Community vs Association

Jan 21, 2009

Ok I’m not really back yet. But I thought that this news is big enough for my to break my hiatus. So apparently, an official “Association of Bloggers (Singapore)” has been formed.

For the record, I have nothing against the individual bloggers who have started the Association. I respect them and applaud the effort.

But when it comes down to it, I think this is a horribly misguided attempt. I like the idea of trying to bring together the community of bloggers. But I don’t agree with this at all.

I think it’s pointless and unnecessary, bordering on egotistical. DK, one of the commitee members, blogged that “I feel that as more and more companies and government bodies start to engage the new media, there is a need for an official association to accredit bloggers”. I could not disagree more with him this time. There is absolutely no need for this. The whole fundamental point of blogging, in my opinion, is the openness, the fact that it’s the voice of the individual, the amateur. A blog does not need an “official association to accredit” it.

And to think that they can represent all the local bloggers? I’m sorry, I have to say that’s just plain egotistical. And there’s nothing much for me to add about the whole “legal entity” aspect of it.

It’s a nice attempt, and I know their hearts are in the right place. But this time, I have to say that plain and simple, I think this is ridiculous and unnecessary.

What we need is to build the community. Not establish an association.

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People Notice Change

Jun 4, 2008

As you might know by now, Google recently changed their favicon (the small, square image that appears in the browser, next to the url).

It’s a small image, just 16×16. But the change did cause a bit of a stir online, with a lot of blogs running the story and a couple of forum threads being started. It’s even spurred questions about whether Google was going to undergo a rebranding process.

I’m not going to speculate about any of this, but what I do want to point out is this. Even such a small scale change caused such a stir. Why? Yes, part of the reason is because of the size of Google. But I think it’s also because Google’s brand had been associated with the old icon (the capital ‘G’). People were used to that. And when it changed, people noticed – some praised and supported it, others criticized it.

Once you’re associated with something – a word, an image, an icon, even an attribute – no matter how small that “something” is, people will notice when you change it. It’s up to you to ensure that the change is met well.