On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 2:19 AM, Joseph WEE Yeong Yew wrote:
Here are the questions for the interview!
1. When did you first start using social media and what was the reason?
Well if you considered blogging as part of social media (which it is, by the way) then it would be around 2003. It was the very same year when I started at Imperial College London, purpose is such that friends of mine can find out what was going on in my life while I was overseas. Little did I know it was going to turn into a money-making, ambassador/events-magnet and food review website that it is today.
2. How would you describe your activity in the Social media scene?
Put simply, it would be to share my love and passion for the things I do, which includes eating, organizing events across multiple interests and occasional tech-related updates that will benefit my followers in Facebook, Twitter and through my blog and various websites I am a webmaster of. (view my About me section)
3. How would you describe the social media scene in Malaysia today?
Day by day we see an increase in social media utilization not only by the young generation (X and Y) but also leaning towards the elders as well. And when I say utilization, I mean actual participation in social media activities not restricted to simple ones such as commenting on a post or tweet or status updates. There are already many idle social media users, way much more compared to other countries in South East Asia. All it takes now is a little encouragement, and social media will eventually be a medium through which many companies and leaders of their respective fields engage with their friends and followers, which is exactly what is happening today.
4. How do you think things have advanced in social media?
It’s very simple; in Malaysia, everything is about the latest fad hitting town. Malaysians are a GENIUS when it comes to utilizing the web for their own personal use such as sharing about their lives, their photos and even their ambition whether it is to their family or friends. For this reason, more and more are clinging on to the social media rage especially with celebrities (both international and local) following suit, and with that, social media has been used to start fund-raising activities, network meet ups and even as far as to garner poll results among friends and followers.So how have things advanced in social media? My answer would be, even companies are willing to SPEND on utilizing social media in Malaysia. That’s how advance we’ve gotten with social media.
5. In the near future, lets say 5 years, what is your prediction of the role played by Social Media?
5 years from now, social media will be a defacto tool for engagement via several roles/entities; mainly companies to their staff, consultants to their clients, customer service to users et al. How is this possible? Through personified responses, and in Malaysia, it’s all about personalized servicing isnt it? (Malaysians are not brand loyal, IMHO)
6. Are there any restrictions in social media in Malaysia?
Yes there is, unfortunately. The government are adverse to social media as of now because they believe its power is capable of causing rumours and falsely spreading untrue facts which would discontent the public, and true to that, there has been punishments served to social media users who abuse their freedom of speech. Fortunately actions are being by certain quarters to start engaging and promoting social media as a way to receive feedbacks, and that could be a good start to lesser restrictions, though I doubt it could ever be removed completely.
7. In your opinion what are some of the more popular blogs in Malaysia?
There are a few if you split it by certain genres, for example, tech blogs, political blogs and lifestyle blogs. To make matters easy, most Malaysians are only interested in Lifestyle blogs that is usually littered with exclusive events and extraordinary personal experiences by the blogger themselves, and with that, 2 of the more popular bloggers would be Kenny Sia of www.kennysia.com and Cheesie of www.cheeserland.com. For the rest of the list, please head here: http://www.riceblogger.com/top-100-malaysian-blogs/ (please ignore political and tech bloggers whose market visitors are niche and global)
8. Is social media important to companies in Malaysia?
I believe so and evangalise this fact strongly via the Social Media Club of Kuala Lumour (www.smckl.com) whose objective is to create awareness on the benefits of using social media within and outside of the company. In fact, I have started consulting major restaurant franchises who are more than keen to venture into social media for promotions and feedbacks, a two-pronged guide to a consumer’s heart.
9. In Malaysia the government started this “1Malaysia” campaign to promote racial harmony. Part of the campagin involved the Prime Minister (Najib Razak) using blogs as a medium to communicate to the public. He also uses Facebook Any thoughts on that? Any thoughts on the effectiveness of the Malaysian government using social media?
It is good that our Prime Minister has acknowledge that he requires social media to reach out to the people, but on whether it is used effectively is another thing altogether. Majority social media users have been unimpressed with the strategy used. However I would agree to the thought on creating an effective government using social media, but only when it is done the right way and with honesty and integrity.
10. Are there commercial uses of Social Media in Malaysia that is of your interest?
Yes there is. The concept of marketing via Social Media, done right, is really powerful and also subtle to the user’s eyes. Tracking the success of these marketing tactics are also easy since it’s on a digital platform, which means it’s possible to track leads made from a single campaign, hence, perfect for commercial use.
11. How credible is Social media is in Malaysia? For example as an investment banker, do you find that social media is a credible place to look for tips or advice on investments?
It is interesting to note that you’d take that as an example, because as a matter of fact I’m responsible for the creation of a one stop financial portal called www.ecmmoney.com. Yes, we also do use Twitter to spread financial reports and Malaysian Burse Exchange news. However I’d like to mention that the credibility of a user does dictate on whether the information or source given is trustable or not. In the end it’s all about the sincerity and honest of the user that decides his or her credibility in the eyes of the public.
12. You also have a huge following on twitter with over 990 followers. Have you got any tips for a greenhorn in the social media scene like myself on how to get followers?
Unfortunately that number is far from huge, as there are some with almost 2000 followers. However I would like to add that I’d rather have 100 active followers following me than 1000 idle ones, and that being said, the right way to value how influential a person is to his followers is by the number of ReTweets he gets for one particular tweet. (Also akin to how many people will share a certain individual’s story to their friends), and I’m happy to say the relationship I have with friends and followers, and also in return, is an honest and sincere one.
With the story above, my tip for everyone out there (and yourself, of course) is just to be yourself, be honest, and above all, be sincere in making friends. Engage with your followers and friends, feel them with your heart when responding to their tweets, be it on joy, sorrow or just random rantings. And above all, share your tips and tricks to success and joy without expecting anything in return. I assure you, that is all it takes to get to where I am, no hard effort necessary 🙂
Thanks alot mate :)Cheers,
> On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 5:38 PM, Joseph WEE Yeong Yew wrote:
> > Dear Christopher,
> > My name is Joe and I’m Kym Goh’s friend. He referred me to you as a person
> > who might be willing to do a video interview on the topic of social media. I
> > am an undergraduate at one of the local universities in Singapore, and the
> > research I am doing requires that I interview people in social media from a
> > certain country (Malaysia for this instance).
> > The main objective of the interview is to ascertain social media landscape
> > that exists in Malaysia. Apart from questions about the social media
> > environment, probably more casual questions about your blog and then some
> > more questions about social media in general.
> > Once complete, the more pertinent parts of interview will be extracted and
> > put in text on this wikiesque website which was created by my prof. My
> > professor reasons this as one of the course objectives of participating in a
> > culture of sharing and knowledge networks.” But before we post the extracts.
> > In the case that you are not comfortable with anything that was recorded
> > during the interview, I will send you the extract before uploading it on the
> > site. The site is a school site that clocks about 800 – 1000 viewers a week
> > maybe that might be of some use to you?
> > Here are links of the wikiesque site created by my professor:
> > http://comm215.wetpaint.com/page/Malaysia%3A+Interviews
> > http://comm215.wetpaint.com/
> > If you are willing to do the interview, would you be free sometime this
> > thursday (18/02/10) at your convenience to do it on skype?
> > Once again, thank you very much for considering this interview, I
> > appreciate it heaps ^_^
> > and Happy Chinese New Year!
> > Cheers,
> > Joe