Making Light of Things

July 2007 Archives

Nothing Ventured

I’m sharing this experience specifically for the benefit of a friend who told me over IM yesterday that he needed more guts.

A number of years ago while I was in college at Arizona, I received an email from a certain Om Malik. He identified himself as a writer for Red Herring magazine, which I have heard of but never read. He wanted me to help him design a website. It sounded like a blog.

I was in the middle of my undergraduate education. I was on a scholarship which required me to maintain relatively good grades. I had already put some time in creating websites for the Singapore Student Association, the Management Information System Graduate Assocation and the Mentoring for International Students Association. I wasn’t sure if I could help Om out.

I did the Singaporean thing - the thing my mother would have asked me to do, which is to concentrate on my studies. I declined Om’s proposal.

I’ve regretted that decision almost everyday.

Continue reading Nothing Ventured »

When the cat is away

Every two months, the guys at work celebrate birthdays of all the people whose birthdays passed. It’s not a huge party or anything - just some food.

Hui Lih, who’s away with her husband in Idaho, expressly stated on her blog she “decided her birthday was best kept a private affair”. Being the rebels we are, we put her blog up on the big screen and celebrated her birthday, along with Jeanne and Jenn’s, anyway.

Many requests were made to have her on video-conferencing, but it was 4am in Boise, so a photo of her family would do.


Overheard on television a few minutes ago.

Timothy Goh, Vice-President of Mediacorp’s New Media Business unit said we’re in 2.0 right now and going into web 2.5.

I can’t help rolling my eyeballs at people who talk about the certainty of web 2.0++. Most can’t define web 2.0 comprehensively (I know I probably can’t).

He also talked about how traditional ads were primarily one-way communication, but with the web it was different. It allows one to put up images…

Gosh. I know a picture says a thousand words, but that’s still one-way to me.

How did these people become decision-makers in online space?

Flickr Killed the Photolog Star

Before you pick up the pitchfork and torches, listen to me: I love Flickr. I love that it has opened a world of digital photography that has made our lives so much richer. It has helped forge relationships by providing tools for communities of photographers to band together, whether professional or amateur.

But you see, I had a photolog before Flickr came along. So did Derek. So did a lot of people. Some of us made ours by hand, others bent blogging engines like Movabletype and Wordpress to suit our needs. Then Flickr came along, and we subsequently surrendered. We didn’t have the expertise to build anything as ajaxy or web 2.0ry. We didn’t have drag-and-drop uploaders and on-the-fly resizing. Our photologs started to look so old. So web 1.0.

So we got ourselves Flickr accounts, uploaded our collections and melded with the crowd. Photologs that once graced the internet stopped being updated. Our photos were now in the largest photo repository in the world, in a container that looked exactly like everybody elses’.

I love Flickr, but it isn’t home. My photos call out to me.

More than half full

I’ve been playing around with the Movable Type 4 beta quite a bit and here’s the verdict: It will rock your socks.

The user interface is slick, bugs are being quashed in record time and MT4 is becoming the full-fledged content management system all of us wanted.

I am so glad I stuck it out. Thanks MT folks!

Fruit Flies Like a Banana

We got married 4 years ago to the day. Some of you were there - even some whom I’ve never met but read this blog and managed to find someone who knew where the wedding was.

It seemed like the perfect ending to a beautiful story; childhood sweethearts who got together, weathered extended periods of being apart and finally getting married. I must admit that the desire to marry Faith was a large part of my life, and when we crossed that juncture there was this amazing feeling, that everything felt right. What has transpired then? What happens after happily ever after?

The last four years of being married has been a whirlwind of activity and we’ve been swept up in it. We got our own place, and the never-ending housework that entails. I’ve changed jobs and battled hyper-thyroidism. And we’ve been blessed to have had Anne in our lives the last 2 years.

What is probably regrettable is that we lost sight of the game plan.

Continue reading Fruit Flies Like a Banana »


When you have a child, your heart will be broken many, many times over. The first time you had to spank him; or the look on her face as she stares at you while the grandparents drive her away.

You’ll stand there a little shocked as you slowly begin to recognise the taste of being made incomplete - and the yearning to be with her once more.

You’ll never have felt more profoundly alive or connected.

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