Jan 27, 2009

The Association of Bloggers - My Prediction is a Quick Death

Some time ago (I can't remember exactly when), I received an email inviting me to be a committee member of some soon-to-be-formed national association for bloggers in Singapore. The email was quite long, and set out in detail what the aims of the organisation were supposed to be, etc etc.

If my memory serves me correctly, I never replied to the email at all. I did not mean to be rude. It's just that I constantly receive a variety of emails in my "Mr Wang Says So" email account, and some of these emails are interesting, and some are not so interesting, and some just elicit a general "Huh?" response in me.

This particular email drew a "Huh?" response from me. I did not know what to say, and therefore never replied to it.

Now I see that the association has indeed been formed - (here it is) - and they have gotten themselves formally constituted (I assume, as a registered society under the Societies Act) and gotten some publicity in the mass media.

Oh yes, and the Association of Bloggers seem to have attracted a general "Huh?" response from the blogosphere as well. Or perhaps that is an understatement. Sample responses are here, here, here, here and here.

I'm predicting a fairly quick death for the Association of Bloggers. Not being mean (and anyway I might be wrong). It's just my prediction. I simply don't see any compelling reason for the existence of this association; I don't see how it would be relevant or useful to me personally as a blogger; and I don't see how this Association of Bloggers is going to be relevant or useful to bloggers, more generally speaking.

So I predict a quick natural death for the AOB. It will just fade away and be forgotten.


Onlooker said...

Actually Some of these blog are quite readable. But it depends on how they organize themselves ultimately.
PS I did enjoy reading Endoh and DK's blog sometimes when I'm not too busy working.
But I still like good, poigant analysis ,humour and Heavy sarcasm the best.
The first thing that come to mind though is the queen bee effect. IE when the queen bee got problem(ie implosion) the whole hive die.
So if the AOB articles are not good, your prediction might come true.
Hopefully it does not take down the other blogs that I read occasionally.
Like house hunting, Inaction is sometimes worse than a hasty action.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that those particular individual blogs are readable or not readable. I'm saying that I don't see any use for the Association, and that I'm therefore expecting the Association to fade away ...

Anonymous said...

Blogging is a form of 山寨文化 from the ground.

Congrats Mr Wang, you have been 招安。

Luther Blissett

Onlooker said...

I agree with that.

David Chappell said...

Having read the association's mission statement, I detect a certain PAPiness about it. Viewing it cynically, I would say that it had been designed to appeal to the Ministry of Truth and to facilitate registration.

I'm not a blogger, but, having read a wide variety of blogs, I think that a good blogger has a certain anarchic attitude which does not fit well with membership of a formal organisation. In any case, time spent messing about with an association is time lost to blogging.

Question: how long before your gubmint tries to licence bloggers and a condition of granting the licence will be membership of this association?

hugewhaleshark said...

OMG the president's blog boasts of sponsorships like a one-year Family Museum Pass from the National Heritage Board; three months' supply of Brands supplements; and a HP TouchSmart PC (on loan until 2nd February 2009)...

I. Donno. What. To. Say.

socguy said...

you shouldn't have made this post at all...why give them free publicity?

yamizi said...


Aloysius said...

They should change their name to "Association of PROFESSIONAL/BUSINESS/COMMERCIAL Bloggers" - blogging as a form of business. That will be more acceptable.

Cowboy Barfly said...

Here's another interesting thing about one of the other committee members.


Anonymous said...

Why Cowboy Caleb Is Silent On The Association Of Bloggers - The Awful Truth


Ricecooker. said...

Just my personal feeling here.
It almost seems like a MLM trying to sell you canned air.

Anonymous said...




A few other blogs that talk about this AOB thingie.

Deity Of Cannons said...

You will never know if this association is a ploy to gather the bloggers and then "fix" them into praising your favourite Party.

weekee said...

my prediction is that it all got to do with money. having a "official" association of bloggers can be valuable for companies looking to advertise their products.

With bloggers looking at making money with their blogs, companies trying to teach people how to blog, etc. I think the association is not going to die that fast as long as there are parties benefiting from it.

Anonymous said...

my prediction is it will not die. Maybe some of the board will get switched out, for someone more acceptable. I still believe there is a vested interest by some quarters to make sure it comes into existence. As it may enable them profit from it.

If you say it will die and fade away why is there so much activity in the anime and gaming forums to push their own candidate to fill up the board? There is even this rumor saying some people are planning to run on this horse as their new rep http://dotseng.wordpress.com/

I am very sure even this lass doesnt know what is happening. Too much vested interest to just fade, skip the radar maybe, but die. I dont think so.

Just my two cents. Pls dont flame me. I am just telling it the way I heard and saw it.

utopia said...

it is like asking atheists to celebrate atheism.

Anonymous said...

The formation of AOB is like getting guerrillas to form a regular army. Makes for one big frigging target.

Anonymous said...

Even if the Association does not have a quick death, it will also be half dead. Like many of the opposition parties in red dot.

Moe Lwin's Stuff said...

I sort of agree.
I blog for myself, just for the pure joy of it.
Can't really think what an association gonna do.
Even though I am not Singaporean.
But I come from a country that does this sort of thing all the time.
After all the buzz has died down, perhaps the association will follow!

Anonymous said...

Would an Association of Pedestrians work? How about an Association of Mobile Phone Users? How about an Association of Eaters? Blogging is a personal activity...how to form an association that will last???

Mich =) said...

The Association - A foreboding body slapped with the omnipotent approval of the powers that be.

It is but a thinly-guised modus operandi in legitimizing blogging, if the oxymoron isn't already clanging in one's mind.


Do these progressive verbs ring a familiar tune?

The Association. "Huh?" indeed.

Lesser Onlooker Bacter said...

Actually,There is also another angle to it.
If anyone bother to remember.In the past, Associations act as a go between/union for migrant workers like the Ngee Ann Kong Si(a teochew association which spawn NYP, Ngee Ann city ,etc) so politically/ officially they can carry weight(then)/balls(now).

The thought that came to mind now is Blogger union? What about NTUC?

Lesser Onlooker Bacter said...

OOps typos Ngee An poly. :P
pie say pie say.

Anonymous said...

It is the dumbest idea that has ever been implemented. Apparently, now 5 out of 10 members from the original committee have resigned. A few mistakes they made from the start: (1) ABS (web 1.0) vs Community (web 2.0), (2) Conflicts of Interest and (3) No credible bloggers on board, (4) ECL's controversial comments against foreign talent and civil servants, and (5) Bad publicity unleashed against them.

The_Davis said...




Seems like it's already more than half way there to being dissolved.

Anonymous said...

I dont think it will be a quick death. I see too much vested interest by some who may see this as a great opportunity to move in when everyone gives up on it.

You mark my words, a hellalot of happening beneath the surface. We just dont see it. As the net is so big.


Onlooker said...

It would seem that the fading had already started.
BTW I'm still optimistic and waiting for their first official article on any Singapore issues as a collective even if it have very difficult start.
I'm still want the new zhup chai peng stall to open.
No first dish how to tell if it's hor chiak or not?

Anonymous said...

Its simple, really, if you view it from the other side. Bloggers are a wild, uncontrollable group. Right now you can't stop them from saying what they want, whenever they want, whatever they want, and they are growing in strength daily. No real way of controlling them at all. So the only realistic option would be to infiltrate, get their identities and slowly understand, influence or manipulate. Their biggest fear is the potential for dissent in the e-community, something which the obsoletes can't deal with at all.

Deity Of Cannons said...

Feb 3, 2009
7 founding members quit bloggers' group
Personal reasons cited, but Internet storm over rules could be a reason
By Serene Luo
BARELY three weeks after it was set up, a group formed to promote bloggers in Singapore has been left reeling after seven of its 10 founding committee members quit.

It is understood that another founding member also plans to step down.

In posts on their personal blogs, many of those who quit - including two vice-presidents and the treasurer - cited family or work commitments as reasons for stepping down.

But The Straits Times understands that another key reason is the storm of protests unleashed by the blogosphere after the group made known its plans to charge membership fees, vet potential members and impose a code of conduct.

The idea to form the group, known as the Association of Bloggers (Singapore), first came up last year, and invitations to join were sent out to various people.

On its temporary website, the founders said the group would set out to 'promote, protect and educate' its members. It did not specify what members would be protected from, but said it would organise training workshops and events and reach out to sponsors, among other things.

Registration details were submitted last December, and the Registry of Societies gave the association the go-ahead on Jan 16.

The group then put its website online, and revealed its conditions for entry.

Among them: A $50 entrance fee and $60 annual charge for members.

It added that prospective members would have to pass an 'approval process' and abide by a code of conduct. Among its rules: Singapore law 'must be respected' while 'porn and controversial sites are a definite no-no'.

The flak from the blogging community flew thick and fast.

The cost was one sticking point, especially since blogging is generally a free activity.

Others lambasted the need for an approval process, calling it 'clique-like' behaviour.

When contacted by The Straits Times, the members who quit either declined to comment or did not respond.

Yesterday, the two remaining committee members insisted the group would stay the course.

Its secretary, business analyst Wilfrid Wong, 36, who writes at WilfridWong. com, said that though the association had been criticised, it had also received many enquiries from prospective members.

Mr Wong said both he and the association's president, businesswoman Jayne Goh, who writes at EastCoastLife.

blogspot.com, were 'determined' to keep it going.

'There have been setbacks and obstacles and our top priority now is to re-group and build a stronger team to deliver, continue our effort in bringing in projects for the association, firmly establish the internal process within the association, and more,' he said.

Nothing in the association's charter will change, he said, but it would better execute its plans.

Mr Wong said that he and Ms Goh were 'bringing in new talent and manpower to take the committee and association forward'.

He said a new treasurer had been found, and that he was confident of finding office holders to replace those who are stepping down.

The office-holders who quit, meanwhile, are remaining with the group as ordinary members.


Anonymous said...

Within a day of my post they proved my point ; make money, control and legislate. A Yeah, sure they have many "prospective members" in line. What a riot.

Anonymous said...

oh this sounds so clique, like high school students and peer grouping etc.

and did i read that correctly, to go thru approval process, and pay a fee?????

spare us that

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang

Looks like your prediction is correct.

Except for the fact that the founder of the association is now being sued for defamation, the association itself has not been in the news.

Ironic that the association was apparently set up to train bloggers to blog responsibly and avoid lawsuits (that's what Wilfred the secretary was quoted as saying).