Tag Archive | "twitter"

Straits Times curse people get dengue

Straits Times curse people get dengue

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Tweet FAIL.

In a bid to show stakeholders that it can enjoy a strong revenue stream and healthy profits regardless of what they do, The Straits Times decided to show everyone the middle finger.

They put out a tweet cursing people to get dengue:






Govt launches Twitter skills upgrading course

Govt launches Twitter skills upgrading course

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After S’pore ranked a dismal 12th place for top tweeting cities.


According to a study posted on the World Bank blog, Singapore has been ranked 12th position in the list for world’s top tweeting cities.

This puts Singapore behind Jakarta and New York City, which have been ranked first and second position respectively.

This dismal performance resulted in soul-searching and caused a lot of governmental grief, as Singapore has never finished anywhere outside first position.

Calls for more to be done to be the top tweeting city in the universe has resulted in the government launching a new Twitter skills upgrading course.

Sng Lan Jiao, a government spokesperson from the New Integrated Networked Concepts, Processing, Operating, Organising Planners (NINCOMPOOP), said: “It is not hard getting more Singaporeans to get their hands on their blue bird.”



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Mediacorp artiste Tay Ping Hui gets trolled by SMRT (Ltd) Feedback, a fake feedback channel that is genuinely funny.* (See Editor’s Note at the end.)

Oh dear, Tay Ping Hui!

In his Dec. 17 tweet, Ah Ping, riding on the train breakdowns (HAHA! THIS IS SUCH A COCKED-UP PUN), tried to troll SMRT into giving out a day of free rides and proposing to his followers to take his tweet viral:



Little did he know, this innocuous tweet of Ah Ping’s will see him get trolled by the fake but geninuely funny SMRT (Ltd) Feedback Twitter channel.

Late on Jan. 2, 2012, for some reason, the war of words started.

SMRT (Ltd) Feedback responded by taking the mickey out of Ah Ping, calling him “a cheapskate”:



After which, it was downhill for Ah Ping from then on. Not wanting to take things lying down, Ah Ping replied:



And because 140 characters is too short, Ah Ping had to say some more about 10 minutes later:



Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your seats! I give you, SMRT (Ltd) Feedback’s punchline reply!



Unable to upstage such a witty and spot-on remark, Ah Ping can only resort to grovelling:

Like, c’mon man, what’s there for SMRT (Ltd) Feedback to feel embarrassed about, you continental car-driving member of the electric fish tank?



Last but not least, to add on because 140 characters is too short again, Ah Ping said he is feeling magnanimous:

Strangely, these last two tweets can no longer be found at its source… Mmmm… Wonder why.



*Editor’s Note: This sentence was edited on Jan. 3, 4:12 a,m. as a reader pointed out “Mediacorp” was spelt as “Mediumcock”. Auto correct function on iPad to blame.

Hossan Leong is fine

Hossan Leong is fine

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No biggies folks, he is moving on.

Here’s the whole story briefly:

On the morning of Dec. 14, SMRT Circle Line system experienced some malfunction presumably before 7 a.m. and it would get awkward soon enough when they couldn’t rectify the issue completely in time.

This caused mainstream panic and confusion and piss-poor contingency plans did not help. A lot of people were standing on the platform rubbing buttocks against buttocks because there was nowhere else to turn to.

A bit of hoo-ha and rumour circulated by afternoon about a local radio presenter Hossan Leong getting into trouble for making some public announcement on-air regarding the SMRT Circle Line train system going tits up.

Here are some of his original tweets:

These were posted by Hossan in the earlier part of yesterday but are no longer to be found at its source, so they are presumably deleted.

And at about 7 p.m. later that day, Hossan tweeted that all is good and it was a misunderstanding that got blown slightly out of proportion and he was ready to move on.

Therefore, the fuss really is about whether Twitter should be used as a basis of information to be disseminated by mainstream personalities or channels while awaiting official word.

So, is it indeed ok?

Erm… Let’s see…

August Presidential Election Channel News Asia results night:

However, in other news:

PAP, WP found seats in parliament despite putting out least content on Facebook, Twitter

PAP, WP found seats in parliament despite putting out least content on Facebook, Twitter

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Rate of Facebook updates did not translate into votes.

Should the PAP mourn the loss of one GRC and one SMC? Now we know that even if they put up 10 million Facebook updates, they would still have lost six seats. Should have prevented housing prices from exploding...

Despite putting up only 47 posts on the PAP Facebook page, the incumbent managed to win 81 out of 87 seats in parliament.

The PAP took a decentralised new media approach this election in which its electoral candidates individually engaged with voters.

It is, however, arguable that this shouldn’t even be considered an approach in the first place.

It appeared more as a last resort.

The Workers’ Party, on the other hand, put out 102 posts, with a larger proportion of them, compared to other parties, consisting of photos.

There are three non-scientific principles that can be drawn from these results:

Primo, gerrymandering still works.

Secundo, pictures speak louder than words.

Tertio, do the grunt work and walk the ground because new media only gives you false hope.

This article is a 60-second reduction of the original article published in The Straits Times on Oct. 5 (below).

How politicians can get started on new media

How politicians can get started on new media

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With these 5Cs, politicians can more effectively master social media as an engagement tool, says Ryan Lim, business director of social media consultancy firm Blugrapes.

Avoid ending up like Tin Pei Ling. Photo: SPH

POLITICIANS should approach social media like a courtship. Start slowly, first wooing your voters and attracting them to you. Once you have established trust, engage your followers and get to know each other better. Finally, make a long-term commitment with them and ask them to put their faith with you.

For politicians who have not yet gotten on the social media bandwagon, here are some guidelines on how to start:

Content – Planning content is the most important thing when entering any social media platform. Know what you want to share with your voters. They wish to understand your views on key political issues, as well as your personal and party manifesto. Top scores will go to politicians who allow their personality to shine through, revealing a human side to politics, rather than a faceless party.

Community – Leverage upon the social media platform that the majority of your targeted voters are on. Platforms such as Facebook and Foursquare have targeting tools, which can be used to your advantage. You can also benefit by localising your messages and organizing events. Not all voters are equal, and you may wish to focus your limited resources on winning a few key voters over, who can then have a positive multiplier effect on the masses.

Benefits of using social media

Technology-savvy politicians can leverage upon social media to complement their engagement efforts. The main benefits of using social media for politics include:

Cost – Online rally platforms are faster to create and cheaper to operate. This levels the playing fields amongst all parties, as the more established politicians with deeper pockets no longer hold an advantage.

Constraints – Unlike the number of rally sites in Singapore, real estate in social media is virtually unlimited. The public can see opinions and discussions, allowing them to understand about new candidates and what they believe in. With viral marketing, they can also see what their trusted networks are following.

Communication – Social media allows candidates to engage directly with their voters, building up personal relations in an easy and safe manner. Voters can virtually follow candidates, through updates on platforms like Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

Conversation – Talk to your voters; not down at them. Social media is about being social, so interesting conversations are important. Welcome anyone who has taken the time to connect with you. There is no better endorsement than unsolicited praise from your supporters, so do remember to thank them! With social media, everyone will be able to see good and bad comments. There will always be instances when people will not support you. However, never abuse or attack them. Take it in your stride and respond graciously, remembering to accept and learn from their views.

Care – Show that you care for the welfare of your voters. Respond to their needs and concerns. While it may be tempting to use social media as a broadcast platform, vague and general responses will show a lack of sincerity. So be prepared to spend time engaging with voters on a one-to-one basis.

Commitment – Any social media effort requires long-term commitment to sustain what was started, and should never be used for immediate and temporary gains. Do not launch a Facebook page just to garner votes, only to let it become a ghost town once you’ve been elected. Sustain the community that has been built up over the duration of your tenure. This is a community that is interested in you, and can be used as an effective forum for governance and as a feedback channel on policies and engagement.

Exciting times ahead

The 2011 General Election in Singapore was an exciting event. It was the first time that Singaporeans voted during the social media era. Social media became the platform to showcase and disseminate information for public consumption. Those parties that were able to do this well were able to galvanize their supporters, engage the public and win their votes.

The emergence of “citizen reporters”, the viral spreading of messages over social media platforms and the ability for parties to really engage with the people resulted in the rapid and effective dissemination of information. Overall, the rise of social media in Singapore resulted in a more balanced coverage of political issues.

This article is contributed by Ryan Lim, Business Director of Blugrapes, a leading social media consultancy firm based in Singapore. The company has a track record of launching and maintaining social media solutions for organisations including Fortune 500 consumer brands across 15 industries. In Singapore alone, over 1 in 20 Singaporeans would have engaged in any one of Blugrapes’ social media solutions.

When importing contact lists into social networks is a bad idea

When importing contact lists into social networks is a bad idea

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Connecting with people has never been easier with Facebook and Tumblr. But beware the implications.

By Lee Jian Xuan


PRIVATE blogs are a dime a dozen these days. After the anti-establishment streak that informs most of our secondary school web-capades, those of us who still troll cyberspace tend to settle down, older and wiser and open a weblog for penning down more private thoughts, with the odd bad fictional piece thrown in. In any case, we guard these fiercely, restricting access only to a select few.

A week back, an old friend stumbled upon my private Tumblr, which puzzled me: I’d never once publicized or given the URL away. A brief chat with her soon revealed the answer.

Apparently, anybody can load their entire Gmail/AOL/Yahoo/MSN contact list into this and voila, discover all the Tumblrs created by their contacts who unsuspectingly did so with those e-mails. Friends, parents, rebellious cousins, office kaypohs, your karung guni man who just set up his website last month: ANYBODY you ever had contact with online is suddenly privy to your innermost thoughts and belated teenage angst.

Which to me highlights a glaring flaw with Tumblr (along with many other social networks) – users were never made aware of this feature as it was implemented in a later phase of the site’s development. This option only appears at the bottom of the ‘Goodies’ page.

Well, SQUEEZE ME, because this feature should sure as hell take centerstage. If people I don’t even talk to (these constitute 90% of my contact list) are sniffing around my Tumblr posts, I deserve to know. Some of the stuff I write about there is more private than my email inbox, which mostly consists of Singtel trying to sell me crap I don’t need.

And they need to put it up HIGH, like,


And what is it with this add-friends-from-your-contact-list nonsense anyway?

I understand that we’re living in an age where we check into 5792005 social networks on a regular basis and this is an attempt to streamline the arduous process of manually adding contacts on YouTwitFace, but we need some gatekeeping power.

I only add people whom I’ve met with before and whom I’m generally interested in getting to know. And I do so after reading their profiles and deciding if I’m comfortable sharing my profile with them.

Because a) we don’t add the same people to each network, b) we don’t communicate the same messages on each network and c) each network serves a fundamentally different purpose. If I said half the things I said on Twitter on Facebook, my ass would be standing on trial now for defamation/libel/sedition.

Similarly, you wouldn’t post Tumblr reblogs onto FB either. It’d make zero sense to most people and elicit asinine comments from well-meaning but clueless relatives like: ‘Wah boy so original ah!’

I don’t know about you guys, but having dabbled around with social media so much in the past few years, I’ve learnt that if anything, friend requests should be sincere. Yes, the fact that such a function can be performed with the click of a button (or even worse, on a large scale with these silly import/export options) inevitably cheapens it somewhat.

But for me, I only add people whom I’ve met with before and whom I’m generally interested in getting to know. And I do so after reading their profiles and deciding if I’m comfortable sharing my profile with them.

And I genuinely hope it’s the same the other way around when people add me. I hope that the user on the other side of the screen at least took the time to run my name through a search, click on my profile, check out my interests, even read what I’ve written.

Instead of ‘importing’ me like I’m some kind of nameless cipher alongside his army sergeants, neighbors, project mates, clubbing kahkees, fuck buddies and whathaveyou.

We’re already living in an era where social contact has been grossly de-personalized. Let’s not make it any worse than it has to be.

Jian Xuan is a second-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University.

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Apparent suicide at Sembawang MRT station

Apparent suicide at Sembawang MRT station

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Never mind whether this is accurate; but guess who broke the news? Not professional reporters, but Twitter users.

By Terence Lee

Update: According to Alicia Wong of Yahoo! News, the man who jumped onto the tracks was arrested at the hospital for attempted suicide.

This photo came from a Twitter user. You can barely see a body being laid out on a stretcher. Photo: DYNNA SYAFIQA

I WAS shocked when an acquaintance tweeted that someone had supposedly committed suicide at Sembawang MRT station by jumping in front of the train on Friday night. After all, it was so close to home: My apartment is a mere ten minutes away from the train station.

Curious, I decided to check out the scene. By the time I arrived, it was 12.20am, just under an hour after the first tweet (that came around 11.30pm) said that an accident had happened. The commotion was long gone; the crowd mostly dispersed. A police vehicle was parked beside the station, and a handful of policemen were stationed at the ground level.

My attempts to ask the SMRT staff what happened were unsuccessful.

“An incident,” says a plump, Indian lady, standing guard at the entrance gate.

So I went up the escalator to the platform. Since the incident happened sometime ago, everyone appeared calm. A few people were waiting for the last train service to arrive on one side. On the other side leading to Yishun MRT station, a train is parked about one-quarter short of the end of the train station.

I saw a Chinese lady on the platform, carrying a notebook. At first I suspected she was a reporter, but after seeing the SMRT tag she was wearing, I concluded that she was also a staff member. I tried asking her what happened, but again she repeated the well-rehearsed line: “There was an incident.”

But another loud-mouthed personnel sort of gave it away. Talking on the phone, he mentioned something about a “body”, and I think he went on to describe what happened. I couldn’t make out the rest of his conversation though. Since I’m not exactly the very persistent sort (which is why I don’t really want to be a daily news reporter), I felt I was done over there.

According to Shawn Lee, a body was pulled out from under a train. This photo is taken by him.

Never mind. I later confirmed with an acquaintance of mine who said that she saw ambulance personnel scampering up the escalator soon after the collision. Also, you can see that in the photo at the top of this article, a stretcher was laid out in preparation for the extraction of a body. So there definitely was a person involved.

Anyone can become a reporter.

Put that photo and Shawn’s photo and tweets together, and a likely account emerges: A person was knocked down by the oncoming train, sucked underneath, and run over. But whether this was a suicide or accident is still unclear.

Whatever the case, this would be the second train mishap in a month. A couple of weeks ago, a Thai girl had her legs severed after being hit by a train at Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

Another interesting thing about this incident though is how Twitter has often become the fastest way of finding out the latest news. Already, about one hour after the incident, there were 20 tweets, some of them quite detailed, and with pictures to boot. This is not on the scale of the Iran protests of course, but it demonstrates how the role of reporters have started to change with the advent of social media.

In certain instances, journalists are no longer the foremost newsgatherers in the country, or the world. Shawn’s last tweet (left) is particularly telling.

Apparently, with a Twitter account and a smartphone, anyone can be a journalist, or a photojournalist even.

But does this spell the end of journalism as we know it? Nah.

It just signals that the role of journalists is changing, from that of a pure, pound-the-streets news gatherer to more of an information interpreter.

Someone has to make sense of all the tweets that come in, and establish whether this is a suicide or an accident. She would have to bug SMRT public relations for all the details today, and search for eyewitnesses. Later on, she would need to package the information into a viewer-friendly format, and establish the context.

And that someone is definitely not me, because I’m not paid and I have better things to do (such as my school project) than to pester people on a Saturday morning.

Of course, there are plenty of information out there that can only be obtained by experienced and trusted journalists who cultivate their sources, and that’s something I believe no citizen journalist can replicate to the same level of efficacy.

But who knows, I may be wrong. Anyway, below are some selected tweets that came up during the last few hours. Here’s my immediate reaction: It seems like such collisions have become so common that we have started treating them less as tragedies but more as spectacles.

Irritants, even.

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Don’t be hoodwinked: Social media will have limited impact on GE

Don’t be hoodwinked: Social media will have limited impact on GE

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Trust me, the only version of Windows the computer illiterate folk operate regularly is on hinges: Their kitchen window.

By Belmont Lay

WITH the General Election due, I have a pronouncement to make: My sincere belief is that social media will have a limited impact on the outcome of the voting results this time round.

Simply put, social media being influential is overrated.

And I’m terribly afraid I might be the only person who actually realises this.

You and I have heard about the oft-cited example about how powerful social media such as Facebook and Twitter are as tools to galvanise support from the constituents.

We are often reminded that Barack Obama used social networking to win his 2008 presidency because he connected with the younger voters and encouraged a larger turnout using a medium that translated online participation into offline action.

(You can read the latest example of this argument laid out by 16-year-old uber tech blogger, Xavier Lur, here.)

In Singapore, it is true that we see a lot of people compulsively molesting their iPhones in the spirit of navigating a Facebook page even when they are on the go.

And yes, you can discharge your democratic duty these days by dispensing dissenting views while moving your bowels, if you so happen to have access to 3G while on the throne.

Happily, of course, when you’re done, you can use Twitter to conveniently declare to your universe of 15 followers that a so-and-so minister as well as your toilet are so full of shit.

For social media users with some clout, any kind of declaration such as these can be influential. Indeed.

However, just by thinking a little deeper, I can name you just two counterarguments to ruin Xavier’s point about the powerful effects of social media that really has nothing to do with social media at all but more to do with context: 1) Voting in US is not compulsory 2) Singaporean voters don’t just have to deal with two choices.

In the US presidential elections in 2008, it is the whole country voting by choice for either the optimistic black man with a vision and no policy or a very old man who can barely comb his own hair.

That’s it.

In Singapore, matters are vastly differently.

For one, we are not in the business of electing presidents this GE. We are electing individual candidates.

I am thankful that non-users of social media are not subjected to the tyranny of this sort of free flowing rubbish that comes out from the Internet and so-called influential social media.

Hence, there are so many bloody constituencies cut up in so many ways.

There are as many candidates from the incumbent and opposition as there are brothels in Joo Chiat.

And there are more political parties than I have cousins.

True, Singapore might have 2.35 million Facebook users at last count. But that also just means that there are another 2.35 million, at least, who don’t use FB.

And when you think all that funky 2.35 million FB users form a critical mass, you realise one thing: 50% are apathetic (because that’s who they really are offline), 25% are simply pathetic and sexually frustrated, 20% are stalkers and the remaining 5% are wholeheartedly, politically-minded.

Plus, based on the fact that voting in the US is not compulsory, they have a self-selection bias. The Americans who care about the vote will show up. The Americans who don’t, won’t, and they can’t spoil the winning chances of those who turned up.

But in Singapore, when voting is made compulsory, shit happens.

Because Singaporeans can be paranoid, they will still vote for the incumbent just because there is a serial number on the voting slip and since voting is compulsory, it means someone somewhere is keeping count (according to the Singaporean logic), and hence, losing their jobs and their house and their dog is a real possibility for anyone who tried anything funny like put an “X” next to the non-PAP candidate’s name.

Therefore, people harnassing the power of social media will have their efforts thwarted just because anyone who can vote will show up and this causes votes to go all over the place, including being spoilt.

Oh wait. Did I mention that because the other 2.35 million non-users of FB cannot be influenced by FB, this election is as much about non-social media users as it is about social media users?

So here’s the point of today’s missive: When you remove the context from the argument, you are left with a narrative that resembles a myth.

And people who buy the myth subscribe to the lie and regurgitate the same kind of rubbish in all their naivety and foolhardiness.

They usually end up doing it over social media.

And I am thankful that non-users of social media are not subjected to the tyranny of this sort of free flowing rubbish that comes out from the Internet and so-called influential social media.

If you actually made it this far reading this, my suggestion is to turn off your computer and spend some time with your children, parents and real friends who are offline and find some real people (not avatars) to talk to by having a rational proper discussion about politics or why your vote is indeed secret.

But as always, feel free to share this over Facebook or retweeting it.

Thank you.