ASIAN BLOGGERS AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONFERENCE 2010

Last week the office sent a few of my colleagues and me for this event. It is an important event as it showcased many interesting topics regarding the Social Media scene as a whole.

Why Social Media?

With the advent of social media in the world today it is not supprising then that both individuals and businesses are looking for ways to fully take advantage of it, especially keeping in mind that their capabilities are not entirely tapped yet and they still possesses huge potentials for future development.

Consider the fact that there are now well over 1500 publicly traded companies and even smaller firms that maintain an active Blog, Twitter feed, Facebook fan page, and YouTube channel. Facebook alone boasts additional 50 millions of people adopting social networking, businesses are keen to participate and are increasing their social media budgets accordingly.

What Are The Benefits?

For businesses, the social media also offers huge potential benefits from reduced costs and enhanced performance. To a certain extent, businesses have started to utilize social media for the purpose or marketing, building brand, engaging customers, and knowledge sharing. However, these practices are relatively new, and many other businesses are still growing in the dark when it comes to utilizing the social media for their benefit.

So that was the gist of the whole conference and the keynote speaker was none other than our former minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is also is a blogger himself, addressed the delegates in his own style. There was also Dato Tony Fernandes of Air Asia. Dato Tony, also explained how he built Air Asia from scratch with the advent of social media. Here are pictures from the event and also a short descriptions of the speakers who spoke during the conference:

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

The former premier was clear of one thing, the issue of freedom of speech in Malaysia and how it has evolved. Do we have freedom of speech? Is this press free to write about anything? Well, he mentioned the laws in our country are strict but it is good to have such guidelines. He also expressed his feeling of how he is vocal when pointing issues that are real and in the moment to him. A good example he gave was the invitation of former British prime minister, Tony Blair and his visit.

Tun Mahathir is a man of vision and strong opinions and he pointed that when it comes to voicing out his opinions, he is vocal thus in the matter of Tony Blair. For those who of you who wants to read his blog, click HERE

Tony Fernandes

The man behind the tagline “Everyone can Fly” spoke with confidence and he was very inspirational. His success story was well said and he is also a man who dares to challenge and dreams big. He started with two planes and now Air Asia is one the best low cost air carriers in the world.  He also blogs and explained how social media has helped the company to soar and be where it is now.  To read his blog, click HERE

Ahmad Nazuwan aka Abang Nara

This dude is the BOMB ! His blog www.beautifulnara.com has hits more than a million. He is a well know blogger who higlights the Malaysian entertainment scene. To be exact the Malay entertainment scene, as his fans know him as Abang Nara, he is one hardworking and passionate blogger who has taken the paparazzi style blog posts  a hit among his fans. He also explained how to get more hits with your blog and how to look at the simple details that makes a blog credible. He also stressed at the need for being transparent and truthful when writing something out of passion.

Olivier "Bloggie" Robillo

Olivier “Bloggie” Robillo from the Philippines is a wordpress evangelist cum citizen journalist. He also leads a few blogs in his repertoire. His main passion is spreading the good news on the WordPress blog site and how it changes the way people blog and does everything for their sites. He blogs at http://www.robilloblog.com/

Avit Varma

Avit Varma was one of the straight to the point speakers. His blog India Uncut is a testament of his views and thoughts of how India and the world is. He also has published a book. As for me Avit was an inspiring person as he speaks his mind and not afraid of his writings. He believes in freedom of speech at its purest form just how he pointed he loves the 1st Amendment of USA. He admits that he is a freedom of speech absolutist and his not afraid of saying that boldly. His talk was titled “The Big Deal of Blogging” , can be read HERE

Niki Cheong

Niki is one of my favorite Malaysian bloggers. His job as a journalist and a blogger gives reader a good view on how the social media works as he works in a mainstream newspaper. His blog nikicheong.com is a blog that is easy and simple to read. He writes of the simple joys in life and how his work evolves around it. Being trained a journalist, his style of writing is in depth and yet captures the essence of life of being a Malaysian. He also has a column in the Star newspaper, named The Bangsar Boy. So people out there, do check out his blog as it is very insightful and heartwarming as well.

Well, those were some of the speakers that I liked during the conference and also I met my good friend back from uni days who also used to work with Niki. She  is none other than my mentor, teacher and friend, Lina Latif :

Lina & me

Lina & Niki

Well that is my post on this conference. My personal view on the conference was good. It is a good way of meeting people in the media who are using the avenue of Social Media and blogging for a good purpose. The blogsphere is becoming a booming trend in Malaysia and many young people are turning to it to express their views on so many facades of life including politics, religion, sports and many more.

The proper usage of this avenues determines the idea of being advanced in a society and the wrong usage brings down a community. As we know the Internet is a window to the world and we can be connected instantly with people. What more with the mobile devices thats offers mobile browsing  makes social media a powerful tool in the world.

~Later Days~

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