In the News

Nov 11, 2008

I have the huge pleasure and honor of being featured in Today (a local mainstream newspaper). You can check out the article here (pdf).

Yes, I’ll admit, it feels really good to get featured. It’s a huge step forward for my personal brand, that’s for sure. But more than anything, it’s great to be able to share my thoughts, and get my message out to a whole new audience.

To those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, thank you, you are why I love blogging, and why I keep doing this. And for those of you who are new here (maybe you came here because of the article), thanks for dropping by, and I hope you’ll find value here.

Oh, and one final thing. If I can do this, so can you. I’m nothing that special, I’m just a kid from Singapore.

It’s easier than ever to build your personal brand. What’s stopping you?

The #1 Way to Build a Community

Nov 4, 2008
A group of youth interacting
Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend I attended a few sessions at Podcamp Singapore and the Digital Media Festival. The one thing that struck me the most was the idea of going where the people are.

At DM Fest, the topic came up when I was talking to someone just after a session about communities. I was asking his opinion about whether it made more sense to use your own logins if you’re trying to build a community, or to try and leverage technologies like OpenID so people can use other accounts to join. The answer was a pretty obvious one.

At Podcamp Singapore, the topic came up in both the sessions I attended. Coleman talked about choosing the right medium – text, audio or video. As you can imagine, one of the main factors discussed was about audience preference.

The other session I attended was by Amsie from Curious Foodie, who shared her journey on blogging. During the session, the discussion went on a very nice (in my opinion) tangent when the owner of fourcardflush, a poker blog, asked for advice on how to build the local online poker community – the poker community in Singapore is largely unseen online. The suggestions? To go out into the offline community, take part in the games, and build from there.

3 very different sessions, with different focuses and applications. But the common general theme is quite prevalent.

The easiest way to build a community is to go where the people are. Don’t just try to pull them to where you are. Go to where they are, join them, and build relationships first. Then do you thing, and they will follow.

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Alienating Your Audience?

Sep 4, 2008

I’ve been listening to Peter Cincotti’s “East of Angel Town” cd a lot lately. I’m really loving the cd. But he’s gotten a bit of criticism from some of the fans of his previous work for deviating further from his jazz roots and into more ‘pop’ music.

Personally, I haven’t listened to his older albums, but I think he deserves credit for trying his own material, and just expressing himself. And even as he might alienate some of his previous audience, he’s going to gain even more new listeners because he’s exploring new territory.

It’s always risky when you try to move forward – you risk leaving some people behind. But you are also more likely to find new people – a new audience, new friends, etc. And these people would suit you better in the direction that you’re pursuing.

Do you worry about alienating your existing audience?

Who are you writing for?

Apr 4, 2008

Seth Godin recently asked that question.

Are you writing for the first time visitor? Or for the one who has been following you since the start?

I’d like to throw in a third part. Or are you writing for yourself?

That third question is the one I’m struggling with a bit lately. Where do you draw the line between being expressing your thoughts about what matters to you and writing about what people are interested in?

If you go too far to the former, you run the risk of being insignificant – speaking with nobody listening. And that’s not what I want this blog to be about. I don’t want it to be a ghost town, or just me ranting to nobody. I hope to be able to be part of a community, and make an impact on people.

But on the other hand, if I drift too far to the latter, is it compromising on authenticity and who I am?

And that’s not even going into the tone and style of writing.

Honestly, it’s something I’m still trying to figure out. It’s a tough balance, in my opinion, and I’m not sure. Any suggestions?