[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, November 28, 2008

[Swimming with the Facebook wave]
I strongly remember a phrase that Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo used to describe the fast moving pace of Internet technology. "The changing landscape" was his phrase.

Yesterday, he changed his status to "George Yeo is very worried about hostage situation in Mumbai." A flurry of comments went up.

Had that comment been posted here, the response may not have been the same. By many counts, the interaction of Facebook is far more intimate that blogs. And because of that intimacy and privacy that Facebook allows, a small community network is forming. Further, Facebook is unlike a blog - not everyone can see every comment. It is not an open book but a protected community.

This blog, on the other hand serves a different purpose. It allows a different target audience to take a peek into the life of Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister.

Once, I remarked about politicians (especially Ministers) on ivory towers. Facebook is one such tool that connects the ordinary citizen to the top. By the same token, it allows someone from the top to interact with the bottom - you could call it a network polity of sorts.

In a sense, Facebook is dynamic. It provides instant connectivity with someone with its myriad of applications and tools - chats, comments on status and direct access to someone who is not easily accessible. Perhaps our generation is one that is lazy, or instant which is not so much of a passive term - we like instant connectivity - mobile phones, SMS and the like. And as technology evolves, the way society interacts changes. And so will the political sphere.

No longer would the old methods work. But it does not mean that the old methods which have been tried and tested are redundant. There are still the laggards that very much prefer to stick to traditional methods. The same comparison can be made of mainstream media and new media.

For me, I prefer a combination of both because I feel that both forms of media can be complementary.

So they say: Different strokes for different folks.

We managed to adapt to the wave of technology and the onset of handphones. Can we swim together with the Facebook wave?

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