7 reasons why Cambodians should spend more time on Facebook

In Cambodia, Facebook is a new mainstream media. It’s for everyone. This is a major update to what I wrote in 2014: 12 reasons why Facebook so popular in Cambodia.


A lot of VIPs, riches, and elites want to have their voices heard. They’re willing to pay Facebook the king of social networking site to put their messages on the top of your news stream. The good thing is spending money to run advertisement or sponsored content on Facebook is super easy. If they run a billboard advertisement here, they have to spend extra for placing the ad. Facebook is of course the best place to see a variety of sponsored images you’re not supposed to see on TV. From grassroots NGOs to big businesses to prominent public figures/politicians/Oknhas, you’ll never ever miss what they want you to know.


Facebook is more or less your Daily Prophet-like newspaper, which you can get and read news stories at your own peril. As in the J. K. Rowling’ Harry Potter books that the paper has its moving photographs, Facebook also offers you that feature.


The more time you’d spend on Facebook, the better for Facebook, the man behind it, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, whose ambition is to help you live longer to play Facebook. The Initiative has recently announced $3 billion investment to cure disease. More time of active users of the site means so much for Facebook to report to advertisers and shareholders.


There are approximately 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook day in day out. So if you don’t spend too much of your spare time on the platform, those Facebookers who share their pictures won’t be happy as they don’t get many Likes.  This might translate into the decline of world’s happiness.


There is no other place where you can see your friends come and go. They get so close to you when they need you. They like every status update your share, so that you feel they care about every second that’s happened to you. They also disappear whenever they wish to. So spend more time to Like and Love the status and photo updates from your Facebook friends (whether you’ve met in real world or not) to celebrate this whole new level of Facebook friendship.


As your Facebook friends desperately want to share with you what’s happening on their end, you need to take every chance (in or out of your 9-5 job hour) you can to watch their live video stream. The less number of live stream viewers, the more disappointed your friend feel. Thus, always be the first to be there.


To be able to serve you as a Facebooker well, Facebook needs to know as much as possible about you. So the final reason for you is spend more time on Facebook and keep sharing all the dots and details of your life.

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How to avoid PariPenh traffic jam: the wizarding way

In PariPenh in 2074–Whether there’s any terrible traffic jam or blocked roads for any reason, you can fly with the broomstick, just like the Nimbus 2000 that Harry Potter uses to play the Quiddit game. It’s super reliable with good speed and exceptional handling. 

Here’s how:

1. I open a new store where people can buy broomsticks to fly. The product is super good for those who want to avoid traffic jam and commute to work from home faster than ever. One down side is you cannot glue your eyes to Facebook newsfeed much while flying with the broomstick. If you love taking photos, you longer need a drone or UAV anymore. The flying broomstick is an all-in-one gear for the Witches and Wizards.

2. I also offer you a service to obtain broomstick plate number quicker. No need to stand in a queue to pay for the plate number. You buy the flying broomstick from my store, you get discount for the plate number. 

3. I open a capacity building program to train the muggles to be able to use magic spells to fly with the broomstick, the Nimbus 2000.

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An open letter to American people

Dear Americans,

Greeting from Cambodia!

President Barack Obama will leave his legacy to historians and many generations to write and judge. On November 8 this year you will have your voice heard. You will go to your poll station to elect your 45th president.

Democrats in Cambodia

In 2009, you wrote a new chapter in history by having the very first African American president of the United States of America. Against all odds. The world was watching. Cambodians were also watching. I was once at Foreign Correspondent Club (FCC) in Phnom Penh; people there were watching the Democrats having a live debate on television. That was the first US election I got to know. Since then, I started to follow US politics: Democrats vs Republicans.

A Democrats Abroad event at FCC in Phnom Penh

I’ve been to the US of A twice. Your country is amazing. The combined two trips lasted four weeks. I was fortunate enough to first land in Washington Dulles International Airport. So most of my first week was to get a sense of the Capitol Hill and smell the politics. I actually went to see the White House in person. San Francisco International Airport was where I departed twice. In between DC and the Silicon Valley, I visited New York City, Atlanta, and Sacramento. And I met so many nice American people. Once had dinner at their home. Even had a home stay in Los Altos.

I described these memorable trips because I believe and think the USA is a great country, full of great people. And I only hope that in November you will elect a great president, not he-who-must-not-be-named, not he who instills fear among people.

As American author Seth Godin wrote in his book, all marketers and politicians are not liars. They just want to tell you stories you want to hear. The message of fear seems to work well. The more you want to hear, the more stories you will get. I only hope you’ll be able to resist fear. People in my home country, Cambodia, have too much of that. We went through one of the darkest histories humans can ever bear. Even now we have too many stories of fear. Traumatized. Living in the past. Not moving forward.

Thank you very much indeed for the privilege to get to know your beautiful nation and citizens. My amazing trips are something I enjoy telling friends, family, and kids.

The world is watching. Cambodians are also watching. Are you listening?

A letter from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tharum Bun, a Cambodian blogger

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When and how U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh marks its one million Facebook page likes

This afternoon, I got an instant message from a friend. I got a last-minute invite to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh as it celebrates its big social media day. The embassy’s Facebook Page reaches its milestone one million Likes. Like many countries around the world, Facebook is simply a modern media machine anyone can become publishers.

As a blogger friend nicely puts it: “The legend has it that old bloggers meet every four year there for cake…”

I happened to wear my blue BarCamp Bangkok 2014 t-shirt today. πŸ˜‰

This is probably a million milligram cake to celebrate a million like U.S. Embassy Cambodia’s Facebook Page.

With my helicopter bloggers (read this by then US Ambassador William Todd): An Effective Military-to-Military Partnership): Cartoonist and lecturer Sovathary and Chetra Chap who spearheads Khmer Scholar. It’s a great to catch up and have some nice conversation about next generation of digital marketing using virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

From right to left: Chetra Chap, Kounila Keo, Sovathary Bon

Many more beautiful pictures from the US embassy:
US Embassy 1million Facebook fans celebration

Big thank to Yarat for the invite!

Kounila wrote about this celebration here: Coming back to the Kingdom when U.S. Embassy Facebook Page has 1 million fans strong

Here’s the official U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh Facebook Page:

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Meet Thomas Wanhoff: from Germany to Cambodia with love

I first met Thomas Wanhoff, a German science podcaster, nearly 10 years ago when he moved to Cambodia from Germany. After a couple of years, Thomas started to roam around East Asia. It’s until mid this year, he’s back in Siem Reap. As always, I enjoy listening to stories from people like Thomas. So last week, I met Thomas for a coffee chat at one of his most favorite places, Brown Coffee on the Sisowath Quay. In this interview, I asked him about his early involvement with the BarCamp communities and about his past decade trotting Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, and Bangkok.

Having a chat over coffee with Thomas at Brown Coffee Riverside on the Sisowath Quay

Question #1: Please introduce yourself in one tweet.

Answer: German writer, dog lover and Barcamp enthusiast who moves around in South-East Asia

Q: When did you first land in Phnom Penh?
A: In August 2007, just a few days before the Clogger Summit. I heard from someone about this event and emailed Viirak, asking if I can join, and I was overwhelmed by hospitality I experienced. Also, there I made my first ever presentation in English.

Q: What was Phnom Penh like back then: technology, infrastructure, community?
A: Internet at home was only affordable with a 256k Modem, but restricted from 7pm-7am. So even back then I preferred coffee shops and some restaurants with free wifi. At this time the KhmerOS was developed, and the community started to form and expand. And blog.

Q: You’re a BarCamp nomad? Tell me what is it like? What’s your most favorite session to date?
A: I co-organized Barcamps in Phnom Penh, HCMC, Vientiane (Laos) and Bangkok, and it was always an amazing experience. Mainly because we could prove that such a concept works in those countries. People are able to create things on their own if they are allowed to. One favorite session was in Bangkok about how to run a company by Karsten Aichholz, and I learned a lot from Phnom Penh-based Christopher Brown. And of course my How To Make Pizza in Pan session was a lot of fun.

Q: What are the 3 things you like most about Cambodia? (please explain why?)
A: People, because those I know are incredible kind and friendly, but also smart. The desire to learn here is impressive.
Living standard: I actually like the imperfection here. Yes, the garbage in the streets is annoying, and so are some dirt roads. But those aren’t important things. And Khmer make the best out of it.
Culture and history: Coming from a continent where we were taught that the roman empire and the empire of Charlemagne were the biggest thing on earth, it is good to know that Cambodia had this at basically the same time in a different part of the world. Gives you a different perspective.

Q: You’ve just started learning Khmer language. What’s the experience (challenges)?
A: I am at early stage. What I think is important is to know how to read, because you get a better understanding of the pronunciation, and you get a lot of motivation. You start recognizing letters. I was able to read “Wing” and “Mini-Mart” in Khmer, that was a huge. Challenge is that it is not getting easier when you are older, but hey, that’s why we moved to Asia, because we like challenges.

Q: As you’ve been living in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand the past decade, how do you describe the common things among these cities? And what are the most awkward things to you?
A: The most interesting experience having lived in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand is that people are less different as they may think. They have a lot of things in common. In particular Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. Food, Language and culture are not that much different. It would be good if those countries (and people) start to discover more what they have in common rather than pointing out differences. Awkward: It took me some time to understand that connections are the most vital thing in Asia, and that time is not so much important as in Germany. But: I still believe in punctuality.

Thomas currently lives with wife and 5 cute dogs in Siem Reap. Read his blog: Thomas Wanhoff in Cambodia

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Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870)

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αžšαžΏαž„ Lorax

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