With great power comes great responsibility

Himalayas at dusk

I love Wikipedia, for all sorts of reasons. I love waking up and discovering that I had been looking at random entries like “deepest hole in the world” just before falling asleep the night before. It’s a treasure trove of delights, like this page on tennis’ Big Four I presently have open on another tab.

I also love The North Face. I’m even wearing their shoes now right now as I type these words, a striking yellow pair that has taken me up Makalu Sunset Peak in Hong Kong…and down again. So it’s a pity to see the avalanche of negative opinion after the company’s Wikipedia page was edited by an agency for SEO reasons (insert pun here on climbing up search rankings).

Was it a brazen attempt at marketing? The North Face is respected for its adventurous sportswear. That’s not for me to say, but it appears that events behind the scenes were more than a little convoluted.

What is undoubtedly true is that there are very clear rules around working with Wikipedia, which are repeated on the CIPR website for PR professionals.

A quick Google search will reveal that other agencies have found themselves in similar hot water over Wikipedia in the past. The Wikipedia question also came up in client projects I’d worked on in recent years.

At the end of the day, it’s a question of ethics. Editing Wikipedia is a doddle, far easier than, say, scampering up Lhotse. Anyone can do it, anywhere in the world. I can do it sitting on a beach in the Philippines with the waves massaging my feet.  But with greater power comes great responsibility.

We must do the right thing, always.

Coworking at an all time high, reveals CoworkingResources

I’m writing this from a nice café in Ho Chi Minh City – curiously named Bosgaurus, which sounds like the Bosporus’ answer to the Loch Ness Monster. I could be doing this from a coworking space, but it’s Saturday, the coffee is good, the WiFi is good enough and it’s a very reasonable location.

Glancing right and seeing a choppy-looking Saigon river, the scene of so much history in the 20th century, I’m thinking: why doesn’t the coffee shop option appeal more to solo workers?

The coworking boom is at an all time high and continues to grow. According to a new study by coworking industry publication CoworkingResources – who popped me a nice message through this website – more than 1,600 new coworking spaces are expected to open worldwide in 2019 and 42% growth is expected by 2022. This growth is mostly coming from new businesses rather than large chains and franchises.

Unsurprisingly it’s the big business cities of the world where this is happening fastest, and 80% of the top 10 cities are in North America, as the press release reveals:

  • London is the city where coworking is growing the fastest, followed by New York City and Toronto (see table below)
  • Four cities in Asia made the global top 20 list. Manila and KL are the two highest ranked Asian cities, curiously
  • Luxembourg, Ireland and Singapore are the fastest growing markets

Top coworking cities

Eid Mubarak / Selamat Hari Raya

Eid greeting

Wishing everyone celebrating a very happy Eid.

I have sweet memories of Ramadan’s closure in countries as diverse as Iraq and Malaysia. While not generally observed in Vietnam, I will be celebrating in spirit (business as usual, alas).

Oh, and drive safely.