WIP with Dr. Connor Graham


12th November 2012, Monday

Tembusu Common Lounge, Level 1


Social media is strange. Really. And blogs are among the strangest form.

Blogs are at once personal and public documents, a hybrid of history, diary letter journalism and faction. However, far from being simply ‘text online’ today, they are a collection of different media (e.g.text, photos and videos) through which a presentation of the self, often prismatic, is crafted. Blogs also support an odd relationship between author and audience – they are open to potentially millions of people, an anonymous audience consuming familiar yet unfamiliar pseudo-celebrities. Thus, as the source of inquiry blogs need to be treated carefully.

This presentation examines a particular kind of blog – blogs by young Singaporean women with rich media content. It argues that these blogs have a particular crafted form that is both parochial and global. It also suggests that these blogs, as material supporting inquiry, provide surprising, if weird insights into the young women’s lives. Even if they are another form of advertisement.

We suggest these blogs are, precisely because they are prismatic and crafted, a means of peering into these particular young women’s views on lots of things. We explore, with your help, some of 'these things'…

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The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.