Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

My Photo
Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

May 25, 2008

Asia's Blog Stars

May 25, 2008

With their frank take on anything from sex to politics, they are a force to reckon with

By Shefali Rekhi

Bloggers no longer just create the buzz about politics, pop culture and other obsessions of the day - they are the buzz.

Indeed, models and movie stars sashayed around during Australian Fashion Week in Sydney as expected earlier this month, but the real stars of the show turned out to be the fashion bloggers flown in by the organisers to cover the event.

For instance, in the front row, rubbing shoulders with fashion editors and other famous faces, was none other than Manila-based Web developer-turned-fashion blogger Bryanboy.

Nearly 180,000 visitors a day - some from as far away as the United States - read his blog. For the average actor, that is a following to die for.

'We've invited some of these guys here because our role is to get people talking about Australian fashion,' said Australian Fashion Week founder Simon Lock.

'And when you've got bloggers who provide immediate commentary within hours, even minutes, of a show finishing, and they are communicating to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the globe, why wouldn't you get them here?'

In a growing global trend, some of Asia's celebrity bloggers are attracting international attention with their witty remarks and comments.

Others are upsetting the existing pecking order with their criticism and cynicism.

As their ranks in the region grow by leaps and bounds, today's cyber stars are prompting a rethink of the notion that Asians are reluctant to express their views or reveal their thoughts.

'It is interesting that many in the region want to express themselves,' said Mr Claus Mortensen of market research firm IDC, who monitors blogs as part of his advisory role.

'Nurturing of self-expression is usually not encouraged in Asian societies, and this could be an indication of the change taking place in this region.'

A survey by Microsoft's MSN and Windows Live Online Services of more than 25,000 MSN portal visitors in seven markets across Asia was conducted 18 months ago. It found that nearly half, or 46per cent, of all those online in this region have a blog.

Young people and women dominate, except in India, where the domain is overwhelmingly male, and South Korea, where blogging is a part of everyday life.

For the report, entitled Blogging Asia: A Windows Live Report, residents of Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand were surveyed.

But the trends are similar elsewhere in the region.

Recent research by Technorati, the Internet search firm monitoring blogs, suggests that more than half of the postings on the Internet could originate with Asians.

Technorati's research shows that 37per cent of all recorded postings in the fourth quarter of last year were in Japanese and 8per cent in Chinese, compared with 36per cent in English.

Japanese has been ahead of, or even with, English for three years, said the company, even though the world's English-speaking population outnumbers Japanese speakers by five to one.

Ms Junko Kenetsuna is a typical Japanese blogger. Five times a week for the past three years, she has written about her midday meal. She calls her blog 'I had my lunch', and she seldom criticises the meals.

Hardly anybody reads her blog, but she posts her reviews nevertheless.

Technorati Japan's Mr Steve Rife told The Sunday Times that such is the urge to stay connected that the trend now is for people to post 'mobile blogs or micro-blogs to update what they are doing or what they ate, et cetera, from their mobile devices'.

Of course, there are dozens of celebrity bloggers across Asia who boast of page views that run into the millions. Some are content just to get noticed; others are obviously out to create controversy.

One of China's most popular bloggers is deputy editor of Nanjing-based newspaper Modern Express, Mr Sha Minnong, who writes on the swings in the Chinese stock market.

His popularity? More than 178million page views since March last year. And the number has been growing, with many seeking his insights into the stock market.

Here in Singapore, some of the best-read blogs are even archived by the National Library Board.

The list includes the satirical, the Air-Conditioned Nation by media academic Cherian George, and Yawning Bread, which comments on social and political issues.

In India, 20-something journalist Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan has been raising eyebrows and some concern with her personal blog entitled The Compulsive Confessor.

In it, she tackles a topic that is still taboo in the country - sex. In fact, she does not want her parents to read her blog.

'Today, we're going to talk about oral sex' is a typical opening to her postings on the hidden lives of young Indian city girls.

With her candid and witty style, Ms Madhavan has attracted a readership that is growing so fast that she has received a book offer from Penguin India.

Bloggers in Malaysia, on the other hand, have been accused of causing turbulence in the country with their political debate. It has been widely acknowledged that their postings helped turn voters against the ruling Barisan Nasional, which lost five states in the recent elections.

Now, leaders of the ruling coalition are scrambling to gain a foothold in the blogosphere.

But research shows that politics is not a popular theme with those who read blogs. They prefer topics such as travel, food and entertainment.

Microsoft's survey of Asian bloggers showed that an overwhelming majority - 74per cent - were interested in reading blogs about family and friends.

Those who wanted to read the blogs of politicians numbered only 14per cent, and there was even less preference for the blogs of sports personalities.

IDC's Mr Mortensen believes that in the years to come, the trend will continue to grow.

'We are seeing communities of bloggers building up in this region, especially in places like China and India,' he said. 'Users of the Internet are seeking ways to connect with each other, and you will see more of these communities develop as distances continue to grow between members of Asian families.

'For them, blogging will be the way to stay connected.'

Yet, there are consequences that necessitate a certain degree of monitoring.

Bloggers in China, for instance, played a part in whipping up anti-foreign sentiment when China's policies in Tibet ignited protests in many countries that the Olympic torch passed through en route to Beijing, host of this year's Games.

One of their targets was the French supermarket chain Carrefour. That led to some concern among multinationals, which are now being told to look at blogging as part of their online marketing and public relations strategies.

Cyber watchers say bloggers do have a certain amount of credibility: In the Microsoft survey, half of the respondents said they trusted the blogs as much as the traditional media.

But the challenge that this could pose for the mainstream media remains to be seen, given issues over quality and the fact that bloggers prefer to give a verdict or opinion without really reporting on the views of the people.

Besides, in the spirit of competition that exists out there, bloggers will battle it out as they express themselves.

Source: The Straits Times


May 24, 2008

Blog Alert

Thursday, May 22, 2008

All blog - Alert!! Alert!!

Computer users have been warned not to click on unsolicited spammed emails on news reports about the earthquakes in China as they have been exploited to launch Trojan horse or malicious code.

Information technology security and control firm, Sophos, which discovered the scam said today this was just the latest in a number of tricks that cyber criminals had been exploiting since the recent disasters in China and Myanmar.

In a statement here, Sophos said while many users were aware of phishing emails and therefore would not respond, this attack downloaded malicious code onto the user’s computer without them even noticing.

Hackers could then use it to steal sensitive and confidential information for financial gain and to commit identity theft, Sophos said.

Samples intercepted by SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centres, showed that the Trojan horse (known as Troj/MalDoc-Fam) arrived in a user’s inbox as a news report which enticed innocent victims to click on the attached word document and read the latest about the tragedy.

However, when the Word document attached is opened, it triggered an exploit which downloaded further malicious software onto the user’s computer.
Sophos advised computer users to avoid falling victim by not opening emails from unknown e-mailers.


May 23, 2008

Private Blog

The following is an example of a blogsite which was blocked from public comments and the blogger decided to make it a private blog -

QUOTE Topic 1:

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I am surprised that my blog has seen harsh and four letter word comments from some bloggers. And the problem is that I don't really know which part of my blog has resulted in these comments. If any of you think that my blog is offending , please be specific in your comments on parts which you think is offending. Please do not use four letter words in the comment section as my younger sibling, who is 11 years old, also visits my blog and these words are not appropriate for her.


I would appreciate positive, constructive and civil comments from all of you out there.



QUOTE Topic 2:

Due to the abusive nature of comments posted by readers, I have decided to make this blog private. Too bad. I will continue to upload new materials on this blog, only for other bloggers to read but no comments would be allowed. Don't blame me. Some bloggers decided to use words that reflect their social background and their deprived upbringing. No wonder we are always told that Asians generally can't handle differences in opinion in a civil manner. Too bad, mate! You can read but you can't comment no more!



Blasphemy Blog

Source: Channel News Asia

Title : Man arrested for posting racially-offensive content online
Date : 21 May 2008 0030 hrs (SST)

SINGAPORE: The police have arrested a 24-year-old man for posting racially-offensive content on his blog.

The man was nabbed at his home in Paya Lebar Way on Tuesday.

As part of ongoing investigations, the police have also seized a computer, believed to be used to post the blog.

The arrest follows two complaints, which the police received on May 19, concerning the alleged posts.

Under Section 298 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, those who have ‘deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings of any person, cause any matter however represented to be seen or heard by that person’, can be jailed for up to three years or fined, or both. - CNA/vm


May 17, 2008

"To b, or not to b: that is the question"

"To be, or not to be: that is the question" - William Shakespeare

To blog, or not to blog...that is the question which many would-be bloggers would ask before they start a blog.

Blogosphere has become so widespread and ever-increasingly popular that everyone who has something to say, will want to start a blog to express them. This would not have been possible without the Internet.

However, unprocessed, raw information overload is also taking readers more time to sieve through the countless blogs, to extract only useful and helpful information selectively.

Safe-surfing is also a major concern for parents whose young children use the Internet regularly to do research for their school projects.

Another fast growing trend is the social networking website such as Facebook, MySpace, Multiply, Friendster and several others.

According to AFP, top US state attorneys in San Francisco announced on May 8, 2008 that Facebook has agreed to get tougher on keeping its young website users safe from bullies, porn, paedophiles and other online hazards.

Facebook has agreed to a child protection pact similar to the one sealed with leading social-networking website MySpace in January, according to Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal.

"This agreement marks another milestone step for social networking safety -- protecting kids from online predators and pornography," Blumenthal said in a written release.

"We are raising the safety bar, first for MySpace and now Facebook, and soon for other sites as we fight for an industry gold standard. Facebook and MySpace are showing how to aim higher and keep kids safer."

A goal of the coalition headed by Blumenthal and his North Carolina counterpart Roy Cooper is the development and implementation of technology that verifies ages and identities of people using social networking websites.

The host of safety enhancements agreed to by Facebook includes severing links to pornographic websites and booting users linked to incest, paedophilia or "cyberbullying," according to Blumenthal.

Would Blogger, Wordpress, Livejournal and other blogsite providers adopt these surf-safe measures too?