Some internet videos go viral because they are unique, crazy or just plain good. Other videos go viral through a lot of manipulation by sleazy internet marketing gurus.
Recently the secrets of one of these marketing douchebags was published on the website TechCrunch. The Secret Strategies Behind Many 'Viral' Videos is an amazingly candid look at the strategies Dan Ackerman Greenberg uses to pump up Youtube views for videos made by his clients. These clients include major hollywood studios, record labels, and consumer brands. Greenberg claims to have gotten over 6 million views on Youtube for these clients.
The talented Mr. Greenberg
The strategies he outlines in the article include starting fake arguments in the comments section on Youtube, paying popular blogs to embed videos, and using scandalously misleading titles for videos, which often have no connection to the video's content.
The point of Greenberg's article is summed up when he says "Content is NOT king". There are too many other factors that go into making a video popular, and many can be manipulated.
I heard about this article through a post by Kaiser Kuo on the Ogilvy China Digital Watch blog. Kaiser has become quite prolific on that blog, and routinely digs up interesting tidbits on internet and technology issues, especially as they relate to China.
Ok, time to go start a flame war in the comments section of the latest Sexy Beijing video on Youtube.
Luke @ 11:50 | .(125) |
This week this documentary blew my mind. It is Discovery Channel's version of Big Buildings of Beijing titled "Beijing's Urban Makeover". It is a 40-minute-long episode of the Discovery series "Man Made Marvels". It has Chinese subtitles and is cut into 5 parts on Youtube. It tracks the design and construction process of the major big buildings getting built - the bird's nest, the egg, the water cube, the CCTV and the TVCC (Television Culture Center) and a building that didn't get built - the Wukesong Basketball Arena with the world's biggest TV wall.
"China is a place the architects go and get their fantasies paid for", says one architect. Beijing is going all out for the the 2008 Olympics, which "is not just a game anymore". In this video you will see interviews with the design and construction teams, the Chinese architecture critics and construction process vividly explained with amazing animation. It is truy mind-blowing, or mind-bending like the CCTV tower, to know that how much it takes to actually pull off these projects. The Chinese are, indeed, a very determined nation, if not anything else.
"Any massive project in China seems to go through a similar pattern: Grandeur to begin, a bit of reality sets in as the budget numbers roll past, a shift in public opinion again, construction and then wild praise", says American China Hand Mike Meyer. Let's see how loud the praise will be in 2008 when Beijing turns the wet dreams of architects into dazzling realities. Time will tell and we don't even need that much of it anymore because 2008 is just around the corner.
Mia @ 16:52 | .(107) |
Two recent items highlight China's increasing influence in Latin America:
1) Last Friday, a Mexican-Chinese joint venture broke ground on an automobile plant in the Mexican state of Michoacan. The partnership between FAW, one of China's state-owned automotive giants, and Mexico's Grupo Elektra, will produce FAW-branded cars for sale in Mexico and beyond.
2) Yesterday the China-Latin America Business Summit opened in Santiago, Chile, bringing Chinese officials together with representatives and businesspeople from 16 Latin American nations.
In a speech opening the Santiago summit, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet said that "China has replaced the United States as Chile's biggest trading partner," adding that Chile's exports to China have jumped 140% since the enactment of a free-trade agreement between the two countries last year. Total Sino-Latin American trade has jumped 44% through September of this year.
While U.S. trade with Latin America is still much bigger than Sino-Latin American trade, the lion's share of U.S.-Latin trade is between the U.S. and Mexico. In South America, China has aggressively pursued commodities deals, often tying them in with Chinese investment in infrastructure. Meanwhile, U.S. relations with Latin America have chilled, typified by Hugo Chavez's many public spats with George Bush and a region-wide disgust with U.S. unilateralism in Iraq stirring memories of a history of U.S. colonial incursions in Latin America.
The $150-million FAW auto plant under construction in Mexico is a concrete example of Sino-U.S. economic competition in Uncle Sam's backyard. The plant will eventually churn out 100,000 cars a year, and the entry level FAW vehicle will sell for almost $1000 less than General Motor's cheapest Chevrolet model available in Mexico, according to the Associated Press.
China's growing influence has also spooked the U.S. defense establishment. In May, Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephen Johnson, in charge of the Western Hemisphere, warned that the U.S. must maintain its military spending in Latin America or risk leaving a "vacuum for powers like China and Russia to fill."
And while Latin American governments seem to be welcoming "South-South" trade deals with China for the moment, it remains to be seen whether they will come to view China as an exploitative power, simply after sweet commodities deals and a place to sell Chinese-produced manufactured goods.
For the moment though, the fact that China is not the U.S. seems to be helping to grease the skids for a continued expansion in trade.
From a more selfish standpoint, here's hoping that the growth in Sino-Latin trade brings a decent Mexican restaurant to my neighborhood in Beijing.
Luke @ 17:25 | .(141) |
One often hears that Chinese women are very "practical". One sometimes wonders if that is a codeword for "golddiggers".
Now there is some data on the interplay between love and money in hearts of young Chinese. According to the China Daily, a "growing number of the country's young adults" consider money to be a determining factor when looking for a partner.
"Nearly half the 8,932 respondents said that money and other financial packages are the most important preconditions for love."
A poor sap named Lu Yun tells the paper that his girlfriend recently dumped him over housing. "She made it very clear: An apartment works. No apartment, no-go," he told the paper. The guy is only 28 years old!
I think back to my 28-year-old self, chasing around mice with a frying pan in a shared tenement in New York's Chinatown. I wasn't exactly on the verge of plunking down a $200,000 down payment on a Soho loft. And, come to think of it, the girls weren't lining up at my door (which had no buzzer and required me to throw down a key in a sock from the fourth floor to let guests in.)
Yes, it's true, American women are hardly immune to the siren song of nice real estate and high-limit platinum cards. Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw was hung up on an emotionally unavailable real estate mogul, not a romantic but underemployed security guard from the Bronx who still lived with his mom.
But still, home ownership as a pre-condition for love at the age of 28 would surely rule out about 99% of young singles in New York or San Francisco. Little wonder many young Chinese complain that the pressures of life are mounting in contemporary Chinese society. (压力太大了!)
But the survey also reveals a romantic streak in young Chinese: "40 percent of those polled considered true love paramount in a relationship, while 40 percent still believed in love at first sight."
Just another in the endless confrontations between the two forces, love (or sex) and money, that seem to hold the tightest grip on human consciousness.
Meanwhile, for those who've managed to lock down a mate with all the right qualities, financial and otherwise, 2008 is shaping up to be a big year for marriages.
Again from China's finest (and only) national English daily: "In Shanghai alone, nearly 120,000 young couples have so for [sic] decided to marry next year, some 30 percent more than this year."
August 8, 2008, the day of the Olympic opening ceremony, is considered the most auspicious day to get married next year. Eight is a lucky number in China so the profusion of eights on 8/8/2008 will not be topped until 2088. Apparently 2008 is also a "metal year" in Chinese astrology, another auspicious touchstone for marriage in the Middle Kingdom.
Others are looking at the rise in weddings from a scientific perspective: "The wedding surge of 2008 is a chain reaction of the birth surge in the 1980s, because next year, about 280 million youngsters in China will have reached the age of getting married," said Shi Kangning of the Committee of Matchmaking Service Industries in China.
In any case, perhaps the confluence of so many forces, both cosmic and demographic, will make this Sufei's lucky year.
Luke @ 13:49 | .(193) |
This video is from V哥, a prolific poster to Tudou. It's a satiric piece about the U.S. Army actually capturing Osama Bin Laden.
Luke @ 18:55 | .(211) |
These are the adventures of the 功夫兔 ("Kung Fu Rabbit"), an entertaining animated series on tudou.com. This was another of the works presented at Saturday's tudou party by its creator, Vincent李.
Luke @ 10:49 | .(3002) |
Today we got an e-mail from a fan whose tudou name is 迪迪(didi). Turns out he has some pretty cool videos on tudou.com. In the spirit our mini tudou film fest, below is an example.
Luke @ 17:54 | .(357) |
On Saturday, the Sexy Beijing crew went to a party thrown by Tudou.com in Beijing. It was a good opportunity to meet other folks who are doing online video here. Tudou has posted some clips filmed at the party onto a playlist on their website.
We showed the "Bling Bling in Beijing" episode of Sexy Beijing and got a nice reception from the crowd. Some of the other filmmakers at the party also showed clips to the audience and this week on the blog, I'd like to present a few of them.
The clip below is from a crew of guys who call themselves runpic. It's a funny little piece with some interesting special effects.
Luke @ 11:36 | .(2245) |
Chinese rookie NBA phenom Yi Jianlian has pleasantly surprised a lot of observers over his first couple weeks in the league.
ESPN writer David Thorpe makes the case that Yi is in fact the NBA's rookie of the year up to this point. Thorpe really pours it on in his praise:
"Yi's play has been both surprising and inspiring. Surprising in that no one has a bigger cultural change to adjust to, yet Yi looks like he's been an NBA pro for years. He has a clear plan for success and has executed that plan with discipline and talent."
Elsewhere on the ESPN website, Bill Simmons, in his popular "Sports Guy" column, admits that he was wrong about Yi, who he had earlier skewered as a likely bust in the league:
"As it turned out, Chairman Yi can look good even when he's posting up a human being instead of a chair. He's athletic and polished and does a surprisingly good job of protecting the rim; when you throw in the financial upside from the Far East connection, that turned out to be a savvy gamble by the Bucks."
Jordan Rivas on the Hoopsvibe.com, also admits he was wrong about Yi, and pinpoints the source of his initial skepticism:
"Unintentionally, unknowingly, subconsciously or otherwise, I allowed my opinions of off court issues to cloud the sight of the on-court talent that exists."
Yi's coming out party was when his Milwaukee Bucks faced off with compatriot Yao Ming's Houston Rockets. Yi racked up 19 points and 9 rebounds in the game, which was widely hyped as one of the most viewed NBA games ever (though I doubt China has any reliable TV ratings system). Although the Bucks lost the game Yi hit three pointers, rebounded and changed minds in his first game on a major stage.
As a bonus, it is great comedy for someone living in China to hear red-blooded American jock sportscasters butcher Yi's name, which usually comes out something like Ee zheeyon leeyon.
It's a long season, and Yi is definitely going to hit some bad patches. So big Yi, enjoy the feel good stories while they last and when negativity does hit, be grateful you're in little ol' Milwaukee and not on the back page of the New York Post.
Luke @ 19:20 | .(2288) |
Last month Beijing held China's 17th Communist Party Congress. This month Shanghai is hosting the Top Marques Shanghai 2007 exhibition of "extravagant merchandise."
"The show gathers the world's most exotic luxury and supercars, private jets, yachts, watches and jewelleries, fine wine and cigar, and real estate," according to the exhibition's web site. The Marques exhibition originated in the millionaire's playground of Monte Carlo, and first came to Shanghai in 2005. This year's Shanghai event runs November 14th to 17th at the Shanghai International Convention Center.
"Price is no object," shopper Vivian Song told the China Daily as she browsed the exhibition and bought a diamond watch.
According to the China Daily article, in addition to Italian Yachts and sports cars, goods on display include a Swedish mattress worth 800,000 RMB (US$107,000).
From what we've heard from Smacker, there are sure to be some Shanxi province coal mine bosses in attendance, and I guess Warren Buffet's coffeemaker (see picture below) might very well end up in a penthouse in Datong.
Luke @ 16:05 | .(7969) |
From Xinhua news service:
Males at marriage age 18 million more than females in China
Luke @ 11:53 | .(3072) |
I saw this ad recently in Air China's in-flight magazine, "Wings of China". Aside from the "chinglish" humor, it is also another example of a trend in China's booming real estate ad market: Hype your development as a place to rent to foreigners.
Last year, Dongzhimen Wai Street in Beijing was plastered with ads urging Chinese to become the landlord of a 老外 (Lao Wai), as documented in the China Machete blog.
Whereas that ad uses the extremely informal 老外 (Lao Wai), (perhaps the equivalent of "Gringo" in Mexico) this latest ad uses the extremely formal 外籍人士 (Wai Ji Ren Shi), which could translate as something like "Ladies and Gentleman of Foreign Nationalities."
Luke @ 14:21 | .(2485) |
China's economic rise is arguably the biggest story of the early twenty first century.
Journalist James Fallows delivers the best concise snapshot that I have heard of China's economic machinery and its integration into the world economy in this interview on the NPR program Fresh Air. Definitely worth a twenty minute listen.
"The Pearl River Delta of Guangdong province (the old Canton region), just north of Hong Kong... might have a manufacturing workforce larger than America's," Fallows notes in his Atlantic Monthly piece that he discusses in the interview.
Fallows also has a blog on the Atlantic Monthly website.
Luke @ 14:12 | .(115) |
This is my favorite video of the week -- Sex Guide for Newlyweds (xin hun zhi nan). I noticed it because when I was a kid in the 1980's, it was the title of every soft-core porn video on the shelves of video stores where I rented movies. And as far as the Joy of Sex goes, that was all you could get in China back then. We weren't supposed to see these videos until we tied the knot, but plenty of horny young Chinese girls and boys would go to any lengths to get their hands on a Sex Guide for Newlyweds just for the hot lovemaking scenes.
I found this video--a very tame spoof of the original "Sex Guides" from the 1970s--on a site promoting the movie Two Stupid Eggs, which will hit the theatres in China around Christmas 2007. Two Stupid Eggs is a Chinese adaptation of the Spanish movie Torroemolinos 73 (2003). The movie stars Guo Tao (Crazy Stone) and is a sequel to director A-Gan's Big Movie.
There is none of the nudity or sexual positions featured in the original videos, but a guy in a suit lectures: "In Freudian theories, the urge to have sex is called 'Libido'. Before marriage, this energy should be channeled into hobbies." He also advises that "there are many ways to improve your sex life, like giving your wife a massage, doing hola-hoop and eating garlic". At one point a newlywed goes in for a physical and the doctor asks him to bring out his "sex organ" to which he produces his index finger and his tongue.
The video is entertaining, it's just too bad it doesn't even approach the soft-core porn status of the original Sex Guides for Newlyweds distributed back in the 1970. Back then, marriage applicants in Chinese registration offices were shown the video as part of their sex education. At that time pre-marital sex was a big no-no in China so the government provided a handy "how to" manual on video on your wedding day. I'd like to see one of the original Sex Guides for Newlyweds on tudou, coming soon. -- posted by Mia
admin @ 16:46 | .(1340) |
Journalist Zhang Lijia's article for the English language, UK-based, Sunday paper The Observer called: China's Sexual Great Leap Forward was picked up a couple of days later by Xinhua and posted on their site in Chinese with no byline.
The article caused quite a stir this week and quickly started an online debate on Sohu. One comment read: "There are a lot of sluts in the UK too so maybe the newspaper should talk about that before it comments on the situations in China."
Ironically, seeing as the author, Zhang, is both a Chinese woman and a Beijing resident, Xinhua could have saved everyone a lot of trouble by simply asking her to translate the article in the first place.
admin @ 18:46 | .(1432) |
As most people know by now, Youtube is back online in China. Yay! To celebrate we're posting a video to heat things up a little as you go into this chilly Beijing weekend.
This video often appears in the "Related Videos" tab next to Sexy Beijing videos on Youtube. It seems to be one of the most watched videos in the popular Youtube sub-genre of Webcam Dances by Hot Chinese Girls. This girl dances a lot better than most of the rest.
This video seems to have been ripped from Youku, and then re-uploaded by a Youtube user in Canada. If you can find the original Youku video, please leave a comment with the link.
Even better, if you know this girl, or are this girl, holler at us. Sufei is looking for backup dancers for a little project we've got cooking, so if you are interested in auditioning, drop us a line at info -at- sexybeijing.tv .
Luke @ 17:01 | .(2592) |
We might not be able to access Wikipedia in China (or Youtube or Blogger or...) but at least we can wake up in the morning and get a piping hot loaf of "Wekipedia" bread.
Luke @ 16:25 | .(2966) |
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