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Blogwars - my first results!

Woohoo! I finally got this Flash player working (I hope).

Although I've been looking at blogs for more than two years now, I only recently finally completed something tangible. I finally got round to writing this paper which I presented it at the 6th International Malaysian Studies Conference in Kuching last month.

It's called "Blogwars - Authenticity and Value in the Blogosphere", and here is the abstract:

A case study of a 'blogwar' centred on a short-lived 'hateblog' that occurred mostly in the Singaporean blogosphere, with some input from Malaysia. In this case, the renown of the protagonists, and the viciousness of the attack, combined to make the hateblog a 'productive' temporary locus of online discursive activity.

Theoretically, the approach taken shall draw upon Bourdieu's concepts of field, social capital and practice; Bakhtin's concept of dialogics; Appadurai's concept of "commodity candidacy", and discussions of value and authenticity. Miller & Slater, as well as Latour, are important in shaping the ethnographic approach to the internet, rooting online practices in offline contexts.

It is argued that through the posts and comments of those who condemn, support, or merely wish to be entertained by, the blogwar, it is possible to explore the underlying practices and norms of blogging.

Methodologically, the short timeframe enabled the gathering of most - possibly all - related blog posts and comments. These were subjected to content analysis, and the results analysed statistically and with social network analysis tools.

In plain language
There was a blogwar based around an anonymous hateblog in Singapore a couple of years ago. By analysing the connected posts and comments, I concluded that an essential aspect of blogs is the belief that a blog reflects the blogger's true peblogwar malaysia singapore anthropology researchrsonality and beliefs (not necessarily everything, but at least aspects of it), and that if readers don't think that's the case, they will not read that blog.

Frankly, it could be better, and the bit on social network analysis (in the paper, not in the presentation) is very tentative; however, I think I made some good points.

I've recorded a presentation with audio which you can watch here (it's 30 minutes); or, if you prefer to download it and watch it offline, you can do so here (it's a large file, 19.5MB). Or, you can download just the presentation, which is 500KB, here. If you want the full paper, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to hear any feedback and/or criticisms! :-D

Nuffangers buka puasa at the apartment downtown

Last Saturday Nuffnang was kind enough to invite me to a blogger sharing session at the apartment downtown. It’s in KLCC, right in front of the fountains, and there is a nice view from downstairs (where the restaurant is) and upstairs (where there’s a bar). The design concept is interesting – based on the ‘apartment’ theme, there’s like a living room, bedroom, shower, etc… even the toilet is called the ‘Loo’.

The concept of the menu seems to be ‘east meets west’ – in the buffet they had pasta, lamb, chicken as well as ikan cincalok, kangkong, rendang and other Malaysian specialties. I had the ikan cincalok, pasta, kangkong and bread with a tasty butter (it had sundried tomatoes in it I think) – it was OK, but the pasta was overcooked. For desert I jumped on the apple and pear crumble, along with some kuih – all very nice, and the coffee was good too. Unfortunately free alcohol was not on offer (boo) but the coolers were very refreshing. Their menu is online, if you want to check it out.

Continue reading "Nuffangers buka puasa at the apartment downtown"

The Writers for Women’s Rights Programme (WWRP)

I’m posting this on behalf of WW (Wonderful Wife, Wonder Womyn, or Whipping Witch – depending on circumstances :-))– it’s a great opportunity for any young women who want to explore ways of getting their voice heard. This is the sixth workshop and - amongst other things - they published a book called "Young Women Speak Out!" last year.
Are you a young woman between the ages of 18 to 32? Are you interested in what's happening around you? Do you have a passion for writing? Do you want your voice heard in the mass media? Have you been thinking of getting involved in activism but not sure where to start?

It's organised by AWAM, and you can see more about the programme on their website. Or you can download information on how to apply here. Check it out!

The workshop is from 13-16 November, but you need to apply before the 30th September.

I want this guy's job!

Jan Chipchase has this very interesting blog - most of the entries are a photo or two with a short comment. They're always odd things that he's spotted - such as this mobile phone polishing service in Kabul

and car wheel protectors (against dog-pee?) in Beijing

There are photos from all around (mostly) Asia which he has taken while doing his job which is
conduct[ing] exploratory human behavioural field research at Nokia Research Center... [and he specialises in] taking teams of concept/industrial designers, psychologists, usability experts, sociologists, and ethnographers into the field and, after a fair bit of work, getting them home safely.

My blog has been graded

blog readability test
Well, given that I am doing a PhD, but that I do want what I write to be readable and not too jargony, I don’t know if this is good or bad…

Anyway, it’s good for all audiences…
OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Hmm… so my blog is basically rated for kids?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

jeez… what a wussy blog is my blog…

Do you talk too much in your blog?

This is just getting stupid – it says “On average, your blog posts are around 2 words in length. This is 100 percent shorter than other bloggers who took this test.” – there must be something wrong with the way it looks at my site…

Rangoon Creeper

WooHoo! My blog is bloggable again! There was server migration last week, and it took a while for it to get right... Anyway, here's a post on our garden.

When we first got our garden started, we had Morning Glory creepers all along the fence to provide screening (we have a corner lot). It was not a good idea – although Morning Glory is cheap and does the job, it grows too fast, and you have to be constantly trimming it to stop them climbing up and around the trees and anything else it gets close to.

So, we decided to replace it with another slower creeper, which I think is the Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica). We got one for about RM15 at Sungai Buloh on the 14th May, and this is what it looked like once I planted it

Fast forward to the 23rd August, and you can see it’s grown considerably (but the Morning Glory would probably be covering the whole fence in the same time). It grows well in the direct sun, and I trimmed the top off a few tendrils to encourage more growth around the bottom.

on that day, I also noticed what I guessed would be future flowers

On the 2nd September, you can clearly see the buds forming
Continue reading "Rangoon Creeper"