Quoted in Straits Times for Singapore’s User-Generated Content

Quoted for Straits Times promo

Straits Times journalist, Chew V’Ming, was nice to call me about it yesterday. Cool guy.

Judging from what James Seng and Emily Ng have spoken individually about, there might be a need for Singapore’s very own video sharing service. Such a localized service would benefit in two main ways:

  1. As a culturally-engaged platform centered around locally captured videos.
  2. To watch videos faster (i.e. Singaporean’s past-time involves buffering video).

Unlike the report, which is more of a promo for STOMP’s new DIY Video section, I’m actually happy finding Singapore videos on Youtube; there’s “no needle in the haystack” problem as the search works quite well. However, there are folks who don’t know that Singaporean video clips do exist on Youtube, simply because they wouldn’t think to search there (as inspired by DK’s comment).

As I’ve highlighted before, a potential problem arises on the issue of copyright and freedom of expression. I’ve explained why Singapore will never develop “YouTubes” or “Skypes”, and for the same reason, why it’s unique to the States. Despite restrictions imposed on our mainstream media (as reminded in this Today article), this latest effort by STOMP to be a centralized resource for locally produced videos should fill a social need. If anything, this would serve as a stepping stone to further a more democratic and participatory media form.

Please don’t read too much into the findings, except that indeed, for a small country like Singapore, we do put out a lot of user-generated content compared to our larger neighboring countries. This includes videos on Youtube and entries on Wikipedia as I’ve shown in my Nexus 2007 panel on “Crowdsourcing the Media“.

8 thoughts on “Quoted in Straits Times for Singapore’s User-Generated Content

  1. And funnily…. if finding singapore video on youtube is like finding a needle in a haysack, then how did you find 23k video tagged with Singapore.

    Front contridict with the back. Haha.

  2. DK: Agree, but we must never forget that netizens like ourselves are considered “power-users”. There are folks who don’t access the web as frequently and might have no idea that Singaporean video clips do exist on Youtube. Don’t be amazed. 🙂

  3. are people specifically interested in Singaporean video clips and really hunt for those that are specific to singapore? I thought it will be the content that interest people rather than the geographical origin of the video.

    hmmm but than again i do recall using search statements like singapore tammy video….haha

  4. Astroboy: Good point too. People tend to search based on interests rather than plain geography. Then again, I doubt that the Tammy video would have ever made it on Stomp’s web site, so back to the other video sharing sites we go…

  5. Yay Kevin is in the newspaper! It should have been you replacing that girl in that picture though. Kevin with his helmet cam is droolingly smokingly hot 😀

    Astroboy, many not that many people, but there are a number of people who do research on youtube and other website where they are considering to go to for their holiday, for example.

    In fact, recently, there was this Italian gentleman whom emailed me, thanking me about the videos of singapore that I’ve put up on my blog as he will be coming to Singapore in August for his work attachment and he found it useful, seeing how the ‘atmosphere’ is like.

    And personally for me, sometimes like to do searches on other countries too, a couch traveller. Before my trip to trip to Italy, I did countless of google searches and stumbled into plentiful of informative sites with a residents point of view (as compared to travel agencies)

    So, I am certain that we shouldnt discredit people who are genuinely interested in not only Singapore as well as other countries – Tammy videos not included 😛

    Oh hey, by the way, I dont really fancy that stomp DIY video site. I was checking it out this afternoon as was kind of turned off by the fact that we cant upload it ourselves. Instead, we have to email or sms or even snail mail (gasp!)

    Yeah, I’m sure its to check that nothing inappropriate will be uploaded. But still, its so off putting.

  6. Oh oh oh!

    And Astroboy, dont forget people who used to live in Singapore, whom migrated to other countries whom are homesick, and for some reason cant go back and needs a dose of a little bit of home …

  7. I think it was Preetam Rai who said that Youtube videos offers people a window to our living rooms. Indeed, there’s a lot of cultural exchange that happens by watching videos of our each of our everyday lives.

  8. oh definitely there is a role as well as various situation which you would want to find out about certain country. Of course there are many ways to do it. Youtube could be one of them while the conventional means such as websites do provide such information as well. I am just curious about how big is this group of people that uses youtube as a window into other people culture etc

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