Sunday, January 18, 2009

Association of Bloggers (Singapore) revives kampung spirit

ABS committee members meeting

Association of Bloggers (Singapore) is now a legal entity!! For months, I was pushing hard for it to become one. Thanks to the hard work of all my committee members.

The idea of an association for bloggers in Singapore came a year ago. I was a newbie blogger, and the Singapore blogosphere was controlled by foreign bloggers based in Singapore. There was chaos due to the flaming and constant bitching wars among bloggers. Companies launching new products were not getting the maximum benefits of new media at their launches.

Singaporean bloggers were like loose sand, they were not united. They were easily manipulated and even banned for standing up against the foreign tyrant from self-proclaimed 'community meta weblog for Singapore bloggers'. Small bloggers are just too isolated to be able to fight for their rights.

Protem committee - Association of Bloggers (Singapore)

Association of Bloggers (Singapore) is a non-profit association. It is dedicated to promoting, protecting and educating its members; supporting the development of blogging as new media. I hope eventually it can help to provide legal assistance to bloggers too. It is a professional body for bloggers in Singapore.

What we are planning for our members :

We have a monthly lunch on the last Thursday of every month for members to socialise and get to know one another.

Annual Singapore Bloggers Conference - get credible, well-known (perhaps overseas) bloggers to give talks; have friendly competitions; bonding sessions, workshops. Overseas bloggers can register for this event. This is a great time for merchants or service providers to show case their latest gadgets/ service to our bloggers.

Workshops - How to write better; blog template designs; writing for profit; photography; the legal implication of blogging; ......

Affiliations with Overseas Bloggers Associations - Annual International Bloggers Meet, Bloggers Abroad Program (help with accommodation, sightseeing, cultural exchange programmes).

Working with manufacturers, service providers, businesses to promote their products and services. Education visits to production factories. Product launches invites.

A chance to engage the Government in discussions on its policies and help shape Singapore, making it a better place to live and work. Singapore is our country and we have the duty as citizens to see that our brothers and sisters are taken care of and protected.

The association will not be a tool of politics but members should be able to speak up and stand up for justice.

We are inviting all bloggers in Singapore and overseas Singaporean bloggers to join us.

Entrance fee : S$50 (one time)
Yearly subscription : S$ 60 (Ordinary Membership)
S$100 (Corporate Membership)
This money pays for or subsidises courses or workshops for member bloggers unless there are sponsors.

We are calling out to bloggers who are willing to serve your fellow bloggers in this Association and the people of Singapore to step up and volunteer your service. We have several community projects which require bloggers to help.

We want to revive the 'kampung spirit' - bringing bloggers of different races (and nationalities) together, helping one another, fostering the neighbourly spirit.

Association of Bloggers (Singapore)
c/o 1 Coleman Street #02-35 The Adelphi Singapore 179803
email : bloggers at singapore dot com

For companies or organisations who wish to engage Singapore bloggers for their product launches or events, contact ABS for a recommendation of its credible members.

Mommy bloggers, we need you to review consumer products. Must be ABS members.

* Posts from protem committee of Association of Bloggers (Singapore)

paced aka Jas
Paddy Tan
Rachel Chung
Xin Yun

*we are in the midst of launching our website


  1. Great effort to unite bloggers in Singapore as a recognised entity !

    I feel this is an excellent idea, the association would help to bring up the standards of blogging as a new channel of media and communication !

    I would be looking foward to know more details from the website soon !


  2. Jinghui,
    Welcome and Thank you! :)

    We hope the standard of blogging in Singapore will be improved.

    I hope you can join us. :)

  3. An excellent movement for those bloggers in Singapore. Hope your post brings more members.

  4. good luck ecl. with your hardwork, i'm sure your association will grow. :D

    happy ws!

    mine is here

  5. Congratulations to the Association of Bloggers (Singapore) being now a legal entity!\

    Would you mind a link to this post from my blog, most likely published tomorrow?

  6. wah, look so serious (1st photo) and seem to me very pro-gov....(all in white - 2nd photo) :p

  7. all so serious meh in photo?

    Anyway, all the best and congratulations of being a legal entity. Pity cannot join. huhuhu

  8. Good Morning Ma'am President

  9. This a great step forward in Blogger world! To be able to discuss Govt. policies through blogs is a major step. I wish you luck!

  10. liza,
    Thanks for your well wishes!
    I'll work harder! :)

  11. oceanskies,
    Thank you very much for supporting!
    I'll be happy to get a link from you.

  12. xizor,
    We'll send you an invite soon. Watch out for it.

    Not ANY one can join. :D

  13. tigerfish,
    hahaha.... first thing many people would say. 'Maciam The Party!'

    We want to learn the good things. They have examples for us to follow, and lots to learn out of them. :)

    We serve our members and the community, not any party.

  14. lina,
    This is serious business.

    I hope there will be a Malaysian bloggers association so both the bloggers from our countries can socialise and network.

  15. Indrani,
    This significant moment is indeed a great step for us bloggers in Singapore. A memorable moment.

    I never thought it would be possible to work with the Authority. I'm glad that PM Lee takes a pragmatic approach to the new media.

    There's lots of work to be done from here.... :)

  16. Hey there ECL,

    Congrats ob becoming a legal entity! I know it involved a lot of work.

    What would be the difference of the Ordinary and Corporate Membership? Looking forward to more details. I am really interested in developing my writing and marketing skills.

    Happy WS!
    My first WS - Chinese NY in SG

    Year of the Ox

  17. Congrats on the launch. Hopefully will have some workshops soon for bloggers.

    Will be following the status. :) Jia You! Jia You!

  18. I understand how the "community meta weblog" can often seem like a race to the bottom, but what "foreign bloggers based in Singapore" really had control over the Singapore blogosphere?

    Isn't the inherent nature of social media that it can't be controlled? Sure you can create pockets of reason and rationality, but I hope that an organization used to unite is also not a tool to censor and exclude.

    For instance, now that there is a society, it would be easy for the government to pass a law that lets corporations or other media outlet only deal with "registered" or "associated" bloggers. Is this best for free speech and citizen journalism.

    By the way, now that I've asked some tough questions, can foreigners based in Singapore join? Is that allowed or do you have to be Singaporean or PR?

    If used properly, as an advocacy group, this could be an amazing society.

  19. That is great! Now I wonder if there's a Philippine Bloggers Association...

    My WS entries are posted here and here. Have a great week ahead!

  20. I am awestruck ECL. This Association is a wonderful idea. It is sometimes a lonely business plugging away at a computer and this is a great way for bloggers to understand the bigger picture and get connected. I'm sure there is a lot I could learn from all you dedicated bloggers out there. Although I am not PR I would love to join.

  21. Hi Jade,
    I'll email you the details when I'm available.

    Crazy incoming calls and emails to answer today.

    Thanks for your well wishes. :)

  22. Kriscell,
    Thank you so much.

    I have quite a number of projects in the pipeline but not enough help. hehe....

    Will announce the latest development in my blog and our temporary website.

    Please send me your email address for contact purposes.

  23. Hello CNEIL,
    You will be surprised what mischief some foreign bloggers are doing in Singapore. When you know me better, you will understand how I get the info.

    Association of Bloggers (Singapore) welcomes all bloggers who :

    want to improve their standard of blogging;

    learn more about the legal aspects and implications of blogging;

    come together for a common cause, help to improve the lives of residents in Singapore (I'll elaborate further on this in a post);

    be invited to events that are exclusive to bloggers... etc.

    Foreign bloggers are also welcomed. We are trying to tie up with foreign bloggers associations to organise annual events.

    If the Singapore Government needs to pass a Law on citizen journalism, the state of the blogosphere must be horrendous. I forsee this if I do not set up this Association.

    As an individual blogger, you have no idea what is going on behind the doors of the Government. I have personally met many Singapore leaders and the impression they gave me was, they want to engage the people.

    I doubt the Singapore Government wants to drop rocks on their toes.

    We are not funded by the Government, nor does it wants to have anything to do with us. We are solely on our own, so that's why the collection of subscription fees. We are pooling the money so we can organise educational courses and workshops for the members.

    We want the Singapore blogging community to have grown-up conversations, blogging responsibility and creative growth.

    You seem to have some ideas to share, I would very much like to meet you one day. A friendly discussion or a drink? :)

  24. Wow, what a feat! Kudos to your efforts as well as the committee members.

  25. Milly,
    I know about the lonely blogging. :)

    We welcome bloggers from all nationalities. Due to shortage of manpower, we can only process bloggers based in Singapore first. You fit that condition. haha....

    We'll add you to our mailing list.

  26. familiakhuletz,
    There are associations of bloggers in the Philippines. I'll put up their links when our talks are conclusive. :)

  27. Hey,it would be great to meet you sometime! I'd also be interested in hearing your stories about the foreigners.

    I've met a few people that work in the government or are civil servants too. I've never met anyone that was hostile to bloggers. In fact, the ones that I've met are blog readers.

    I guess the reason that it is fresh on my mind is that the Singapore government does sue legitimate foreign newspapers and they prevent individual and politically motivated ownership of local newspapers.

    As long as bloggers are decentralized, the government won't (maybe can't) exert this kind of control. However, as bloggers become centralized it is a possibility. Now do government officials have any reason or motivation to do these things to bloggers? I really don't know.

    Mr. Lee might say since I'm American, I shouldn't care.

  28. Hiya ECL!
    Finally your "baby" is born! ;)
    Well.. I would love to join. Boh lui. When I return to SG then I'll be your official member....
    Now can I just be a chor boh member.. just watching. :P

  29. CNEIL,
    We shall meet... one day. :)

    Singapore has its share of good civil servants and bad civil servants. Universal problem.

    Whether it's a legitimate foreign newspapers or foreigner, they should be responsible when making comments of our Government, people, events in Singapore. If there is no proof, they cannot make up stories or accusations.

    I do not appreciate foreigners coming here to criticize us when they are making their living or studying here. Most allegations are baseless. To have a political motive is worse.

    Some foreigners come from a country where its politicians are such clowns and they have no rights as citizens of a minority race, yet they can criticize Singapore politicians and our policies. That is also after they have received education subsidies from our Government. How ungrateful!

    Singapore is a small island. Bloggers in Singapore have nowhere to hide unless they go overseas. Centralized or decentralized, I see no reason why the Government needs to shut bloggers up.

    EastCoastLife is not one to easily shut up.

  30. SheR!!
    Thanks! *hugs*

    After so many months of carrying it around.... yes. Finally. haha....

    Great! I await your return! :)

  31. Thank you for counting me for help. It is of a great honor to be able to do something for the local blogosphere, to do something for Singapore.

  32. Wow! Looks like this Association Of Bloggers is off to a flying start!
    : )

  33. Hi ECL,

    this is great, your move as an association and finally getting recognized is the first step into something even greater. I do hope that all of you find this a very fruitful company and am sure that you guys will make it a huge success. :) you have my support as always :)

  34. Hi MS Jayne Goh,


    It is high time Singapore needs a blogging association!

    I hope under your leadership, Singapore's very own association of bloggers can develop to be a leading think tank which can help to shape the policies of Singapore. This is my wish for your association. Hope it is not too big an expectations for your association!

  35. Congratulations eastcoastlife,

    That is one heck of an achievement.

    Organising peeps is the second thing to what Hell is.

    Only persons with great tact and understanding can attain such a milestone.

    God be with you and the Organisation!

  36. Congratulations! It sounds like a good idea. I hope that it works out well. ;)

  37. Congrats on ABS (Singapore).

    I hope that one day we will do the same in South Africa.

  38. Wah President ECL now! Congrats dear and coming from you, I bet this will be another successful venture! :):):)

  39. Can u believe how early I am today? He he...enjoy ur morning. ;)

  40. your hardwork and sacrifices have paid off handsomely. i guess u have every reason 2 put up your big smile now. :D

  41. congrats on your new position and all the best in your endeavors.

  42. Wah Congrats ECL for being the President! Your news is on the mypaper today too. Didn't know it will grow so big the news.

  43. Wow! Your blog is very interesting.... I have never been to Singapore, but m y next trip overseas will bring me close (not close enough) to Singapore. Maybe I will get to see your land someday

  44. blogging is gaining a large network every year. more and more people become professional bloggers.

    keep it up singapore bloggers.

  45. Congrats to ABS for being a legal entity. Best wishes and good luck to Singapore bloggers.

  46. whew! happy tuesday! hopping here again! take care!


  47. ECL< I saw this on the news yesterday morning. Congratulations!!

  48. Thanks Ms East Coast life, hehe Ms Jayne Goh, now the whole of Singapore knows your name!

    Many Thanks for leaving your comments on my humble blog :)!

    As you have written about the 'motive' thinggy in the comment to my blog, well, everything people do in life is up to the interpretation of others... it is paramount to be true to yourself and do not care what others say.. I go by this principle.

    Can I just get your opinions for my humble blog?

    I would be very pleased to get opinions (good or bad) of my blog from the President of the Association of Bloggers (Singapore)! So do let me know what are the things I can improve on my blog.


    Your Sincerely,

    Singapore Short Stories

  49. Congrats ECL. U all must have put lotsa effort into it :)

  50. Great Job!! Congrats ECL!! Did you get my email?

  51. Congrats..ECL..! let me know how i can help eh.

  52. I wonder whether this is the first such association in the world? Congrats to the establishment of the association.

  53. ELS

    It may be a good idea for you. To try to rope in the big boys in blogosphere.

    I dont mean to sound rude or insulting, but as it is, I dont even believe, you will convince anyone here or elsewhere ABS even represents 0.00001% of the blogging commmunity.

    But if lets say you had toc, miyagi, wang, yb, talking cock, brotherhood, sammyboy. Then you will be in a better bargaining position and this idea may yet take off.

    Just my very honest take

  54. Thanks you everyone for your congratulatory messages, support and encouragement!


  55. To Anon ELS
    No, no, you are not rude. you are speaking the truth. We need a better President to lead this Association.

    In fact, I have approached a few of the big boys but was turned down. :)

    I set up this association to help the small independent bloggers. Well-known bloggers won't join us.

    Bloggers in Singapore don't need another commercialised blogger group. You know there are several.

    In order to have transparency and accountability, we register at the Registry Of Society. Our accounts have to be audited and submitted yearly.

    Each member holds a vote at an Annual General Meeting.

    We do not have the intention of making ourselves the representative of bloggers in Singapore.

  56. ELS

    Thks for replying to my question. But you did not really answer my question. Btw can you share with us how many of the big boys you approached. I happen to know Mr Brown. And Miyagi personally. I asked them, they said nothing. The talking cock guy is also a good friend of mine he also said nothing. I also happen to know one girl who helps out in toc as a interviewer, she said, nothing was ever forwarded. As for the brotherhood people, when I asked them during their cycling session, they said, currently under evaluation aka no approach was made. As for sammy boy, I just wrote to him and he told me, nothing.

    Did you even approach them?

    As one reason why I believe so many people are so nervous by this development is so many of the blogs who have big readership seems to be missing from ABS.

    Another question I want to ask is what is the ABS position towards anonymous blogging. Can we join the ABS? Or do we need to abide by a full disclosure policy?


  57. I'm so glad concerned parties are willing to connect and discuss about this.

    I'm sorry if I did not answer your questions.

    When I was looking for bloggers to set up this Association, I sent out letters to Mr Wang, Mr Brown, Dr Huang, Mr Miyagi and several others. I obtained their email address on their blogs. Dr Huang replied, writing a nice full-length letter but declined. Mr Wang was on a holiday then and then no news. Mr Brown, Mr Miyagi - nothing from them. For the others I get rejections.

    I did not think of Talking Cock, brotherhood or sammy boy. My mistake. Pardon me for my ignorance, I don't know brotherhood has a blog. *I piak piak myself*

    I'm an aunty, you boys also don't want to know me, right.That's what I thought lah.

    OMG! .... "nervous by this development so many of the blogs who have big readership seems to be missing from ABS"

    I did not think my little Association will have such a tsunami effect. Serious.

    We are going to send out invites to the soft launch. The details of my Association is not out yet and people start whacking.

    All this is making Singapore bloggers look uglier.

    I cannot get my official website because of a technical glitch at ROS. They cannot give us our registration number so we cannot register the domain. Hence the temporary website. It is beyond my control.

    You can blog anonymously. But when you join ABS, you have to furnish your personal particulars by filling in a registration form, a requirement by ROS. The info is confidential and will be guarded fiercely by Aunty ECL. You have to trust me lor.

    That's why for bloggers, this revealing of personal particulars is a hurdle I have to sort out.

    Note :

    The Government is not going to shut us down. PM Lee is prepared to listen to feedback, ready to engage the people, if they are reasonable. The government cannot tell us to shut up.

    They know we can go underground.

    This is not an exercise to centralize bloggers.

    I cannot answer questions like that lah, I will make more mistakes. Will there be an opportunity where we can sit down and talk?

    email me.

  58. Hey ECL

    The first words I heard about ABS were negative, and unfortunately that tone seems to continue whenever I read posts related to this issue, except it seems on the Protem Comm members' blogs. :/

    I can see the well-meaning intentions behind the formation of this association, but the history behind this association as recounted by you, the way in which it presents itself, the presence of fees (no matter what reasons you give sincere or not SGreans will be SGreans la hor when it comes to forking out)... it's just not creating a first good impression of the association. In other words, a PR problem. Perhaps tackling it from that angle will solve all this unnecessary fuss?

    The best of luck to you and your team. I'll definitely be watching the Association's development with keen interest. As I'm sure the rest of the greater blogosphere will too. :)

  59. Hello Farinelli!
    Nice to see you here. :) *Aunty pat pat*

    I understand why the negative responses. I take responsibility for that. Not my members' faults, my poor PR.

    Sorry to every one.

    I shall not bring up the history again. K?

    My main objective in setting up the Association is to help small independent bloggers. Teach people to fish.

    We are collecting feedback and reviewing our plans, correcting our mistakes, learning as we go along. Many of my members have no experience in Association work so please give us some time.

    Our launch is actually 28th Feb.

    Thinking of it got headache also.

    Who wants to come? Must pay money for your own food and drinks, we got no sponsors. :D

    BYOB? Potluck? haha....

    Money no enough problems.

    We racking our brains ah....

  60. Hi Ecl,

    Not trying to pour cold water on this project but i really would not spend a cent just to join this committee.

    There's seriously little to look forward to in those workshops as bloggers do not need to make any efforts to learn how to blog in proper English. There's no teachers in the blogsphere to correct our usage of English or tenses and the workshops would end up being quite senseless in that aspect.

    I think your group of organizers should really sit down and understand bloggers' mindset. Something more interesting should be made in place to attract bloggers to join the group. Judging from your first post, I sense no enthusiasm to even bother to check back again. Its not captivating the attention that is needed actually.

    I really hope to see more things being included by the time when the website is launched. Gd luck :)

  61. There are inherent restrictions listed under the Societies Act that members of the blogger association cannot do. Hence, it is essential that serious bloggers that write on political/social/economic issues and public policies should not sign up.

  62. I hope the Association of Singapore Bloggers can seriously think about setting up a degree or Master course in Blogging.

    Such degree course will be useful for people like me without a degree in light of the current economic crisis.

    The course can be for a period of 1 year and if the response is good, the Association can look into setting up a Master in Blogging Administration (MBA) for the students to continue their studies.

    The degree and certificate will be endorsed by the President of the association, Ms East Coast Life.

    Upon graduation, the graduates can work as full-fledged bloggers in companies.

    I hope East Coast Life can think about this and start to draft up a curriculum in Bachelor of Blogging Adminstration (BBA) to be conferred by Singapore Blogging Association.

  63. Talking about foreign policies ..i hope you make and effort to control the influx of all foreigners in Singapore so that we locals can have our jobs back.

    Like maybe when the Mainland Chinese Workers leave our shores..Singaporeans can take up their jobs as construction on holidays is best for us. We can work till 65.

    Like when our Indian nationals leave our shores...Singaporeans can take up their jobs of clearing rubbish, clean toilet bowls and also help wash cars at 5am. We can work till 65.

    Like when our Philipino maids go back to their homes...we can take care of our children ourselves..and help parents and children bond better. Be independent till 65.

    And also, when M'sians go back to their hometown ...we can take over their phone answering jobs, admin work jobs, room service jobs, semi conductor operator jobs and other odd jobs.. and return these jobs to our dear Singaporeans.

    I hope to see more of our relatives, uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters contribute to these line of work. Please talk to the Foreign minister. We don't need foreingers ...but ang moh can keep for gold diggers.

    Tell him this is vital feedback from the ground.

  64. this association is a bloody joke..

    oh, and get a life ok?

  65. congrats!!! sry cant get involved until my schedule is settled. With a new bitch in my life soon, I guess there'll be more distractions'??? haha. I applaud what U r doing! reminds me of those student union and full-time teaching days and totally miss them!

  66. I read some of the anonymous comments here as well as on other sites, with comments from the naysayers. Quite humorous actually... they are whatchamacallit ... losers?

    Great stuff ECL, I shall keep a lookout for more progress of the association.

  67. Hello, congrats on the successful launch of the bloggers association! Looking forward to more stuff from you guys :))

    And oh ya, Happy Chinese new year!