Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The point of the matter is...

"He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
- Jim Elliott

The past couple of weeks have been hectic and I've been giving up a lot things in order to stay afloat. That includes blogging (only 4 posts in May? I'm waaaaay behind...)

But Jim Elliott's words have been ringing in my head. And surely, no matter who you are, it's worth the time to sit down and reflect - what's the real point of the matter?

For me, it's to gain what I cannot lose. Just a thought I thought I'd share.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now, what's tweeting done to journalism

If you're a tweeting Malaysian, chances are you may have been following the many streams from various journalists and news organisations tweeting updates from the happenings at the Perak State Legislative Assembly.

Live Reporting on Twitter - Share on Ovi

Now, in the era of the internet, the blog and the news site, live updates are not something entirely new. I remember accessing my mobile and refreshing every 15 minutes to see the latest results during the March 8 (2008) elections. But Twitter is something altogether different. Here's why I think so:

Too fast for filtering?
It's instant. It's spontaneous. And with a 140-character count, the reporting is straight and to-the-point. With the speed the live tweets are sent out, and the tone they result in, I suspect a lot less filtering is happening.

Yes, live updates on popular news websites are fast, but I bet you there's a couple of eyes looking at those updates before they go live.

I doubt that @edgemy has any similar process where the journalist needs to get clearance from his / her editor to post a tweet. What we get is unfiltered reporting straight from the source.

These are real people reporting
The Star's Deputy Executive Editor Wong Sai Wan (@saiwanstar) made a good point. He tweeted: "...now people realise we who write are real people" and I can't agree more. Last year's debates over the freedom of our press often cast the newspapers and media as monolithic organisations that were pro-government.

But when journalists Twitter, you'd realise that journalists are real people who have feelings, opinions and ethics. Most importantly, they are right there on location.

Follow @melodysong you won't see just a nameless entity covering a potentially dangerous situation. You'll see a very brave journalist who's put herself on the line to report the truth. So much so people actually care about her safety.

The conversation ripple
The third thing that's happening to reporting thanks to Twitter is the conversation ripple that's forming. Okay, I invented that term. But what I mean is this:

Journalist A tweets. Person B responds. Person C retweets. Person D follows Journalist A because he saw Person B's response. Then Person D retweets.
Multiply this X 100 times and see messages fly back and fourth. If the event was #hashtagged, you'd have a pretty good gauge of sentiment (at least among geeks).

Now, this is probably no different from what happens at the mamak stall when you discuss the front page of the newspaper with your friends. But virtually, think of it as 1,000 people crowding around the same table, and the conversation doesn't happen the next day but as it happens.

I'm not @melodysong, and I don't know what it feels like to be out in the field reporting and getting live feedback from hundreds of voices, but I'm pretty sure it's different from those days of just going out and covering a story then coming back to file it.

Normal people can report too
Goes without saying, just like with blogs - even if you don't consider yourself a journalist, there's nothing stopping you from tweeting what you see right in front of you.

As a bystander in this industry, I'm pretty excited to see where this is all heading. As a citizen of the country, I'm hoping this will mean more transparency and accurate reporting in our country.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For posterity's sake

Hey, yes, thanks. I noticed. I'm glad you guys noticed too. And if you haven't, please read this excellent mainstream twitter story by @nikicheong published in last week's Sunday Star.

One thing I'd have to disagree though: I don't believe there are tens of thousands of Malaysian tweeters out there. Maybe 8,000 or so.

Twitter Graphic from The Star - Share on Ovi

(Graphic taken from and is the property of The Star Online. Link)