Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint

The final quarter of year 2017 starts today on 1st October 2017, for some of you folks out there, this is also the final sprint to the end of year 2017, on 31st December 2017. Everyone of us had our own unique and special journeys during the first three quarters of year 2017, yet we might have something in common with the tough and difficult economy and market sentiments.

I am taking this time to write on a number of different topics in one article, I might expand on them that I wrote here today, if my time and research planning permits.

Updates: Running my own photography business

How was your first three quarters of year 2017 been? It had been nothing less than a very tough and challenging journey for the past nine months. Running a photography business, time was spent on building the foundations, networks, systems, marketing, branding, collaborations, partnerships and last but not least, finding the business. We are looking at 80% of time spent on the above and 20% spent on actual photography shoot and post photography shoot.

I never really talked or revealed too much into this area, not just that it is private, most of the time, many people around you don’t understand, don’t want to listen, learn and understand. There are also a handful of people around you that don’t want you to succeed, they want you to fail, sad but true (or they might change their stance and words and said they don’t mean it after they spilled the “wrong words” out from their mouth”)

There are a small group of photographer friends that can and will understand what I am going through. Listening to their own photography business journeys over the years, there is a similarity in my own personal journey. Therefore, I still have to grind my way through and make a breakthrough.

Micro influencers – a bit more differentiation into Mini and Micro influencers groupings?

Recently, there has been quite a lot of debates and discussions on the topic of influencers, from both sides of the equation, the brands/companies, public relations agencies, digital agencies etc on one side and a diverse group of influencers on the other side.

I came across this infographic article on LinkedIN written by Preeti Kumar – 7 Influencer types & How to work with them. Reading and analysing this infographic, I was looking at where I fit into – Key Opinion Leaders: Creatives, partly Micro influencers and product seeders.

On the role of micro influencers, it is probably a bigger area of growth and investment for both sides, let’s put it as demand and supply sides of things. While the quantitative part of micro influencers have been debated, some put 20,000, some put 10,000. Personally, I reckon that it is totally and suitably possible, to differentiate them into Mini and Micro influencers.

Why use Mini and Micro? What are the differences?

I am using the two words from a Forex trading lingo, mini and micro lot.

Standard Lot = 100,000 units

Mini Lot = 10,000 units

Micro Lot = 1,000 units

Translating it into digital marketing side of things

Influencer – Above 100,000 followers

Mini Influencer – Above 10,000 followers

Micro Influencer – 3,000 to 5,000 followers?

This is just something that crossed my mind and got me thinking, I have yet to analyse and put into greater details. It’s still a preliminary stage for me, if the opportunity arises to work with other digital marketers on this, that would be nice. Nevertheless, I hope to continue working on this topic in the future if my timing and commitment allows.

We must go beyond ROI with numbers and statistics, while quantitative is important, influencer marketing has a lot of qualitative, intrinsic and psychological aspects that cannot be measured by numers, revenue, statistics and numbers.

Planning to expand with/in the following areas/collaborations

Although the list above doesn’t directly translate into business for my photography business, they reinforce my networkings, contacts and collaborations on my digital marketing, technology writing and social media.

Over the past three quarters of 2017, I unlocked small achivements for myself when organisations approach me, to have a chat and see where I work together with them from there. All these are small testimonials for myself and everything that I put in for the past 10 years at least through writing, social media and photography.

Of mental health, physical health, emotions, mind and soul

A friend whom I look up upon, a very creative and talanted person in writing, photography and music, Fernando Gros, recently wrote an article titled “Creative Health Part 2 – Your Mind and Your Path”. I saw his tweet, read his article and I am kind of like being “shaken up”. In my reply to his tweet, I posted “After reading your article, it dawned upon me that I am stressed out, not taking care of my mind, body and soul.”

The truth and harsh reality is that it can be really brutally hard at times, we just have to take care of ourselves, going through regular maintenance. Not to mention, even the best engineering devices also wear and break down even with regular maintenance.

In case you missed it, Fernando published this book title “No Missing Tools”, do check out my article and have a read and you would be enlightened and know why I respect his works and views a lot.

Where do I go from here?

The seeds had been planted, watered and being taken care of. While not everyday is sunshine, there were rain, storm, bad weather that hit the growth of the plants. Hopefully, the changes and corrections were in place to make the seedlings grow better and faster, allowing me to harvest the fruits of my labour.

Being thankful and grateful

In this short time frame period of a year, there were those that have happy news while I am fighting pain, hurt and loss. Losing 6 people, 4 were relatives of which 2 of them were very close to me, the others were 1 mentor and 1 uni junior.

I may not have the most happy and joyful time during the past 1 year time frame, one of the toughest time that I went through. It made me reflect a lot and be thankful and grateful for everything that I have, the family, relatives and friends support.

Final thoughts

Technology and disruptions are not going to destroy us, ignorance and complacency are going to destroy us.

We MUST start to make the changes, no matter how painful and difficult it will be or else, we might be in a spiral downfall for the next 1-2 generations.

In the midst of re-strategising and making changes to my flow, workflow, daily flow, well-being, growth and rest, while embarking on my Final Sprint Q4 2017.

Entering into the 40s band

The time now is 10:01 am or 10:01pm on the 10th January – 10/01.

Today marks the day, whereby I officially enter into the 40 age band. The last time I entered into a new age band was 10 years ago, entering the 30-39 age band. The thoughts and feelings were so different from then 30 years old and now 40 years old. I had mellowed down over the past 10 years, slowly getting myself away from nonsense and rubbish on the social media platforms.

There were times when you can see and feel, that you are getting older, just by looking at the people around you. My nephews and nieces have all grown bigger and older, my friends children had grown and some of them had more children in their family.

Entering into the 40s age band is like the new era of 30s, there are still many opportunities and great things to achieve ahead for me. Although I would not be as fast and energised like when I had the health and body energy of a 30 year old.

Age is truly a number, no doubt about that and you cannot run away from it! While I can never run away from getting old, my heart, mind and soul can still be forever young with a higher and increased level of maturity, thinking, experience from the life journeys. While I may not run as fast as before, I am still learning and growing, exploring and setting new goals and objectives. A person’s life learning journey must always be ongoing, no matter how big or small the lessons are.

Oh yes, in Singapore, when we reach 40 years old, we are automatically enrolled into this health insurance program known as ElderShield, you can read up more about this program here. I have a feeling my younger friends are going to give me the short end of the stick again for getting inside this program. Alright, this is also a huge and constant reminder to take good care of my health, keep and stay fit, exercise more!

While I am having mixed feelings of hitting the 40s, I am excited of the new journeys and adventures ahead that I embarked upon at the start of the year 2017.

Oh yes, welcome to the 40s club!

The Internet of Things

A phrase that had probably been in the minds and brains of corporations, businesses and technology firms. I might have been a bit slower to learn about this phrase yet I am experiencing it first hand, like many other people too, on an everyday basis in some ways or another, in my work or in my personal life for the past 5-10 years. The world of internet, technology, devices, computers, tablets, smartphones, coupled with the power, diversity of social media channels and platforms, in the past 5-10 years had risen and metamorphosis exponentially.

This is the Internet of Things, let me welcome you to the Internet of Things or have you just realised that you are already in the world of the Internet of Things?

During my media trip to Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai, I heard about this phrase – “Internet of Things” from Mr Fujio Mitarai, Chairman & CEO of Canon Inc, during his keynote speech. I wrote this phrase down inside my special Moleskine Canon EOS-1DX Mark II book, I would be sharing more about Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai, do keep a lookout for them! First, let me share a key point that I wrote down during Mr Fujio Mitarai keynote speech ~

“Internet of Things is opening up new worlds”

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects such as devices, gadgets that has software, electronics, sensors and network connectivity that enables theses objects to collect and exchange data (Source: Wikipedia)

A line from Salesforce articleEveryday objects are also using the Internet to connect to the cloud forming an “Internet of Things”  

The Internet of Things is an extension from the growth, proliferation and expansion of key devices/gadgets and technology such as the smartphones and tablets, 4G, Cloud storage/computing, coupled and growing together with social media channels and platforms. Our lifestyle, our workflow, our gadgets, our devices, our consumption of the internet, mobile data and social media, this is indeed the Internet of Things. We are living in a highly connected smart world with our smart devices constantly connected to the internet, social media, technology, business, work and personal life.

The Internet of Things would be an area that I would be covering, starting from Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai experiences with my knowledge from using Canon’s DSLR cameras and Canon’s connection with customers through Canon’s Internet of Things.

Internet of Things is the next growth area, revolutionising business and their outreach towards their customers with technology, connectivity and gadgets. This growth area is estimated to be worth a potential of $14.4 trillion for companies worldwide (Source: Salesforce)

Internet of Things, connecting people, connecting technology, connecting eco-systems between people, devices and technology. Is the Internet of Things a whole new world out there or is it a world growing more connected?

It’s Time for A New Hope

The time has come, it’s time for a New Hope, a new beginning, a new adventure, it might sound exciting, it might sound scary since the year 2016 world economic climate is getting more difficult and uncertain. Whatever it is, I have to take the next step into the new world, an exploration into a new world? Or an exploration to open up something that I had been doing on the sidelines and turning it bigger ?

Is it time to start my own photography business? Is my photography partnership project ready to kick off?

Or should I continue with a day job and do my photography as freelancer, thus allowing me to pursuit personal photography projects?

Some people just pick on my weak points, some friends pulled me up and advised me to look at my positive side of things (and be mindful of my weak points). Some people don’t see me as multi-talented and have leadership qualities, some friends see me as multi-talented and have leadership qualities.

I am very grateful for true friends who provided not just a listening ear, they advised and enlightened me, not to stoop down to other’s low levels. I want to say a very very big thank you from the bottom of my heart, no words can describe my deepest appreciation for all your support and words of encouragement.

My favourite Taiwanese rock band new song really resonates with me, it is titled “Braveness”. It is now the time to be brave.

Managing my time on my social media platforms

I had for-seen this thing coming to me, sometime back, I had started to slow down on social media usage especially on my personal Facebook wall and moved towards updating photography stuff on my Facebook Page. In the most recent months, partly due to heavier workload and the friends FB wall getting more complaining, ranting, sharing of stories from “those sources”, it got me to a point whereby I was quite turn off by the posts and rants on Facebook.

The peak and crunch came during the most recent General Elections 2015 in Singapore, the amount of arrows, posts and words flying across the social media channels and platforms. For once, I was kind of switched off totally from my Facebook with the exception of updating my Facebook Page with posts and sharing of photography articles.

Social media, writing, blogging and sharing had brought me to many places, made more new friends and gave me the outreach that I can never imagine for my photography. From the various social media channels and platforms, I was able to learn, improve, participate and interact with like-minded people on photography, travel, heritage, conservation, tech stuff etc etc. Social media is useful for connecting with friends and relatives living overseas and to keep up to date with them.

The turnoff probably come from too much ranting and complaining. In some aspects, fighting and bickering on their FB wall. When my friend Jude shared a video on Anti Social Behaviour, it made me realised that the human race had become Anti Social. Yes, we can’t deny that social media will now be a part of our lives and lifestyle, for the future generations and beyond.

I will still continue to use social media for my outreach, publicity, awareness and marketing. I will also manage my time on social media platforms. The key social media platforms for me in the near future would probably be

Quick and Instant Updates

Twitter

Instagram

Summary Updates

Photography Site

Facebook Page

500px

Flickr

These few platforms allow me to provide instant updates and sharing of my photography. Twitter, of course allows me to say quite a lot of different issues/matters/topics under the weather (I must remember not to anyhow write and post stuff).

Our adult time in this era, quite a lot of time is spent on work and work (and it is already very stressful and pressuring). In my leisure time, I want to spend quality time on quality human touch connections whenever possible and the other is for my personal photography projects that are meaningful, fulfilling, intrinsically rewarding and that can contribute back to society.

This is probably just me, you might share the same thoughts and feelings with me too. However, this might not apply to you too. My friend Jude wrote in our conversation “Don’t disconnect the human touch”. I totally agree, even when we are using the social media platforms and channels.

Let’s bring back the human touch and connections.

Book Title: “No Missing Tools”

In life, we meet many different kinds and types of people from all walks of life, from all over the world. There are really nice ones, really nasty ones. Some of these people come and cross into your life, they are here for a reason, for a purpose and they impact you in some ways or another through their actions, words and things that they do.

There was this bloke that I got myself acquainted on social media, his name is Fernando Gros. Over time, chatting with him on Twitter regularly, following his photography works and articles on his blog. He is an inspiration, a very talented artist, musician, photographer and writer. I managed to meet Fernando in person and had kopi when he was based/living in Singapore, yes, we talked a lot about photography, more on the art and craft of photography than the technological advancements of cameras.

Being a photographer (serious amateur/freelance), I looked upon fellow photographers for inspirations and advice from their photography works and sharing. Through Fernando’s networks and sharing, I got to know more photographers, their works and sharing. All of them were immensely talented and skilful, yet something stands out among them in common, it’s their practice on the creativity, the art and craft of photography as a beautiful form of artwork, the photographer as an artist. Through this process and journey, I learned and explored more in-depth about my photography that I might have lost touch with, the themes, the art  work and most importantly, why I want to photograph this. All this might have just helped me to unlock the creativity inside me.

We would love to meet up more and go out on photography walks, however, Fernando moved to Japan and we couldn’t do photography walks here in Singapore. I have to plan a meet up and photography walkabout in Tokyo when I am visiting! A few months ago, I read on his progress and updates via his articles on the book that he was writing. This got me excited and I was looking forward to the launch of his book and I waited patiently (while busy handling day job matters and lesser time for my photography).

IMG_8651

Soon the book was launched, titled “No Missing Tools”. There were 50 limited edition hard cover books with the author’s autograph and I thought I missed getting 1 of them! Amazingly, I managed to secure a limited edition hard cover “No Missing Tools”!!

Collecting it from my local post office, unboxing and opening up the book, the feel of a hardcover book, opening up the book, flipping through the pages, the aroma of the paper print. It’s an amazing feeling, that artists and publishers can feel it and understand. This was what I went through when I collected my Hokkaido Black and White Landscapes Photo Books from my printer company. It’s priceless.

I had a quick read through the introduction and acknowledgements page. I was in awe when I spotted my name inside on the acknowledgements page!! This was a very humbling and very happy life experience for me, never in my life did I expect that I am (and can be) a creative person to my friend Fernando who is an immensely talented and creative artist, musician, writer and photographer. Never did I expect that I can be of such an impact to my friend Fernando Gros!! It’s a really a great honour and I can learn so much more from you and your wonderful book!!

IMG_8653

If you like to follow the works and writings of a very talented friend, artist, musician, photographer and writer. Fernando Gros, here are the links to his works

Twitter

Instagram

Blog

Book title: “No Missing Tools”

Congratulations Fernando, on the launch of your book “No Missing Tools” !! I did a quick flip through and some topics immediately strike a chord inside me, my heart, my soul, my creativity.

Thank you for believing in me and my creativity!! When I am reading “No Missing Tools”, I will learn from your teachings, share my thoughts and experiences with my photographs with you and my readers!!

It’s time to Pay-It-Forward and Impact the life of others through “Creativity In An Age of Abundance” !

HootSuite World Cup 2014 Daily Highlights & Weekly Round Up

World Cup 2014, the holy grail of the football world coming together to win the World Cup and fanatic fans catching and watching World Cup football action in Brazil. It had been a week since the official opening and the first game between Brazil and Croatia. The first week of World Cup 2014 football has produced some awesome, exceptional and to some extent surprising results and outcomes. Moreover, World Cup 2014 in Brazil is proving not just to be a live football action on the pitch and television, there were lots of actions and followings on the social media channels and platforms. Football is not just taking the world by storm on the pitches in Brazil, the world of Social Media is talking and discussing a lot about World Cup 2014!

Twitter, one of the main influential social media platform an channel, is seeing a lot of “action” with their tweets and mentions on the Twitter time, accompanied by the hashtags. World Cup 2014 is a very suitable timing for major brands to further and widen the outreach, awareness and publicity of the brands, not just on television, it’s also on the social media channels and platforms.

With 2010 World Cup Champion Spain crashing out of the first round, how will the remaining Round One matches turn out? How are you, the football fanatic going to follow the latest football and World Cup 2014 news besides football websites and major news websites? A modern football fanatic leveraging and following on social media can even be faster than the traditional media news channel! Stay tuned to the tweets, mentions and posts on the various social media channels!

The number of mentions of the most socially connected World Cup season yet breaches the 7 million mark, here are some of the highlights to show the teams and brands that fans are rallying for.

In the Games:

  • 1.6 million mentions of the Spanish team was recorded this week, during the defending World Cup and Euro Champs’ 2 miserable defeats, which led to their failure to enter the knockout stages of the cup.
  • Brazil’s forward Neymar was mentioned 3 times more after he made 2 goals against Croatia in the opening game (15k mentions on 13 June) than after yesterday’s tie-game with Mexico (5k mentions on 18 June).

For brands:

Have the sponsor and partner brands found the magic bullet to pulling them out of social media obscurity? 

  • Sony leads the partner brands in the total number of mentions this week (close to 500K mentions), while others like Coca Cola and Adidas trail close by (each with about 400k mentions).
  • Sponsor brands’ live tweets during the game are gaining a lot of traction: Macdonald’s smart play on words with #macdonegoal peaked at 250 mentions on 17 June and Budweiser’s Man of the Match conversations helped them gain over 1.5k mentions on 18 June.

There are some valuable information and graphs provided by uberVU Boards and HootSuite on the outreach of World Cup 2014! Take a look through the various graphs, infographics and statistics!

uberVu via Hootsuite World cup daily-highlights 19-Jun-2014-page-001

hashflags-report 19-Jun-2014-page-001

sponsors-and-partners-example-report 18-Jun-2014-page-002

sponsors-and-partners-example-report 18-Jun-2014-page-005

* Information courtesy of uberVU Boards, HootSuite and Ogilvy Public Relations *

HootSuite Continues Social Analytics Innovation with Launch of uberVU Boards

HootSuite, one of the social media management platform that I am using now for my Twitter usage and management, is a social relationship platform for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure, web-based dashboard. HootSuite continues social analytics innovation with the launch of uberVU Boards and I would be sharing with my readers and followers more on them. If you are a social media community manager or managing your business enterprise social media account, this would definitely be of great interest and helps in your company/business social media management!

HootSuite, the world’s most widely used social relationship platform, today announced uberVUBoards, a new data visualization tool which allows users to create customized, action-oriented data views by pinning adjustable widgets into unique dashboards. uberVU Boards allows users to quickly identify business insights from key analytics and aggregate data points for real-time sharing of what matters most to them.  Unlike traditional data visualization technologies, Boards has been designed so that any user can easily identify a metric, pin it to a dashboard and generate a report with just one click.

HootSuite acquired uberVU in January and introduced an uberVU integration in the App Directory 30 days later to bring key monitoring from across the web into HootSuite’s robust social engagement solution. Boards is HootSuite’s latest innovation towards making uberVU via HootSuite the most personalized, actionable analytics platform for enterprise customers.

Users can streamline workflow and take action on what matters most in real-time by setting up Boards for daily tasks such as:

  • Customized campaign management: Manage campaigns in real-time using customized Boards to track specific KPIs and metrics against targets. Create multiple Boards to scale social analytics across projects and track progress, and then turn dashboards into reports for quick sharing across teams.
  • One-stop social media management: Set up a personalized social media command center as your home Board and pin metrics that are used daily, such as mention streams or spike signals. Use widgets like conversation maps to gauge brand sentiment and address questions without having to toggle between multiple streams, tabs or timelines.
  • Competitive market research: Use Boards to stay up to date with industry trends and key conversations. Use side-by-side views for direct comparison of competitor standings and instantly aggregate data points most relevant to a division, campaign or metric. Then, generate reports of key business insights with  just one click from the same dashboard.

To learn more about uberVU via HootSuite Boards, sign up for the webinar “Introducing Boards to the Enterprise” on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 8:00 am PT / 11:00 am ET / 4:00 pm GMT, hosted by Mark Pascarella, general manager of HootSuite Analytics.

* Information Courtesy of HootSuite and Ogilvy Public Relations *

HootSuite engages with Game of (Social) Thrones video!

HootSuite, the world’s most loved social media management platform, launched a Game of Thrones-themed video, that has now brought the vision of Silicon Valley’s palace intrigue to life with Facebook, Twitter and other tech giants, reimagined as powerful players in the Seven Kingdoms! The various social networks take on the roles of King’s Landing, Winterfell and other important GoT locales. Facebook raises towers for its recent annexations Instagram and WhatsApp, while blue birds fly toward Twitter’s fortress. This is to emphasise HootSuite’s usefulness as tool to manage multiple social media accounts at once.

Do check out HootSuite for your social media needs/management! I am currently using HootSuite for my Twitter and I am looking at exploring HootSuite further for my social media needs/usage!