Bloggers Buff 2007

July 8th, 2007 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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My Sunday was occupied with the Blogger’s Buff 2007 organized by Putera MIC. What is Bloggers Buff, you ask? It was described as “a workshop cum forum organized to gather Malaysian bloggers from different genres together to network and explore various issues and aspects of blogging”. Grand huh?

The event started about 30 minutes late at 9.30am. Luckily I had my dose of roti telur and teh halia before arriving at the venue Even though the organizers targeted 60 people, I think about 40 only turned up in the end, including last minute walk-in participants.

We got ourselves registered, and it cost a minimal fee of RM5 per person. While waiting for the seminar begin, the participants mingled among ourselves. I met Amutha, Mahendran, Praveen, Sarala, Mohan, Prem, Asohan, Rani, Segara, May, Malcolm, Norhidayah, Shan, Tharma, Steven, Segara, and Sook Chin among others.

The workshop was officiated by Dato’ V.Sivaparanjothi following the welcoming speech by the organizing Chairman, Mahendran. Dato’ Siva mentioned about possible creation of new cyberlaws to regulate bloggers as a method of stopping false information dissemination in his speech. This was followed by Putera MIC’s National Coordinator, Mr Kamalanathan’s speech touched on examples of bloggers exposing the truth before the mainstream media, and future plans to organize similar workshops in other states, such as Penang. We adjourned for tea break before the next session started.

The workshop started with a talk by Timothy Tiah from NuffNang, one of the prominent ad aggregator companies in Malaysia. He gave a useful insight about monetizing a blog and the various options available. His advice: don’t have too high an expectation of making mega bucks. It was a good talk and I’m sure many of the participants would have benefited.

Next to take the stand was Kamarul Ariffin from MPOB who provided some basic information on blogging since some of the participants are new to blogging. For those who are well into blogging, this was a bit boring, but I suppose we didn’t mind as Kamarul made his presentation short and sweet. Among the thing he mentioned was definition of blogging, tools available for blogging, comparison of tools, and monetization channels available.

This was followed by a Sharing Session. Two guests come to share their blogging experience. Firstly, a touching tale from Yvonne Foong who is diagnosed with neurofibromatosis. She is a strong young lady who has written an autobiography on her experiences. She talked about her blog and the challenges she faced while blogging. Secondly, Sandra from Laundry Bar, a restaurant cum bar, shared her experience of blogging. She used the blog as an archiving tool and also to capture personalized review of her patrons. According to her, blogging was the chosen medium since it was simple to set up as compared to setting up a full blown website.

The “talk” session took a break, and it was time for action. The participants were divided into groups – Green, Blue, Red, Pink, and Yellow. I ended up in the Green group, together with Malcolm, Hidayah, Freda, and May. Our first task was to decide on a group name. After a long brainstorming session of 10 minutes, we voted on Hulk as our team name. Then, we had a story-telling session based on prompt cards. It was hilarious making a story and to continue from the previous person.

In the midst of the story-telling session, a surprise guest turned up – Kenny Sia, among the most popular blogger in Malaysia. Turned out he missed a flight and decided to drop by. He shared some of his experience and did a bit of Q & A. We ended the session and it was lunch time.

After lunch, we continued with another team activity. Each group were given a topic and asked to present in front of others. It was hilarious especially when the last group presented phrases that are translated from other languages into English.

Then, we had Dr Sankara from Media Plus Consultancy giving some tips on avoiding libel or defamation suits.

Finally, the last item on the agenda was a forum on “Responsible Blogging” consisting of Dato’ Ahmad Talib (ex NST editor), Mr Kamalanathan, and Ms Li Tsin (Malaysiakini). The panelists shared their thoughts on various issues ranging from media’s role, ethics, blogger responsibility, their reason for blogging, and future of blogging and online media.

The workshop ended at 5.30pm and we all had tea before taking leave.

I would say that for an inaugural event by Putera MIC on such a new area, it can be considered a success. They managed to get good speakers for the topics which cover the broad spectrum of participants who came. There were some hiccups which I’m sure will be rectified in future events. The turnout was not a much as expected, and hopefully a bigger audience will turn up for future program. The organizers plan to have a follow-up workshop in 6 months’ time, so hopefully this young bloggers’ network will be able to meet up again.

Sad to say, I did not bring my camera along, so will post picture once I get them from the organizers. I was writing this while watching The Making of Sivaji, so pardon the errors!


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