Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Proposed Singapore Blogger's Conference: Observations and lessons learnt

Almost eight hours ago, I met face to face -- for the first time -- with two of the organisers of the upcoming "Singapore Bloggers' Conference" -- Preetam and CalmOne. We discussed how the library could support the event, and deliberated on issues like publicity and logistics. In the end, it was pretty clear to me their proposal was doable, and there's no reason why the library should say no.

I' m learning more and more about the power of the conversations that's generated by blogs.
  • Shel's post sparked off a discussion -- it's like he stirred up a hornet's nest or woke some dozing lions. Some SG Bloggers took issue with Shel's comment that blogging was non-existent in Singapore a while back.
  • Then Mr Brown deduced that the reason why SG Bloggers appeared to be non-existent was because we were not Technoratifed. Mr B. offered a quick lesson on how to get listed and with a call for other SG Bloggers to sign up in Technorati.
  • The next day, Preetam followed up with a (excuse my language) damn solid tutorial complete with screenshots (which Mr B. updated his previous blog post to link to Preetam.
Wah lau eh, if this is not an example of "expanding the learning capacity of the nation", then I don't know what is, man!

Another important point learnt was this -- If you want to keep something secret, don't email it. Don't even say it. Certainly don't blog about it!I was pretty excited about the proposal when Preetam contacted me. I mentioned the idea of a SG BlogCon to Shel during an email chat. He got excited and posted in his blog.

Frankly, my first reaction was one of mild shock. Like, "Oops, have I prempted the organisers? Stolen the thunder?" They chose not to make their plans public yet but there it was in Shel's blog, with my name. Might create some misunderstanding here, I thought.

But today, the two very nice SG Bloggers assured me that it was OK. I believe them :) The activity and posts is indicative of the potential turnout to the conference. Bloggers outside out Singapore are also taking notice. Like Mark Beinstein, who's speaking at BlogTalk Downunder (19 - 21 May 2005). He learnt about the SG BlogCon from Shel's post. Mark says not to hesitate to let him know how he can help. I emailed Preetam and CalmOne to suggest maybe an Instant Messenging session with Mark and other overseas bloggers.

BTW, I have to clarify something: Shel's post might have given the incorrect impression that NLB or myself (in my personal capacity) organised the conference. I wish I did, but I didn't. This is entirely a community-initiated effort. I would like to think that I have a wee-itsy-bitsy part to contribute.

I'm wearing two hats here, so to speak:
  • As an NLB employee, I welcome the proposal as it fits very well with NLB's mission and vision.
  • In my personal capacity as a blogging librarian, i.e. a liblogarian, I'm excited about the BlogCon because I see it as a way to demonstrate to my librarian colleagues what blogging is and isn't. I'm confident they'll come to realise how easy -- and important -- it is to become part of the blogging community.
There are a few more SG Bloggers in the organising committee. I'll let Preetam and CalmOne tell you who they are in due time. Details should be out soon.


  1. Wow, so it's officially out? I am surprised because I was told to can it. Hmm...

  2. It's official only if the organisers say so. I'm just reporting on the discussion I had with them. But from what I know, it's going to happen.

  3. It's very easy to set up a blog community.

    In my case, what was needed was Microsoft Windows server (2000, or 2003 will do), and Microsoft SQL 2000.

    If NLB is interested in a set up, consider contacting me.


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