Author Archives: Jacky

About Jacky

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Besides writing for e27, Jacky is working on Lunchsparks, as well as running N-House, Singapore’s first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS. He also do and was part of the organizer of Startup Weekend Singapore 2012.

Svbtle opens up to all. Bad move.

If there’s one platform that I’ve always wanted to be part of, as a writer, it would be Svbtle.

For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a blogging platform that promises to be the easiest platform for blogging.

Its description read:

“We’re a network of great people mixed with an extremely simple platform for collecting and developing ideas, sharing them with the world, and reading them. We’ve focused all of our energy into building the simplest interface for accomplishing these goals. Svbtle is blogging with everything else taken away.”

Before today, you have to approved by the team in order to be part of Svbtle. Because of the highly specific curation process, there were a lot of high quality articles and authors on the platform. Being in Svbtle is like being in a cool club. It is exclusive. It is authoritative. It is an identity, an endorsement. Everyone wants to be on it.

But that changed today. Svbtle now opens its access to the public, taking away all the sexy appeal of Svbtle. Anyone can just sign up to be part of the blogging platform.

Personally, I think that was a bad move (but who am I to critic anyways).

You see, there are a lot of blogging platforms nowadays: Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Medium, Quora, and now, Svbtle. Guaranteeing a “slightly better user interface” might not that appealing to compete with other blogging platforms.

I’ve always wanted to be part of the network, and despite several requests, was never granted the invitation. Now that it is no longer exclusive to be part of the network, I’m not sure if I’d spend time on that network. WordPress works fine for me. I have a Medium account, and a Quora account (with a premium domain name!) which I hardly have enough time to generate different content to grow and harness the different traffic from all these platforms.

Opening up to the public also means that Svbtle is letting the mass market determine its voice. WordPress is meant for company blogs & businesses, Tumblr is meant for teenagers, Medium is meant for creatives/authors, which segment will Svbtle be targetting? Entrepreneurs? Startup founders? Maybe. I’m just hoping that they have a critical mass of this audience segment pool to attract the other mass market founders whom have time to write. Then maybe the identity can be preserved.

But of course, Svbtle had to open up to attract more growth because it raised an undisclosed round from investors last year.

Let see if there are any major news coming from the platform in the next 3-6 months in terms of growth.

Anyone ever wonder what happens to old contents?

As there are more and more content produced everyday, old content which are non time sensitive which still provides a lot of relevance are “pushed back” and replaced by the newer ones. There should be a tool where you can rediscover these old gems.

If the relevance is still there, not only can you reshare them and get more page views, you can also reduce your dependency on the need to produce fresh content everyday.

In a way, you are helping your new audience rediscover these old but “still relevant” content, because overtime your audience should technically grow, but overtime, your old content only get buried away by all the digital noise.

Something worth looking into.

Different ways to look at media platforms and content timing

For the longest time, people have been differentiating media as old and new media. Old media includes print, traditional newsroom, radio, magazine, books etc, platform which exist before the internet. New media, of course, is everything that rely on Internet as a distribution channel. Eg: blogs, social networks, and increasingly, mobile as a platform.

I think we should stop thinking of media as old and new media, but start thinking about media that meets people where there are. For instance, in Singapore where people commute to work through bus or MRT, social network works in reaching out to them, because they are checking their mobile on the move. (Newspaper used to work too, because people can pick it up and read it on the go, but mobile killed it).

For Malaysia, where people own cars, these channels don’t really work, simply because you can’t read when you are on the go (though this is arguable for KL). All of a sudden, radio might be a good media platform to reach out to your audience. Perhaps that’s why radio hosts are more popular in Malaysia.

Another way to analyse which media platform to focus on is this: understand what your audience are doing at the different time during the day, and how can you best meet their needs.

For example, in the morning, people are looking for information that helps them succeed at work: weather forecast, traffic condition, news of the day (maybe stock?) etc. So in the morning, you should concentrate your messaging around these theme, which would then lead you to command a higher level of credibility among your audience (because you deliver actual value to them).

In the afternoon they are looking for information that helps them get through the day, especially light information or funny stuffs. At night they have more time to consume stuffs and share things, so save your “viral-able” articles for night time.

This is the time where they are more likely to engage in conversation too (might be different for different segments). Data also proves this point:

hourlycontentSo if you have a piece of content you are thinking of reaching a higher audience, night time would be a better chance, as there are more people online consuming content. Or when you are pushing your content, it will give you a new perspective if you ask: the audience you are trying to reach, what are they doing now? Are they on the move? Can they tweet/share your article on Facebook? Are they eating and socializing with their colleagues?

Also read: Here’s what’s happening in the content industry now

Incredibly rare to find these people

I’m on the look out for people to discuss content strategy with, and it is incredibly hard to find someone interested in this vertical.

These are some of the things I have been experimenting with. Happy to share results and exchange thoughts

  • Pageviews growth (increasingly, social referrals are getting more important because they are relatively easier to hack, as opposed to organic referrals through google. Its simple really: Google has been indexing content for way longer than social networks)
  • What are the distribution channels (forums, social networks, search engines)
  • Which distribution channel works 
  • Best organic search practices 
  • Google trend analysis (been using this but not sure if im missing out any best practices. Is anyone using them?)
  • Facebook news feed optimization (news feed is a better way to get eyeballs than facebook pages)
  • Content syndication (good for SEO value but traffic value might not be that high)
  • Twitter as a content distribution channel (I find Twitter has relatively low traffic value compared to FB).
  • Sources of News (mostly through social networks. Here’s an article worth reading by Mark Cuban: Is Search Changing?)

You know how to reach me. :) Twitter’s @jackyyapp and email’s

The fear of losing things you earn

Reaching a stage of my life where I will have to make big decisions soon. Came across a blog post by a friend, which is very very timely:

“When you’re making decent money, don’t let money infuse you the fear of losing money. For now you have so much more to lose. But you didn’t realize you might not deserve that much money at the first place.

People often times undermine the market condition and pure luck, and highly correlate the money they earn to how good they are.

After all you can’t really compare how good a teacher is to how good a software engineer is.”

Wow. Strong words. Looking forward to the opportunity to work with you Huy!

There are too many things you have to do

Had the chance to hear the cofounder of Qunar Douglas (Malaysian!) speak at an invite only event.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 9.32.40 pmQunar is China’s #1 travel search engine. In 2011, Qunar was acquired by Baidu, which later owned 60% majority share in Qunar. The acquisition was done at $306M. Earlier In November 2013, Baidu listed Qunar on the stock exchange, raises over $167M on the public listing.

Impressive, considering that Douglas was a foreigner whom conquered the chinese market.

Couple of takeaways from Douglas:

  • If you dont feel like everyday you have 50 things to do for your startup, and when you go to sleep, you have accomplished 55 of them, you are better off working for a corporate
  • How often do you pitch? 110% of the time. Pitch to everyone about your company.
  • Qunar grew through partnerships. Spending on marketing was minimal.
  • How to stand out from competitor: out execute them.
  • Team is important.

Main takeaway: execution.