It was a fruitful weekend for me at the 2nd BlogFest.Asia 2010 held at Wawasan Open University (WOU), Penang. The Fest organised by dotasia.org and mybloggercon.com. The two days at the conference, I learn some new things although some of it is a bit too technical for me as I consider myself not a tech geek. It was all about the new media and empowering it into the limelight as it is the future of communication, to me. The young generation or I am labeling them as cyber generation is slowly overtaking the IT generation.
I was born before Malaysians knew nothing about computers and was exposed to the my first 386 computer in 1983 when I bought a desktop for RM 3,800. It was considered luxury then. Since then I never look back and today into my second half century of living, I consider myself a computer addict but an end user only. I have been blogging since 2006 after reading about the tsunami on jeffooi's screenshot.
I was wondering at first whether I am fit to join the Fest since I am a Malay and the organiser is a Mandarin based blogging community and catering to the bloggers who writes in Mandarin . Another lingering question as to my participation is will I fit in the younger generation due to my age. However, I made a bold move to go ahead. The first morning I walk from Continental Hotel on Penang road to WOU for two reason. First to take some shots for the Blog Penang contest that I intend to take part and secondly maybe I can get to see the secretariat and take my participant name tag. When I reached the security guard and inquired whether there is the secretariat at the Uni and he said, “Depa baru saja belah.” It might sound rude to first timer who hear the word belah that literally meant had went off but for me being a Kedahan, it is just a normal thing. However after staying in Kuala Lumpur for some years, it was a bit of a “culture shock”. So, my mission on the first day morning failed.
I attended the first day welcome dinner hosted by Ministry of Tourism Malaysia at QE II. Before landing in the island, I was thinking QEII is some posh restaurant by the seaside somewhere near the Esplanade. I knew that there’s a restaurant there. It was all wrong because QEII is a restaurant that serves Western cuisine located at Tanjung City Marina, Church’s Street Pier. Its a place for fine dining and chilling down while being caressed by the cool sea breeze.
The dinner was hosted by Tourism Malaysia and of course I felt lost because I did not know anyone and being sitting alone just enjoying the food and fill after fill of juice. I don’t drink of course. Being a participant I obliged to the host and I felt a bit relieve when I saw a few Malay participants in the crowd even though I did not make any advancement to get to know them.
The second day start with a keynote address by Peter Herford from Chung Kong School of Journalism and Communication who do open up our mind about changes…….
During the breakout session I join the Multimedia blogging and its future by Podcaster John Ong and moderated by Willy Wah. Even though I have heard about podcast before but the session that I attended gives me a clearer picture what podcasting all about. It was a video conferencing session between Willy, the participants and John Ong who is in the United States. Note: I am listening to Ongline podcast Ongline #369 Politics to Diet with Vertitable Vergo. Now I am clear what podcast is all about and my conclusion, one need some studio skills, fluent in your podcasting medium , adequate knowledge in the area discussed, good communication skills and a pleasant voice to be a DJ online. This is the differences between podcasters and bloggers.
The next session was by Ms Masjaliza Hamzah, ED of CIJ Malaysia ; Journalistic Values For Documenting Events via your blogs and followed by Use of New Media in Education by Wawasan Open University and Shantou University lecturer Mr Jeremiah Foo.
I do not know whether there is a shuttle bus from WOU or I missed the bus. I did not get any message from the secretariat actually. I think the secretariat has to look into this area of communication for future meetings. Since I already missed the bus, I was forced to wait for dinner hosted by Penang State Government in conjunction with Mybloggercon Awards and Asia Blogger Choice Award.
Third Day starts with presentation by representatives from participating countries. The session do give some information about internet and the new media of these countries and followed by an interesting forum discussed by a panel that hail from the two different divide of political parties in Malaysia. I can’t quite remember the names of both panels but one is an MP for Bukit Bendera while the other from MCA.
Three workshops followed. The first that I attended was Wordpress Multisite . However I left early for another workshop since it did not suit my needs and join another concurrent workshop about organising people in the cyber and real world.
Photography and Travelogue through blogs ends the workshop sessions. There was a good discussion about the topic since photo of one of the ingredient of an interesting blog post. However I did not learn much eventhough I am very interested in the topic and from my opinion the secretariat should have invited more successful photo bloggers to share their experiences and expertise.
My suggestion: Since mybloggercon uses the '”my” that represent Malaysia, I think such activities should be open up to all bloggers irrespective of language in their blog postings so that it will reflect the true identity of Malaysia as a multiracial country. Let us show to the world how blogging and the new media as an example and tools of unity irrespective of race, religion and creed and fight for the common cause.
There are still many more local blog celebrities (not celebrity blogger) from Malaysia who has been successful such as Kennysia, Nicole Cocokiss, Redmummy, BeautifulNara, as an example to come and share their experiences in punning traffic and making a living from blogging.
Maybe next time can invite Timothy Thiah too from Nuffnang and share out how Nuffnang can help bloggers earn part time as bloggers. We have to move on from blogging as a hobby to blogging for a living.
Liason, Please in future do not leave out “foreign locals” in future as we need your help too.
Conclusion: I lift my hat to the whole member of secretariat for doing a good job making this Fest a success. You have made Malaysia proud with your effort since this is an International event.
Note: I am the one in the centre wearing the berretta cap. Picture credit to John Shen Lee.