Oct 31, 2011

Why Facebook Killed The Blogger

The Singapore Writers Festival has just ended. I was a "Featured Author" (that's the term they use) for an event on the last day. It was a panel discussion at the National Museum. The other panellists were Pat Law and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, and the moderator was Dr Gwee Li Sui. The session was provocatively entitled "Why Facebook Killed The Blogger".

When I first showed up at the venue, it struck me as rather large. I had expected a smaller venue. To my surprise, people streamed in steadily and the seats were filled up pretty quickly. It was almost full-house by the time we got started. I didn't do an exact count, but I estimate that about 100 people showed up for our one-hour discussion (which was about writing on the Internet).

I spotted a number of other writers in the audience, including Felix Cheong, Chris Mooney-Singh and Dave Chua. The audience was very lively during the Q&A session, and the questions came thick and fast. There were questions about whether the popularity of Facebook was rendering the blogging platform obsolete; and the importance of writing quickly about hot topics in order to get high readership.

Someone asked about whether prolific bloggers were better off spending their time writing actual books and getting them published. Another person asked if blogging (as well as other electronic media such as Twitter and SMS on phones) was lowering the standard of written English. Juz cos many guys n gals will rite like dis, u know. :)

It was an interesting session, and we eventually ran out of time. I didn't get to respond to all the questions as thoroughly as I would have liked, but I guess that was somewhat inevitable. The National Arts Council paid me $250 for my time, which is nice because I do several talks in different capacities on different topics every year, but I rarely get paid.

The guy standing on the left of the billboard is Aaron Lee.
Mr Wang is one of the folks shown on the billboard itself.


The said...

/// Someone asked about whether prolific bloggers were better off spending their time writing actual books and getting them published. ///

Well, they are not mutually exclusive. You can compile your articles in the blog into a book. I know someone who did - Catherine Lim just collate all her articles on the General Election and published it into a book right about the elections.

mr wang said...

Yes, I said as much ... I did not know about the Catherine Lim book, but I did mention another book which comprised mostly of previous entries on a blog ("Diary of a Taxi Driver")

Anonymous said...

It's bad enough that instead of reading Faulkner or F. Scott Fitzgerald, people are reading superficial posts on their friends' blogs.

That's now replaced by even more superficial one-liners on their friends' Facebook walls. But even that will soon give way to tweets like @allmyfriends OMG. IC mrwang scratch his balls on stage. LOL. L8er.

No wonder bookstores in Singapore are going out of business one after another.

Aaron Lee said...

Hey Gilbert, glad you had an enjoyable SWF. I would have gone to your talk except that I was out of town for work the entire week (only returned on the last day). Hope all's well with you and family. Keep up the good work on the blog and with your writing! Cheers