Isaac Mao in Singapore
Today I had the opportunity to play host for an informal event with a big name in blogosphere – Isaac Mao. This event was sponsored by I-D-A, and was a collaboration event between Singapore Internet Research Centre @ NTU, Entrepreneur27, SMU Information Systems Society and Student Technology Initiative (the one that I belong to).
Here is his profile:
Isaac Mao (Mao Xianghui) is a software architect, entrepreneur and social technology researcher. One of the country’s early bloggers, he co-founded CNBlog.org in 2002 to evangelize grassroots publishing in China. Last year he organized the first Social Software Forum in China. He also led the team that developed Creative Commons China, which is part of the Creative Commons, co-founded by Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig to expand the range of creative work available to share.
It was a great experience, serious! I was thrown a last minute short emcee-ing role just 2 hours before the event. Being the queen of ball of nerves as well as the kancheong spider (the paranoid spider), tHimerosa definitely felt the heat. I forged ahead, trying to be as natural as I could to be as informal as possible. But I guess, I tend to be really nervous when I am unprepared. I haven’t exactly honed the “think on my feet” ability and I haven’t gotten over my fear for public speaking. However, I am thankful to Boss Meow for forcing me to practice, sometimes I do need a kick in my ass in this direction. Will attempt to Emcee at the next event again, and I am very determined to get past this. Great things start small and I hope everyone will be giving me moral support! Actually, you guys can slam me down too, I want to really train up in this aspect. Projection, confidence, enunciation, thinking on the fly; these are the exact qualities that I REALLY want to have for myself. No guts, no glory!
Ok, enough about me, back to Isaac Mao. The event started off a little bit slow initially as Isaac was warming up and the crowd was settling in, but what really broke the ice was when Weiquan asked the first question and the session got more interactive. We touched on topics such as China’s c2c “technology” (it is really quite funny and entails something along the lines of copying), how .cn might have a possibility of undergoing the same fate as .com in the late 90s, insights on business in China itself. The networking session at the back was really good, as we see people from different backgrounds, (NTU, NUS, Industry, Blogger, JC students …) mingling together. People were being introduced to one another, getting contacts, interaction, seeing progressive people come together.
Nice, I would say. These are the kind of things that we see all the time in the US while we were there: Big people who own multi-million dollar companies willing to come down and mingle with students, share with people their experiences, inspiring many in the process while acquiring different perspectives from the students at the same time. This is the synergy that inherently leads to the door of opportunities, promotes a passionate Information Technology industry and a kind of support network for like minded people with similar objectives.
The crowd mingling
This is the first event STI has organised since the inauguration of our 2 month old organisation and I think it is really our first baby step at taking a stab to re-infuse passion into the Information Technology Industry in Singapore. Keep it up people, there is much more than a glimmer of hope for Singapore!