This is the interview I had with Martin Lindsey of martyblogs on 27th April 2007.
Talk about your career path and what you now do for a living.
I'm an Education Consultant, I promote Singapore as an educational hub to the world. I do not receive any support or help from our Singapore Government, in fact, it is competing with me for my business. So I'm trying something else.
I'm currently working on setting up a university and a retirement village in Southern China. Does this make me an entreprenuer? haha.....
What are your top three fun things to do in East Singapore?
First - Eat! There are lots of eateries and restaurants in the east which are popular and sell awesome food. Singaporeans from all over the country would come here for the food. Singapore being a multi-racial country, you can find everything under the sun here! You definitely have to try our local food.
Second - The east has 3 'S's -Sun, Sand, Sea! East Coast Park is a lovely stretch of beach where you can swim, suntan, sail, cycle, rollerblade and eat uber-delicious seafood by the breezy seaside!
Third - the east side of Singapore has an eclectic mix of cultures, rich history and architectural heritage. There are unusual terrace houses, a pre-World War II parish church, a legendary Victorian hotel and the tallest, oldest Indian temple of Singapore. There's so much to see and do!
What would be three adventurous things for a first time visitor to do in Singapore?
Man, you've got to try all our local food at the hawker centres. It's cheap and yummy. The spicy dishes would make you break into a sweat. hehe... Trust me, you would love the food here.
Go to our Day Zoo, a multi times award winning tourism attraction. Have an unusual breakfast with an orang-utan, an otter or even a reticulated snake! Yeah! You heard me! The Night Safari is the world's first wildlife park built for visits at night. A great experience for all visitors!
You have got to see Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown. These ethnic quarters represent the different races in Singapore. See how the different races co-exist harmoniously on this little island.
I receive many foreign visitors to Singapore every year and these are the first few places I would normally bring them. There are other interesting tourist attractions. And by year 2010, our two Integrated Resorts (IR) would be up and running. Singapore's gonna get more exciting and fun! Let me know if you're coming to Singapore and I would give you some great tips.
Name three famous historical figures, living or deceased, you would like to meet and tell us why.
I have been reading and studying Chinese history for the past year. At first it was due to my businesses in China, but the more I learn about the rich history of China, the more interested I become. Afterall China has a history dating back more than 5000 years!
I would like to meet Emperor Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty. The first female emperor of China. She successfully controlled a part of history which is normally dominated by men. Different people would have different views of China's first female ruler. For me who advocates winning strategically, she was the unchallenged Heroine for her daring and bold moves. I aim to be like her, er... not the promiscuous part though. hahaha....
Next is another Chinese emperor - Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Mao Zedong once commented,"The Manchu is a great tribe, they contributed tremendously to this big Chinese family. The first few emperors of the Qing Dynasty were very capable, especially Emperor Kangxi." Emperor Kangxi was the longest ruling emperor in China. He was the most outstanding emperor in the history of Chinese rulers. During Kangxi's reign, the country accumulated huge wealth and most of the time enjoyed peace and prosperity which lasted 100 years. Now that's what I call a great ruler!
Lastly, I would like to meet Bill Gates of Microsoft. I'm an IT idiot so I'm not gonna pretend I'm a techie gal. I just want him to bring me on a tour of his mansion. Yeah, that's it. Shake his hands, take some photos and gawk at his huge residence. hehehe.....
Tell us about one person in your community who is relatively unknown to the rest of the world, who you believe is significant in some way, and that you would like the rest of the world to know more about.
The Member of Parliament for my constituency, Mr Lim Biow Chuan. He is a lawyer and comes from a humble family background. His parents were fruit-sellers which is why he is able to empathise with people from a poorer economic background. He received his tertiary education at the National University of Singapore, where he obtained a LL.B. Because of his higher education, he is able to assist the less literate and less fortunate people.
Oh, I'm not political, I take no interest in politics. But it is rare for someone who sincerely wants to serve the community even if he is not paid to do so. He is one politician who cares for his residents and I hope he would speak up more in Parliament. Well, I'm gonna make him do that by constantly giving him headaches, er ..... I mean feedback. hehe.....
You have been blogging since September of 2005. Where are you taking your blog over the next ten years?
I started my blog in 2005, but started blogging actively from July 2006. I only have a short-term goal of one year. I hope it can break into Technorati's Top 100 Blogs. hahaha.....
Who are the two bloggers you read the most and why? Include their links and tell us why we should subscribe to their feeds.
Dr Bernard Chan of bernardchan.net
He's a general surgeon; his special interests are anorectal (anus and rectum) surgery and laparoscopic surgery. OMG! You should see his site, he enjoys making people, like me, puke on my keyboard with his gory and disgusting photos. But it is actually very educational. He's a witty man and he is ever ready to answer questions from his readers and also operate on you if you have the above problems. hahaha....
He's a single Dad with a 6 year old son. Besides being busy with his practice, he still has time to write his blog and gives public talks about cancer, piles and laparoscopy about twice a month. Wow! Superman! hehehe.....
Walter Lim of coolinsights
A media socialist who relishes any opportunity to learn new things, Walter (aka coolinsider) is a Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing at a public agency handling heritage and museum matters in Singapore. Positioning himself as a "cross-over" specialist, he blogs about a diverse range of topics - from buzz marketing, word of mouth marketing, media relations, branding, lifestyle, events to insights and experiences from his personal life. Favourite hobbies include spending time with his wife and son on various adventures around Singapore, going for long runs, taking photographs and of course blogging.
How have memes helped your rankings and your international popularity?
I started doing memes not too long ago because before that, I wasn't popular. hahaha.... I have a high Technorati ranking and am known internationally even before I was doing memes. Many bloggers want to know my secret, but I'm not telling for now. When I'm in the Top 10, then I'll let out my secret. hahaha....
I discovered that doing memes do help in your Technorati rankings and it gives you greater visibility. So those bloggers who ignored my memes, you are missing a great chance to be popular. hehe....
Many bloggers have requested to be linked to me. Linking my blog is a smart move, that's all I'm gonna say for now.
Give us the three SEO tips you’ve found most useful to drawing traffic to your site.
I have my own ways to drive traffic to my blog. I seldom read SEO blogs. Sorry guys. What they know, I know too. But what I know, maybe they don't?
What impact do you hope to make with your blogging?
I want to tell more people in the world about Singapore. It's a beautiful country with great people. It's a place where you can raise your kids without worrying about crazy guys gunning them down in schools. And the girls can walked on the streets even after midnight. Come visit me in Singapore. Let me show you what we have!