TODAY: Of gentle pokes, a lighter touch

0706VOL022_m.jpgMr Miyagi on that Bak Chor Mee podcast and how new and traditional media co-exist

THIS past week saw a flurry of activity in which I was personally involved, together with my blogging and podcasting partner Lee Kin Mun, aka mrbrown (www.mrbrown.com).

We both spoke at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts’ Public Relations Academy’s annual conference on the topic of new media and how it has affected traditional sources of information.

We didn’t expect the huge response from the press that followed Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lee Boon Yang’s speech that morning, where he spoke about adopting a “light touch approach in dealing with the everyday use of the Internet”.
In the event, he also congratulated mrbrown (hey, what about me?) on the “clever and funny work” we did in producing the now infamous “Bak Chor Mee” podcast.

Read more at TODAYonline: [pdf][text]

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So, what is this “light touch” approach, and how did it affect me as a blogger, podcaster and “general practitioner” of new media?

At the risk of turning this column into a frequently-asked-questions section for the many press interview requests that we have had this week, here are some of my thoughts on the matter, and more importantly, these thoughts are my own opinion, and I do not presume to speak for other netizens.

How did the ban on podcasting during the elections affect bloggers?

Contrary to popular belief, there was NO general ban on podcasting during the hustings — there was only a prohibition on electioneering with podcasts. Neither was there a ban on political commentary on blogs or websites or audio and video podcasting.

There were people who stayed away from commenting online on the elections during the hustings, such as “Mr Wang Bakes Good Karma” (commentarysingapore.blog-spot.com).

Was Internet discussion biased against the ruling party?

Yes it was, quite clearly, which I think supports the call for people associated with the ruling party to engage in Internet discussion. The blog SGRally (sgrally.blogspot.com), did make a few requests for video footage of PAP rallies, but received none.

Will new media trump traditional media?

Many people think that because new media is subject to fewer restrictions than traditional sources of information such as the print press and broadcasters, it would trump traditional media in terms of the speed of propagating information, and with that, the revenue from advertising dollars.

However, I don’t think a blogs and podcasts are in competition with traditional media.

As Ms Margaret Thomas, director of special duties, MediaCorp Ltd, told the audience at the PR Academy’s conference, there is no competition. After all, MediaCorp Press pays for this column as well as mrbrown’s on Fridays.

There is a role for both forms of media (even though I personally dislike the dichotomy), and both will continue to co-exist — although sometimes not as harmoniously as one would like.

Were we afraid after making the Bak Chor Mee podcast?

Yes, we were afraid our listeners wouldn’t find it funny. And no, we weren’t afraid of any “touch” from any authority because we were very certain that we didn’t break any electioneering regulations. And besides, we poked fun in a non-partisan way.

There was never any attempt to make a political statement, and I agree wholeheartedly that humour shouldn’t be used to mask serious issues.

So, what is the lighter touch?

Someone told me that a “light touch with a big hammer is not as effective as a light touch with a small one”.

While I am not about to delve into the meaning of Dr Lee’s statement, it is interesting that United Kingdom-based PR consultant, Mr Niall Cook, who also spoke at the conference, said that if we were to replace the word “blogger” with the word “people”, some of the sometimes-alarming comments made about blogs and their authors would sound unrealistic.

This, I agree with wholeheartedly.

Blogs are merely a medium of expression, and to talk about them is akin to talking about what type of paper you are using to write your thoughts on.

So, you could say, the lighter touch is one to be applied on people in general, and not specific to blogs, podcasts and other forms of online publication.

Mr Miyagi aka Benjamin Lee has been merely entertaining readers at miyagi.sg for over two years, and is not an authority on any form of online publication in Singapore.

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16 thoughts on “TODAY: Of gentle pokes, a lighter touch”

  1. Maybe you need to change the name to “The Mr Brown and Mr Miyagi Show”… aiyah, scully too long then people forget. Nebermind, I give more power to you. 🙂

  2. Maybe you need to change the name to “The Mr Brown and Mr Miyagi Show”… aiyah, scully too long then people forget. Nebermind, I give more power to you. 🙂

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  4. Never congratulate you ?… alamak.. this kind of people…no respect.. ok lah.. I congratulate you 🙂 .. It was very funny … till today, like Zhng number 1, is forever repeated on my itunes.

  5. Never congratulate you ?… alamak.. this kind of people…no respect.. ok lah.. I congratulate you 🙂 .. It was very funny … till today, like Zhng number 1, is forever repeated on my itunes.

  6. Nice column. It’s really great that you guys are podcasting. Hearing some local programming from far away makes me feel a little closer to “home”, if you will.

    P.S. You guys are hilarious.

  7. Nice column. It’s really great that you guys are podcasting. Hearing some local programming from far away makes me feel a little closer to “home”, if you will.

    P.S. You guys are hilarious.

  8. World Cup Refs Tok Cok

    Overheard during one of the conservations among the referees in the FLIFA World Cup 2006 at a referee’s lounge ahead of the quarter-finals. Unbelievably, the referees seem to be conserving in fluent Singlish.

    WARNING: The following conversation may contain expletive and potentially offensive words. If you are not comfortable with such verbal content, please refrain from reading on. We don’t apologise for any inconvenience we do not regret.

    Boh-gei Luan-long-ah (Uruguay): Eh Hor-fun, u buay steady la…set World Cup records – two somemore – this round of drinks is on u man…I thought my three cards beri sard-ki oreali…walau…u best lor…I tot I set record with 3 red cards…walau…u come and spoil my party…

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Siao eh…mai make fun of me la…u know I kana big time from tt FLIFA tao Si-beh Butter u know…He f***-ing hell say I f***ed up somemore…but I hiu lan la…half-time my bookie say everyone is betting on Holland to win, so if I let Portugal win ar, confirm make big money man…but I haf to do it pretend-pretend la…not make so obvious…

    Boh-gei Luan-long-ah (Uruguay): Wahhh…u bests lor…how your bookie comms u? U not scared FLIFA find out ar?

    Polly Pocket (England): U see wat happen to that Italian referee Mo-si-mi Lanti…He tao jia lui u know, talk secret secret with tat Lucy Maggi Mee from tat club Ju-very-tu…now he sitting at home instead of joining us…Dun pray pray ah?

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Scared wat? U know tt mike FIFA ask us to wear, bloody hell stick to my cheek so bloody itchy…I smart siah…I go and zhng the damn thing before my match between Holland and Portugal…I test test wif my bookie from Bahamas…wahhh…the recap steady leh…

    Polly Pocket (England): Walau…like tat oso can ar? Why u never kai siao…U know my bloody mike din even work during match…no one told me I give two yellow cards oreali to tat same Croatian guy…Dunno why they make us wear tat stupid mike like majiam we hold concert like tt…

    Polly Pocket (England): After match I tell u…tat si-lang Si-beh Butter called me into his office after tat match between Australia and Croatia. He f***-ed me upside down know…I so low morale…He say I can go home liao…no need referee another match in World Cup forever…I kana condemned oreali…Bollocks man!

    Loser Kan-kao-liao (Spain): Dun worri la…over is over…eh at least I buddy buddy u rite? Dun say I never help u…I allow Italy tat penalty so Aussies kana kicked out…U think I dunno he dive meh? But I see FLIFA treat u like shit ar…I kor lian u leh…Dun worri la…sit at home drink beer watch world cup lor…not good meh? we all damn stressed out there can…

    Polly Pocket (England): Easy for u to say la…u din kana wat…I tink I better call it quits la…enuff is enuff…Wa kua pua liao (I see broke already)

    Armani Ah-gong-duh (Mexico): Eh talk about tat mike, u know ah, when I referee the Ukraine-Swiss game ar…my forth officer keep on comms me know…say Si-beh Butter ordered his man to warn him to tell me better dun show yellow or red card…otherwise my head also gone ar…
    KN(square)BC(square)B….throughout the whole freaking match, every 5 minutes, my fourth officer comms me to remind me…I damn stressed I tell u…u can see my face on TV or not…like kiam kana liddat…

    Loser Kan-kao-liao (Spain): I tell u la…they tink we referee damn easy…they dunno we also human…say we ruin this World Cup, say we kelong…ok la…some of us like Hor-fun-lor is kelong la…

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Eh li kiam pa ah…

    Loser Kan-kao-liao (Spain): Sio tan la (wait)…let me finish la…but u tink we how old…can run like tt si-lang Robber meh? KNN…he run like speedy gonazales liddat…how to keep up…most of the time we juz haf to agar-agar…they tink so easy ah…

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Yea, then they pay us peanuts…they expect wat? U think I want to kelong man…I oso lan lan…I got full-time job one know…my country poor enough oreali…

    The rest nodded their heads in sympathy.

    Polly Pocket (England): Eh ok la…beri late oreali…koon la koon la…I haf to go back room pack my clothes…long zhong good nite ah…

    * * *

  9. World Cup Refs Tok Cok

    Overheard during one of the conservations among the referees in the FLIFA World Cup 2006 at a referee’s lounge ahead of the quarter-finals. Unbelievably, the referees seem to be conserving in fluent Singlish.

    WARNING: The following conversation may contain expletive and potentially offensive words. If you are not comfortable with such verbal content, please refrain from reading on. We don’t apologise for any inconvenience we do not regret.

    Boh-gei Luan-long-ah (Uruguay): Eh Hor-fun, u buay steady la…set World Cup records – two somemore – this round of drinks is on u man…I thought my three cards beri sard-ki oreali…walau…u best lor…I tot I set record with 3 red cards…walau…u come and spoil my party…

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Siao eh…mai make fun of me la…u know I kana big time from tt FLIFA tao Si-beh Butter u know…He f***-ing hell say I f***ed up somemore…but I hiu lan la…half-time my bookie say everyone is betting on Holland to win, so if I let Portugal win ar, confirm make big money man…but I haf to do it pretend-pretend la…not make so obvious…

    Boh-gei Luan-long-ah (Uruguay): Wahhh…u bests lor…how your bookie comms u? U not scared FLIFA find out ar?

    Polly Pocket (England): U see wat happen to that Italian referee Mo-si-mi Lanti…He tao jia lui u know, talk secret secret with tat Lucy Maggi Mee from tat club Ju-very-tu…now he sitting at home instead of joining us…Dun pray pray ah?

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Scared wat? U know tt mike FIFA ask us to wear, bloody hell stick to my cheek so bloody itchy…I smart siah…I go and zhng the damn thing before my match between Holland and Portugal…I test test wif my bookie from Bahamas…wahhh…the recap steady leh…

    Polly Pocket (England): Walau…like tat oso can ar? Why u never kai siao…U know my bloody mike din even work during match…no one told me I give two yellow cards oreali to tat same Croatian guy…Dunno why they make us wear tat stupid mike like majiam we hold concert like tt…

    Polly Pocket (England): After match I tell u…tat si-lang Si-beh Butter called me into his office after tat match between Australia and Croatia. He f***-ed me upside down know…I so low morale…He say I can go home liao…no need referee another match in World Cup forever…I kana condemned oreali…Bollocks man!

    Loser Kan-kao-liao (Spain): Dun worri la…over is over…eh at least I buddy buddy u rite? Dun say I never help u…I allow Italy tat penalty so Aussies kana kicked out…U think I dunno he dive meh? But I see FLIFA treat u like shit ar…I kor lian u leh…Dun worri la…sit at home drink beer watch world cup lor…not good meh? we all damn stressed out there can…

    Polly Pocket (England): Easy for u to say la…u din kana wat…I tink I better call it quits la…enuff is enuff…Wa kua pua liao (I see broke already)

    Armani Ah-gong-duh (Mexico): Eh talk about tat mike, u know ah, when I referee the Ukraine-Swiss game ar…my forth officer keep on comms me know…say Si-beh Butter ordered his man to warn him to tell me better dun show yellow or red card…otherwise my head also gone ar…
    KN(square)BC(square)B….throughout the whole freaking match, every 5 minutes, my fourth officer comms me to remind me…I damn stressed I tell u…u can see my face on TV or not…like kiam kana liddat…

    Loser Kan-kao-liao (Spain): I tell u la…they tink we referee damn easy…they dunno we also human…say we ruin this World Cup, say we kelong…ok la…some of us like Hor-fun-lor is kelong la…

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Eh li kiam pa ah…

    Loser Kan-kao-liao (Spain): Sio tan la (wait)…let me finish la…but u tink we how old…can run like tt si-lang Robber meh? KNN…he run like speedy gonazales liddat…how to keep up…most of the time we juz haf to agar-agar…they tink so easy ah…

    Valentino Hor-fun-lor (Russia): Yea, then they pay us peanuts…they expect wat? U think I want to kelong man…I oso lan lan…I got full-time job one know…my country poor enough oreali…

    The rest nodded their heads in sympathy.

    Polly Pocket (England): Eh ok la…beri late oreali…koon la koon la…I haf to go back room pack my clothes…long zhong good nite ah…

    * * *

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