Twitter and Haikus

It’s no surprise that Twitter is so popular in Japan. Twitter messages a.k.a. Tweets are very Haiku-esqe!

Twitter asks a simple question: What are you doing?

In response, you key in your short message of not more than 140 characters and all your contacts are updated on what you are doing.

This way, everyone gets a little snippet of your life! And your short little message could sound very much like a Haiku, which has its origins in Japanese poetry consisting of three or fewer lines with 17 or fewer syllables, or 3 lines with 5-7-5 syllables. Here’s an example:

My native village
on approach and to the touch
a bramble rose

The following will shed more light on Twitter and micro-blogging: Unique Frequency and Turboblogging.




Thriving Blogosphere in China

The blogosphere is thriving! This is especially so with the number of China’s Internet users hitting new highs. Even in the rurul areas of China,  the numbers surged 127.7% in 2007.

In fact, China has become the fastest-growing Internet population with 221 million online users. This makes it a tie with the number of users in the US. The number has exploded despite the Chinese government’s efforts to curb access to materials they deem as offensive or pornographic. Remember the cute policeman and policewoman policing the Internet and screens of the Chinese online users? Perhaps, it is because of the imposed curbs and censorship that has caused the surge in online use.

This growing number of Internet users is seen as a cause of concern for Chinese officials who feel that users would turn to the Internet for their subversive activities and discussions.

Or perhaps they need not worry so much as many Chinese have turned to the Internet to rally support amongst the Chinese against the pro-Tibet acitivists during the Olympic Torch Relay through the various countries.

Perhaps, the Chinese government would like to take a leaf from the Malaysian government in its about turn in moving from ignoring and criticising the Internet to embracing it. It’s now calling all its members to write blogs and use new media to connect with the electorate and general public. It’s learnt its mistake of not using new media, thus leaving a void for other online discussions to take place without it.

In Singapore, blogs, websites and other new media abound to supplement and complement the news in mainstream media and serve as alternative forms of engagement

I do believe that using new media would in a way help to engage with younger voters and members of the public, but new media in itself would not do much – you would still need good, quality content, and online conversations that would be open to all, and of course, an open mind.

Living life unplugged

I just came across this term ‘unplugged’ used in a different way. I mean we know of unplugged music but having an ‘unplugged day’?

According to a tech geek, Ms Ariel Meadow Stallings, living your life unplugged means taking a day off when you are completely cut off from any technology, and she finds that it ‘forces her to re-engage with the real world’.

Interestingly, she blogged about how she decided to regain control of her life from being a tech addict and decided to spend “52 nights unplugged this year“.

In a way, having such a tech-detox plan may not be a bad thing for tech and blog junkies out there. There’s been anough criticism about how society is now engaging in virtual worlds than in the real world. I mean, take a look at the homeboys of Taiwan  which I wrote about in a previous post and it’s enough to give anyone the creeps.

And recent reports reveal that Singapore is truly a SMS nation, with many Singaporean youths preferring to sms and have online interactions with each other than face-to-face ones. Many cite convenience as a reason for doing that. But I do wonder if all this has an impact on their social skills. Well, in a way, I believe this will affect their social skills, but to what extent?! I have personally encountered youths like that – totally reticent and socially inept in person but wonderfully eloquent online. It’s almost like a Jekyll and Hyde situation.

Also, with all the talk about blogging hazards, switching off the PC to switch on to real life may not be bad for one’s physical, mental and emotional health.

MiG Ayesa on Singapore’s Power98 FM right now!

I’m listening to MiG Ayesa of WWRY fame on Power 98 FM right now. He’s having an interview and singing unplugged on the show!

What’s amazing with the Internet is that you don’t need the radio to listen to radio anymore. You just have to go to the Power 98 website  and click to listen live.

What’s more, even if you missed it, I’m pretty sure you can download the podcast to listen to it, or even if you didn’t miss it, fans of MiG will be able to download the podcast and listen to it again and again.

Yeah, the power of new media!

And MiG also plugged the use of new media for aspiring artistes. And he is one who knows the power of new media.

Obama vs Hillary vs McCain on Facebook!

I wrote about the singer and star of WE WILL ROCK YOU, MiG Ayesa and his clever use of new media a couple of weeks back. As mentioned then, MiG is on Facebook, Youtube, MySpace – you name it, he’s on it.

Of course, he’s not alone in this. You look at the Facebook pages, and you will see anyone and everyone from David Beckham to Carrie Underwood having their pages and fansites there.

And of course, no person is more of a whiz at drumming up support than a politician! Take a look at the Facebook pages and you will see more links to their other websites, MySpace pages, and more.

Perhaps, not surprising, Obama’s page is ranked number 1 on Facebook, with 772,905 fans as of 15 minutes ago.

Hillary was a few positions lower with 146,816 fans and much lower down is McCain with 112,940 fans.

Hm… I wonder if these pages and the figures represent a microcosm of the larger voting public of America…


New video game rating system in Singapore

Singapore has just announced its new video rating system that’s meant to help gamers, and especially the parents of young gamers, to make more informed choices about the type of games to play.

According to the Straits Times article, “Titles that contain possible objectionable content will come with stickers to warn buyers. Those that have realistic violence, drug use, nudity and frequent use of coarse language will be rated M18, for a mature audience that is 18 and older. Games that have moderate level of violence, portrayal of implied sexual activity, nudity without details, coarse language and depiction of drugs will be rated ‘Age Advisory’ and restricted to those 16 and older.”

Other than that, games that are deemed for general play do not have stickers, such as the Mario Bros games. 

Of course, the new game rating has drawn mixed views, just like when the new film rating system was implemented many years back.

Some wonder if the licensing needed for the game rating will cause game prices to rise. Some also find that groups of gamers made up for a range of ages would also be affected, as it’s been known that there are parents out there who game with their kids.

There are others who welcome it, and feel that the rating gives some idea as to the suitability of the game.

Then, of course, there are others who feel that the enforcement of the rating system needs to be worked out as there could be loopholes, such as someone older buying the game for someone younger.

Actually, if you think about it, the same arguments apply to all other age-defined policies, such as film rating, consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

And what can be done about online games? Could there be any regulation for them?

In an earlier post, I talked about the controversial game, Ms Bimbo. Hm..I wonder what rating Singapore would give it, and if it’s even possible to implement such rating on online games.

What do you think?

Blogging on the go

It seems that the 2-second generation is taking over! Micro-blogging seems all the rage now, with more people using Internet-enabled cellphones to blog while they are on the go, something also known as moblogging (mobile blogging).

I just read the other day about how Twitter is getting more and more popular, and it is now another platform that bloggers need to use to keep their readers updated on what they have posted.

There’s a Twitter guide that you could read to help you get started. It’s really about giving your friends in your Twitter network live updates of what you are doing in as few words as possible!

In a jump-on-the-bandwagon kind of way, I got myself a Twitter account, so don’t be surprised if a you get a little twitter from me!