seem to involve much with the Multi Media Lab in the Polytechnics. I know the founder of an Australian mobile internet startup, Mostyle, who had worked in this Multi Media Lab a few years ago. I hope to meet up with these labs and learn more about their program.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Free flow of communication and information lead to explosive creation

Yesterday I blogged about Alan Moore's view of free flow of communication and information brings benefit to the entire society. Victor Keegan, a technology columnist, from the Guardian has a piece today on the tug of wall between operators and content providers.

When operators recently started opening their walled gardens to content creators, it resulted in an explosion of creativity with the iPhone alone generating 25,000 applications. Think what would happen if the cost of making a telephone call anywhere in the world were next to nothing. It would set the scene for a fresh explosion of creativity across the globe - recession or no recession

The prospects for mobiles on the web could be hugely boosted if the forthcoming Ofcom auction of spectrum spawns ubiquitous super-fast access via Wi-Fi. That would boost the likes of Truphone and Google, and also Nokia - which must be planning for the day when operators lose their oligopolistic grip on the market.

Last week Skype overtook AT&T as the biggest provider of cross-border calls, according to TeleGeography.
But the next mobile giant to take note is Google. Google has 97% of mobile search market.

Talking Mobile

You can now have full skype features on iPhone
My Swiss friend happened to skype chat with me from his phone while in biz trip.
3 offers Asia wide data roaming flat rate @hkd 138 per day
My friend in Singapore says his 3 from Singapore is SGD 30/day, so about same price.
China Telecom signs up 10,000 in 4 days during free USB modem in 3G trial (CDMA-EVDO)
The freebie value by HK market: 3 in HK sells the USB HSDPA modem from hkd 780 - 980.
SamSung NC310 (HSDPA netbook) estimated HKD 5000 to hit HK in May
Compare to NC10, this one comes with 11 hr battery and HSDPA built in modem
I hope they give an option of English Windows. They lost my sale last week because NC10 in HK comes with only Chinese Windows.

Happenings in Hong Kong, a mobile soccer game

Hong Kong base Artificial Life Signs License Deal With German Soccer Team VfB Stuttgart
Yeah! A mobile soccer game!! This calls for celebration.

The True Promise of the Mobile Society

Alan Moore is a well known writer, thinker and public speaker. He also co-authored two best selling books in mobile marketing:
Communities Dominate Brands, and Social Media Marketing. In this 2008 Telecommunications interview, he offers his view on the true promise of the mobile society. Here's a transcript of this short interview.

His view offers an important balance in humanity as we become an every increasing digital and mobile society. The
true promise of the mobile society is really in understanding that if we were able to connect and share knowledge and information which allows people to conduct their lives which they previously are not able to (in a positive way).

The mobile society is as much an ecosystem and not just about technology.
We can achieve that if we can create things that can meet a fundalmental human need, whether it is in health improvement resulting from enhanced communication, or more transparent democracy or fun things which improve human relationships.

Some examples

In SE Asia, text mesages
empowers poor farmers
Mobile Revolution in Africa lifts poverty and save lives

Technology when it's really successful disappears
. It becomes a utility.

Moore uses the example of paper. No one today looks at paper as a technology anymore though it once was. A UN study points out that by laying IT infrastructure in the society, has brought benefits to the commercial success of the society more than anything else. We have to see it like a utility in a way like we turn on water and it just runs. We become very upset if it does not.
By limiting the flow of communication and information, it limits that society's growth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life in Web 2.0, MeetUp your local groups in Hong Kong

Ride the change but lead the way

It is always my opinion that we cannot resist change as it is human nature to continue the search of excellence, efficiency and satisfaction. Gone are the days we finish school, come home meet the kids outside our home to play outdoor before homework and dinner. Web 2.0 brings about online social networks where we meet new friends, join interest groups, network for jobs, promote our products and services to a global community, all from the comfort of our own home.

Learn a foreign language for FREE by using language exchange service

I have started doing language exchange with a Korean college student online using Skype last year. With Skype voice and Skype chat, and a little Hyundai mp3 recorder, we have been quite successful in teaching each other our respective mother tongue. Ok, I did watch *a lot* of Korean soap opera for 3 months and it helps! While looking for language exchange partners in Hong Kong, I stumbled upon a Cantonese-English Language Exchange organized using a service called MeetUp.

Global online social network to local face-to-face social network

While Facebook, MySpace, Twitter type social network services aims to facilitate social networking globally online, MeetUp has a very unique and welcomed design goal! It facilitates local groups that share common interests to 'meet up'. As Facebook like services allows friends who are far apart and stay connected, MeetUp allows strangers who are in our local neighbourhood to form small local communities to meet "face to face" and enjoy common interest.

Two funnies for your health

For a good laugh, MeetUp CEO would like to show you "Working at MeetUp vs. Working at Google"
The message board for MeetUp Cantonese-English group has an interesting language learning video. If you are a Cantonese speaker, you must be over 18 to watch this youtube video.

Let me call you from my Moputer

No battle for netbook and smart phone for your wallet

The merge of mobile and computer into one device is right around the corner, or did we already turn the corner? Shelly Palmer of MediaBytes reports Hewlett-Packard is considering replacing the Microsoft OS in some of its mini-laptops (aka Netbooks) with software developed by Google. It could be a version of Android -- the company's cellphone software.

With the touch screen mobile phones designed to give users a better viewing experience, we see the form factor of the mobile handsets are no longer small is better. With the netbook introduction, "laptops" are coming down in price and form factor. Last week, I bought my Lenovo S10e for under HKD 4000 and my husband, Paul, bought his Nokia N82 for HKD 4200 last year. I use the netbook for wifi access, reading ebooks, and writing notes on trains and meetings. Paul uses his N82 to do mobile blogging, reading ebooks and NYTimes when traveling on trains. If I need a photo taken, I ask him to take it from his N82 because it has a nice 5mega pixel camera. Paul is debating if and when to buy the HP mini netbook, which is also under HKD 4000. If you know Paul, you know that debate can be months long research and shopping and testing equipments from Mong Kok to Causeway Bay.

Last week while at Hong Kong Timesquare Broadway Electronics store, I saw a LG X110 netbook with built in HSDPA. The price is about HKD 1000 higher than other brandname netbooks without the HSDPA feature. Go to this forum for more information about the LG X110.
There may be other HSDPA-enabled netbooks in Hong Kong that I haven't come across. This itechnews link has a review on Acer, ASUS, SamSung, MSI HSDPA-enabled netbooks.

Google says: Go Mobile, Follow the Mobile

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt says: the future is Mobile

If you have not watched Google CEO's interview on Charlie Rose yet, this is a must watch.

In the interview, Schmidt keeps driving home the point mobile is the future.
"Fast forward a few years from now, with the content and capability of sophisticated mobile phones, and with a new generation of applications. We expect eventually the majority of the uses of the internet will be on the mobile phones. Mobile phone usage is growing faster than personal computers. There are many more of them on the order of 4B in the world. In our lifetime, at least 5B or 5.5B of the population will have mobile phones. Emerging markets like China and India are growing phenomenally." After a series of questions from Charlie Rose ranging from topics in content publishing, advertising, privacy, social networks, micro payment, Google Earth, Google Latitude, digital divide, etc... Eric Schmidt continues, "The real story is going to be the mobile phone."

Hong Kong mobile data plans, my pathetic story!

O.K. I am cheap! Well, may be not! I do own an iPhone. However, it is in California with my trusted engineering friend who often help me test all things mobile internet from the US. It has cost me USD 2000 for the entire contract with AT&T so I am reluctant to buy another iPhone in HK just yet. Finally, I bought my netbook few days ago, determined to subscribe or get a mobile internet data plan to go with the netbook. After in Timesquare's Fortress for over an hour, three other people had bought the iPhone come and gone, and I am still trying to figure out the best and most affordable mobile data plan for my netbook and my Ericsson 3G phone. Bottom line is there are so many different plans, some prepaid and some monthly plan with contract. Some works for computer only, some works for both computer and mobile handset. Some daily cap, some monthly cap. Some need to buy a separate HSDPA modem, some rebate the cost of the modem when sign a 12 month contract. I am not afraid of numbers in general but I was exhausted after comparing all the plans in 3 and Smartone. Proudly holding my new netbook, but sadly I went home without a 3G data plan, feeling something is just not right.

Follow the mobile and everything else will follow

And next day Tomi incidentally send me this article from a Google guy who speaks to my heart! Thank you, thank you, Vic Gundotra. To all 3G operators in Hong Kong, I dedicate this article, Follow the Mobile, to you from the bottom of my heart!

Flat is the new phat

Flat rate data plan (I add afforable, HKD 400/month is NOT quite afforable), encourages data usage and leads to customer satisfaction.

"Consider MetroPCS, a regional carrier in the United States with just over 5 million subscribers on their 2.5G CDMA network. Over the past year, their Google search volume grew over 2.5x more quickly than another global carrier with 10 times as many users, and a 3G network."

Metro’s “secret” is a free month of web access at signup, with the option of flat-rate, unlimited data thereafter. As a result nearly half of Metro’s subscribers use the web on a regular basis. (It’s also worth mentioning that MetroPCS was recently recognized for excellence in customer satisfaction.

In contrast, many operators subject users to a labyrinthine set of data options, from pay-as-you-go to daily caps with significant overage charges. Now, can you imagine paying your at-home internet provider for every page load? Or needing to know the size of a website before visiting it? Or managing your monthly download quota across your entire household? It’s simply not practical, and it’s all the same internet, so why do we treat mobile users as second-class citizens? Case and point: my colleague’s January phone bill contained 27 pages of itemized data charges, spelled out in excruciating detail.

A mobile gadget for you lucky mo-surfers: Bolt mobile browser

If you are one of the lucky ones who has a cool 3G phone and unlimited data plan, here's a great gadget,
Bolt mobile browser, that can handle mobile video streaming smoothly. New users climb past 300,000 for the first month of beta is worth checking out.