Sunday, July 5, 2009

Corporate Blogging: A New Marketing Communication Tool for Companies

Blogs are helpful in many marketing and communication purposes which interact companies' vision, newly launched products online, especially to external parties. It can be used internally whereby it communicates the people within the organization.

Is corporate blog must be very "marketing literature"? I would say: "Won't it be too formalized? I would like to have some humour elements, please~" If humour can be well managed (either company-sponsored or user-created humour, with the right proportion), it can make corporate blog effective and great! Humour is a way to get your blog readers' attention, create close relationship with your customers, suppliers employees and so on. What if a corporate blog looks as if the company is the author of the blog that "voice out" itself? Sounds great isn't it?

I personally find Redfin's corporate blog is interesting whereby it either introduces the life within organization or promotes its core business in the way of humour. Nevertheless, it allows its customers to participate in the humour posts as well! I would like to share here. (Redfin is an online real estate brokerage)
  • Creating blog is a social media strategy whereby it plays a role of communication agent.
  • It is a useful extension of the company's image in the marketplace.
  • Updated information is vital as it encourages users to stick to the company when people find that they can obtain some organic search or keywords on the latest information from the blog. This could be done in a dialogue form. For instance, conversation between employees and customers can be included in the corporate blog to create a different way of customer service on enquiries. Whenever a customer types keywords to search for information, the answer for the enquiries will be shown in the dialogue way.
  • Good for customers as they won't feel so boring as the traditional one does.
Here is an example from Johnson & Johnson's corporate blog:

Reputation influence the marketability of a company's services and products. With the creative and useful blog the company established, new customers will be attracted and close relationship with customers can be produced; confidence in customers towards the company will be gradually enhance, thus reputation being pushed!

In the organization, its blog is normally set up through their intranet. Everyone in the organization can access regardless which level you are in. Employees have the opportunities to interact and share information among themselves, better relationship between managers and subordinates can be developed. It provides a more comfortable working environment that not putting employees under pressure, thus they will be more commit to the organization.

It is highly encourage companies to start establish their own blogs as it no only bring benefits to the company itself but also their stakeholders. It is like the idiom : one stone kill "few" birds :P

However, corporate blog should be revisiting frequently by the organization to prevent destructive comments and loss of control of over message.

Pros & Cons from the Students Perspective toward E-Learning in Malaysian Universities

E-learning can be simply described as a learning process in which students can communicate with their lecturers and peers, and access learning materials, over Internet or other computer network. This indirectly become a strategy movement and a key challenges for universities. As for UTAR, we have our very own Web Based Learning Environment (WBLE)

Those universities whose imply e-learning strategies, oftenly try to accommodate growing student enrollment, sustain academic diversity and gain a competitive advantage. However, now we going to look from the student perspective toward pros and cons of E-Learning in our local universities.

  1. Learning is a process of self-paced and self-directed. This give a chance for students either to speed up or slow down during studying. This enable a student to keep in path in between learning and understanding the material in the same time. E-learning also allows students to choose content and tools appropriate to their differing interests, needs, and skill levels. It;s student centered, we even can skip the subject we already know and focus the topic which we are interested.

  2. Eliminates the geographical, opens a broader education options. With E-Learning, every morning they just need to activate their computers and Internet and carry on their studies as like we going to class. It also reduced or eliminated travel time and associated costs (parking, fuel, vehicle maintenance). This definely a good news for students who have financial problems or poor family background.

  3. 24/7 accessibility makes scheduling easy and this become one of the most favourable for students choosing E-Learning. Students are unbound by time, which mean they can choose whatever their free time to learn the course. They can adjust their schedule which fix them. For those part time labor/students, this will bring a lot of convenience to them to balance their work-life.

  1. Uncomfortable for those who lack confidence in their technology skills and believe that e-learning will lead to more work. Students from poor family background may have not chances yet to own a personal computer and learn those technology skills.

  2. Face-to-face communication/meeting is threatened. Can you imagine a bunch of students keep nudging the lecturers /tutors to solve their questions and doubts? The lecturers/tutors might just forget or skipped over you during the Q&A session.

    Nevertheless, the main problem for E-Learning in Malaysian universities:-
  1. Lack of technology support. The challenges associated with providing e-learning support more oftenly are associated with lack of knowledge than with testing the limits of availability. Lack of knowledge about course design and technology in general are cited , especially one where the system crashes can still be a problem. A low(or lousy) broadband speed also might affect the quality of E-learning. No one like to see their lecturer lagging in front of LCD screen right? (Even Millionnaire Donald Trumph said so :P)

  2. Plays an increasing role in higher education as the line between face-to-face learning and e-learning continues to blur. However, i hope that our country's leaders will try to improve our facilities, technologies standard, educational level so that E-Learning only can be a truely have a big influence in education terrority.

Useful Links:-

Friday, July 3, 2009

Review on "New Rules for Cyber Cafe Soon"

The Government will be implementing new rules for cyber cafe soon.

Among the new rules are:
  1. Have to close by midnight daily.
  2. Banned from using tinted glasses in their premises. (must be able to see through from the outside)
  3. Only allowed to operate from the ground floor.
  4. Those under 12 years old must be accompanied by parents or guardian and only allowed to stay up to 10.00pm.
  5. Prohibited from providing gaming activities, gambling, pornography, music and publications with negative element.
  6. Cigarettes and alcohol to be prohibited from being sold.
  7. A book log to record the entry and departure time of the patrons.
Nowadays you can see cyber cafe anywhere on the streets. Cyber cafe are growing non-stop like mushrooms. The original objectives or purposes of introducing the cyber cafe to public is to cultivate learning habits among citizens and also to expose citizens to the cyber world. Unfortunately, people had misused cyber cafe as a gaming zone, gambling zone and etc. Instead of molding citizens to be more educational, cyber cafe is now seen as an outlet that would harm youths mentally and socially.

It is no surprise that the Government is being strict and taking actions against cyber cafes now. In fact, all these should have done earlier by the cyber cafe owners. Owners of cyber cafe should have taken necessary actions against youngsters who surf sites like pornography, gaming, gambling and etc. Youngsters as young as 12 years old were seen hanging out with friends playing online games such as DoTA, making bets, smoking and drinking alcohol in cyber cafe. Such sight is an eyesore to others. The Government wouldn't have come out with such rules if all youngsters have self discipline and knows of their limits. However, we could not blame the cyber cafe goers entirely. Sometimes, it is the owner of cyber cafe that are in thirst for money. Some owners allow such activities to happen to attract youngsters and make profit out of them. Sigh.. if only these youngsters knew this! Sadly, these youngsters are more willing to pay more to satisfy their addicts towards games, pornography and so on. I strongly agree with the Government's actions and sad to say, for the cyber cafe businessmen, they might suffer some losses. Well, what goes around comes around. Some people just prefer to learn the "hard" way.

*Ahem* See what I mean?
Related Links:

E-Government in Malaysia

Just like every other countries, Malaysia too has its very own dream of becoming a first class nation. One of the initiatives taken by Malaysia to achieve this goal is to introduce the usage of E-Government in 1997 which was said to bring the citizens of Malaysia and the Government closer. The implementation of E-Government is able to improve the convenience, information flow and processes with government, and quality of interaction with citizens and businesses. The Malaysian Government main website can be accessed through here Perhaps one of the latest and most proud achievements of E-Government recently is the implementation of the system which allows citizens to replace their MyKad quickly. With the well built up system, Malaysian citizens can now replace their MyKad in one day in Putrajaya and Melaka. I personally find this fascinating as I can still remember the days of waiting in the JPN office when I was young. It was dreadful. Other services that are popular among citizens are the job application via TheJobsMalaysia, checking traffic summons, checking the EPF statements,and filling in tax returns. After providing numerous services, perhaps the most feared outcomes that Malaysia might receive is that no one is using it. People used to say that Malaysians have first world infrastructure but with third world mentality. In order to boost acceptability and inviting more people to use these services provided, Malaysia needs to educate the users and create awareness of the availability of such services. At the same time ensuring the users of their safety and confidentiality on every aspect. Also not forgetting making the sites more user friendly and easy to navigate.

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