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That void in the Singapore blog-o-sphere – Where are the online mavens?

What a start this year has been for the Singapore bloggers.

In just a period of one month, bloggers here have been described as as bacteria and loose sand.

Like I always say, no publicity is bad publicity (if you catch the double pun, nice!).

At least SG bloggers are being talked about rather than shunned away like leapers.

Interestingly, meeting my PR and marketing peers in agencies and in-house have taken a even more serious look at Social PR than last year.

For agencies, a good, simple and effective Social PR strategy has given them an edge over competitors when pitching for a new client.

For in-house folks, it has help them to stretch their marketing budgets a bit more.

However, when I speak to my peers, the general agreement I get is that the Singapore blog-o-sphere lacks the expert or maven bloggers that can be found in the US, Europe, Taiwan and even Japan.

As per Wikipedia, mavens are “trusted experts in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others”.

You know you are a maven in the consumer electronic space if every time the local PC shows are about to begin, you get asked what the latest and/or cheapest brand of gadget to buy during the show.

As you can see, mavens are vital to marketers because mavens use their expertise and experience to recommend one brand over the other.

In 2008, events for bloggers were more common and frequent than in 2007 or 2006. However, most of the blogging events last year were all more about presenting an experience to the invited bloggers rather than at the issue or product at the event.

I have also suggested that events for bloggers should also be about the experience for the invited bloggers.

This is because most of the bloggers here are what is described or perceived as diarists. Diarists style bloggers post about everything they do during the day and even night. Hence for events, it is not surprising that the invited bloggers will tend to write about what happen at the event more than than the what is being discussed that day.

I recall a blogger telling me that it was bore to sit through a press conference and the fun only started when the camwhoring with a professional photographer began. That was roughly after the silent Q&A session.

Sabrina taking a chance with her first make-up make-over... (Before shot) What resulted was also a post that said the press conference was boring but the camwhoring was fun.

In 2008, clients had the budget to provide bloggers that experience.

In 2009, marketing budgets are shrinking and providing that experience which will inflate the cost will be thought thrice before it gets approved or the ROI can be justified.

Reinventing yourself in this constantly changing world is becoming a survival skill and thus it is necessary for bloggers to look at how they can stay relevant and important in these though times.

My suggestion is to become a maven in a particular area of your interest. Go beyond just presenting the event or product in your posts. Write about your knowledge on the subject or product that the PR has presented to you.

Also be creative. Camwhoring can be in in 2008 but it may soon turn passé in 2009 or 2010.

For example, say you are female blogger invited to a movie screening by a razor blade company launching a product for men.

Yes, I understand why the PR or marcom person would invite you because your photos standing next to the brand posters will get you all the male audience to your blog.

However, you can go one step further by describing in your blog how you prefer your boyfriend’s clean shaven and have those afternoon bread stubs irritate your skin.

Not only you have the photos to prove that you look good, you have the post to show how smart you are.

(PS: Attached photo is Sabrina from She’s one of the few friends that will let me make use of her photos freely to make fun of her.

She is also a good blog theme designer, especially for Drupal for which I have still no idea how to use.

Come to worst, I will just get another “I hate you Aaron Koh” post from her.)


Princessa said…
I feel abused... Oh well.

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