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Star Trek Camwhores

Last Friday was the preview of Star Trek, and AMBP had organised a gathering of Trekkies, Trekkers, and Bloggers. This was the second AMBP gathering I attended, last year here.

The event was emceed by the very capable DJs from Red FM
Red FM JD and Dilly

and of course Trekkies/ers were in evidence
Trekkies with missing phaser

There was a treasure hunt organised, which I thought was pretty well put together - but I was by myself and it took well longer than I expected, so I had no chance to win the Gopher GPS which was the first prize. While I was going around the mall searching for clues I saw these happy shoppers :-)
Shoppers sleeping in One Utama shopping mall

I also met Horng, KY,Suanie and Josh Lim! There were bloggers everywhere!

Afterwards, we took the opportunity to camwhore with Captain Kirk's chair
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Star Trek with AMBP!

A little known fact about Star Trek is that it was the first series to have an onscreen interracial kiss in 1968 (first in America anyway – though there’s some debate about the whole thing).


Of course, Star Trek is better known for being a science fiction series, with enthusiastic fans known as ‘Trekkies’ or ‘Trekkers’ who have spawned an impressive subculture. One minor 'celebrity’ Trekkie is Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, who was jilted by Mrs Krabappel at a Klingon wedding ceremony


In that episode, some of the characters speak in Klingon, the language of the alien race that usually tries to blow up the Starship Enterprise. Surprisingly, it’s a recognised language which you can learn at The Klingon Language Institute (seriously!)

"Is there a word in Klingon for loneliness? Ah, yes: Gar-dacchk!" (**)

As an example, here’s a powerful insult in Klingon
Hab SoSlI' Quch!

It means – “Your mother has a smooth forehead!” :-D Go here to see some more and to hear some Klingon.


In case you’re wondering where my sudden interest in Star Trek comes from – check out the AllMalaysian Bloggers site. There’s going to be a bloggers’ gathering on the 1st May, and they will be showing the Premiere of the new Star Trek movie , which is being produced by J.J. Abrams, who also did Lost and Alias. It’s “A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members” (IMDB) and is being touted as a ‘new direction’ in Star Trek movies; so far it has 8.5/10 in IMDB, so it could be good!

See you there - I hope! :-)


** OK I know that this phrase was: 1) Not used in that episode of the Simpsons ("My Big Fat Geek Wedding"), but was in "The Worst Episode Ever"; 2) Comic Book Guy obviously cannot speak Klingon as the closest proper phrase would be " 'jImobqu' (pronounced jhi-mobe-koo), which means 'I'm so alone!'" (The Simpsons Archive). I just thought it would be fun like this. :-)

AMBP Bolt Caption contest

There's a AMBP caption contest for tickets and goodies for the new animated film Bolt, a dog who thinks he's a superhero but is forced to face reality in a road trip across America.

This is my entry :-)

Mittens: ‘Do you really think we can make it as fashion designers?”
Rhino: “You bet my bubble we can!”

AMBP Smashin’ Gathering

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the AMBP Smashin' Gathering last Saturday. There were some interesting talks by bloggers Kimberlycun, Peter Tan and Aizuddin Danian (who founded Project Petaling Street).

Kimberly mentioned how blogging had 'changed her life', which also includes getting an all-expenses trip to Thailand next month (*jealous*) - she started with the Xanga platform back then and eventually went public with her name because "Narcissism is necessary... (her tagline) and what's the point of getting all that attention if people don't know who you are? Makes sense! Peter Tan mentioned how using a blog enabled him and other disabled people to reach out and complement the MSM in a significant way: we had a chat afterwards and reminisced a bit about the old blogwar days, which was when I first came across his blog; he also said something that sparked off a good idea - thank you Peter :-). Aizuddin basically told the story of PPS, which initially was not meant to be for everyone, just for some selected bloggers. He's been a blogger since 2001!

Vin Sen from CinemaOnline talked about integrating Facebook and cinema marketing - one thing that surprised me was that companies can use Facebook features without paying for them, for example creating an event as a film or something. Finally, Rohan Thomas demonstrated a new Microsoft online service, Popfly with which you can 'mash' websites together and do fancy things like bringing your photos from Facebook onto your blog in a slideshow (there's an example on his blog, but it doesn't seem to work very well, or takes ages to download, or something). You can also make games. The principle of the application is that you don't have to write any code, but still, it looked like it would take a little learning to get used to it. I was impressed though, and it's a sign of things to come.
AMBP blogmeet 2008
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Being regular...

I keep telling myself that I need to post more often, and then don't do it. I went to the AMBP Smashin' Gathering last Saturday (report coming up) and, after talking to various people, I realised that maybe one way I can blog, do research, and be of some use to the Malaysian blogosphere as a whole, is to use my blog as a 'chronicle' of the Malaysian blogosphere. Not a vastly original idea, but it may work.

The basic principles should be:
1. Blog something every day, or at least every two days.
2. Talk about my observations and thoughts on the goings-on in the blogosphere. Give an alternative view, but don't be too academic.
3. It doesn't have to be a long post.

So...

One thing I learnt on Saturday, from the talk by the founder of Project Petaling Street (aka PPS), Aizuddin Danian , is that there is a search function for the archives of PPS! As he said, this can be very useful for researchers, being five years worth of blog posts. But it's not that great a search machine - seeing as you can't seem to be able to specify much - for example, see the screenshot below for what happens when I search for "good morning" (in "quotes"):
Project Petaling Street search screenshot

Anyway, it's good to know, and Happy Birthday PPS :-)

The next task is to work out how to do an automatic ping to it when I post...

Bloggers allied - Part III

For the previous related posts please look here (Part I) and here (Part II).

This third and final section will look at the blog 'alliances' in Malaysia, and go back to the initial question of whether All-Blogs is unique in any way.

In the English-speaking Malaysian blogosphere there are the following blogger groups:

Muslim Bloggers Alliance: clearly a religiously oriented group, it was initiated by Mahaguru58 in July 2007 and is an online extension of offline interests. It's difficult to know much about its intentions or goals, as the discussion group is closed to non-members and there is no centralised blog/homepage, but it does seem to be somewhat exclusive: although the Pro-tem Secretary, Menj, states that it is open "all Muslims who are bloggers", he also goes on to specify: "Liberal Islam heretics are not welcomed." No doubt, though, by visiting member blogs one can see where their interests lie.

It seems to have a formalised structure, given that 'Pro-tem' officers are named, but the actual aims and objectives are not immediately available, given that the discussion groups that the url leads to is closed...

In terms of the categories discussed in the previous posts, I would describe it as religious, with an offline focus (this is debateable), founded by a group and restricted to a geo-political base (Malaysia).


PABS: there is no 'home link' as such for this grouping, but it was announced on 24th July 2007 by SoPo blogger Ktmoc here, and by other noted SoPo blogger Susan Loone here. As noted by Mamak, it seemed to be formed in reaction to the perceived politicisation of All-Blogs.

The meaning of the acronym is not clear: shar101 says it is 'People's All-Blogs Society', whereas SK says it means 'People's Alliance of Blogs'. I can't find a reference on the two founding members' blogs.

It is apparently still active, as an August 4th post by Ktemoc entitled " PABS calls on Government to embrace bloggers" implies. In this post we also see a statement that gives us insight into the reasons for its formation as an alternative to All-Blogs:

"As for the Allblogs*, apart from their high profile visit to the de facto leader of an opposition party, its protem chairperson alluding to support for the PPPA and some of its protem committeee members' preference for registration of only identity-revealed bloggers as members of its association, I wonder what else can it do to protect bloggers and promote blogging, as its committee had envisioned."
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