Corporations are cashing in on celebrities as bloggers â€“ but does it work?
IF you’re wondering what Patricia Mok’s been up to since she left Jack Neo’s stable of comic actors, check out her blog, “shopping diva” (shopaholicpatmok.blogspot.com), where she talks about her shopping experiences at malls around Singapore as well as in cyberspace.
Apart from being a sort of resource addendum to the shopping variety (television) show she hosted with Bryan Wong, it has become a complaint forum for customers of an online shop called “papergirlsshop”(papergirlsshop.blogspot.com), to the extent that Patricia herself has had to weigh in and ask readers to hold their horses.
Perhaps feeling a little responsible that she recommended readers to shop at “papergirlsshop” because “now is v v fashion to shop online. The stuffs here is really nice. They are casuel [sic] to wear, classic for dinner outing and even the dress are SWEET for dating!! Sure the guys will fall in love w u ONCE u wear them!!”, Patricia has had to look into complaints of alleged non-delivery of purchased items from the vendor.
In her last entry, she also reminds readers that online shopping comes with the usual caveats.
“Anyway, as i had said before, if YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE to do online shopping, THEN DON’T HAVE TO … NO ONE FORCING U!!!!!”, she writes.
Complete with photographs of herself in the garb she’s just purchased, Patricia’s blog gets a fair number of readers, judging from the number of comments per post â€” around 35, most of which Patricia responds to.
But does the fact that you’re an offline personality automatically make you a bona fide dyed-in-the-wool star blogger?
We’ve seen corporations taking on blogs by blogging and responding to blogs, and we’ve seen them also take offline celebrities and making them blog.
Like SingTel’s efforts last year at a blogging showcase, with one-time Miss Singaporeâ€“Universe contestant Sara-Ann K as a “blogger-hostess” on their blogging platform, Moblog (moblog.com.sg).
Though I personally feel Moblog’s interface to be infuriatingly convoluted (where are the blog entries?), it affords bloggers who sign-up a platform to be showcased on the service’s front page â€” great for people who blog to get noticed.
Moblog has also hooked up with MediaCorp radio for “The Official 98.7FM Group Blog” featuring DJs from that radio station, such as Daniel Ong, going by the nom-de-blog of DanielO (danielO.moblog.com.sg).
The last four entries on that blog, as you’d imagine, is about the current series of Singapore Idol.
“Catch them in da flesh at live appearances … and more!
“by the way … what do you think of the show so far? its gonna get spicier … coz when the piano shows start … they could rise OR crumble on stage …
“watch our local talents explode! this wed … and thur on ch 5!
That’s the latest entry by Daniel. What’s not to love about your favourite DJ’s typos and frequent use of ellipses? It means he’s really one of us!
As the doyenne of local blogs, Wendy Cheng (xiaxue.blogspot.com), once tried to explain, “calling someone a blogger doesn’t make him or her a blogger”.
And I agree, especially when you have an obviously overworked radio DJ cum talent show host being contractually obligated to write a few lines for your website, in much the same way calling me a newspaper columnist will make me one.
Speaking of star blogs, a local paper’s new online venture has engaged Xiaxue, Dawn Yang (of the cosmetic surgery furore), pouty MTV VJ twins Teh Choy Wan and May Wan and three other non-descript male “bloggers” to “blog” about topics pre-determined by an editor-in-charge.
This week’s topic is “The Ang Moh Uncle and the Singapore girl”, a very tired but guaranteed way to raise angry responses from maligned local males and NooBs (newbies to you) â€” even if you couldn’t convince seasoned netizens to weigh in.
For you see, in the meantime, the blogosphere’s real action remains homegrown, and away from your big, flashy, commercial sites.
Mr Miyagi aka Benjamin Lee has been entertaining readers at miyagi.sg for over two years, and does not like “watching local talents explode”.