Thursday, September 17, 2009

Social Media Club Kuala Lumpur Launched 17th September 2009

Am at P1 building now, where it is the launch of Social Media Club Kuala Lumpur. Live blogging. Social Media Club globally was started in San Francisco back in 2006, and now there are about 152 cities having Social Media Club, with 97 of those are active.

In Asia, Mumbai is the first city to launch it, whereas South Korea is the 2nd city/country in Asia to launch it, followed by Kuala Lumpur. After this Bangalore, Chennai, Hong Kong and Singapore would be launching it.

A sharing by Chris Brogan ( Social media is an important tool, and it is important to understand what this means. This tool can help us to understand things and brings changes and earns some trust. It is very exciting to have this opportunity to speak to those of you in Kuala Lumpur.

Social Networking is not about the tools. The tools allow us to connect to people, and allow real meaning to be made. Be passionate about what we are passionate about, and get to spread the message out fast. And it is about what we do with it, and sharing with people.

Julian Smith shared that it would be something interesting to be at where we are, and looking back some years in the future, that we are part of this in the beginning.

Chris shared that no one said that we can't do something. Julian was one of the first podcasters who made money. We have the ability to make things happen. Chris is very supportive of what you are doing. One thing that is also changing is that all the people are participants, including Chris.

Get way to contact people. There are always people who know how to solve problems. People don't need Chris to make this successful. Don't be afraid of it, and be helpful to others. It is karma. The more you do to help others, the more it would come back to you. Web helps to bring the mass together, and we can all get together to do things. We can get things done quickly across the world.

Now, Pete Teo is sharing that social networking is no magic tool.

Out of the room of more than 100 people, only 2 people haven't seen 15Malaysia films. Each film is 3 to 7 minutes, and all films are about Malaysia.

The film is all about the reality of real life in Malaysia. It stays away from type of film that shows like "Malaysia Truly Asia".

Pete talked about how Malaysia is the only country with Ministry of Art, Culture and Tourism. Why is it that Art is connected with Tourism.

For these films, it show a lot of the things that happen in Malaysia. It makes fun of things that happens in Malaysia. Racism, corruption etc.

The films are not propaganda and not corporate films. But it is a place for talented artists (musicians, artists) to showcase their talents.

The key reason of doing is that we do have problems with local talents. We almost always gravitate towards things that are not homegrown.

15Malaysia started from March, and it was launched on 17th August 2009, and it is 30 days now. As of a couple of days ago, has 350,000 downloads of the films. Youtube views as of now are about 3 Million. 15Malaysia channel is the 10th most active channel on Youtube. And for Facebook, there are 85,000 fans.

We can all sit here whole day to talk about tools, but those are just tools. The magic of creating things do not lie along the tools. The tools allow us to communicate. The tools give us ways to spread it. We are talking about media that relies on its users to spread.

All those social media allow us to spread around. Having said that, those are just tools.

At every age, there is always a spirit of the time. And for 15Malaysia, it caught that. What is important to our society today resides in the frustration that what is going on in our country. One of the issues is racism, corruption etc. All these issues that we talk in coffee houses and mamak stalls.

Since 1969, we haven't had a platform like today. Today, 15Malaysia was conceived to be like a platform for people. The films are not there to tell you what is wrong. It is for you to reflect. Those are some of the creative decisions that 15Malaysia made.

For 15Malaysia, only used Facebook, a website and a little of Twitter. 15Malaysia didn't make it to TV, as if it is, about half of those would be censored. There is no censorship law in the net. And make the internet the primary channel of distribution.

And at the peak, it transmits 1 Terabyte of data, and it has broken 4 servers. There were a lot of fire-fighting to keep it online. And when tweeted out that it needs help, people stand forward to help. The main thing is that the project engages the public. 15Malaysia provides an outlet for people to have intelligent content about what is dear to us, and in a society like this, where dialogue like this do not happen.

There are films where policemen ask for bribes, and there are party hopping.

What about 15Malaysia is that it is not saying something new. It is things that people already know, but it is regarded as something sensitive. Pete wants to know why corruption is sensitive in the country. And people do know all of these anyway.

And there are people who write in (in tears) that say "Thank You" for doing this. What Chris said is very true. It is not something that can be formulized. It is something that whether we believe it or not.

Core team of 15Malaysia is 3 people. 15Malaysia is launched from spare bedroom of Pete Teo. It is something that the team worked very hard. Pete hasn't slept for more than 2 hours for the past 3 months. It is the same thing for the rest of the team.

We need to do things passionately and committedly. In whatever we do, we need to have a value and serve the community. Facebook has a value of keeping communication and allow people to keep in touch. Myspace, to musicians, is a place for people to showcase their talents.

For 15Malaysia, it is an outlet to look at our country, and laugh at it, and says we love it.

Pete previous project was the Anti-Racism video, and it was the 3rd most viral video in the world, and more than 10 Million views of the video.

Pete is very careful when create a project. Things ought to have a reason to start it, and we have to ask a question on why. If there is no real reason, then we might not be doing it.

There have been many government responses, including wanting to turn up at the launch and deliver speeches. And Pete's response was that he has to invite opposition as well, and he didn't hear from them again.

On whether one needs to be an expert in social media, Pete's response is that we don't need to be. It is typically using the basic social media, and what is more important is the project.

Total hits of 15Malaysia is 5 Million, and it is a choice decision not to put adsense into the website, as it is wrong to earn from the people.

There are a lot of people who try to hack the site, but as of now, Pete does not know of any attempt by government to shut down the site.

One of the reality of Malaysia is that there is the space. There is space for us to express what we want to say. What happens is that what happened before, resulted in us to do self-censorship.

Yesterday, DAP screened some of 15Malaysia films, and today Pete called MCA to ask them to show the films.

A lot of things are bigger than political party, like racism. Nik Aziz, Khairy Jamaludin, Liow Tiong Lai, Zaid Ibrahim, Tian Chua were featured in the films. When it was shot, it was 2 Barisan Nasional and 2 Pakatan Rakyat. At that time, Zaid Ibrahim was independent, but ended up he joined PKR, and it screwed up the balance.

KJ was very serious in the rehearsal. He rehearsed many times. Zaid Ibrahim was very sick at that time, but he insisted that it went on.

For KJ, it was improvised by himself, except that he was given a few points. Liow Tiong Lai was given a script, but he ended up using his own words. Tian Chua's one was without words, whereas Nik Aziz gave a sermon.

15Malaysia would be given the premiere in Busan, and next year, would start at Rotterdam, Taiwan, Stockholm, Toronto, Japan.

These whole film would be edited to make it into a 80-minutes antology.

The moment that sold the scene in KJ's film was when KJ gave the keris to namawee, when namawee said that he liked the keris, and KJ gave him the keris and also a few more. And for that, Pete gave the credits to KJ.

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