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    Harro Newsletter – March 2008

    – Singapore continues to capture headlines across the world. This ranges from sovereign funds buying into global banking franchises UBS & Citibank, to Mas Selamat’s in-explicable escape from police custody.

    – Social media continues to grow with many blogs operated by individuals evolving to become more serious media platforms with their own domains names, to search engine registrations, to participation in community sites. We see these sites gaining credibility because their creators are making investments into their online presence. The quality of thought remains unchanged.

    – Social media continues to expand into other platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, Xing, Ning and countless other sites. The issue with all these platforms is that they all attempt to do the same generic social media platform resulting in pure competition for a same broad demographic. The result is that Facebook’s traffic appears to have tapered off. Is this the end of Facebook? Not likely.

    – Facebook has started accepting advertisements. This is a valuable alternative to Adsense.

    – Linkedin has updated its user interface. Are they following the Facebook layout?

    – Are social networks the new search engine? Because of a global increase in online media, search engines are struggling to remain relevant. This has sprouted off countless vertical search engine. In a parallel universe, social networks started facilitating community-based interactions. They are strong in providing relevant news and events to their community. This is something that search engines lack. In the future, we will see social networks become a the mainstream of information management supported by search engines.

    – Introducing a soon to be launch virtual world Twinity.com. This is a virtual world funded by Germans, and builds upon the successes and failures of Second Life. Twinity is about REAL people, REAL places, and REAL events. Its invitation only for now. Singapore has been chosen as one of the first few cities to be modelled.

    – Are Virtual World going to be considered as media anytime soon? There is plenty of innovation happening in Virtual World development, however the quality and credibility of the media is still disputable. Some corporations have ventured into the Virtual World space, but few have had any positive feedback. However, the concept of Virtual Worlds is still gaining traction and isn’t going away anytime soon.

    – American recession spells an impending media & innovation explosion in the USA. Look out for new ideas and media from the USA in the next 24 months. You can also read about it in this newsletter.

    – Andrew Peters has joined Harro to lead sales & marketing. Andrew hails from Australia/NZ and has mastered the art of internet-awareness. Andrew also leads niche communications platforms like Twinity, the Internet Association in Singapore, and countless other communities.

    – Harro.com gets a new look. As the Harro business evolves, we have finally focused our business proposition to the public. Harro is about Research, Monitoring, Syndication and Reports. We maintain strict practices of research confidentiality and information distribution.

    – Bloggorazzi.com has been created as the new home for our social media aggregation platform. Although this plays an important part of our business, our focus is increasingly on what clients are looking for. There is a wealth of tools, methods and resources that assist us to understand the fragmenting media. Bloggorazzi forms part of this resource.

    – We recently did our little bit for the community by co-sponsoring a student forum called Interesthink.com. Interesthink is a speakers platform based on concepts from TED. It facilitates discussions on off-beat, yet crucial topics. The events discussions included “The Pros and Pros of Prostitution”, “CPF Changes” by Leong Sze Hian, “Breast Cancer Survivor awareness”, “Film Making”, “Malay culture and Islam”. By Singapore standards, many of these are taboo topics. However, during the conference at “The Pod” (thanks to NLB), the attendees un-fetter their minds and did a little thinking.

    – That’s it for now. We thank you for your support and look forward to talk to you individually.

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