Ring Xu is currently studying for her PhD in Marketing in the University of Southampton. Her research interest is in social media marketing, especially in online networked marketing in social media websites. At SXSC2 she will be running a workshop to demonstrate how business can benefit from building a profile on Sina Weibo, one of the most popular Chinese social networking sites. She can be found on Twitter @ringmktgx and Sina Weibo @戒指MKTG小博士. Ring has a blog about her research interests and also a hands-on guide of how to use Sina Weibo.
Several years ago I was using my NOKIA phone and the only things I did with it were sending text messages, making phone calls and listening to music. I have been using different generations of iPhone for a couple of years and I’ve found it really convenient in terms of connecting the various aspects of my life. I no longer subscribe to newspapers, I read them on my laptop and on my phone. Though I still subscribe to paper editions of Vogue and Elle, I prefer bringing my iPad with me from which I can read the electronic version rather than carrying those heavy magazines around. I have four email accounts on my phone and over 80 applications. I guess what I am trying to say here is that digital technologies transformed my life into a more convenient, if busier, one.
What can the latest technology do for you?
As much as I stay online, I feel that sometimes I am isolated from the world and technological advancements undermine my human relationships. At the same time, they make it much easier for me to find things, knowledge, and people that I am looking for. I love it but sometimes I hate it. I call it a ‘double-edged sword’.
If you’re not online are you out of the game?
Not really but it depends on what you do and where you do it. For businesses, staying out of the online world may not be a wise decision, because your customers are there. If you are not, they will be taken by your competitors.