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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Singapore Bloggers cautiously test the limits of free speech

Spread out over a nightclub dance floor, Singapore's blogger community officially gathered offline for the first time to put faces to the popular online pseudonyms and discuss blogger issues - including how to avoid ruinous government lawsuits.

For more than five hours on Saturday about 200 people - some hunkered over laptops - listened to Singapore's most famous Web writers in person as a big-screen television showed a chat room taking questions and comments from cyberspace.

The runaway popularity of blogs has turned thousands of the city state's citizens into online news outlets, where people can find comment on topics ranging from free speech to abortion.
One blog-hosting site, livejournal, has more than 22,000 members from Singapore. "The younger generation here grew up with this kind of technology," said popular blogger Lee Kin Mun, better known as "mrbrown".

But in Singapore, writing online political commentary can be like walking through a minefield.
"Citizens are scared. No one wants to find trouble," said Wendy Cheng, better known as "xiaxue". "Singaporeans tend to be afraid to speak up." Cheng, 21, has become so popular - with 10,000 hits daily - blogging is now her career. She relies on company advertisements on her website for income.

But she avoids political expression. "I wouldn't mention anything about the government. It's in quite close proximity," she said.

Singapore often draws international criticism for its tight regulation of political activity and the media. The country's leaders have a history of successfully suing opposition politicians and foreign journalists for defamation.

In May, international media rights groups expressed concern over a threatened lawsuit by a government agency against a Singaporean student studying at the University of Illinois in the United States.

Chen Jiahao criticised the scholarship policies of the Agency of Science, Technology and Research and its leader, Philip Yeo. Mr Chen later apologised for his remarks, but said in another blog he found nothing defamatory in his comments. His "acidflask" blog no longer exists.
The mood at the first blogger conference was quiet on Saturday despite the nightclub setting. "No one is asking any questions because bloggers are mostly introverted types," said a chat room member identified as "Ketsugi".

"I guess we're all still geeks at heart."
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Singapore Bloggers Directory

Just realise that there is such a directory for Singapore Bloggers, a place for all Singapore Bloggers to showcase their blog as a searchable directory. There seems to be a series of services provided like BloggerFriends, BloggerPhoto, BloggerAds and BloggerForum. Seems like Singaporeans had already taken blogging seriously starting on 2004.

Recent studies show that Singapore Bloggers had expressed more posts and thoughts through their blogs in response to public opinions and frustrations. Well, I guess Singapore doesn't allow you to express it freely, therefore a hideout on your own blog could a good choice. Keep it up, Singaporeans!
Thursday, May 18, 2006

A gathering place for all Singapore bloggers

Hello all Singapore bloggers, this blog is dedicated to all Singapore bloggers. Yes, all of you out there! I set up this blog for the purpose of knowing more Singapore bloggers and acts as a catalyst to network and associate with more bloggers.

From friends and search engines, I know there are a couple of famous bloggers in Singapore most criticised and praised for like Mr. Brown and Xiaxue (If I didn't mess up your name, pardon me). With Singapore's election just ended, only then did I realise that Singaporeans had started blogging as a tool to express themselves here - http://singaporeelection.blogspot.com

I guess the global awareness of blogging is warming here in Singapore. I had been blogging for a couple of years back as I into Internet stuffs. Well, put it short, I hope more Singapore bloggers can come here to share their views or criticize on anything or happenings in Singapore.

Another great place to check out. It's a site built for Singaporeans - http://www.sgroar.com

Cya soon guys :)
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