Saturday, March 17, 2007

Meetup with Kevin & Siva

I never know what I'll learn when I meet with Kevin and Siva. We met at 7 pm and chatted till 1.20 am. What could we have talked about non-stop for 6 hours? Obviously too many things to be written here.

We talked about so many things -- well, most times Kevin and I let the affable Siva (the oldster in the group) do most of the talking. I'm not complaining. Siva is a master storyteller. I've always felt he's a storyteller first, then teacher/ researcher/ conservation activist/ volunteer manager/ mac geek (in that order).

When I met them at the Events Plaza, they had already started a discussion while standing up, seemingly oblivious to a mass workout event (maybe not Kevin, 'cos he took the picture on the left).

Once we sat down, I don't think the conversation paused for more than 15 seconds. Siva regaled us with his stories like:
  • His recent experience as a volunteer crew on board the reconstructed 18th century sailing ship, the Götheborg (Siva started this blog to chronicle his 3-week voyage, and still updates the site from time to time);
  • Work with the International Coastal clean-up;
  • War-stories about managing and working with volunteers;
  • Organising Mac meetups (that guy analyses responses from list members via an Excel sheet to determine the best place for the meetup!);
  • Tips and observations on lecturing, teaching and training, like this one on Web 2.0. that Lekowala did for teachers. See also this Google document (via LeafMonkey);
  • Siva tells his NUS zoological science students they don't necessarily have to blog; just leave comments. And that if "if you don't comment, then you're a parasite". I guess the parasite reference meant a lot more to zoological science students than us lay people;
  • About how he advises younger Singaporeans that "instead of trying to change the world, we should try to change our own neighbourhood first" (see Kevin's reference, para 3, on the "Hump that Siva calls his own")
We got round to discussing about my second talk on blogging at CSC. Siva asked if it was the content or my delivery. While I don't rule out that my delivery being off, he'd suggested that I'd allowed some participants (those who didn't appear receptive) to affect me. I might have been overly sensitive, he says. Sometimes we have to tune out those with the wrong attitudes. If I let the minority affect my delivery, it's a disservice to the majority who are there to learn.

Memorable quip (about why volunteer organisations have to continue publicising their events) -- "If a company like Coca Cola, whose product is well-known, has to continue advertising at soccer matches, then you jolly well have to continue promoting your cause."

Kevin got all excited when Siva asked for suggestions on video compression. I learnt that Kevin is a walking reference library when it came to on video compression, codecs, the subtleties, pros and cons of various video sharing services.

Oh yeah, Kevin convinced Siva and I to try out Twitter. Here's mine (

Read what are Siva's and Kevin's thoughts on the meetup. Heh, for someone who had so much to share, Siva wrote far too little in his own blog!

[Update, 18 Mar 07: Here's a longer post from Siva on the meetup. He must have looked at the posts from Kevin and I, and felt his was grossly inadequate, LOL!]


  1. wah got my name :P
    surprised that both u and kevin blogged already but siva, the advocate of blogging all things speedily, has not :P
    i've added you and siva on twitter! must thank kevin for finally persuading siva to get twitter lol

  2. Hi LeafMonkey, I learnt about your blog when Siva or Kevin was trying to retrieve the Web 2.0. google document. We found the link from your blog. Siva was the first to blog about the event. It was really, really brief!

  3. ahhh you mean the really really brief one on 16 march at 2am? lol
    ok ok my bad
    apologies! haha
    maybe siva's still trying to go for the brief blogging style ala "Eighty" (previously known as DiGiRman) :P


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