Blogging lecture in HK

September 8, 2006

My uncle happens to be a communications professor at Hong Kong Baptist University so while I was there he invited me to be a guest lecturer. The topic: blogging of course 🙂

I put together a quick 60 minute preso and went over the basics, some stuff that’s happening in the media, how blogging is affecting businesses, and how younger people’s views on privacy seem to be drastically different than the older generations. Overall, the talk was pretty quick (perhaps I was speaking a bit too quickly) and the questions afterwards were excellent.

Biggest points of interest that I got out of the session:

  • Everyone in the room knew what a blog was. More than 50% of them had blogs. However, no one had any clue what an RSS aggregator was. Wow… hopefully I was able to spread the word about one of the most disruptive changes that blogging has enabled 🙂
  • For the most part, blogging in the US is about everyday people. However, in Southeast Asia, it seems that celebrity blogging is much more interesting to the masses.
  • In the US we never think too much about the government interfering with bloggers – employers yes, but not government. In Hong Kong (or perhaps more interestingly, China), how government will react is always an issue.

Very interesting to explore the cultural divide between blogging in the US and abroad. I’m sure Anil has a lot of experience here too (I might be wrong, but I think he used to head up the international product management effort over at 6A)

A bit out of order for my vacation related blog posts, but I wanted to get these slides posted for the students so here they are 🙂

Hong Kong PPT Slides

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7 Responses to “Blogging lecture in HK”

  1. savino Says:

    How is it possible to know what a blog is and not to know anything about RSS? It’s very strange IMHO.

    However, I believe it’s quite normal the blogosphere bias to be closer to celebrity blogging than to “everyman”‘s, as I believe censorship’s impact on the latter can be harder. The situation is well known. How was the feedback about this issue like?

    Congrats for your speech Mark, though 😉

  2. markjen Says:

    Thanks Savino.

    Good point about the censorship impact; I do believe that eventually the rise of blogging in the general population in China will cause the same sort of long tail effects we’re seeing here in the US now (with niche communities forming around people’s interests). I suppose that only time will tell 🙂

  3. Judith Clarke Says:

    Dear Mark, I attended your talk at HKBU and enjoyed your lucid, articulate account of where blogs are going. This is very important stuff. My interest is as a journalist and journalism lecturer — where is journalism going? As a 57-year-old I’m very familiar with the old news formats but very interested in the new ones and get a lot of info on my areas of interest through the web and blogs, though I don’t keep a blog or a website of my own. Two things: 1. You’re surprised that ppl here are not savvy about RSS feeds. HK is a very special situation — a compact and very crowded city with a range of cheap and free newspapers as well as good TV and radio news with many different opinions expressed, so it’s always been easy to get access to info and get published. Blogs are important in much of the rest of Asia as an underground means of communication, or are an area of struggle btw free speech and censorship, but you can express yourself freely in HK in Central or Kwun Tong and ppl will listen. In the US distance and lack of a good range of traditional news media mean there’s a big gap that blogs can fill. Upshot: in HK blogs are more of a hobby than a serious outlet for expression, though of course this may change or I might be out of date on it! 2. At the end of your talk you mentioned that bloggers are naturally filtered by readers, so you end up with a group of bloggers who are widely read and respected. How do these ppl get paid? Are they the new journalists?

  4. markjen Says:

    Hi Judith,

    Thanks for the compliments, I’m glad you enjoyed my talk 🙂

    1. Ah, I wasn’t thinking about the special media/news situation in HK. Blogging might take off in HK eventually because it still allows people to reach a global audience; however, it might be a bit slower since traditional media forms seem to be much more accessible and functional in the HK environment.

    2. Highly read bloggers are able to put ads on their blogs and make thousands of $US a month from the ads. Since oftentimes a blog is only a single person (or a small group of people) running a website, the expenses are low and most of the income is pure profit. This could become the rise of a new market for freelance journalism; it’s effects are already being seen in some areas such as technology news and political news.

  5. kel Says:

    Hello, Mark. Actually, I have read your blog for about half year. You blog content is attractive to me because I can know more about computer knowledge and your daily work. Yup, it is very interesting. The reason that I reply this topic is that I am also an undergraduate student in Hong Kong Baptist University. Surprise~~. I couldn’t imagine that we had be so close in the area. Anyway, thanks for your coming. ^^

  6. jason peaceful Says:

    You idiot.

    There is nothing informational about your presentation. Its like making a presentation about using a browser.

    I cant belv they pay you.

    And what reason do you have to belv that yahoo is better than google? You state a fact with NO substantiation.

    You were stupid, and you got fired.

    Only an immature, irrational, stupid person would post sensitive information about his work on his blog. What were you thinking man?

    Lets just say that you have a lot of growing up to do, and your getting fired was completely warranted.

    I would fire a loud mouth, blogger-during-work employee too.

    You dont deserve what you make

  7. markjen Says:

    Hi Jason, thanks for the insightful comments 😛

    The presentation slides don’t really have much in them (slides are meant to be a companion to a presentation). You needed to be present to get anything out of it; I posted the slides here for those who were present and wanted a copy.

    If you actually do a little bit of reading, I think you’ll find the answers to most of your questions. Here are some links for you though:

    Why I think Yahoo is better than Google

    I wasn’t fired for posting sensitive information, it was a culture mismatch

    I suppose you could argue about whether I deserve what I make, but hey, my salary is dictated by the free market. I get paid as much as a company thinks I’m worth 😛


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