This month, I would have been a blogger for 2 years and 3 months.
When I look back, being a blogger myself and being a company of bloggers has really influenced the way Nuffnang is today.
Let me share my early days of blogging with you.
I started off with a blog that just wasn't meant to be read by anyone other than my friend (Boss Lepton) and I but someway somehow, it did.
As our blog got a little bit more well-known in the community, we began to interact with a number of bloggers, bloggers who welcomed us with open arms into this new community.
I met many many new friends online all through blogging, we exchanged MSN contacts, left comments on each others' blogs, it was almost as if we were hanging out with each other on a daily basis.
It was a relationship that I was very new to. It felt very weird.
I mean here will be someone that I've never met before in my entire life but I seem to know everything about just because of her blog. I know where she works, I know what she likes, what she dislikes, I even know who her friends are... and we've NEVER EVEN MET!!!
Yet every now and then it's always fun to meet the real person behind the blog. And that's when blogger gatherings always came into play.
Two bloggers in the Malaysian blogging community were always quite involved in putting together these gatherings: Jolene and Yee Hou.
The first gathering I was invited to was to the one at Burger King where for the first time ever I met bloggers whom I am now really good friends with today.
I subsequently attended a few more gatherings after that so much that I was almost addicted to these blogger gatherings at one point in time.
Now it was only at our Wizard World blogger gathering that I actually saw the real work it took to plan blogger gatherings that I always just went to enjoy.
Some of the bloggers who were there left without paying for their food (perhaps maybe because they forgot), leaving the organizers behind to pick up the bill. So there you had the organizers who worked without pay or anything just to play host and have a blogger gathering for people to get together and not only are they sometimes not given enough credit but they even have to foot the bill at the end of it.
By then, the idea that would be called Nuffnang was under works.
I went back and shared my experience with Ming and the both of us agreed on one thing, that part of Nuffnang's goal will be to organize blogger gatherings to bring bloggers together, and all this out of the company's own resources.
Hence in the past that is what we have always been doing with our most sincere hearts.
We partner with a few Nuffnang bloggers who are looking to put a gathering together and say
"Okay... Nuffnang will get the venue, handle the logistics and foot the bill. All you have to focus on is plan the program and do what you think bloggers wanna do at a gathering".
It has worked very well for us in the past.
Our Penang blogger event, planned by Cedric and Warren was a huge success and all the bloggers at the event loved it.As Nuffnang grew larger in size, it attracted a lot of investors all looking to invest fortunes into Nuffnang and valuing Nuffnang in the millions.
One thing that always stuck out to them was
"Why are you guys spending so much on these community events?
You're not making any money from it and the bloggers aren't paying you anything for it... shouldn't you be spending money on events to promote your services to potential advertisers instead since that's where the money comes from?"
I never blamed them for thinking that way since after all, hey.. that's how perhaps any other businessman will think and rightfully so, but that's only until they hear our piece as bloggers ourselves.We tell them that Nuffnang is NOT all about making money and most importantly it is about the community. Every company no matter how big or small should have CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives to give back to the community in whatever small way they can.
The community we are directly involved in is the blogger community so what's wrong with spending a percentage of our revenue on events that bring bloggers together, just for fun.
They all nod... and all eventually agree.
On the 15th of March, Nuffnang will be having the largest blogger gathering ever to hit Malaysian soil. It is also the first cross-border one where we bring Nuffnangers from Singapore over just to meet the Nuffnangers in Malaysia.
The entire event is expected to cost over RM50,000 which includes the transportation and accommodation for the 100 Nuffnangers from Singapore who will be crossing our border into Malaysia.We have never done anything this scale before but I find ourselves in a very fortunate position.
Nuffnang has grown tremendously... as our community grows, so will the size of our events.
Pink Pau is one of the main bloggers who are in charged of planning the fun and important parts of the event. Assisted by a number of people from the Nuffnang team, she will be putting together our very first Nuffnang Pajama Party in which Chipster has come in as a huge partner, followed by Panasonic and Tune Hotels as our Official Hotel.
When Pink Pau first suggested a Pajama Party, I immediately thought
But after some deliberation, both Ming and I thought it might be pretty fun and ... imagine the aftermath of such a party.
After the blogger gathering, there are going to be pictures of bloggers all over, all dressed in their PJs. Of course, if you don't want to go with the theme you don't HAVE to.. but hey it'll be fun to anyway.
What really really sold the idea to me was when I read about another Pajama Party in Singapore on Pink Pau's blog. As Chipster has done a lot to help us put this event together, we decided to get them into the game.
For most of our gatherings, we normally try to include a minimum-effort kind of thing that a blogger has to do to get in.
The reason is simple.
In the past we tried to do without it and what happened was thousands of bloggers would e-mail us wanting a ticket resulting in a long waiting list.
The worst part was, on the day itself, many of the bloggers who requested for the tickets never showed up, depriving the bloggers who genuinely wanted to go but couldn't get their hands on a ticket or two.
Of course most companies get their people to pay RM20 or RM50 per head and that was something we could do to ensure that people didn't simply take their tickets for granted.
But I never wanted Nuffnang to be all about money so we get Nuffnangers to take a picture of themselves in the PJs they'll be wearing to the event and holding a packet of Chipster.The result was unbelievable.
Check out a few of the unbelievable creative entries that some of our bloggers did.
Put such a high standard for us.
For me, this will be what I'll be wearing to the event.
A long sleeve PJ-like shirt and track pants.
Yes I sleep with track-pants on... believe it or not. Got into that habit while I was living in London where it was way too cold on your balls to sleep with shorts.
I even got myself a little bantal busuk as an accessory that I'll be bringing that night bwahahaha
I am looking forward to our Nuffnang Birthday Bash this 15th March 2008.
It will be the biggest blogger gathering ever, and it makes me proud to be one of the people behind the scenes.
See you there guys! And if you guys don't wanna go there just to see me.. you can go there to see Kenny Sia, Xiaxue, Dawn Yang... I don't know.. you tell me.. everyone who is anyone in the Malaysian-Singaporean blogosphere will be there.
If you haven't signed up for a ticket yet... do it soon ok?
Deadline is in a few days. All you have to do is take a picture of yourself and a chipster pack, post it on your blog and send the link to pajamaparty[@]nuffnang[dot]com[dot]my