Thursday, March 29, 2007

Qotw9: STOMP is it citizen journalism?

Citizen journalism means to report news from your own standpoint. After September 11, many people wrote in their blogs, connecting the whole world on this tragedy. Photographs and little bits and pieces are posted on the web (Gimore, 2004) .

Is ideal citizen journalism?

Definitely because people are sending in their mms and emails of recent happenings, like food news, people fighting, who fell down the mrt track. These news are highly personalised.
There is a section on asking questions and " talkback" which allows for audience's opinions. There is two way communication.

According to Bowman &Willis (2005) , citizen journalists filter, check for loopholes in argument, use photographs, audio and videoclips to record, doing " grassroots reporting", and so on. have all these features. People can sign up for a free account to volunteer opinions. I have tried to interact on the forums under the alias slovenlee.

Actually I applaud that Singapore has decided to embrace the new technologicsl method of reporting news, and the page is very colorful. This makes it attractive to readers.


The first disadvantage is that signup is tedious and hypersensitive to login. I had to try multiple times. There were a lot of errors that came out.

The Starblog section should have a better color scheme, green is almost too hard to read from. I think they should stick to a black background like the rest of the Stomp.
The games section under Stink should have more fun games. There are only word-games there. This is quite boring. There should be more shooting or space games for the young. Word games are for more for intelligent and older people. If stomp were to be more youth friendly, this area needs to be improved.

They should show recipes and steps on how to make nice food like what has been shown.
There is a lack in response on the bulletin boards. There are only 2 replies each time.


Gillmor, D. (2004) We the Media. Retrieved March 29,2007 from

Bowman and Willis (2005) Nieman Reports: The Future Is Here, But Do News Media Companies See It? Nieman Reports, 5 (4) Retrieved March 29,2007 from

Friday, March 23, 2007

Qotw8: Theonlinecitizen


The title of this blog is theonlinecitizen, link is

Writer is Andrew who is from the Worker’s Party. The first postings began in December 2006. Technorati ranking is 59, 044.

The topics range from social matters, like how to help the elderly to what the Members of Parliament are doing. Sometimes there are posts on world matters, like the March 21, 2007 entry which discussed the ten polluted rivers and why the Pakistani coach was murdered.

The tone is objective for advertisements (like the Asean meeting on Youth) and what people in other countries are doing. But for today’s post, of untrue material, politicians lying and blogs which tell the truth, Andrew comments about Dr Balakrishnan’s remarks that the bloggers can publish freely about the government on the Net. “Blogs can prevent politicians from lying” (, 2007). He does not feel happy that our government says neutral things.

A second keypost is that he feels job discrimination is not helped. No one can sue employers who are biased against race and disabled people.Andrew sounds critical of the PAP. Readers who dropped comments on this post said they hoped laws would be imposed like in the UK against race and age factors.

Do blogs allow for greater democracy in Singapore?

Blogs are the new media now. Already in traditional media like radio and tv, it seems that whoever cannot win the public’s eye will become out of favor ( Thornton, 2002 ). There is great democracy in other countries. As long as people keep away from Nazism or very inflammatory remarks, most things are all right.

For Singapore, let me examine democracy in various contexts.

Democracy means content is negotiable, people can take part in equal amounts of discussion, even those who are affected (Thornton, 2002).

For the blog I have adopted, he can discuss about the policies of the government. But there will definitely be media watchdogs who keep a tab. It is impossible not to be detected. Racist bloggers were sued some time ago.

What if you kept away from racist content? Basically there are some blogs out there with poorly written English and comments about the government, which still remain. In my search, I came across one called the loud voice. The blogger was using a lot of swear words. But the entries are still up. There is relative freedom for vulgarities. Thornton ( 2002 ) states that if people were to be literate, then there can be equal basis for discussion. Those whose first language is not English sound awkward and are discriminated against. Singaporeans can all speak fluently, so this means there is equal opportunity to post something.

I am appalled at the singlish used. Frustrations and sadness can all be vented locally. It shows that there is no language ban. Teenagers can talk about their personal problems and matters online.

Although has a policy that they will remove material that is copyright or offensive, I have seen people post music and other people’s works on the blogs. But for the SDP’s podcasting, Dr Balakrishnan announced a ban against them. Netizens had also filmed and put up videos but they were all right (Giam, 2006). People used their mobile phones to snap videos. So there is democracy because you can film things without any bans or laws against you. But the boundary is, not to comment about polls and elections, especially if you are a politician.

I think that democracy is quite free in Singapore, because vulgarities and politics can be mentioned by most people. Unless you are a government official, you do not have to worry. Singapore will not press charges against your comments on blogs. But the worst case would be Dr Chee Soon Juan who is always on the headlines. He was jailed for talking about the headscarf issue that malay girls can be allowed to wear them and he asked for “the Chinese to speak up”. He admits to being a self-promoter.


Andrew (2007). Blog Retrieved from

Giam (2006) The Politics of Singapore’s new media. Retrieved march 23,2007 from

Hahn, Lorriane( 2002). CNN Talkasia. Retrieved March 23, 2007 from

Thornton,A (2002) Does the Internet create democracy? Retrieved march 23,2007 from

Friday, March 16, 2007

Qotw 7: What is Twitter?

No I do not consider Twitter an online community. Twitter consists of individual opinions. No two people shares the same interests or hobbies. When I logged in today, a man said that he was interested in dancing. Twitter is just a message board for people to post shout-outs and what they are doing at the moment. A person may just post ‘hello to so-and-so’. This comment may not be directed at anyone on Twitter, which I know because random things were mentioned. I just joined, so I did not know what was going on. A community does not make new members feel odd and out of place.

Fernback and Thompson (1995) found that “disagreement together…and obligation or…. together and one” form the notion of community. I agree with this viewpoint on what a community should be. An online community should be able to group together for a common cause, like a WELL user who talked about how many kind souls there were who encouraged him not to feel down about his daughter’s illness (Catalfo, 1993). A user would feel the empathy of others who shared his depression, or his joy upon accomplishing some feat. Twitter does not make one feel this way.

Just like on Internet Relay Chat’s description, Twitter users convey virtual “squeezes”or “hugs”. “Textual cues” are the only hints to what people say. One does not really feel inclined to sympathize or know the other people in depth.
On the other hand, a community gives people a chance to open themselves up, like counseling services. There is opportunity and room for people who would not open up or ask for much-needed help (Cullen, 1995). Drug addicts and people who are suicide-intended fall into this category. The elderly also turn to forums and conferencing for companionship with others outside (Wellman& Gulia, 1996). These latter groups of people would not want to discuss their pain and loneliness on Twitter, which is more like a happy messaging board on the latest updates.

Twitter is more of a “microblog”, which is what Ali-Hassan Noor (2006) discusses. It does not give the need for you to update regularly. You can update as infrequently as two months. Another blogger, Mitch Joel, says that updating can also be a way to let you know about the latest posting on someone’s page, functions as an RSS feed. He uses Twitter for “It’s another way to let other know what you’re up to… right now” (Joel 2007). The insight may be too personal, like a person commenting on what he is eating, or doing in the toilet right now.

Fernback J and Thompson,B. (1995) Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure?.
Retrieved Mar 16,2007 from

Noor, Ali-Hassan (2007) Microblogging. The Desert of my dreams.
Retrieved Mar 16, 2007 from

Joel, Mitch (2007) Twitter Is To Blogging What Post-It Notes Are To Notebooks. Retrieved Mar 16, 2007 from

Wellman and Gulia (1996). Netsurfers don’t ride alone. Retrieved Mar 16,2007 from

Friday, March 9, 2007

Bonus mission #1

From Wikipedia (Feb 2007), ‘personal sousveillance’ is where the mobile phone camera is categorized. Very serious surveillance is only for guards or generals interrogation.

A personal sousveillance clip I found on A guy was impersonating his other friends onstage. I gather that it is a club hosting a comedy show.

“Bullshitting…” was one of the jokes he made. It was hilarious and entertaining.

“The internet, however, is complicating our ability to negotiate the boundary between public and private, making it hard to recover a private self that has been voluntarily exposed” (2004). How do we know for certain that any of our moves made in public will not be posted on Youtube or someone’s blog? Some parties may be willing, but some may not be. This clip could be his friend who filmed him, or it could be a stranger. Then this got posted online. If the person had gone on to film the guy’s friends too, any viewer could piece together some information about their lives, like where they hang out, what they do for a living.

It would be positive if the man wants to be famous. His video could be viewed by some director or producer from the US or any large market. Talents nowadays post their own homemade MTVs. I read about a singer who marketed herself on youtube. She is now asked to perform live at her town.

But this video did not take into account how his friends would have reacted. They may be angry with him for impersonating them! The real mood is not captured.

On the negative side, sharing your feelings may not be the best way to recover from a crisis. Rosen (2004) said that a study of Vietnam soldiers wished they could be left alone when they were interviewed. I agree with this. When the news show, funeral proceedings are filmed at such close proximity! The mourners are already so grieved, should their grief be publicized? For necessary coverage, some little shots will do. But news reporters tend to zoom in that you notice every little detail.

It is unethical to film someone in the act of a private thing, like people crying or going berserk. The nanyang polytechnic video Tammy was memorable. Her friend was so jealous of her having sex with her boyfriend that she posted the video online. It was wrong of her to do that. It seems that the use of technology has stopped people from confronting their anger or sadness directly. She could have talked or vented her anger on Tammy first. Such a pity.

With such advancements in technology cameras and allowance of posting videos online, we should be moral and ethical in our usage of these. Unless people gave you permission that they want to be the next Superstar Idol, you should not take things into your own hands. The people who invented camera phones only wanted to economise the gadget and let us snap photos of our own peers.


Rosen, J. (2004). The Naked Crowd.

Retrieved March 9, 2007 from

Wikipedia:Sousveillance. (2007) Retrieved March 9, 2007 from