China’s 12th 5 Year explained

Yesterday I stumbled across this document – China’s 12th Five-Year Plan: How it actually works and what’s in store for the next five years [PDF] by APCOworldwide. It is probably the best document I have found that describes not only the process of the China’s 5 year plans but also gives us some insight into what the Central Government is planning for 2011-2015.  Its a document that covers various areas of Economy, Environment, Development, Health, Energy, etc. APCO also gives some indication of what foreign businesses can expect in the coming 5 years.

I plan to gather and read as much information about the 5 year plans and the growth of China to stay informed, but it is also worth noting that the information should be balanced  against what is happening in China and abroad they may influence how the plan is implemented.

Social Infographic – Facebook vs twitter

Digital Surgeons recently posted an infographic – Facebook vs Twitter. The most interesting data is the differences between Age Group, Education, mobile logins and brand followers. Both sets of users(fb and twitter) have a low percentage of brand following, however it would be interesting to see the data on word of mouth/mentions of brands that occurs on the two services as I am sure it would be higher than the direct engagement(following/liking/fan). Also I query how they measured or defined a login as many people use desktop or browser app programs to login to twitter and facebook.
Infographics are becoming more and more popular, however we are often left asking how the data was collected and the rigorousness of the analysis. The digital surgeons infographic gives great data in instantly referencing form.

(c) digital surgeons

Australia’s National Broadband Network: White Elephant in the making

Debated started back in 2002 on National Broadband Network (NBN) for Australia and gained more traction during the 2007 election. Last year, the Australian government announced it was going to spend $43 billion on implementing the NBN – a fibre optic network with a speed of 100 Mpbs to 93% of population (in other worlds major cities and coastline) with the remaining areas to be serviced by a satellite network.  Recently the government announced the speed of the NBN would be 1 gigabyte.

So why is this network a white elephant?
Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are the fastest growing market and are changing the way we work, consume and produce data & information whether at work, home or play. For this reason alone the NBN should have been mobile technology based – people are changing the way they work and consume data and its not sitting at desk with a 17-24″ screen – its usually on a 3-14″ screen in their client’s office or boardroom or lounge room or shopping mall or farm tractor.  Another reason it should have been Mobile is the location of the data we now access is often through the cloud (gmail, youtube, facebook, games) and therefore people don’t need to be anchored to their desk or workplace to be productive. The cloud saves business money on purchasing network infrastructure, hardware and software. I’ll speak more about the cloud and mobile market trends in future posts.

The NBN is a fixed network that is going to provide huge amount of bandwidth to where people in reality don’t really need it. People use the internet for facebook, watching videos and reading the newspaper/news sites and the odd email – all of which do not require the enormous bandwidth that the NBN will supply. I can understand installing the NBN in Central Business/Activity Districts, Universities or other research facilities but spending $43 billion to install a fixed network to residences seems a large waste of taxpayers money.  Anyone who requires the bandwidth that the NBN will supply will most likely already have it – universities, banks, architects, designers, video production, etc. Overall, the concept of the NBN is too broader a scope and supplies people who really don’t need the bandwidth – I am I saying they don’t deserve the access – no, I am saying if they require it they can pay for it.

$43 billion is a lot of money to spend on one infrastructure project, there are too many other infrastructures that require the money including health and public transport – to areas in dire need of money.

Plain and simply the NBN should have been mobile by the time it is fully implemented be as relevant as a phone box and be one of the the biggest mis-allocation of funds by an Australian government.

IMAGE from Flickr Copyright All rights reserved by sailblue

China property market tightening to continue through 2011

Wang Shi, Chairman of  Vanke (China’a largest property developer) this week stated during the China Investment Summit that the market was tightening due to the Central Government’s tightening campaign and that the tightening had been effective. He also spoke about real estate prices cooling in a market that has been called a ridiculous bubble. Wang believes that the risks of a bubble mean that the tightening will continue into 2011. He also stated that he didn’t think China would get as bad as Dubai and his greatest statement from the Reuters article was “If the bubble bursts, Japan’s past will be China’s present.”

China’s property prices have been rising at an incredible rate over the last 2 years and not just in Shanghai and Beijing, but also in other cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou, Hong Kong and Hainan Island. Is this merely speculation or demand for housing? I think it is a mixture of both. There is market speculation that all property will rise no matter where it is in China however, there is also demand from first property buyers and those being relocated from farms and inner-city redevelopments.

Owning property is culturally seen as being successful and rich in China with many young people not marrying until the male has purchased property. This is becoming harder and harder in cities such as Shanghai were property continues to rise beyond 20,000CNY per square meter ($USD 3000) with the average in Shanghai announced this week as 21,146CNY per square meter.

I believe that demand and speculation will continue through 2011 in the China property market but will move more to the smaller cities as investors and home buyers see that the big tier-1 cities are just too expensive and look elsewhere for better value. The Central government will continue tightening and will also spur along economy with the ratification of the 12th 5 year plan.

Is Social Media now called ‘Social’? – I hope so

Current Social Media is about 4-5 years old depending on who you listen or follow but really didn’t start to gain traction until 2008. Over time its has been mostly referred to as Social Media but many people who are seen as the Social Media experts/gurus/advocates/insert your catchy name/  have not always been happy with the term Social Media as it really didn’t describe the arena of social interaction very well. People thought social media was just blogs or videos(youtube) or  facebook or twitter(micro-blogs) or gowalla (location based) platforms rather than the whole arena of social interaction.

Recently, I have noticed that many people in the Social Media industry have started referring to Social Media as ‘Social’ not in written form such as blogs but in podcasts and videos. Whether this is due to the recent movie about facebook called the Social Network or just a general evolution of  the terminology, only time will tell.  I hope it sticks because I personally don’t like the term Social Media I think its a little confusing in defining the numerous platforms that make up social interaction on the web.

What is a landscape architecture?

Landscape Architecture is the design of outdoor spaces (and often indoor spaces) through the integration of the environment, design, art, science, economy and sociology. It involves the understanding ecologically, geology, urban planning, economy, culture, and people in able to design a better environment.

Landscape architecture is a design study and profession of various sizes of landscapes including small gardens, parks, rehabilitation of polluted areas, urban squares, residential and commercial developments, hotels & tourist resorts, natural areas and infrastructure – anything that you often in your town, city and sometimes national parks would have input from a landscape architect. Landscape architecture is more than design and also includes policy, research, and technology.

What does a landscape architect do?

Landscape Architects design outdoor spaces (and sometimes indoors) from small gardens to large highways and they play an important role in every city in shaping its spaces. Landscape architects can formulate city policy, undertake an environmental impact assessment, create a masterplan for a natural area or heritage area or a new city, design plazas, malls, streetscapes, parks most landscapes that you see will have some design input from a landscape architect. Landscape Architects work with many other design professionals including urban planners, urban designers, architects, engineers, horticulturalists, arborists, surveryors, heritage consultants, construction managers, construction workers, artists, designers, lighting consultants and many more.

Most Landscape architects spend many hours in the office thinking about concepts and formulating ideas with some field work during site inventory and also during construction.

Landscape architects who focus on design concentrate their design skills on the arrangement and style of the space including the paving, planting, furniture, structures, water features, drainage, land forms, roads, signage(ci), and lighting.

Landscape Architects not only design they work in many other areas and specialisations including planning, park management, construction management, research, heritage or environmental conservation and many more.

Invisible City: Exhibition South Shanghai Railway Station

海世盛楼Invisible City

Invisible City is an exhibition comprising of eight International artists in the South Railway Metro Station in Shanghai. It coincides with the World Expo 2010, incorporate art interventions and addressing the relationship between the urban dwellers and the modern phenomenon of Shanghai at the specific time the World Expo, through a process shaped by research, educational programmes and artistic practices.

Curator:汪单 Wang Dan

Executive Officer:陈文佳Chen Wen Jia,黄松 Huang Song,张羽洁Zhang Yu Jie

Participating Artists: Aline Veillat(CH), Anna Boggon(UK), Bignia Wehril(CH),

Gao Fu Yan( CN), Tim Gruchy(NZ), Jin Jiang Bo(CN), Li Xiao Fe(CN), Luo Ming Jun(CH)

Workshop: Body Mapping/ Amspace Shanghai

Dance Movement Therapist: Yang -Wei Ting, Hsieh-Meng Yi

Location: Connection between Line 1 and Line 3 South Shanghai Railway Station

Dates: 2010.09.06-2010.09.30

NOTE: These are photos I took recently and I am not involved with the Exhibition