Saturday, November 29, 2008

No bread at Highlands Coffee

It's Saturday, we went to Highlands Coffee in Phu My Hung and were looking forward to have that tasty omlette with cheese and ham. But as we ordered the waitress told us that they have no bread. At 9 am on a Saturday.

We asked for the manager and he said, the supplier didn't show up. We asked why they don't just buy some bread in one of the 4 supermarkets nearby or bakeries. The Manager answered they have to use their supplier for bread. Only as we were leaving the Highlands Coffee he started to say he will serve us coffee first and then go to the supermarket.

Actually that's the big problem Highlands Coffee has: If there is a problem, there is no solution. I as the customer have to offer solutions. Especially when there seems to be a violation of the companies policies. Why isn't the management able to give more responsibility to the staff on the ground to just buy some baguette when the supplier is late? Is it more important to wait for the supplier or to have satisfied customers?

A good service is not only to have always good quality, it's also the ability to be flexible on that high standard.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Phuc, Vietnamese Friend

Phuc is one of the first persons we made friends in Vietnam...

(Live) News coverage on Mumbai and Thailand on Twitter

Twitter is fast - and maybe too fast. Authorities in India asked twitterers to stop live coverage of military operations to avoid giving the terrorists too much information.

Sorry but in the interest of saving lives we will stop discussing any military advancements or plans. (Please Retweet)

Not so in Thailand: Twitter is my major source now, but of course i know that these news are mainly by pad people or people who support pad. but anyway its interesting to get that personal view.

my favorite sources:

Regarding delayed news coverage: I remember a hostage situation in Berlin some years ago where a news camera team where close by and transmitted live picture. Then the police ask to stop that because the news channel provided live pictures of special forces taking position. and of course the person inside the house where because of this able to see whats going on outside.

It's really good to stay in Vietnam :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Re-start portrait photography

As you can see on my Flickr-page, I did a lot of portrait pictures in Germany. I stopped for no reason when I moved to Asia, but want to revive it.

I am looking for people (male and female) wants to have some portrait picture. It's for free, you just need some hours of time.
Just email me, leave a comment or skype me on thomaswanhoff.

Examples: Pete, guitar player
piet thompsen plays on ibanez

Nicole, flight attendant

Jimmy Wales, Founder Wikipedia

What if your Bloghoster isn't anymore?

The story was told so many times, but still people wondering what will happen if the service A shuts down it's operations - including your blog, pictures or whatever.
Normally your data is gone, except the service was sold to another company who will continue operations.
So, how to avoid this? Instead of blaming the companies it's better to have a look on the Terms of Use.
Let's have a look on Facebook:
The Company reserves the right to change any and all content, software and other items used or contained in the Site and any Services and Platform Applications offered through the Site at any time without notice.

The Company may terminate your membership, delete your profile and any content or information that you have posted on the Site or through any Platform Application and/or prohibit you from using or accessing the Service or the Site or any Platform Application (or any portion, aspect or feature of the Service or the Site or any Platform Application) for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice

And even if your life ends, your FAcebook account will be still alive:
When we are notified that a user has died, we will generally, but are not obligated to, keep the user's account active under a special memorialized status for a period of time

You can like it or not, but once you checked "I agree", it's a little bit silly to complain.

What about Flickr?

First of all, Flickr is a PUBLISHING service, not a STORAGE service. If you don't back up your pictures, it's your fault.
Second, if Flickr is closing the portal (tehy don't mention this in their Terms of Service, but Yahoo does):
You acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to log off accounts that are inactive for an extended period of time. You further acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to modify these general practices and limits from time to time.

So, these are just two examples to show that it's always a good idea to read the Terms of Use.

Another way to understand is common sense. Imagine a friend wants to stay in your house over night. Of course he will not charge you for the night, but you will also not expect to have a breakfast buffet and a maid. So companies like yahoo do the same, the offer you a free service, get some advertising revenue for this, and you can use the service as it is. If you want more, its not free anymore.

It's funny to see that people always complain about a free service. If you don't like it, just use another or set up your own. It's like the overnight stay: You will not use your friends underwear just because he invited you to stay in his house.

Sounds simple?

Oh, that doesn't mean that you cannot be a critic of their Terms of Use or their business concept. You can say it's good or bad, of course. But as a user you still have to follow their rules.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barcamp Saigon

I got up early this morning, the organizers met at 7 am at RMIT, the venue for Barcamp Saigon. We had around 300 people already registered on the website and more expected to just register on the spot.
Everything works fine, the volunteers doing a great job in giving introduction, handing over the welcome package and helping finding rooms.
Even providing lunch is smooth, nobody has to wait for a long time in the queque. Like Jeff said, its the chicken-or-fish-choice, but that's fine. Hey, its for free!

Peronsally I made my how-to-wtitter-and-why-session and joined for a short time Bryan from VinaGame. He is one of the most experience guys in the vietnam internet market and VinaGame (one of the Barcamp main sponsors by the way) is the leader in this business.

I will later join the how to make money on the internet session, because my focus is not that much on software or programming but on how to turn a feature rich webservice into a good selling product.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Google HAckathon DevFest

Chip and Kevin preparing the pink Barcamp Saigon Air Force as part of our massive marketing and pr campaign.

Venue for Barcamp Saigon

The Venue for Barcamp Saigon at RMIT. Thats the Lobby were we place the schedule board and where the sponsors are

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam and their communication skills

I send some information about our barcamp event to three chambers of commerce: AmCham, AusCham and EuroCham. AmCham responded quick and nicely and promised to announce our event - what never happenend until today (even if I reminded them). AusCham and EuroCham never responded. I had in another case the same experience with the German Business Association.

It seems that beside organizing charity events they should work also on their communication skills.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oriental Dance The Cage

Its seems that dancing hits Saigon, especially Salsa and Swing. Many of my friends are now addicted to dancing, and I myself think about joining dance class. Last Saturday at cage the Saigon Belly Dancers performed for the first time. It ws very impressive, knowing that they just trained for 6 months. Great international culture.
Some breaks were filled by the Salsa and Swing Dancers, and especially the Salsa group was more then impressing. Awesome how they get into the tottaly different culture of latin dance, and it#s always a pleasure to see them. Da capo!
See the Video below and more pictures on my flickr-page.