The End of Char Kway Teow & Other Hawker Mysteries – alternative form of ieatishootipost

Any true-blue Singaporean would be familiar with the food blog We have no doubt drooled countless times over the amazing food pictures and delectable descriptions of tasty morsels highlighted in the blog.

Now, the founder of the local food blog, Dr Leslie Tay has turned author with the publication of his book “The End of Char Kway Teow & Other Hawker Mysteries”. Dr Leslie Tay is a doctor and also a foodie (very Singaporean!) and he set up the blog in 2006.

His wish is to recommend good hawker fare, based on his motto of “never waste your calories on yucky food”. I totally agree with the philosophy! That’s why it’s wonderful when others can do the tasting and provide us with info on what ‘s worth the calories!

Dr Leslie Tay also believes in giving back to society and proceeds from the sale of his book will go towards to raise funds for building a school for displaced children in Sandakan. 

What’s also amazing about how far his blog has come! What started out as a blog on a new media platform is now being published into a book!

I’ll be attending a talk this coming Thursday by Dr Tay – looking forward to a yummy session with food for thought, or frankly, I’ll settle for just good food!

Netizens in the News

Recently, there’s been some news in Singapore about netizens who have drawn both praise and flak for their actions.

First is a blogger who chose to test the OCBC. What did she do? She went into the Marine Parade branch of the bank and stated that it was her birthday and that the bank should give her a birthday cake, just like in the ad on TV. The bank manager finally decided to give her the cake, after explaining that she took the message in the ad too literally!

She went on to blog about what she did, and has generated quite a lot of discussion online. Some laud her for standing up for consumer rights, while others think that she was being unreasonable. Whatever the case, she created something that she could blog about, and stirred up the online community, perhaps beyond what she herself imagined. What she did, will no doubt, make companies sit up and take notice and be more mindful of the messages they are sending out.

The other case involves something more sinister. Videos and photos have been posted online showing a skimpily clad woman being molested by 4 men at a new year countdown party. What is scary about this is not just the act of indecency itself, but the indecent behaviour of the bystanders who instead of helping the victim, and stopping the men, chose to whip out their cameras to record the act. What is wrong with these people? Are they so engrossed with their sordid ideas of citizen journalism that they chose to record and post the act than actually do something to help the situation. Not surprisingly, there’s been much discussion among netizens on this, with some spreading rumours about the victim, and generalising the race of the men caught in the act. Let’s hope that the  discussion comes back to focusing on the crime that was committed and how it should now be handled, and how such a situation could be avoided in the future. For one, people should choose to help, than just standby and gawk.

Some useful tips on blogging

I subscribe to Alvin Phang’s blog and recently, he wrote a four-parter on how to blog, which I think is a useful reminder to those who have been blogging for some time, as well as useful tips for novice bloggers.

I’m including the links below:

Powerful tips on writing blog articles Part 1/4

Powerful tips on writing blog articles Part 2/4

Powerful tips on writing blog articles Part 3/4

Powerful tips on writing blog articles Part 4/4

Do add your comments and further tips for all bloggers out there!

Bloggers gain prominence – comments

In my post a couple of days ago on Bloggers gain prominence, I talked about how bloggers are getting more recognition. Some have been courted by corporate and governmental institutions and some seem to have achieved a certain level of legitimacy and recognition in society.

I received an interesting comment which I thought I’d reflect in this post, together with my response.

From CY:

      I’m with AP Ang on this one. Until bloggers are ready to be held accountable – and some are e.g. Yawning Bread, TOC – in the same way traditional media is e.g. by not being anonymous as a start, then I don’t see how they can be equated to say traditional published media.

Not that this will stop bloggers from wanting to write though. And moreover, some of the most insightful stuff are written by bloggers with believe they have nothing to fear as they are out of jurisdiction or believe they cannot be tracked.

From Blogscapes:

Hi CY,

Thanks for your comment. You have a point there – in order to be seen as credible, bloggers need to be responsible for what they post.

It looks like blogging is getting to a stage where it is starting to ’split up’. One one hand, you do see bloggers getting prominence and achieving a certain legitimacy, so much so that some of them have been given press passes to events and press conferences. Blogging is also increasingly seen to be yet another marketing arm used by corporations and government agencies.

However, in having that, some may lose ’street cred’, as I believe many readers still hold on to that notion of the ‘renegade’ blogger, who doesn’t toe institutional lines, and which then makes what he writes, usually more controversial, and hence, more exciting?, leading to more conversations!

Pretty interesting times for the blogosphere!

Perhaps, months or even years from now, we’ll look back and see the different directions and movements taken by the blogosphere.

Well, what do you think, fellow bloggers?

Bloggers gain prominence

Governments are reaching out to engage bloggers, as they have come to realise that bloggers do wield real influence via their online presence and discussions! One agnecy invited bloggers to blog about their campaigns to ‘create an online buzz about a government-sponsored commercial on the family’. 

This happened two months ago at a special session organised by global public relations firm Ogilvy. The commercial depicting a single father struggling to raise his daughter eventually aired on June 21 — with the buzz the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) had hoped for.

The session allowed the bloggers to understand ‘how and why the commercial was made’ and the bloggers’ ‘heartfelt’ reactions online gave ‘policymakers and implementers a greater feel of how people really see’ the initiatives. 

Of course , it could work the other way, in that bloggers could have written negative feedback on it; but even then, that would have helped policy makers to modify the content. It’s important that such sessions have no strings attached, and that bloggers are free to write what they want, or not at all. Otherwise, the whole process could be seen as a farce, and both policy makers and bloggers would lose credibility.

The National Heritage Board is yet another agency who has been actively engaging bloggers. They have been hosting museum tours for bloggers and held a session recently for 40 bloggers at the Asian Civilisations Museum. In what it believes is a first among agencies here, the board is recruiting for an in-house “social media marketing” position, to cultivate relationships with active bloggers. Mr Walter Lim, its director of corporate communications and industry promotion said

As social media gains prominence, we do have a very high proportion of people, especially teens, who spend time online. It is critical that organisations look at how we can leverage on this growth.

Bloggers now appear to function as a “public relations arm” and the Government is recognising them as an important medium to reach the public, said Dr Linda Perry, a senior visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore’s department of Communications and New Media.

It’s a win-win situation. ‘For bloggers, what this all eventually might mean is a greater role in policy…instead of just blogging about what they see the Government doing’, they get to become active participants. 

And we don’t call this age of Web 2.0 the participation age for nothing.

Of course, all these beg the question of accreditation for bloggers.

Could such participation go a step further to include news reporting? Last month, the Malaysian Government issued press passes to about 10 online news sites such as Malaysiakini, but stopped short of handing them out to bloggers since blogs are often personal in nature. Press passes would allow bloggers access to Government briefings or press conferences, for example, and the access to speak to officials at these events. Said editor of The Online Citizen Choo Zheng Xi: “It’s better to bring them in and allow them to see things from the government point of view, rather than lock them out and they criticise without understanding.” … But one concern among commentators is credibility and accuracy – bloggers, after all, would largely not have journalistic training and their writing would not be subject to the editing process of the traditional media.

Associate Professor Ang Peng Hwa of Nanyang Technological University’s communications programme: “Unless they are prepared to have themselves held accountable (for their writing), I don’t see how bloggers can equate themselves with professional media.”

Well, what do you think? Do you think that bloggers being accepted as reporters could happen now or in the near future?  Do you think society is ready to accept the views of bloggers as being legitimate ones?

Read on for information on political videos and blogs and new rules for politics in cyberspace.

Blogworld Expo

You know blogging has come of age when it has its own expo! New media and blogging has indeed gained some credibility!

While reading Copyblogger, I came across the Blogworld Expo that will be held in Las Vegas from Sep 20-21. The website tells us that:

The 2008 BlogWorld & New Media Expo will take place September 20-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the exclusive “Executive & Entrepreneur” conference beginning September 19th. The first and only industry-wide tradeshow, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of blogging and new media. In addition to the only industry-wide exhibition, BlogWorld features the largest blogging conference in the world including more than 50 seminars, panel discussions and keynotes from iconic personalities on the leading-edge of online technology and internet-savvy business. If you are currently blogging, vlogging, podcasting, producing other forms of new media content, entering the new media industry, or just want to know what the blogosphere is all about, then you need to be at the most comprehensive blogging convention–BlogWorld & New Media Expo. Located in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at: 3150 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89109

The conference schedule shows a pretty interesting line up of talks and workshops from how to make money from blogs, sports blogging, blogs and politics and  blogging and lawsuits!!

I think this is what the new media community and industry needs. I say ‘industry’ as blogging has come a long way from just being a personal diary record. It’s now seen as an important marketing arm of any agency. Even political parties can’t do without it.

And such conferences and seminars will help to add to the knowledge pool and growing awareness of the uses and abuses of new media, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Dawn VS Xiaxue

There’s a mean storm a-brewing in the local blogosphere. Our two Princesses of blogs, Dawn Yang and Xia Xue have been at it.

They have been at each others’ throats, that is.

She says..she says…it’s all talk and now they are talking lawsuits and libel!

Bloggers’ spat: Xiaxue refuses to say sorry

By Debbie Yong

BLOGGER Wendy Cheng – better known online as Xiaxue – is not going to apologise to fellow blogger Dawn Yang. She was supposed to do so by Tuesday, the deadline set in a letter sent to her last week by Ms Yang’s lawyer.

The letter referred to allegedly defamatory remarks made by Ms Cheng, in a blog entry dated June 30, about Ms Yang. Ms Cheng, 23, had written, among other things, about the other’s entertainment and endorsement deals.

She also baulked at being compared to Ms Yang, 23, in a June 25 report in Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao. The letter had asked for Ms Cheng to publicly apologise and propose a settlement for the damages caused to Ms Yang.

‘I am not going to apologise. If she wants to embarass herself she can go ahead and sue me’, Ms Cheng told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

She is presented by Keystone Law Corporation.

Ms Yang is in Sydney on a holiday and could not be reached for comments. Mr K Anparasan from KhattarWong, the firm representing her, confirmed that he has received Ms Cheng’s letter but said he has yet to discuss the next step with Ms Yang.

However, he added that they will not rule out other options besides going to court, such as mediation or a ‘without prejudice’ meeting between both parties to settle the dispute.

This means that points raised in the meeting will not be used adversely against them in court.

The bad blood between the two bloggers goes back to November 2006, when they were compared in an online ‘hottest bloggers’ ranking.

They have been making comments about each other on their blogs since.

Ms Cheng gets 50,000 hits daily on her blog while Ms Yang gets 30,000.

Source: Straits Times Interactive,

And look at the number of people talking about them!! This is just the tip of the iceberg ( about the frosty chilliness between the two of them)

Well, frankly, while I’ve highlighted the two of them here, as their case does bear some mention as a lawsuit between bloggers could spell some legal consequences for all other bloggers, I’m not going to comment on the situation. Too much ink (of the electronic type, of course) has been spilt on it already.

10, 000 hits!

This may not mean much to anyone else but me, but thought I’d just like to announce that Blogscapes has passed the 10, 000-hit mark!

Frankly, when I started the blog late 2006, little did I know then, that the compulsion to maintain the blog and write regular posts would be with me, and so it has! Here’s to 10, 000 more hits!

Malaysian blogger Raja Petra agrees to be out on bail

Yesterday, I wrote about Malaysian blogger, Raja Petra being jailed for sedition. Anyway, to follow-up on that post, he’s now agreed to post bail.

And it’s none other than his 54 year-old wife, Marina Lee Abdullah’s words, “I want you back” that helped Raja Petra change his mind. No doubt, his wife is concerned about his welfare and deteriorating health in jail especially when he’s embarked on a hunger strike.

Well, looks like there won’t be a need for any more candle light vigils for him.


Ted Demopoulos’ “What no one ever tells you about blogging and podcasting”: Some comments

I’ve been reading the book by Ted Demopoulos entitled “What no one ever tells you about blogging and podcasting”:

The book is a compilation of blogging and podcasting tips that  he’s compiled based on his interviews with successful bloggers and podcasters. Ted Demopoulos is particularly interested in seeing how blogs and podcasts add to the marketing/businesss mix of companies.

I have picked up some interesting tips such as using stats counters like Blog stats and Sitemeter (which I have since added) to help provide more info on the blog’s readership, as well some useful reminders about the need to include links and blogroll.

He also mentions an important point about the need to ‘listen’ to what’s out there in the blogosphere as well. All too often, bloggers are caught up with blogging and tend to forget to read others’ blogs. You can only join in the conversation in the blogosphere by reading, leaving comments or emailing the bloggers, and inviting them to read your blog and leave comments too. Thus, disabling a ‘comments’ feature is a big no-no, according to the author and the people he interviewed.

You can also read more about Ted Demopoulos’ thoughts and musings on technology, business and their intersection in his blog, The Ted Rap.

In the book, the writer also shares some useful blogs to read, and I’ll share some of the useful links here with you:

 Marcom Blog



BlogWrite for CEOs

Practical Blogging


Bloglogic – news from the blogosphere


Podcast Roundtable

Talkr – Letting blogs speak for themselves

It’ll be worth your while to check out the above links!