The Scoop Blog
Technology in PR, marketing, and the media.

SPH takes on Yahoo! 

Just this week Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced two JVs worth $2 million each with Norwegian media company, Schibsted, to take Singapore's agenda-setting media giant beyond the island and deeper into cyberspace.

Although SPH's strength comes from its newspapers, the JVs will develop "online classifieds, search and directories and other Internet opportunities", according to a self-promoting news article.

It's great to see SPH getting more involved in the online space, but doesn't this move bring the tiny country's incumbent media in direct competition with the global portal giant Yahoo! Inc. which already has all that the JVs are planning and more? Not to mention eBay, Google, BaiDu, and many other toes the JVs may be stepping on.

It would be interesting to see …


By Benjamin Koe on Saturday, 16 September 2006 at 12:04 AM | Category: Media | (1) Comments

PR firm now has research tool 

Step aside Nielsen, PR agency coming through! Today Waggener Edstorm posted a press release on Scoopasia about a new PR tool that "measures the effectiveness of brand messages in online and offline media to aid strategic communications programs".

The massive growth of the social and online media in the last few years have given birth to the need for tools and systems to give order to the chaos. There's Google BlogSearch and Technorati as examples of search engines, and all the way from an alternate industy: Nielsen BuzzMetric's BlogPulse has come in to join the fun.

What's really interesting here is that now PR firms are taking technology into their own hands to deliver results for their clients behind closed doors. And if they succeed in-house, the service can be sold publicly …


By Benjamin Koe on Friday, 8 September 2006 at 10:26 PM | Category: Public Relations | (0) Comments

First connection: Wireless@SG 

Today I was at the Scoopasia office in Raffles City (a.k.a Starbucks) testing out our new wireless infrastructure (a.k.a Wireless@SG). Since IDA was nice enough to provide tax-supported WiFi for those working and playing in the area, why not get on and get some work done?

Up till now, it's been 3 hours and no drop out. Not bad despite not having a full bar on this sofa in the corner. This is what it's made of:

  • SSID: Wireless@SG
  • Channel: 1 (At least in Starbucks)
  • No login, but there's a splash page with a button to click.

But there's one thing I didn't like about it. The network appears to only allow Web (HTTP) and email traffic. Which could mean that many ports are blocked. Skype worked, but MSN didn't by default. I had to route my MSN traffic through …


By Benjamin Koe on Sunday, 3 September 2006 at 4:27 PM | Category: Media | (1) Comments

Online media gets to stand with magazines 

Today we were invited to the second gathering of the Magazine Publisher's Association (MPA) at the ARIA Bistro at the Esplanade. Actually, the association has not been formed yet and they were there deciding whether or not coming together was a good idea.

It was Scoopasia's first time among the magazine publishers and what was really interesting was how the committee (many of them old-timers in the print publishing industry) embraced the online only media, like us!

It was a great time, despite a small commotion about whether or not to admit publishers who we not audited. All are still allowed to join.

So my question now in reflection is what then makes an online publication worthy of joining a publisher's association? Would an individual's blog with a business model be part of the MPA? What if a community of like-minded people …


By Benjamin Koe on Monday, 21 August 2006 at 11:16 PM | Category: Media | (0) Comments

The future belongs to the amateurs 

Seriously, we can't ignore them blogs no more. According to David Sifry from Technorati in his State of the Blogosphere report...

  • The Blogosphere is over 100 times bigger than it was just 3 years ago.
  • Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size every 200 days, or about once every 6 and a half months.
  • From January 2004 until July 2006, the number of blogs that Technorati tracks has continued to double every 5-7 months.
  • About 175,000 new weblogs were created each day, which means that on average, there are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day.
  • Total posting volume of the blogosphere continues to rise, showing about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second.
  • This is about double the volume of about a year ago.

The power …


By Benjamin Koe on Monday, 7 August 2006 at 11:06 PM | Category: Media | (673) Comments

Channel NewsAsia's new do 

Well done Channel NewsAsia on your new site. I haven't been following your development, but this morning's breakfast table reading (yes, I do mine online) was a pleasant treat. I love the way its clean, and most of all fast!

Although they haven't yet gone full steam into Web 2.0, I must commend them on their good use of a CMS that renders static .html pages which contributes to improved speed and probably performance for their servers. The banners are a bit in-your-face, but heck, its a living ya?

I love the way every section is a No more dynamic queries in the URL. I also like the flash-based videos pegged to the story idea, but why is the screen still blank after almost a minute's wait?

But seriously, can you please get rid of the evil refresh-my-page-before-I-finish-reading …


By Benjamin Koe on Monday, 17 July 2006 at 10:06 AM | Category: Media | (0) Comments

Big brother web stats 

This is something everyone with a web site will want to use, but no one will ever admit to using it. It's called ClickTale, an Israel-based startup that takes you one step beyond the normal web stats showing you movies of exactly how what users are doing on their web sites.

Yes I know, Orwellian. But if you are willing to ignore privacy concerns, or openly tell users that they're being tracked, I think it serves as an extremely powerful tool especially for web designers and people who are concerned about human behaviour on their sites.

If done well, a web master can re-engineer a site to be more sticky. For publishers, it means more web impressions and thus more money from CPM ads.

It also means you can find out how long on average a user takes before he/she …


By Benjamin Koe on Sunday, 16 July 2006 at 5:43 PM | Category: Marketing | (109) Comments

Ask everyone 

Just a thought, but have any of your PR practitioners ever used Yahoo! Answers? That's Yahoo's new ask-the-community tool. I believe that this could be a very good platform for PRs to gauge public perception of products, companies, trends, etc. Questions must be phrased in a way that people wouldn't mind answering, of course.

Lots of prominent people including Dr Steven Hawking and U2's Bono have made headlines asking questions already. There's no guarantee the quality of the responses, but then again, Yahoo is by far the biggest community aggregator on the Internet, so this is your best shot.

For Asian country specific Yahoo! Answers, try:
- Singapore (
- Taiwan (
- South Korea (
- Hong Kong (
- Japan (
- China (

By Benjamin Koe on Tuesday, 11 July 2006 at 9:27 PM | Category: Public Relations | (0) Comments

The inflated web 

If you're in a position to buy advertising space in the online media, here's something you might not have known about Web statistics.

Many of the more established print publications have their circulation numbers audited by a third party, but online that's not often the case. Most marketers are left trusting the numbers provided by the publisher and that could easily be falsified.

Any online media worth their salt, would have two types of web statistic tracking systems. A web server log analyzer and a page tagging web statistic system.

Page Tagging
Very simply, page tagging is the real numbers you want to see. It works by having a little JavaScript code attached to the page which counts "1" everytime a real person loads the page in a browser. If the page doesn't load, say from a search engine bot visit …


By Benjamin Koe on Monday, 10 July 2006 at 12:10 AM | Category: Marketing | (1) Comments

How to build a PR blog 

Many PR agencies have asked me about PR blogs, both for their own organization and for their clients, and each time I find them uncertain about the type of content they want to have displayed online.

All they know is that they want to get into the blogosphere to create some buzz. True, that is the goal, but simply having a blog-like web site with new posts coming in from the top and exiting at the bottom is not going to get any good readership. The blogosphere is already flooded with content beyond comprehension that search engines such as Technorati and Google BlogSearch have to be used to aggregate and sort through the mess.

So then, what can PRs do in the blogosphere that will work? My advice is go look at the Official Google Blog. The philosophy behind that blog …


By Benjamin Koe on Monday, 3 July 2006 at 11:18 PM | Category: Public Relations | (1) Comments

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