Bloggers gone missing…

I saw Mitch Joel’s twitter link to one of his blog post, asking folks on how you feel about those who are no longer blogging (or have slowed down) because they are busy with stuff? He had went on to ask if “you feel cheated?” as readers. While i figured there are several ways to look at the post and probably more relevant for certain group of people, I still am not sure I agree 100% with the post.

I honestly don’t think it’s an excuse for bloggers to not blog as much. I think blogging shouldnt be “hard work” as well. I remembered a good friend who’s one of those top bloggers telling me “don’t feel obligated to blog because you have to, blog because you want to..”.

For myself, I’ve definitely slowed down, though not stopped. I twitter and interact on facebook more nowadays. It’s not that I didn’t want to write a post every other day but when you are traveling alot, and unlike agencies who might see their responsibilities to “engage in social media”, therefore more blogging and more podcasting, there are alot of people who have endless meetings to attend, endless traveling and endless hours of late nights doing a job that has alot of other objectives to meet (beside engaging the communities), so when some of us get home, the last thing we think of is to switch on laptop and start to write a blog. Personally, all i could think of, most of the nights is – try to get some sleep (and there is family and health to consider).

There are many ways to connect and communicate. Blogging is one of them, not the only means.

Having said that, I am keeping this blog and I’m still writing when I have an opinion to make, when i have something to share or when i want to record some thoughts for future reference.

So, honestly, does a reader really feel CHEATED when a blogger stopped or slowed down blogging? As a reader, I see it as a shame if my favourite blogger stopped completely but i am not sure about feeling “cheated”… I have a couple of friends who are in digital media business who used to blog about wonderful stuff but had to stop because of overwhelming amount of work, do i feel bad or cheated? Not really…

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Blog Action Day – Stand Up, Take Action

A few topics came to mind as I reflect on this year’s Blog Action Day topic – Poverty. I had wanted to write a post personal experience and I thought of writing something relevant to this blog and my job – looking at how mobile phones could help with poverty in some emerging markets. (And some day, I might just post on that two topics).

But i figured, for now, I should highlight some initiatives/ organisations out there, supporting and fighting to end poverty and the opportunities for each of us to reach out and support/ do our part.

For a start, let’s look at what my own country, Singapore is doing? To support the Stand up 2008, a global initiative by the UN Millenium campaign in collaboration with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Singaporeans are organising a series of activities to “Stand Up, Take Action” together from 17 – 19 October. Check them out!

Thanks to my colleagues (Ray and Gavin) who brought Worldvision to our attention, Jon and I had recently decided to sponsor a child with the help of the organisation. It is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tacking the cause of poverty and injustice. We are extremely excited and very blessed to be in a position where we can afford to give and bless. I will probably share more once we finalise details.

Again, thanks to Jeremy, my colleague who knew of my obsession with books – brought to my attention the Room to Read organisation. They are doing things that are very close to my heart. The organisation partners with local communities throughout developing world to provide quality educational opportunities for children in the countries, striving to break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.

And there are many other initiatives, organisations and resources out there. Mashable.com has put together a good list.

Annual Blog Action Day – Proverty

It’s that time of the year again – the Blog Action Day this year is looking to discuss the topic of proverty. For folks new to the Blog Action Day, it is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion. On 15 October this month, all registered bloggers will post a post, video, podcast etc on the topic of “proverty”. Find out more by clicking on the banner on the right hand column of this blog or click here.

Last year, I posted on saving the environment

Using the power of the blogging community globally, discussing one single topic and raise different issues and perspectives on that topic – that is powerful! As of today, there are already 7643 bloggers registered, pledging to write a post on 15 October.

For those who are keen to join in, register your blog here and put up the cool banners on your blog to help spread the word.

Resume 2.0 – Who are you online?

Ok. Yes. I have been neglecting my blog. Being BUSY is totally understated lately.

Brendan’s recent post shows this blog declining in activities, (currently at spot 39, declining at -20… ) but an increase in “sociability” This just means, I still “socialised” online somewhere, just that I did not update my blog!

Two weeks ago, I was also reminded by a call from an event organiser about my neglected blog. The organiser was trying to invite someone from my company to speak at an event and he went to my colleague and then for some reason, did some search on me and found my blog. In our first conversation over the phone, he said, “ah! i did my research and read from your blog that you are a very busy girl….”

And I went … “erm….”

Although this blog is totally public and nothing scandalous to hide, it suddenly felt strange that people are searching for you online before doing business with you. It reminds me of the fact that people DO search and read up on you nowadays online. Employers do. Recruiters definitely do. Employees do too (I searched for my currently bosses before I met them for interviews), together with many known or unknown people who are online.

I was reading Daryl’s blog post on “Your Online Identity (Or Is It Okay To Have Party Pictures On Facebook) and Brian Solis’ posts on The socialization of your personal brand Part 1,2 and 3.

Brian wrote:

… Truth be told, any search engine, whether social or traditional, is the resume – it’s the Wikipedia entry for the rest of us. It’s no longer what we decide to curate onto a piece of paper or onto one traditional one-page digital resume. It really is moot in a world when anyone can practically piece together your story without the help of a document designed to shape and steer our perception.

In Daryl’s post, he highlighted that in a class of 459 people, 75% of them said yes to using Facebook to screen prospective employees if they were an employer.

That leads me to think, perhaps in the near future, there is no longer a need to submit formal and properly crafted resumes but to send over links of your social networks for employers’ reference. Better still, assume that the recruiters and employers have “done their homework” to have searched for you online and by the time they called you, they have a fairly good idea of you are

————

Other very interesting read:

Your Brand vs. the Brands You Represent by Brian Soli

Are we really influencing our audiences?

My stack of new books from Amazon.com had arrived! I am now flipping through Seth Godin’s Meatball Sundae and Brian Solis & Geoff Livingston’s Now is Gone.

Meatball Sundae

Both have some really interesting points about new media and new media marketing. Since I have not finished reading them, I shall reserve any comments for now. Both are definitely worth reading!Recently, I’ve observed that some PR folks have decided to completely ignore / not get involved with the new media, leaving them in the hands of the community managers. I am not saying that’s right or wrong, I am just considering what it means for us, as PR professionals, to only care about getting what our clients or companies want us to say to our “target media”. Do we, at some point consider what our CONSUMERS are thinking, saying, commenting, wanting, needing from our company?

A recent chat with a PR friend made me ponder more as she pointed out that, “UH! It’s so hard to CONTROL bloggers, sometimes, they get their facts all wrong and refused to hear us out..”

Another girlfriend commented, “Why pre-brief bloggers? Why even bother talking to XX business magazine? I just want to get this story out in 3 key dailies and i get my REACH! It’s just too much effort and trouble to talk to XX business magazine and YY trade media because their reach is so much lesser…” 

There are some truths in each comment but something tells me, we are moving backward rather than forward. I realised what happened to many PR people. We are extremely busy folks, sometimes we get so bogged down by work, we become very reactive and we just keep on doing doing doing the same things, hoping for different results. We forget about exploration, learning new tools, new communications strategies as we move on into a new technological era.

At times, we are so narrow-minded. We are given a set of “key communications statements” from our clients or our corporate communciations department and we follow them so strictly, we forgot that our consumers and the media are not stupid to believe a  set of statements that doesn’t make any sense to anyone else but us.

I realised I am trying to make several points here. I guess, what I am trying to think through is, as much as I believe and blogged quite extensively about how PR folks should always go back to basic and get our messaging/ foundation right before we move on to new media. On the other hand, there is frustration with PR people who are too afraid to move on and get too engrossed in trying to make sure that they have coverage in the 1 or 2 newspapers (that might have readership of 200,000) but is that enough?

Some XX company might have a full page coverage in The Sunday Times (Singapore’s most-read broadsheet) last week but I was on the plane, my boyfriend was sick and slept through the day and my brothers were out and not touched the papers. So, even though we might be the target audience of that XX company, we missed it.

So, explain to me… how is the excuse of targeting only 3 key media every time we have news announcements (because they have the most reach) ensure that most, if not all our target audience (consumers) read about our announcements? How is that making an influence? How is that moving the needle, making an impact for the business you are in?

My good friend and a fantastic blogger, Melvin Yuan recently stated in his blog post…

In the same way, PR professionals could never master the craft of Influence because our tools for the task were ineffective (think press releases, articles and events) and our measurement was flawed (think size of news coverage and the ad-dollar equivalent). Both never did translate to direct impact and measurable results that businesses really need.

But today we have the right tools (think blogs, micro-sites, e-mails, search engines etc.), the right knowledge (in search, digital storytelling and social media), and better ways to measure business (not communication) results (think click-throughs, readership and online decisions).

We have what it takes to communicate directly, track and measure results effectively, making Influence as much a science as it is an art.

1,2,3,4,5.. I can count the times I’ve been there

library@orchard (pt 1)

I have not been writing much lately (the last post was written 31st October) although I’ve been replying people who dropped their comments. I’ve been trying to finish up various events in my current company, take a break and start my new job! Thank you all my dear friends and blog readers who sent me emails, IMs, messages on Facebook to check on me. Well, the blog is still here and I am still writing!

In the midst of all the madness at work, I signed up as Citizen Reporter with the National Library Board to write ANYTHING about the library@Orchard that is scheduled to close down end of this month. Ivan Chew , the rambling librarian alerted me to the library’s initiative to encourage bloggers as well as library- goers to contribute our thoughts and document any pictures/ videos as we move into the final weeks of the library.

I love books, I am addicted to buying books (my mum called me the book shopaholic). I love reading and I am about to request for a new room to store just my books in the new house. However, while many of the citizen reporters wrote about how they love the library@orchard and how they would miss it, I have to admit that, given my mad working schedule, I seldom have the luxury of time to browse and spend time at the library.

I used to spend most of my weekends (and even birthdays) at the libraries. Favourite libraries were the ones at Bedok, Marine Parade, Geylang East and the old National Library. The stylishly designed library@orchard is positioned as the first niche public library in Singapore with a lifestyle concept and focused on providing collections and services targeted at young adults between age 18-35.

I am dutifully visiting the library@Orchard this weekend to capture any interesting things I can find there! Jonathan is going with me and I know he’s going to be stuck at the graphic novel/ comics section while I attempt to bug the librarians and whoever I can speak with to find out more.

Watch this space in the next 2 weeks for more updates about the library@Orchard!

Meantime, while waiting for my next post, check out what other bloggers wrote about the library:-

On a side note, I think it’s a nice (Library 2.0) initiative to invite various local bloggers and book lovers to document the last moments of the library@orchard.