Name: Kevin Lim
Affiliation: The Media Socialists (see our twitter crowdstatus)
Major: Communication (Internet Research)
Location: School of Informatics, University at Buffalo (SUNY)
Interests: Trendspotter, Mac Evangelist, Gadget Pornographer
Maxim: “Always remember how fortunate you are and contentment won’t be far”
Kevin Lim studies and shares his interest in the wide-ranging cultural affordances of technology, focusing particularly on the pedagogical aspects of social media. Through the use of popular culture, he makes it easy to understand various online phenomena via his blog.
Presently in the field of communication, his research work has ranged from the anti-censorship of China, multi-dimensional regulation of online spam, social capital among online non-profit organizations, and the influence of blogs on purchasing decisions. He also gives social media related workshops and produces user-centric guides at the Teaching & Learning Center (TLC), located in the University at Buffalo (SUNY) [Google Map].
Challenging notions of virtuality, Kevin’s transformation into a social cyborg has him constructing a modular multi-camera networked backpack. This unique backpack allows him to experiment with lifecasting as a physical embodiment of ambient presence to his online readers. The setup also acts as a memory prosthetic, allowing him to “never forget” as first-person memories are captured and made “deep searchable” through a combination of keyframe tagging, thumbnail flipping, face & speech recognition, and GPS location awareness. See “How to never forget: The story behind Kevin’s wearable cameras“.
As a result of his eccentricity, Kevin has been spotted on:
- The Straits Times (scanned print) and MyPaper (Chinese newspaper) for being one of 20 college bloggers nominated for a $10k U.S. Blog Scholarship (see my campaign)
- The cover of Zaobao Weekly (Singapore’s Chinese newspaper) for his [lifecasting + memory prosthetic] project
- Channel News Asia’s “That’s IT” show about Second Life
- TV12 Kids Central’s “Hi! Tech” show about Blogging
- The Buffalo News for interviews relating to Social Media
- The popular CommandN videocast as a “WebPick”
- Microsoft’s Channel 10 videocast for the sousveillance backpack
- Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategist blog for lifecasting
- Tech65’s Channel65 videocast for the sousveillance backpack
- CNN Money and game theorist Raph Koster cited my comparison of “Second Life’s CopyBot vs. Star Trek’s Replicator“.
- TIME magazine’s review of Geek Terminal
Kevin has spoken at various public, academic and technology events, including:
- “Web 2.0 in South East Asia” panel @ Microsoft ReMIX (29th June 2007)
- “Youtube and beyond…” @ The National Library (19th June 2007)
- “Social Media in Singapore” @ BlogOut 2007 (24th May 2007)
- “Crowdsourcing the Media” @ Nexus 2007 [watch video] (24th Mar 2007)
- “The Rise of Us: The Distributed Power of Social Media” @ UB (29th Nov 2006)
- “Building Social Capital for Online Youths” @ AoIR ’06 (28th Sep 2006)
- “Internet and Social Capital” @ SYMC 2005 (26th Jan 2005)
Being a gadget pornographer, Kevin also enjoys doing product reviews which has since included:
- Video Review: Waterfield Nintendo DS Lite case (for classy gamers)
- Video Review: Sony’s LocationFree Player on Mac, Windows & PSP
- Exclusive Review: The Go Motorboard 2000XR
- Video Review: Apple’s Mighty Mouse
- Video Review: Koyono BlackCoat
- BlogBridge: Reviewing a new breed of RSS newsreader
- Reviewing Writely, JotSpot Live & Writeboard
- Shufflesome: Wicked designs for iPod Shuffle
Video reviews aside, he also produces a podcast / videocast called theorycast. There you’ll see interviews with cutting edge social science academics, folks who run Web 2.0 startups, as well as coverage of interesting trends in the physical and virtual world (my belief is that we live in multiplicity simultaneously, rather than distinctly disassociated worlds).
Feel free to contact him for his take on social media. Kevin is also available for relevant interviews and speaking engagements.
My Personal Timeline
If you’re hungry for more, here’s some additional tidbits about me…
Working on my dissertation about social discourse through the Internet in China. Taking into account how the Internet originates from Western libertarian ideology (it’s decentralized), this communication technology clashes with the Chinese society which lives as a Confucian civilization. The study will cover issues from the perspective of the PRC government, corporate stakeholders as well as the Chinese netizens as an interplay with the Internet being shaped by these social forces.
Wow, my first time teaching classes of my own! I taught both COM125: Intro to Internet (Social Media) and COM242: Effects of Mass Media at the UB-Singapore program, located at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). I love the faculty, staff and all 75 of my students! Check out these photos to believe…
Don’t do a PhD. If you’re not sure, don’t even try. It can be a lifesucking experience if you’re not the person for the job. I’m honestly trying to measure up to expectations, and the advice I get from those who’ve finished their dissertation is the same: Don’t Give Up. Interestingly, most of them tell me it took them two years to get their dissertation done. I hope to finish mine faster than that.
I put up a Google Map + Blog Aggregator mashup to track Singaporeans in the North American region at What.isthereason.com
I felt the need to share my knowledge, so I organized an evening workshop to Singaporeans in Buffalo to show them the virtues of blogging. Once they got comfortable with the idea, I tried to foster greater community spirit by creating a specialized blog aggregator at Singapura.isthereason.com
A lot has happened since 2001… I’ve finally settled down on theory.isthereason, using this blog as a place for collecting personal and public memories. Now that I’ve been studying for five years straight, for some reason I feel less innovative than before where I was engaged in various different ventures.
I started an online portfolio for my videography at Kevin.isthereason.com
I started blogging through Blogspot and FTP at happy.now.nu (it’s been hijacked since).
I leave my beautiful home, Singapore, for my overseas undergraduate studies. I miss home… love it being a densely “wired” country. For now, I focus on my Communication degree, here in the University at Buffalo, the State University at New York (SUNY). Buffalo’s a quiet little place, not as happening as Singapore nor York City itself, but this is a good locale for studying.
Completed my National Service on February 2000… It was a fantastic experience! We even got to learn riding dirt bikes (scramblers) through rough terrain. I’ve been trained as a 3rd Guards Brigade Reconaissance Specialist, Deputy (2nd Commander) in a tactical team of four. Having been through months of training, I’ve experienced physically and mentally challenging situations. The Jungle Hat is a hard-earned symbol of our pride in the School of Military Intelligence.
I’ve always loved the breaks that DJ Tony Tay spins at Phuture (Zouk). Never did I imagine that a whole new music scene of local jocks would soon emerge. Spinning progressive dance tunes that were never heard on local radio, these fresh and alive local jocks tore the floor up with scorching sounds of Techno, melodic high of trance or the dirty “digging” sounds of breaks. The scene became hypervibrant with people bringing back ideas to Singapore from their overseas studies. I guess it was only natural that a dozen of us formed a music organization called Frontal, to help drive the DJ scene even further. Like the other music groups, we setup gigs at all sorts of places, talked to people from all sorts of industries and marketed our sounds to the “up-for-it” public. Frontal is now made up of various DJs spinning trance, techno and breaks. For some of our DJ mixes, check out our site at Frontallabs.com
My friends and I enjoyed listening to local indie bands so much that we decided to do something to help promote the music scene. So the three of us got to know our favourite bands better and came up with the non-profit music web site called Substitute.com. Greg did most of the editorial stuff (he had a band too!), Racheal did the marketing/PR while I did the technology bits. Substitute featured stories, interviews, how-tos with loads of images, and streaming audio. Due to Racheal’s amazing marketing efforts, we got a little fame on newspapers, music magazines and radio shows. Singaporeans around the world began to listen in to Substitute as their primary source of local flavored music. The response was fantastic and we soon found ourselves overwhelmed as more bands and fans wanted more… I guess we became the first real dot.bomb as we felt that we couldn’t keep up the pace. We enjoyed working at it but the grunt work came too much to bear. Substitute’s still up till today thanks to the generosity of WebVisions, a great web hosting company.