My Second Life

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I reminisce the days when I could wake up at 750am, wash up, and attend my lesson at 8am punctually. The morning crowd wasn’t an issue, because I could fly from one destination to another. That’s right, as you probably guessed, my lessons were conducted online in Second Life.

As I was pursuing a Diploma in Digital Entertainment (game programming), it was extremely relevant for Second Life to be incorporate into the curriculum. Lectures were conducted in the virtual world of Second Life, where each of us had our own avatar, including the lecturer himself. We would explore the possibilities that Second Life had opened its doors to, which was virtually boundless.

Several assignments saw us venturing into advanced techniques, such as scripting and coding to attain our goals. While exploring the Second Life universe, I also encountered Educational Institutions which set up their site in the virtual world. Back then, I could only imagine how it would be like attaining a proficiency skill or certification through Second Life; now it has become possible!

I also created a machinima during my course of studies. While my first attempt was amateurish, I did have my fair share of fun. Learning and having fun can go hand-in-hand, and when it does, it can certainly be entertaining and beneficial! I’m certain that many youths will enjoy ‘playing’ while learning. What do you think?


Why Ecommerce Businesses Succeed

Posted: February 20, 2011 in Message

We all know of several highly successful e-commerce businesses. Amazon, ebay, Dell, and Apple are among the few names that most people can identify. Some of them are B2C (business-to-consumer), while others are C2C (consumer-to-consumer) set-ups, but regardless of its structure, one thing is evident – you don’t need to have a fancy pen to be a great cartoonist. In layman’s term, it means that you don’t have to be a big organization to succeed at e-commerce.

Let’s take a look at the top ten reasons why online businesses succeed.

1. Niche Market
Products have to be unique and stand out from the rest. Catering to a specialized but profitable section of the market can be highly effective as they are focused on being the master of the trade.

2. User-friendly Website
The website has to have an excellent design and layout. This allows potential customers to navigate the website and browse products without any frustrations. A smooth shopping experience is bound to improve the customers’ mood, which in turn affects his purchasing decision.

3. Stellar Customer Relationship Management
Businesses that provide an excellent level of customer service is likely to have more returning customers.

4. Good Market Research & 5. Competitive Prices
Tremendous effort has to be put into market research to ensure that the 5P’s of marketing (sans place) will give the business an edge over their competitors.

6. Innovative Marketing
With the popularity with Social Media, its reach is extensive if utilized effectively.

7. Word of Mouth Buzz
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth recommendations. In order to tap this potential, implement a referral system which rewards existing customers with incentives.

8. Good Product Sourcing
Good product sourcing will help the business to keep production costs low and maintain a higher profit margin, which is ultimately the fuel that keeps the business running. Buy low, sell high.

9. Good Business Planning & Financial Planning
Whether the business takes off or goes bust is dependent on this factor. He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

10. Strong Perseverance
When it comes to business, perseverance is a synonym to success. With the abundance of e-Commerce sites springing up daily, the competition is stiff and many businesses may not be profitable during the initial stages. Persevere through the initial hardship and a bountiful harvest may be awaiting.

Do you agree that most e-commerce businesses are able to succeed because of these ten reasons? If no, what are your thoughts on their success/failure?


Hey there,

Check out these new products (they might really interest you)!

Chances are, you would have probably seen similar ads like this on Facebook, at the corner of a page.

Gone are the days of salesmen trying to promote new products on the streets of Orchard Road. As with technology, businesses have evolved over time, bringing newer and innovative ways of advertising. While I usually ignore advertisements on Facebook, there have been a few that have caught my attention. There is no doubt that Facebook has a generally effective scripting algorithm to display advertisements which appeal to users’ interests.

Besides merely just going ‘online’ and allowing shoppers to shop online, many businesses have invested in Social Networking (SN) websites in order to gain an edge over their competitors. These days, the SN service, Facebook, is truly becoming an indispensable utility; I can’t imagine how many people will feel aimless if Facebook were to shut down.

I’m certain that many business owners have also noticed this trend, and thus are directing a considerable amount of resource into advertising on SN services. Granted that users actually pay attention to the ads, such companies may indeed find advertising on SN very helpful. Now, if Facebook is able to find a non-intrusive yet attention-grabbing way of displaying advertisements, its advertising potential will be limitless.

Male Waxing? Nikon, I can understand; I listed Photography as an interest. But Brazilian waxing??? Some fine-tuning needed!

What do you think of the effectiveness of Facebook’s advertisements? Has any of them intrigued you, or are they just a nuisance that you usually ignore?

Social Network

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Social Media
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Last night, I watched The Social Network, which is a film based on the founding of Facebook. As this week’s COM125 lesson plan was about Social Media, many of Facebook’s early (and still present) characteristics refreshed what I had learnt during class.

As Mr Abel mentioned in class, Social Media is highly interactive and has a high reach, which is the main reason why its applications become extremely popular. New social media applications are being introduced to the mass every single day, and it is a highly competitive industry.

For the social media service providers, it is an intensive make or break situation. While social media has a lasting duration, social media services can easily fade into obscurity if they fail to maintain their competitive edge. Just look at Friendster, how many friends do you know of who are still subscribing to its service?

The film also reiterated the importance of being the industry leader, or being number 1; as runner ups can simply disappear overnight. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was sued by the Winklevoss twins, who accused the former of stealing their idea of ‘Harvard Connection’, which eventually became the now-defunct ConnectU social networking service. I tried accessing that website, but it seems that the service is no longer in operation. A quick check on Wikipedia showed that its status is inactive, without providing any reasons.

Do you think that Facebook may end up like ConnectU; disappearing some day in the near future? I shudder at that thought because I have grown reliant on its service. What are your thoughts on this?

Meanwhile, check out that little RSS button on this page to subscribe to my to my blog! It’s just a few clicks away, really simple!




Posted: January 23, 2011 in Message
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As I grow in age, I realize the ever increasing importance of social networking as it can often open the doors of opportunity. Whenever I think of networks, I inevitably think of The Internet, which is a large network of computers.

6 years ago, when I was taking a Diploma in Multimedia and Information Technology, the term ‘network’ was constantly brought up. As my specialization brought me into hardcore game programming, much less leisure time was spent on The Internet. After graduating and enlisting to National Service, many technicalities such as the type of hubs and the OSI Model were but fragments of a distant memory.

After attending this week’s COM125 lessons, at there mere mention of IP Address Classes, my recollection was jolted and I recalled what I learnt on the binary numeral system; 8 bits = 1 byte, packet switching, and how data is sent from a sender to a receiver with reference to the OSI Model.

While this week’s lesson is generally a refresher for me, I have refined my knowledge of The Internet after My Choy aired a very comprehensive video clip on how The Internet works. Mr Choy has certainly made his lessons interesting; as a result, I am able to remain attentive and I find delight in rediscovering my forgotten knowledge.

Let me end this post with a memorable quote that I learnt during my prior acquaintance to The Internet and its networks – There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

My Digital Life

Posted: July 10, 2010 in Current Affairs

(A Chinese Authority inspects milk powder in light of another unethical business practice. Image by Associated Free Press)

Are you aware that two Pioneer Junior College female students committed suicide within three weeks apart from each other? And that China is back in the headlines for seizing 76 tonnes of melamine-tainted milk powder? Have you heard about the European who recently lost a €500,000 bet in soccer? (He chose to go against Paul the Octopus’ prediction and lost half a million euros by betting on Germany, who lost to Spain.) Or how about Cecilia Cheung’s decision to have another child? Chances are you would be kept up-to-date on such news if you read the newspaper frequently. I don’t. So how do I keep myself updated on the news?

Your guess is probably right – The Internet. The Internet allows the convergence of voice, video, data, and interactivity. It has also given birth, and plays host to many forms of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) such as email, web chat, newsgroups, and video conferencing.

Since my family does not subscribe to the newspaper subscription, I do not read the newspapers often because it is not readily available to me. I rely on the online sites that provide news coverage to keep myself updated. From local issues to international news, sports and even celebrity gossip, the Internet provides me with fodder to satisfy my hunger for news.

This has a high level of functionality, which attracts a large number of subscribers because most households in Singapore are connected to the Internet. In countries where an Internet connection is hard to come by, communication media will be unlikely to broadcast news using the Internet since it will not reach out to a large audience.

In this technology-driven era, CMCs have provided us with so many conveniences. Without CMC, we would not have our instant messengers and online gaming portals which has become so popular with the youths. If not for CMC, other forms of complementary technology would also not have been possible. Read: The iPhone might not be invented without the existence of CMC.

Are you reliant on CMC? And how long are you able to go without the usage of CMC? I for one, am greatly dependent on CMC and life would be a bore without it. What about you?


Yahoo! Singapore

(Twitter user, mooteh uploads a picture of Geylang Lorong 23 at approximately 9am)

Early this morning, heavy rains caused severe flooding in several areas. Many people who were on their way to work experienced the fury of the weather, which is the second instance within the month. Barely minutes into the floods, images were uploaded onto the popular social networking and micro-blogging site, Twitter. Twenty years ago, it would be nearly impossible to receive news within such short time. Taking today’s morning floods for example, it would traditionally take either half a day for such news to appear in the evening news, or a day to appear in tomorrow’s news papers; in contrast, with mobile access to the Internet, we are able to receive news on the go almost instantaneously.

This is a good illustration on how the media keeps up with the ever-changing times. In the past, both consumers and the media mainly relied on the newspaper as an avenue of receiving and sending information. Blessed with modern technological advances, we are increasingly reliant on new media mediums. Likewise, the mass media is dependent on consumers’ subscriptions which is the deciding factor on the choice of medium that the media delivers information through. If Twitter was not popular in the local context, Yahoo! News would probably not rely on it to broadcast news of the flood.

Citizen journalism is another application of media determinism, which is made possible by technology. If I wanted to find out the situation of the floods urgently, I would rely on Stomp as it offers current and updated news. While the newspaper would be more accurate in the coverage, I would have to wait for a day for it to appear in the next day’s papers.

I quote Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message”. The medium that we subscribe to changes the way we live and experience the world, as illustrated in our everyday ritual of obtaining news updates. Do you solely depend on the old-school habit of reading newspapers, or do you incorporate the use of new media to stay updated on current affairs?



Yahoo! News