Revise: Two essential skills for better social media

This post was originally written on 9 Jan 2009 at the wordpress hosted singularity industries.

If you’ve ever been interested in social media, i’m sure you would have come across guide after guide of exhaustive lists of what tools you should try, what tactics you can use to make your content more sharable, or perhaps even how to write better content.

that’s all well and good, but if you’re feeling swamped, i encourage you to go one step further back, and that’s to know what works for you, and how you want to address those issues.

so what i’m talking about is essentially media literacy and better communications.

media literacy
if you can read and write, i’d say you’re literate, and you’ve been the product of your education system. but media literacy, that’s the ability to make sense of the changes around you, the trends around you so that you do not get caught in an echo chamber.

increasingly, with all this talk about social media, best practices, tips and strategies, and basically everyone else banking in on the brilliant concept of “social media”, i’m afraid we’re being caught in an echo chamber. where it’s only media practitioners raving about social media with other practitioners. basically just jumping onto the bandwagon.

does a video you saw on the Internet mean it’s real? what if it’s been planted by a PR or Advertising agency? and even if it has been, does it really matter?

i work in public relations, and online conversations are one of the most exciting aspects of real communications. it helps when i know where the video came from, and what the agenda of the video is. then it allows me to interact in a purer form.

i’d say, being media literate, is to know the agenda, intents and purposes of the source of communications.

i think that’s what’s missing in our interactions with the media.. that’s why we become skeptical of corporations.. and instead of digging deeper into the truth, we usually just take it at face value.

it’s easy to type without thinking, but understanding the power of our words, the channels and tools at our disposal is essential to being better media practitioners. and in today’s day and age, we’re all media practitioners. so what separates the good ones from the bad ones?

it’s very easy to ramble on a blog, and there are little checks to do quality control on the message we’re trying to get across.

if you’ve become a blogger or netizen that wants to contribute fairly and positively to the Net, then we have to become better communicators.

i believe it comes down to better communications.

say only what you need to say, and get to the point.

i love writing, and i love reading.. and i think the above statement is somewhat subjective. but without the need for guidelines or rules, let’s bank on our commonsense to communicate in a manner that addresses the issues we blog about.

let’s censor out all those personal prejudices and attacks that make for good drama, but ultimately loses the plot when we’re trying to make a point.

the desire to reduce bad content on the net begins with ourselves. we’re all flawed and not perfect. let’s look at ourselves first before pointing the finger at someone else. let’s listen to what’s really being said before we craft our response. let’s communicate with as little assumptions as possible.. and then we can get onto the things that matter.


Tweet Tuesday TweetUp: 25 May 2010 @ The Garden Slug

TweetUp: 25 May 2010

There’ll be a TweetUp happening next Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at The Garden Slug from 730pm, and it’s being organised by omgzam and 24seven.

Apart from the usual mingling around, the following people will also be sharing some interesting insights about social media.

1. Desiree Koh: A writer and public relations consultant hired gun for outfits such as The Lens Men.

2. Sean Firoz: Editor of Singapore Polytechnic’s fullSToP magazine.

3. Isman Tanuri: Marketing Communications Strategist at Hogg Robinson Group (HRG Singapore) and used to run Singapore music label, Fruit Records

To RSVP, head on down –> This Link.

Media, Opinion

Social Media, Why Does It Feel Like You’re Stifling Me?


There’s something missing in my web interactions of late. Of course, this is purely an opinion, full of bias perhaps and totally written off the bat. And that’s exactly what’s been missing, the snap judgment that comes from intuition and confidence in your experience, as opposed to over thinking and trying to find all the pieces of the puzzle.

So here’s my attempt at presenting my grievances in the social space.

1. So, you’re a social media guru?
Seriously? Because if you are, just stop it. It makes me feel ill that you’re killing the Internet with some half-baked opinions about the conversation, Internet penetration and sharing every scrap of “techno-social-jargon” that makes no sense to anyone out of your echo chamber, or being absolutely unable to have a decent conversation in real life.

2. Brands are talking to us now? Seriously?
This really gets my goat, brands talking to use. Seriously? How is having such a conversation suppose to better my life? I was doing fine waaaaaaaaay before any of you showed up. I went to whatever shop I needed, believed whatever advertising or reviews I needed and now.. I’m supposed to have a relationship with a brand? Seriously, that is just about the saddest kind of existence to have. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, introduce yourself like a proper person, and we just MIGHT be able to be friends.

3. WOW! Look at this! It’ so interesting!
Fine, I might be guilty of sending too many links out, but I also absolutely hate it when I see a hyped up link that sends you to an article that has absolutely nothing to do with the sign of the times. For example, how many more times can you read “10 Ways Social Media Can Revolutionize Your Business”? My bottom line is, there are some great online folk who take pride in the links they send and genuinely want to make the Internet a better place, and a lot more hacks who are lazy in sharing their knowledge.

4. If I see another flash mob, I will KILL myself.

5. Digital’s a better way of doing things.
It’s a more efficient way, and lowering the barrier to entry to participate is a great competition equaliser. But you have to admit, there’s a lot of junk and hacks that abuse their new found publishing powers. Digital has also made it easier for lifeless, soulless copies to walk amongst the land of the living. But I’ll let this go as a necessary evil.