Hong Kong Web Community Converges Sept 18th, 2007

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The Hong Kong web community came together in the central district (an area known for great bars and restaurants) at Prive’, on scenic Wyndham street. Of the 70 who showed up, there was a wide range of internet professionals. Outblaze, a white label communications company was the host, and we really appreciate them giving to the community, great job Ibrahim and Yusaf. See the full roster on the sign up page.

I took the time to speak to as many people as I could, collecting business cards and asking them about what they did and how’s the HK’s web community. After talking to dozens, most would agree that the web community is still nasenct, only a few companies have emerged as HK’s largest focus is on Finance, Investment and Real Estate. The morning newspaper delivered to my door, as well as TV channels show an emphasis on Finance, and there’s not even a tech section in the newspaper. I believe that Singapore’s web community is just a little bit farther on.

I encouraged everyone to try to continue to meet on a regular basis, and asked all the bloggers to raise their hands, look around at others and try to synch, same with Marketers (who I suggested should start a Social Media Club) and corporate folks (who should consider hosting a Lunch 2.0). These are ongoing community events that are designed to bolster the industry from networking, sharing, and collaboration.

I did a handful of 2 minute video interviews, you’ll start to see a few of those published over the coming weeks, so I hope you subscribe.

What I learned talking to HK’s web community:

  • I met Victor Isaac Cheung of CNETS asia blog team.
  • Aaron Farr of Jadetower says the open source movement slowly grows in China, there’s an event tonight at 4pm
  • Warren Wong of Typhoon Games tells me that the largest area of the gaming industry is in Shanghai.
  • JiJiJa provides network based recommendations, I’ve added them to my industry index.
  • Rita at A8 offers a variety of internet marketing services.
  • Vivien Chan of PCCW is pushing Video on Demand, they’ve a new feature called “Move”.
  • Marcel of SynergySynq is a project management company for the web community.
  • I met Theo who broadcasts the only Technology Radio Show in HK, on channel 94.8 and 96.4
  • I met the founder of Recruit.net Asia’s version of SimplyHired.
  • I met Ian Fong who’s an internet marketing professional at TTAsia
  • Napoleon is helping to organize a local BarCamp, and he’s the founder of Web Wednesday, a first-of-the-month get together.
  • Edmund Wong has an interesting blog in Chinese called Lifesterblog
  • Eddie Wong at Sanrio Digital has a thriving community around their brand, see Sanrio Town
  • Kay Bayliss who is a digital marketing association Director.
  • PK Chan launched EditGrid, an Office 2.0 spreadsheet application
  • Leon Ho has some great productivity tips, he runs Lifehack
  • Leonard is a college lecturer at the HK University
  • I saw my Singaporean friend Melvin Yuan, he just happened to be in town, how very serendipitous.
  • Craig Jackson of the Priory is a wonderful host, he gave me directions to the right place, thanks.
  • To my surprise, Sidekick is not a guy, but a very charming lady, who introduced me to many
  • In HK, instead of business card, they call it “name cards”.
  • The tag for this event is HKBloggerSept07. (copy that Technorati code to you blog, and tag photos please.

    I take great joy in seeing the web industry grow outside of Silicon Valley, thank you HK for coming out!

    Update: There’s a few posts coming out, they are:

    Outblaze blog
    Yusaf of Outblaze
    HongKong Phooey (CNET)
    Jacky’s Flickr photos

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    You’ve never had spicy until you’ve had authentic Szechuan
    Think you’ve had spicy food? Guess again! After the event, a few of us went out to dinner to enjoy authentic Szechuan cuisine (learn more).

    Yes, that’s a bowl full of peppers, somewhere in there is some chicken bits. It was unlike any type of spice I’ve had before, it was aromatic and made my mouth feel numb, almost like an anesthetic. Normal beer tasted sweet like sugar after eating just one small piece of chicken.

    Rebbecca MacKinnon, a Professor at HK University, citizen journalist, former CNN reporter has spent much of ther time in China, and speaks fluently, she put me to shame as she gulped down the spicy peppers and food.

    I could barely handle it, it was tough, thankfully, I’m not paying for it the next day, what an experience!

    Oh, and if you’re on business in China, here’s a cultural tip I learned on previous times here in HK, if you want to pay for the dinner, then you have to be sneaky, and slip out to the bathroom and pay when no one is looking. Chinese culture mandates a fight (can get violent) for hosts to pay for dinner, I’ve been cornered by one team while trying to wrestle the bill away from others, it’s a funny and entertaining experience in Chinese culture.

    Pics below: More chili peppers were served than meat! (expand the first two photos)

    Schezuan Pepper ChickenSchezuan Chili Beef StewSchezuan Roasted Chili
    Schezuan Roasted ChiliVisual indicators the food is spicy (lobby signs)Enjoying Schezuan Cuisine