What’s better: elaborate design or minimalism? Is your company wasting money trying to be eye-catching when basic packaging could take the reigns?
KAYAC Inc.[J] has released a smartphone transportation game application called "Go Go Cargo" for North America, and it's a free download at App Store and also Android Market.
"GO GO CARGO" is a simulation game in which the player serves as an operator of an express company and delivers the requested load by designing a transportation route across the tracks. As each designed delivery route carries a load more efficiently, the delivery area is expanded, with the goal of becoming the "transportation king." They are going to add actual US' places in the map.
"Unity" is a game engine for developers.
A map and GUI (graphical user interface) that lets you use many scenes simultaneously and control multiple cameras. Particle physics bring the track to life, with train smoke and a lively town that looks real.
The fundamental way of playing of GO GO CARGO
1) Choose Quest, choose a load and its delivery route, and send a load to the destination.
2) If a load is successful, you earn experience and money. If a delivery route is designed well, you get bonuses such as better gas consumption.
3) The map of the delivery area can be reset for each new attempt.
4) Try to clear the entire delivery area.
GO GO CARGO features
Try to make the best designed track across all areas, such as price, speed, load size, and other aspects.
A maximum of 32 tracks can be owned.
If you have a friend, you can work toward common goals and use each other's maps.
Your friends can earn experience and reliance points, which can increase their rank to get additional bonuses and gifts.
You can also customize the different towns by bringing decorations to them on the train. You can plan your towns freely after each trip.
You can earn many titles, but only the best can become the Transportation King.
Surprise surprise. So it looks like even SingTel’s inSing.com has found itself an evil twin. Here’s the real site:
And here is, what we think, a rip-off of the Singaporean site:
Spotted the difference?
Since we seem to be in the mood for Koprol today, here’s a lighter post about those occupants of Sentra Senayan II. Guess what, Koprol has been live testing its iPhone app for at least the past couple of weeks. How did we know? A number of Koprol posts from @wiqzz say so.
Does this mean the app is coming soon? Well, sooner that it’s been before. I’d like to say it’s a little too late but since Koprol hasn’t really made waves in countries in which iPhones are used more significantly, it’s probably not that big of a deal. It certainly has taken them a long time, almost as long as that iPhone app for Bouncity.
The mock ups that I saw in June showed a completely different approach compared to the Android app that was released in October. It looked similar to the updated Foursquare app that was released a couple of days later which prompted me to think that the designers at Koprol were actually on to something.
The Foursquare app at that time introduced a new design and new elements. It blew me away how similar the approaches were between the two apps, and then I remembered that both designs seemed to have taken cues from Instagram whether it was intentional or otherwise. Koprol’s early design actually included a pictorial grid as if to encourage photo sharing.
What the app looks like now may or may not be similar to the mockups from back in June but these posts could be a sign that the app actually does exist and may be ready for release soon enough. Unless Wieky was messing with the application ID.
Youa, the ecommerce subsidiary of Baidu announced today raising US dollars tens of millions from IDC-Accel and Qiming Venture Partners and spinning off from Baidu as an independent company, a move which is part of a broader and growing effort of the Chinese search giant to venture into the heated Chinese ecommerce market, again.
Founded in Oct. 2008 by Baidu, Youa started as a direct competitor to Taobao, the de facto Chinese ecommerce ruler. However, the service fared quite well in the intensely competitive market, Baidu discontinued Youa’s service as a C2C platform, pivoting the service into a life service platform in this April with a new tagline of “finding anything you need in everyday life”.
Cai Hu, the general manager of Baidu Ecommerce Division who took the realm as Youa’s new Chief Executive said that “We’re turning over a new page for Youa, which will be committed to build a comprehensive platform centered on life service and local merchants.”
Youa’s transformation in this April spoke to Baidu’s failed attempt in competing with Alibaba/Taobao in the forefront of business, as of now Taobao took over north of 71.7% of China’s ecommerce market. According to a market research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, China’s online retailing market would overtake the U.S. in 2015 to become the No.1 with a market size of over US$ 314 billion, a market no big players could afford to ignore.
- Battle Royale 2009: AliBaba and Baidu
- Alibaba Spins off Taobao into 3 Companies
- Alibaba Internal Mail On Taobao Spin-off
Koprol first introduced its new beta site back in July which features hover cards, stamps, hot tags, and onboarding. On Tuesday it finally completed its transition from the old design and brought forward the beta site to Koprol’s primary address. Koprol users will no longer have to go to new.koprol.com to use the revamped version.
Over the past six months, Koprol has been hard at work in delivering new features, apps, and partnerships, as well as launching in The Philippines and you can read about those guys on our pages here on DailySocial but ever since publishing that love letter back in August, I haven’t seen any serious push to make Koprol more popular in Indonesia, let alone ASEAN, and at this stage, you can probably forget Asia. Localizing the service is one thing but getting people to use it is a whole different ball game.
It has been a year since the cross media campaign for Koprol ended yet it is still almost exactly where it was, except with more users, an Android app, and new sites. As far as relevance goes, it doesn’t look like it has caught on that well.
I think the biggest question that the team needs to ask is, just what the heck is Koprol all about? Further to that, is it a discovery service? A social network? A sharing platform? What differentiates Koprol from the big boys like Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare? Koprol is a little bit older than Foursquare and way older than Google+. Why hasn’t Koprol been more integrated to Yahoo’s services the way Google+ is to Google’s own?
Who is Koprol aimed at? What is the purpose of the service and why should people use it? To try and answer these, Let’s look at some of the other social networks.
Facebook essentially tries to be your home on the Internet in which you do everything within its walled garden. You can post status updates, share photos, blog about your interests, play games, chat with friends and colleagues, and so on. It’s like AOL mark 2.
Twitter allows you to have a stream of self curated information. You follow accounts that are interesting and relevant to you and you can also connect with friends or strangers. It’s little catch, is that whatever you share have to stay within 140 characters.
Foursquare lets you tell your friends where you are. Additionally, you can share photos of the locations, leave tips and receive comments from your friends. By achieving mayorship, or the person who checks in the most often at particular locations, you may receive special offers.
Google+ is sort of a mix between Twitter and personal blogging. While it uses the popular stream approach used by many other social networks, it doesn’t limit the amount of text entered into a post, allowing its members to practically create blog posts.
So what is Koprol? It says it wants to help people discover new and exciting places around the world. In practical terms, it’s like Twitter mashed together with Foursquare. Problem is, people already use Twitter and Foursquare separately, so we’re now back to the question; What sets Koprol apart, what makes it compelling to use?
At this moment, I have no answer to that and having asked that question to the big boys and girls at Koprol, they can’t seem to answer that either, not without referring to Indonesian traits and origin of the service. If anyone could figure out what Yahoo! wanted out of Foursquare when they were negotiating back in early 2010, maybe the same answer could apply to Koprol.
Additionally, there hasn’t been a peep about Koprol for Business which was launched in February of this year.
Given the rate at which Koprol is moving at this point, and the lack of significant achievements since its acquisition in May 2010, it wouldn’t surprise me to see it end up in the deadpool within two years unless Yahoo pulls a rabbit out of a hat or at least figures out what it wants to do with Koprol.
As we reported on 25th, Twitter Japan and Mixi had a press conference today at 14:00 November 30.
The two of Japan's top social networking services are jointly to develop new services, as well as advertising products. Mixi's current services will have Twitter-support, too.
One example already started is seen on Mixi Xmas, a Mixi app provided by Mixi itself only during Winter holiday season, has "also to tweet" function after suggesting users to send a message on Mixi Voice. The two networks will collaborate on other seasonal events. My guess (Mixi threw away its microblog Mixi Voice and replace it with Twitter) was incorrect.
As the press conference beginning at 14:00, before the market close, shows, the announcement turned out to have small impact.
It could have been disappointing announcement that not much real changes and integration seem to be happening, however, Mixi users' sentiment on Twitter seems that people are satisfied that Mixi did not bring in any big change.
Tokyo market also showed some expectation before announcement, drop by disappointment after that.
No official announcement are posted on their website, yet. On Mixi's corporate site, the announcement has been posted [J].
Internet Watch [J]
We wrote about microblog syncing service Follow5 which went online since 2007 discontinuing service early this month, well, it seems the company could have another shot. According to people familiar with the matter, Follow5 is currently in talks with several companies about selling the company with Qihoo 360 as one of the potential buyer.
Follows lets users let users sync their microblog messages onto all the other major microblogging services or social networking sites, including Twitter, Digu, Fanfou, Kaixin001, RenRen, Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, Douban, Plurk, Friendfeed and so on.
Qihoo360 approached the service for buying purpose as far back as 2009, though things didn’t go through then.
- Chinese Microblog Syncing Tool Discontinued Service
- Kaixin001 Is To Launch Its Microblogging Service, for Self-Protection
- Shanda In Talks With Tencent About Social Games On Weibo
The world is home to seven billion people, one third of which are using the Internet. Over the last five years, developing countries have increased their share of the world’s total number of Internet users from 44 percent in 2006, to 62 percent in 2011. Internet user penetration in Asia and the Pacific grew from 3.3 percent in 2000 to 22.5 percent in 2010, bringing it close to the Internet user penetration in Europe nine years earlier (23 percent). By 2010, Internet user penetration in Europe had grown to 67 percent. All the statistics disclosed are based on ITU’s reports.
Vietnam is one of the major emerging markets of the Southeast Asia region and one of the underpinnings of this growth has been the expansion in telecommunication networks. Over the past five years, Vietnam has sustained an average fixed line network growth of 26.8 per cent, slightly ahead of China and one of the highest in the region. By now they have nearly 140,000 internet hosts and 30 million internet users, 30 percent of its total population, injecting around USD 6.3 billion into internet market last year in order to meet the penetration target, according to the same report. Despite the late start, the Internet was first permitted in 1997, they have ousted other Asia Pacific countries with their staggering internet growth rate of 12,000 percent over the past 10 years. The other thing that might catch our attention is the total number of mobile services subscribers in the most populous country among the mainland Southeast Asian countries. 165 million with 22 percent average annual growth.
Their government has attempted to reconcile free-market characters of the Internet by implementing a national-system-based on state control. Only few countries are protected by these national firewalls. Tight licensing regulations to those companies that would like to operate as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) are applied.
As researched recently by TNS, a market research company, their top consumer trends in the last ten years are fashion, beauty, health, personal care, entertainment and high-tech consumer goods, and health and beauty products. Meanwhile News, General Search, Music, Research and Chatting are their top five online activities.
A report from Yahoo! – TNS Net Index 2010 has shown that the social networking scene in Vietnam is primarily occupied by the younger generation with the range of age of 15 to 29 years old. Majority of these users access it through computers, while 33 percent access it via mobile. Their top three social networking platforms in Vietnam are Facebook, and two Vietnamese service sites, ZingMe and Go.vn. Surprising, since Facebook is blocked in the country.
We interviewed Nguyen Ngoc Hieu, one of Vietnamese most prominent technology figures who is an experienced digital media executive, a well-known speaker and also a founder of three of the biggest online communities, to hear his perspectives and opinions on Vietnam social networking sites.
There is opinion that go.vn site (www.goonline.vn) was developed as a result of allegations that Vietnamese communist government restricted Facebook and hacked numerous political websites?
I don’t think so, I’m not speaking for the government, but I think the reason is much more important than just to develop a local social website: that is national security – I’m not saying it is right or wrong because each country has different ways to manage, but definitely the reason is not to develop a local websites.
How is the current condition of a movement called “Bring Facebook Back” through Facebook fan page started at the end of 2009?
Almost useless! I can say that. It is just a fan page by a small group of people (most people choose to bypass the blocking). And no one takes responsibility to hand over their voice to our government. Therefore I can say it is just a voice.
There’s an insight that I can share with you is Vietnamese online users are very loyal when they get familiar with a website, an online service. They don’t want to change to another one. That was the case of Yahoo! 360, three years ago when Yahoo announced that they were going to terminate Yahoo! 360, Vietnamese users refused to stop using it and they petitioned for it not to be shut down, they still stayed there until the last minute. That’s the same for Facebook’s users now, when they get familiar with Facebook and they cannot access – they start to call for a campaign to “Bring Facebook Back” – but it is just a fan page and their voice was not reach the government. So there was no result for that.
Go.vn can serve more than four million users at once, and aims to attract up to 50 percent of social network users by 2015, as told by The Minister of Information and Communication Le Doan Hop. How do Vietnamese internet users respond it?
Clearly that project is sponsored by The Department of Information and Communication. And in any project, we must have a target, and it’s the same for this case. Mr. Minister had to set a target for the whole project, every leader needs a big vision and I think there is nothing wrong with a big vision.
Do Vietnamese users believe it or not? Just like any start up project said they will win the big existing, I think mostly they don’t believe. But there’s an reality: “social network battle” in Vietnamese is tough, it’s very difficult for any new player to join and compete with the existing services (Zing, Facebook,…)
We have heard that Vietnam blocks websites at DNS level, unlike China which blocks at ISP level. It’s easier to circumnavigate, by changing our DNS provider to publicly available one such as Google DNS. Internet users cans still access “foreign” social networking site and portal such as Yahoo, Google and Facebook? How affected are Go.vn and Zing.me with this “circumvent”?
From my personal opinion, our government doesn’t intend to block foreign websites completely, they just tries to “warn” them and asks for their co-operation. If they (foreign companies and the government) can find a way for co-operation, surely the government will be more open. The point is, what’s the balance point between the companies and the government.
There’s another funny fact about that: Vietnamese internet users are now the most experienced users in changing DNS in the world :)
What is your opinion on the motives behind, when government developed local websites, and on the other hand, tried to block foreign websites but quite easily to circumvent?
As I said, they care about the national security more than developing local websites. Anyway, I think they don’t intend to block the websites for a long time, that is not their long term strategy. Vietnamese government is quite open and they are trying to call for the investment from the foreign companies, they are just “defensive” when they see something threatenening the national security. If the government and the companies can find a way to cooperate, I believe there will be no more blocking – that is also the reason why Facebook now has their own Government Relationship Director in Vietnam.
Nhac Cua Tui is growing very fast. There are two leading players in that market, Nhac Cua Tui and ZingMP3 and they are strongly fighting each other. NCT is making a new move by purchasing licences for Production Companies in the world, they also produce movie clips for singers – which I think a potential sector.
With a population of 90 million and Internet penetration rate of 30 percent, Vietnam is definitely a focus. Last year, Facebook tried to seek for an experienced professional in government relations work and navigating government agencies along with an extensive network of contacts in the government and the technology space. Is he/she on board now?
Yes, he is onboard. Mr. Tuoc used to work for Google for a long time and has a wide relationship with our government.
By now Vietnam’s total Facebook users are 2.5 million members with 2.81 percent penetration of population and 10.39 percent penetration of online population as reported by socialbakers.com. What do you think Government perceive and what will they do about it?
As I said, government is paying high attention to ICT industry, I’m sure what they wanted is just to get a connection/cooperation with ICT companies like Facebook. Blocking is not a solution and is the last choice.
Noticing that almost 55 percent of Vietnam’s internet users are social media users, based on Vietnam Social Media Survey conducted by VietnamSurvey.com, but it is reported that only 0.4 percent of Vietnamese companies use Facebook, 0.07 percent use Youtube, and only 0.2 percent use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Other Vietnamese social networks for business. It looks like there is a room for big improvement in implementing Social Media Marketing in Vietnam? What are the key challenges and constraints?
Definitely, that’s the reason why I often go to many many conferences to call for more attention from the companies about social media marketing. The biggest constraint is from the client, this is quite a new channel for marketers and even for agencies.
Do you realize that it’s only 9.5 percent of Vietnamese are using Twitter? If yes, could you explain why this phenomenon could happen?
Twitter’s community in Vietnam is very small, it is because of the simplicity of Twitter. Vietnamese users (and we can say Asian users) like something more colorful, more emotional, more attractive… Twitter focuses on the simplicity – which attracts the Western people. That explains why Weibo is so successful in China. In Vietnam we don’t have services like Weibo.
Aside from the figures that Zing.me is apparently a teenage social network with majority of its users, 77 percent, are between the ages of 13 and 24 while 38 percent of them are between the ages of 13 and 17 compared to Facebook’s 64 percent and 12 percent respectively. What are your personal and professional opinions about Zing Me, as the largest social network in Vietnam at the moment with 5 million users? Do you prefer it over Facebook? Are the environment and connections too limited compared to Facebook?
In term of functionality, there is no limit in Zing. The problem is from its young community. Young community generates the young culture, young culture attracts more young users, and that’s a loop. Mature users are not attracted by Zing, they use Facebook. Of course, youths have their advantages of their own. If Zing can utilize their advantages, then I think it’s good. If they want to move their target to another segment, there will be very challenging.
And these teenagers just want to play Nong Trai (a game similar to Facebook’s Farmville) and not do many activities instead of the game? Are there any activities they hunt for in this (local) social network?
Playing games and chatting, but just between young users. That’s one of the biggest problems Zing facing. It’s because of the core value of Zing comes from Game, they utilize that strength, like I said above, it’s generated a young community that attracts more young users.
Public-interest Foundation East Japan Railroad Culture Foundation Railroad Museum [J] and the Tokyo University graduate school information technology graduate course are organizing the “Digital Railway Museum,” aligning with the specially planned “Time Travel Exhibit” on display at the railroad museum. They will use new exhibition techniques as a result of both parties’ collaborative research.
The main features of the exhibit are as such: When you point the portable display towards the exhibit railcars, the “Train memory peep window” allows you to see the appearance of railcars active these days superimposed over the exhibit railcars; make the pushcar of the train that appeared in the display case via LCD become transparent or make it run; observe from various angles with “Digital display case ~ Pushcar GO! ~;” “Take time seat” makes your self from several seconds in the past coexist with your current self as a 3D space that appears before your eyes when you sit down in the train seat; The “Navilog” guide system uses the application in the portable display and concerns the history zone’s exhibit railcars; “Digital memory notes” use digital technology to reproduce “Memory notes” placed in unmanned stations and so on. It is an exhibit tying together the present and the past using plenty of AR (Augmented Reality) technology. Also the same exhibition’s “Hayabusa Board” (falcon board) is digitally archived and appears on the internet. The Post-Visit HAYABUSA Board [J], where Hayabusa Board Messages written by the spectators themselves can be seen by other eyes and at home, is also open to the public.
Translation authorized by VSMedia