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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Social Media Breakfast 3 at Asian Civilisation Museum

On a bright and sunny Saturday morning, I went down to the Asian Civilisation Museum to attend the third Social Media Breakfast. This must be the swankiest venue ever for such an event. The previous SMBs were at small cafes, so this was definitely a leg up, especially in terms of first impressions to new attendees.

Aside: the ACM could do with better signage to tell people that it is the friggin' Asian Civilisation Museum. I only confirmed the location because of a small sign that had a write-up on the history of the building (complete with a dried-up bird dropping on it).

I arrived half an hour late, though still fashionably early for a Singaporean event. I chatted with a few familiar folks and met new ones, November and "Min-tea". There was also food galore, and I helped myself to egg sandwiches, chocolate swiss roll and grossly diluted bandung.

At about 11am, things kicked off... in a manner of speaking. There was a round of introductions from Daryl, the organiser, and Walter Lim from the National Heritage Board. Then, the theme of the day was recapped, which, if I remember correctly, was about how and why bloggers could be engaged for mutual benefits.

Or something like that, because things didn't go according to plan. So people just went back to doing what they did at previous SMBs, i.e. chat and mingle and eat.

Who is Emily?
BTW I wonder if anyone has the contact of the girl at left (without glasses)? Her name is Emily, but I didn't get her contact information. (And yes, I'm an idiot for not doing so.)

The only on-topic conversation that I had was about the relationship between blogs and old media, i.e. newspapers, TV, etc., and how/why blogs could rise above the noise. And I was also advised to start using Facebook "like the other 90% of people".

I didn't really notice the time till I saw that chairs were being stacked up. People had already started leaving at around 12:30pm. An hour later, there was just a handful of us left. Those who attended could supposedly tour the museum for free, but I chose to skip it. Besides, Chinese propaganda doesn't really appeal to me... though on hindsight, it should. (I've since found out that the finalists of the Omy blog awards had a guided tour, those lucky "devils".)

I think it's a good development that such so-called "social media" events attract the turn-outs that they do. One person mentioned: didn't these attendees turn to new media because they value their anonymity? I think that's a myopic over-generalisation. We "social media" blokes are human beings, and human beings are, at their core, social beings. While some people can live their lives as hermits, the greater majority of us still yearn for human contact.

New media simply makes it easier to create and maintain such connections. I personally would never have met any of these people if not for the connections built up through Internet services. So I don't see anything wrong with identifying ourselves publicly, if it helps to foster greater social connectedness among individuals.

Read about the first Social Media Breakfast, held at Frujch.


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