Bloggers get recognition

Last Sunday, while attending a book launch by local writer Christine Lim Su Chen (a collection of short stories, The Lies That Build A Marriage: Stories of the Unsung, Unsaid & Uncelebrated in Singapore) at the Arts House, I picked up a copy of the Singapore Writers Festival programme and was pleasantly surprised to see bloggers getting a platform in the festival to share about their craft, just as other writers and poets who had sessions to talk about their works.

In fact, on the very same day, there were two talks by Mr Miyagi and Mr Kenny Sia in the Chambers at the Art House on How to Make Money without Really Trying and Minding your Ps and Qs: Blogging Etiquette. That evening, there was also a talk on The Fine Art of Food Blogging (yes, why not talk about one of Singaporean’s first loves?) and World Wide Web of Words – Literary Blogs. There was also something on Reel Blogging.

Unfortunately, I was not able to be at two places at the same time. Perhaps there will be a recording of the sessions put up on someone’s blog or on the website itself?

But what struck me was that to some extent, this goes to show that bloggers (well, at least some of them – I mean I see the usual names … Mr Miyagi, Aun (Chubby Hubby) Koh, Ms Cheryl Chia, the Keropok Man … have gained sufficient respectability and credibility to be included in the hallowed writers circle.

This is indeed a milestone for the local blogosphere and even the Asian blogosphere, with local and other Asian bloggers being invited to be part of this event.

I do believe that bloggers have much to contribute to the new landscape of literary (or even non-literary) writing.

The official website for the festival states that “central to the SWF is the belief that literary arts is one of Singapore’s major cultural expressions, one that contributes to the collective identity of Singaporeans” and that the festival is to help “promote new and emerging Singapore and Asian writing to a wider public”.

There is no doubt that blogs can contribute to the local and Asian writing scene. Already, many local bloggers have developed a following and it can’t be denied that they form part of the collective consciousness of Singporeans.

It’s also little wonder then, that local bloggers want more say about regulating the blogosphere. Local bloggers have mentioned that they want to be on the discussion panel and not leave it to the elite academics to determine rules and regulations for the blogosphere.