Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Adult Science

My colleague Vicky shared this with me - A monthly Japanese Magazine (that roughly translates to "Adult Science") that comes with a DIY kit. Every issue of the magazine comes with a different kit where you can build something interesting. The current issue features a DIY 35mm twin lens film camera. Past issues have featured DIY gramophones , mechanical robots and vehicles with engines . Each issue costs about HKD300 (Around SGD60).

Shanghai was a blast

Been in Shanghai for the past week - The land without Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and blogs. The average temperature was around 5 to 10 degrees so I pretty much spent most of my time wrapped up in 3 layers of clothes. On the flight there, I picked up IHT on the plane and read about Google's mobile push into Japan, a country where Yahoo still holds tops. The article talked about aggressive advertising on Google's mobile platform and I suddenly realize, I've never actually seen a Google print ad before. So it came as a pleasant surprise to see one on the Shanghai metro for Google Mobile.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bring out the scarfs

It's getting cold in HK - Time to break out the jacket and scarfs. Been trying to figure out a cool way to drape/tie the scarf over my neck. Saw this one mannequin at a shop and thought this was pretty cool. Snuck a picture so that I could slowly figure out how to tie it this way.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Google Wave Rocks

I just got on to the Beta version of Google Wave. It is going to be big!

Where do people get these ideas?

http://ijustmadelove.com is a website that allows you to see on a Google Map where people in the world have just had sex. You can choose to add in your own marker. Man, where do people get ideas like these?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

H&M never again

I was never a big H&M fan until recently, when I found a nice jacket in Shanghai (of all places). Since then, I've found myself walking into the HK outlets again and again, coming out with a couple of nice sweaters and another cool jacket in anticipation for the much cooler weather this time of the year.

However, having gone back to Shanghai and visiting the famed fabric market at Lujiabang Lu, I've decided that I may never need to shop at H&M or Zara or any other clothes retailer again. I might go to the shops to look for ideas but almost anything, and I mean ANYTHING can be made at the fabric market for a fraction of any retail cost. My first trip there was to make a nice winter jacket (the ones you see in all the nice magazines (think GQ and not FHM) but never ever thought about while living in hot and humid Singapore) - However, I was so amazed by the variety and quality that I ended up with that jacket plus another business jacket and two dress shirts.

The 2-ply dress shirts cost me RMB70 (around SGD15) each - Slim fit with french cuffs (the way I like it) and are exactly the same quality shirts that I make in SG for SGD100 to SGD120.

Yes, it's that cheap. And I've done my homework in HK (SGD60 per shirt) and even Shenzhen (SGD30 per shirt). Here's a picture of the winter outer-jacket I made for RMB480 (Just below SGD100). You can bet I'll be back there soon on my next trip up.

FT.com - Using Personas

In the interactive field, we always encourage the use of "user personas" in the design of websites - i.e. What are the types of users whom would use the site and then look at developing "personas" for these users in the form of characters. Then we develop the site architecture and navigation according to address the needs of these key characters. FT.com's Advertising Asia Microsite has a brilliant example of this. Though not exactly used in the same context, it clearly shows would-be advertisers how they can reach their intended audience through the various advertising mediums available through FT.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


This is a really cool website - www.uncrate.com
Uncrate is a web magazine for guys who love stuff. The team digs up the best gadgets, clothes, cars, DVDs and more and new items are posted daily.

I Heart Onitsuka Tiger

I've always wanted to buy a pair of Onitsuka Tigers and finally did so today. Went to the Onitsuka botique at Fashion Walk (Causeway Bay) yesterday but they ran out of sizes for the models I wanted. Apparently, these shoes are really limited in Hong Kong. Managed to find this really cool pair in Mongkok today and got it at 10% off. The Hongkong sale is marvellous.

Also got myself a cool vintage Champion T-shirt from the sale at Sogo; my second one so far. These are the remodelled Japanese versions which feature vintage U.S designs. Check it out at www.championusa.jp

Thursday, July 16, 2009

United Breaks Guitars

This is a great example of how to exact revenge on irresponsible companies in the services industry who give you crap service and refuse to acknowledge and be accountable for their mistakes. Ah the power of social media.

United Airlines broke Dave Carrol's US$3,500 Taylor Guitar and refused to compensate him even though he personally witnessed the baggage handlers throwing the guitar cases around during their stopover at Chicago. After almost a year on the phone with United Customer Service staff and being passed around and finally told that his compensation claim was denied, Carrol decided to take matters into his own hands and publish a series of music videos about his experience.

10 days and over 3 million views and United is now feeling the wrath of this excellent social media backlash.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So you want to start an advertising company?

Some inspirational reading for the aspiring internet entreprenuer.

A Brilliant Letter to the Ritz

A friend of mine wrote this letter to the Ritz Singapore. Evidently, a friend of hers made a reservation at the restaurant there on the basis of a lunch promotion but was told her phone reservation was only TENTATIVE and refused to honor it:

I am writing with reference to your current lunch promotion at the Greenhouse Cafe.

About a month ago, I booked a table for four at your restaurant for today, the 14th of July, to celebrate a friend's birthday. Per the terms of your promotion, we were to have enjoyed a 50% discount on the total bill, having booked more than five days ahead.

Upon arrival at the restaurant today, however, I was told that my reservation had not been confirmed, and, as such, Greenhouse would not be able to honor my reservation. After clarifying, it emerged that my initial call to you only counted as a tentative reservation, and I needed to produce a printed email confirmation to get my table and the 50% discount offer.

Please note that at no time during the phone reservation was I asked for my email address, nor did the person taking my reservation explain to me that I was only making a 'tentative reservation'. I explained this to the host on duty that day.

I believe that the proper response would have been an apology and an offer to let us enjoy the promotion anyway. After all, the host was able to trace and retrieve my initial phone reservation. As far as I was concerned, I had more than fulfilled the terms of the promotion, which was to make a reservation at least five days in advance.

Instead, he very kindly explained to me that restaurant policy dictated that the terms of the promotion would not be honored sans printout. No apology was even offered, and certainly nothing even approaching some form of compensation for an error that was no fault of mine, but which ultimately resulted in a complete waste of my time that day. I'm sure you'll agree that you, too, would not have been satisfied with a canned response such as the one I got: that he would 'raise this to management and ensure it doesn't happen again.' Quite frankly it did not matter to me whether it happens again, as I'm not likely to return to see that it doesn't.

I'd like to seek some clarification - I'm not sure what it means to your staff when customers make a reservation over the phone - are all your reservations then 'tentative' reservations? I have never in my life been so indecisive as to have to make only a tentative reservation for lunch; I decide on a lunch date and make a booking only when I am sure I can make it.

There are only two conclusions to be derived from this episode - one, that your staff is clearly lacking the training that befits a hotel of your supposed calibre and that they themselves had not been fully informed of the convoluted terms of your promotion; or two, that your establishment was never very sincere about offering this promotion to your customers in the first place, given that you've obviously made it as difficult as possible for customers to take advantage of this. I'm sure you'll agree with me this is bordering on dishonesty.

(As a marketing professional myself, I'm familiar with the need for terms and conditions on special promotions, but I draw the line at deception and dishonesty)

I have to, however, thank you for providing me with an excellent case study on PR and marketing, which I intend to refer to as an example of what not to do in discussions with my clients. Fortunately, my day was not completely wasted, as I was able to salvage the situation by celebrating my friend's birthday at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, where we had an excellent lunch at the MELT World Cafe. Happily, the service there was excellent.

I'm not sure how, if at all possible, this negative experience at your establishment could be remedied. I am doubtful that I will ever set foot there again, and, I think, neither will the many friends I've told this story to.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Pacific Coffee Offer

Here's another Pacific Coffee offer. One-for-One on Iced Coffee drinks. Enjoy! *Valid for Hong Kong only.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Goodbye and thanks for all the wonderful memories

The essence of MJ's memorial service came down to 20 poignant powerful seconds: The moment when 11 year old Paris inched up to the microphone and, in a statement no one saw coming, referred to the late pop superstar as "Daddy". I shed a tear when I saw this.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Don't piss off Wall-Mart

This is an old scandal back in 2006/07 but Fast Company did a great editorial about how Julie Roehm is rebranding herself in light of the scandal that toppled her once flourishing marketing career.

Read it here

Monday, July 06, 2009

UA Movie Discount

I spent 2 hours watching Megan Fox get chased by Decepticons yesterday. I'm a huge Transformers fan as a kid but the movie just didn't do it for me. I didn't really like it that much - It was kinda really just ok. However, I've discovered that watching movies in HK is a rather expensive affair. The ticket at UA Causeway Bay cost me HKD81 (about S$16). I could watch two movies back home for that price. Fortunately, someone sent me a UA movie discount coupon good for HKD35 a ticket. Sweet!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Dell has been using social media platforms such as Twitter rather successfully for quite some time as a customer relationship management and communications platform. However, this is (I think) the first time, they are using it from a sales/customer acquisition angle and I think it is a very well thought out and executed social media campaign – www.dellswarm.com.

The campaign plays upon the idea of group purchases - where the more people group together to buy something, the lower it drives the per unit purchase price. Not a new concept but Dell makes use of a combination of social media elements (facebook,twitter, referral emails and SMS) to get individuals who do not even know each other but have the intention to purchase similar items together to make the purchase.

This is how it works - 1 user starts by joining a swarm (for a specific featured product) to enjoy a price lower than Dell.com’s best discounted price. As more and more users join the swarm to buy, the price reduces. The swarm closes after 72 hours or when 15 users have joined (which results in the lowest possible price for the product).

Users can tell others about the swarm through a referral email, facebook, twitter and other social bookmarking tools and follow a particular swarm via email alerts, SMS or Twitter.

Yes, you have the power too

HP has always prided itself as a socially responsible company with a high regard for corporate sustainability. They've launched a new initiative called Power To Change which essentially is a call to everyone to perform the simple act of turning off our computers when we don't use them in the concerted effort to help reduce energy waste, curb carbon emissions and save money. Part of the initiative is this cool little widget that you can download onto your desktop.

The widget is there as a reminder but more importantly, to measure how much energy you save by actually turning it off. It's an interesting social media angle where each individual's widget gets a daily sync with the HP database and it shows how much savings are made by all participating users.

Download yours at www.hp.com/powertochange

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Google vs China

This just about sums up the whole conflict.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Get your very own Twitter logo

Get yours at www.twitlogo.com

One for one at Pacific Coffee Hong Kong

Print this coupon to get another drink free (same $ or below) with every purchase at Pacific Coffee

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Follow me on Twitter

I'm much better with micro-blogging since it 140 characters is not hard at all to type out in limited time.

Twitter is such a brilliant invention. A lot of people think it's silly cos you can only say so much and I guess the fact that some idiots use it and make minute to minute updates on what they are doing ("Having a Big Mac with fries for lunch") does make it seem retarded. But it's a absolutely brilliant platform to gather on the ground news and information. BRILLIANT.

Follow me at www.twitter.com/intersphere.

Buried underneath a pile of work

I haven't updated this blog in ages. I've been too busy with work and trying to adapt to life in Hong Kong (i.e. Improve my cantonese and lose any inkling sensation of being home sick). So far, the homesick bit is more or less settled. I don't feel it anymore. Guess making more friends here does help a great deal.

Cantonese on the other hand is really hard for me to grasp. I can manage enough to get thru daily (eat, shop etc) and I can definitely listen better. But getting into a conversation is still a big problem. I've resolved to get my act together by only tuning in to Channel 6 on free to air TV where there are cantonese shows running all day long (and ignoring AXN, Star Movies etc). Oh, occasionally I steal a sneak peek.

Time to get back to work. Need to rush a huge propsal for Monday. This may be the tipping point that I'm looking for. Wish me luck. Peace out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Damn it Facebook!

Found this on Digg. This is hilarious. Taken a long time ago but still funny nonetheless. Click on the image to see a bigger version.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Uniqlo Surprise

Uniqlo recently opened up their first store in Singapore to much fanfare at Tampines 1. The brand has really cool basic stuff at a reasonable price and I have been frequenting their outlets here in Hong Kong to check out the clothes. In my opinion, it's kinda a scaled down Muji without the nice stationary.

Check out their TribalDDB designed microsite for the Singapore market.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Life in Technicolor

I really really love this song! And the MTV is brilliant!

Flutter Away

Flutter is the next big iPhone app. The app allows you to send unlimited picture messages and your geo-tagged location to most web-enabled mobile phones in the world. All you need is a wi-fi connection or existing data plan to have the convenience of sending multi-media messages (MMS) to virtually any web enabled mobile phone number in your iPhone contact book.

There's a small US$1.99 fee to download the app from the iTunes store. It's a small fee for a really cool application.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Nike Air Zoom 81

I bought a new pair of basketball shoes yesterday. The Nike Air Zoom 81, essentially a variation of the Nike Air Zoom Kobe III. The shoe comes in 4 colourways and after much searching, I've came to the conclusion that the whole of Hong Kong only has the red/white/black one left.

I really like the black/white/gold colourway and by some sheer good fortune managed to find a pair in my size at a little store off Wan Chai Road (at a fantastic bargin price). The shoe commemerates Kobe Bryants 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on 22 Jan 2006. The number 81 is detailed on the tongue and the date highlighted on the heel of the shoe. And this colour is way cool! I am a very happy camper.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Burger Galore

I've been going on a mini burger craze. The three best places to have burgers in Hong Kong according to my limited knowledge are as follows:

1. Shake ‘em Buns
2. Triple O's White Spot
3. Burger Republic

Might find more but for the moment, here are the yummilicious photos from my recent burger spree.

Lonely Ad Space

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tribute to my Dad

It's not father's day nor is it his birthday but I guess I just wanted to make a tribute to my Dad. Possibly because I'm alone and away from home and feeling a little too darn melancholic. In any case, this is one of his favourite songs. A little ironic though given it's about a son who doesn't communicate well with his father and regrets it when...well, I don't think I want to say that cos it would be too frightening a thought.

Dad and I had our differences when I was growing up and at some point of time in my adolescent life, I felt I could not be any further away from him. But now things have gotten so much better and very much closer. Here's to my Dad - the man whom I love and respect deeply and the person who has always been there for me, no matter how badly I screwed up. Thanks Dad.

Earth Hour - 28 March 2009

Check out these amazing Earth Hour pictures. I'm glad I was a part of it. I've never quite seen Hong Kong that dark on a Saturday night.

Designer Lunch

Went to the Agnès b Cafe at Leighton Road last week for lunch with some clients and man, I must say that this place is nice. I'm not food connoisseur so this is not going to be a food review. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Check out these little packets of Agnès b delights. This is afterall, Hong Kong, the land of the toothpicks

I twitter because I have no friends

This is an absolutely hilarious video..and unfortunately true. Enjoy! Oh and by the way, please follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are you being plagiarised?

In this day and age, almost all forms of content are available online and it's easy for plagiarism to run amok.

Copyscape provides an interesting proposition. Simply enter your website or page URL and it'll search through the web for similar content and matches.

Essentially, you will be shown a list (if any) of webpages that have a high number of matching content and text to your site.

Progressive breaks

I find myself listening to a lot of be progressive breaks recently on Proton Radio. Somehow, the *dum tsk dum tsk* helps me focus better at work.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friday night hangout

Made a couple of friends playing ball at the Southern Playground at Wan Chai. One of them, Karl, an American-born Chinese from L.A brought me to Swindlers on friday night. The place is a small little pub by Lockhart Road on the *ahem* slightly dodgy end of Wan Chai.

It was one of the few pubs in Wan Chai with a live band and boy, were they were amazing. It's not so surprising that they were Filipinos, Hong Kong is after all, swimming with them (pun intended). The music was a mix of heavy rock and some mainstream stuff. Crowd was mainly Caucasian with some locals and the food and beer were great and pretty decently priced.

Definitely a place to go again just to kick back and chill.

Typhoon Shelter Crab

I never used to like crabs that much. My girlfriend loves them. But after trying the spicy crab at Causeway Bay (Place is called Under Bridge Spicy Crab - Canal/Lockhart Road), I am a convert. Served dry with a mountain-load of garlic, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The essentials

Some of the things keeping me sane in Hong Kong:

1. Playstation Portable - Playing NBA Live 09 and Winning Eleven

2. iPhone - It's first generation but it works great. Other than for calls and texting, I use it for music, games and watching shows on the MTR. Current playing Futurama Season 3 (I'm a big TV fan)

3. iMAC - I use it download stuff and watch shows. I'm currently watching 30 Rock. Tina Fey is simply brilliant and Alex Baldwin is at his best. Also all the big NBA games (Anything with the Lakers, Cavs or Heat).

4. Gym - It's great that my apartment has a gym available. I'm too lazy to actually have to travel to one. There's also a pool and I'm looking forward to using it come Summer.

5. Basketball - There's a huge basketball court (its actually 4 full courts) at the Southern playground in Wan Chai about 5 mins walk from my apartment. I've made a couple of friends playing there already. Downside is that it's always packed.

6. Church - Went to a nice church last week called Community Church Hong Kong. Will be trying out another church tomorrow and decide which one I want to attend regularly.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Panic button on Gmail

Ever sent a message on Gmail and then immediately wished you didn't? Or forgot to include the attachment?

Gmail just launched their new Undo Send function under Google Labs.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


My favourite song from the new U2 album - No Line on the Horizon. U2 performing Magnificient on the Late Show with David Letterman.

This sums it all up

Ensuring Financial Success and Security

In this current economic climate, someone with good financial skillsets could potentially grow infinitely wealthly from all the possibly undervalued equities out there. Gone are the fundenmentals such as P/E ratio and book value. Market sentiment and greed/panic now drives our once (not so long ago) flourishing global economy.

If you however are not the next Warren Buffet or George Soros in the making, you can (and still) need to make the correct decisions to ensure financial success and security. That's where investments and insurance come in. Investments are primarily for wealth appreciation and staying ahead of inflation as the value of your savings get eroded over time. It is also important to look at it for milestones such as your retirement and children's education.

Insurance on the other hand, should be mainly viewed for protection purposes. To ensure that your family and loved ones will be well taken care off should anything (touch wood) unfortunate happen. You also need to look at general insurance such as medical, accident and hospitalization to help take care of the financial burdens that come with these negativities.

Still clueless? Check out HSBC's new guide to Investments and Insurance.

Amex Open Forum - Resource for small business owners

I was researching social media efforts by banks and financial institutions when I stumbled upon (pun intended) the Open Forum site by Amex.

A great resource for small business owners. I especially like the insightful article (comes complete with a pdf download and worksheet!) about how to better pitch your business to prospects and generally anyone you meet while networking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life in the fragrant harbour

It's been a month and a half since my move to Hong Kong. And I have decided to start making time to blog regularly again.

I'm writing this down so that I will stick to it. As opposed to 1 month ago when I pretty much made the same resolution. Or 3 months ago for the matter.

Heard an inspiring podcast by the hillsongs ministry about desires and decisions. Essentially, it's the decisions you make that bring you closer to your desires. To your goals.

And making a decision to lay on the couch with my remote won't bring me any closer to my goals for sure. Time to get up and get moving!