Number of blogs talking about “Singapore Elections” in the last 7 days // Source: Technorati
Last week, I started writing about how it was all too quiet on the blogging front when it came to the Singapore Elections. Judging from the early results via Alexa traffic rankings and technorati tag counts, I almost came to the conclusion that everyone was quite fearful of the podcasting and blogging ban regarding electoral advertising in Singapore, and that the safest policy was to not blog about it.
While it’s a grey area of the law, some might argue that political coverage might not necessitate electoral advertising. I waited a while longer, only to be greeted with a flood of Singapore elections coverage online as soon as the political rallies started. This recent increase somewhat proved to me that the idea of the citizen journalism being alive and well in Singapore, having matured from the once basic premise that blogs were perceived merely as personal diaries.
Still, is there enough political coverage on blogs?
Being politically aware is of vital importance since it literally involves the governance of our well-being. My concern is whether those who care about issues at hand might not be sharing as much online compared to offline (i.e. face-to-face, coffeeshops). The chart above shows how much “Singapore Elections” conversation has been going on the blogosphere in the past few days. The number of posts tagged SingaporeElections per day for the last 7 days is shown and as you can see, the weekend has proven fruitful.
For your information, you can see, read and even subscribe to what bloggers are saying about the Singapore Elections via Technorati. There’s plenty more that isn’t showing up on technorati, but reading the various blogs will yield you even more links. I’m not sure if the numbers would rise dramatically as we draw closer to elections on May 6th, but so far everyone’s smart to tread the line carefully. Sometimes little needs to be said when there are enough visuals to speak volumes.
For the record, we’re well aware that Singaporean bloggers know how to use Technorati to drive traffic to their sites (remember “tammy nyp” fiasco?), yet there many choose not to do likewise for the current elections. In fact, I’m not alone in witnessing this. AsiaPundit realized something similar a week ago in his “Tropical Singapore’s Big Chill“. He noted how some bloggers prefer staying away (which I respect), while a notable few (mostly veteran bloggers) take up the challenge with either critical reviews or witty satire (I’m not worthy!).
Are Singaporeans choosing not to blog about it or are they apathetic towards politics?
Or could it be that many talk about it, but prefer not to be accountable for it?
Perhaps the idea of discussing such political issues online might be equivalent to leaving a paper trail. Unlike talking face-to-face with friends off-the-record at a coffeeshop (informal setting), openly blogging about political issues makes me feel as if I were drawing a target on my forehead. Even abroad, I somehow feel this fear. This is why as a non-anonymous blogger, I feel safer to be objective rather than opinionated about such issues.
Aren’t you worried when you blog about politics in Singapore?
Nevertheless, it’s truly awesome to be able to see first hand accounts of the Singapore elections by bloggers, but perhaps more should join in. Presently, some of the excellent stuff I’ve read so far include:
- YawningBread’s excellent timeline and photos of recent Political Rallies. See his “On Hougang Field” photo essay for example, whose awesome photo appears on countless other blogs. MrBrown even compares YawningBread’s photo with the one that appear on the Straits Times… see the big difference?
- Tym’s very first political rally. Interesting personal account, complete with excellent photos and relevant links. (Don’t fret, I’ve yet to attend an actual rally myself!)
- A Gecko’s Tale talks about how despite the rain, people still showed up in numbers at the various rallies.
- GayleGoh summarizes some of the rallies he’s attended for our benefit.
- Ballsy shares a poignant moment of taking the long wet walk to one of the recent rallies and also asks if fellow bloggers would like to go to meetup at these rallies.
- SingaporeGrrl talks about voting overseas.
- shadow of transcendence has several in-depth opinions to share about what politicians and the media say.
Then there are the staple blogs that cover Singapore’s political scene:
- Mr Wang’s Commentary Singapore is offers insightful commentary on local developments.
- Singabloodypore is as interesting as ever.
- SG Rally: The Singapore Elections Rally Archive offers the most comprehensive coverage of the recent rallies, including tons of streaming videos so you’ll feel right in the thick of the action (warning: media heavy site = SLOW!).
- Sammyboy’s Alfresco Coffee Shop offers the man on the street a voice to air their thoughts about recent political events. The quickest way get a feel of what people think.
- ThinkCentre.org has a plethora of relevant links regarding the local political scene.
Please forgive me if I’ve missed out of your blog posts… do let me know!
BTW: I’ve been trying to find out if it’s the first time that Political Parties are making television broadcasts. I’ve been watching all the action from YouTube and I’m so amazed. As a Singaporean living abroad, a lot of us are thankful to be able to see everything away from home, thanks to a few nameless souls.