Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The launch of Nuffnang.com.my
8 months of painstaking planning and execution have now come to an end, and Nuffnang.com.my, the project me and my partner Tiam
have been working on is finally live! At least in Malaysia! Look out for our launch in Singapore in a months time or so.
Most of you, being my closer friends would know Nuffnang.com is a Blog-advertising network
. Essentially what we strive to do, is link up bloggers with as little as 20 unique visits a day with advertisers. We give the bloggers a stream of income, and advertisers an effective mass medium on which they can reach out to the specific consumer they are targeting.
It may seem wierd that we're launching in the wee hours of the morning, but under the advice of my friend jianbang (who is really into feng shui, and the like), the lucky date and time to launch was between 2-4am on the 27th of Febuary. Thank you for your help JB.
This blog has been primarily dedicated to my personal life, and it was started because I wanted to understand the phenomenon of blogging better. I was particularly interested in having 2 questions answered, they were
1) Why do people blog?
2) Why do people read blogs?
The answer to both these questions I feel, lie at the very core of our human nature. We have a strong need to communicate, to express what we are feeling, or what we have done.
It was the great philosopher Aristotle who proclaimed, "Man is by nature a political animal". He did not mean political as we define politics today. He meant that man is a social creature, one that cannot exist alone, or within his own thoughts.
Blogs present a unique and universal avenue from which to be political. To be social. Injecting a blog entry with your deepest thoughts and hopes is very much like stuffing a message into a bottle and setting it out to sea for some sailor or perhaps a child on the beach to read. Except that on the internet, it is more likely people are going to find your message.
Your message may read,
"I JUST WON A MILLION DOLLARS AND I WANTED TO SHARE MY JOY WITH YOU! YAHOOOOOOO"
or it may read,
"I just broke up with my girlfriend today, and I'm feeling soo sad"
Whatever the message, somebody else has just had a taste of (at least a little bit), of your feelings or your experience, through your blog.
Not everybody is going to agree with what you say, or how you have said it, and sometimes the blogger can struggle with that, but in most instances, you find solace with the ones who do empathise with you, the readers who jumped with joy when they read your message, or put a caring arm over your shoulders.
Why do people read blogs then? Whats in it for them? Well very simply, life would be boring if we lived it alone. A man could have all the toys in the world and not be satisfied if he has not found his life companion, or if he had no family or friends to share it with. In your life companion, family and friends you can live more than one life. You can experience their joys, frustrations, passions, by interacting with them on a regular basis.
With blogs and the internet, and in fact with every other form of media out there, this "living of multiple lives" is extended even further. The saying "Live life to the fullest" probably has the strongest connotation today then it ever has. A poor man who knows no luxuries in life and has never travelled out of his neighbourhood may experience an exotic far away country through another person's blog. And from that blog entry may spring an aspiration to experience that in full himself.
It happens everyday, maybe in not such dramatic terms, but how many times have you read a blog and said, wow! I want to have dinner at that same restaurant!
These are just some of my thoughts which have sprung from the writing of this blog.
The future of nuffnang.blogspot.com
Nuffnang.blogspot.com will continue to be my personal avenue of expression. I will continue to stuff my messages into the bottle and send it out.
However, as I enter a new phase in my life, embarking on a journey I must admit I have a little fear of, this blog also enters a new phase.
From now on, the blog entries will be mostly about my journey as an entrepeneur, and my bid to make Nuffnang.com a globally recognised community. Of course there will still be some personal entries.
My aim with nuffnang is primarily this; to bridge gaps between people
. People all have needs and wants and if those needs are effectively satisfied by individuals/groups of people (companies) through the Nuffnang network, I will consider it a big big success. Technology will help ensure we match the needs of blog readers with the services and goods a firm will provide, and we will never stop innovating to ensure this goal is reached.I walk into the unknown, but I am not alone. Thank you all for that. This blog entry and the launch of the website is dedicated to all the people who have helped me along throughout my life. The same people I am sure I will need to count on in the coming days, weeks, months and years.
SPREAD THE WORD THAT NUFFNANG IS HERE!!! YAYYY!!!!
The wind beneath my wings (There are too many, so forgive me if your photo is not in here!)
Friday, February 23, 2007
I collected mucho mucho ang pow! My first time in four years! (Been away in London for past three years).
There is always a buzz in the air around the chinese new year period. One of the things my mum always reminds me to do is to buy new underwear for chinese new year. So, off I went, on the day before with Stanley to buy new underwear!
Check it out! Hush puppies with the "FU" word emblazoned on it! POW WOW! Ban luck!!! Ban Ban!!! Mwahahahahaha
All I can say is ... ... it worked!!! Mwahhaahahaahahahahahahah ... wink wink. Have you seen the dealer at a table on the last three hands wipe everybody out! Ban Luck, 20, Ban Ban!
First day, I went about visiting relatives and the like. At night, Louie hosted us at his place for steamboat and some after activities.
Second day, went out for more visiting with just my sisters, as my mum and dad were busy preparing for open house at mine. At night the guys came over, had dinner, and more after activities (wink wink, think you're seeing the trend, it only happens once a year lah!). After mine, it was off to zouk for some partying ... all the way till 5 in the morning.
There was hardly any rest on the third day, and I had to get up at 8 in the morning, because I had promised to meet Darren, Tienping and Tze Shiang for breakfast! So at 8, I gave darren a call hoping Tze Shiang had not been in touch with him yet .... ... he had, so I dragged out my ass out of bed and set off to pick up darren.
We went to this place I had always wanted to try. Its a cosy little bakery cum french pattisiere/cafe called Choupinette, along Bukit Timah Road.
There is a really sweet story behind this place. It was a surprise christmas gift from Anges Verrier's husband in 2002. I had heard rave reviews about their breakfast so off we went to try it out!
All three of us that is .... .... Mr TienPing Tan, despite having 6 good hours of sleep, failed to join us ... TSK TSK ....
Thats the empty chair he was supposed to have sat on.
And there are the two other champions!
Breakfast was simplyyy awesomme, I had an eggs benedict and it was lurrrvveeelyy. It was soo yummy.
Since I had won all their money the previous night, breakfast was on the banker.
Afterwards, there was to be no rest for me, as I still had to organize a party!!! Stanley and me were co-organising a steamboat party at his place. We still had alot of shopping to do. But I was quite excited about it as I would get to don my "Dragon Suit"!!!
Darren contemplated joining me on my shopping expedition, but pretty quickly opted to head back to sleep!
Off I went to get Stanley's lazy ass out of bed.
First stop was cold storage where we had to buy all our veggies and some other basics, like mushrooms, pork, chicken.
We bought so much stuff here, look at stanley's face ... he had to hold me back! 200 bucks worth of veggies!!!
Next stop was unique seafood market, which is a really great place to get live seafood of all types. There are five layers of tanks stacked on top of one another, filled to the brim with seafood!
The last stop for the day was meidi ya for our sukiyaki beef!
The party went splendidly, except for some kooks who blatantly ignored our much emphasised theme of Shanghai Tang!
There is some of the gang enjoying their steamboat dinner thoroughly ...
The twin dragons are ready to win ALL your money mwahahaahah
Our entertainment for the night ....
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Hehe not really lah,
On saturday morning, I was hanging around Raffles Place waiting for Jac and my other LSE friends for lunch. These two eager bunny reporters popped out of nowhere and asked, "Can we do a short interview with you?"
I hesitated for a moment and asked them what they had in mind.
When they said they were doing a special on valentines day, I squirmed and said "No way!!!"
I hadn't made any specific plans yet, and to tell you the truth, had simply been too busy to do so.
Their dissapointment was obvious, and after a bit more cajoling, I agreed to it, thinking I was doing them a favour and they would go easy with me on the questioning.
Fat hope! The line of questioning had been designed to discomfort me!
First one: Are you attached!? I answered that I was not.
Just warming up here, Second one: Do you have a date for valentines day? Little bit more embarrasing (I was going to pick up my phone right there and then) ... but No.
Third question: Are you going to get a date? Errr ... no ....
Fourth one (Wam bam): Do you need help!!!?
Ok ok, I'm exagerating, and they din't really ask me if I needed help! But it was akin to that. Basically, they were covering an issue of relationship seminars, workshops and agencies as avenues to promote romance, and asking me for my opinions. So they asked me if I would consider going for one of these seminars or approaching one of these agencies.
After having watched the interview, my interest was slightly piqued at these seminars. A number of people had actually said they would consider it. I flat out rejected it.
Let me digress for a moment so I can continue on the topic.
My V day dilemna was resolved rather easily when my mum "advised" me, we would be going out for dinner as a family. My father and mother have been married for 18 wonderful years, and they were married on V day. My brother and sister in law got married the same day last year, and if all goes according to plan, my mum says so will I and my two sisters!
So off we went today to Hua Ting (Our favourite chinese restaurant, Chef Chan is pure genius), for a family V day dinner. The dinner was great. I'm really not over complimenting the chef when I say that his culinary skill is up there with the top chinese chefs of Asia. Even hong kong! The first two dishes for example were heavenly.
Hua Ting's duck is legendary. And frankly, it beats any duck I have EVER tasted. Including (sorry tiam) Four Seasons. BY FAR. It has to be said anyway it is a different experience altogether. Eating those two slices of duck is like eating two slices of WAGYU DUCK. Have you ever imagined anything like that!? Imagine no more.
The second course was as the menu describes it a "Braised cream of spinach with fresh scallop soup" which looked rather ... green .... and I'm not one for green stuff ... but it was so tasty I savoured every last drop. I'm not going to upload the photo of my half drunk soup as that would not do it justice. But trust me ... mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm
ANYWAY, ON TO THE MAIN POINT! One of our family friends (who had joined us for dinner), recounted to all of us at the table a really sweet TRUE V day story.
Apparently, a couple had gone to the zoo together. The lady very unfortunately dropped her ring into a crack on the ground and it dissapeared. It was only a $138 dollar ring, but it meant alot to her. They tried to retrieve it to no avail. Her husband was distraught too, and thought he would drop his own one in too (even though it was not a small sum to him), so the rings would at least be "together". They eventually decided against it, and informed the zoo personel hoping against hope they would find it.
The zoo, perhaps touched by what had transpired, (and also a practical need to fix the crack), whilst repairing the crack, retrieved the ring, and invited this couple back for a specially arranged V day dinner.
How did this conversation come about? A conversation about BIG and NICE diamonds. What did it reinforce in my mind? It's really not about the colour or size of diamond that matters. All that is irrelevant. This couple had something far more precious than that, and something a seminar or workshop is in my humble opinion unable to inspire in a relationship. So onward all ye souls! And never relinquish the quest for true love. Happy Valentines Day to everybody!
"Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. "
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Even though I graduated from the LSE, nearly 8 months back now, old habits die hard, and I still have the home page of my browser as www.lse.ac.uk.
So I got home tonight, opened up my browser, about to do my usual rounds on the sites I frequent, when I noticed this on the LSE website.
For those who can't see, it reads:
"Urgent Notice, Monday 12th Febuary, 1145AM- All of the LSE campus is closed today because of a power cut in the holborn area. Please do NOT come to school today.
I looked to my bbc.co.uk news site (one of those other die hard habits I'm unlikely to ever kick), and this is what I saw (Click on photo to read article).
3 years at the LSE, and not one act of divine intervention like that to stop me from going to school! Come on!!!!
Hehe, besides Cash in the attic, car boot sale (GREAT GREAT BBC MORNING SHOWS), and my electric duvet ... ahhhh ... I miss lazing on my couch in london.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Yes, I can finally scale the top of bukit timah hill and scream out that Singapore are the champions of Asean football!
After having missed the semi finals between Singapore and our arch rivals Malaysia, I was not going to miss out on the finals against Thailand.
Only problem was, I was stuck in camp. And I had no way of getting out to q up for the tickets.
I was desperate, so I called up a friend I knew I could count on. Mr Arya Alatsas. Its been a good four years already since I've known Arya, and what a pleasure the four years have been.
There he is, to the left of me, at Notre Dame in Paris.
He hardly took a moment to consider my request when I phoned him and said, "Hey, I need a favour. I'd like you to go down to the stadium and que up at the back of the likely zillions of people, to get me tickets for the game." He just did.
Thankfully, he got the tickets, and so thanks to him, 7 other good friends had the chance to don their country's colours and experience the kallang wave for the last time (Before the stadium gets torn down).
There it is! The famous kallang wave coming our way! And christopher getting in on the act.
The stadium, I am glad to say was packed to the max. 54,000 Singapore fans and 1,000 Thais.
To tell you the truth, I went into the match without any expectations whatsoever about the quality of the game. I'd been to the champions league final and other top EPL matches, and I had serious doubts this experience would trump those ones.
The atmosphere was charged with high emotion as 55,000 fans sat intently willing their team to victory. My own contingent of supporters (even the non singaporean) had come decked out in our national colours and intent on being the 12th man on the pitch ... all except one rebel ... who else could that be ... I wonder ...
Our dear friend, decided he wanted a hot dog early in the match, and so left his seat to go find one. In the 17th minute, whilst stanley in his orange shirt was ambling around the stadium looking for a frankfurter, Singapore scored through Noh Alam Shah,our national hero, who took a deflection, spun around and slotted the ball in low into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
We all went WILLLDDD!!!! First blood Singapore! Ole ole ole ole, ole ole!
The Lions did not rest on their laurels, and pressed on, looking alot more dangerous than the meek Thais.
Hopes were high, and we knew we would need another goal to consolidate our victory, especially in the first half.
It was not to be though, and almost immediatly after the interval, in the 50th minute, Thailand equalised.
The singaporean fans fell silent and it seemed all our energy had been sapped out of us.
Here is where I fell into a sort of contemplative mood. 54,000 Singaporeans for a significant period of time fell silent and were overwhelmed by the the united voice of 1000 Thais.
I was enraged, how could this be!? We should be supporting our team the most when they are being pressed, and looking for a way out of a knotty situation. And yet, I felt as though we had almost already accepted defeat as a very real possibility. How did we expect our own team to pull through when we did not even have the belief they could win?
It was the voice of a child, which rang out the loudest and clearest in our silence, and perhaps shamed by his outburst of passion, our fans cheered our team on, even when we din't complete our passes, or lost the ball. Our voices as one overwhelmed the valiant attempts of the Thai fans.
There and then I learnt the first lesson of the night: It's not so much about being in front, its about fighting the fight, and not giving up till the end. Its about giving it your all, and never fearing the odds.
The Lions perhaps willed on by our support, started to play better, and threatened the Thai's defence alot more. In the 82nd minute of the match, we got what we had all been waiting for. A penalty. Albeit a controversial one.
Noh Alam Shah was adjudged to have been pulled down as a cross was coming into the penalty box, and so the referee pointed to the spot, to the glee of our fans.
The Thais were furious and stormed off! What a buch of overgrown babies! Its like overturning the board once you've decided you can't win. The singaporean fans were furious, and galvanised by the Thai team's impetuousness, jeered at them. At one point of time singing this great song ... that went something like ... goodbye goodbye ...see you next year ... something like that ...
After having the cheek to storm off and waste 15 minutes of our time, the Thai team decided to casually stroll back onto the pitch and face the music. Right or wrong, the referee had made a decision, and their actions reflected very badly on a country whose people I have high regard for.
Nonetheless, we all waited with bated breath as Singapore's Fahruddin lined up the penalty.
Would he score and kick some Thai ass?
Damn right he will!!! The Thai keeper went the right way, but the precision and speed with which the ball is belted into the top right of the net is too much for him! The stadium finds it voice again, and Singapore have won the match!!!!
Final score 2-1!!!
It was just the first leg, and all of us knew we faced a challenge in Bangkok, but the Lions had battled hard and had never given up.
As we were having our after-match taiwanese porridge at the nearby Oasis restaurant, I thought silently to myself. Win or lose in bangkok, as long as the Lions played like they played today, I would still consider them champions.
There is a saying that goes nobody remembers second place. That night, I promised myself, whatever the outcome in Bangkok, I would write this blog entry, and proclaim my team as champions!
Hahaha, it's certainly a bonus we drew 1-1 in bangkok to win the title in the end, but true champions do not need a cup to prove they are champions.