Monthly Archives: February 2010

Social Technology “Expert” in Japan

On more than one occasion I have been billed as a Social Media or Technology “Expert”.  To be completely honest, most of my internal organs cringe whenever I hear this title.
The reason is that to me, there is nothing special about it all.  There are no real definitions or qualifications, pretty much anyone with a twitter account qualifies.  To me introducing yourself as a Social Media expert is like saying you are a real estate agent, just with less qualifications. 
I say this mainly because the field right now is simply too undefined and while there are some amazing individuals in the field, most of the people who claim this title are just unemployed wannabes with too much free time on their hands.  (yeah, I know which group I belong to)

I am however a proud and I believe very qualified gearhead.  I have worked for many years and spent countless dollars and yen to achieve this title, and while it is equally useless, I am more than happy to accept this badge.

So what is a gearhead good for?  Well, I am often asked to help cover or publicize an event.  Sometimes I do it even without being asked.  What I bring along is an understanding of current social media tools, and even more importantly a bag full of electronic gadgets and gizmos.  Here is an example of a bag I brought along with me to the last CGM Night hosted by Danny Choo.


Pictured here is
1 Macbook Air
1 Sony Vaio P series ultralight laptop + Large stamina battery pack
1 LCD projector
1 Portable 32inch projector screen
1 Sony Alpha 300 DSLR + 2 lenses
1 Logitech Orbit webcam
1 Gorillapod DSL tripod
1 Logitech Laptop Pro webcam
1 EMobile Pocket Wi-fi portable hotspot.
1 Plantronics Pro bluetooth headset
1 Buffalo Multi Memory Card reader
1 Power strip
2 Sanyo Eneloop Mobile Power Batteries
2 Poken Digital business cards
Lots of paper business cards and Moo cards
Power adapters, cables, and wires for all stuff above

And I fit it all into a small roller bag that I can drag along to the event.  Now how many people can put together a kit like that?

A setup like this enables me to livestream broadcast and create a two-way portal for online interaction in realtime for pretty much any activity or event. 
Now I don’t carry all this stuff around with me wherever I go.  I tend to customize my kit each time I go out to compliment the event and the environment I expect to work in.  Believe it or not, weight and portability are usually the most critical considerations I have when planning out my equipment load.

Understanding the capabilities of all this equipment and finding ways to combine technologies are what I feel are my true areas of expertise.   And as much of a dork as it makes me, I’m pretty proud of my abilities.

KDDI offers Blackberry-style mail service. Was a great idea in 2002.

Story via Impress watch.

AU introduces a business targeted service that will allow you to route emails from your cellphone through your corporate email account.
This server based solution amounts to a poor-man’s Blackberry and would have been truly revolutionary about a decade ago.  I’m still disappointed in AU’s lack of a strong enterprise strategy and while this is certainly a positive step, it only highlights the discrepancy between business mobile technologies and services available in Japan and offerings common in the rest of the world.

So for 210 a month you can use an application on your AU phone to access your corporate email server via imap or smtp… Good grief.  Imap or SMTP only?…  never mind.  Nothing to see here.

Wonder Festival

Went back to Makuhari Messe for the first time in a couple of months (yeah, a long stretch I know) to check out the Wonder Festival with Danny Choo.

Wonder Festival 2010 - 048
Unbelievable how many people there were.  Lots of industry booths with all the major Anime/Otaku goods related companies hawking their wares.
Saw tons of Anime figures, dolls, model kits, cosplay, and who  knows what else.

Wonder Festival 2010 - 001

Wonder Festival 2010 - 004

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Wonder Festival 2010 - 037

Also had a successful test of my livestreaming gear.  Currently I am running a Logitech Orbit webcam mounted on top of a gorillapod tripod. This is run through a Sony UX microtop computer with a bluetooth headset for audio.  Streaming video to Ustream using my eMobile Pocket wifi worked great and allowed for a very stable video platform and gave me access to all the chat logs.
I am concerned with the power however as the battery on the computer only lasts around an hour while doing all this.  Also would love to have something that can run Ustream producer so will have to look into other microPC options for something with a bit more power and juice.

Still it was a fun time.
More pics are here on my flickr.

New entry level 4/3 Pen Camera from Olympus

Wow! More and more toys that I really want!
Olympus has announced their third 4/3 format pocket DSLR camera. The PEN E-PL1 also adds a flash.

Looks very tasty, but I think I still prefer the Lumix GF-1.