The goal was to get to all my countries before the end of the year – tough to do any thoughtful 2010 planning without getting to the places you are making plans for. Check my TripIt for stats. 🙂 Going from no-flying to flying means I am a peon on Star Alliance again and hoping to get some love before the end of year cutoff.
I was in Manila for a week and did the rounds. Podcast interview here for all the groupies. Manila was an interesting market since it feels like it should be happening more than it is but the startup scene is very small. I think this has to do with the local domination of telecoms, the lack of an angel network and a quiet hacker scene. Very different from being in Singapore or Malaysia where the Government is throwing money all over the place trying to get things going. I need to dig more in Manila and see if we can help get things like Barcamp going.
Speaking of Barcamp – I am in HCMC right now for Barcamp Saigon. Looks to be a cool event! Hoping to dive a little deeper into the Vietnam scene this weekend.
Since I am in Vietnam let’s talk FaceBook – quite the backlash over the new privacy stuff. It is quite the reversal from what FB originally started as. For me, as the site keeps growing, FB is getting less and less useful. The signal to noise ratio just keeps climbing every month. Everyone is trying to use their personal FB accounts to be the next social marketing star. It gets old fast. I think niche networks might start to get more interesting as FB gets less useful.
Seems simpler plays liek Foursquare and gowalla might get more interesting because they help you with what to do and who to do it with. All this could change of course if FB gets more local and makes location based programming easier but for me – I am starting to delete friends on FB more than I am adding them.
Another possible entrant to the location/review game in Singapore. Will be looking it more soon. Seems similar possibly to Koprol. This is an interesting space since the big guys will focus on Europe and Americas while regional guys will try to build something in their home countries. I am waiting for one of the regional guys to try and take the whole region as a defensive play for when the big boys come to town. Question is will they since getting the local info is not easy.
Another possible biz idea for one of these players is rather than being the end user builder there might be a chance to be the pick and shovel dealer for all the various players trying to build social/location/yelp sites. Someone could be the guy offering all the location data and some sort of promo/ad engine around it. Then the other guys concentrate on building the interfaces, social model and grow the user base. Right now all these guys are struggling with getting local info and building sites. Might be tough.
I think that is it for now. Gotta bunch of work to do but I need to get better with the blog.
ps. Good to see one of the winners from Open Hack Day with his site up and running. If you are into twitter and Indonesia then you will dig this site: http://twiterus.com/