John

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

All By Myself

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

So, it’s been a good three months now that I’ve left The Edge as Assistant Editor of New Media after barely hanging on during the culling period. And many — including my parents — have wondered if such a move was a wise one: replacing a steady paycheck for an unstable series of opportunities as freelance writer/producer doesn’t sound like the sanest thing to do after all.

Having been in the media line for about eight years now, starting with KLue, then on to FHM, Chrome, KLue again, NewMan and then The Edge, I found myself at the crossroads again in how I could progress in my career in media. At The Edge, I could’ve opted to start again as a rookie reporter — that was what the Editors were nudging towards — or go back to the magazine world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Korea: The Future Is Now.

In News, Uncategorized on April 15, 2008 at 9:45 am

Picked up an interesting piece on the digital revolution in Korea from The Guardian, which paints a clear picture of how the publishing landscape is going to be when a country becomes fully wired (with fast connections of course).

From The Guardian:

South Korea is rapidly fulfilling its promise to be the foremost digital nation on the planet. Print media outlets are all but vanishing – and the country’s internet is poised to overtake TV as an advertising medium.

“In 1990, there were 8,700 book stores selling magazines, etc. But now there are only about 1,800 stores,” says Young-Chull Kim, president of Kaya Media Corporation which specialises in publishing western-style magazines, such as Esquire, under licence in Korea.

According to the Korea Magazine Association, Koreans spend roughly 1 trillion won on the country’s 2,550 magazines annually. This is dropping year-on-year, as publishers lose readers to the ever faster web.

The Korea Internet Corporations Association says the internet is not only encroaching on traditional newspaper/magazine ad coverage, broadcast advertising coverage is also under threat. Daewoo Securities’ latest report predicts that the number of online advertisements will increase by about 37% this year and, if this trend continues, online ads will outnumber television advertisements by early next year.

GQ To Launch In India

In magazines, Uncategorized on April 13, 2008 at 6:34 am

Thought of skipping this story altogether, since, well it’s not as if we’re going to see this magazine here. But thought it’d be worth a mention since the Big Ed at GQ India is Sanjiv Bhattacharya, one of my favourite writers–he was part of my inspiration to join in the magazine business when I started reading his pieces 10 years ago, and now he’s Ed of GQ. Bastard.

From The Guardian:

GQ will launch in India later this year, following in the footsteps of its Condé Nast stablemate Vogue.

The upmarket men’s magazine will launch an Indian edition following the “overwhelming success” of Vogue India, said Jonathan Newhouse, the Condé Nast International chairman.

GQ India will mix international and Indian content. The new Condé Nast title will be edited by Sanjiv Bhattacharya, a former features and contributing editor of the British GQ.

Bhattacharya has worked in America for the past eight years and contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, the Daily Telegraph and the Observer, as well as completing a documentary for Channel 4.

The GQ Russia art director, Brendan Allthorpe, will become art director of GQ India, CJ Kurrien has been appointed senior editor and Iain Ball appointed features editor.

Nicholas Coleridge, the Condé Nast International vice-president, said: “Indian Vogue rapidly dominated the women’s magazine market, far surpassing expectations in both circulation and advertising. It has given us the confidence to start a second title, and GQ is the logical choice.”

All of his pieces are stunning–the ones I remember years after reading include ones on Kirsten Dunst and The Killers (click to read).

Do No Evil? Google Employs Quattrone as Advisor on Takeover Saga.

In News, Uncategorized on April 13, 2008 at 6:12 am

The blog hasn’t been updated for a while, so expect me to post up a few exciting things that have happened over the past week. There’s been a lot of dugg and random stuff to report, so I’ll kick start with the latest news in the Yahoo-Microsoft takeover, where Google recently took on Frank Quattrone as an adviser on the potential merger, or *ahem*: takeover battle.

This from the Guardian:

Google has turned to one of the technology world’s most controversial figures – once arrested and put on trial – for advice in the takeover battle between Microsoft and Yahoo.

Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive, has reportedly called in the newly formed investment group Qatalyst – headed by Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone. Quattrone, who has long associations with Google, is best known as the high-profile investment banker with Credit Suisse who was involved in some of the biggest stockmarket flotations of the 1990s internet boom – including Amazon and Netscape. He has been dogged by controversy amid allegations that he was involved in boosting shares of companies he was advising.

He was arrested in 2003 for obstruction of justice and was eventually convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison. That conviction was overturned after an appeal and last year the final charges against him were dropped on condition that he does not break the law for a year.

His company, which was formed last month, will provide guidance to Google on the prospects for Microsoft’s $42bn (£21bn) bid to buy Yahoo. With Yahoo resisting the approach, the deal is becoming increasingly complex.

According to reports this week, the battle could even set the internet’s biggest companies against one another – with Microsoft and News Corp potentially joining forces to take on an alliance of Yahoo, Google and AOL.

Seems to me that the good ol’ days of Do No Evil is long gone now. Machiavellian tactics is the order of the day. Personally, I still don’t think this takeover bid will do anyone good, except for Google–what does Microsoft wish to achieve in such a hostile move?

These two were supposed to work against a common competitor, Google, but it’s more likely that if they do merge, they’ll be busy bickering amongst themselves first–they’ll be their own worse enemy. And in such a vitriolic atmosphere, I won’t be surprised if the brains behind Yahoo! leave because of the clashing corporate cultures–a problem highlighted many times before.

Back to the Grindstone… and LolBots!

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2007 at 11:50 am

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So now, after having closed the second issue of KLue last week, I can finally twiddle my thumbs a little before the tedious task begins again of “rolling up the snowball up the mountain”, as David Hepworth would say about the monthly process of editing magazines. Which is odd, considering that it’s 7pm, and I should be at home enjoying my Tomb Raider Anniversary (consistently dying off mis-jumped cliffs). Guess I’m still itching to write something out before the day ends as part of my new regime of brain exercise. This, I suspect, will turn out as well as my new regime of physical exercise, which is now non-existent beyond walking to the nearest coffee joint.

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My latest addiction has been a series of non-sensical lolbots–It’s hard to explain it myself, just go and see it lah. It’s just so stupidly hilarious–a badly spelt out slogan that basically follows the code “im in ur <noun> <verb>ing ur <second noun>.” There’s a cute all-kitty version on icanhascheezburger.com, but lolbots totally owns, man. Totally fucking hilarious shit. Am thinking of getting the T-shirt posted up on thinkgeek.

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The geek trip has been brought upon after reading too much geekery when editing July’s KLue, which is our salute to geeks like me (Check out my Form 1 picture in the ed’s note–that’s a Nerd there, and not the cool kind). The funny thing that always struck me was how everyone proclaims he/she was a total geek in high-school, and I’m dumbstruck by how acknowledging yourself as such a social outcast is now socially acceptable. In some ways, I’m sad that geekdom has now lost their social outcast status, because now I’ve got no excuse left to explain why I’m a little on the anti-social side besides saying “I’m growing old”.

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But anyways, do check out the mag when it hits the stands–I’ll continue my rant about being old there (and doing my best imitation of John C. Dvorak: “Get off my lawn, you kids!”), but there’s also this little thing we compiled called lifehacking–a series of little tips and tricks to make life better, thanks and inspired the folks at lifehacker.com and lifehack.org.

7-Elevens to be converted to Kwik-E-Marts

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2007 at 12:39 pm

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Well, wouldn’t this be awesome if our 7-Elevens did the same thing? This news appeared sometime last week, and according to the writer at The Times-Dispatch, Jeffrey Keely, the deal hasn’t been finalised yet, although it does sound like a great marketing campaign to have for the movie. Not that The Simpsons need any further marketing.

If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. — Richmond is an unlikely choice — to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store that Homer and other characters frequent in the classic cartoon TV series.

Customers also will be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO’s cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee).

The chain also will use pictures of Simpsons characters to promote 7-Eleven’s line of fresh foods, such as placing the face of Homer and his classic “Mmmm . . . sandwich” quip on sandwich wrappers.

read more | digg story

Don’t you wish your teacher was as cool as this?

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2007 at 6:37 am

It all started out last week, when I came across this picture that made me laugh out loud:

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And digging out for more silly test result pictures, I came across more pictures which made me think of how cool some teachers can be. If I ever pulled any of this nonsense during my A-Levels Maths class, I’d have my nipples pinched till they were purple. Not that my nipples serve any function, but still, I’d like to keep them. If I had to sacrifice my nipples, it’s going to be something more than just pulling off stunts like this that I found on Flickr

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The closest I came to a teacher as cool as the one below was my Bio teacher in A-Levels, Mrs. Ong, who drew rabbits being killed by Elmer Fudd on the whiteboard.

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And goodness knows how many countless times I wanted to do this during my Chemistry and Square Inequalities classes:

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Netcasts Vs Podcasts. Who needs a fight like that?

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2006 at 2:04 pm

Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been this debate about what podcasts should be called. This furor of nomenclature –wow! how exciting–was something that I thought would be dismissed as some stupid little hissyfight that warrants no further debate, but it seems that Apple has been sending out cease and desist letters to websites and podcasters telling them not only to remove the word “iPod” from their domain names, such as ipodderx.com and mypodder, but also they’re chasing after people who use the word “podcasts”, and basically the word “pod” as it relates to the iPod. Jeez.

True, Apple has to defend its trademark, or else face losing their iPod trademark, as Kleenex and Xerox did. Chasing after “iPod”, I get, but “Podcasts”? That’s just dumb. It’s a catchy name that sounds good and helps the promote the image of global dominantion the iPod has, but really, there’s no point fighting over it. TWiT Leo Laporte has been actively promoting the word “Netcasts” to replace “Podcasts”, which isn’t so catchy, and has filed to trademark the word, but hell, if Apple are gonna grumble over it, let every podcaster in the world give up and move over to netcasts. There’s nothing Apple has to gain in this fight.

Finally moved on

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2006 at 11:49 am

dvorak.gifSo this is it. The Blog that isn’t on Friendster, which basically is some lame excuse for a blog because it doesn’t allow for feedback on hits, limits the amount of pictures you can post, and has a terribly long-ass url that no one can remember and never gets public. That being said, it means I’ve got to start blogging more, and what I’ll be writing about are basically my fantasies of being a media studies graduate.

Very exciting, I know. And as far as fantasies go, that’s as lame as they come. And the name of the blog, for all you non-geeks out there, is taken from John C. Dvorak‘s blog, who’s this really kick-ass 50-something tech columnist who loves to piss off Mac users. That aside, he’s got a great blog about what’s been going on in the world, and advise that you check out his columns at PC Mag.com and his site too.