One year on

Our in-house ghost writer

Our in-house ghost writer

Oh wow, what do you know, this blog turned one this week. So I guess it’s time to reflect and review, no?

I do wonder all this time how long I can sustain my interest in keeping this up. So far so good. Maintaining a blog like this takes a higher level of commitment than one would imagine, especially while holding down a very full time day job like I do. I haven’t done too badly, thank you very much, with about 120 posts over the year and never longer than two weeks between posts. Taking out the comic posts and the guest pieces from Lorong Cat, there are about 100 posts written under my own guideline of 500 to 1,000 words per article (which adds to the challenge of posting regularly). That sums up to 50,000-100,000 words, or about the length of a standard novel.

Damn, I should have spent my time on that novel instead!

Site traffic has been modest, and nothing has gone really viral. Your fault, not mine, for not sharing more. It is no surprise that the more popular posts are those that are highly critical of the government, but honestly I rather earn “likes” for more neutral views or entertaining posts. I also avoid writing on the same topic too often and attempted different styles and tones of writing. As a result, it is hard to sustain the attention of readers who have specific interests. I can sense that some of the more regular readers have come and gone.

But it’s okay. I’m not setting out to be a thought leader or to change anything, being no activist. This is just a project to have fun in writing and designing a website while putting out some opinion. In fact, most of the time I rather make general comments about an issue than over-analyse the situation.

Regardless, I have to thank The Singapore Daily especially for driving much of the traffic. I think they are doing any amazing job aggregating the Singapore blogosphere. My posts have also been reproduced on various other popular socio-political sites, and even on the Malaysian Insider (not sure how they ended up there). I have offered some of them permission to republish my posts and I thank them for doing so. As for the other sites, I’m not particularly concerned about them taking without permission as long as they credit me. Needless to say, but just in case, please don’t republish this post.

There’s nothing worse than a hard written post with no comments, which is why I really appreciate them. It’s even worse if you end the post asking “what do you think?” and get no reply, which is why I know better than to do that. I may not respond to a comment if I have nothing further to add, but I do read every single one of them — not that there are too many to handle anyway.

And, finally, to review a variety of posts over the year, a.k.a. promoting old posts that have gone stale. Why waste a good effort?

Favourite satire: TOP COLORECTAL SURGEON WILL SEE US OVER FAECAL CLIFF: PM LEE
Satires are always fun to write but hard to build into a full post because they always start off from one funny idea. Making jokes on faecal matter is cheap and easy, but I think I haven’t done too badly on this one.

Favourite comic: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
None of them is particularly good, but this is the one most people can appreciate. Using a free comic strip generator can be quite limiting to what you want to express.

Most nonsensical: END OF WINTER, AND THE WORLD. AND ZOMBIES
I almost fell off my chair when finding out that one serious socio-political site reproduced this.

Most stylised: SEX-FOR-CONTRACTS: AN ACCOUNT IN CLOCKWORK ORANGE NADSAT
I like this one, though it would be hard for those who haven’t read the book (one of my all-time favourites) to appreciate.

Most sarcastic: YEO GUAT KWANG THE SAVIOUR HAS ARRIVED
This is what happens when I forget my medicine. I went on a rampage making snide remarks about a number of people and ended up wondering if I might receive a lawyer’s letter.

Most cheeky: IT’S NOT SLOWER GROWTH, STUPID!
This is a cute one. Sometimes when you get exasperated with what politicians say, the best response is through humour.

Favourite caption: POPULATION WHITE PAPER IS UNPOPULAR AND UNSUSTAINABLE
Inspired by The Economist, I always try to include tongue-in-cheek captions to the pictures.

Sleeper hit: THE UNWANTED HDB 2-ROOM FLATS
This was a surprise that attracted the highest sustained traffic over time. Good SEO perhaps, but it also revealed that a lot of people are concerned about 2-room flats that were not well discussed in the media until recently.

Most revealing: NOW, THE BAD NEWS: BTO PRICES OUTPACE RESALE MARKET
The minister made a claim. A bit of data checking showed otherwise.

Most regretful: MARIA ALMENOAR AND THE $7,000 HOLE SHE DUG
This post attracted some traffic, and on hindsight I felt I was too harsh. She was just doing her job and I should save my criticism for public figures.

Thanks for reading once again!