No, I’m Not Back Just Yet

Jul 2, 2009

774857031_96960162c3_oBut I just thought I’d explain why, and what’s going on with me. I’ve been away from this blog for 6 months, and those of you who have kindly left me in your RSS readers deserve my sincere thanks, and an update of sorts. Those of you who are checking back manually, you deserve it even more.

Those of you in Singapore might have seen an article about me in Today newspaper a couple of days ago. And as is stated in the article, I do feel like I’m in a “transitional” phase.

The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, National Service has definitely affected me, as anyone who knows me personally will know. I’m not one who does well when forced into something. I quit school because I didn’t see a point, for example. And NS is something I can’t quit. I’m slowly coming to terms with it (or trying to), but it’s tough. Being stuck in a forced job, in an extremely regimental environment, is a far cry from anything I’d want, and the adjustment is hard. And NS has left me rather jaded, to say the least. (And to those who think I’m grumbling too much, please spare me the “you can choose to be happy despite your circumstance” spiel, I’ve heard that enough).

But I’m far from giving up, and that’s actually the second reason why I haven’t been too involved in the social media scene lately. Yes, I’ve said that “the web has really opened so many doors for me”, and it’s true. But now that the doors have been open, it’s time for me to take some action and go through them, instead of just opening more doors. I love the scene, I love having the chance to be a part of the community, I love having the opportunity to meet and interact with brilliant minds such as yours. But it’s time for me to get out and do something.

I don’t want to be just another blogger, another voice in the crowd. I need to know that I have some insight or unique value I can provide. I need to prove, if not to anyone else, then to myself at least, that I am made of more than just intelligent talk. I need to prove that I am capable of producing quality action.

And I am working on that, or trying to. Trying to get a virtual internship for a marketing/branding project, trying to start up a Facebook app, etc. I’ve got a number of things I’m trying to line up, so hopefully something will work out.

In the meantime, I’ll still be on Twitter, so if you want to chat, you can look me up there. If I have your contact details, I’ll try my best to keep in touch with you. If I don’t, I’d still love to hear from you – you can add me on Facebook, or drop me an email.

This is (hopefully) not the last you’ve heard from me on here. When I’ve decided I’m capable (and proven to myself that I’m capable) of providing value, I’ll be back.

As Shakespeare put it, “If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; If not, why then this parting was well made”.

Keep creating,

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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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On Hiatus

Jan 13, 2009

There’s a part of me that really doesn’t want to do this, but I think it’s the best decision to make – for myself and for this blog, and you guys.

But yes, as the title of this post says, I’ll be going on a blogging hiatus for a while. How long, I’m not sure, but you can subscribe via RSS or via email to stay posted, and get informed when I come back. And if you want to talk to me, I can still be reached by email, and occasionally by IM (IM details in the sidebar)

I just feel that in my current condition, I don’t think I can provide proper value to all of you reading this blog. And rather than take up your time and attention, I’ll take a step back for now. I’ll be back though, when I get my own life and issues sorted out, and hopefully I’ll come back stronger than before. I hope you don’t forget me, and hope to see you around when I do come back.

But for now, that’s all folks. It’s been a great journey, and I hope you’ll join me again when I’m ready to continue it.

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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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