Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Singapore 2012 OMY Blog Awards – Aussie Pete Steps Down

OK dear friends and readers, here’s the scoop! After a very lengthy association with the OMY Singapore Blog Awards (which celebrates their 5th anniversary in 2012) and after being short-listed to the Top 10 and collecting the first place award in my category for consecutive years (2010 and 2011), it’s time for me to step aside and open the ‘Best WTH Category’ up to other nominees.

Be sure to visit the Blog Awards site to register your own blog for the 2012 awards, or to nominate your favourite blogger. Don’t be mistaken – I am not going to stop blogging, nor is my ongoing collaboration with the OMY team over. In fact, it has never been stronger. I will continue to mirror my main legacy blog at my OMY Star Blogger home and will still attend various events and outings (time permitting)… in other words, you will not be getting rid of my ugly mug that easily – I will definitely see my OMY friends from time to time (as will Sammi and the boys).

Over the last few years, I have been absolutely blessed with the opportunities that OMY and the Singapore blogosphere have afforded me. From collecting prizes including vacations, audio visual gear, make-overs, computers and lasting memories of trips to Hong Kong (2010) and Australia (2011), just to name a few (I’m running out of shelf space to put my custom-made trophies by Tan Swie Hian)… to creating life-long friendships with fellow bloggers (now some of my best mates) and taking part in media events – such as the Urban Homme Challenge and (the now historic) bathtub race in Victoria Harbour (HK) – I’m sure that Ang Geck Geck just rolled her eyes at me again :)

I was going to list out all of the activities, events and appearances I’ve participated in since 2009, but soon realized that I would probably lose everyone after about 300 rows… the memories for me, however, will remain eternal. Not to mention all the media clippings that Sammi (who also doubles up as my PR agent) has saved... numerous vodcasts; newspapers - Straits Times, Wanbao, Zhaobao, Shin Min; TV appearances, and many more - all thanks in one way or another to my OMY collaboration.

I make no excuses for my decision to move aside this year, but not only is my work-life very stretched right now along with family and community / grassroots commitments, I think it is only fair to open up the category of ‘What The Hell’ (WTH) to other just as deserving bloggers. Many of the previous nominees over the years are also my friends and I actually felt especially quite bad last year to know that some of these very excellent writers and great people did not get the same opportunities that I have had over recent years.

The WTH category is obviously very subjective. Not only on the judging side to determine who has the best style or fanciest looking blog or even the voting side (for which I’m enormously grateful to all of my supporters who have made the effort to vote for me), but also – and perhaps most importantly – the content.

The question is, and always has been, “What really constitutes WTH content?”

In my mind, it’s what can potentially make the reader’s jaw drop. Quite frankly, if a particular topic or subject makes me say to myself ‘What the Hell’, then I suspect it will offer up the same reaction to others (I’ve seen a lot throughout my decades on this earth, so it’s actually quite rare that something leaves me well and truly ‘gob-smacked’).

While I’m on my high horse talking about what I think ‘WTH’ is, perhaps I could also recommend to nominees this year, what I really think ‘WTH’ is not!!

Once again in my (small) mind - boasting about oneself (too much) is not going to get the readers’ attention… and any attention you do get, might be the wrong kind – it may make people switch off or worse still, unsubscribe to your work. So forget writing things that have the intention of ‘you’ve gotta love me’ or ‘I’m the best’, etc, or posting a 1000px x 1600px picture of your face as your blog header. It may work for one or two bloggers… but the odds are it’s not going to work for you. In fact, instead of people saying ‘What the Hell!!’ they may choose to say ‘What an Idiot!!’

Also, remember well, that regardless of your nominated category, a blog should generally allow you to remain true to yourself. Think back to when and how you started blogging… was it to seek fame and fortune? (I doubt it)… or was it so that you could keep an online diary of your activities, thoughts and images? (more likely). In my case, it was to share our experiences with family and friends who live overseas and we do not get to see very often... and although I’ve diverted often and sometimes quite dramatically from this foundation, I always end up coming home in the end. What I’m saying, is that your content should not be contrived or forced… just let it flow… and no matter what – don’t ever sell yourself out!! (you guys know what I’m talking about, right?)

So there you go… Aussie Pete blog is stepping aside this year to allow other worthy writers to be crowned the 2012 Best WTH Blogger in Singapore (not that I would've been a certain to win - just like a world heavy weight champion, all the more reason to 'quit while I'm ahead'). Wishing you all the best and will see you at upcoming events. If you’re new to the OMY scene or Singapore blogosphere, don’t be shy – if we haven’t met before, be sure to say hello!! (I’ll be the ang moh with a beer in my hand and a smile on my face)

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