What's Up?

The ceiling of course. :)

Actually the title of the post refers to what's up with me these days.

You see, I haven't been blogging a lot lately. I won't say I've lost the ability to express myself, but I'm gonna be frank and share that I got a little bit lazy to blog these days. Among the contributing factors would be;
- Work
- Entertainment
- Events

Work is no doubt much harder than I thought. You remember when you were kids and when it was the weekend and you so wanted your dad and mum to bring you out and they will be like 'Naaa, I wanna rest at home' ? I know why do my dad just wants to lie on the bed now during the weekends. Sorry dad for pestering you to go out so much when I was a kid. Weekend is seriously a bliss for us who happen to not have work on that day.

I'm a person who enjoy entertainment a lot. Ever since I was young, I dare say. My mum told me that I was a TV addict dating back to when I was just 1 year old! This is of course very much true till today. I watch a lot of movies, dramas. I play various games on PC, PS2, NDS, PSP. I play card games and puzzles occasionally and I totally enjoyed myself doing things that entertained me. :)

Events these days for me are almost like breakfast. I don't get them everyday, but man they are staple in my life. Badminton with colleagues and friends, party for bloggers, yumcha + steamboat dinner with bloggers and many more. I seriously think the amount of events I can take in my life is reaching the top. :x

Blogging is fun actually. But the fun doesn't come immediately, it comes slightly slower. Interacting with people, replying to comments, sharing funny things and etc. The satisfaction of blogging is when you know someone else is reading and taking a page out of what you wrote (be it jokes, advise, info, etc) as their knowledge. However, let's just say that with the amount of stress and work I have to face these days, I kinda need fun that instantly gratify me compared to blogs. :(

Nevertheless, I'll do my best to share excerpts of my life every now and then in my blog for you all. After all, a Blogger Relations won't be able to relate much to bloggers, would he? :)

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My housemate is moving out from the house in December 2010. It's not exactly the best time for me and Zach to find another housemate at that time. We're considering to take over the room to put our wardrobes and mirrors in it as a dressing room. But it's an additional RM60/month for both of us. We can afford it actually, but every penny saved can contribute to something more useful for us in the future. Hmm..

Should we do it?

If you happen to know anyone who wishes to rent a small room at Jalan Genting Klang, do drop me a comment. Rent's only RM120 not inclusive of utility bills. Streamyx, fridge, kitchen, water heater, TV, PS2, 2 cute dogs included in the house. :D

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Zizi (my female dog) is growing, I think. LOL

Her nails are getting longer and longer and I think she's not very comfortable. That brings me to a question. How come wild dogs' nails don't grow any longer than they are? Or they do, but because of the rough terrain they walk on, the nails are somewhat 'trimmed' by the terrain?

If that's the case, I think I wanna get a tar road carpet for Zizi to run on. :P

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I happen to notice that Malaysia's basketball scene is growing. Ever heard of the Westports KL Dragons? They are the first Malaysian basketball team to make it into ASEAN Basketball League! Of course, with their solid performances in the past, they have drew a lot of sponsors on board and S.O.X. is proud to be the official telco sponsor for the Westports KL Dragons!

sox

This literally means if you're an S.O.X. member, you'll be entitled to free and discounted tickets to watch the Dragons' home games at MABA Stadium, KL (near Petaling Street)!

Wanna know how?

2 easy peasy ways!
1) Just go to the ticketing counter at MABA stadium, show your phone and they'll match and see if you're an S.O.X. member. If you are, then you're entitled to 20% discount from the original ticket price!

2) Play the S.O.X. All-Stars Hoops Facebook Game and you stand a chance to win 3 exclusive courtside tickets worth RM1,000 EACH or 5 pairs of VIP tickets over the span of 8 weeks!!

The best thing of all, you don't even need to do anything to enjoy these privileges because S.O.X. is doing this for you and for the Westports KL Dragons to help promote the noble basketball sports. ;)

I'm pretty thrilled and proud of being a Malaysian actually. Just the other day, our National Car brand won a rally in China and of course, we have a very strong Basketball Team in the ABL too. I think Malaysia Boleh is the right slogan for us.

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Enough of randomness from me today. I'm gonna end it with a funny Youtube video Zach shared with me. This guy is really hilarious. His accent is top notch! LOL


Cheers
Robb

How Nuffnang Changed the Blogosphere

Before you continue reading, do take note that I'm an employee of Nuffnang Sdn Bhd who has been with the company since the early days where we only had 5 people working in a small office and grew together with the community till today, we have over 65 staffs in the entire Nuffnang family.

However, what I'm about to share here is based on my observation as a blogger and in the same time with access to additional information due to my work.

You may or may not agree with what I'm about to share, but you're free to take in additional info to form your own opinions..

I started my first blog when I was 17, I think.

It was a typical blog for Malaysians back in those days. An online diary.

I ranted a lot of feelings, such as love, betrayal and those sort you can find when you open a Stephanie Meyer's book. As I grew, I learned to express more than unstable emotions. I started sharing thoughts, things I enjoy doing and friends and opinions of certain things.

Then I got my first comment.

I was delighted! Someone actually reads? Wow!

You gotta admit it, when someone comments on your blog, you feel somewhat... appreciated? That was definitely what I felt and it kept me motivated to blog for more. Eventually I got to know more friends online and we even met in real life for coffee! Those meet ups were infrequent and small but we were cool with that.

And then, I heard of Nuffnang from Lilian. A local company trying to bring bloggers together for advertising? That was the question in my mind. I was pretty much aware of how a blogger can earn from online advertising because I kinda took part in PPP programs and the likes of it.

I gave it a try and in time, there were ads running on my blog. The pay was okay for my blog's traffic and I was kinda proud that there's a local company that can do this. Malaysia Boleh spirit was somewhat jumping in my stomach. LOL.

As time passed by, I noticed that Nuffnang was more than just an advertising company like those in the US. It was a community.

I first found out when they were inviting bloggers for a movie screening - Pirates of the Carribean 2. If you're dressed up as a pirate when you attend the screening, you may also stand a chance to win a trip to Singapore!

I didn't take part by the way. Since I was staying pretty far (no car, student T_T) from The Curve (the screening venue), I kinda made up my mind to not take part. Ahh, how I envy those who went. I saw pictures of people in pirates costume and I so wanted to be a part of that. I remember Suanie winning the best dressed prize if I'm not mistaken.

Then, came a contest by Nuffnang. This time it was for TGI Fridays. I was a kampung boy. I have never dined in Fridays before that. I really wanted to thus I took part in the contest. And guess what? I won it and got myself a nice dinner at TGIF.

Nuffnang's reputation was getting established and one fine day, I got invited to a movie screening by Nuffnang. I still remember the title of the movie - Vantage Point. I met up with Timothy Tiah and his friendly staffs and that's where a new chapter of my life begun.

When I joined Nuffnang, movie screenings, contests and events were scarce. My role was somewhat carved by myself because I didn't exactly enjoy doing reports (sorry boss) and I enjoy putting up a lot of events and excitement for the bloggers like myself (too bad I can't join as participant anymore ever since). And believe me, I think I did not too shabby in creating a bigger and better community of bloggers.

I've grown a lot and so has the community. Many of the pioneer bloggers can testify but most of us have.. somewhat moved on. As career puts food on each of our own table, most of us are concentrating on our jobs rather than blogging as active as we used to be. After being in the industry for so long, I guess I am worth some salt to share how Nuffnang has changed the blogosphere.

Uniting bloggers and Serving Ads
The advertising industry pays according to eyeballs - impressions. When brands advertise, they want to reach out to people who will see their message (ads). That's why brands advertise on newspaper, television and radio because they reach out to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people each day.

Before Nuffnang, advertising on blogs was almost impossible by brands. Reason? There were too many bloggers out there and in the same time, the number of people they reach out to is very limited. Blogs' traffic ranges from very high to low. There are blogs with 10k visitors daily, there are with 4 visitors daily. Even with 10k visitors daily, the advertising budget on it would be somewhat too small for a brand to spend solely on for any campaigns. Ad campaigns normally go by thousands or tens of thousand.

Thus the problem was quite obvious. Reaching out to bloggers before Nuffnang was tedious and not exactly fully beneficial for the brands to do so. They would rather just deal with online portals/search engines for digital advertising.

When Nuffnang came into the picture, she united all bloggers within Malaysia. Blogs with high traffic like Kennysia and the likes and all kinds of blogs including small personal blogs reaching out to a few friends we know. With a combined volume of 180,000 blogs under the Nuffnang network today, I dare say Nuffnang's reach is not something to belittle on. Thanks to the Nuffnang platform, my blog is also able to earn some side income from the online advertising industry as opposed to nothing.

Contest
Ever since winning a small contest (TGIF), I was always fond of contests. In my 2 and half years time in Nuffnang, I've grew to understand the essence of it and why it is good for the community in whole.

A typical contest would be for participants to spread certain key message for a brand and if the participant do it well, they win a prize. Now, the Nuffnang contests that have ran in the past offered very very good prizes. Among them were Macbooks, laptops, gaming consoles and even cash prizes in thousands (each)!

So what the brands get from these contests? They get to send their messages across with the contests they held on the Nuffnang community. And in return the Nuffnang community has fun sending the message while winning prizes.

Now we all know that in order for any contests to run, you'll need promotional tools which means - banner ads. Banner ads reach out to a lot of people and can seriously influence the number of contest entries for any contests. Thus it is always a compliment to run a contest with sufficient banner ads.

This literally means when Nuffnang runs a contest, a lot of blogs will be getting ad campaigns on their blogs from the brand (side income, here we go) and at the same time, those who would like to try their creative writing skills to win prizes are free to do so!

The truth is, Nuffnang really cares for the blogosphere. The staffs love to see bloggers coming up with creative posts and getting rewarded for them. So, that's why Nuffnang has always been supportive with contests as long as the community at large benefits from the banner campaigns from the clients.

Now, we see many more creative bloggers out there such as Nigelsia, Akiraceo, Eggyolks and etc. These are all found from contests and we hope to share more creative bloggers we find in the long run with the world from our future contests.

Now tell me, before Nuffnang came about, were there any exclusive contests just for bloggers to take part? When you want to take part in a contest organized by any brands before this you had to compete with the entire Malaysia population. Now, you're only competing with bloggers from Malaysia which is very much smaller in numbers (since broadband penetration is low and our babies and seniors don't blog normally). At the same time, brands get value from running contests on blogs because they help spread key messages they want to disseminate. It's hitting 2 birds with one stone, or like how our local language put it, sambil menyelam minum air.

Events
Ever since our first Pajama Party 2 years ago, I think it's safe to summarize that bloggers love to come out and attend events. ;)

Events are of course fun for those attending but if you're on the other side... it's still fun actually, but it comes with sweat and blood (literally). But it didn't matter to us actually. Many of the Nuffies spent their time using their bare hands to pack goody bags for events, dressing up to the theme and ensuring all our blogger guests have fun in our own events. Events which Nuffnang organized from start to finish (not attending a client's event and calling it your event) are somewhat our pride and we have deliver them consistently since we started.

Chipster Pajama Party, Nuffnang Wild Live Blogging, Nuffnang Nokia Silent Halloween, Nuffnang Music Bash, Standout with Nuffnang and even to the recent Vaseline Poolside Party.

I truly believe in uniting the bloggers in our community as that's the reason why we are the first Asia Pacific Blogging Community. Nuffnang takes 1 step further by organizing events for bloggers to meet each other in person. The policy stands and will continue as we wish to be a platform for bloggers to know each other.

Fast forward to today, bloggers' attendance to events have been very much sought after. In fact, we have always been pushing for this but we'll always strike a balance for the the blogging community at large, for example, securing ad campaigns for bloggers who can't attend (due to geographical problem, space limitation and etc). After all, it's not much of a community if only the same group of people gets all the benefits and not everyone else, isn't it?

Before Nuffnang, there were hardly any events for bloggers to attend. Some might require them to pay, some are only selected for a few. After Nuffnang came about, we see bloggers attending events everywhere. I'm glad to see that bloggers are getting the opportunity to meet up more often these days. :)

Options! Possibilities! Alternatives!
Nuffnang has always offered a lot of things to the bloggers under its community.
Some bloggers are more conservative in meeting new friends, thus events are not their cup of tea but they enjoy taking part in contests. If you're not into contest participation, it's okay too. After all we have lots of other functions for our community such as Innit, XChange and more to come.

In fact, if you don't like a certain ad campaign running on your blog, you can even write in to the helpdesk and ask for the campaign to be removed. Life is all about choices and you get to make them in our community.

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I think that's pretty sufficient on what changes Nuffnang brought.

Being in the Blogger Relations team, I can't help but to share what I emphasize my colleagues and I to do all the time;
- ensure that all enquiries to our helpdesk are replied without fail within 48 hours
- ensure that all payments are sent out on time
- ensure all bloggers understand what our messages are

Now I'd like to share what Nuffnang don't do;

1) Bash our competitors
2) Giving/Taking bribes
3) Underpaying Bloggers

That's all from me. Enough of this long rant already.

P.S. Bribes are bad, mkay? Don't give bribes, mkay? Don't take bribes too, mkay?

Cheers
Robb