Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bad US economy to have effect on startups and hotels

Just read this on alleyinsider:

It's my believe that the economic downturn will be much worse than it is today, and that 50-80% of the venture-backed startups currently operating will shut down or go on life-support (i.e. 3-4 folks working on them) within the next 18 months.

Is it a bad news? Will be the same happen to start-ups in Vietnam? Maybe. It depends what kind of business plan they have - and if they have one. There are so many companys just collecting money from ventures but don't earn one cent. That's part of the problem, that banks and funds are investing in expections but not in fundamental business. There is no difference between a 5-million Dollar investment in a twitterclone and a 100 Million Dollar Hotel project in Cambodia. Both will never pay back, because there is now real return on investment. The Hotel needs renovations every 2 years on a risky market and the start-up needs news ideas every 2 months in a overheated market.

So, even if some start-ups will shut down and some hotel projects in asia will be delays or stopped, at least it's necessary to bring the market back to reality.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Internet outage because of broken cable in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – The international Internet cable system was broken at two sites in Trang Dinh, Lang Son province and Mong Cai (Quang Ninh), affecting FPT, EVN Telecom and Viettel’s Internet services.

The incident started at 8.45am, September 26, hindering Internet subscribers of the three above Internet service providers from accessing important websites like Google, Yahoo and some news sites. Email contact and transactions related to overseas hosting stations were also broken.

Wow, and we are still alive.. !

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Barcamp Saigon - for those who wanna organise

I just set up a google group for the Barcamp Saigon Organizers, so if you wanna join...

Google Groups

barcamp saigon organizers

Visit this group

We are still lokking for a venua as well as a catering service.. any ideas?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Barcamp Phnom Penh Review - Sexy girls in Cambodia and cheap PCs

I am still moved by the Barcamp Phnom Penh on Saturday. It was such an impressing event, I never thought it will come true when we talked about a Barcamppp back in 2007 for the first time. But thanks to Tharum, Ramana and Viirak, it became reality.

Some impressions:

Some thoughts:
We had some discussions about setting some speakers on the agenda, but then we decided to start blank - and it worked. That means at the end, that the participants accepted the concept of a un-conference - which is a huge step in a country like Cambodia. And it was a surprise that a high ranking government official were there the whole day and said thank you tothe organizers.

We also decided to offer two different places for talks, although we had concerns that most Cambodians are used to listen to one speaker instead of planning their own schedule. But it worked too and I am confident that for the next Barcamp much more Garden-locations and small rooms would be fine.

The range of topics was big, and that's what a Barcamp is about. From a Microsoft Commercial to How to date a Cambodian girl, there were a lot of different and even controversial topics.

That leads me to the last point: There was a discussion during the Cambodian girl dating session (which was kind of a hommage to Bangkok Barcamp), when one Cambodian girl asked, why we were talking about dating instead of serious problems the country is still suffering from.

Beside the fact, that Barcamp is also about fun, the point is cultural exchange. The dating topic is not a Cambodian topic, it pops up always on conferences. The cultural point is about the public relations between boys and girls. Cambodians are still shy and very cautions, especially girls. "It's our culture", they say. On the other hand, in every advertising, on live concerts or when they dress up, it's about looking sexy. So there is a gap between the cultural tradition, their own feelings and what maybe the (male) public is expecting.

There will be a change for Cambodian women, and I am confident, after they will be much stronger. They will dress sexy if they want, (and not if they don't want), but also kiss a boy in public. It's then a girls own decision and not a so called cultural thing anymore.

I know, that this topic is controversial, and I like to start a discussion about the role of Cambodian girls in the Khmer society. Thats why I choosed this headline, knowing that it will attract people as well as search enginge :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coverage on the first Twitter Meeting

Taitran wrote a review of the first Twitter Meeting in Saigon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Social Advertising: Barcamp Phnom Penh

Tech enthusiasts to host innovative BarCamp gathering

PHNOM PENH – Bloggers and technology enthusiasts will hold the first annual BarCamp Phnom Penh on September 20, a conference many have termed in reverse an "unconference." Over 150 technology aficionados from the region will attend.

BarCamp, an innovative "impromptu" gathering that began in 2005 in Palo Alto, California, helps "open source" enthusiasts share information about technology in an informal setting. The idea quickly spread from California to the rest of the world, arriving in Bangkok in January 2008 and now in Phnom Penh.

"We hope to foster more innovative ways of thinking in Cambodia," said Tharum Bun, this year's BarCamp organizer. "It's all about breaking down the barriers we have in traditional conferences, where people show up and just listen to presentations. We want to think outside of the box."

Anyone can show up to BarCamp and present a topic, Bun said. Past topics in other countries have ranged from blogging techniques to "How to Date a Japanese Girl."

"After all the hardship our country has experienced, we're trying to bring Cambodia into a new age of innovation and technology," he said.

Representatives from Microsoft and Yahoo! are expected to attend, attracting an unprecedented level of attention into Cambodia for its growing technological revolution.

In August 2007, the Cloggers team (short for "Cambodian bloggers") hosted the Cloggers Summit, a gathering of over 200 individuals who listened and presented on issues of communication and technology in the once war-torn country.

BarCamp's organizers consider the conference to be follow-up to the Cloggers Summit.


Where: Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC)

Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh
Russian Confederation Blvd., Khan Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

When: September 20, 2008, 9:00am - 5:00pm

For more information, visit http://www.barcampphnompenh.org/

Friday, September 12, 2008

What studying tourism means in Vietnam

I learned that maybe some of the curriculums in some universities are a bit outdated and some teachers lack of international experience. That's what a friend told me from her tourism class:

Teacher: There is a guy coming in to a five star hotel in europe, appereantly dressed in jeans, sandals, cheap t-shirt and asking for a room. What would you do?

Student: I would welcome him and look if there are rooms available.

Teacher: Wrong. He is not dressed properly, so just ignore him and call security to take him out.

Thats how the story was told, but not exactly word by word.

One more conversation:

A guest wants to check in, but dont have a ID or passport. What can he do?

Answer Student: Maybe giving some money under the table?

Actually ist seems student don't really know that money does not solve problems like that in countries in Europe, Australia or the US.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

BarCamp Saigon in November

Who ever made the decision, the BarCamp Saigon seems to be on November 15th. Location to be announced. There is a Barcamp-Wiki-Page available with latest informations as well as a facebook group named BarCamp Saigon. If you interested, just join us..

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fight against piracy in Cambodia :-)

I just read this:

Phnom Penh (dpa) - Cambodia would begin raids on shops suspected of selling pirated movie DVDs and music CDs, a senior official warned Monday.

The South-East Asian nation has become well-known among travellers for its thousands of shops offering dirt-cheap pirated copies of the latest international movies and music, which often hit the stalls before they are in general release overseas.

"The ministry will implement measures imminently to stop the sale of pirated CDs and DVDs to protect the intellectual property of their writers and producers," said Tauch Sarou, undersecretary of state for the Culture Ministry.

I am very sorry, but if they are serious with this issue, they must raid EVERY shop. There is NO place were you can buy original movies and music.
Again the government is trying to calm down international demand and the showing some action. Its like with prostitution: Every few months they arrest a foreigner and show how the a fighting against prostitution. And then the same politicians and police officers gome back to the karaoke bars.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PM Samaks trick

PM Samaks dirty tricks
He was not able to solve the problem in Thailand, the army rejected to help just because of the protests of the PAD. Even the King seemed to be concerned. But as long as the protests were non-violent, the government couldn't use to much force either. That's when Samak sent his own troups, the pro-government protesters of the DAAD. They had only one mission: To clash with the PAD, to use violence and to force the situation to a point, where Samak can declare the state of emergency. It's an old, dirty but working political trick he used.

about video podcasting

Imaginate 60: Is Video Podcasting For You?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Anyone with Drupal experience

Need a IT company with drupal or other open source CMS experience for a intranet project.
A client (200 employees with several branches) needs a intranet solution, security is one issue, scalability another.

If you are interested please mail me at thomaswanhoff@me.com