Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Real, hard-working blogging communities
September 20th, 2008

Singaporean bloggers have been very hard at work in recent weeks and in particular this weekend.

First of all a group of Singaporean bloggers, known collectively as the ‘media socialists‘ have been quite busy. They are not ‘socialists’ per se. They are a group of academics, civil servants, consultants and designers who are passionate and actively involved in social media, or what many people call “new media”. A group of the media socialists devoted a rather busy week creating a response, via a collaborative wiki, to the recent AIMS Consultation Paper advising the Singaporean government on engaging citizens through new media.

This form of collaboration and selfless sharing demonstrates how blogging and social media can be utilised to connect with governments and organisations. Individuals can come together collectively to achieve outcomes that would have been so difficult for an individual. Another group of Singaporean bloggers have also contributed to the debate. You can read all about the work of the media socialists here. I am heartened by the knowledge that the media socialists have included myself in their ranks due to my connections with the island state and personal friendships with a number of the actual bloggers.

I have been keeping tabs on their work via blogger extraordinaire, Kevin Lim. Now, who is Kevin Lim? He is a visionary, a researcher, a student and as he points out on his blog Kevin  “…is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Communication at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Dabbling for both pragmatic and play, he seeks an ideal interplay between online and offline life, through social networking, blogging and lifecasting. He openly wishes to become a “social cyborg”, where the meshing of human and networking technology would allow one’s presence to be augmented by the minds of many.”

On a separate front my friend Siva has been co-ordinating the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. This involves 3000 volunteers. Blogging and connectedness play a crucial role in harnessing the volunteers, gathering data and publishing results. I remember back in 2001 and 2002 results were being published within minutes of the cleanup conclusion. Tonnes of rubbish are cleared away from beaches and mangroves during the cleanup.

Siva provides updates via his blog and the ICCS blog. The cleanup is happening today, as I type, and already several updates have been posted to the blog.

Siva uses blogging and the net to bring together students, teachers, and members of the community to work on environmental and other projects that benefit the people of Singapore. Siva has been using blogs as a tool to augment his research and teaching for at least five years now. Here are some of his blogs, those of his students and blogs that he contributes towards.

The Otterman ~ original blog
The Otterman ~ current blog
Habitat News
The Biology Refugia
LSM2351 Ecology and Environmental Processes
LSM1103 Biodiversity
LSM3261 Life Form and Function
LSM1301 Animal Behaviour
The Biodiversity Crew at NUS
The Pursuit of Anurans
Biodiversity of Insects at Kent Ridge
Fauna of Kent Ridge
Johora singaporensis
Frogs in Singapore
Horseshoe Crabs of Kranji
Mangrove Shrimps of Kranji
Pasir Panjang Heritage
Singapore Heritage Blog

I would not be surprised that if one looked up the term blog in an illustrated dictionary there would be photographs of Siva and Kevin within the text of the definition. They are the definitive bloggers.

Most of all they achieve measurable outputs. They are productive. They assist the community. I wish I was in Singapore right now.

2 Responses to “Real, hard-working blogging communities”

  1. Kevin Lim Says:

    Thanks for sharing our exploits. Siva’s a real powerhouse at community organization in the eco-sector. :)

  2. John Larkin Says:

    Kevin, You are welcome. You all feature in my presentations to teachers. I love to share Singapore’s brilliant home grown bloggers with the educators here in SGD and back downunder as well. You all link blogging to community. Your blogging is selfless. It is giving. Cheers, John.