Archive for the ‘SMU’ Category

Twitter’s Strength Is In That It’s Like mIRC, Doesn’t Mean It Should Be Used Like It

April 16, 2008

We have a pretty lively SMU community on Twitter with @studio_bug and @iammyy joining us just this week. In a way it’s this awesome community that led me to the revelation of why Twitter is so powerful. In short: It’s like mIRC in that you can talk to anyone and leave messages for anyone and usually do these with multiple people at once.

It really plays up on the “social” effect of web2.0 where you and your group of friends can come home from being separated from each other all day, and catch up on what happened in their lives.

However, outside of the 20-30 of us, I’m quite acutely aware that there are another 130ish people following me on Twitter (a healthy amount not even from Singapore) who may find all this inter-tweeting a little…. frivolous. Or maybe even bordering on annoying.

I realised this awhile back and struggled internally whether to start a new, personal account to do all the chatting guilt-free, or to exercise more self-control and not tweet excessively, or use direct messages more often. I chose the latter option (and it’s a slow process, I assure you), but I just wanted to take this opportunity to add on a ninth mistake that bloggers make while using Twitter, inspired from Twitter-Themed Social Media Wednesdays from @stripedshirt who picked up the original post of eight mistakes bloggers make.

#9: Twitter gives you great mIRC-like benefits, but it doesn’t mean you should use it like IRC.

If you say something great on Twitter, chances are you might share the news with friends in real life, pass it on on Twitter or even blog about it. I think this is the new water cooler effect (and you can feel free to disagree with me). But if we as Twitter users abuse this new found “power” and choose to blast anything and everything via Twitter, sooner or later there will be people who find that you aren’t adding value and ignore you. Similar to how we don’t use IRC anymore.

In short, let’s all try to be watchful of what we tweet, and keep in mind that although it may be relevant to those 10-20 people in a specific community, it may come across as spammy or annoying to the rest of the majority who are following you.

If all else fails, try Mibbit. It’s an online IRC client that doesn’t need installation or anything. A couple of us tried it yesterday and it works pretty well! I do think we’re going to end up full circle in terms of chat and instant messaging, so I’m up for a test drive anytime.

Are you feeling like Twitter is getting more and more congested? Or do you think that there’s not even enough being posted on Twitter? Let’s hear your views in the comments below.

SMU Seniors’ Flash Mob

April 6, 2008

The SMU seniors decided to have a flash mob where they decided to lie down in the middle of the concourse to celebrate their last day of school, check out the video (the organisers have a little interview at the end):

The interesting thing is the flash mob did have a social media hand guiding it. A Facebook event, Jacqueline’s post along with well-placed tweets on Twitter like:

Flash Mob Tweets

Eventually a lot of the word spread online and definitely in real life, leading up to the event you just saw. Pretty amazing isn’t it? (A quick Tweetscan shows that many people around the world are using Twitter to announce flash mobs!)

Oh I’m not usually a video person and I know the video looks like it was just pieced together (because it was). I’m sure the pros will be doing a better one, my intention is to get the word out and show that social media does get real life events into motion!

Blogs I’m Subscribed To: March (Local Edition)

April 3, 2008

As promised:

Sheylara, who helped me with the Social Media Breakfast: Singapore video.

Jasmine from social media class. (Dammit I haven’t tried Entrecard yet)

Geek Goddess who is actually pretty entertaining.

Lionel from media relations class (also a regular Twitter user)

And finally my four favourite local blogs right now: Kevin, Priscilla, Vanessa and Brian all for being simultaneously entertaining and informative at the same time. Not easy for a blog to do.

I’d encourage you to subscribe to their rss feeds if you like them, and if you like the stuff I blog about, why not subscribe too?

My First Audio Interview

April 1, 2008

I’ve been sitting on this for awhile, but this is my first audio interview with four fellow bloggers: Amelia, Jacqueline, Nabilah and Calin. They came down one sunday to be special guests on my radio show on SMU Campus Radio (very creatively called The Talk Show), and talked about social media in general and blogging in particular.

I think it’s a very open, sincere and insightful interview with four people who have just started figuring out the whole social media space together with me. It’s not as organised as I’d like it to be as I had to cut out the music due to copyright issues, but I definitely think it’s worth your time nonetheless. Do give it a listen!

I couldn’t find a way to embed it on WordPress, so listen to it here. Doesn’t take long to load!

NTU Replies To The SMU = NTU Ad (Finally)

March 26, 2008

Huishan, my friend and NTU student emailed NTU’s corporate communications department to find out their side of the story and here’s an excerpt:

NTU had bought into the search engine’s Sponsored Links with keyword search. When one does a search using one of the keywords, a link to NTU marked “sponsored link” will appear. The descriptor should be “NTU Official Site” or “Study in Singapore” and not what appeared in the printed-screen above. There is no intention to mislead. The underlined descriptor above the ntu website address should not bear the SMU name; but names like “NTU Official Site” or “Study in Singapore”. The title of the sponsored link observed in your screen capture on Thursday evening was due to a feature of the search engine known as ‘dynamic ad copy’. When a user typed in eg. ‘SMU Singapore’, the search engine automatically generated ‘SMU Singapore’ as the title of our sponsored link. This resulted in the screen that you emailed us on Thursday.

Full story can be found here.

While NTU did take a week to reply, at least they did reply and not wait until it appeared in the newspapers. So I’ll give them credit for that. Unfortunately I think most of the blogosphere has moved on in a week, and people not keeping up with the issue anymore may not read this update, and just continue to maintain the impression of NTU based on the fiasco.

Why Twitter Is So Powerful

March 26, 2008

It hit me in the shower last night why exactly Twitter is so powerful. It’s like IRC.

No, I’m not kidding and don’t run away yet.

Today @stripedshirt and @valene were talking about why MSN (aka IM) isn’t used by them anymore, simply because it’s too distracting. On top of that, MSN mostly allows for one-to-one conversations (yes I know you can add more people to conversations), but Twitter is cool in that you can have many people adding to a conversation at different times of the day and it’ll continue on.

And that’s what I like most about Twitter and that’s why it’s so powerful. It requires a short amount of attention, but it allows you to feel connected and part of a community more than IM does (at least for me). A real example is when a few of us just got started on Twitter. Me (@uniquefrequency), Andre (@stripedshirt) and Valene (@valene). So 3 of us kinda were messaging here and there but with only 3 people, there wasn’t much benefits to reap in terms of network externalities.

Fastforward 4-6 weeks, add in Andre’s group’s great presentation on microblogging, and now we have Nabilah (@allquirknoplay), Jacqueline (@jacquelinechang), Amelia (@amsie), Lionel (@gaothebao), Peiling (@gniliep), Alaska (@alaskie), Xiao Hui (@thehsuperficies), Mark (@beatmastermark), Gladys (@gladyschock) and Christina (@tinana).

The best part is I have less than half of these people on my MSN list, and yet I talk more to most of them than to other people on my MSN list.

It’s like IRC in that we all drop in the same “room” at different times of the day and maybe I’ll know that some of them are in the library, some are awake at 5am finishing a project, who’s in a Starbucks, and the list goes on. It’s come to a stage where we even have @SMUtweets to tweet school-related stuff to all of us. How cool is that?

To me, Twitter has truly become the new social water cooler.

You might argue that 13 of us out of a school population of 4,500 is insignificant. But is it really? If you were a company and you had 13 passionate advocates following your brand on Twitter, Tweeting things to each other and spreading your brand and/or message, wouldn’t you be happy? (Wouldn’t it be great if Frujch could tell us when the queue is short? Or if portobello melts are running out so we can ZOOM down to get the last few?)

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and here’s an experiment I want to run: All of us SMU students currently on Twitter should aim to get one, just one, other friend on Twitter by Week 14 (just lean over to the person next to you in the library and do some convincing!). We’re going to try to double the SMU-Twitter population and see just how far we can go with this in really forming a community and network, and see what comes out of it.

Post your success stories and/or great Twitter stories in the comments section so we’ll know who to follow and we’ll review this experiment in 2 weeks! Let’s keep in mind that getting new people to sign up on Twitter is just the first step, we need to make them feel welcome to get them to stick around and enjoy it as much as we do!

Lessons From The SMU = NTU Ad

March 21, 2008

Now that the SMU = NTU ad buzz is dying down (or is it just picking up? TIMM Guru put an ad up on Google for people to discover why NTU used the keywords), I think it’s important to look at a few lessons from the whole fiasco:

1) Track What’s Happening

I set up a Google Alert for “SMU NTU” yesterday and quite a few people picked this up, as well as the front page of Singapore Daily. If you’re a company, especially in our small market in Singapore, can you afford this kind of negative publicity? Even if there’s no “new media” person at your company, the least you should do is set up a Google Alert for your company’s name.

2) Respond Quickly

But it’s not enough to know that people are talking about you. You need to respond. Fast. I know on the comments page of sg_ljers one NTU student is valiantly trying to defend the school, but it isn’t working. To be fair, for all we know this could have been the result of a genuine mistake, maybe the mistake was on Google’s part, maybe it’s a typo. The fact is we will not know because NTU chose to keep quiet. It’s going to hit 48 hours since the news was first posted and the blogosphere will move on. People will forever remember the incident as a “fault” of NTU’s, simply because they did not take the opportunity to engage and respond.

3) Your Brand Isn’t What You say It Is, It’s What Google & The Internet Says It Is

The commenter on sg_ljers said:

But I just want to highlight how easily people can draw conclusions based on what they see (which is worse than conclusions based on what they don’t see). Hasn’t it occurred to anyone that SMU might have the same tactic? Hasn’t it occurred to you that maybe NTU is not behind that link? Personally I wouldn’t think that the NTU corp comm would be so dumb as to ruin their own reputation like that.

Yes, bloggers draw conclusions at face value and quickly and will look for the most controversial story instead of the most likely one (although in this case they are probably the same). We’re not journalists, we’re not going to do research or contact NTU Corporate Communications to find out. We will just blog. And the internet will represent it as such. And who reads the internet? Well…

4) Know Your Audience

If this appeared in the Straits Times forum, you can bet NTU would have responded quickly. But choosing not to join the conversation online may be their biggest folly. Who’s reading print? Not me. Probably people much older than me. Who’s on the internet? Who’s picking up this story on Twitter? Your prospective students (or from a business perspective, prospective customers). Just because the discussion is not via your media of choice, does not mean the people in that discussion do not matter. They could matter more.

5) The Internet Is Permanent

Google “SMU NTU” now and you’ll see the SMU = NTU ad as the first link. Now every year new students are going to compare the two business schools and see this issue as well as this (from

They will draw their own conclusions. I’m betting those conclusions aren’t positive. Again, your brand is what Google says it is.

Finally, I ran this article not to be sensational or controversial for the sake of being controversial, but as an experiment to see if NTU would reply, even with an explicit call out. I think the results speak for themselves.

My word of advice to all companies would be not to ignore what is said about you online. The content creators (ie bloggers, Youtube video creators, Flickr posters, podcasters) are the new gatekeepers of the online community. This one post led to all those other online posts which will enjoy the multiplier effect via word of mouth to reach thousands (more if it were Xiaxue). And you ignore them at your peril.

By the way I can’t seem to replicate the results anymore. Can you? Result of NTU getting rid of the ad? We’ll probably never know. Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Where Did SMU = NTU Ad Go??

March 19, 2008

Wanida picked up the NTU advertisement post and posted it on Sg_ljers, which got quite a conversation.

Keen eyes noticed that if you try to search for it right now, the NTU ad is no longer there. Here’s the screenshot taken at 11:13pm (click for bigger picture).

No NTU Ad?

So I’m calling out NTU to respond either here or at Sg_ljers or anywhere on the internet: What happened to your ad? Did you read about this and remove it? Did it run out of budget? (Nods to Amelia).

Whatever the reason, why was it done in the first place? Clearly the corporate communications department is new media savvy enough to use AdWords, now use that same ability to respond to the conversation! I think the blogosphere should know what’s going on.

Google SMU = Get NTU?

March 19, 2008

Google SMU Singapore (Singapore Management University) now and you’ll get this result (click for bigger picture):

Google ‚ÄúSMU + Singapore‚ÄĚ

The top result? A fake paid link by NTU (Nanyang Technological University). I understand Google can be gamed, but do we really need to do this? Is it bordering on unethical behavior? What do you think?

Edit: Note that I’m not making a big deal out of NTU appearing on an SMU search. It happens with Google and it’s okay. The point is that the paid link says “SMU Singapore” but the URL link is “”. Clearly misleading.