Rediscover Brunei Darussalam through the eyes of the People
Back in 2011, I was interviewed by The Brunei Times on the topic of how social media was changing ASEAN. Here's an excerpt; you can read the rest of it here. (Mind you, this interview was from 2011 so don't mind me if some of the ideologies seem a little dated.)
Social media users may know Delwin Keasberry through his Twitter persona @BruneiTweet and website ProjekBrunei.com.
With over 9,000 followers on his Twitter account and over a million hits on his website, it's no surprise he is among the participants in Asia Inc Forum's ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum in Manila on Sept 28-29, where he will be holding a masterclass on social networking, alongside Tonyo Cruz, president of TXT Power.
The Brunei Times sits down with the blogger to find out more about his thoughts on social networking and how it can help benefit the general public and businesses, as well as what he is anticipating in the upcoming ASEAN 100 Forum.
This would be your first ASEAN 100 Forum, what are you most looking forward to?
Yes, this year's ASEAN 100 will be my first. If I may borrow a line from DST Brunei's, I am excited about "The Future, Now".
I am going to the ASEAN 100 with this in mind to learn, to network, to brainstorm, to be inspired, to hear direction regarding ASEAN's current role 'in the big picture'. How is it different? For me, the ASEAN 100 is different from other because of the calibre of participants, and the urgency and relevance of topics.
You will be moderating a masterclass on how social media is changing Asean. In your opinion, how much more connected and informed are we just based on social media alone?
I would argue that this truly depends on the user. For some, social media is a knee-deep kiddie play pool. It is safe, it is controlled, is it shallow, it is fun, it is self-contained. For some, it is an olympic pool plenty of room for a good swim, deep, dangerous if you don't know how to swim, fun and healthy if you know how. For others still, it is like an open sea. Brimming with life, ripe for exploration, an arena for research. There are people who are happy wading casually at the shallow end, there are those perfecting their strokes in the Olympic pool, and then there are those hungry for adventure setting out to the unknown seas. You are only as connected and informed as you want to be.
Being one of the most popular tweeters in Brunei, how important is it for being socially responsible when it comes to disseminating information?
To date, I have over 9,000 followers on Twitter. This means that every message I send out is (potentially) seen by over 9,000 different people at any one time. Of course, I need to be careful about what I share. Being careful to me is ensuring what is being shared is legitimate and ensuring that I don't spread hearsay and 'rumours'.
Based on your experience and network of people, do you feel that the ASEAN social networkers are more dependent on social media?
From my experience, social networkers in ASEAN are no different from those elsewhere (excluding of course countries where some social networks are banned).
In the ASEAN region alone, there are millions and millions of people tweeting, 'facebooking' and now 'instagramming', do you think that social networking will reach a point of saturation where it gets difficult to filter through the unwanted stuff?
The current social media ecosystem allows for end users to choose who they allow into their inside circles. This allows users to separate the noise from the wanted content.
For businesses, this means that it becomes more difficult to stand out amongst their competitors, what tips do you have for being relevant on a social network?
Here are three tips from a previous post I wrote, Seven Twitter Tips for Businesses: 1. Be consistent with your branding, 2. Update regularly, and 3. Respond and Interact. Businesses should not be 'afraid' of social media but rather should recognise its use as another tool for building existing relationships with customers.
Do you have any topics that particularly interest you during your masterclass with Tonyo Cruz?
We have been charged with the task of discussing "How is Social Media Changing ASEAN?" Aside from the sharing of content, social media in ASEAN has perhaps been used as an amplifier of opinions, a builder of momentum, and a platform for (uncensored) publications. Each of these three things have explicit implications and it is my intention to dialogue with Tonyo about the same.
"This helps diminish the stereotype where graffiti is just vandalism...because if you look around, the amount of time and artistic value we put into our work – it’s not vandalism at all. Vandalism is destruction. What we are doing is creating something.”
So I went to my usual recycling drop-off spot and noticed that the bins had been sealed. I asked the groundskeeper about it and he told me "they stopped paying us for the recyclables so it's not worth doing anymore". Anyone else had this experience recently?
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