Saturday, 26 October 2013
Where Is Home?

'Where is home?'

This question has come up several times now, and I'm finding it harder and harder to come up with an answer.

The concept of home is sometimes a very complicated question. We move out of our parents' house, we move interstate, or we migrate to another place- everyone faces this dilemma. It's just that some of us feel it more.

Home- then
For myself, it can be a very awkward question sometimes because my own definition of home varies. For instance, my home can be defined as the place I grew up. But it can also mean where I'm living now (but have not chose to 'settle down' in).

I do still consider the motherland as my home and where I'm from, but at the same time, I do feel as if I have a foot in each world, and for a person like me who likes certainty it can be frustrating. Sure, some people like living a nomadic life and being able to go around places and never having to call a place 'home'.

I'm different. I like certainty. I like knowing how things are defined, where I stand with other people, how I'll get to work the next day, when I'm going to the gym next, what am I having for dinner, and of course, where home is.

I think the main thing preventing me from solving this dilemma is the uncertainty. There are just too many factors that may dictate where my life will be headed in the next few years. To be perfectly honest  I do not know what will I be doing in a few years' time, and where. Perhaps then I will be able to definitively answer the question of where my home is.

Home- now?
Some people do think that I should just refer to where I am currently as 'home'- but I am very hesitant about this considering that I have not been away for even a decade yet. I'm in a sense more of a visitor than a person who has chosen to live here.

This is something that I am sure I will figure out in time, it's just a tad bit annoying when I get asked this question. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do at the moment besides bearing it.

What is your definition of / where is your home?
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Sunday, 20 October 2013
What Is Your Brand?

I read a very interesting article on Mashable this week on something that I had already touched on previously in this blog, but just am too lazy to locate.

For most teens, the purpose of social media is just that: an outlet to express various character traits, especially those that are less-than-obvious or even nonexistent. 

 I confess I don’t spout witty one-liners on a regular basis. But the nature of Twitter allows me to garner a number of retweets and favorites for short, clever commentary on my everyday life. The same applies to my favorite photo-sharing app, Instagram. I can get dozens of likes on a picture of the sunset I snapped with my iPhone, even though my real-life photography skills are decidedly amateur. 

Each social media provides a distinct niche for me to showcase different aspects of my personality, enhancing others' preconceived notions about me. Teenagers have been unjustly stuffed into boxes even before The Breakfast Club. But the enormous span of social media networks gives us a chance to shed the inaccurate labels. As a result, teens have become experts in online branding; instead of pushing a product, we’re selling ourselves. Everything we do online is subconsciously executed to affect others’ perceptions.

My neighbourhood at night
Indeed, I do think along the same lines as the person- I do believe that my social media presence are all extensions of my personality, and it all showcases a 'brand' of myself that I am putting out there. Some of them may be more similar to my real life persona, some rather different.

And I do think that these marketing strategies if you will do work- how often have you looked at something a person you know has posted and wondered in awe or surprise or something else? You immediately form of perception of that person and think that that is how they will be in reality. For people who see each other often this probably would not be the case, but it definitely would be for those who do not meet on a regular basis.

I myself am guilty of this, though self awareness allows me to think about it more carefully and I tell myself not to judge or have a perception of someone change.

Do you agree?
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Thursday, 3 October 2013
Social Media Is Not Free

I read a Tweet recently about the health ministry spending RM 320,000 on developing Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I can see why so many people are against this, seeing that Facebook and Twitter, along with other social networks, are free. But I think what all of these people are forgetting is that Facebook for personal uses and Facebook for business are two completely different things.

Coming from a PR background and now working in marketing, I think I can safely say that to establish a good business account, money is needed. While it is debatable whether it is worth that figure in the article, thinking that just because Facebook is free you do not need a budget for engaging with fans is foolish. Here's why.

Go on Facebook and look at brand pages. Take Coca-Cola for example. It has 73 million Likes. Honestly, I do think that there is this misconception that a lot of people believe that the belief that brands 'do social media right' equates to just posting status updates and interacting with fans. But no one puts any thought into who designs the cover photo. Or the profile picture. Or the picture updates and videos. Who pays them? Who buys the rights to the images they don't own? Who takes pictures for social media marketing? These people don't work for free, you know.

Because such a beautiful cover photo is free huh?
Then look at the advertising. Many brands do advertise on Facebook- and obviously these aren't free. How many of you have actually advertised on Facebook? Do you know the different types of ads available? No? Still think you can handle a business Facebook account?

And then finally there's this thing those of us in the PR circle say 'leave it to the pros'- because using Facebook to talk about your birthday party and about a new product needs to be executed differently and you'll actually be surprised at how many nutjobs out there who have made PR blunders on social media.

I do think that in order to really get results, money needs to be spent. It's just mindless people using this as a leverage to attack an unpopular government. I may be a minority on this issue but I do think that I have a valid argument here.

Lesson of the day: Don't jump on the bandwagon. Ever.
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