Randy Pausch – The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch, the brave Carnegie Mellon professor who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, died last Friday at the age of 47.

His message of hope was spread the world over when he gave his “Last Lecture” speech at Carnegie Mellon and then later again on Oprah. Thanks to Youtube, we have the privilege of listening to his powerful and inspiring message.

He even went back to Carnegie Mellon a few months back to give a speech at the 2008 Commencement!

What made the “Last Lecture” especially poignant in his case is that it was in a way, given his terminal illness, his last lecture. Yet, watching him give his speech, there is no hint of pain or sickness.

And I’m sure that’s how he would have wanted to be remembered. His words are now forever immortalised not just in his lecture and book, but on blogs and Youtube as well.


Cyber Wellness in Gaming

On a few occasions in the past, I’ve talked about gaming and how gaming addiction can be very destructive.

This morning, I received an emailer about Cyber Wellness in Computer Gaming. It’s a talk and sharing session organised by Samsung in conjunction with the WCG coming up.

In this era of interactive digital media (IDM) and with pervasive gaming taking place, I do believe having such talks and sessions is a step in the right direction. As people are equipped with the tools and technology, they should also be equipped with the neccesary education to guide their behaviours and choices.

I’m placing the info from the emailer here – perhaps, if you have a gaming addiction, or know of someone who has it, you would want to attend the session.

Wondered why you’re hooked on computer games? Discover the reason now and get practical tips on handling common excesses in gaming!Goodie bags will be given to the first 30 sign-ups!
Speaker from TOUCH Community
As the Assistant Manager of TOUCH Cyber Wellness & Sports, Jiow Hee Jhee has eight years of experience in the cyber wellness arena, conducting training and designing curriculum for youths and other groups of people.
Sharing session by Top Gamer
Samuel Tan, one of the country’s Top Gamers, was previously part of Singapore’s top DotA team, Zenith. Gaming competitively since 2005, Samuel will be sharing his experiences with regard to game addiction and how he has managed to balance competitive gaming and his studies.

New Media Fund Raising with chewonitcomics

I have been meaning to check out the chewonitcomics blog after seeing a message that accompanies the weekly comic strip on the Sunday Times, and just did so.

The message is to view the blog and read more of Lee Chee Chew’s comic creations and at the same time, donate towards an operation for an orphaned, disabled toddler.

I access the blog and find out what the cartoonist wrote about Phung Thien Nhan, a Vietnamese toddler:

 Abandoned at birth and left to die, Thien Nhan was mauled by a dog which bit off his right leg and badly savaged his groin. He was adopted by a Vietnamese family in Hanoi, and is now seeking sponsors to help pay for his medical care, rehabilitation and education.

The first thing I did after reading about Thien Nhan was to make a donation (and it certainly won’t be my only one). I sincerely hope that you will do the same too.

There are a few ways to make a donation – make a direct donation at the Thien Nhan’s blog, send money via the cartoonist, buy his book with proceeds going towards the operation fund, or buy a tee shirt with proceeds going towards the fund as well.

As of 15 July, S$19, 193.50 has been collected and sent to the boy.

This is yet another way of using new media such as blogs for good – to raise awareness and funds for those in need.

If you would like to help the boy, please visit: http://chewonitcomics.blogspot.com/

Singapore’s politicians on Facebook

In earlier posts, I’d talked about how politicians have been jumping on the new media wagon and exploiting it to get a feel of the ground and further their popularity.  For instance, there was a Facebook standoff between Hillary, Obama and McCain some months back.

The politicians in neighbouring Malaysia have also realised the impact of new media, and the ruling party has taken an about turn on its view on new media. From disregarding it, they are now encouraging party members to keep blogs. Of course, by now, everyone has probably heard of and/or read Mahathir’s blog.

In Singapore, our local politicians have also started to use new media to reach out to the public. First there was George Yeo who was the face of PAP’s new media user, who blogged about his experiences. Now, more and more of the PAP’s members have started to adopt new media as part of their communications strategy. Teo Ser Luck is on Facebook and Vivian Balakhrishnan keeps his own blog.

According to the Today article, PAP MP Lam Pin Min (Ang Mio Kio GRC) said that, “The power of the Internet as a political tool must not be underestimated as demonstrated by the experience of the recent elections in our neighbouring countries. The party understands this and takes the feedback from netizens very seriously.”

Of course, new media shouldn’t just be used for the sake of using it. To be meaningful, it should serve as a platform for open discussion and feedback, and not a channel for propaganda.

Well, do share your thoughts about what you hope to see being used and done in new media by our local politicians.

Australian man auctions off his life on ebay

Often after a breakup or a divorce, the heartbroken yearn for a change – they want to move away from the person, place and things that remind them of their heartbreak. Some move to a new town, or new country; some change jobs and some try to change their identity by changing their looks, their friends, their lifestyle. But no one has been so extreme as to change his life – his house, his job, his friends and more! 

About a week ago, on 22 June 2008, Aussie Ian Usher, aged 44 put his whole life on auction on ebay. He was tired of his life after his painful divorce and wanted to start afresh with the money he would receive from the auction. After a week of bids, the auction closed on 29 June 2008, with the winning bidder paying “A$399,300 for all of Usher’s worldly goods, which also include his friends, a motorcycle and a jetski”.

I doubt if Usher would have taken out an ad to sell himself in mainstream papers but new media definitley makes it easier! Not only has he put his life on auction on ebay, he’s also created a website, a blog, video lifestreaming of the auction event so that spectators across the world can follow the happenings, and you can read about his life, his background, and even view the photos and plans of his house! People can even get involved by taking part in a poll on his website, write in his guest book and contact him personally too.

This is looking very much like one comprehensive new media marketing strategy!

Anyway, would you ever auction off your life like that? And if you would, how would you use new media to do that?