Friday, October 31

Do you feel the Buzz?

We'll it's been a while, 6 months in fact. Bad bad blogger that I am. So what's happened for me:

- Left London for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Set-up VEO Media
- Launched
- Working on some others...
- Got a pet turtle for the roof garden :)
- And some lovely classic motorbikes

Vietnam's one hell of a colourful, exciting, frustrating, fun, hard, easy place to be. Ok, full of contradictions, but that's what it's like.

I here experts say that there's no real Social Media in Vietnam. Actually, you couldn't find a bigger market for it. But it lives here in a different form. People meet and chat with mates through Yahoo 360, they hangout in forums like Game-VN(675,000 members in this forum alone!). So what of Web 2.0 in Vietnam. Well meeting in online games is surely Web 3.0. So there's a generation that skipped 2.0 but plenty are also still back on Web 1.0 forums. (more contradictions)

Generally people here accept what is familiar, rather than something that challenges them, so the normal social networks need to make a real effort to get take-up. Facebook probably has the biggest opportunity, because as a platform it is fully customisable, and the bedroom/backstreet developers will go to town on creating VN widgets which are fun and familiar.

Right now, we're just rolling out It's for hot news, hot links, for your bookmarks and to share with your friends. I guess the best way to describe it is Digg marries Delicious, has twins and comes to Vietnam. It's been a hell of a journey to make, a truly global collaboration between London, Vietnam, with Eastern Europe in between. It's for local Vietnamese and for Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) too.

Will Vietnamese get the Buzz? Who can be sure. These ventures are forever speculative. But we've got some great, interesting content already posted from Khoa and Nhi, our editors. And I hope that visitors will keep discovering the Buzz through cool, fun, challenging, shocking, useful content they find on the site.

There are loads of features and functions we'll add, but for the start, we've stripped it back, to make it easier for new users to find their way. You can post, you can save links, you can have buddies and you can vote. Or you can just read.

Now the challenges ahead lie in getting the word 'buzz' in the vietnamese language, getting good members, good traffic, getting good content. But we've got some fun marketing ideas that might just help that along. (Some things that have not been done in Vietnam before). I'll share them here very soon.

Oh, and the slogan - It's only hot when you make it Buzz!