I've just gotten back from meeting some 100+ bloggers & friends at the Food Loft-Gurney, practically the first 'official' gathering of bloggers of such size in Penang -- attended even by a reporter from The Star and graced by a bloggers' own web celebrity, Kenny Sia who had just hailed all the way from Kuching today. Took me a a full hour to reach Gurney Plaza at the northern-eastern tip of Penang, from Balik Pulau (and 40 minutes fast & furious drive back to 'the back of the island'), but it was worth it to see so many new acquaintances during the whole three hours at the Loft.
Although quite a number among the 100 'chosen ones' who signed up didn't manage to arrive, well over 100 brave souls showed up at the venue, many of whom perhaps finding out about the event through word of mouth instead of stumbling on the ad itself.
Unlike during the usual tech/geek meets around the country where people talk mostly about technologies, gizmos or other serious/business/political stuff, most 'Nuffnangers' & friends seem to be more into pure socializing and having some random laughters -- I didn't I see anyone with notebooks around even though the place is Wi-Fied despite a last-minute suggestion by Cedric to bring one for live-blogging (photo on the right, 'courtesy' of Cedric's blog... hmm, free service??). No videocams either (or I just didn't see anyone actively 'camwhoring', to quote Lance). The only high-tech gadgets were probably digital cameras and some flashy phones.
Guess, Penangites just prefer life to 'life online' (sometimes, that is!) -- Criz, when I asked if he was going home straight after the event, he said, "what else do bloggers do anyway?" I take it that he meant "mingling with strangers is fun, but staying home, with family or blogging/bitching online about people who you met or things you've seen everywhere would be no less nice." Hmm... seeing all the huge cinema banners, I figured catching a movie with lotsa strange friends would be nice (like NuffNang recently organized indeed), but the one I'd really like to see is not showing yet...
And not everyone there were pro or veteran bloggers. A number of attendees even acknowledged to be new bloggers, first taking up this adventurous activity only since early this month, or very few months earlier. Most whom I met told me that they blog about themselves, and just about anything that revolves around their daily lives. Serious bloggings like about arts, places, business, sciences, health etc. perhaps haven't infected average Malaysians, or may be there are in different groups altogether. For instance, I know of many cliques who are very much into politics, tech, and infopreneuring/internet marketing that also organize several exclusive meets among themselves. It's a chicken and eggs question I suppose -- Supply & Demand, which one should come first? Calvin whom I immediately recognized off his Blogname Tag, for instance, hinted that he has been getting more attention when talking about himself rather than about Penang!
As a reborn active blogger since just a couple months ago (I started blogging in 2000, but took a long 2+ years holidays), I could only recognize very few names and faces among the large crowd of attendees prior to coming to the event. I have never met any of them indeed! But practically all of them NuffNanged bloggers were warm and friendly, busily adding as many new friends to their already decent network of friends, both from the group of people who blog and the group who at least read blogs. Some of the fine bloggers I get to shake hands (and remember) were Jo Ann Phang & Chin (we shared the lunch table), Cedric Ang (passed the goodies around and interviewed Kenny I suppose -- he looks almost like a Malay, but he's Chinese + Thai as he explained on his Friendster profile. UPDATE (25jun07) -- CedricAng.com was hacked earlier today, forcing Cedric to immediately move to a another domain that was just registered days earlier, GoodBoyGoneBad.com -- a cool nick for the rising youth personality Cedric who also blogs in the Youth Section of CMC Media Network, which I suppose to be his take on another fine youth, Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad-titled album, but don't you think that the phrase sounds a bit pornographic?), Kenny Sia (he's a celebrity -- one of the very few Malaysians who have own entry on the Wikipedia!), Criz Lai (on the way to the payment counter), Kew (hmm.. warm & fuzzy? who stopped by our table), Calvyn, Warren, Bryan and of course the core NuffNangers including Lance (this dude escorted me to the table as it was my first visit there, I think!) and the two Tims (Timothy Tiah is one-half of the NuffNang founders; the other half is currently expanding their blogmunity empire from the island of Singapore down south) -- maybe if I'll surf around later, I'll remember some more or know how to spell their respective names correctly...
As usual, there were lotsa picture takings. Hmm... Did we won something in sports, blog contests, or anything?? And Kenny was earlier doing his usual stunts and gimmicks in due excitements for his dozens of 'fans'. I was hoping that people would have forced him to sing or do some other artistic talent show instead of him just putting all the smily faces throughout the restaurant. But sorry, no pictures from me... The guys at Nokia outlets in KL and Penang still lack of clues on how to fix my two-year old Nokia 6630, so, I've been camera-less for many months now which explains why this post gets to be too textual. Hope to see some pictures from them Penang bloggers (or Kenny from Kuching or wherever he would end up next) soon.
Three hours passed very quick indeed by the time we all called it quit. Those who pre-registered enjoyed up of RM15 of courtesy food. Those who didn't, well, bucked up... but the food there wasn't that expensive... Nice view overlooking Tanjung Bungah and the mainland through the glass window (priceless!), but perhaps, we should have more frequent freak storms in Penang to get a nicer seaside view!
As I've already max-ed out my 'first three hours' parking period, i knew I had to stick at Gurney Plaza a little bit longer and check Apple's Demos out at CGComputers situated at the third floor in Gurney Plaza. In fact, Kew was just telling me earlier on how he wants a MacBook badly off his blog earnings, if Adsense (or Nuffnang) would do wonders for him soon. Me too BTW! Who doesn't want a MacBook, the 24" iMac (that's damn huge!), or the Apple TV where you can iTunes using your TV and a special remote while Apple Xtreeming content including from your PC or Mac? These Apples gotta be dream machines for pajamaworkers!
UPDATE (1 JUL '07) - Here's one group photo I 'pinjam' from the pool of so many blog posts on the event:
- ► 2009 (18)
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