Monday, March 30, 2009

Real location based services

There is Google Lattitude and Plazes and a lot of other services. But what I am wondering about is, why there is still no app for Facebook or twitter (beside of L:) to see if there are friends around the place where are you right now?

Yes, I know, and I always pointed to privacy issues. Even I don't want to let the world know about every step I do. But I would like to switch on and off a service. Like I sit in a coffee shop in Saigon and want to know who is nearby.

The problem with the most LBS apps they are currently available is that they have nearly no market penetration. Google fails with Latidude like Plazes failed already.

Anyone with any idea what the obstacles are? Is it really privacy?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Segways in Saigon

Segways in Saigon
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Have seen this today near Sunwah tower. They have billboards they say place for rent, kind of advertising. Wow. placing ads on segways. Great idea, you will get a lot of attention, for sure.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Balcony with dog in Phu My Hung

On this balcony in Phu My Hung the owners are keeping a small dog. He was barking like crazy. I know the dog, a friendly mix, young, always looking for other dogs to play. We called him Teddy because he looks like a Teddy. Now he is locked at the balcony. Animal cruelty isn't uncommon in what people describe sometime the place for the rich and wealthy people. Apparently money does not necessarily mean education at all. It's just a shame.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Asking locals for help with your travel plans?

Tim pointed a website to me about "Travel like a local", where you can ask locals for some advise about your next travel destination.
So, are local people really the best choice for you? I would say: not in general. It depends on your needs.

The average traveler comes to a place the first time and don't want to miss the highlights. But, have you ever asked someone from Paris about the opening hours of the Eiffel Tower? Guess how many citizens of Saigon have been to one of the museums recently? When I lived in Phnom Penh, I never made it to the National Museum (but I visited it years before when I came as a tourist). So locals are not a help for the first visit and the basic sightseeing. Who else then? Your professional tour operator. They know what tourists like (and don't like), they have the best rates and information. It's their business.

Ok, you have been in Saigon once and now you come back and want to get a deeper look into the citys life. Are locals your best guides now? Maybe. Again, it depends what you expect. You want to have a food tasting in Chinatown? Locals can take you to a restaurant they know, but is it the one you really want? Maybe, if you like really authentic food (with all the risk, but fun too).

Locals live here, and daily life isn't for them (or us, as I am a kind of local too) as exciting as it might be for a tourist. Like driving on a moto bike: It's common for us, but maybe a joyride for a tourist. On the other hand, there is nothing more boring for me as a cyclo ride (and usually f** hot too).

If you are a backpacker and want to save money and get a real authentic experience, then should should ask locals for sure. They know the cheapest places (even cheaper then mentioned in the Lonely Planet), and the best as well.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Posterous and the freedom of email

I read the following post by Anh Hung at (and could not leave a comment, that's why I comment here)

I was told that Myanmar is a nice country. Unfortunately it's people are not enjoying as much access to the Internet as we are now. Major websites are blocked, even Gmail. However, people can still send emails via Google Talk. So a group of people there are sending out emails to those in other countries and the information gets published. Thanks to these people the world knows what’s really going on in this country. And it’s not as terrible as what’s being reported by the newspapers. Not at all.

Hmm. It's not that easy. People are BLOCKED from the internet. The Burmese junta is controlling EVERYTHING. And they read every outgoing email. So whoever is sending news by email would be very very careful in what he is saying. There is a reason why newspapers get there reports through other, mostly mouth-to-mouth ways.

What surprised me was the term "It's not as terrible as what's being reported by the newspapers." Believe me, it is. That's what my friends from Burma keep saying. There is a reason why Burmese officials are not even allowed to enter Germany for the travel fair ITB.

Yesterday a nice trainee in a coffee shop talked with me about America and that they have a new president. "I like him, because he is a socialist, and we are too", she said.

Sometimes I wonder about the way people in Vietnam see the world.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Victoria Hotels & Resorts will VOTE EARTH with Earth Hour

On March 28th, Earth Hour will take place all over the world from 8.30 to 9.30 pm and Victoria Hotels & Resorts decided to join this global sustainability movement to stand up against global warming.

VOTE EARTH is a simple action that every individual can join by switching off their lights for one hour on this specific day. On this unusual occasion, some Victoria Hotels & Resorts will propose a romantic candle light dinner at the hotel restaurants or on the beach, to generate awareness.

Guests will have the opportunity to savor exquisite dishes while contributing to a meaningful cause.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dog on a short leash

Dog on a short leash
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Dog in our neighborhood in Phu My Hung, Saigon. He was allowed to run around, but yesterday I saw him on that leash. I hate people doing this to animals.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vietnamese girls

Vietnamese girls
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
Another shooting with My

Friday, March 13, 2009

Advertising 3.0: You decide

The most effective way to advertise on the Internet, or not? | Flip The Media

Quote from the article:

For example, Google may automatically assume a customer is interested in cars because the customer surfs car forums a lot. Therefore, Google will provide car ads on AdSense ads to the customer. However, the customer can change its ad preferences and even requires Google to provide other categories of ads.

some people may say, they don't want ads at all. I always hear that, and if you then look in their home you will see they love brands as we all do. Ads are not evil, they are useful, because - if done well - they give your real good information, or at least linking emotions to a product. Yes, people feel better if they see a parfume ad, even if they don't recognize that.

So, personalized ads where you have kind of control are just good. And imagine how effective!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Using you mobile phone while having sex?

Google Reader (1000+)
More than half of Asians believe mobile phone proposals are acceptable.

In a survey of 2,500 respondents from Vietnam, Australia, China, India, Japan and Taiwan, 58 percent of Chinese and 54 percent of Indians said they would accept cellphone proposals.

The survey also found six out of 10 Australians used their cellular phones while driving, nearly 80 percent of Asians used their phones while dining and 20 percent of Taiwanese were most likely to use their phones during '"extremely intimate moments."

Even me as a twitter maniac would consider some situations as not suitable for the public. Some people apparently have no private Do not disturbe mode.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Direct Marketing with Twitter: Skittles

Ok, the marketing worlds seems to be totally excited about the newest Skittles campaign. What did they do?
They are using the twitter "skittles" search result page as a home pgae to show people what the twitteruniverse is talking about skittles.

Picture 2

That might be a nice idea but:

I think more people using skittles than twitter - so it's actually a twitter marketing campaign

People twittering about the campaign instead about the product

People using the hashtag #skittles to promote their own stuff (like I did for a text with this blogdoman)

People are making jokes ("I give Skittles to my kid when we fly so his ears don't pop")

On the other hand, it's a good idea to show how people are talking about your product, and yes, I like companies who try to discover and try new stuff.

So, it's not the next big thing in marketing, but it's a new way, and we will see how long Skittles will stay with twitter. It will be more interesting to see what people twitter about the product after the campaign hype is over.

REad also this

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Live your life

I recently had a quite interesting talk with a young vietnamese woman. She quit her job (high marketing position, international company), because she lost her social life and was always under pressure. She decided to slow down, take a break and look for new challenges.

What impressed me the most was, that in Vietnam people are thinking about their life balance instead only thinking about money.

The chineses influence in many south-east-asian countries made business men of most of the people, and the culture lost track of the buddhism essentials.

It's a cliche that Asian people meditating a lot and spending hours in spas and pagodas. They spend time in their family and with friends, but a lot of these talks are about business and making money.

That's what we did (and do) in the western world too. But more and more people a getting sick from work, are burned out with 40, having midlife crises with 30 and children with 45.

I decided to slow down my life and to focus more on life quality then how much I earn. I like to enjoy my life, what is working pretty good here Vietnam. And iI appreciated a talk with someone who thinks a bit in the same way.