Archive for July, 2008

Listening or not?

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Social Media |

Marketing Guru Seth Godin wrote an excellent piece titled, “Are they ready to listen?”.

In day to day lives, we often come across people who are just interested to get their POVs, messages out. Are they really listening? Is it a right time to make those comments? Is it appropriate?

If my parents are unhappy with you, they’ll lash it out when they feel like it. I’m sure after over XX (insert your age) years of relations, they would know that messages won’t go through this way, but they do it nonetheless.

Not only businesses have to listen, people have to do so too.

On a more casual social media context, the concept of listening is showcased:

I’ve been on twitter for coming a year already. I haven’t had a strong conversation going. I read many posts about the person I’m following but it’s not as conducive a conduit to spur conversations. When you tweet, are there people listening to what you have to say? Are there responses to your comments? Do you then reply to them?

Plurk, on the other hand, takes it the true blue Singaporean way. They incentivise the conversation. “Karma” points are awarded to every plurk entry that spurs responses. So, if you are a “Karma” getter, you’ll make sure you sit up and communicate something that will get people to respond.

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A driver’s grouse

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Personal |

Driving down the jam packed Central Expressway in Singapore during the morning peak hour can be quite frustrating.

Every driver is trying to rush through the many ERP gantries before the prices switch to higher rates. With bad weather, the traffic slows down exponentially. Even if you have planned your time to pass the gantries before 8am (where prices change to a higher rate), your schedule gets messed up because of the ridiculous traffic conditions. The driver then grumbles about the additional funds that will be deducted from his CashCard.

To make matters worst, situations like this happen:

You are travelling on lane one, the supposedly overtaking lane. A taxi driver decides to ‘fiercely’ cut into your lane, bordering dangerous / reckless driving classifications, to squeeze himself into the tiny space between you and the car in front. You give way to him and slow down. After getting into the lane, taxi driver decides to be the safest driver in town and practices defensive driving. He leaves a humongous safe driving distance between himself and the car in front.

At least ten cars then flood into that space, and you find yourself travelling a speed that’s way slower.

“Beep” goes your IU. You’re being charged at the higher rate.

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Reputations are not built this way

Posted on July 21, 2008. Filed under: Communications & PR |

Public relations have long earned a slightly derogatory reputation. An ironic phenomenon since PR is in the business of reputation building.

It’s even more embarrassing when news like the following appears. Predominantly female dominated (at least in Singapore), the industry is recently seeing more male entries in the profession. I’m one of those.

Regardless of the gender / sexual preference, members of the trade should know better than to engage in such acts. It’s beyond being unprofessional.


Today, 18 July 2008, Page 12.

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Back to basics for entry to Malaysia

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: General Current Affairs |

Singapore’s largest circulating daily, The Straits Times, today reported that Malaysian authorities have reverted to the use of ‘white cards’ for entry into Malaysia.

Seven months ago, Malaysia announced that there was no need to fill up immigration entry cards when Singaporeans enter the country.

“A spokesman from the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore did not elaborate on the reasons behind the decision, saying only that the cardless system was on a trial run and that the Malaysian government has decided that the white card is still needed.” quoted The Straits Times on 16 July 08, in an article titled Malaysia going back to white cards for visits

One would have thought that in today’s digital age, the filling up of such cards should have been rendered obsolete. Further, environment concerns creep in with the use of the cards.

But, like how other Singaporeans think and feel, this is probably a ‘no choice’ situation.

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A different Perspective

Posted on July 3, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A fellow grassroots colleague asked a question over supper, “Help me out here, I’ve got an assignment that requires me to write about the following topic, ‘Singaporeans’ behavioural traits – Are we a gracious society. Discuss.'”

A senior then replied, “There’s a fundamental error with the question. It’s forcing you to stereotype Singaporeans.”

I looked on, pondered…

Yes, sometimes, questions are framed for you think a certain way. Many times, when you change the perspective, there’s a new level of enlightenment.

Such is the value of PR.

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