Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

My Photo
Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Feb 19, 2009

Plugged-In Asia


Excerpt from My Paper, February 17, 2009


What’s hot: Over 80 per cent broadband penetration and ultra-high-speed digital-highway infrastructure. A high level of proficiency in English has helped Singaporeans to adopt Western social-media behaviours very quickly.

Favourite activities: Blogging, social networking and forums like

Favourite social-networking sites: Friendster – with 940,000 unique visitors per month – and Facebook, with 495,000 unique visitors per month. Social networks are a culturally acceptable way for Singaporeans to connect, and they are the most likely people in Asia to check out other people’s profiles on a social network.

Illustration: ISTOCKPHOTO


They Blog, We Believe


AS FAR as the Singaporean social-media consumer is concerned, blogs are just as important as traditional forms of media like television, radio and newspapers.

In fact, Google’s “Blogger” system, which lets people create blogs for free, has shot up to fifth among the top 100 most-visited sites in Singapore.

In a recent study conducted by marketing agency OgilvyOne Asia Pacific, more than one in two Singaporeans said they trust blogs as much as newspapers or TV news bulletins.

Commenting on the findings, Ms Debbie Swee, a market analyst with information-technology research firm IDC, told my paper that bloggers here have some influence over their readers.

"Blogging is pretty established in Singapore, especially in the younger community. Singaporean bloggers tend to write what they feel, whereas Malaysian bloggers tend to write what they think,” she said.

It also helps that bloggers here are seen to have integrity. “Unlike in China, notable Singaporean bloggers, who have been paid by advertisers to talk about
products and services, usually publish disclaimers before they blog about a product,” Ms Swee said.

"Because of that, Singaporeans will take them at their word.”

The OgilvyOne study also found that consumers from Japan and South Korea tend to upload content via their mobile phones or download music from legal websites.

In contrast, analysts said the personal computer is still tops with Singaporeans when it comes to surfing the Internet.

"Mobile Internet subscription is perceived to be more expensive by consumers,” Ms Swee said.

Source: My Paper, February 17, 2009


Feb 14, 2009

Cyber Regulations

Netizens to decide
By Li Xueying

SENIOR Minister of State Lui Tuck Yew yesterday stated categorically that he was not pushing for more Internet regulation when he criticised netizens for not rebutting online attacks on MP Seng Han Thong.

On Wednesday, he expressed disappointment that the online community had not done more to respond to nasty comments such as those who said that Mr Seng, who was set on fire by a resident last month, deserved to be assaulted.

Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui said it was 'a squandered opportunity for a higher degree of self-regulation'.

'Many of those responses were not rebutted or answered, and I think it is not healthy for some of this to remain on the Net unchallenged, unquestioned and unanswered,' he had added.

Yesterday, during the Budget debate on estimates for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, he said netizens could have misunderstood his earlier comments.

'They seem to have misconstrued my remarks as 'a desire for more regulation on the Internet',' he said.

'Let me say clearly that I am not advocating this position.'

RADM Lui said that self-regulation of conduct online was what some bloggers had in fact been asking for.

He noted that in responding to the report by the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society, a group of bloggers proposed that community moderation replace the Government's lighter-touch regulatory approach.

'It is for the online community to decide if there should be self-regulation or not,' he said yesterday.

'Likewise, it is for them to deliberate on how online postings could be self-regulated or moderated.'

Meanwhile, he added, 'the Government will continue with its promised lighter touch regulatory approach, and would engage netizens in a constructive and beneficial way'.

Internet users interviewed said the very nature of the medium made regulation of any sort, including self-regulation, difficult if not impossible.

Mr James Seng, founder of blog aggregator, noted that China, for instance, had not been able to regulate the Internet despite pouring massive resources into its 'Great Firewall of China'. It also backed away from requiring bloggers to register in 2007.

RADM Lui, in his remarks yesterday during the Budget debate, also tackled the subject of the Government's e-engagement strategy, raised by Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Hong Kah GRC).

Mr Zaqy noted that many were unhappy that the Government would engage netizens only via the website of Reach - its feedback unit - for now and called on it to be 'more accessible'.

'Otherwise, we will lose an entire online generation who could have had the opportunity to grow and engage with this Government, the same way as the previous generations grew with and engaged the Government using the traditional media and broadcast communications,' he said.

He acknowledged that it would be 'an onerous task' for the Government to engage its critics one-on-one online.

'But technology today allows it if we are prepared to spare the investment and manpower,' he argued.

Singapore had already developed sophisticated projects such as online tax filing systems, he noted. 'I am sure the Government can consider implementing relevant infrastructure to be able to strengthen the connection between the Government and its citizens in a big way.'

In his response, RADM Lui reiterated that the Government was 'not closed to the idea of engaging on other objective and credible sites in future'.

As the Internet is a 'relatively new mode of communication', it needs time and resources to build up additional manpower capacity and skills, he said.

Thus, his ministry has been recruiting information officers, conducting new media training and sharing relevant knowledge with other agencies.

'Over time, e-engagement will augment the wide range of channels the Government uses to communicate and reach out to the public,' he promised.

RADM Lui yesterday also disclosed that his ministry and the Education Ministry would contribute a total of $10 million over five years to the new inter-ministry task force on cyber wellness.

The task force, to be co-chaired by the deputy secretaries from both ministries, will co-ordinate national efforts and strategise how children can be protected against the dangers of the Internet.

Source: The Straits Times, Saturday, Feb 7, 2009


What To Do About Blog Criticism

Every piece of writing that is published will almost always receive some sort of good or bad criticism from people who enjoy reading about new things. As you begin to design a blog page, the exact same thing applies to its design, implementation, and especially the topics that are written about on your site. The ultimate goal of any blog, however, is to get as many people as possible to become interested in your blog and visit it frequently.

People who create blogs do not need to be very concerned about any bad feedback that is made about the blog because they should be grateful that people are making any comments at all. The fact that people are talking about your blog, even if it is negative criticism, should be considered as a great accomplishment for your site because that is exactly what you are trying to do. If the topics that are published are your blog trigger a great deal of blog criticism from Internet visitors, then you have ultimately achieved your goal of getting people to become interested in your blog.

Probably the most obvious way of finding out that a lot of people are visiting your blog site is by looking at the amount of comments that they post to the blog. Having many comments posted to the blog, whether they are positive or negative, results in a very successful website, so the question then is how you can get more comments on your blog posts. This goal can be accomplished in a number of different ways.

If you want to increase people's desires to visit your blog site you must think of and implement writings that draw out the feelings and opinions of ordinary people. Topics that are fairly recent or highly debatable will increase peoples desires to post a comment or criticism on your blog which will therefore increase the amount of people that visit your site. Write articles that will make people want to give feedback and participate in the online discussion that is hosted by your blog.

Making blog posts as a type of competition will also spark peoples chances of leaving comments on your blog. One of the things that you can advertise on your website which will make it very attractive is a prize for the top commenters to the articles that you publish. This method will provide people with another incentive for posting comments to your blog posts.

Handling negative blog criticism is kind of a hard thing to regulate, especially if you are new to the online world and have never created a web site before. As time goes on, however, you will become more accustomed to blog criticism and it will have a much smaller effect on your emotional state of mind. You must remember that criticism is a very good thing because it shows that people are interested in talking about your web site and also provides productive feedback for you on how to better enhance and improve the overall effectiveness of your blog pages.

Written By: Whalehooks


Why Are Blogs So Popular, And Why Do I Need One?

Blogs have become almost as popular as websites. They have their own search engines, ad directories, and forums. Blogs have gained in popularity, and for good reasons.

First, Blogs work great in connection with your website. Your website is more on the business level, where your blog is more on a personal level. You can give thoughts on your current promotions or products, or comment on how you business is doing. Many people add what they are currently learning about, making their blog seem like a journey. Always put a link to your website on your blog and vice versa. This will allow customers to see both sides of you if they want to. Remember consumers want to know who they are buying from, and what is a better way to learn about a webmaster than through a blog. This gives them a sense of comfort. They will be less likely to think that you might be scamming them.

Another reason blogs have gained in popularity is-they are free! More and more people are using blogs to earn an income instead of paying for a website. You don't need to pay for hosting or a domain names with a blog. You can put all your affiliate programs on your blog to earn an extra income. You can also ad Google Adsense to your blog which will give you an additional source to profit from. It is free, and there really is no reason not to do this. It is also very easy to make changes to your blog, and even an amateur computer user can maintain one. Just read the tutorial that is provided to you, and you will be on your way.

There are many non-business blogs as well. It is a perfect way for family and friends that may live far apart to keep in touch. It is a way to share your passions with others who may have the same passion. For instance, my daughter loves animals. She would probably want to link to other animal site blogs and have them link back to her. Finally, even your children are learning to create their own blogs. Not only is this a great project to help teach children about the Internet, but it also gives them a way to express themselves. Some even make a diary out of their blog. Just be sure to teach your children Internet safety. Never put personal information such as address, phone number, complete birth date, or social security number, on any site or blog. There are too many people who would use that information for the wrong reason. So be safe, and happy blogging!

Written By: Alicia Bodine


Feb 10, 2009

Online attacks: Minister rues lack of self-policing

When MP Seng Han Thong was set on fire by a Yio Chu Kang resident last month, he drew many online attacks that were vicious.

Some were ‘downright outrageous’, said Senior Minister of State (Information, Communications and the Arts) Lui Tuck Yew in Parliament yesterday.

He was referring to postings that included statements saying Mr Seng deserved to be assaulted and a list of 10 things he should ‘be thankful for’ in spite of being attacked.

But instead of silencing these attackers, the online community largely bit their tongue.

The tepid response of netizens to the nasty comments disappointed Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui, who said it was ‘quite apparent the Internet is not an effective self-regulated regime as some may have touted it to be’.

RADM Lui was replying to Ms Penny Low (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC), who had asked for his views on netizens’ response to the physical attack on Mr Seng, MP for Yio Chu Kang.

He said: ‘I do not think the community itself has done enough to rebut some of these unhelpful comments delivered by fellow netizens.

‘It is a squandered opportunity for a higher degree of self-regulation.It would have been an example of the genesis, of the first steps, towards a more responsible, greater, self-regulatory regime.

‘But many of those responses were not rebutted or answered, and I think it is not healthy for some of this to remain on the Net unchallenged, unquestioned and unanswered.’

RADM Lui also urged netizens to do more to define acceptable online conduct.

Ms Low noted that netizens had voted quite unjustly in an online poll.

The poll posted on had asked who deserved more sympathy: Mr Seng or his attacker Ong Kah Chua. The ex-cabby received 200 votes and Mr Seng, 56.

RADM Lui noted that there were some comments sympathetic to Mr Seng.

But, he added: ‘The vast majority were unhelpful, a significant number were unkind, a small number were downright outrageous.

‘It was disappointing.’

Madam Cynthia Phua (Aljunied GRC) related how sometimes, positive comments her friends wanted to make on some political sites were rejected, and asked how such sites could be open to all.

Said RADM Lui: ‘I don’t think we want to establish a regime where we regulate and direct the proprietors of the sites to take measures where they have to accept all comments.’

Ms Low had earlier asked him whether local netizens were mature enough to enter a self-regulated online regime and how such a regime could be developed.

RADM Lui said his ministry had not done any studies to assess their maturity level, and added: ‘It would be quite apparent the Internet is not an effective self-regulated regime as some may have touted it to be.’

Rumours and lies were prevalent online, as were flaming and cyber bullying, thus netizens had a critical role to play, he said.

‘Individual bloggers ought to be responsible and accountable in their postings. Website proprietors and the online contributors must be responsible and prompt in moderating the sites to ensure credibility, objectivity and balance in the content posted,’ he said.

‘Netizens can and should do more to establish and enforce the norms of acceptable online behaviour.’

Source: Straits Times, February 6, 2009