Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How unfortunate.

CNA tries to use more social media and get news from Twitter, however as they are very selective on their news and their views are sometimes biased, many people are unhappy with their reporting.

So it is very unfortunate that this shall appear on live TV, however if you check their twitter feed, and Singapore related hashtags, it is common to see many angry people with angry comments.

But it is simply very unfortunate to have it revealed on TV

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Curry Incident Gone Viral.

Cook and Share A Pot of Curry !

Sort of a Facebook Protest to the Curry incident has garnered more than 50,000 attendees and it is something the government cannot ignore.

As observed last week, the Google Search for "Singapore Indian Curry" yields all the negative information about the Curry Incident.

So, instead of ignoring the people, the government finally decides to act, but I feel that the comments made by the minister is not enough and does not respond to the root of the problem. Shanmugam cautions against xenophobia

This respond was partly because of this article and it suddenly became mainstream news.
Singapore's 'anti-Chinese curry war'

In social media, it is very common that when someone feels strongly about something, they will share it with their friends. In turn, this kind of communication gets viral quickly, and when the government wants to engage, it takes much more than a news respond or a campaign -- but rather, listening and responding to the everyday needs of the people.

This does not mean giving in to every request, but rather sharing the reasons with proper communication to let people know the reasons behind things, and accepting and addressing negative feedback instead of deleting it away.

So are you cooking a pot of curry to show your support for the rights to cook curry at home?

-- Robin Low

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Does the government understand Social Media?

This is the comments made by DPM Teo in a dialogue with students.

I feel that this statement is not very valid. While social media is "very powerful in amplifying voices of people who are most articulate" Articulate or not, social media allows the public to have a direct feedback unlike the traditional one way broadcast the government is used to have. The truth is nobody needs to have a good command of English to comment on news or articles they read, they simply have to care.

"One negativity I personally don't like in social media is anonymity because it allows you to make statements without responsibilities. And I don't think we can have a responsible discussion if one is not asked to be responsible for what he says," Mr Teo said at a dialogue, Singaporeans in Conversation, with 250 students yesterday. "That results in a discussion which quite often becomes skewed and unproductive."

I do not believe that social media has anonymity. It takes time and effort to build trust, and anonymous posts will not be given much attention unless it is either interesting, humorous or inexplicably -- convincing.

Social media allows the government to crowdsource ideas, broadcast information and get real feedback from the masses. In terms of making statements without responsibilities, it is easier to spread rumors through coffee shop talks. For credibility and trustworthiness, reputation needs to be built, and this is a long process and cannot be done overnight.

The influencers in Singapore like Mr Brown, Mr Miyagi and other popular blogs all took time to build their reputation and create their following.

In terms of leaving anonymous feedback, if the government is willing to put the time to engage and understand the cause for the feedback, it might learn something new. Although there are times people may leave hurtful remarks which may seem to have no basis, but taking the time to investigate further may reveal whether it is a hoax or it is valid concerns which needs to be addressed.

Like any corporation which want to engage with their customers, it does take time, effort and the willingness to engage. Just having a Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog is not using Web 2.0 in the most effective way. It is a whole new change in mindset, policies that would support the engagement to be able to succeed.

-- Robin Low