2 zines for reading and inspiration

Many years ago, when I first started learning photography, I only thought of capturing moments through my photographs, I didn’t think beyond that. Likewise when I started writing/blogging in the blogsphere and social media platforms as the internet evolves in the past 10+ years, I didn’t think beyond publishing my articles/stories beyond the digital space.

During the journeys inside the blogging/social media/digital landscape, I learned new things, knowledge, skills and unearth my talents that I do not thought that I possessed. Meeting and knowing talented creatives in their own respective fields such as music, writing, photography … ete etc … opened up new adventures into a few new worlds.

One of the new worlds that I was opened to was in the world of publishing and printing. I am still learning and finding my way around it, some years back, I had a plan to convert my blog posts/articles into an e-magazine, somehow or another, due to lack of knowledge, fear, inadequate resources (I am a one person operation) and know how, I didn’t embark on it and this plan didn’t materalise. Fast forward a few years later after that, I visited Hokkaido during November 2014 and I came back, wanting to do more with my travel photographs. An inspiration and a huge personal goal was set, to produce my own photo book. This maiden journey was very exciting (stressful too) and very humbling, while the layout may not be the most “professionally” done, it was my through my hard work and determination, with some help from friends in the photography curation.

With this achievement, I was planning to advance further. Life sometimes never makes things easy for everyone of us, circumstances and life situation changes from 2016 to 2017. These two years were some of the toughest life lessons that I ever have till date. If you had been following my articles here, you would know what happened between 2016 and 2017.

Walking down this lonely road from 2016 to 2017, I picked myself up from the rock bottom and decided to move on, learn more, improve more and challenge myself more (it wasn’t a smooth journey at all, it was slow, difficult and tough). Along the way, I saw posts by creative industry friends based in Tokyo, Japan, on publishing their zines. I followed their updates and developments, soon, I am going to fulfill my goal of publishing my own zines, most likely photography zines. Some years back, I did have a goal of publishing my own zine, something that I did not embark upon.

In the blink of an eye, I got 2 zines from Craig Atkinson and Fernando Gros, in front of me right now, giving me the inspiration on how I want to go about producing and publishing my own zine in year 2018. The style, flow, type of my zine is still in the midst of planning, I won’t be revealing or announcing much as stage in time.

Let me present to you the 2 zines that I just received

By Craig Atkinson

Website

Twitter

Instagram

By Fernando Gros

Website

Twitter

Instagram

If you are into self publishing and zines, do check out their works by my 2 friends!

Looking forward to year 2018 with one of my goals is to publish my own zines.

1st December 2017 – Time to reflect and plan

Time flies, too fast too furious. In the blink of an eye, 11 months have gone by in the year 2017 and today is 1st December 2017. As I start counting down to the end of 2017 and I will be very happy to bring a closure to year 2017. For those who have been following my updates via my article posts here, thank you for following, reading and supporting me along this journey.

This journey that I embarked on, was much much more tough and difficult than I prepared myself for. Behind all the scenes, I hide my pain, sorrow, stress and pressure from some friends, some people. Having to deal and handle people who passed on (6 people in a 1 year time frame from 2016 to 2017 if you had been following and reading my stories here), a very emotionally and mentally draining life experience and journey.

Taking the first step to reflect year 2017, wrapping up year 2017 and planning ahead for year 2018. Changes will take place, new strategies and directions. While it might not be too private and confidential, it will not be too openly shared, might not even be shared at all.

One of the areas that I am working on is my computer workstations setup for year 2018

  • Photography workstation
  • Business / Admin / Digital / Social Media marketing workstation
  • Trading / Forex investing workstation
  • Tablet
  • Photography printer
  • SOHO printer
  • Monitor (For photo editing and trading)

Business development directions and strategies, it’s still in the thought and planning process (some preliminary, some advanced, some still thinking further ahead). I am most likely not (and unlikely) going to share much into them. Not so much of competitors or copying, it’s more of keeping the “big loud noises” around me out of my ears, I need anti-noise cancellation in-ear monitors.

Next year 2018, I am going to upgrade myself, gain more new skills and knowledge, looking into these few areas:

  • Advanced drone flying
  • Learning videography and short film making
  • Improving and learning photography genres that I haven’t embark on
  • Learning Adobe Photoshop

There are many people out there whose full time job is to judge and criticise other people, telling other people what to do, how to do, when they themselves are not in the other person’s shoes and situation, as well as, thinking that they have/are successful and more knowledgable than others when they are not and they have not.

Why can’t we spend the time to upgrade and improve on ourselves, knowledge, skills and experience, instead of spendng time to judge and criticise people?

Imagine a society with citizens constantly and willingly upgrading their skills and knowledge. We worry less about disruption and displacement. Together, we can make a difference to the future ahead in many different ways possible.

Alright, it’s time to wrap up, finish my backlogged technology related articles, get my photographs uploaded into my Flickr, 500px and Tan Geng Hui Photography portfolio websites.

In our current world and society norms today, if you are still reading up till this last paragraph, thank you for taking the time to read my article that I wrote. Considering our attention time span is probably a minute or less, it really takes something to read an article online (or a hard copy book) today.

Indonesian talent wins Singtel Group’s “The 5-Min Video Challenge”

The Singtel Group organised “The 5-Min Video Challenge”, celebrating filmmaking talent in Asia as well as a content push by the Singtel Group. The theme for this year 2017 is “Connecting Lives”. The 5-Min Video Challenge attracted quite a number of videos submissions from Australia, Gabon, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. There were a number of different genres from comedy, romance, drama and life stories from the videos submissions.

For each respective country, two finalists from each of the six countries were chosen by lcoal judges to compete in the regional finals. Thereafter, there was a regional judging panel that chose the Grand Winner and runner-up.

On 22nd November 2017, the finalists came down to Singapore for the regional fianls and the crowning of the Grand Winner of The 5-Min Video Challenge organised by Singtel Group. Watching the video clips of the finalists at the media event, followed by the media interview. I had a wonderful time watching some amazing short films/videos produced by talented filmmakers from the region, some were very touching, their cinematography style that I relate to quite closely.

The regional judges were impressed with the regional finalists for this year 2017 “The 5-Min Video Challenge”.

Mr Khoo, who returned as a judge for the second year, said, “We were wowed by the great improvement in the short videos this year. The winning works really spoke to us and we look forward to working with some these talented filmmakers.” He advised aspiring filmmakers to hone their craft by continuously filming and finding new ways to tell a story even with their smart phones.

“The 5-Min Video Challenge” is both a celebration of the filmmaking talent in Asia and a content push by the Group. Centred on the theme “Connecting Lives” this year, it attracted hundreds of video submissions from Australia, Gabon, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The videos submitted spanned a range of genres from comedy, romance to drama and slice of life.

Mr Arthur Lang, Chief Executive Officer, International Group, Singtel, said, “We’re impressed by the different perspectives presented in the short videos that inspired, challenged and entertained us. As Asia’s leading communications technology group and a long-time supporter of the arts, we want to support the creative talent in the region and quality original content that our customers enjoy. Many of us today look for content that is mobile-friendly, authentic and connects with the heart. I strongly believe the finalist entries have all achieved these. We’re honoured to recognise them.”

Listening to the words, views and thoughts of the regional judging panel headed by award-winning Singapore filmmaker Mr Eric Khoo and comprising Mr Aaron Lea (Australia), Mr Joko Anwar (Indonesia), Mr Serge Abessolo (Gabon), Mr Quark Henares (the Philippines) and Mr Thitipong Kerdtongtawee (Thailand). This was an eye-opener for me personally; I had a better understanding of producing videos/films/content from both sides of the story, from the filmmakers/producers/writers to the judges/clients/end consumers. I was involved a recent behind the scenes photo shoot for my friends short film/videos project, therefore, I began to appreciate filmmaking and cinematography in the short films industry, from a consumer perspective and content producer perspective.

After watching the videos submissions by the finalists and listening to the media press conference, the finalists and guests proceed to the ballroom for the awards announcement and prize presentation. Of all the finalists, I had some personal favourite videos/films submission, do visit The 5-Min Video Challenge YouTube account and check out the regional finalists 2017 playlist!

The two finalists from Singapore submitted these two videos “Sarah” and “The Red Packet”, I do like the works of our finalists from Singapore! “Labasan ng Feelings Sa Foodpark”, a video submission from the Philippines also caught my attention too!

Alright, have you watched all the videos/films submissions by all the Regional Finalists? This year’s 2017 The 5-Min Video Challenge were won by the Indonesians, the Grand Winner and runner up. Firstly, let’s view their videos submssions:

Grand Winner – Chick Chick

Chick Chick tells the story of a young girl who befriends a chicken. Her attempts to communicate with the chicken, inspires her to try and reconnect her fighting parents with a tin-can phone.

Runner Up – Sowan

The runner-up Sowan follows a man who travels to various places on his motorbike. He hears about recent agricultural issues and discovers the conflicts among farmers, middlemen and sellers.

With the announcement of the Grand Winner, runner up and finalists, we hope to see more of their works and videos on each of Singtel Group member’s mobile and video platforms, allowing them to reach a 670 million strong audience across Asia, Australia and Africa.

I would like to thank Singtel Singapore for the invitation to Singtel Group’s “The 5-Min Video Challenge” regional finals awards event.

*Information and pictures courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications*

20th November – Remembrance + Other Updates

Today on the 20th November 2017, it’s a day of significance and rememberance for me.

Remembrance Day

Exactly 1 year ago on 20th November 2016, my paternal grandmother passed away at a ripe old age of 99 years. My matriarch had always been the pillar and foundation of the extended family, someone that I had the utmost respect and admiration. Her sharpness, observations, along with her meticulous nature, were some of the life skills set that she had passed on down to her future generations, I am one of those that inherited those traits of my grandmother!

While her anniversary will be based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar (early December for year 2017), I used both calendars to remember her and what she did for the entire family under leadership and guidance. While it had been a year, we all missed her.

Other Updates

Collaboration project – Love At Second Sight

For the past few weeks, I was involved in a collaboration shoot with my friends Tiffany and Peps, for their Love At Second Sight short films project. I was shooting behind the scenes and another segment on lifestyle product shoot. Shot over a 4 days period in a two weeks time frame, I had a great time, tiring at the end of the day, managed to capture some really nice photos, for the short films, on behind the scenes, for marketing and publicity. Keep a look out for Love At Second Sight short film on Tiffany and Peps FB page, as well as my FB page for more updates!

Editorial Coverage

Editorial coverage for some of the events that I attended, in technology, lifestyle and musuems events, my coverage had been slower than I would like it to be. I promise to get my backlogged editorial coverage published and shared in the coming 2 weeks. Thank you to all for your understanding.

95th Dinner Anniversary Celebrations

95 years is not a small milestone and I am very happy to be part of this celebrations and this special family, the Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group, along with my old boys and girls club a.k.a Dragon Chapter. I hope to share more photographs and stories soon, it’s just a small shout out first! 95 not out, next monumental milestone, 100! Onward Dragon Scouts!

Marketing, branding, publicity, partnerships and collaborations

An era of disruptions, more to come in the years ahead, running a business has changed, my personal opinion and view is the traditional ways of running a business may not be that applicable, adapt, change, disrupt or get left behind in this fast and furious pace. Redefining, reorganising and restructuring my business, building up more partnerships and collaborations with different groups of friends.

Some inner most private thoughts

It had been a very tough two years for me, if you had been reading my stories and updates from 2016 till today in 2017. All these life experiences shaped my in many different ways and aspects. Losing 6 people from your life within a 1 year time frame from 2016 to 2017 had quite a big impact on me. At times, when friends were celebrating their happy milestones, big travel holidays, delicious expensive restaurant food on a weekly basis, I just kept quiet and hide away.

Running a small business in this year, are more long long stories to share, some of my stories on running a small business, you might have read in my updates/stories along the way. I leave this segment for my future story telling and sharing.

As a photographer, I faced quite a number of times of unpleasant comments, remarks, sometimes dislike, sometimes asking u along the line of “when are u going to fail”. To receive credits and acknowledgement from friends, partners and supporters for the photography works that I do is a blessing.

There are times when not everything is about $$, it’s about giving thanks, gratitude, giving back and pay it forward! Giving back to my alma mater Dragon Scout Group is one of them.

Tough times never last, tough people do. A constant reminder to myself, be thankful and grateful for everything that I have at this point in time, stay humble and grounded. Keep learning and improving.

MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017

Lifelong learning is a personal philosophy and mantra that I adopt, advocate and share whenever I am able to. Regardless of the qualifications that I have, the amount of life and professional experiences that I currently possess, I always tell and remind myself that I do not know everything in the world, there is always something to learn, a new skill/knowledge and/or upgrading my current skills/knowledge.

Most recently, I was kindly invited to a seminar, MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017 organised by Management Development and Consultancy (MDC), the corporate training arm of Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). The title of the seminar was “From the Present to the Future: Getting Ready for Digital Transformation”, the speakers were highly experienced professionals in their field of their respective specialisation expertise. One of my friends Walter was one of the speakers for the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017 and it was great to catch up with him during the event!

The speakers and their topics were as follow:

Andrew Chow (Speaker and Facilitator)

Digital Marketing Strategy Overview for 2018

Search Marketing – How to be seen and searched at the right places

Social Media Marketing – Rediscover the Lost Art of being Social in Marketing

Walter Lim (Speaker)

Content Markting: Choosing the Right Content and Channels

Nick Tan (Speaker)

How to use Virtual Reality Solutions to create immersive marketing experiences?

Alvin Lim (Speaker)

How to use blogging as an effective marketing tool

Xi Wei (Speaker)

Gamification – Don’t be a noob: Raising your game in the digital world

After the introduction, welcome and opening address by June Lim, Assistant Director of MDC, Andrew took over, he had dual roles of both a speaker and facilitaor for the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017. Andrew’s experience in conducting seminars can be seen when he employed an ice breaker game for participants to mingle around, meet, introduce and chat with different people.

Thereafter, the seminar started with tea and lunch breaks in between the entire Digital Marketing Day seminar. I have been hands-on inside the digital marketing / social media / blogging fields since April 2006, I have personally seen the huge changes in internet marketing, SEO, digital marketing and social media over the past decade. Although I am being “trained On-The-Job”, the topics shared by the various speakers were always a good refresher for me and there is always something new to learn because I don’t know every thing/knowledge/skills in life. It is always good to keep myself updated, upgraded and learn new knowledge and skills in life, on both personal and professional level.

Some topics such as “Rediscover the Lost Art of being Social in Marketing” by Andrew and “How to use Virtual Reality Solutions to create immersive marketing experiences?” by Nick, got me thinking ahead for the future, how I am able to make the changes, adapt and adopt new technology, as well as rediscovering myself in the commercial world of digital media marketing / social media marketing.

At the end of the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017, it had been a fruitful and eventful learning day, networking , learning, upgrading and a refresher for me too. Do keep a look out for the various types of programmes and courses by MDC, highly suitable for working professionals to upgrade and learn new skills/knowledge.

I would like to thank MDC for the invitation to their MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017!

* Pictures courtesy of MDC *

Updates, Reflection and Thinking Ahead

This personal website/blog of mine hit a bit of a mind block recently, since the two articles published on 1st and 2nd October 2017. I had a few technology news and business articles to share for the past week, it slowed down for 1+ week, it will come back again soon!

I was reflecting upon, thinking ahead and adding to what I wrote in my 1st October 2017 article, titled “Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint“. During the past 1+ week, it’s a bit of a consolidation, realignments, readjustments and also changes for the final quarter of 2017. All this things going on inside my brain and mind, contributed to this additional article today, a key reason why there wasn’t much news/articles published on my website/blog here during the past 1+ week.

Upgrading / Learning new skills and knowledge

Learning is life-long and never-ending, that’s my philosophy for both personal and professional aspects of it. I am looking to improve on my skills and knowledge segment, for improving my current skills set and knowledge, as well as learning new skills and knowledge.

  • Drone flying – Planning to add this skill, for my travel photography in the future.
  • Travel and Tourism Public Relations – I wanted to add this knowledge, theory and skill, not just to complement my travel photography projects/assignments, I am thinking and strategising new business ideas.
  • Workshops/Courses – Finding courses and utilising Skills Future Credit to improve myself, first course is Lightroom organised by Canon Imaging Academy.
  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing – I recently attended #MDCDigitalMarketingDay at Management Development & Consultancy (MDC) by MDIS. For somebody who had been hands-on inside this segment for the past 10 years, I still have knowledge and skills to learn, keep a lookout for my upcoming article!

Thinking and Strategising Ahead

I need to brainstorm a business plan / model for travel and tourism public relations + photography + social media/digital marketing coverage.

Still very tough economic times and difficult + slow market

I have a few real life stories of business owners facing huge challenges in this very tough economic times, it’s still a difficult and slow market. I shared their pain, their difficulties and challenges, I might write more about this if my time allows.

When the economy and market returns to better levels and stabilises in the near future, we are no longer looking at big GDP growth numbers, we are probably looking at slow and small GDP growth, maybe 1-3% per year (that’s my personal humble view).

I will be back writing and publishing articles soon! Thank you for reading, following and supporting!

Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint

The final quarter of year 2017 starts today on 1st October 2017, for some of you folks out there, this is also the final sprint to the end of year 2017, on 31st December 2017. Everyone of us had our own unique and special journeys during the first three quarters of year 2017, yet we might have something in common with the tough and difficult economy and market sentiments.

I am taking this time to write on a number of different topics in one article, I might expand on them that I wrote here today, if my time and research planning permits.

Updates: Running my own photography business

How was your first three quarters of year 2017 been? It had been nothing less than a very tough and challenging journey for the past nine months. Running a photography business, time was spent on building the foundations, networks, systems, marketing, branding, collaborations, partnerships and last but not least, finding the business. We are looking at 80% of time spent on the above and 20% spent on actual photography shoot and post photography shoot.

I never really talked or revealed too much into this area, not just that it is private, most of the time, many people around you don’t understand, don’t want to listen, learn and understand. There are also a handful of people around you that don’t want you to succeed, they want you to fail, sad but true (or they might change their stance and words and said they don’t mean it after they spilled the “wrong words” out from their mouth”)

There are a small group of photographer friends that can and will understand what I am going through. Listening to their own photography business journeys over the years, there is a similarity in my own personal journey. Therefore, I still have to grind my way through and make a breakthrough.

Micro influencers – a bit more differentiation into Mini and Micro influencers groupings?

Recently, there has been quite a lot of debates and discussions on the topic of influencers, from both sides of the equation, the brands/companies, public relations agencies, digital agencies etc on one side and a diverse group of influencers on the other side.

I came across this infographic article on LinkedIN written by Preeti Kumar – 7 Influencer types & How to work with them. Reading and analysing this infographic, I was looking at where I fit into – Key Opinion Leaders: Creatives, partly Micro influencers and product seeders.

On the role of micro influencers, it is probably a bigger area of growth and investment for both sides, let’s put it as demand and supply sides of things. While the quantitative part of micro influencers have been debated, some put 20,000, some put 10,000. Personally, I reckon that it is totally and suitably possible, to differentiate them into Mini and Micro influencers.

Why use Mini and Micro? What are the differences?

I am using the two words from a Forex trading lingo, mini and micro lot.

Standard Lot = 100,000 units

Mini Lot = 10,000 units

Micro Lot = 1,000 units

Translating it into digital marketing side of things

Influencer – Above 100,000 followers

Mini Influencer – Above 10,000 followers

Micro Influencer – 3,000 to 5,000 followers?

This is just something that crossed my mind and got me thinking, I have yet to analyse and put into greater details. It’s still a preliminary stage for me, if the opportunity arises to work with other digital marketers on this, that would be nice. Nevertheless, I hope to continue working on this topic in the future if my timing and commitment allows.

We must go beyond ROI with numbers and statistics, while quantitative is important, influencer marketing has a lot of qualitative, intrinsic and psychological aspects that cannot be measured by numers, revenue, statistics and numbers.

Planning to expand with/in the following areas/collaborations

Although the list above doesn’t directly translate into business for my photography business, they reinforce my networkings, contacts and collaborations on my digital marketing, technology writing and social media.

Over the past three quarters of 2017, I unlocked small achivements for myself when organisations approach me, to have a chat and see where I work together with them from there. All these are small testimonials for myself and everything that I put in for the past 10 years at least through writing, social media and photography.

Of mental health, physical health, emotions, mind and soul

A friend whom I look up upon, a very creative and talanted person in writing, photography and music, Fernando Gros, recently wrote an article titled “Creative Health Part 2 – Your Mind and Your Path”. I saw his tweet, read his article and I am kind of like being “shaken up”. In my reply to his tweet, I posted “After reading your article, it dawned upon me that I am stressed out, not taking care of my mind, body and soul.”

The truth and harsh reality is that it can be really brutally hard at times, we just have to take care of ourselves, going through regular maintenance. Not to mention, even the best engineering devices also wear and break down even with regular maintenance.

In case you missed it, Fernando published this book title “No Missing Tools”, do check out my article and have a read and you would be enlightened and know why I respect his works and views a lot.

Where do I go from here?

The seeds had been planted, watered and being taken care of. While not everyday is sunshine, there were rain, storm, bad weather that hit the growth of the plants. Hopefully, the changes and corrections were in place to make the seedlings grow better and faster, allowing me to harvest the fruits of my labour.

Being thankful and grateful

In this short time frame period of a year, there were those that have happy news while I am fighting pain, hurt and loss. Losing 6 people, 4 were relatives of which 2 of them were very close to me, the others were 1 mentor and 1 uni junior.

I may not have the most happy and joyful time during the past 1 year time frame, one of the toughest time that I went through. It made me reflect a lot and be thankful and grateful for everything that I have, the family, relatives and friends support.

Final thoughts

Technology and disruptions are not going to destroy us, ignorance and complacency are going to destroy us.

We MUST start to make the changes, no matter how painful and difficult it will be or else, we might be in a spiral downfall for the next 1-2 generations.

In the midst of re-strategising and making changes to my flow, workflow, daily flow, well-being, growth and rest, while embarking on my Final Sprint Q4 2017.

1000th Post: In memory of my Big Auntie

This is my 1,000th post on my personal website/blog, a milestone for me, in my writing journey here, mainly in the topics of technology news and reviews, personal stories, personal development, business topics and areas of personal interest. Initially, I wasn’t sure what topic or theme would suit my milestone 1,000th post because for the past 4-5 months, I was hiding a lot of emotions, hurt and despair behind my normal looking face.

My milestone 1,000th post is dedicated to the memory of my Big Auntie (da jiu mu), my mother’s eldest sister-in-law. Today marks the 35th day since her passing, who lost her fight to cancer. My Big Auntie was a family member that I am very close to, she took care of me when I was just a 1+ months old toddler until I finished secondary 4. She was just like another mother to me, who loved me, nagged at me and of course, the occasional quarrels due to differences in opinions, views and what I wanted to do.

My Big Auntie will definitely have an influence on me over the years that she took care of me, I do pick up some of her traits and style. While I may not cook as skilful and delicious cuisines like my Big Auntie, her cooking skills and knowledge helped me in my cooking when I was studying in Australia.

She also like her things and home to be neat and tidy, I am probably a big culprit, messy and full of things at home. Her nagging and scolding of my home and room will now only be a distant memory in my heart and soul. Over time, my room did change and it’s much better in terms of tidy and neatness, I am speaking the truth here!

When I heard the shocking news from my cousin a few months back that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, I was totally devastated and totally shell-shocked. Deep inside me, I know it’s going to be a very very difficult stage with probably of 6 months time left, maybe shorter than 6 months, maybe a chance of a longer period than 6 months.

During the past 4 months, I was going through a very very difficult time, the emotions, hurt, despair and I wasn’t able to do much more for her. This period was also very very difficult for my uncle, cousins and nieces. No words can describe this journey, no words, enough said.

Very few friends, only a very select few know about what was happening, I just looked normal like always, maybe just more moody and bad tempered. I was hiding a lot of emotions, sadness and hurt behind my face. That was also a period whereby there were not many articles being published here on my website/blog.

My Big Auntie lost her fight to cancer, about 4 months after her diagnosis. It was so painful to watch her suffer and while I am very sad and hurt that she is no longer around, it’s also a relief for her that she doesn’t have to suffer pain anymore.

35 days have passed since her passing. I finally managed to pen down my thoughts and feelings, without going into too much details of the past 4 months. This was also a kind of relief for me, while I am still hurting inside my heart., writing and sharing it out here, helps to relieve some of the pain, hurt and sadness.

I lost my paternal grandmother to old age in November 2016, the matriarch of my family, I also lost another senior relative, my grand-auntie in July 2017 and also a cousin in May 2017. This had been a very tough and emotionally draining period since November 2016 while I was building/starting up a small photography business.

To my da jiu mu, my Big Auntie, you will never be forgotten, for everything that you did for me since I was born. I hereby promise you that I am going to make my room and home (along with my parents taking action to clean up the home also) even more clean, neat and tidy, on top of getting my business stable and on track, then you do not to worry about me from the heavens above.

For this special 1,000th milestone on my personal website/blog, I dedicate this post to you, my Big Auntie, in your memory and legacy that you leave behind for us.

999th Post: Happy SG52

I was initially planning to write this post after SG52 National Day Parade on 9th August 2017. Things didn’t go to plan with work, planning and disruptions for the month of August, I am also reaching my own personal milestone for my personal blog/website here, this is my 999th post and it has a special theme to it.

Celebrating SG52, Singapore’s 52nd birthday in 2017, I was looking back at our growth, changes and challenges as far as I can remember. In most recent years, the world is facing some huge, fast and furious disruptions and changes to how they work and live. There were times whereby the pace was so relentless that some segments of the community might not be able to catch up. Running a small photography business at the start of year 2017, coupled with my reading, observance and analysis of business, finance, economics topics, I had a big taste of the difficulties in doing a small business in a highly competitive world faced with market saturation.

There are a number of areas/topics that are affecting and impacting us, from economics, industrial, business, technology, sociology, the following topics are just close to my heart and brains.

Technology Innovation and Disruptions

As an avid consumer of technology products, a tech lover, I have seen first hand on how innovation and disruptions took place over the past ten years, been there and still inside there. These two matters are really huge, it can help us to grow or it have (if not might) replace us (partially and hopefully not totally replacing us) in what we are currently doing, in our work, in our leisure life.

Technology innovations have also make us more lazy and stupid, that is not good and it’s dangerous for us.

Complacency

This issue to me is something that strikes a deep concern and fear. Complacency affects everyone of us at least some points in our life/studies/career, a very dangerous situation to be in. Once we fall from it, we have to pick ourselves up and make a come back again.

It is a very worrying issue when we seem (or are already very) complacent from where we are right now, oblivious of the regional and world situations.

More graciousness or more selfish?

This topic was brought up recently during a kopitiam lah kopi session a.k.a coffeeshop chit chat with a very old classmate from my primary school days. I have seen more groups and societies starting and doing many initiatives for different groups/causes in the society.

At the same time, I have also observed more selfish and rude actions/behaviours in society, happening all around us.

Are we more graciousness or more selfish? Are we growing more towards on both extreme ends of this spectrum?

Situational awareness – microeconomics and macroeconomics

How are of our situational awareness in our domestic front (microeconomics) and regional/international front (macroeconomics)? Do we know the competition and challenges that we are facing domestially and internationally?

Or we having a don’t care, don’t want to know mindset?

Stagnation

Have we stagnated? Looking at the various industries, this is not going to be a clear cut answer, probably some industries have stagnated, some are doing pretty alright, which are the ones to expand and grow for the future of Singapore?

On a personal basis, have we gone on to improving ourselves in our skills and knowledge? Do we want to cross learn other subject areas to improve our overall self, not just for professional career, for your own personal self improvement and enrichment? Having a paper qualification might not account for too much after some time in the workforce.

Final thoughts and views

What I shared and written above, are just the tip of the iceberg. We are facing many many more issues in other different areas that are not brought up here in my article.

It takes two hands to clap, the entire Singapore has to stand up and be part of the change, innovation and action. There are many many many things to do and it must not be done by one side or group of people only. Only when everybody is united together can we ensure the future of Singapore. The theme for National Day Parade 2017 is One Nation Together, is perfect for the article that I have written here.

While I count my blessings and be thankful for what we have here in Singapore, I also reflect, think and plan for the future of Singapore. We need to innovate, adapt and change for the future of Singapore. By everyone of us coming together to do the above, innovate, adapt and change, in their own respective fields, expertise and interests, we can continue to grow for the future of Singapore.

Time to find opportunities/growth in an era of lesser opportunities/growth.

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

Singtel to deploy Massive MIMO technology at special events

The journey to 5G by Singtel continues, it’s shaping up nicely and progressing towards reaching the 5G standards. Singtel recently announced that they would be deploying massive MIMO technology at special events in Singapore, starting with National Day Parade 2017, taking place very soon on 9th August 2017!

For those who regularly visited National Day Parades over the years, whether at the parade ground itself or in the nearby vicinity, we would encountered and experienced no mobile network coverage due to the huge number of people in the area. With the deployment of the massive MIMO technology, that would relieve the issues that mobile users faced previously. I am looking forward to Singapore reaching the 5G technology standards, it would be very helpful and useful for businesses and consumers.

Let me share with you more information on Singtel to deploy massive MIMO technology at special events from the press release information:

Singtel announced plans to deploy Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology commercially on its LTE-Advanced mobile network, to enhance mobile data speed experience by up to 200% at special events for its customers. A precursor to 5G technology, Massive MIMO is an advanced solution used to boost network capacity in highly dense environments.

Singtel will team up with Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE to deploy Massive MIMO technology at the Marina Bay area. For a start, Singtel will roll out the network boost at the upcoming National Day celebrations, with other deployments planned for the Singapore F1 Night Race and the New Year countdown event.

Over 150,000 people are expected at the Marina Bay area to celebrate National Day. Singtel mobile customers gathered there will be able to enjoy a better data experience as they share their photos and videos of the exciting performances and fireworks on social media.

Mr Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, said: “On the joyous occasion of our National Day celebrations, Singtel is pleased to be pairing our newly-acquired 2.5GHz spectrum with Massive MIMO technology to expand our network capacity and offer our customers an enhanced mobile experience at this and other special events. We look forward to rolling out new technologies and innovative solutions to support the anticipated growth in mobile data.”

Globally, large crowds gathered at events, such as concerts and festivals, use high volumes of data to share their experiences via real-time videos on social media. This extraordinary behaviour generates a dramatic spike in network traffic, presenting a challenge for operators to provide fast and consistent data speeds.

Singtel has identified Massive MIMO as one of the solutions to the problem. Singtel will use Massive MIMO base stations featuring a large array of 64 antennas that improve spectral efficiency and cell capacity using innovations in radio technologies. The innovative antenna system channels signals to users’ specific locations instead of broadcasting across a geographical area. This multiplies the number of data paths from the cellular base stations, thus increasing network capacity and improving user experience.

Singtel provides Singapore’s fastest nationwide mobile data speeds at 450Mbps and recently launched 800Mbps speeds in the high-traffic Orchard Road area. In addition to having the island’s widest outdoor 4G coverage as rated by IMDA1 for 10 consecutive quarters, Singtel is also ranked the fastest telco in Singapore by global metrics leader, Ookla.

For more information on Singtel’s mobile data speeds, please visit here.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *