I’ve been meaning to do my bid at spreading some goodness from Singapore’s social media scene for a while now, so what better time than the “gimme a break cos I’ve just handed in my dissertation update” weekend. After the jump are four nifty bits from the our tropical island…
Above you see Michael Cho’s passion for street singing, explained using Comiqs.com. When I met him last year in Singapore, he shared an idea for a web service that lets users create and share their comic-style stories online. I mentioned how I’d totally use something like that, since I’m already a big fan of Comic Life and Skitch for Mac. They’ve got a beta and running, and I must say that it looks pretty world-class. Even before Comiqs got Techcrunch-ed, they’ve already grown a global user base (judging from their “most recent users” list). I’ve quietly followed their development and now its as fluid as Flickr: fun to use and fully embeddable. Like the desktop-based Comic Life, it breathes new life into photos you’ve taken. I’m really proud that Comiqs is made in Singapore!
Siva sent word about this math genius who took matters into his own hands. Having been rejected by five top U.S. colleges, this National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate posts his maths lectures on YouTube. This top scorer is putting pedal to the metal, he scored four As and two S-paper distinctions. How he couldn’t get into these top colleges could be a sign of “academic inflation” (thanks Shady!), where competition may drives expectations higher. While Donny did play basketball for his school, perhaps these establishments were looking for applicants who delivered more of a social bottomline (e.g. community service), rather than simply individual capability. If so, his Gaussian Dept. of Mathematics might just do the trick, as would his 320 Youtube subscribers. Three takeaways: 1) His work mirrors the idea of MIT’s OpenCourseWare, except that this is the work of one sole individual, 2) This is a case study of how reputation could be earned through alternative self-established channels, 3) A deterministic aspect of social media reveals the potential for enhanced autonomy / empowerment.
Having just delivered his talk at San Francisco University on Digital Literacy, Ivan’s social initiative was recently featured on Cherian George’s Journalism.sg. He explains that The Singapore Social Media Directory came about from the question: “Where can I look for blogs, especially those in Singapore?” We have Tomorrow.SG and Ping.SG, which are great at highlighting Singapore blogs, but they don’t keep a running list of blogs featured. Ivan called it a “social experiment” because anyone could edit the wiki. Nine months after its launch, here’s a progress report at his Rambling Librarian blog. As I’ve pointed out before, this cursory blog directory is especially useful for friends in Public Relations industry.
I just found a rockumentary buddy. Introducing zerotohero, aka Billy Tan. Produced during his university hey days, budding filmmakers, Gavin, Jason and him, recently shared their amazing documentary about Singapore’s rock music scene. Many in the homegrown music industry might think it’s debatable if the scene was too transient to be called a scene. In any case, the film has even scored these guys a short trip to NYC for the New York Expo in 2003. If you recall, I recently recovered our own documentary my friends and I did on The Padres, entitled “The Local Alternative”. Go watch their 3-part video already!
If you know of anything neat in the Singapore social media scene, do drop me a line!