But first, the party itself. It was supposed to start at 4pm, and I had already planned to leave late, based on past experience with "Singapore time". But even with registration starting at 3:30pm, things didn't kick off till 4:30pm, so I "pity the fools" who arrived at 4pm thinking that they were already late.
Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind, but I was totally bored throughout the pre-dinner events. Brennan and Rinaz were the masters of ceremony, but even they admitted that they were lame. No offence to them, but Brennan seemed fixated on the word "yes" (and its variants) while Rinaz blanked out from the start. Here's a keyword: "rehearsal".
At one point, they decided to talk about some trivia about Ping.sg. Unfortunately, it was clear that none of them had thought to note down any trivia before undertaking this presentation. I saw Rinaz holding a piece of paper, which I thought contained bits of information. Alas, she blanked out again.
Nine awards were presented that evening, announced by core members (for lack of better term) of Ping.sg. But by the second or third award, I was sensing a pattern: only those who were in the Ping.sg clique were winning. It didn't take a psychic to predict who would win Most Insightful, Most Controversial and Most Entertaining Posts awards.
I guess others were noticing this too, because the MCs made it a point to note that all of the nominations and voting were kept as democratic as possible. U-Zyn would later expound on the nomination process, as if to further highlight that everything was kept fair. Well, yes, I don't doubt the democratic process. But, from what I've learned in my job, the numbers don't lie. I'm sure the voting pattern will never be revealed, but I think it would be interesting to know who voted and their level of involvement in Ping.sg.
Disclaimer: I didn't vote for any nominee, not even my own. I figured it was bad enough that I had self-nominated my entry. Oh, and I had self-nominated a few entries in several categories, but evidently, I can only be controversial.
Towards the end of the awards presentation, I simply closed my eyes to take a break. I only paid attention when the winner for Best Citizen Journalism Entry award talked about how bloggers are already citizen journalists and it's up to us to present news that would never make it to the mainstream media.
After U-Zyn's talk about Ping.sg, including his continued stress that it's a community, it was time for dinner. I happened to make the acquaintance of Chris, the man standing next to me. He remarked that he had never seen me there before.
Me: Oh, are you a regular here?We exchanged namecards and chatted a bit about bloggers and geeks. I was very intrigued by the power strips in the floor and asked him about it. He demonstrated how it worked: he took a special plug adapter and pushed it into the strip, which was actually called a power track. The track was actually a continuous line of electricity conductor, so the adapter didn't need to be connected in any particular point.
Him: (sheepishly) Actually, I'm the owner.
I later learned that this technology is from Eubiq, a local company (yay, made in Singapore!). If it ever takes off, I'm sure it will revolutionise the way power outlets are laid out in an office or home. Bye bye, extension cords!
Then Chris introduced us to his coffee barista, Danny. Apparently, Danny would be able to identify the "right" coffee after asking a few questions. I admitted that I didn't like coffee, and after a few more questions, he proceeded to prepare a mocha coffee. In spite of halving the amount of coffee, there was still too much for my real liking. Nonetheless, it tasted pretty good.
After dinner, I happened to talk to Brennan, who recognised me from Web.sg, though I didn't remember meeting him before! We chatted for a while about genetics and being an information junkie.
I stayed till about 8:15pm, then left for other parts.