Did you know that Malaysia has about 500,000 active bloggers, ranking the country among the highest in the world after Indonesia and the European Union? Today is exactly a year, 'WILYEO OR WILYEO NOT' is into its' blogging being. My inaugural blog, 'Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka?', (meaning Independence for my international readers - it is Malaysia's Independence Day today) was somehow nostalgic. In that post, I mull over my younger schooling years, of landing a crush on a Malay girlfriend in school. A Petronas, 'Tan Hong Ming' commercial, if you may.
People blog for various reasons. I blog for my love for linguistics. I blog to express my opinions, have them contested and allow it to be responded in an orderly manner. There are no limits to what I can and can’t blog about. No matter what, I will always love what I am writing about because I get to decide. However, I do not blog about delicate issues which may spark debates and disputes.
If you would observe on the right of this page, I have a bloglist of people whom I follow. I have always had respects for people who can write. The pen is mightier than the sword, if you may. I have a special admiration for KENNY SIA http://www.kennysia.com/ Kenny hails from Kuching, Sarawak in East Malaysia. He is very health conscious and runs marathons. He does not look it as he appears plump in most of his pictures. He spent close to 8 years of his youth growing up in Perth, Australia. Apart from the similarities that I possess with Kenny (being health conscious and being in Perth), I am nowhere near his blogging fame. (todate, he has close to 18 million visitors to his blog) His blogging style is humorous and original.
Another blogger who is impulsive, takes risks, unpredictable and a daredevil is Poh Huai Bin http://www.sixthseal.com/ Huai Bin is probably the first blogger in the world who publicly admits to taking drugs. He has photos and videos to attest to this in his blog doing them. He marvels at why he was never caught, especially when all his personal particulars were open to all and sunder to view on his blog. He was a safe drug user and he always encouraged existing users to practice safer drug use. He has been in and out of rehab and he has been clean for the past two years. By blogging, he is making a difference by bringing harm reduction and knowledge to the masses for dubious knowledge of the substances.
Last week I was invited to the press conference of 'Project Alpha', Malaysia's first online TV show about bloggers. It is a fast paced, fast cut, lifestyle driven online TV show featuring the real faces and lives of Malaysia's top bloggers. This show will take a sneak peek into their lives, who they are, where they live, how they tick and how they derive inspiration to capture the attention of so many online readers to their blogs on a daily basis. Every blogger is unique and they are opinion leaders on celebrity news, fashion trends, travel, entertainment and etc. Every episode will be 3 minutes in length and will air daily for seven weeks on http://www.hitz.fm/ (Hitz Radio Station's website), http://www.nuffnang.com.my/ (Asia Pacific's First Blog Advertising Community) and also YouTube. This will commence September 18, 2009. This project taps into the massive potential of the online market, at a time when the world has become increasingly familiar with YouTube videos and social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
At the press conference, a question was posed and I addressed the issue on how quickly brands are evolving in the present. I further reiterated that it is not enough to just rely on above-the-line advertising these days. I was asked if it was risky to have bloggers write about a brand when we are not in control of their writings. The answer is this. Every business decision is a risky decision. In this era of blogosphere, can a brand not afford to flow with the bandwagon? With the emergence of digital communications, blogging denotes not just a fun activity for some but also a significant potential marketing solution. Apart from revealing the lifestyles and real faces behind these top bloggers, the purpose of this show is also to inspire up and coming bloggers and encourage them to start their own blog.
If you observed the top and bottom right of this blog, you would realise that I subscribed to Nuffnang and GoogleAds. I recognized that blogging has some income opportunities. Chances are I won’t make millions, or even thousands of dollars blogging. In all likelihood, with real resolve and desire I will make some money to pay for some of my bowling games.
By the way, it was really nice meeting Jojo Struys http://www.jojostruys.com/ , the Producer for Project Alpha and Timothy Tiah http://www.timothytiah.blogspot.com/ , the Co-founder of Nuffnang.
Happy Blogging :)
P/S: It is 1.20am now as I am posting this blog. I started blogging at 9.1opm. For no apparent reason, my entire posting was erased and wiped out as I was loading the pictures. Just imagine the anger and frustration. Such is a life of a blogger, sometimes.