Archive for the 'Singapore' Category

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It’s Official: I’ll be working at The National Art Gallery of Singapore


Photo courtesy of Gouldy99

For my friends on twitter, thank you for staying up to 1am EST (or 1pm in Singapore) to listen to my big news…

So after six months of fear and self-loathing, the big news is that I’ve finally found a dream job and will be moving back to Singapore for good. I’ve had a great nine year run in Buffalo, made incredible friends, and now it’s time to pack up and go.

As my housemate Jay puts it, I left Singapore for New York around age 24, and I return at 33. It’s been that long, but it’s been just as swell. If you’ve been following me online, you’ll know that I’ve been bidding farewells and visiting local museums. For the curious, here are the details of my new role… Continue reading ‘It’s Official: I’ll be working at The National Art Gallery of Singapore’

Seth Gordin’s The Dip… Singapore style

Over on the Google Buzz side of my joblessness story, friends have been reminding me of A Singapore Taxi Driver’s Diary, probably the only taxi driver in this world with a PhD from Stanford.

I called him a genius because he’s managed to turn a downfall into an upturn (i.e. Seth Gordin’s The Dip)… he’s just published his blog into a book! Storytelling is such a crucial art.

My PhD buddy @MrBigLive then pointed out Amanda Marshall’sEverybody’s Got A Story” where back in 2002, the amazing singer had already called out academic inflation, with her lyrics which included “…and that taxi-driver’s got a Ph.D”. Don’t believe me? Take a listen…

Confessions of an Expatriate Singaporean Mom (turned Accidental Entrepreneur)

Foodies from SingaporeMalaysiaStore.com
A tasty care package courtesy of Audrey’s online grocery store.

Audrey Lim Sipping on a nostalgic white milk tea Audrey Lim had kindly sent me, I ask this extraordinary expatriate mother of two what made her move to the States and how she got started with her online Asian grocery store, SingaporeMalaysiaStore.com

As a working mother of two school-age children, Audrey Lim was constantly on-the-move. Being in the States, she craved for food from Singapore and Malaysia, yet wanted a easy way to fix up an authentic-tasting local meal without the required hassle. Seeing a need, the SingaporeMalaysiaStore.com was created to help overseas Singaporeans and Malaysians re-connect with their heritage through simple-to-prepare delicious food.

Continue reading ‘Confessions of an Expatriate Singaporean Mom (turned Accidental Entrepreneur)’

theorycast.64 :: Visiting Brandtology – an online brand intelligence startup from Singapore

During my Singapore vacation in October ’09, I caught up with Kelly Choo, co-founder of Brandtology.com, to learn more about their online brand intelligence service.

While there are numerous online sentiment monitoring companies in the States, such as Radian6 and Omniture, this space is relatively new and growing in South-East Asia.

As mentioned before, my friend Ben Koe works at JamiQ, which differentiates from Brandtology’s intelligence suite with a straightforward, hands-on approach to social media monitoring. There’s also ThoughtBuzz, which I recently read about.

To better understand the strengths of each startup, check out SG Entrepreneurs’ interviews with Brandtology’s Kelly Choo, JamiQ’s Ben Koe, and the ThoughtBuzz team.

Businesses have traditionally (and still do) debated about the lack of proper social media metrics. As many in the online space would explain, there’s in fact a deluge of metrics which leads to a dilemma of choice. While concepts of viewership and circulation were somewhat sufficient for traditional media, social media affords a broader range of metrics. The real first step is really determining what we want to measure.

MarketingSherpa.com: Leveraging Social Media

For instance, as seen in MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide (PDF), it’s been found that social media is very effective at building brand awareness and reputation, while it’s yet to prove itself at driving online sales. There’s no silver bullet; every media has varying levels of richness, with leaner media tending to be more distributive. Our choice of media involves a host of factors, which is why media intelligence (social or not) gets more valuable than ever.

Did You Know: The music in the end credits comes from Starfish Stories’ latest album, Crystal Tears and the Dream Nebula. It’s track 5, “Stroke of Midnight v2.3″, which I bought for a dollar.

Download theorycast.64 :: Visiting Brandtology (.mp4 / 35mb), or watch this on Youtube and Blip.tv. Feel free to subscribe to theorycast on iTunes.

NLB’s ‘myLibrary’ Facebook App is damn shiok!

Sivasothi (@sivasothi) and Ivan Chew (@ramblinglib) tipped me off on the Singapore National Library Board‘s new Facebook app, simply called ‘myLibrary‘. What’s interesting about the app is that it integrates much of our typical library transactions right into Facebook.

At first we might wonder, “What’s the big deal about a Facebook app? Can’t we already access the same services by going to the library’s web site?”

True that, but more than just a matter of accessibility, it’s about being “within reach” to users, and extending their library use into the third place. Allowing users to recommend books to friends or posting what they’re reading directly onto their Facebook profiles is very much for the library’s win (i.e. word of mouth).

Since the Facebook app does require an NLB account to play with, I’ve made a quick five minute screencast above for the benefit of our international librarian friends (also on Youtube for the kiasu ones). If you can’t or hate watching videos, you can also read all about ‘myLibrary’ at NLB’s Facebook FAQ page, which includes a user guide (PDF) complete with annotated screenshots.

So far, the tweets about the ‘myLibrary” has been largely positive (many of whom were surprised!), so I do hope NLB keeps up the great work. I love our innovative librarians, and this in turn makes me proud of Singapore.

UPDATE 1: Some folks have asked if NLB has plans for mobile apps, and while there’s no official word, my sources have quietly hinted in due time. Meantime, we can always point our iPhones to http://m.nlb.gov.sg

UPDATE 2: If you’re so inclined, Ivan Chew (@RamblingLib) has shared screenshots of NLB’s myLibrary Facebook app.

theorycast 61 & 62 :: Imagining Classroom 2.0 – John Larkin & Kevin Lim @ NTU

John Larkin & me @ NTU talk
Me, my papa and John Larkin at NTU. See photo slideshow.

Alex Halavais, John Hendron, and AcademicDave are just some of the education folks who have been exploring the future of learning, and how schools as institutions are going to have to adapt to stay relevant in an increasingly participatory media age.

On 14th Oct 2009, as part of the edUtorium series at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Aussie educator John Larkin and I delivered a comprehensive look at the ways social web tools have been implemented within our classes in order to enhance learning interaction among students. I did a pre-talk synopsis here and so did John.


theorycast.61 :: Imagining Classroom 2.0 @ NTU (Part 1 by John Larkin)


theorycast.62 :: Imagining Classroom 2.0 @ NTU (Part 2 by Kevin Lim)
BTW, here are my slides…

Presentation Overview:
The democratic nature of the social web means that the ability to learn and produce meaningful work can now happen at any level – from the independent student, to the individual teacher, to the entire education institution. Now, more than ever, instructors are able to motivate active learning among students, by empowering them with relevant online tools that allow for more creative approaches to go beyond the traditional class-based education.

In this two hour session, we showed instructors how they could…

  • cultivate learning beyond the classroom
  • encourage participation in the class conversation
  • inspire student pride through greater sense of ownership of their work
  • include new literacies in research, organization, and synthesis of ideas
  • support multiple learning styles
  • create exemplars by raising the bar of student achievement
  • archive learning by creating a record for both you and the students

John Larkin & me @ NTU
Kevin, Hazman, Carolyn @ NTU talk
Hazman and Carolyn Lim came by too!

Big thanks to cameraman Christopher Tan of Singapore Polytechnic for coming down, capturing the event, and providing us with video footage. Very thoughtful fella!

From Singapore to Buffalo, what I’m up to now…

Siva's workplace
As a cyber-socialite, I visited hyper-connected people, such as NUS biologist @Sivasothi (aka otterman) who enhances student interactions with blogs and Google Docs. That’s his workplace.

From the searing heat of Singapore to the chilly silence of Buffalo, it’s time for me to get back to work.

There are three things on my plate at this moment:
1. Finding a career (my main priority!)
2. Dissertation cleaning (I’ve graduated, but still bug-fixing)
3. Blog about my adventures in Singapore

While I might share the first two tasks in due time, the third task involves sharing what I’ve experienced in Singapore, which is manageable in chunks.

Stories from Singapore I intend to blog about…

  1. My Sister’s Wedding @ The White Rabbit (video + photos)
  2. John Larkin’s Singapore Story @ Haji Lane (videos + photos)
  3. John Larkin & Kevin Lim talk Classroom 2.0 @ NTU (videos)
  4. Social Media Agencies in Singapore (24Seven, Avantworks, BBH) (video + photos)
  5. Kevin talks Social Media Strategy @ 24Seven Get-Together (photos)
  6. Preetam’s Pokem social toy (video)
  7. Lunch with intellect Keng Suan of Williams and Phoa (photos)
  8. Dragon Kiln tour with Carolyn Lim (video + photos)
  9. Interview Aaron Tan on Gaming @ Jurong Regional Library (video)
  10. Interview with Yu-mei & Mark Frost of “Singapore: A Biography” (video)
  11. Brandtology tour with Kelly Choo (video)
  12. MoeMoe on Burmese food @ Inle Myanmar (video)
  13. My Singapore Food Safari (Crescent Way, Prissyhan’s Chicken Rice, Modcentric’s Chicken Rice, Michael Cho @ Best Satay, Mini SG Tweetup @ Dempsey130, Tanjong Pagar’s Shark Meat Lor Mee, Mum’s tennis kahkis @ Seven Mile, Penny’s Robertson Walk foodies, Lynda & Cung @ Mezzanine) (photos)

Do tell me in the comments what you’d like to read about first so I can share them in preferential order. Thanks!

theorycast 59 & 60 :: Michelle Thorne’s walkabout with Creative Commons Singapore

Singapore Tour for Michelle Thorne of Creative Commons - 01
Big Trouble in Little Chinatown…

As a fan and community manager for Creative Commons Singapore, Ivan Chew took a day off to bring CC Project Manager (International) Michelle Thorne (@thornet & blog) on a tour of Singapore’s Chinatown. I tagged along to learn about recent developments and challenges for Creative Commons in the international space.

Singapore Tour for Michelle Thorne of Creative Commons - 03

On an overcast Monday morning (12th Oct), we started the day with a relaxing Chinese tea drinking session at D’Art Tea Station on 63 Temple Street, Singapore 058608 (Tel: 62258308). Not only did store assistant Ms Cheong educate us on the intricacies of Chinese tea drinking, but we managed to use it as a springboard for critical discussion into how tea drinking seems to run counterculture to contemporary consumerism (i.e. slowing down, minimalism, tradition vs. efficiency). Watch the hour long video below to see what I mean…


theorycast.59 :: Tea-drinking with Creative Commons Singapore

Next, we met up with Chung Nian, who serves as the Legal Project Lead for CC Singapore. We discussed the intricacies of CC adoption in Singapore, and shared ideas on how we could make CC more relevant to Singaporeans.

Singapore Tour for Michelle Thorne of Creative Commons - 10

An exciting idea was to offer localized starter kits which catered to different genres of creators. For instance, I could volunteer to produce an Educator’s CC starter kit, which might include online videos, project ideas and Powerpoints which instructors could readily use in their classes to teach students about Creative Commons.

Singapore Tour for Michelle Thorne of Creative Commons - 14

After all the talk (and tea), it wasn’t long before we were starving. We paid a visit to People’s Park food center for lunch, then rounded it off with Bubble Tea at Koi Cafe, which lets us stipulate how much sugar we wanted in our drink. Michelle apparently loves Bubble Tea, which is pretty unusual for a caucasian from my experience.

Singapore Tour for Michelle Thorne of Creative Commons - 17

Our last stop was the new Popular bookstore franchise called [prologue] at Orchard Ion. Over coffee, we took turns to interview one another. I like the idea of passing the video camera around… it’s reciprocal and balances control of the discussion among participants.


theorycast.60 :: Roundtable with Creative Commons Singapore

In this roundtable discussion, we each shared how we first encountered Creative Commons, how we’re involved with CC, and what CC meant to each of us.

Singapore Tour for Michelle Thorne of Creative Commons - 06

The day ended with the appearance of Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter Bihr (@thewavingcat & blog), who was himself a web strategist based in Berlin. I wish we all had more time to learn more about one another, but it was bittersweet while it lasted. I hope to encounter both Michelle and Peter sometime in the near future. Thanks Ivan Chew for making this one of the most spectacular Mondays for me ever ;)

Fun Fact: Thorne claims to be the inventor of Nutellachino, a dessert combining Nutella and cappuccino powder.

Remaindered Photos: See slideshow of extra photos from our Chinatown tour.

Speaking @ NTU: “Education and the Social Web: Taking Learning Beyond the Classroom”

Education on Singapore's $2 bill
Scene from an upcoming short video I did with John Larkin…

Please help us spread the word about our talk this Wednesday at the Nanyang Technological University. Do note that the $80 fee is a norm for NTU’s edUtorium series; it’s not stipulated by us speakers. The talk is now FREE! Thanks to Senior Assistant Director, Alan Soong, for organizing this special event.

Date/Time
14 October 2009 (Wednesday) · 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm (2hrs)

Location
NTU Lecture Theatre 6, Level 2, Academic Complex North, Singapore (PDF map)

Abstract
The democratic nature of the social web means that the ability to learn and produce meaningful work can now happen at any level – from the independent student, to the individual teacher, to the entire education institution. Now, more than ever, instructors are able to motivate active learning among students, by empowering them with relevant online tools that allow for more creative approaches to go beyond the traditional class-based education.

In this two hour session, learn how you can…

cultivate learning beyond the classroom
encourage participation in the class conversation
inspire student pride through greater sense of ownership of their work
include new literacies in research, organization, and synthesis of ideas
support multiple learning styles
create exemplars by raising the bar of student achievement
archive learning by creating a record for both you and the students

In this international presentation brought to you by educators John Larkin and Kevin Lim, the first part of the session will provide a general state of education on the social web, while the second part will demonstrate tactical approaches to meeting your students’ learning objectives through the appropriate use of social web tools such as blogs, wikis, and social networks. The ultimate vision of this session would be to situate student learning in a more familiar and communal environment.

Speakers
John LarkinMr John Larkin is an educator and instructional designer presently living in Australia. He has vast experience in the development and application of educational technologies in primary, secondary, tertiary and corporate educational fields. John is constantly researching the latest trends in educational technologies and as a result he has established linkages with like-minded educators across the globe. He is constantly seeking new tools and technologies that will allow educators of all backgrounds to converge teaching and technology in a manner that is both practical and productive. He has worked on a significant number of web-based and CD-ROM projects. John has led the design on corporate, tertiary and school based web-learning projects. His skill set is enriched with a keen eye for design and a practical approach towards instructional technologies.

me todayDr Kevin Lim studies and shares his interest in the wide-ranging cultural affordances of information communication technology, particularly on the self-organizing and pedagogical quality of the social web. With his academic background in communication, his research has ranged from Internet censorship and civil sovereignty in China, to social capital among online non-profit organizations. He also conducts social web-related workshops and produces instructional guides at the Teaching & Learning Center, located in the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Kevin has been fortunate to be featured on the Buffalo News (New York), CBC News (Canada), Zaobao Weekly (Singapore), Channel News Asia (Singapore), commandN.tv (Canada), as well as several prominent blogs.

Course Fee
S$80.00 FREE!

Registration Link
http://edutorium.ntu.edu.sg/courses_detail.php?course_id=138

In Singapore, while stocks last…

Taking off from Buffalo
Leaving Buffalo on a jet plane…

It’s been two years since I last returned to Singapore.

This time I’m back for my sister’s wedding, and will be staying for the month of October. Rather than pouring out a lyrical diatribe of my arrival, I’m pouring out buckets of sweat as I write this. In short, let me just show you my journey so far…

Singapore (Oct 2009)
Click to enlarge…

And here’s a surprise Uke performance (or rather wedding rehearsal) by Lynda and Greta…

Finally, here’s my live calendar showing what I’ve got lined up for the entire month. If you think we should meet up, drop me a line here.


Direct link to the Google Calendar