BeansBox is a boutique digital agency based in Hong Kong. We design and build cool websites and mobile apps for a living. Here we blog about the web, creativity, culture, tech, Hong Kong and anything else that piques our interest or inspires us.
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.....
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.
Microsoft's new gaming tech Kinect has been out since November, and so far its a big seller worldwide, with 2.5 million units shipped during its first month.
For those unaware of what it is, Microsoft Kinect allows you to play games on your Xbox 360 without a gamepad. By gesturing and moving your body in front of its projected infrared light and camera, it measures and captures your movements in 3D space. Amazing!
What's been most interesting to us is what geeks have been doing with OpenKinect. Some people went out and wrote an open source driver that lets you hook up your computer to the Kinect and capture data from it. Already this has led to some jaw-dropping experimentation that with blow your mind. It's a world of possibilities beyond gaming with this device.
The videos posted by Oliver Kreylos, a UC Davis VR researcher demonstrate what tapping into Kinect can do:
Controlling Super Mario with Kinect:
This one shows Kinect hooked up to a MIDI controller. Imagine the music performance potential of this!
MS is one-upping Apple in this case with allowing programmers like these to mess around with its tech. And more importantly, they are being forward thinking with a forward thinking piece of technology, which seems like a smart move.
I've been a little Facebookish lately and my blog posts reflect that feeling. Not that I've been hanging around one of the most popular social networking sites all day, but maybe just a little observant on how people use Facebook.
Facebook has been in the mainstream of social media for a while, but many of us have yet to learn the proper etiquette and adhere to real-life’s rules of common courtesy.
So here's a collection of how we can better handle ourselves while we are socializing online through Facebook:
These are simple reminders that can easily get ignored. The convenience of Facebook (at work, mobile phones and all) makes it easy for us to speak what is in our mind. Somehow we need to think first if someone or everyone needs to know.
I guess you have a Facebook account, right? Your personal Facebook account basically lists down your shared web pages, photos or games. You connect with friends and share stuff. But if you want to promote something, your personal account is a bad place to do so. You look like doing a hardsell because your friends normally think you'd like to share more about you rather than something else -- unless you are promoting yourself. Promote your business or products to millions of potential customers, partners or indirect sales people through Facebook Pages.
What's the advantage of Facebook Pages over your account?
Apart from not looking cheesy, your personal account has limited number of friends and contacts you can connect to. Compared to the 5,000 contact limit for personal account, a fan page does not impose limits, so your product or service is exposed to potentially millions of Facebook users who may end up as fans of your page. Without sounding cheesy on your personal Facebook feeds. Also, fan pages can be seen publicly while someone's personal account profiles can only be accessed if you are in contact with that someone. Facebook fan pages allow you to post business details, phone numbers, events, office hours and so on that you can't do on a personal profile page. If you're convinced already but haven't started your own Facebook page yet, this guide should help you create one. Its pretty straightforward and easy to implement. Assuming you already made a page but still lacks the desired number of fans to support it, we'll try to answer the question above: How to attract Facebook fans? Here are some ideas.
I couldn't think of simpler way of introducing what this blog is about than what you saw in the title. There are many SEO tips around and sometimes, you have to figure out which one is correct, which one is obsolete, which one is works and which one is discouraged by search engines. The more you read, the more you learn but sometimes you get confused too. I hope these tips are self-explanatory and simple enough to understand. Let's use a fictional company name Elmer's Pet Food Supplies as an example. Let's say I sell pet food supply for pet dogs, cats.
We have launched recently launched BeansMail, an easy to manage email marketing platform that allows marketers to seamlessly launch EDM campaigns with relative ease. One more thing about this product is that you are free to sign up and try all features for yourself. Email marketing continues to be an important online marketing channel, that when utilized properly, yields better return on investment than most other initiatives. That is why setting up BeansMail is an important step for BeansBox to help clients make the most of their online presence.
Email marketing has been here for a while so we try to keep abreast with the latest developments through this blog. In this session I would like to share some points.
Assuming that we already have Google Analytics accounts, and are constantly curious to find out how our website visitors are behaving, one thing we might find out is that the visitors we are trying to track are ourselves! This would be the case if we often visit our own site for one reason or another (preview pages via various browsers, or setting our default browser to our site.
Of course we know why we visit our own site. Therefore, we don't want our footprints be tracked and prefer Google Analytics to ignore them instead. We need to find out our IP address and tell Google Analytics to ignore any instance when a visitor from this IP address makes a visit.
One of the challenges I face when I try to encourage businesses to add more meat (read: content) into their websites is that most response I get is that either a) they think their website already contains all information needed b) they don't know what content to write.
When I start preaching the importance of blogs, they are either unsure if this is possible or even necessary. Blogs can bridge the gap between a company and its customers. It's a casual way of communication that benefits both parties. Perhaps it's a good idea to enumerate the benefits of setting up a blog within a company website.
You can promote new products, features, version updates in a casual, personal tone
You can post an elaborate response to commonly asked questions supported by videos, photos and examples.
You can announce company news, new staff hires, job vacancies or even company trips that somehow awkward to place on a press release page.
You can provide set your company as an example of how to handle customer complaints, questions and be a model in handling customer support the best way possible.
You can create brand awareness through blog entries on company initiatives such as partnerships, sponsorship and social responsibilities.
You can respond immediately to questions raised by visitors through the moderated comments section.
You expand your company's reach as your readers/subscribers/clients can easily access your company's update without necessarily going to your website.