The Pope is on Youtube!

We have seen how governments and corporations are using new media such as Youtube to reach out to the masses and spread their messages.

Now, the Pope and the Vatican has also gone the way of new media and have launched their very own Vatican Youtube channel, in order to woo the Youtube generation.

According to the Vatican spokesperson, the channel “aims to help establish relationships with Catholics from around the world” by broadcasting short video news clips on the Pope’s activities and events at the Vatican”.

Now, people from all over the world who cannot make the trip to the Vatican can view images of the Vatican as well as the many speeches made by the Pope.

The Vatican Youtube Channel also connects you to the other sites such as Vatican radio that would link you to more Vatican news.

Interestingly, some of the videos talk about new media as a new way of communications to speak of God and a way to go beyond borders to reach the masses.

With this, let’s hope that the message of hope, love and peace will find a greater audience in the world.


Bloggers on staff

In the past, I’d written on how blogging and bloggers have gained a certain level of credibililty and recognition. There have been bloggers who have turned politicians, bloggers who have inked book deals, bloggers who became hired as journalists, etc.

Now, blogging is being recognised as a job in itself. Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana launched theoir new webzine, recently last Dec and have hired a team of bloggers to write on topics from food to fashion! 

In yet another example, the team of people from Majolica Majorca picked 9 bloggers to be its local ambassadors  and to create awareness of the brand on cyberspace. The girls, aged 18-25 were selected based on their looks as well as blog popularity, and they blogged about their experiences with the products. They include Beatrice Tan, Chua Huirong, Emileen Lim and Cordelia Low. As ‘payment’, the girls received new products as well as got to select products of their choices from the brand.

Traditional lion dance goes hi-tech!

In these tough economic times, even the traditional must-have for many Chinese companies, the lion dance during the lunar new year has been affected. To counter the lowered demand for lion dance performances this year, lion dance troupes have started to embark on innovative ways to advertise themselves.

One group produced a booklet on the lion dance culture and performances and sent 2000 copies out. Not only that, the group set up its own website for customers to make their bookings online. Besides that, they also adopted the use of new media and can be found on Facebook too!

Many of such ‘traditional’ troupes are also jumping on the bandwagon, or rather, the cyberhighways, seeking to advertise their services on online portals and ads. Looks like such groups have wizened up to the appeal of new media, and have found that new media could be used to help them connect the old ways with the young and new.

Fighting the Israel-Hamas war on New Media

2009 saw the continuation of the Israel-Hamas battle over the Gaza Strip which had started about a week and a half before the end of 2008.

I recall the very moment I had first inklings of the war. I was in my hotel room in Tiberius watching the news and I could not believe what I was hearing – that the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas had ceased and Hamas was launching rockets into southern Israel.

I was wondering if our tour to Jerusalem would be affected. Thankfully, no, and we were able to experience an amazing Jerusalem.

Yes, I know that might have sounded selfish, but seriously, I didn’t have a clue how serious the incidents were! Which also goes to show that when you are travelling, a lot of times, you get cut off from the traditional news and also new media and hence you don’t get updated on info, which goes to show how much we rely on the media for info and hpw the media often shapes our worldviews (ok, so i digress…)

I thought all was well..I mean no news is good news, right?

A few days after we got back from Israel, I watched  the news and heard that war had broken out.  Such is the fragile peace in that region.

Besides ‘conventional’ warfare (well, frankly, there should be nothing conventional about warfare!) both sides are fighting it out using new media. Propagangda is being propagated via Youtube!

The Israel government even has a Youtube channel that shows footage of bombings of Hamas military sites. They do this to counter the rumours circulating that they are targeting civilian sites.  I am not featuring any videos by the Israelis or the Hamas here but a quick check on Youtube will show you the multiple videos that have been uploaded officially as well as unofficially.

The war is also taking place in the blogosphere as bloggers slug it out in a war of words and persuasion.

You can read more about it at


Well, so we can now get a closer look at the war – does it make things better? 

Let’s pray for peace.