Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy birthday, library@orchard

The library@orchard will turn eight this month. You might want to leave them a happy birthday greeting.

In a recent talk I gave, about one-third said they didn't know library@orchard had a blog. And they thought the library was already closed.

I'm not surprised relatively few Singaporeans are aware of the library@orchard blog (and all the NLB library blogs, for that matter). But that's the nature of blogs, if you ask me. Generally speaking blogs are good for attracting a specific niche of audience. Not everyone who go online are interested in say, what's happening to library@orchard.

But for those are want to stayed informed after the library closes and moves to a new site, the blog is a useful information source. It's an official source, but not official-sounding.

OK, what's the Return-On-Investment (ROI)? (as some would inevitably ask).

Let's say the library@orchard blog gets around 50 unique visitors a day (just my guess and not an official statistic). That number may not be fantastic but that's 50 more people the library wouldn't be able to reach once the library is closed (the NLB website is too cluttered and not easy to post frequently).

Even if that number is halved for the next two years (during the relocation), we're talking about 18,250 unique visitors in total (25 visitors x 365 days x 2 years). That's a good number, relative to the costs of maintaining the blog.

Costs like staffing and hardware are Sunk Costs. There are no specific costs just for that one blog (at least to my knowledge). So there ought not to be any additional expenses to maintain the blog once it's up.

In fact, there's also the continued library@orchard branding, the "online presence" and the goodwill being sustained with the blog. If we factor that all in, the costs are even lower.

One more thing -- my colleagues and I have this idea of inviting "citizen-reporters" to cover news leading up to the day of closure. Details are still being worked out but I can share that those who volunteer will get an inside-look and access to areas normally out of bounds to the public.

We're not looking for "Top-bloggers" (they are always welcome, but not our aim). We're not that particular if you "can't write well".

We're more interested in those who are passionate about promoting reading and learning to Singaporeans.

If you're residing in Singapore and you're interested (or know of someone who might be), please email me - or


  1. Hi "O", in your excitement, you forgot to leave a contact for me to get in touch with you. Heh.

  2. Hi Ivan,

    u dropped by my site n commented on my ketupat entry.

    I replied on my site, but just in case u didnt check back, i said:

    "Hi Ivan.

    Thanks for dropping by. Yeah its a lot of work. $0.50 or even $0.80 a piece dont justify it.

    In fact, the larger the order, the more tedious the process will be and definitely NO BULK discount can be given!

    yup 1000... those were the days... not anymore

    True technology helps but its modified! Have u seen those instant ketupat or lontong? they put the rice in plastic for us to boil. HOw "Plastic" can that be?


    U have soooooo many blogs! How do u keep up man.

  3. Hi Jussaemon, I don't maintain them all the time. Some blogs are dormant. They are just there when I need them. :) Oh, I submitted your post to Yesterday.SG as well.


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