Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Upcoming blog course: "The "W" & "H" of Blogging - Understanding Blogging"

Is this another sign of "new media awakenings" in Singapore, particularly among the government service? I've been asked to give a talk (two talks, actually) at the Civil Service College, titled "The "W" & "H" of Blogging - Understanding Blogging". Course details here.

The course is jointly organised by the Civil Service College (CSC) and the NLB Academy. I don't gain any monetary benefit from this. The satisfaction comes from sharing what I feel passionate about -- not blogging per se, but how a tool like blogging can be utilised to engage your customers (even if you don't eventually apply it, at least know what it is or what it isn't).

The participants are likely to come from various sectors of the government -- statutory boards, civil service; of various backgrounds -- teachers, management, executives, PR & Comms etc.

Here's a question for anyone who cares to respond (as a comment): If you have one thing (or max. three) to tell the above audience about blogging, what would it be?

You could share from your work/ business/ personal perspectives. I'll collate your responses (subject to vetting) with due credits, and share them as part of my presentation with the audience. It'll be a neat way to demonstrate the use of a blog. Even if there are no comments, that's something to share as well, heh.

OK, shoot.


  1. what a great opportunity ivan! in addition to being a librarian, you seem to also be a teacher.

    here's my three tips:

    1. when you begin to blog, blog for yourself. don't blog to gain a huge, global audience. don't blog to become famous. don't blog to gain hundreds of comments. blog because what you are writing about interests YOU.

    2. not all blog posts are perfect. learn to live with that. try your hardest to write/design your best entries, but that not every post can or should be *perfect*.

    3. blogging is a lot like life - the more you give, the more you get. it's good to blog but it's also good to comment on other blogs.

    good luck ivan and please keep us posted on this session!

  2. Ivan, I don't see why or how blogging for civil servants should be any different when compared to blogging for the general public. Speaking as a civil servant blogger myself, I think you summed it up quite neatly yourself, i.e. keep your comments tactful.
    This would include not using abusive language, even in acronyms or 'asterisked-out' versions.

    I would like to add 2 more points:

    1. Always be truthful in what you write. Never cook up stories in an attempt to make your post more interesting. Do not repeat unsubstantiated stories which could be rumours.

    2. Avoid discussing sensitive and emotional topics. If you must, keep your comments factual and free of emotional language.

    It may be a myth but many bloggers seem to believe that when they have some not-so-nice things to say about the powers that be, they can camouflage the criticisms by using acronyms or 'codewords' such as MIW (men-in-white) and gahmen (government) in place of the actual terms. Do they really think that the authorities do not understand such terms and cannot do a blog search on them?

  3. They should approach blogging with an open mind. Blogging is such a big thing, nobody can afford to be ignorant about it. When people as old as 92 and as young as 7 are blogging, anyone who is able to should at least give it a try just to understand what is it all about.

  4. Anonymous8:58 pm

    1. Blog smart. If you're not sure, don't blog about it.

    2. Pictures speak a thousand words.

    3. K.I.S.S - keep your posts (relatively) short and simple.

  5. Here are my two cents worth Ivan. Hope that they are useful:

    1) Be interesting and personable in the way you write. Content is king in the blogosphere. He or she who is able to master the art and craft of spellbinding storytelling wins the race.

    2) Be bold and dare to push the envelope (within sensible limits) in your posts. Tackle subjects that people are interested to read about. Nobody likes to read about a typical day in one's life unless there is something unusual, sensational, or thought provoking in it.

    3) Be a part of the community and be generous in linking to others. Top bloggers always remember that they are part of a much bigger global community. The beauty of blogging is its ability to connect others across time, space and cultures. Ultimately, its all about conversations and dialogue between individuals.


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