Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Spin Media

On Social Media, you want to engage, sometimes control the message, but not appear like you are trying to spin information your way. It is very easy to find out and more people will be pissed off.

On Aug 29, Dr Tan Cheng Bock was interviewed and he considered himself "outside PAP" and this is what he has to say. "There's definitely a division in the PAP: Tan Cheng Bock"

'There's definitely a division in the PAP,' said Dr Tan at a media conference hours after he lost to Dr Tony Tan by a narrow margin of 0.34 percentage point.

'It is reflected in the votes,' he added, noting that he and Dr Tony Tan scored around 35 per cent of the valid votes.

'We were so close. The PAP split is exactly right down the middle,' he added.

However a few days later, the PAP came out with this article, Outcome of presidential election is 'choice of Singaporeans': Yaacob

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Yaacob Ibrahim highlighted that candidates Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock, garnered some 70 per cent of the total votes together in the recent presidential elections.

'I think there is a strong support for the party in that sense. But it is clear that the people were divided...that we were basically having to decide between two very very good candidates,' he said.

From a 0.34% victory to a 70 percent vote? Where did the Minister for Information, Communications get his information and this is how he communicates?

He is trying too hard to spin this, a 0.34% win is a win, and you need to work hard to try to see why 65% of Singaporeans do not like your PAP candidate, and win them over with soft power -- not spin.

This is simply a joke and people on the web can self-organize and have a good laugh.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Facebook Privacy Change

With the competition coming strong from Google+, Facebook innovates on the complains heard from many Facebook users about privacy.

On Your Profile

Your profile should feel like your home on the web - you should never feel like stuff appears there that you don't want, and you should never wonder who sees what's there. The profile is getting some new tools that give you clearer, more consistent controls over how photos and posts get added to it, and who can see everything that lives there.

Looks like there will be finer controls on sharing your information.

Another problem I faced often is getting tagged in random pictures. I welcome some of the tagging, however I really hate Facebook stores that tag you on their products to get your attention.

Well, it looks like you now get a chance to approve tags on either profile or photos.

(You can find more detail on the profile settings here: http://www.facebook.com/about/control)

Content Tag Review

Before: Anyone who could see your photos or posts could add tags to them.

Going Forward: You have the option to review and approve or reject any tag someone tries to add to your photos and posts.

Tag Locations in Posts

Before: You could only "check in" to locations using the Places feature on a smart phone.

Going Forward: Now you can add location to anything. Lots of people use Facebook to talk about where they are, have been or want to go. Now you can add location from anywhere, regardless of what device you are using, or whether it is a status update, photo or Wall post. Of course, you can always choose not to add location at all.

Other changes include:

In line controls - each item on a user's wall has individual privacy options, such as public, friends and custom
Tag takedown - the ability to remove tags of self, ask the person who tagged you to remove it, or block the tagger
Universal tagging - users can tag anyone, not just Facebook friends. Other person can choose not to accept the tagged post on their profile
Profile view - the option to see how others view your profile is added above the news feed

I welcome the new changes and hope to see it soon.

-- Robin Low

For more information, visit the FB Blog.

Monday, August 22, 2011


When someone tells you to draw a heart, what do you draw?

Or do you draw

Or will you just do this?


Texting and technology has changed our lives.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Singapore Presidential Election

Tan Kin Lian

My election symbol is a raised hand in a speech box. The raised hand represents the people of Singapore and the five fingers symbolises the 5 personal values that I hope will guide our country: Honesty, Fairness, Positive Attitude, Courage and Public Service. The hand is inside a speech box which represents my slogan to be the Voice of the People. The colour of our campaign is Red+White (representing Singapore) and Grey (representing independence from any political party).

His blog is a simple blogspot, looks clean and nice, but not very "savvy"

Tan Cheng Bock

Why I chose the palm tree as my election symbol.
The leaves of the palm represent...s our multiracial society, the trunk represents them coming together, and the roots represents us taking root in Singapore. My Chinese name is 木, so a tree represents my name. My supporter also mentioned that the tall solo tree signifies integrity, independence and transparency.

Mr Tan's blog is a little messy, and his attempts to use "Social media" sees an empty Twitter Feed. This Youtube video dubbed with someone else's voice makes me feel that he is very "fake" The blog does not give me a good feeling at all.

Tan Jee Say

Mr Tan unveiled his campaign symbol, the shape of a heart, which he said stands for conscience and empathy.

Mr Tan's Blog is a very effective wordpress blog which is clean and simple. It looks very nice and not "corporate" and yet all the information is there.

Tony Tan

Here's my symbol, the good old spectacles. ...No one ever ruined his or her eyesight by taking a long term view.

Tony Tan's Blog seemed new, it was not found but he did spend $$ on Google Adwords.
It is professionally made, and definitely feels "Presidential" and "Corporate"


Overall, I like Tan Jee Say's Blog best as it is functional and his logo is the best thus far.

Tony Tan's glasses has so many meanings and I could think of many that are not so positive. His webpage again feels a little last minute and a little too professional and high budget.

Well, it seems that the presidential election is both online and offline, all the best to all the candidates!

-- Robin Low

Friday, August 12, 2011

Curry Incident

Right before the National Day in Singapore, This news report came out.
Number of neighbour disputes hit high

I have posted the whole report below, but there is a SOCIAL MEDIA CRISIS brewing when you search for Singapore Indian Curry on Google, you actually get this:

There are a few weak attempts to try to resolve the incident, and the government is still using traditional PR methods, "Mediators are a neutral third party"

There seemed to be no attempts to engage in the current conversations and address the problem. I understand that there are "Hard Power" approach, however, I feel that the government has to start engaging the public and use "Soft Power" to influence and build trust.

For one, a quick response in the comments to address the concerns would be much appreciated by the public, but it seems that since the elections is over, there is much less interest in attempts to please the needs of Singaporeans.

-- Robin Low

Here is an excerpt of the News Report (Copied and pasted before any edits by the Newspaper)

"Number of neighbour disputes hit high

Neighbours lack communication and increasingly intolerant: CMC
by Quek Sue Wen Carolyn
04:45 AM Aug 08, 2011
SINGAPORE - From dripping laundry to obstruction at common areas to the cooking of curry, there have been more than 300 cases a year since 2008 of warring neighbours taking to mediation to iron out their differences.

Last year, the proportion of neighbour disputes handled by the Community Mediation Centre (CMC) hit a high - with such cases making up two thirds of the total case load. And the trend has not escaped the attention of the authorities.

Responding to Today's queries, a Housing and Development Board (HDB) spokesman said that it is currently reviewing its penalty framework for public nuisance and is consulting views from various stakeholders.

The spokesman added that the authorities will take enforcement action, as a last resort, if the disturbance in question affects the neighbourhood, and when all efforts to resolve the matter amicably have failed.

The spokesman said: "In such instances, the HDB may initiate legal action to compulsorily acquire the flat or impose the penalty."

The CMC is the main mediation body here for social, community and family disputes that do not involve a seizable offence.

Out of the 498 cases seen by the CMC last year, 67 per cent were neighbour disputes, an increase from the 2007 where such disputes only made up 50 per cent of the centre's caseload. (see table)

According to the CMC, 75 per cent of these mediated neighbour dispute cases usually reach settlement.

Still, according to two CMC volunteer mediators - who have about 13 years of experience presiding over 200 cases each - neighbours are getting increasingly intolerant of each other and pick on trivial matters at times. There is also a lack of communication, so when conflicts arise, they would rather seek a third party than settle the matter themselves.

Madam Marcellina Giam, 54, a CMC master mediator, told Today: "I feel (neighbours) are less tolerant these days and they are bringing very small neighbourhood disputes to the CMC like disputes over a few pots of flowers or washing the corridor, which never used to happen."

Fellow master mediator Thirunal Karasu Palaniappan, 49, added that unlike in the past, when the "kampung spirit" was strong and neighbours ventured into each other's homes freely, many neighbours now do not know each other.

A silver lining

Most of the cases the mediators have seen are between neighbours living in public housing, though they have handled some cases involving residents of private estates. About 80 cases the CMC saw in the past two years were also referred to it by the HDB. This is out of the 1,700 complaints on inconsiderate neighbour behaviour the HDB receives on average in a year.

Mediators are also seeing more disputes involving new immigrants. Both mediators felt that most of the cases they see could be easily solved by the neighbours themselves but the latter choose not to.

As a dispute can usually take up to one hour to resolve and in one session, they said this showed how all that was needed was face-to-face communication to settle matters amicably.

While mediators are seeing a greater proportion of neighbour disputes among the cases that they handle, the good news is that fewer neighbours are taking the legal route to resolve their differences.

According to the Subordinate Courts, with the introduction of a more rigorous and proactive case management and pre-trial process last year, a majority of magistrates' complaints - which include neighbour disputes - have been resolved without the need for a full trial.

In 2009, there were 4,569 magistrates' complaints filed but this dropped by 412 complaints to 4,157 last year. In the first six months of this year, there were about 1,800 magistrates' complaints.

This translates to fewer cases in the Neighbourhood Court, a dedicated court set in 2008 solely to deal with neighbour disputes.

"Frivolous and unmeritorious complaints are weeded out at an early stage while the rest are settled by way of mediation, which has been very successful," said a Subordinates Courts spokesman.

When neighbours disagree ...
by Quek Sue Wen Carolyn
Case 1: A family, who had just moved here from China, had resorted to mediation because they could not stand the smell of curry that their Singaporean Indian neighbours would often cook. The Indian family, who were mindful of their neighbour's aversion, had already taken to closing their doors and windows whenever they cooked the dish, but this was not enough.

"They said: 'Can you please do something? Can you don't cook curry? Can you don't eat curry?'," said Madam Marcellina Giam, a Community Mediation Centre mediator. But the Indian family stood firm. In the end, Mdm Giam got the Indian family to agree to cook curry only when the Chinese family was not home. In return, they wanted their Chinese neighbours to at least give their dish a try.

Case 2: A 40-year-old sales manager was shocked to find a note posted in one of the lifts of his Telok Blangah block. The anonymous writer had complained that his children were making "ear-piercing screams everyday and making the environment very unconducive for resting". The writer said the screams were "hurting the ears" of the residents and called on the children's parents to be "socially responsible".

The sales manager, who wanted only to be known as Mr Su, said he thought of responding and finding out who the letter writer was. He decided against it eventually. "I don't know why the writer had to do that, he could have approached me directly," Mr Su told Today.

He has also told his two sons aged three and five not to make too much noise when they play. Mr Su also said he will let the matter rest - provided it does not happen again. Carolyn Quek"

Its on Bloomberg now!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creative Ads

I really like these AT&T ads, great visually, and even so interesting that I'm sharing them.

-- Robin Low