A new era of pinkness

First post on my new blog theme!

So far, the feedback on this garish pink spectacle is positive.

Well, I think the colour is garish, but at the same time it fits with all the elements very harmoniously and delightfully. So I’m really pleased with it.

Vegimeeples!

Most of the credit goes to Lionel and his team of designers at RippleWerkz for doing such a grand job on my new theme and putting up with my fuss for perfection.

Some of the credit goes to Nuffnang for being part sponsor and for introducing me to Lionel.

(As a side note, a lot of credit goes to Nuffnang for helping take my blog to new heights and giving me the opportunity to make a decent living through blogging!)

And a tiny pea of credit goes to me for hounding Lionel every time he shows me a new draft, making him change this and code that to accommodate my crazy requirements.

Lionel was awesome and didn’t strangle me once!

Well, so it’s really more his credit than mine.

Cake!

Finally, mountains of credit to you, my reader, for helping me make my blog a success by reading and commenting, thereby warranting a new blog theme to celebrate a new era of blogs and blogging!

This new theme will motivate me to blog more often so that I don’t disappear for a week again like I did last week.

In any case, I’ve added a new feature (top right) called Post-it Notes (for want of a better title).

It will allow me to make short little posts on the go, which I’ve always wanted to but could never on the old theme. I didn’t want little posts to push down the longer ones which take me hours to write.

I used to collate all my short posts and publish them five or six at a time as “Bite-Size Sheylara”. Remember?

Bite-Size Sheylara

Anyway, this all just means that there will be more content for you to read more frequently!

Awesomeness, yes? So go tell all your friends to come gawk at all this newness and awesomeness!

And happy new year again!

Blogging is harder than writing

I’m a little tired of blogging about my activities.

I have many activities left unblogged, like my durian trip, Kuching experiences from half a year ago, a TVC shoot and a restaurant visit.

What to blog about?

Activity blogs are very easy to write because you can post a whole bunch of photos with captions and people seem to be satisfied with that. But doing it that way bores me. I hate writing templates. Like:

Today I went here.

[Picture]

I saw this.

[Picture]

This is me (obligatory camwhore shot) being in this location.

[Picture]

Here are my friends making faces at each other because they are so thrilled to be enjoying this activity.

[Picture]

And here is a paragraph of text describing how I wrestled with an orang utan who had escaped its cage because I had made faces at it, causing it to think that I was a banana. Blah blah blah.

[Picture]

I have this compulsion to make every one of my posts interesting by finding different ways to write them. But, after a while, there are only so many ways you can innovate with a certain kind of posts. Also, it’s very hard to be creative and out-of-the-box every single day.

When I find myself starting to write templates, an aversion to writing will develop and I will get a writer’s block. And that’s when I force myself to do something different.

Which is why I’m kind of just talking rubbish today.

If you’re a long-time reader, you may have noticed that my writing and blogging styles change with time (like how my fashion style changes). It’s a conscious effort to not allow myself to become stale.

Change

Yes, I do differentiate writing from blogging.

Writing is just writing words. It’s the technical skill of linguistics and expression.

Blogging has more to do with layout. It involves more elements. It’s how you clap together a bunch of words and photos to entertain the reader, making sure there’s a right mix of each. And maybe spice things up with videos and other interactivity options.

Layout

That’s what my kind of blogging is about, anyway. And that’s why blogging is so much harder than mere writing, for me. Blogging is writing and more.

Writing is so easy. I just have to tap on the keyboard and the words come out.

Blogging requires a lot more work because there must be photos and videos. The average Internet surfer does not want to see walls of text. If I don’t have photos for a particular entry, I have to draw something. And you can tell that I can’t draw for nuts.

Wall of text

The average Internet surfer also does not want to read graduate theses, so there must be economy of words. Every word in an entry must have a reason for existence, the reason being to offer the reader something, whether it’s information or entertainment.

I have a self-imposed rule: If I don’t enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it. DELETE and start over.

All those wasted words in the virtual bin. I could cry.

But, for me, that’s part and parcel of being a blogger who cares for her readers. At the end of it, my only hope is that my readers care enough back to leave a comment.

I can has votes?

It’s getting quite stressful these days, being a blogger, what with blog awards and all that.

I mean, it’s a good thing, I can’t deny that. Everyone wants to be appreciated for what they do, and awards provide a chance for that to happen.

But having to canvass for votes is very stressful.

Worse, having to canvass for votes on a daily basis is like having to pull out all four wisdom teeth at once, and having them grow back the next day and having to do it all over again.

i can has votes?

You might say that I don’t have to actively solicit votes. If my blog is good enough, people will vote for me.

That is somewhat true, but not entirely.

I mean, look at politicians. They run around and give speeches and shake hands and smile a lot to get people to vote for them. It’s all part of the competition. It’s all part of the marketing. You have to let people know you before they even know to vote for you. Right?

If you don’t solicit votes, the competition will, anyway.

Thing is, I’m running for more than one award right now, which sort of complicates matters.

While I was feverishly trying to get all my friends and readers to vote for me daily in the S’pore Blog Awards without irritating the hell out of them, I received word that I’d been nominated for two Ping.sg Blog Awards.

The Ping.sg Blog Awards also requires daily votes.

If this goes on, my friends will all leave me for making them spend their lunch hour every day doing nothing but logging into various sites to vote for me.

That’s why I never mentioned the Ping.sg award until now. There’re only two days left to vote, so it’s not that bad, I guess.

If you feel like it, go down the list and vote for me for the various awards I’m up for.

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Most Entertaining Blog (Omy S’pore Blog Awards)

Vote once a day till July 31.

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Most Entertaining Blog (Ping.sg Blog Awards)

Vote once a day till July 17.

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Most Interactive Blog (Ping.sg Blog Awards)

Vote once a day till July 17.

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Regardless of outcome, I would like to thank the people who nominated me for all these awards. I don’t know who you are, but thank you very much.

I also want to thank everyone who has voted for me and is continuing to vote. Thank you for staying with me!

Now, I can has votes?

PS. I’m watching the premiere of The Dark Knight tomorrow at Lido! Can’t wait. The trailer looks damn good!

Hijack at BlogOut 2007

Okay, I feel like such a bimbo.

Last night, I was at BlogOut 2007, right? I was surrounded. SURROUNDED by entrepreneurs and technopreneurs. What were these future Forbes 500 doing at a blogger’s convention??

I mean, you go to a blogger’s event expecting to meet tons of bloggers but nooooooooo what you end up getting instead is a whole bunch of entrepreneurs and technopreneurs who blog. Whoopie.

Every single last person I met either owned a dotcom, or co-owned one, or is in the process of owning one. I felt like a Nemo among whales. And by dotcom I mean one of those that can potentially make the owner the next Internet billionaire like Google’s founders. See, technically, I own a dotcom too (sheylara.com) but I am so totally not on the same bandwagon.

But I’m into positive thinking these days, so I didn’t let it get to me. Since I was an odd sock, I decided to revel in being an odd sock. And I met lots of fun people. The new age entrepreneur is not a stuffy suit anymore. He/She is very young, creative and has a good sense of humour.

The first of these I met was Nuffnang co-founder, Ming.

Ming saved me from a wasted walk in my party heels by calling out to me in the nick of time. I was feeling lost at the bottom steps of the venue because I couldn’t see a Geek Terminal signboard (yes, the venue is called Geek Terminal, a kind of high tech chill out place), leading me to think that I had perhaps walked to the wrong place.

So, I was about to move off to find this Geek Terminal when Ming popped out at the top of the steps and called out, “Sheylara!” That was almost as welcome as finding an oasis in the desert, so I put on my brightest smile, turned towards the voice and said, “Yes!”

To my horror, when I located the voice, I found that I couldn’t place the face. It was, like, hahaha cool someone just called my name but I don’t know who he is.

You must realise that I have never met Ming. Have only seen a picture of him in Cowboy Caleb’s blog.

To be fair, I think Ming has the upper hand in facial recognition in this case since my blog is so liberally plastered with my own pictures that probably even the curtains in his bedroom can recognise me if they spot me.

So, Ming was wearing a Nuffnang tie. I totally flipped out when I saw it because it was so cute and in my favourite colours.

I wonder if I can have one made in girl size and in cotton. I am so into ties these days.

I also met lots of other cool folks.

There’s Mr Walking Camera Guy.

He is cooooooool. He was carrying this backpack thing with a video camera strapped on his shoulders ALL NIGHT and he was like filming the room as he walked about.

I’m sorry I can’t remember his name, but he has a very nice nose. And very nice red eyes.

Okay red eyes is totally my fault because I forgot to turn on the red-eye reduction on my camera.

Next up is Nic, who plays Xbox for a living. How cool is that?

Nic is from Microsoft and he has an audience enthralled with his speech about the blogging culture in Microsoft.

There were several tables set up with every table discussing different topics. I kind of didn’t really join in the discussions because most of the topics weren’t up my alley. Most of them were quite businessy and technical.

So I went around getting to know people who were also not into the table discussions. Haha.

Like Piotr here, who is Polish. (His name is the Polish version of Peter and is pronounced Pee-oh-trr.)

Actually, Piotr was a member of Nic’s entralled audience but he got hijacked by Peter and Ethan (below), both of whom I had been introduced to earlier.

There was a lot of hijacking going on at the party — people were hijacking other people’s conversation partners and speech audiences, left, right, centre. I also got hijacked alot, which was cool and fun.

At the time Piotr was hijacked, I was just a few metres away, chatting with a nice Malaysian lady named Emily and a nice Australian bloke named Todd.

So then, Peter and Ethan, the two crazies, got it into their heads to hijack me into having a conversation with Piotr. And, they were like, Piotr meet Qiaoyun, Qiaoyun meet Piotr, okthxbye!

Huh?

I rolled my eyes at them and HELLO????ed at them until they stayed to enjoy a verbal lashing from me.

But I did get to know Piotr, who is very cute and has a cute accent, but who is also going back to Poland soon, so I didn’t get his number for you ladies. Hur hur.

And and AND….!! Guess who I met next!!

My husband (of one day)! Yeah, that’s what he went around telling everyone.

He was in the funny Kao Magiclean commercial with me playing my husband. When I spied him last night, I knew I’d met him before but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where and when. LOL. I have such a terrible memory.

Go check out his dotcom, IConnectE. I’m giving him a little plug because I’m trying to wrangle 50% of his earnings since we were “married” and “divorced”. Haha.

Oh, and I must also say something about Yvonne, who was the second person I met at the event (the first being Ming).

Yvonne, like me, came to the event all alone (but she’s actually an employee of one of the sponsors so she had a better reason than me to come alone). Anyway, I struck up a conversation with her because she was sitting next to the only empty seat left in the place, which I gravitated towards because when you go to a party alone and don’t know anyone, it’s always better to be sitting than standing.

It was a good choice on my part because Yvonne turned out to be really nice. She’s also a blogger, which is of course not surprising since it’s a bloggers’ event.

So, the event was really, really good. There was free dinner and free flow of drinks and wine, and I learnt that Web 2.0 technopreneurs can be very fun people to hang out with (except when they start talking about too technical stuff).

When I left the event finally at 10.30 pm, the hijacking didn’t stop. The moment I walked down the steps out of the place, I got hijacked by another two crazies. They said, “Excuse me, are you a celebrity blogger?”

Which was kind of stupid because if someone were a celebrity, wouldn’t you recognise them? Duh.

I don’t know where they popped out from. I thought they were from the event and were just chilling outside, but then they started asking me funny questions like were there any celeb bloggers in there. They reminded me of the teenagers that hang around outside MediaCorp waiting for their favourite TV celebs to appear.

Anyway, this is one of them.

His name is Name Tag Stealer because while I was having a conversation with his partner, he ninja’ed my name tag right off my shoulder.

But at least he’s brave enough to be photographed by me, unlike his camera-shy partner, so I give him credit for that. But I still have no idea who they are. Haha. If any of you readers happen to know this lunatic, please give him the narrow eye on my behalf.