Tag Archives: alvin lim

Blogging for Leisure vs Blogging for Profit – Insights from Singapore Bloggers

We have all read horror stories of diva bloggers misbehaving, demanding fees from restaurants for positive paid reviews, bringing along many friends to eat for free at food tasting, among many other complaints. Likewise, there are positive stories of bloggers who spend considerable efforts maintaining and crafting quality entries on their blogs out of interest rather than for commercial gains.

With the advent of social media and digital media, more and more brands are looking to working with and engaging bloggers for their campaigns and publicity.

Where do bloggers strike the balance? How should brands leverage on this trend? Why not hear it from the bloggers themselves?

Me moderating a panel of bloggers
Me moderating a panel of bloggers at SPH News Centre (picture via omy.sg) 

As a prelude to the launch of the 6th Singapore Blog Awards this year in April, the team at omy.sg organised a causal sharing and networking session with a panel of prominent bloggers in Singapore. I was the moderator for the panel discussion.

Joining me in the discussion were bloggers, Daniel Ang, Peter Breitkreutz, Grace Tan and Christine Ng. 

Check out the full video recording below if you missed the event:

Personally, I think the panelist did a great job and were candid with their replies. If there were more time, we could have gone deeper into the topic and stir up more controversy.

The conclusion I draw is regardless of your motive for blogging, a common arduous task is how to grow your readers base or get yourself noticed by organisations and people that matters.

One shortcut is of course to join a blog awards (shamelessly plugging for the Singapore Blog Awards).

To find out more about the 6th Singapore Blog Awards this year, bookmark this link to the official website. Coming soon in a few days time. 🙂 

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Alvinology @ All In! Young Writers Media Festival 2012

(L to R): Yee Jenn Jong, me and Nicole Seah
(L to R): Yee Jenn Jong, me and Nicole Seah

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was invited to speak at the All In! Young Writers Media Festival 2012, organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and supported by the National Arts Council (NAC).

I spoke on the topic of “Using New Media to Reach & Engage the Community”, together with two politicians, Nicole Seah from the National Solidarity Party and Yee Jenn Jong from the Workers’ Party. The session was moderated byEric Alagan, a business consultant and book author.

Me speaking
Me speaking
Taking a question from the floor
Taking a question from the floor

Below are some of the topics raised by Eric and my answers in blue:

1. Social media is a very wide and fast evolving arena – we have Facebook, Blogs and Twitter just to name a few. Which is your preferred platform and why?

Blog. This is because it serves as a container for all my content which I use to share onto Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social media platforms. With a central nodal point, this is effective for my personal branding and leaves my content platform agnostic with a archival system. 

2. You mention blog is your preferred platform, can you take us through when and how you started. Your expectations when you first started, Summarise your experience to date – met/exceeded/fell short of expectations

I started blogging on Alvinology.com after leaving my job at Youth.SG as portal manager. I was hired to grow the traffic for the site, which I tripled in less than a year. I started this blog as a social experiment to see if I can grow it’s traffic with just one person fueling the content. Alvinology.com currently enjoys over 10,000 readers a day, a remarkable feat, even triumphing the traffic of Youth.SG, maintained by a team of writers. 

One of the first post on this blog is on a porn comic book, “How To Make Money Like A Porn Star” by Neil Strauss and Bernard Chang, being openly sold in the children’s section of the book fair with no shrink wrap.  When I got hold of this story, I shared it with the mainstream media, while at the same time, releasing it on my blog, with it being the first and only source of pictures and information on the Internet. This will become a characteristic trait of Alvinology.com, always being among the first to report on interesting Singapore news that viral very well on the Internet (hence the tagline “Yes, You Saw It Here First). 

3. After the initial peak, how do you sustain and grow readership/following – what are the challenges and how do you manage these –any tips for our audience

The easiest way to grow blog traffic is to pick quarrels with other bloggers, organisations or simply anyone under the sun so as to fan reactions from multiple parties. Whether they are your supporters or haters, by visiting your site, they are still contributing to your overall blog hits. Xiaxue did it many times, so do many other famous female bloggers in Singapore.

This approach is not suitable for a non-confrontation, peace-loving person like me.

I grow my traffic via consistency in updates and making my content Internet-friendly. I try my very best to update my blog at least once a day. Recently, I have cut down to five days a week after my baby son came along. I usually write many of the blog posts over the weekend and schedule them for release through the week. I keep my sentences short, breaking my writing into many paragraphs for easier reading. Language is kept simple and I make it a point to use at least one photo or video for each entry to break the monotone of a text only entry. 

4. Social etiquette in the anonymous world that is blogosphere – share with us some really nice and nasty experiences and how you handle these. Could you suggest some norms in blogosphere interactions – with regards to language/respect/decorum

Four words – Don’t feed the trolls. Often time, the most critical and nastiest comments come from troll accounts whose aim is to incite a certain response from you. Do not give them the response they want and these trolls will feel helpless.

Eg. When someone calls me stupid, I will just reply with a polite “Yes I am stupid, thank you”, instead of getting angry. 

However, for comments that are written by genuine individuals who are truly upset, I sometime respond to them via email. Some of these people became my friends after that. 

All In! Young Writers Media Festival 2012 – Using New Media to Reach & Engage the Community

I have been invited to speak at the All In! Young Writers Media Festival 2012, organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and supported by the National Arts Council (NAC).

Yours truly will be speaking at this event
Yours truly will be speaking at this event

The festival will run for two days over this weekend:

Date: 18 & 19 February 2012
Time: 9.15am – 6.00pm
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel (Ballrooms 1, 2 & 3)
Registration fee: $20 for a one day pass or $30 for a two day pass
*Registration fee includes lunch and tea breaks

Who should attend: Aspiring young writers, professionals, librarians, teachers, students from upper secondary, junior college, polytechnic, university, private institution and those who want to pursue a career in writing and publishing.

My session is on 18 Feb (Sat), 11.30am – 12.30pm, Ballroom 1.

I will be speaking on the topic of “Using New Media to Reach & Engage the Community”, together with two politicians, Nicole Seah from the National Solidarity Party and Yee Jenn Jong from the Workers’ Party. The session will be moderated by Eric Alagan, a business consultant and book author.

All in! Young Writers Media Festival 2012
All in! Young Writers Media Festival 2012

Do swing by if  you are free this weekend and is interested to find out more about book publishing in Singapore. The full event details and programs are available here in PDF. 🙂

Alvinology goes Dot Com… Finally

Alvinology goes Dot Com! :)
Alvinology goes Dot Com! 🙂

Your friendly blogger, Alvinology has finally decided to go dot com, after over three years of blogging under the wordpress domain name. 🙂

Next time, you can just point your friend to http://alvinology.com instead of https://alvinology.wordpress.com to look me up.

On a side note, I am damn pissed with either the taxi driver or passenger who picked up my key pouch last Monday (20 Sep).

I dropped it in a SMRT cab going from Potong Pasir at around 10.55am and alighting at Bradell Road at 11.00am sharp.

I knew I dropped my key pouch almost immediately after getting off the cab and going into a lift in my office. If not for a dumbo who made the lift go to the top floor instead of going down immediately for me too chase after the cab, I might have gotten my key pouch back. The dumbo was still eating a banana when the lift door opened and asked me if the lift was going up or down when he was already on the top floor!

Anyway, together with my key pouch, I lost my EZlink card, NRIC, staff pass, Shenton Medical staff card and my house keys.

I was hoping the person who picked it up will return these asap to either SMRT or the police whom I had contacted. It has been a week since, and I still hear no news.

In the meantime, I wasted $60 to replace my house locks, may have to waste another $50 or so to replace my staff pass and Shenton Medical staff card… and another $100 to replace my NRIC.

These items are worthless to the person who picked them up. I cannot understand why the person cannot be helpful enough to hand them over somewhere. If I was the one, I would have done so (and I have done it before).

Tough luck.

It was some selfish bum who picked up my key pouch.

Then again, I should just blame myself for being careless. Next time I take a cab, I will always ask for a receipt, knowing how unreliable the lost and found services are now.

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3.412 minutes with ALVINOLOGY

Accepted an email interview with Aaron Koh from Social PR. You can read the full interview on his blog or as below. 🙂

My interview on Social PR
My interview on Social PR

Who are you? Ie what is your blog name and your real name. Why did you come up with the blog title?

Alvin is a 100% geek who spends a lot of time surfing the web.

Alvinology is a light-hearted blog and the content is totally random, ranging from things Alvin experiences to web gossip – basically anything that catches his attention.

What are you? In ten (or so) words, you would describe your blog as: …

Random, hyper-local, geeky.

Why do we need you? Why is your blog different? What makes it stand out from the crowd? Why is it special?

I update on a daily basis, which is rare. I also try to include as much hyperlinks, videos, photos and graphics elements in my entries as best-suited to make full use of the web platform.

Editorial Deadline? Ie when should PRs NOT call?

I don’t see an issue here… welcome to contact me anytime.

Features list? Do you have one, and if so, where can we get it, and can PRs still pitch to you ideas that aren’t on the list?

I am not blogging for monetary gains or freebies from PR agencies, but more out of interest and cos it’s related to my job in online marketing. Hence I am open to ideas and pitches, and will reply if they interest me.

Perfect story? First, what kind of stories does your blog run? Second, what kind of PR-generated or PR-related stories have a chance of getting a run in your blog?

It’s quite random… basically whatever catches my attention. For PR stories, the product or service has to interest me first. I have a leaning to tech, travel and food stuff.

Contact? What’s the best way for PR to contact you, email or phone best?

Email is the best. or other social media channel like facebook and twitter. I am online most of the time.

What kind of stories make a great blog post?

Good photo ops, graphics, videos, other multi-media element. Else might as well read a newspaper.

If your blog was an animal, it would be a …?

???? Monkey??? That’s my Chinese Zodiac.

Do you do lunch/dinner/junkets? Why or why not?

Depends. I am not prone to attend event because there’s free food and drink. Primarily, it’s the focus of the event that matters most.

Complete this sentence: You wish that PR would…

Sponsor some of my travel man. I love to travel, but it’s hard on the wallet. Kidding… will be great if PR contact me more. 🙂

What stories will your blog be watching closely this year?

Let’s see how things go, day-by-day. That’s the spirit of my blog anyway.

If you were a great novel, you would be…

Freakonomics. I prefer non-fiction books.

You can find out more about Alvinology at https://alvinology.wordpress.com/about/

About 3.412 minutes with [insert blogger’s name]

3.412 minutes with [insert blogger’s name] is to help the communications industry with a greater understanding of the prominent bloggers they look to engage for their campaigns.

This feature also allows bloggers to share more about their blog and themselves to the communications space.

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Project R in the media

Project R was reported in the two evening Chinese newspaper, Shin Min Daily and Lianhe Wanbao yesterday (27 Oct). You can read the article HERE via omy.sg. There’s also a vodcast covering the proposal process and photo gallery in the omy.sg article. 🙂

Shin Min news report on 27 Oct 2009
Shin Min news report on 27 Oct 2009
Wanbao cover page - 27 Oct 2009
Wanbao cover page - 27 Oct 2009
Wanbao inside article

Rachel and I also went on air at Radio 100.3 last evening at 7pm with radio deejays, Anna and Ken. Here’s the interview if you missed it (I edited away the songs and commercials):

Rachel and I have both been receiving well-wishes aplenty since yesterday and we are both thankful and appreciative that so many people care for us.

I know this proposal is not perfect and some have voiced concern that it’s a tad gimmicky and I seem to be using “gatecrashing” tactics on Rachel. To clarify, I spent three months planning the execution of the proposal so that everything would go smoothly. Would a person playing hard to get put in so much effort?

I wanted Rachel to have an enjoyable time solving the clues instead of feeling like she is being “sabo-ed”. For instance – I knew Rachel had classes that day, and had planned the clues such that she can solve them quickly during the lunch break and continue after her lesson ends at 5pm. Transport arrangements were also made for her so she did not have to run around tired and sweaty. The collaborators who helped me also knew about this and were helping to manage the timing.

Both Rachel and I are not fans of cheesy gate-crashing and ragging where the groom is made to do silly, meaningless things like putting underwear on his head or drinking questionable fluids, in the name of fun. That’s why I paired a resolution and a gift with each clue. The last thing I want is to humiliate and shame the love of my life on the day of proposal day.

Having said that, as both Rachel and I are work for a media company, we understand the workings of the mass media and communication. Hence, we are taking both positive and negative comments (and headlines) in our stride. Our mood hasn’t been affected at all and we are just glad to have each other. The only reason why I am blogging about this is because some of our good friends expressed concern. 🙂

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Project R: A success!

Thank you everyone! 🙂

A quick update. Rachel said yes to the Project R proposal yesterday night at Relish restaurant. 🙂

Rachel and I would like to thank everyone who made this union possible. I would particularly like to thank Mark, Meiyen, Wei Chian, Rachel’s parents and my parents, Han Joo and the rest of the omy.sg team, Josh from Advertlets.com, Uzyn from Ping.SG, Lai Chow from Youth.SG, all the bloggers and friends who helped viral my proposal message yesterday.

A big THANK YOU!

Here are some screen grabs I managed to capture of the buzz yesterday. I did not manage get screen grabs of the banner run on Youth.SG, Ping.SG and Advertlets.com. If you have them, please email them to me. If I missed your blog entries, can also drop me an email or just post a comment below.

omy.sg home page
omy.sg home page
Banner tiles across omy.sg
Twitter - #alvinandrachel
Me, spreading the proposal on facebook
Me, spreading the proposal on facebook
Facebook well-wishes
Facebook well-wishes
Holly Jean's blog
Boon Ming's blog
Darren Ang's blog
Chim Kang's blog
Daniel Hii's blog
Daniel Hii's blog
Yong Wei's blog
Grace's blog

FYI, the story was picked up by Shin Min Daily and Lianhe Wanbao for tonight’s paper (27 Oct) – can grab a copy of each to read more. Rachel and I will also be accepting a radio interview on Radio 100.3 later in the evening at 6pm. Do tune in. 🙂

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