Thursday, January 22, 2009

Singapore Blogging Identity: Uniting the Singapore Blogging diaspora

Just two days ago, I blogged about the newly formed Association of Bloggers (Singapore), led by Ms Jayne Goh, the author of the East Coast Life blog.

Today, I ran a check on the internet to uncover the ground sentiments of fellow bloggers in the cyberspace. As what I have anticipated, the idea of an association of bloggers drew a flurry of criticism from the blogging community.

Some bloggers questioned the purpose of the association, others queried the high membership fees, and a high number was completely skeptical of the success of the association.

I concurred with what Ms Jayne Goh has commented about the local blogging scene: it is far too disorganized!

At this juncture, I would like to share with readers my blogging experience:

As a blogger who commenced blogging just two years ago, I could still remember my first foray into the blogging world. Like many others, I set up a very simple blogspot account and started to do some simple writing of my life daily. As I continued to blog on a regular basis, I was hooked to blogging. Looking at the myriad of blogs residing in the blogosphere, I began to compare the blogs of the other netizens with mine. I was impressed with some of these blogs, particularly their designs and I started to work on improving the design of my blog.

Being a person who knows absolutely nothing on HTML and other internet craft, I started out learning about the designing of my website in a very hard way. There was no one to help me and it took me some months to painstakingly learn about designing my blog website. Blogging is just not plain writing on an internet portal; blogging is an experience which fuses writing, perception, art, interactivity, diligence and more; in essence, blogging is a mix of science and art. The internet provides a wealth of resources for newbie bloggers like me and I slowly ‘googled’ my way to a better blog design.

You may have tell Singapore Short Stories that Blogspot has now come with a XML interface which is idiot-proof and is easy to use. Well, when I first started out on Blogspot, Blogspot is still using the classic HTML template then and due to some technical glitches, I could not convert my HTML blog to the easier XML format which comes with a gamut of interesting features too. Trust me, even if you give a newbie a XML blog, it will still take the newbie some time for him to be proficient with the use of the features, especially if he is not conversant in technology at the outset.

Based on the above experience, I was quite heartened to read that one of the many proposed activities of the Association of Bloggers Singapore is to teach bloggers to blog better, though in my personal opinion, the association should target non-bloggers too and include in their blog-enhancement workshops, blogging courses for non-bloggers. Having blogging workshop to improve the writing skills of bloggers is essentially good, however some bloggers felt it insulting to join the workshop as it would be tantamount to admitting that their blogging skills are not good. They also have an issue with having to learn to write better from fellow bloggers. Thus may I propose to the association of bloggers Singapore to open blogging courses for newbie bloggers? These courses could range from the basic to the advanced depending on the participant’s needs and expectations. Having braved the journey before, I must admit having someone to guide a newbie blogger along is so desirable as it will cut away unnecessary time needed to learn the ropes of blogging. Time is too precious to be wasted.

On the other side of the coin, having a blogging mentor does take away the fun of exploring blogging by yourself, it reduces the excitement and thrill of self-discovery, an important element of any learning process. However ultimately, I believe Association of Bloggers (Singapore) could still offer this choice to non-bloggers.

Bloggers are like sand particles, each with diverse and different blogging motivation, expectations, culture, personality … as could be seen in each blog. To form an association of such a diverse group of bloggers is a tough call, and I must salute the Association of Bloggers (Singapore) for taking up the gauntlet.

Unity is strength. Singapore blogs are far too disorganized. There exist countless of lists ranking the popularity of Singapore blogs and not to mention, the myriad of ‘fighting’ among blogs to determine which is better. I believe we need to have a more systemic approach to Singapore blogs. Singapore blogosphere is just so messy. I believe we should develop a distinct identity of Singapore blogs so that one day if we were to ask our friends or a foreigner the question, “What does Singapore blogs mean to you?”, there will be a good reply.

Do not get me wrong when I call for a distinct identity for Singapore blogs! It is not my intent to homogenize the Singapore blogs so that each will have similar theme. What I am trying to say is there could be many Singapore blogs, each of different theme and content but ultimately when you sum all of them up, you get an unique identity of Singapore blogs that you could not get from other country blogs… there is a local flavour!

Right now, Singapore blogs, in my perception, stand for everything under the sun. I have high expectations of the Association of Bloggers (Singapore) to help engender a distinctly unique identity of Singapore blogs.

If you read this blog of mine regularly: Singapore Short Stories, you will discover that I write a gamut of topics everyday, but there is an overarching theme of my blog: Singapore Life, the characteristic flavour and identity of my blog. I hope to see this distinct unique identity of the Singapore blogs fostered under the leadership of the Association of Bloggers (Singapore).

I wish the Association of Bloggers (Singapore) success! These are our Singapore bloggers who dare to stand out and make a difference to the local blogging scene.

Kudos to them!

1 comment :

eastcoastlife said...

Thank you so much.
*tears of consolation*

Give us some time. I hope bloggers will stop harassing my committee members. Take it out on me. My committee members have families and a real life to lead. They do not deserve this.

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