Using a Hammer Could Get You Fired

Feb 5, 2010

It could, if you used it to hit your boss, or a co-worker. Or if you used it to smash your office desk to bits.

My point is, the hammer is just a tool. It’s how you use it that could get you fired (or not). It’s the same for these social networking tools, such as Facebook and Twitter. There’s lots of press lately about how using these tools could ruin your reputation, or get you fired. The latest example being this article on MediaPost.

And yes, what they write is completely valid. Companies are still not fully adjusted to this new world of social media, and if you overstep the bounds that they set, you could get fired. So yes, you probably do have to be careful, to a certain extent.

At the end of the day, though, it’s not about the tool. Twitter, Facebook – these are just tools. How you use it could get you fired, true. But that’s the same of any tool.

Why I Love Social Media

Jan 1, 2010

NYE @ Arab Street Tweetup was amazing, and I think it epitomized everything I love about social media. It had everything – spontaneity, great conversations, new friendships – it was just awesome. And before I go on, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made last night happen. Jerrick, Ivy, Justin Lee, Justin Ng, Hisham, Michael Cheng, Nicole, DK, Shawn, Jean, and everyone else who stopped by. I had a great time.

Here’s what happened. A few days ago, Jerrick and I were talking on Twitter. He’s back in Singapore for the holidays, and we were saying that we needed to catch up before he left again. Off the top of my head, I threw out the idea of doing something for New Years Eve with the other local social media people. Jerrick then retweeted the idea, and Ivy came across his retweet, and said it was a “great idea”. The three of us then started discussing what we should do, and by the next day, we decided (Ivy’s idea) to go hang out at Arab street for dinner, drinks and the like.

So, we created a twtvite and sent it out. People responded, and two days or so later, at the event, we had about 10 people show up. After dinner and some drinks, we decided to head to Hackerspace Singapore, for more conversations. And let me say, Hackerspace is awesome. They have a great idea, great beliefs and ideals, and I really hope they do well. But more on that another day.

Back to last night. We went to Hackerspace, and just hung out and talked. For something like 8 hours. In between that time, more people joined us, some left at various points in the night. But all in all, a group of us were there until 7 in the morning. We did a countdown, we talked about everything. From what social media meant to us individually, to our thoughts on how Singapore is like at the moment, to random conversations about toilets.

But it was great. Just hanging out, and having a great time with friends, filled with great conversation and discussion. I can’t think of a better way to start the new decade. Before yesterday, I had not met half of the people who were there before. By the end of the night (well, the morning, to be specific), I had made new friends, and I had had a night filled with great conversations, with really smart people.

So yes, that, in a nutshell, is why I love social media, and what I think it should be about. It’s what I’ve missed the most while I was on hiatus. Conversations, community and friendships, with a dash of spontaneity. We get so caught up sometimes worrying about how to monetize our blogs, how to build a reputation, how to further our personal brands, etc (and yes, don’t get me wrong, those things are important, in context), that we forget the social aspect of social media. And I think we need to always remember that.

At the end of the day, social media is about people. At least, that’s what I think.

What do you think? What is social media to you – and what do you like, or not like, about it?

Photo by mhisham

We All Have Something Valuable to Say…

Sep 6, 2008

I really believe that – that everyone has something valuable to say, and something to contribute on at least some topics. And I love how the web provides a means for us to be heard. Especially in recent times, it’s so easy to step up and have your say on any topic.

You can start a blog, or create a Squidoo lens, for example. You can edit Wikipedia. You can Twitter, or comment on blogs. It’s now so easy to make a contribution and have your voice heard online.

Now, thanks to a Help A Reporter (a free service by Peter Shankman), that ability to have your voice heard is stretching to print

The playing field is being leveled, and we’re all being given more and more opportunities to show our expertise, and let our voice be heard.

The platforms are there – and increasing. Are you making use of them?

Thanks to Seth Godin for pointing out the service.

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Why I like

Jul 10, 2008

There’s a lot of Twitter ‘clones’ and competitors coming to the fore lately. A few weeks ago, it was Plurk (which as you might know, I’m not really a fan of). Now, the biggest buzz is And this time, I am a huge fan of it. It’s been around for a week or so, but I just haven’t had the time to write about it until now.

Why do I like It’s not about the featueres, though that’s rapidly improving. I like the ideas and principles behind it. It’s a push for openness. We all know that free markets are better than closed ones. That holds true for the online world as well.

And that’s why I’m really in support of I think the push for openness is really important, and the possibilities of openness – imagine a world where Twitter, Plurk, Pownce and Jaiku can work with each other – is something I look forward to.

So, you can find me on As always, my username is derrickkwa. Feel free to connect with me over there.