Two years ago, I blogged about The Paradise Clubâs unavailability on DVD and the reasons behind it.
As a show nearly forgotten after 20 years, perhaps it isn’t surprising to ﬁnd there are no Facebook fan pages for it. There is the one that Facebook generates from Wikipedia, but that’s it, as far as I can tell. The rest are for some adult clubs. Maybe one of them is for the below location in Wellington, New Zealand.*
But it’s Facebook, right? Surely anyone can set one up?
So, here âtis, one member strong: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Paradise-Club/227119843968264. Considering the Wikipedia-based one has 75, it might be nice to see a few more faces at mine. I realize my earlier post was hit by a number of Paradise fans, so this is a sort of shout-out to them.
Meanwhile, the Alarm fĂŒr Cobra 11 Facebook group has dipped to 1,859 members, thanks to Facebook defaulting to spamming all members. The Lucire one has stopped its drop, and is rising again, though after four or ﬁve messages explaining how to remove oneself from Facebook’s default spamming.
As one friend on Facebook commented: it shouldn’t be my job to write these posts. Facebook should have informed its users better. But, as usual, transparency is not one of Facebook’s strong suits.
* Not that I went in. Not after that time I went to the Ponderosa bar on Blair Street in Wellington and said, ‘I’m Hop Sing. Is Ben around?’ and got a totally blank look from the bartender. You’d think that if your logo was one of the Cartwright brothers (it looks like Adam), someone would have informed employees how the name came about.
[A senior MG Rover insider] claims MG Rover bosses were offered a life raft shortly after they bought MG Rover for a tenner. Realising that Roverâs L-series diesel engine was hopelessly outclassed, they approached Fiat about buying in its JTD diesel. Fiat, the insider claims, came back with an amazing offer. MGR could have the diesel, but it could also license the Fiat Stilo platform. Fiat had installed at least double the capacity that the slow-selling Stilo needed and had capacity to spare. The fact that the Phoenix Four didnât return Fiatâs call suggests that they never really intended to turn MGR around by their own efforts.
Being niche and understated is cool positioning for a local audience, but to be relevant on the world tourism trail, we need to shout about why we are great.
Actually, not always. And even if we did have to shout about it, saying, ‘We are loser tryhards’ is not the message we want to give off.
Mr Fitzgerald, have you asked how potential visitors would perceive this sign? Did you not learn much from last year’s experience, where there were international people joining anti-sign groups? Or that there were comments from branding experts abroad who felt this sign was a massive joke?
Marketing is not always about shouting, nor is destination branding. It’s about, ﬁrst and foremost, getting your internal audience on side. In the case of the ‘Wellywood’ sign, you’re failing at that. One poll last year showed four in ﬁve Wellingtonians were against this sign.
Secondly, marketing is a job that’s done not just by Tourism Wellington, but by all residents, because it’s no longer a mass media, topâdown discipline. People power drives a destination’s brand.
You’ve just made this city that much harder to sell, which has consequences for visitor numbers and airport usersâbut should I really expect a non-Wellingtonian, non-New Zealander to understand what this place means to us?
Wellywood sign: see blog posts from last year (like this).
You’d think Wellington Airport would know that the majority of residents are against this awful idea. An intelligent person would think: ﬂoating an idea in 2011 that was nearly universally rejected in Wellington in 2010 isn’t smart.
Yet that’s exactly what they’ve done.
As I said last year: copying someone does not celebrate our originality.
The sign runs counter to any notion of Wellington’s creativity and civic pride.
Let’s go through the motions again. Time to dig out last year’s emails to the Hollywood Sign Trust, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the licensing company with a new link to the Fairfax Press article.
Yeah, I’m a narc when it comes to protecting originality, more so when it’s going to make our city look like a global laughing-stock. I would similarly act for any Kiwi ﬁrm that gets ripped off by someone else. Even in non-election years.
Facebook’s new groups have received criticism for two things: (a) you ﬁnd yourself in groups you never asked to join; and (b) you are suddenly on a spam list.
When several of our groups were faced with the options of ‘archiving’ (i.e. closure and the deletion of all members) or upgrading, I chose the latter, because these were all groups where people had freely joined and wanted to receive news from us. It seemed a disservice to allow them to close.
Of course, we then began facing the same problems as any other Facebook group. Sadly, this included accusations that we were, or I was, spamming people, when it’s all to do with Facebook. As I pointed out to one member tonight, I haven’t changed the way I use one of my groups for three years. The only thing that has changed is Facebook.
Since Facebook has now taken away the ability to DM all members with its “improved” groups (add that to the list of complaints I have), the regular messages I have pasted on our walls to inform people how to get themselves off the spam list have gone unnoticed by some people. As such, the number of members we have on all but one group is dropping: 773 to 721 at the Lucire one, and over 2,000 to 1,915 on one for the TV series Alarm fĂŒr Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei.
This is damaging to the brands that chose to support Facebook in the early daysâthe Lucire group has existed since groups were available on Facebookâand there’s a lack of awareness, surprisingly, over the notiﬁcation settings, which have been on the service since I joined in 2006.
To repeat: we are not spamming you, but Facebook is. We don’t have your email addresses, and Facebook hasn’t sold them to us.
Facebook puts the name of the writer in the ‘From’ ﬁeld in the spams: please look at the email addresses. They are all from facebookmail.com. Neither our team members nor I have a facebookmail.com account. While that ﬁeld can be faked, you’ll also ﬁnd, if you investigate the email headers, that the messages come from Facebook’s servers. Facebook has been known to change its notiﬁcation settings regularly without your permission. The most recent occurrence of that was April 20, 2011, and I had documented prior cases on May 2 and 4, 2009. It allowed our photos to be used for marketing by default in July 2009.
So, if you are bothered by spam, and I am, turn off your notiﬁcations. This is why I have posted so often about this. It’s to your own advantage to poke around the settings in there, anyway. You may ﬁnd, as I have regularly done, that Facebook has set, by default, to spam you in the most unlikely of situations.
Turning off group spam
1. The easiest way to turn off spam from the groups is hitting the ‘Edit Settings’ button on the group page. Click the button and a second window appears:
2. After you have unchecked the boxes here, click on the link that reads ‘edit your notiﬁcations settings’.
This should take you to the page https://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php?notifications. I originally advised people to go there directly, but I have been told that that does not work. You have to go there either through the above method, or visit ‘Account’ in the top right-hand corner, then ‘Account Settings’, then click the ‘Notiﬁcations’ tab.
3. Scroll down to the section headed ‘Groups’. Click on the link ‘Change email settings for individual groups’.
4. A pop-up should appear with all the groups you have joined (or have been added to without your permission).
And, while you’re in there, see what else Facebook has turned on. You may ﬁnd Facebook has turned on, by default, a lot of other things you never expected. Most of my team are surprised when I walk them through this page, so if you have never been there, you aren’t alone. In fact, this might be the best thing to happen to your privacy: to learn ways of combating Facebook’s spammy tendencies.
Now I see 60 Minutes New Zealand is on the act: how there’s supposedly something “different” about ‘Asians’. (God, I hate that termâI am neither Japanese, Sri Lankan or Kazakh. Prior to Winston Peters being on the scene, I thought I was Chinese, or a Chinese New Zealander.) The report surmised that it’s all about the pressure we got as kids from our parents.
I wonder if there’s a Chinese edition of the programme investigating why Caucasians are physically stronger than we are, if we’re to buy in to a stereotype.
I don’t dispute that the report had merit, and that there was some statistical basis for it. It made people think, and, as with Wesley Yang’s article in New York, it prompts a response. Creating dialogue is a good thing. It would be nicer to see a follow-up along Wesley’s lines, on how many ‘Asians’ wind up in leadership positions.
But as I watched the programme, I kept wondering if somehow, the household I grew up in was anomalous, or whether TV3âs sample of three is representative enough of all ‘Asians’.
One mother paused for a long time before she said that it was her pushing her daughter. But was the question loaded? Could we have asked a mother from any other race in this country, whose daughter is excelling at school, to see what her answer would be? I’m willing to bet that there is an above-average level of parental involvement in most academically gifted children.
I had a pretty decent academic career. Like the kids on 60 Minutes, I came over as a child. English is my second language. I was Dux at St Mark’s Church School and Proxime Accessit at Scots College. I had the highest grades in my honours year for my BCA (Hons.) at Victoria University. (I didn’t do quite as well at law school, other than my intellectual property and jurisprudence papers, which gives you a hint of where my interests lay.) Getting 100 over a range of subjects is not unknown to me.
But this whole idea about tiger parenting, of parents pushing their children to excel, just seems foreign. Didn’t happen to me. (I was encouraged to have literacy and numeracy skills from a young age, but the reason for that is explained elsewhere. And it certainly wasn’t extreme as 60 Minutes wishes to make outâit was enough to nudge things in the right direction in the place I lived in.)
Everything I got in to, I got in to through dialogue. I didn’t learn the piano till I was 16. I picked up playing by ear in a couple of lessons. But I could have begun learning at ﬁve, because we moved into a ﬂat whose previous tenant left her piano behind. My parents were willing to negotiate with our former neighbour to purchase it. I said I wasn’t interested. I was never forced into it. The movers came and Dad put his stereo and I put my toy cars where the piano used to be.
Similarly, I was never forced to attend Sunday school, the only place in which one could learn Chinese literacy in those days. It was suggested to me, on more than one occasion, but I declined. I wound up learning French.
I could draw in three dimensions when I was four years old because my father saw I had a love of doodling, and began drawing things at different angles. I copied him and the rest was left to me to develop. (I’m still reasonably good though the cars I draw tend to be stuck in the Life on MarsâAshes to Ashes era.) My parents respected my interests and allowed them to ﬂourish.
Despite coming ﬁrst constantly, and despite an offer from St Mark’s to put me up a grade, my parents said, ‘We’d still be proud of you and we’d still love you even if you came second.’ I never did while there.
You know, I simply chose to score 100s because I reckoned I could. And took up stuff when I was good and ready. I like to think I turned out all right.
Having Confucian values is one thing, which the report hinted at, but that’s nothing to do with having pushy parents.
So for all those ‘Kiwi’ parents (the term was used on telly in a way that made me think: so, were my parents not Kiwis? Am I not a Kiwi? Why were we excluded?) watching the story and wondering if a hyper-competitive environment is right for their kids, stop that thinking now.
You now have a story with a sample of three, and the testament of one other. My recollection is that nurturing and conversation worked. Kids have an amazing ability to reason and work things out for themselves. And that’s how I got my good grades at school.
Alistair Kwun always ﬁnds great articles on personal identity. The latest is from Wesley Yang in New York, discussing the Asian-American experience, and why, despite having such good grades at school, are there so few Asian-American leaders in the US? (Incidentally, this is a strange term: what do Americans call non-oriental Asians?)
I applaud Wesley in writing this piece, because it’s an issue that needs a voice. Whenever you write an article that covers an entire race, it’s always going to be tough. The debate he’s generated is very valuable, and it’s through that that we can improve ourselves and our systems.
You almost need to base part of it on stereotypes, no matter which race you talk about. And Wesley highlights that there may well be racism in the US against Asian-Americans (just as there would be in China against Caucasian Chinese if someone did an article from that perspective):
If between 15 and 20 percent of every Ivy League class is Asian, and if the Ivy Leagues are incubators for the countryâs leaders, it would stand to reason that Asians would make up some corresponding portion of the leadership class. And yet the numbers tell a different story. According to a recent study, Asian-ÂAmericans represent roughly 5 percent of the population but only 0.3 percent of corporate ofﬁcers, less than 1 percent of corporate board members, and around 2 percent of college presidents. There are nine Asian-American CEOs in the Fortune 500. In specific fields where Asian-Americans are heavily represented, there is a similar asymmetry. A third of all software engineers in Silicon Valley are Asian, and yet they make up only 6 percent of board members and about 10 percent of corporate ofﬁcers of the Bay Areaâs 25 largest companies. At the National Institutes of Health, where 21.5 percent of tenure-track scientists are Asians, only 4.7 percent of the lab or branch directors are, according to a study conducted in 2005.
But here’s what I don’t get. The idea that because we retain our values, we’re worth less as leaders. That somehow, having decent values means we lack some kind of ability to take risks.
Wesley doesn’t generalize. In fact, he points out numerous examples of Asian-Americans who did take risks. And, when I think about it, among my peers, our propensity to take risks isn’t far off any other group’s.
Here are the two paragraphs that struck a nerve:
Chu has a pleasant face, but it would not be wrong to characterize his demeanor as reserved. He speaks in a quiet, unemphatic voice. He doesnât move his features much. He attributes these traits to the atmosphere in his household. âWhen you grow up in a Chinese home,â he says, âyou donât talk. You shut up and listen to what your parents tell you to do.â
And the attempt to connect that with the following idea:
Aspiring Asian leaders had to become aware of âthe relationship between values, behaviors, and perceptions.â He offered the example of Asians who donât speak up at meetings. âSo letâs say I go to meetings with you and I notice you never say anything. And I ask myself, âHmm, I wonder why youâre not saying anything. Maybe itâs because you donât know what weâre talking about. That would be a good reason for not saying anything. Or maybe itâs because youâre not even interested in the subject matter. Or maybe you think the conversation is beneath you.â So here Iâm thinking, because you never say anything at meetings, that youâre either dumb, you donât care, or youâre arrogant. When maybe itâs because you were taught when you were growing up that when the boss is talking, what are you supposed to be doing? Listening.â
So being considered, taking in everyone’s viewpoints, and not being brash about something is a bad thing?
In a decent, multicultural society, one would hope that we can appreciate different norms based on how someone is raised. And it’s not just between two races. Even in a single race, you can have someone whose parents taught them to be quiet and another whose parents encouraged lively debate. Is one person worth less than the other? Is one less suited for leadership? I don’t think so: so many other things need to be looked at.
Surely the “weapon” for any race is the ability to have perspective and to be proud of all your cultural norms? While Wesley’s examples are about a few Asian-Americans who want the recognition they deserve, those of us who are proud of our culture and have done all right because of itâand being smart enough to bridge our traditions with the host nationâmight think the following, as one of Alistair’s friends did:
My issue with articles like this is that they seem to encourage disdain for our heritage. I am trying to raise my daughters to have pride in their ethnicity.
My view was this, initially, and I’m still quite happy with this comment on Al’s wall. Naturally, I could not extend it to our other oriental cousins because it’s a statement founded on personal experience, but I’m sure some would agree with this. I added the italics for emphasis here:
I don’t believe there’s something about our culture that holds us back from speaking our minds, being subservient or taking risks. We invented enough stuff to show that we have decent lateral thinking among our ranks. What about Honda? It’s a motorcycle and car company now making jet planesâhow many companies started doing bikes and now makes planes? I have always thought the “meekness” that Wesley writes of is, in itself, a stereotype: if you buy into it, then you’ve just hurt yourself by conforming to someone’s false idea of what it means to be Chinese.
Goodness knows the number of times I’ve heard (though, interestingly, not last year) ‘I thought Asians weren’t interested in politics.’ Well, obviously, we are, and we’ve had more of them for a lot longer than a lot of other cultures. (Try telling Peter Chin or Meng Foon of their supposed disinterest over the years.)
The mark of an open-minded society is one which values people equally, realizing that everyone has a different way of doing things.
The mark of maturity is having perspective, which has come about through contact, dialogue, travel or endeavour.
If the failure of an Asian-American to speak out prevents them from being promoted, then maybe we need to look hard at that organization.
Because I honestly don’t think blame should be levelled at the person for being the way they are.
What it does show is that there are systems that are inherently racist. When it comes to denying Asian-Americans their rightful place, it’s apparently now our fault once again for being who we are.
I’m hoping to high heaven that the stats in New Zealand aren’t as dire as the ones Wesley cited, though we sure are under-represented politically. I don’t blame the voters, and I don’t blame the potential candidates. But it should make us wonder about the fairness of the system and the institutions behind it.
Thanks most recently to the work of Keith Adams, who added numerous important models into Autocade, we now have reached 1,500 models. The 1,500th is a bit mainstream, but after all the odd cars we’ve put in over the last three years, it’s nice to have something almost everyone knows.
But I couldn’t let this post go without mentioning a few oddities. And since this blog started as a branding one, maybe these are good examples of what not to do if you want to build your model lines.
Each of the following cars, added this year into Autocade, had the listed nameplate for one year, or an even shorter period. There are many more at the site, but these four came to mind ﬁrst.
If you want to confuse your customers, and ﬂush marketing dollars down the toilet, then renaming after a year is the way to go.
Buick Apollo (X-car). 1975 (prod. unknown). 4-door sedan. F/R, 231 inÂł (V6 OHV), 250 inÂł (6 cyl. OHV), 260, 350 inÂł (V8 OHV). Last use of short-lived Apollo name for Buickâs Chevrolet Nova (1975â9) twin. Same platform as before, but restyled; two-doors now called Skylark, which four-door would be called after this model year. Better outward vision; Chevrolet Camaro (1970â81) suspension helped handling and ride. Buick V6 used instead of Chevy unit, which meant the Apollo was more durable, but average reliability only.
Lincoln Zephyr (CD378). 2006 (prod. unknown). 4-door sedan. F/F, 2967 cmÂł (V6 DOHC). Single-year entry for revived Lincoln Zephyr name, before car renamed to MKZ for 2007 (even the renaming was botched, with Lincoln staff calling it âMark Zâ before saying the letters). Basically a gloriïŹed Mazda Atenza, on that carâs platform, and too similar to Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan duo. Good equipment levels but best thought of as a Mercury with all the trimmings and the 3Â·0-litre Duratec V6.
Finally, so it’s not all US-market cars, though this company was owned by Chrysler when this model emerged for a short period in 1970:
Sunbeam Vogue (Arrow). 1970 (prod. unknown). 4-door saloon, 5-door estate. F/R, 1725 cmÂł (4 cyl. OHV). Very short-lived Arrow variant as the last Singer model transferred to Sunbeam from April 1970. The situation lasted half a year, and Sunbeam resorted to selling the Imp, Stiletto, Rapier and Alpine instead. In some countries, Sunbeam Vogue was the export name for the Singer Vogue.
March 2008: launch
July 2008: 500 (four months for ﬁrst 500)
June 2009: 800
December 2009: 1,000 (17 months for second 500)
January 2011: 1,250
May 2011: 1,500 (17 months for third 500)
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We were able to reproduce the issues you saw and have been working with Google for the last week to address them. I am happy to report that as of this morning the identiﬁed bugs have been corrected.