Posted by David in Randoms on February 06, 2014
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Here at BeansBox HQ in Sheung Wan, our lunch options go beyond the usual quick-and-dirty char chan tengs, generic food courts and big-brand chain restaurants that you find in most of Hong Kong. We find ourselves a little bit spoilt for choice, actually.

Posted by Belle in Geek on February 18, 2013
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BarCamp Hong Kong 2013

After organizing our 5th consecutive BarCamp at CoCoon last summer, our team at BeansBox decided to take a break and passed the torch to other volunteers this year. We remain as sponsors of this meaningful event and will be attending on both dates — it's February 23rd and 24th, 2013.

If you have never been to a BarCamp and are not sure whether it's worth going, check out the official site, what people have presented at the past BarCamps and the Facebook Group to get an idea. For many people who have only been to traditional type of conferences, BarCamp would be a breath of fresh air.

Everything is "user generated" at a BarCamp — you are expected to participate actively and every one is there to share and learn. It doesn't matter what you do for a living, what language you speak, what topics you're interested in, or whether you plan to present .. there will always be a good mix of smart and interesting people to meet. Check out our previous posts on BarCamp:

See you at the HK Polytechnic University this weekend!

Posted by David in Digital on June 02, 2012
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There's something deeply satisfying about a well-made animated GIF...its that hypnotic, repetitive seamless perfection that sucks you in and suspends time for a few seconds.

In the past couple years the file format has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts due to the popularity of "cinemagraphs", which are essentially animated photographs.

And now you can make your own with your iPhone: check out Cinemagram (or Kinotopic, which does the job but is a little buggy and crashes sometimes). If you're familiar with Instagram then you already know how this works. While the animations aren't always perfect, the rough DIY aesthetic does have its own charm.

The experience may be a bit slow at times due to the file size of some of these GIFs, but besides that its easy to use, has a slick interface and is reliable. You'll soon find yourself looking at things around you diferently, always on the lookout for cinemagraphic potential.

If you wanna up your Instagram game, we highly recommend you give this app a try.

Posted by David in Randoms on April 12, 2012
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Our office storefront makes several cameos in Monocle's excellent video of our Sheung Wan area. The report does a nice job capturing the vibe of the area, and how that's being threatened by Hong Kong's omnipresent property development that is slowly encroaching on this area. We hope we won't look back on this video a few years from now and reminisce about how things used to be.....

Posted by Belle in Geek on December 20, 2011
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BarCamp Hong Kong is the biggest unconference in town and we're proud to be part of it for the 4th consecutive year. Together with the ever awesome Ben Crox, we put together the whole event in a few weeks, and I have to say, it's been our toughest project of the year! A total of 940 people signed up, over 500 attended and 54+ sessions were hosted at BarCamp Hong Kong 2011 on November 12, 2011. 

The Venue

To avoid the heat, we decided to move BarCamp to mid-November this year and totally by accident we found the newly-completed Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at the City University of Hong Kong which happened to be available to us at that time. We were thrilled that we were able to host BarCamp there and the folks at the School of Creative Media have been extremely supportive and professional throughout.

The Preparation

We started by launching the official website, then spread the word with an EDM and various updates on Facebook and Twitter. On top of the usual signage and lanyards, we also designed a BarCamp T-shirt without any sponsor logos for the first time and sold a ton of them.

Instead of using multiple sign-up channels including Wiki, Google Spreadsheet and Facebook Event like in previous years, we wanted to find something that could help us better manage sign-ups and check-ins. After looking at a lot of other BarCamp sites, we went with Eventbrite and it turned out to be a godsend.

On the other hand, we also had to coordinate with the venue, sort out all logistics (like finding lunch caterer and a bar), the run-down and unfortunately also the huge task of finding sponsors in the last minute when the organizer in charge of that did not follow up. 

On The Day

With Eventbrite, not only could we manage sign-ups easily, we were also able to accept donations, sell T-shirts in advance, setup custom fields for surveys and generate all kinds of reports that help us plan and run the event more easily. The killer? It must be its Entry Manager iPhone app —  it made the check-in process not only painless but nearly addictive! I was amazed by how smooth the check-in was, and of course this could not have been possible without the help of our volunteers - big thumbs up to Ryanne, VinciAdaline, Maloney, Chris, Echo, Alan Lai, Water, Howard, David, Koala, Kwong, Marianne, Asuka, Brian, Eddie, Alan Ho and Polly!

This year we took the schedule wall and put it up online so there was much less "squeezing" at the physical schedule wall. The hard part? Entering all 54+ sessions into the online spreadsheet in 15 minutes when hundreds of attendees were eagerly waiting behind your back! It felt as terrifying as shooting zombies in The Typing of the Dead.

Personally, I wouldn't say the day went "perfectly" (there's no perfect in anything) but given the brand new venue and resources we had, I'm happy with what we have achieved. The CMC is not a traditional classroom building so we weren't able to setup rooms that were close to each other, and the security system also prevented us from keeping the room doors open for the flow of attendees walking in and out during the sessions. But overall I still think this is a fantastic venue and if we were able to host another BarCamp here, we would definitely be able to iron out a lot of the small kinks.

See you all again next year!

P.S. Be sure to check out our new side project - the BarCamp HK Wall.

Posted by David in Work on November 29, 2011
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To coincide with this year's BarCamp Hong Kong, we launched a new site called the wall.barcamp.hk, a little experiment which attempts to re-create the simplicity, aesthetics and "organized chaos" of the original wall that was first thrown up at BarCamp Hong Kong 2010 by our friend Simon at Frenzoo.com.

The original BarCamp Wall (seen above) was intended to be a quick and easy way for BarCampers to connect with other attendees, whether it was finding like-minded partners, investors or job opportunies. It was so successful that we decided to do the same thing at 2011's BarCamp (seen below).

We've always found hiring good people and finding good partners difficult, especially in a place like Hong Kong where the digital community is relatively small. Local job sites charge an arm and a leg for their inflexible ad plans, and seem to attract mostly job spammers and poor quality candidates.

We liked that the BarCamp Hong Kong Wall was intended only for a very specific group of people. We also liked the open format which allowed people to get creative with very primitive and limited tools (markers, paper, tape and a large flat surface).

Most of all we liked the openness and enthusiasm shown by the people that posted on the wall. With these core values in mind, we spent a couple weeks building wall.barcamp.hk.

Check it out and tell us what you think! Do us a favour and help us spread the word about this site to other startups, digital agencies and tech companies.

Posted by David in Office Stuff on October 08, 2011
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OK its been almost a year since we last did this. Here's a collection of some music we've been playing at the office lately....instrumentals, beats, R&B, hiphop, dubstep and more, everything from Eric Satie to Lil Tunechi. Download link below after the tracklist….

Oh Why - Balam Acab
I'm God (Instrumental) - Clams Casino
Feels Better (produced by Beautiful Lou) - Sed the Dean
Real Estate - Wiz Khalifa
Fire Flame (Remix) ft. Lil Wayne - Birdman
Unreleased - Lex Luger
By Your Side - Araabmuzik
The Zone - The Weeknd
Paris Morton Music - Drake
White Girl Problems - Jay Curry
Detroit Falls - Pariah
Free Spirit - Araabmuzik
A Galaxy in the West Quadrant - Keyboard Kid
I'll Be Yours (Visions of Trees Remix) - Those Dancing Days
Things Fall Apart - Zomby
Shell of Light (Shlohmo Remix) - Burial
The Vision - Joker
The Bells (Girl Unit Remix) - C.R.S.T.
Feral (Lone RMX) - Radiohead
Parallel World - Actress
Gnossienne No. 5 - Erik Satie

DOWNLOAD MIX (.zip)

See Vol. 1 here

Posted by David in Work on September 20, 2011
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Hey we just won a couple of awards! Sweet. The Web Marketing Association is an organization set up in 1997 by professionals from this industry in an effort to better the quality of internet marketing, online advertising and website promotion. They set up the WebAward Competition, which is now in its 15th year. The winners were just announced, and a couple of our sites (The Creative Rankings and Edifier International) picked up "Advertising Standard of Excellence" and "Outstanding Website" distinctions, respectively. Thanks guys! 

Posted by David in Randoms on August 16, 2011
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Down the block from our office on Tung St. and Hollywood Rd., a 10ft x 10ft stage built with bamboo scaffolding suddenly appeared mid last week. And on Saturday night it came alive, and became the stage and sacrificial altar for a big ceremony that went down.

It marked the end of the Hungry Ghost Festival -- the seventh month of the lunar year -- where the dead are given month-long passes to wander amongst the living. Living in Hong Kong, you'll definitely know when it's the Hungry Ghost month, because you'll start seeing lots of people burning huge piles of joss paper and setting fire to rows of big red candles right on the curb of the street every day, as an offering to their ancestors.

The ritual done by the monks above is to calm and appease the restless ghosts that have no descendants to burn stuff for them, hence their "hungry" nature.

Posted by David in Office Stuff on August 10, 2011
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The dust is still settling and the boxes are still all over the place, but we've been up and running at our new place here on Tung Street in Sheung Wan for almost a week now. So far we've met a few of our neighbours, done a little bit of exploring the local eateries, smashed a couple roaches, hung out a bit outside in our tiny makeshift patio....and it all feels like a bit of a dream, really. Had time to take a few crappy iPhone photos of the place and here they are. If you're ever in the neighbourhood, come by and say hi! We're at 48 Tung Street, near Tai Ping Shan Street.

 

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