Do you Plurk?

I get the impression that Plurk is in a world of Twitter is somewhat like Orkut in a world of Facebook. Still valid in specific places, yet mostly irrelevant.

Orkut used to be dominant in Brazil and India, but recent reports this has changed in the latter. According to Techtree Facebook has surpassed Orkut in presence in India. There has also been a surge on the usage of Facebook in Brazil, but it has yet to surpass Orkut in presence.

That puts Plurk in an interesting position in certain locations of East Asia, in which it’s relevancy it’s comparable to Facebook, and Twitter is barely noticeable. Plurk is so relevant in Taiwan, that local Android smartphones already come with it as a bundled app.

The two picture below illustrate their interesting position in Taiwan.

Screenshot from 7-Eleven website in Taiwan.

Notice that the Social Media channels made available include only Facebook, Plurk and You Tube.

Firefox 3.6 update.

Once again Facebook and Plurk made available as Social Media Channels.

Before I finish this post, let me answer the question that I proposed as this post’s title. Do I Plurk? No I don’t. Don’t even have an account, but I’m aware of many relatives who do, and send those updates to Facebook.

Do you Plurk? It’s not a relevant question if your target public is all in the western hemisphere, but if you plan to reach certain target publics in the East, you should reconsider your positioning, if you don’t Plurk yet.

These guys are dust: the birth of the queen of Internet.

There were a lot of memorable moments during “Chosen” the final episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. In my top favorite moments of that episode is a brief line profered by a newly minted red-head slayer, empowered by the special abilities bestowed by their calling, with a new level of confidence to face an giant army  of Uber Vamps.

If you don’t know Felicia Day yet, at some point you will.

She’s the creator, star and writer of the Internet sensation web series The Guild. A very clever show, that had a first season that was maintained with the help of donations from fans. Now in it’s 3rd season, they have found a sponsor on Xbox, which guarantee all people involved are paid and have created a very neat distribution structure of the show, that not only keeps it free aspect for the whole audience, but have also found a very interesting way for the sponsor to actually get something back from their sponsorship, not just simply slapping a logo somewhere in the show.

Tomorrow, you’ll probably see her with Neil Patrick Harris as they bring in another big thing from the Internet to the mainstream big tv audience of the Primetime Emmy awards, with something related to Dr. Horrible Sing-Along-Blog. But before that you should maybe check out great music video below:

Do you want to date my Avatar?

Liked it? The new season of The Guild has just started recently, and you can watch it through their website: http://www.watchtheguild.com

BONUS
Check out the Second Life avatar version of “Do you want to date my Avatar?”

Won’t be Binging anytime soon.

I just read the brief but interesting Mashable article on “Microsoft’s Plan to Win the Search War“.

Made me think about how there’s a a general sense of geeks setting the new trends, but at the same time there’s a generalization of geeks. At least in the circles I run with the separation is not as clear, and it does make a hell lot of difference, especially for brands.  Won’t be addressing anything directly from the points given in the post, will however reflect on a few things that the post made m,e think about.

What lead me to this? The article made me think about how likely I’d be switching to Bing as my default search engine, and that’s very unlikely. (Hey, Microsoft, at least you made me talk about it, that must be for something, right?)

I think there are at least two very major types of geeks that must be considered, especially for brands. As usual the classifications below will go into some stereotypical simplification, but try to get the essense of what I’m pointing at.

– There is the Pioneer, this is the person who always on the edge of things. These are the people, that before Ashton Kutcher and Oprah made Twitter the new cool thing, even before it was widespread among their peers were already using it back in 2006. For them it is already old news, such old news, that they might already have given up on it, and are testing or trying out something else. Generally when something becomes cool for the general public, it’s already uncool among them like 10 minutes ago. They are the main characters in the eternal struggle of the “Early Adopters Vs. the New Users”. What this means for brands? Forget brand loyalty, they’re the ones who ‘ll move on for the next best thing without hesitation, and they won’t stick with the “new thing” because it’s the newest thing, but it has to be a good new thing. Does this help Bing? I don’t know, but microsoft move of making it friendly for third party apps, will definitely help.

– Then there is the Fan, this is the person who already has the latest Iphone, but you’ll probably see him/she in line when Apple releases the next iteration. Yes, as a fan you might also find this person in fan gatherings, such as Harry Potter fans, Lost fans, or in my case Joss Whedon fans. Those fans can be overlapping or have no relation at all. They’re not necessaily the people on the edge of things like the Pioneers, but they’re always ready to get into the newest creation from their favorite series or creator. They’ll fight for the things they’re fan of: you know the eternal struggle between Star Wars and Star Trek fans, and there are people who are fan of boths. What this means for brands? Brand loyalty all the way. You’ll have a really hard time to convince this geek to change, if it means a big change to another brand. Unless their favorite brand screw ups really big, you won’t seem this person changing. This person might even try out the new stuff from another brand, but if it’s mostly the same as the one they can get from their favorite brand, they’ll just shift back without any regrets.

What type I am? I’m a fan. Not just because I might be the first line of defense for anything Joss Whedon, for that we can discuss it in the Whedonesque threads.

As I reflected on other things that I use or have or consume,  I can easily conclude that I am a very brand loyal person. Brands matter to me. A google brand with a new product does reflect as endorsement in my opinion. I’ve only been wearing Timberland boots for over ten years, and plan to buy another one in a few months time. Been using the same brands of toothpaste for years. Bought Listerine’s PocketMist for the first time in 2007, because that brand means something for me. Not that I won’t try anything new, but while choosing similar things, I tend to side with the one I trust the most.

At the same time that I still consider Guaraná Antartica the bestof it’s kind in the market and will not order any other brand unless it’s unavailable, but currently I’m really digging Kuat Eko, which is a spin off from Coca Cola Guaraná drinks, which combines guaraná extract with green tea. I will drink Kuat Eko whenever I can, but for the normal type of guarana soft drink, I will still go for Guaraná Anatartica.

Note for the reader: Guaraná- Brazilian soft drink produced from the extract of the namesake fruit. Sales are close or even surpasses of the Cola softdrinks. Wikipedia entry can be found here.

As Ben puts it well in his analysis, Microsoft has a long road ahead. I know the final goal is to claim who is the leader in the field, but just like my thoughts onto the Twitter Vs. Facebook subject, I hope they can co-exist, as they find a proper role for each. I still prefer Twitter over Facebook, but that just reflects on how I use and explore the tools, not in the sense of which one is better. Maybe that could be a solution fo Bing, make it different from Google, not just another search engine, but something that can do some of the same things, but at the same time is somewhat different. Maybe then, I’ll try Binging something.

Twestival: Tweet. Meet. Give.

So the day finally arrived.  Today, Twiterrers from 175+ cities around the world  join forces for 1st major Twitter based charity event.

The event will definitely serve as an interesting case study for the future, as this major social network work towards a common goal: raising money and awareness for charity: water.

There are several ways to contribute , even if you’re not close to one of the host cities. These suggestions and the complete list of participating cities (and their customized event mini sites) can be found at the event official website:  http://twestival.com/.

Jennifer Connelly in charity: water Public Service Announcement from charity: water on Vimeo.

Google’s Orkut: 5th Anniversary.

It’s something curious to follow news and stats about social networking websites, and Orkut owned by Google (since around 2006)  don’t appear as much under the radar. This social networking website commemorated its 5th anniversary, last monday (Jan 26th, 2009).

Personally I suck at these networking websites, where I never really fully use its features or even as a full networking tool. I’ve created accounts in several of them, some of them that I don’t even remember anymore. Orkut was definitely the 1st of them, some time before it was bought by Google. Facebook may be the one a little bit more prolific these days, but even so, not by much. My preference over the simplicity of microblogging over at Twitter, beat any curious feature that appear in these sites.

The contrasting aspect is how much Orkut is not in the radar around most of the world, but it’s the ultimate success in Brazil. The following story from Info Exame, about it’s 5th anniversary does bring us several interesting data. Very early its introduction, it speedily gathered Brazilian users, despite it’s sort of limiting registering by invitation feature. In little time the Brazilian user were majority in that site, and now it the most visited website in the country, in which users spend most time.

The data about Orkut in Brazil  I’m listing below is from the linked article:

  • 37 Million of Brazilian Registered Users (non-confirmed), from which an average of 17 million are home users.
  • Visitors spend an average of  4 hours and 40 minutes per month in it, and this average peaked around 5 hours in a few months.
  • Major social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace barely appears in the Brazilian radar, as it registers less than 1% of user participation.
  • The mojority of the users are still from young people, but in recent years the number of older users did increase. In 2008, the 25 to35 demographic increased by 31% in the website, while the young users only increased by 15%.

It’s an interesting take on it, so much that Orkut as an word and concept might be able to summarize the social networking phenomenon in Brazil by itself. As positioning for companies looking for potential costumers, if you’re looking for them in Brazil, by targeting Facebook or Myspace might not be the best choice, as Orkut by the numbers might generate more ROI of the all.

If you’re like me have more an academic interest over the phenomenon, things might just be a little bit more complicated, especially if you’re attempting to set a more global view of the statistics, but the additional complexity in the scenario might just be the fun part in all of this.

Does stereotyping means segmentation?

A friend of mine just emailed me the following images, mostly as another one of those funny emails, you are always getting from friends.

Yeah,  they’re funny. But the after thought disturbed me a little. Are they really appealing as an campaign?  It reminds me, of how ad campaign for beers, just like margarine ads, are usually interesting cases to be analyzed, especially on its cultural take. They’re open books for what “socially acceptable” in your given society.

Beer ad campaigns are mostly male oriented, even the more quirky ones (yes, Budweiser, I’m looking at you now). They associate themselves with happinnes, beautiful women, fraternity, and other words as such.

The point here is can this sometimes go to far (it seems like my main question for the day). The campaign could be listed among the quisky ones, even if just considered through the point that the thought process is different to men and women.

However, does designing campaigns through the eyes of the stereotypes, really allow you to reach your targeted demographic. Wouldn’t be more harmful, than positive?

It was already the trend, even before the current economic crisis, reaching out to specific public is an essential part to the success of most business plans, especially if the attempt is not only to create awareness, but start a relashioship with the costumer.

In families, in which the women are the deciders of what purchases are made, what is the effect of such campagins, wouldn’t cause more negative reaction toward your brand, rather than generating potetial costumers?

A curious comparison that could be done one of these days, browse youtube for different video campaigns for beer from around the world. The result will either confirm the shallow observations above, or actually provide some interesting data for further study.

Then do same with Margarine. Wonder what would be the result…

Can viral go too far?

Recently bumped into the following video, which through some digging or thought it can figured out as an viral video for Nike.

It does have great elements for viral campaign, the exagerration wouldn’t bother me as much if it wasn’t done through a celebrity. Though the whole subject of the video itself, is about it. It just makes me wonder.