In July, PM Lee said that he wanted the PAP to be more "hip and happening" so as to connect to young Singaporeans. In August, PM Lee announced that he wanted the government to use "new" media (ie the Internet) to reach out to the masses. And now - we have P65. The blog of 12 PAP MPs born after 1965.
This is embarrassing. The design is poor; it lacks navigation aids; the sidebar is non-existent; there isn't even a "Recent Comments" or "Latest Posts" function. There are 12 blog members but no "About Me" or "My Profile" section at all. The colours look like what my 4-year-old kid would choose for his artwork - please lah, I know they want to be "young", but surely not that young.
Dear MPs, you would be much better off picking a standard template from Blogger or Wordpress. Alternatively, I really suggest you pay Mr Brown $3,000 and engage him as a consultant. Or maybe my friend Alvin Pang who designs websites.
I won't even go into the content, except to say that if the content doesn't undergo drastic changes, within six months people won't even remember that there was ever such a thing as P65. Let's put it this way:
P65 launched with fanfare; the Straits Times featured it just last week; it also appeared on Tomorrow; and it has 12 contributors each of whom is a public figure. Yet (at the time of my writing this), its latest 10 posts received a total of only 17 comments from readers.
In contrast, my preceding 10 posts (at the time of writing) received a total of 325 comments. I'm just one blogger and not even a public figure.
Right now, P65 is failing to engage Singaporeans, and if it continues to fail to engage Singaporeans, maybe the better thing to do would be to close it down so that the MPs can spend the time on other things that MPs spend their time on.
Having said that, P65 is new and maybe it needs a while to find its identity. Well, maybe it will, and maybe it won't. Let's wait and see.
Technorati: Singapore; blogs; politics; media.