18 July 2005

About the Bloggers SG Conference

I didn't attend it. I was afraid that my fans would mob me and cause a riot. Anyway, that almost infamous blogger, Anthony, had something interesting to say about the event. Or rather, about the Straits Times coverage of the event. Anthony is annoyed and this is what he's unhappy about:
"My biggest gripe about this article is that it is built on false assumptions and perpetuates two negative stereotypes about bloggers (i) that blogging is primarily about "provocative pictures, biting commentaries and wit", and (ii) that bloggers are unjustifably uncomfortable with commentary when their public identities are known."
Elsewhere, he castigates the journalist Au Yong:

"Mr Au Yong, reading the totality of the first two paragraphs of the article, I am forced to ask - What were your expectations of a Bloggers' Conference? It seems to me that you've relied on two common but erroneous stereotypes of blogging (i) that blogging is about readership and (ii) bloggers do what they can to -attract- readership.

Nothing could be further from the truth ... I can name any number of bloggers that write solely in their chosen areas of interest ... Some of us write for readership. Others just write - readership follows."

Yes, I quite agree with Anthony. The mainstream media in Singapore still doesn't understand blogging. Well, you silly coots at the Straits Times, if you're reading this post, pay close attention. Mr Wang is about to educate you.

What is a blog? It is an easy way to write something and put it on the Internet. Your entries are organised chronologically. You get a couple of cool features like the ability to post pictures; to link to other blogs; and to enable others to comment on your writings. However, the mechanics of blogging are in themselves value-free and agenda-less. Nothing determines the content of a blog except the blogger.

It is like being given a big stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and some pens and pencils. The rest is entirely up to you. You can compose a poem; write a thesis; draw a cartoon; sketch a landscape; or make paper aeroplanes. It is entirely up to you.

The origami Buddha.
Made from blank yellow paper and designed to enlighten journalists.

Blogs are therefore as diverse as the human beings who blog (that is to say, VERY diverse). So whatever stereotypical ideas you have about bloggers, your ideas are probably wrong. In fact, even the same human being can jolly well have several very different blogs for different purposes.

Take Mr Wang for example. I have multiple blogs and multiple user IDs. I have this blog, Commentary Singapore, to yak about current affairs in Singapore. I share one blog with my wife, where we post photos of our kids and write about them growing up. I have a third blog devoted to one particular hobby of mine. I have a fourth blog about spirituality and religion. I have a fifth blog about developments in my industry. I have a sixth blog where I write about my goals and plans in life. And I recently started a seventh blog, Mr Wang Plays Self Guru, where I intend to do some creative writing (I haven't posted anything there yet).

Okay, so Mr Wang is a bit extreme. Most people only have one or two blogs. But you get the point. All my seven blogs are quite different from each other. Each serves a different purpose. The importance of having a readership varies greatly among them. You'd find it almost impossible to generalise about my seven blogs. Let alone the whole of the Singapore blogosphere.


Anonymous said...

Are your other blogs for public viewing? Would love to read more =)

Sleepless in Singapore said...

One more thing I learned from this NKF saga - our local journalists can't write very well. Some of the analyses I read in the blogsites; such as yours, are much better than the ST and Today articles.

For example; Ms Sumilko Tan actually compares NKF with SPCA.

Wandie said...

Your Buddha look more like Calculon leh.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, Mr Wang,

I see you realised:

"Blogging is like Masturbating, & is Healthy in Paranoid Times, but without the mess."

Hold on to your Wang, Mr Wang!

Corporate Manwhore



Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anthony said...

Actually, the whole analysis provided by the Straits Times over the NKF incident can hardly be considered unbiased - considering that they were the defendants of a defamation lawsuit.

Another thing I'm pissed with them about, but that's a story for another day.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Oh look at my fan mail!

Ben & John, ah, nooooo. Anyway, the blogs are very different and the readers who like them will be different too. Chances are that most people who are interested in Commentary Singapore would not be interested in the other blogs I have.

BlueFlix, if you like my poetry blog, you may like what I intend to do on "Mr Wang Plays Self Guru". Not poetry, but creative prose. Check it out, when I get it up and running.

Anthony, I shall comment on your comment soon - about the one-sidedness of SPH. I actually feel that SPH was pretty well-justified in doing what they did.

Corporate Manwhore, aiyoh.

Wandie, saw your blog and I see you're really into origami. Hmmm, something interesting to teach my kid, maybe. But to begin with, he'll need to make less complicated things than Buddhas.

Rudicus, yes, your blog has really evolved. A lot more serious now, focusing on serious US matters. And I see you attracted a new crowd of readers / commentators too ......

Anthony said...

Really?! This I have to see.

Anonymous said...

can u supply instructions on how to fold that origami buddha? i'd love to know... www.underbelly.co.nz