Self-Organization, Economics & Football @ TEDxKL

tedxklYesterday, I am at the TEDx Kuala Lumpur, checking out what they are doing in their events. Organized by my counterpart, Daniel Cerventus (owner of Malaysian Entrepreneurs) and his TEDx team (kudos to them for the hard work and effort), the event is held in a very conducive and cosy environment in Plug and Play centre, 7 Floor in Mid-Valley. At the same time, I also managed to catch up with some old friends in KL: Yung-Hui (Grey-Review), Colin Charles (Bytebot), Daniel SY Tan, Michael Teoh, Arief Aziz (TEDx Jarkata) and many other new friends I have met yesterday. Of course, Meng Weng Wong was there and have covered the event with his camera (though I think that he should speak at some point). In any case, in the aftermath, during the wrap party at Delicious in Mid-Valley, both Cerventus and I agreed on one thing. We both thought that even the others thought we did alright with the presentation, we felt that we did not hit our maximum potential. Surely, for myself, I never thought that delivering an idea to be spread around within 18 minutes can be that exciting but I know that I have to improve much more. So, I will just place an abstract, links to the twitter comments of the talk and also the slides I have presented here, and hope that you can find the idea of “self-organized criticality“, a concept from physics that found many applications in economics, biology, chemistry, computer and even football managers (or CEOs) worth spreading. There is a sequel to this story too that I have some new thoughts to pursue this idea further and I will work on it when I returned to Cambridge for a visit next month :)

The main ideas behind the talk are explained earlier via a blog post I have written entitled: Firing of BPL Football Managers and Maximal Efficiency. The reference for the research paper I have published with my collaborators in Cambridge: Toke Aidt, Bernard Leong, William Saslaw and Daniel Sgroi, “A power law distribution for the tenures of Sports Managers“, Physica A, 370(2):697-703 (you can request the research paper from me via email or twitter). The twitter comments for the talk can be found here. (Photo below taken by Meng Weng Wong)

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My presentation for the TEDxKL conference:

Related Links:
[1] Niki Cheong, An Afternoon at TEDxKL

The Importance of Being Social – A Talk on Online Social Networks

socialnetworksIn this year’s For the coming UnConference 2009 organized by E27 team in the Biopolis, I will be doing a breakout session entitled “Much Ado about Social Networks in Asia” about online social networks in Asia. I will discuss the trends and observations emerging that I have seen from my experience in building an online private social network (SENATUS), investing in social networks (iHipo, Eteract) under Thymos Capital LLP and observing dominant home-grown social networks in Asia (CyWorld – Korea, Mixi – Japan and Xiaonei – China). This talk will assemble some of the material that I am currently for a sample chapter for a book that I am working on with two other authors. As a primer, I decide to present the slides on a talk which I have recently given in Barcamp KL 2009 entitled “The Importance of Being Social” (which was featured on Slideshare as the Presentation of the Day) where I presented a framework to understand social networks and a whacky idea to how a next generation Linkedin (based on a weighted social network idea) might look like. In this earlier talk, I discuss (i) the context of online social networks – why some have succeeded and some have failed and used CyWorld as an example of one which succeeded in Korea and failed in Germany and US, (ii) the technology of online social networks – why different features make an online social network platform different in its earlier days since SixDegrees.com (the first online social network), and (iii) the business behind online social networks – why some Asian based social networks particularly in East Asia are trouncing their American counterparts. If you think that I am going to replicate this talk for Unconference 2009, let me tell you that the talk I will be giving will be slightly different in what I have presented.