Archive for the 'Personal' 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’

Come explore my entire room, in Photosynth definition

Photosynth: Kevin's Buffalo Bedroom

Being sentimental, I decided to photosynth my entire room before I start packing. If you don’t already know why I’m moving, I’ll announce it when I get the official green light. IMHO, things are going to get pretty darn exciting on my end.

As a self-proclaimed social cyborg, I’ve been exploring new ways of capturing experiences. While I could have digitized this personal space in a 360° panorama, I preferred photosynth for this because it lets me focus on particular objects around the room with amazing detail. Everything from the love letters, to the toys, to the books I own, you can try to locate for yourself. Leave no stone unturned.

If you explore my photosynth, I’ve even included highlights on the right sidebar as hints to the juicer bits. You can experience my personal life in Buffalo, by heading over here. If you spot anything strange, feel free to drop a comment!

Waking up with nothing… is it really exhilarating?

Up in the Air (2009)

1st month: Couldn’t get over the fact that I finally graduated.
2nd month: Glad that I was really a doctor (of philosophy).
3rd month: Slapped in the face: PhDs don’t mean as much nowadays.
4th month: Became an uncreative slob. Remained hidden from society.

I’m jobless. I’ve been at it for about four months now.

When I finally graduated, I thought that I had all the time in the world to do everything I ever wanted. On the contrary, being jobless and financially bleeding made it hard to get motivated. I realized that my most creative endeavors were when I was busy with some form of routine.

During the lulls of my previous job, I would sneak out a blog article, experiment with video, or do something out of line as a form of escapism. Usually this personal innovation time off (aka Google’s 20% time) later became extremely useful for me (e.g. watch social cyborg project trailer).

Being too free felt as if I had a limitless blank canvas… at some point I realize that I needed some constraints in order to kick off creatively (see Boring + Boring = Pleasant?!). Now I feel like I have nothing to escape from… a prison without walls (see Kerala’s open prison).

I recently watched Up in the Air (2009), where George Clooney’s jet-setting character was designed to expertly lay-off employees across the country. In our bleak economic climate, that translated to a lot of business (and air miles) for him. To every employee he laid off, he’d say the following, “Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it’s *because* they sat there that they were able to do it.”

It’s a chance for rebirth.
As they say, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Serendipitously, I discovered a short film entitled Lemonade (2009), which was about ad-folks whose lives had changed for the better since losing their ad jobs. When 37 year-old copywriter, Erik Proulx, was laid off from a large agency in Boston, it was the third time he’d been terminated in less than 10 years. He started a blog, Please Feed the Animals, to serve as a support group for other unemployed ad professionals. According to his movie’s synopsis, some 70,000 advertising professionals have lost their jobs during this recession.

As enlightening and delightful as it was for some to discover their true passion, I believe that most of us have not located our pleasure centers, and might never will. Understandably, it’s not that easy for everyone… we’re scared.

Before I entered university, I was actively being the life of the party. In the early 90s, when the Internet was first publicly accessible in Singapore, I started a web publishing business to combine my trifecta interest in what my dad appropriately dubbed ATM (Art + Technology = Money).

My mantra was to make friendships productive, by calling upon classmates, training them in basic HTML coding while working with them on building client relationships. Related side projects were born from this, including online music communities Substitute.com and FrontalLabs.com.

I sometimes do wonder if all this education had ruined my drive… after all, the more I generally knew, the more I felt paralyzed. The realization of how little I was relative to my peers humbled me to the point of fear and self-loathing.

Almost sharing my dilemma, Lemonade’s producer Erik Proulx recently responded to a lady named Lisa, who had been laid off in 2008 after a 14-year career in broadcast journalism. She sought an answer to her plight, so he told her “[d]on’t be the person out there looking for the job. Be the person out there doing something interesting.” What followed from her were a series of “but, but, but” responses, a situation we’re all too familiar with. Paralysis.

Seth Gordin's Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Digging deeper, Erik quotes Seth Godin’s Linchpin (2010, currently #1 Amazon book on careers), where Steven Pressfield’s “the resistance” comes into play. According to Pressfield, the brain naturally wants to retreat to the comfort of normalcy and inaction. There are so many reasons to not do something. But the biggest is that the voice that asks “what if?” is usually drowned out by the voice that screams “it’s too scary.” Erik and Gordin both believe that the answer lies in a high tolerance for fear, where you have to see failure not just as a possibility, but a certainty.

As Erik puts it, “If you’ve failed at something, it also means you attempted something. You’re alive.”

Ironically, while I started by explaining how I had become routine-less while being jobless, I realized that there was a larger routine at work. I believe that I would get back into the game if I changed something in my life… such as moving somewhere else. Nine years in a place without family nor friends (most have left Buffalo) isn’t socially conducive to me in any way. After all, we’re more mobile than ever.

I remind myself what I’ve shared with friends before, that we have to keep experimenting until we find our groove. Then when we’ve worn that out, we have to find yet another beat to dance to.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Richard Nelson Bolles preached career self-reliance, or at least career self-direction, in “What Color Is Your Parachute?“.

“If you don’t take time to figure out what you want to do with your life, you will be at the mercy of all those forces out there today,” Bolles explained.

Job-hunting, or more ubiquitously, finding our passion, is a continuous, never-ending process. We have to keep being curious about ourselves. It’s not a luxury anymore; it’s a matter of survival.

Aside: As a segway, Tara Hunt investigates the conundrum of love vs. greatness. I think it’s great that there isn’t a best option. We chose our own beliefs, and the bottomline is to always work hard at it.

Update 1: Carolyn Lim suggested I watch Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. It’s aptly titled “How to live before you die“.

Update 2: From an email conversation, I’m reminded of a book title which fits what we’re experiencing. For folks like us whose lives seem to be in limbo, my favorite line has always been from the title of a book about earthquakes: The Myth of Solid Ground. While it’s an intriguing book which discusses “earthquakes, prediction, and the fault line between reason and faith”, the title also seems meaningful to how we are now living in an era where everything seems less constant than ever before.

Update 3: Friends are sharing their interesting personal stories on routine-breaking and joblessness via Google Buzz.

the3six5 project… or how I learned to embrace the emergent

the3six5 project

Around the start of 2010, I began hearing about this idea dubbed the3six5 project. A bunch of transmedia and emerging media folks discussed it with great fervor.

So I took a look…
frowned…
then asked…
“What’s the big effing deal?”

Every day, a different person would step in and write a journal entry of what was going on around him or her. There are rules of course, like being assigned a day insignificant to the author (i.e. no birthdays, anniversaries), writing a reflection of life that very day from the author’s location (i.e. the stark reality), limits to the number of words, and finally, zero blatant self promotion.

Everywhere Magazine: a crowdsourced travel mag Yes, it’s crowdsourc-ive, it’s storytelling, it’s experimental, but is it too simplistic and too random?

Prior to the3six5, we’ve seen very well curated examples that have even been put to print, such as user-generated magazines Everywhere and JPG. In other words, this isn’t new… so what’s really going on here?

Thinking back at the3six5, I even tried to suggest connectivity between stories…

So I wrote to the3six5 co-founder, Len Kendall

“While some of the twitterati I follow seem to like this project a lot, I beg to differ. I value the experimental (back to personal writing) nature of it, like how it provides a “snapshot” of our world from different perspectives, but find the articles all too disconnected from one another. I feel that it lacks connectivity, a kind of holistic purpose behind it. Perhaps I need to be unhinged to the idea of a plot? That said, I admire the difficult simplicity, consistency and diligence behind this project.”

To which Len calmly replied…

“Your reaction makes sense. There is certainly a disconnect between people. But I think that people’s minds often try to get non-fiction to mirror fiction. But that’s not how life operates. It’s very random, and this chronology reflects that. What makes it flow is that once every few days some folks with mention a “checkpoint” in time. Haiti’s earthquake, Obama’s spead, Apple’s ipad, etc. So that 10 years from now, if you read this story, you’ll have some sense of what was taking place at that time and when that time was.”

At this point I’m widening my sights to treat the theme as a giant chronological expression. Len explained that enforcing a theme pressures fiction around our non-fictional world. Thanks to our increasingly politicalized news media, perhaps it’s our learned reaction to pigeon-hole social reality. I have the sensation that what some storytellers are seeing, that isn’t apparent at face value, are qualities which will emerge from both the process and product of this particular sousveillance literature. The fiction will eventually appear because we will implicitly, and punitively, place it there.

As Len blogged, within the first 30 days of this year-long work, we’re already seeing a string of patterns emerge:

The web can be a really messy place. On creating order from chaos, Len writes how “Crowdsourcing ain’t easy”. Maintaining 365 authors for 365 days is pretty intense work, which makes me wonder if this project could ever work as an entirely community-governed iteration.

The number of views, comments and retweets act like an invisible leaderboard. There’s growing competition, or as BBHLab’s Ben Malbon puts it, “God help those writing in November…”. Throw in a few celebrity writers (ZeFrank!), and it looks like I’m pretty much screwed.

And on forcing fiction upon non-fiction: Margo Gremmler said “[…] you brought us all together in an author mosaic”. While I can’t wait to see the big picture, I thought that Gennefer’s tweet was rather poignant for the3six5’s journey…

Twitter / Gennefer Snowfield: @brainopera I'd add we're ...

Almost everyone contributing to this project agreed that “the case study for this project is going to be just as interesting as the project itself.”

To appreciate the3six5 experience, I asked if I could contribute, and was kindly given the day of 24th November 2010. It’s weird… but I suddenly feel like I own that day. It becomes both my honor, and my burden.

For a better idea of the3six5 project, be sure to read Ben Malbon’s “Interview with the3six5 project founders: 365 days, 365 perspectives

happy two-thousand ten…

happy two-thousand-ten.

Changes abound,
… afraid?
Nay.
The spell is broken.

music by detektivbyran.net
also viewable on youtube

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!

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

On Social Media Strategies, Cultural Lag, Productive Gaming, and Online Activism

The Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) Gang

Everyone’s been asking me, “So what have you been up to?”

It used to be the terrifying “Wow, you’re still here?”, so this has been a much needed improvement now that I’ve graduated. And no, just because I’ve received my doctorate doesn’t mean I’m being sought after just yet. I’m still pretty much a “naked doctor”, which means that I’ve still got to build up a bevy of research publications.

Besides the obligatory job hunt (which I hope to talk about later), I’ve been busy time-sharing my brain with the local Buffalo community. For the past few weeks, I’ve guest lectured at communication classes, spoken at advertising and public relations agencies, and then there’s a conference I’ve been invited to speak at this weekend. The speaking opportunities Buffalo PRSA presented me really paid off.

Despite my focus on online interactions, face-to-face time is still crucial, as I’ve learnt first hand during my interview with several NGOs for my paper on “Social Capital and Online Youths“. The benefit I get from giving these talks is the ability for me to gain an ethnographic perspective on social media use. I particularly enjoy hearing personal stories relating to experiences on services like Facebook and Twitter, something which we won’t find as easily in self-reported surveys.

Here are the folks I’ve met recently…

Social Media Strategies @ Flynn & Friends Inc.
Learn On Thursdays (LOTs) Talk @ Flynn & Friends Inc.

I first met Barbara Keough at Buffalo PRSA when I gave my talk on social media: strategy instead of tools. She invited me to speak at their LOTs meeting (that’s Learning On Thursdays) at Flynn & Friends Inc. Besides helping a local company, I loved peeking into corporate habitats (i.e. workplaces), so I agreed.

I dropped by their office on Thursday at noon (17th Sept), and after getting to know everyone, I started on how we often become enamored by the explosion of social web tools out there, when we should really be spending our time studying our users and what they were doing online.

That said, our approach to social media shouldn’t be too different from how we conduct traditional media planning, except that we now have to account for participants as potential producers (produsers to be exact), rather than passive viewers. I’d like to think that in our networked renaissance known as Web 2.0, almost everyone’s an Andy Warhol; Pop culture exists when it is exponentially reiterated.

Pulling together various studies, I shared measures of user participation as well as the varying types of online friendships, together with the caveat that passionate fans could just as easily turn against your brand; a reminder that respect remains a two-way street. You can see the slides here if interested.

Founder and Creative Director, Mitch Flynn, is known for his involvement in “Ride for Roswell“. He sent me a note recently saying that this talk was one of the best out of twenty-five he’s attended, so I’m glad I’m hitting the right notes. Incidentally Marc Adler, VP of Client Services, teaches advertising at UB, so that’s where most of my younger friends seem to recognize him from.

Social Media & Cultural Lag @ Marian’s PR Class, Buffalo State
Guest Lecture @ Prof Marian's PR Class
Poor Mary’s right at the back. Yes, that’s a student’s puppy.

After meeting the kind folks at Flynn & Friends Inc, I made my way down to Buffalo State College in the evening to speak with the graduate students at Dr. Marian Deutschman’s public relations class. Like Barbara, Mary had enjoyed my talk at the Buffalo PRSA sunrise seminar and thought I’d be ideal for her students.

Almost all of the students were somewhat practitioners themselves; there’s Peter from the Apple Store (Buffalo), Judie from Channel 4 News, and Marissa from Perry’s Ice Cream, which if you don’t know, is located around Buffalo. One of the other students works at the mayor’s office, while another was getting paid to ghost-tweet for a celebrity rapper.

In jest, the ghost-twitterer admitted feeling sad for the rapper’s unbeknownst twitter fanbase, so I shared the tip I learnt from Travers Collins & Company’s Courtney Quattrini (correct me if I’m wrong) on how 50 Cent had his ghost-twitterers sign off with initials, so fans wouldn’t feel short-changed thinking that it’s actually him tweeting. It’s about mutual respect.

While I generally approach agencies with a tactical perspective, I speak to students from a more historical point of view. After my presentation on social media strategies, we sat around and discussed how each of their organizations used social media, as well as the challenges they faced as communicators transitioning into the online social networking realm.

Quite often, plenty of ideas surrounding social media use inappropriately lends itself from traditional media use (i.e. broadcasting, one-way messaging, spamming). I shared the technologically deterministic concept of cultural lag to explain why new media tends to take a while to catch on, because we tend to replicate old behaviors into new environments. Dr. Marian jumped in to share how we could see this throughout history. While the horse carriage was popular during the 19th century, the automobiles which took over in the 1890s were known as horseless carriages for a period of time. When students talked about the pointlessness of conferencing through Second Life, I remarked that the best applications of Second Life I’ve seen has been for simulations and role-play. Every media excels in through particular ways.

To account for this cultural lag, I emphasized to students the importance of exploration and experimentation in media use. We won’t know the socio-technological affordances until we chance upon it. Blogs (arguably) didn’t gain popularity until Americans saw a need to act on their emotions after the events of 9/11. Meanwhile, the developers of twitter recently credited their users with the grassroots creation of retweets (see Project Retweet).

To get a sense of what students thought about our session, here are excerpts from their class reports:

“With social networking, there are endless ways to complement public relations efforts. Social networking gives more power to public relations practitioners than ever before. We now have ways of putting messages out to thousands of key consumers without having to rely on a journalist to communicate for us. It does carry some risks and potential conflicts with PR. Anyone can post anything they want at anytime.”

“Before we go down any one path, we should ask ourselves some questions. Are our customers likely to be online? How will you incorporate this into people’s daily jobs? Social media is time consuming. How will you measure results? Is the organization ready to handle negativity?”

“Use of these sites for purpose of public relations can be both beneficial and harmful to the company. The “fan haters” can create a poor reputation by spreading nasty comments about a company or person. On the other hand, if there is positive feedback, news will spread very quickly, increasing popularity in a very short period of time. Kevin said, from a business standpoint, it is important to keep good relationships with your fans on these sites.”

“The only downfall of social networks such as Facebook is the amount of time and level of work required to maintain public interest. Without frequent updates, users are not encouraged to view the site, and thus will not be affected by its existence.”

“We need to heed Kevin’s warning about the danger of spreading yourself too thin because you will be unable to dedicate the time that is needed to each networking site.”

“The potential impact of audience as distributor is being played out daily, but for those of us who did not grow up in the Information Age it is important to willfully keep this idea top of mind; we just aren’t used to thinking about comments about our organization being Twittered, Facebooked, blogged about, shared, forwarded, etc.”

Productive Gaming @ Kyounghee’s COM125 Intro to Internet
Guest speaker @ Kyounghee's COM125

PhD candidate & colleague Kyounghee invited me to guest lecture at her Intro to Internet class on Sept 25th, so I picked a presentation topic I’ve been experimenting with entitled productive games. I had conducted this talk to an appreciative crowd at the first Buffalo Barcamp, so this gave me a chance to make updates and refinements.

I’m not ready to publish the slides as I wish to make it more grounded, right now it feels like a scrapbook of interesting case studies. I will share that it involves Amy Jo Kim’s game mechanics as a means of steering user motivations. Video games have typically been given a bad rep in the media for generating social undesirable or unproductive behavior. By harnessing the addictive quality of video games and embedding these game mechanics into traditional labor, can we make work fun? What about steering users towards socially beneficial ends?

In reality, we are subconsciously performing micro-tasks as part of larger systems such as social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. On either of these services, you’ll see the number of friends implicitly considered as a scoreboard, while the profile completion progress meter would look like feedback in the leveling process, all of which are gaming elements that reply on our psychological urges. This prompts the reflexive point of whether we are playing the game, or is the game playing us. This potential exploitation forms the crux of Trebor’s upcoming conference: The Internet as Playground and Factory (Nov 12-14, 2009).

Online Activism @ 7th Planned Parenthood Advocacy Conference
Fine folks @ PRSA Buffalo

This weekend, I’ll be making my way to Rochester to attend Great SEXpectations, a Planned Parenthood conference where I’ll be speaking on the topic of grassroots activism through social networks.

Since meeting Tessa Walker and Amy White at the Buffalo PRSA seminar, I’ve discovered how the Planned Parenthood organization has been involved with the Obama campaign, while educating and empowering youth and young adult activists to take action for sexual justice. It’ll be the first time I’m interacting with the lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) community, so I’m looking forward to understanding their perspectives when it comes to social networking. I’ll be updating the presentation I gave to the local fundraising community earlier this year. Here’s the byline for my talk…

The Obama Way: Using Online Social Networks to Promote Your Cause
Ever wondered how President Obama used online social networks to win his 2008 election campaign? Obama’s campaign reminds us how citizen participation has always been key, be it on the ground or on the web. Learn how to take advantage of social networks to gain participation and empower supporters.

All in all, I’ve tried to make the best of my time in Buffalo until I head back to Singapore next week for the month of October. I’ll be back in November to continue my job hunt from Buffalo.

Social Cyborg upgrades: GoPro Hero Cam + Xacti HD1010

GoPro Hero Cam's Delicious Wide Lens!GoPro Hero Cam's Delicious Wide Lens!

GoPro Hero CamGoPro Hero Cam: Driving from Triads apartment to the airport. This exciting wearable camera is actually meant for extreme sports, so I’ll try to be creative in pushing it later. They’ve got tons of mounts for it, including ones for the helmets, surfboards, suction cups for race cars and so on.

I need to fashion a mount that clips onto the front strap of my sousveillance backpack. While it does great video thanks to its bright lens, I like the automated shooting mode which lets me automatically capture five megapixel fisheye photos every 2 or 5 seconds. Though I lose sound in that mode, it’s allows me to quickly browse through a visual record of where I’ve been and who I’ve met.

Don’t forget the latest firmware update which increases recording from 2gb to 4gb per file, as well as improving exposure in bright environments (e.g. snow). If you’re wondering how this camera’s been used in extreme sports, take a look at these nut-jobs! I got the basic GoPro Wide Hero 5MP camera from Amazon for $139


Sanyo Xacti HD1010: 300fps video test with Jerry & Shasha. This is a High Definition 1080p pistol grip video camera with several unique features, including interchangeable lenses, manual controls, and of course, high-speed video capture. I’ve got a few lenses coming my way so I can try more creative shots. I got this camera from Amazon for $349.