Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nuffnang Turns Three !

Today is the 3rd year that Nuffnang's been around.
To remind myself on what we've been through in the first and second year I read the previous entries I wrote in the first and second year of Nuffnang. Then I'm reminded by how lucky I am to still have all I have today: To be part of a growing company, to love the people I work with (ie the Nuffies and our clients) and very importantly to feel a sense of belonging to the Nuffnangers who support us till today.

We posted up an announcement on our Facebook fan page just past midnight today and in half an hour we had like.. 40 comments from Nuffnangers on Facebook wishing us a Happy Birthday in the middle of the night.

Thank you for the wishes guys. Nuffnang's birthday is something we all share together.

Thank you for helping us do the amazing things we've been fortunate enough to do all this while. I feel humbled by your ever-lasting support.

To read our official announcement on the Nuffnang blog drafted by the Nuffies, click here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


On one particular day many months ago, I finally yielded into the pressure. More and more of the Nuffies started getting Blackberries and Ming finally stamped his foot down. He said that I had to get a Blackberry for the sake of productivity and for the sake of communicating with the team better.

So I got myself the Blackberry Bold 2 and I've been using it for months. I still use my iPhone for regular calls and my Blackberry as a pure e-mail phone.

I gotta say that with the Blackberry I suddenly realize that I have a lot more time to do everything else. Why?

Well because whenever I'm idle.

You know either waiting in a lift or waiting for someone or for a meeting to start, I go use my Blackberry to clear my e-mails quickly. So by the time I finally get back to my workstation at the office, I would've already been up to speed with my e-mails and I can just work on other things.

Of course the iPhone can check e-mails too but it's just not as stable or quick as a Blackberry if you ask me. That's not to say the iPhone sucks though. I think the iPhone is a great phone with loads of apps that I still use. The latest app I now use is called Sleep Cycle where it tracks your sleeping patterns and tries to wake you up at the right time each morning so you don't feel like shit when you wake up in the mornings.

Truth is, the iPhone can do a lot more things than the Blackberry but what makes the Blackberry so good is that it is very very very good in doing a few things and those few things it excels in happen to be the things you probably use the most. For me it's e-mails and the BBM.

I love my Blackberry and the truth is I'm really addicted to it now. Can't let go of it. The great thing I like about it too is how it compresses data so well so much that whenever I'm overseas now I actually data roam for e-mails and the data roaming charges aren't that expensive. I only use the e-mail function when I data roam though (if you use the browser or something I think that'll be a whole different story).

Like when I was in Singapore a few weeks back, I was actively receiving and replying e-mails throughout the whole day on my data roaming. It only cost me RM20 for the day on my Xpax Prepaid Blackberry credit.

That's really affordable. To give you a perspective, I was in London and I made a 2 minute call to a Malaysian mobile phone on my Maxis roaming iPhone and it cost me something like RM25 for that two minute call. Yeah I know if my iPhone was on another telco apart from Maxis the roaming charges may have been cheaper (my friend told me that Celcom roaming charges are 1/3 the cost of Maxis roaming but I don't know how accurate that is though) but still, RM25 is like what you pay for internet in a hotel room you stay in.

Besides, once my iPhone contract with Maxis expires I'm switching my iPhone line to DiGi. I hear DiGi's a lot cheaper in terms of rates and I've always wanted to be on DiGi. So Celcom on my Blackberry, DiGi on my iPhone.

So the truth is everyone that yes... while I still love my iPhone, I love my Blackberry just as much. I asked myself once that if I had to pick one, which would I have... (or which one do I hold to sleep each night)

And the answer was.... my Blackberry... so yes you BB Evangelists out there... you were all right, I was wrong. The Blackberry is a great phone.

(But then again, if I wasn't working and was on a long holiday where I won't need to check any e-mails then maybe I'd stick to my iPhone).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Odd Road Sign

Was driving around one day around Bukit Ceylon and saw this road sign.

What do you guys think it means?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Day I Could've Lost It

Last night I went to Li Tat's CNY Open House. In light of the CNY spirit, we were all sitting on plastic chairs outside his house while having some stuff to eat off the buffet while catching up with one another. Actually it was more Princess than me since it was the first time I had met many of the people there but Princess on the other hand seemed to know them all... you know Subang people.

Li Tat has these two big dogs in his house, both golden retrievers who look some sort like this.

One of them which was named Smuffy was the friendly one and allowed to go out to mingle with the guests. The other one was a dog we never saw. Whenever guests came to the house, they would hide him in the back because he was crazy and very aggressive. You know the kind that would not only chase the mail man but bite off an ass cheek or something.

So while we were all sitting outside the house talking Smuffy (the friendly one) was being her usual friendly-self. She would come up to us and wait for us to pat her and then just sit around us and be quiet.

Suddenly though, the neighbour next door started shooting up some really loud fireworks. The sky lit up and all of us stopped talking for a while and went "Woahh!".

Smuffy on the other hand who happened to be next to me at that point suddenly jumped and put its two front legs on my crotch. She moved her head frantically like she was really scared of all the noise the fireworks was making and as each second passed she seemed to be putting more and more pressure on her paws which happened to be right on my crotch.

Those few seconds felt like an eternity to me. It was like the whole world around me suddenly slowed down to slow motion and I just sat there trying to calm the dog down but not daring to move an inch. You know the phrase "Got you by the balls" right? Well that was the exact predicament I was in.

I looked around for Li Tat in those slow-motioned seconds but I couldn't find him then I looked at Princess who somehow didn't seem to notice that my balls were under threat and she just kept going
"Awww... awww... she's scared of the fireworks. She's so cute".

Not realizing that next to the scared dog was her even more scared boyfriend, not because of the fireworks but because he was on the brink of losing his jewels.

A few more seconds passed and I felt more pressure on my crotch. I don't know much about dogs so I didn't know how much strength a Golden Retriever would have on its paws and what they were capable of but when you have so much at stake, you always think about the worst. I could already feel the nails on her paw. Not knowing what to do, I sat there helplessly and watched my life flash before me when suddenly....

The fireworks stopped!!! And Smuffy got off.

It was then that I had snapped out of it long enough to tell Princess what had happened and what she had failed to notice.

All she did was let out a big laugh. Don't you think girlfriends sometimes take some minor things very seriously and yet somehow don't take the really important things seriously at all?

I mean if Smuffy had done the same thing on her Miu Miu purse, she would've flipped!!! You can always buy another purse but you can't buy another... well.... you know...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Nuffnang Footprints Wall

So we were all in the Nuffnang KL office the other day trying to figure out how to improve our office. We had some ideas, like having a PS3 with Band Hero (just like the Nuffnang SG office), to upgrading our pantry to loads of other stuff. Some things we did manage to do. Like we got this coffee machine that now dispenses Nescafe, Milo, Green Tea and Teh Tarik. All the Nuffies have to do is press a button and every Nuffie can have as many cups as they want.

Then we were also thinking of how to decorate our walls a bit better. Maybe put up some pictures of our events and etc etc. Until we all had an idea! Since we're a social media company which is in turn all about user-generated content, we decided to allow our bloggers to leave their mark in our office and contribute to how our office will look like. Thought it would be fun.

The result of it is the Nuffnang Footprints (Wall).

We basically made this board and today we put out some announcements for any Nuffnangers to send in their pictures and/or notes so we can put it up on the wall.

We have no idea how it's going to look like after a month; the photos it would have or the notes the Nuffnangers will leave for us. Either ways, I'll post a picture of the wall some time in the future to see how it develops.

If you'd like to leave your mark on our wall, click here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chinese New Year!

Sorry for the lack of updates everyone. It's CNY and I'm in Penang doing what Penangites do on Chinese New Year. CNY is a good time though there are some things that I like and some that I don't.
Things I like:

1) Catching up with family again - I like how Malaysians have the culture of spending one time of the year meeting up with your family again. My family is pretty separated. Some of us in Penang and some overseas so it's one of the few times of the year that we all come back and spend a few days together.

Even the Nuffies take advantage of New Year's to have a meal together.

2) Ang Pow - Although this year I've been getting less because I've seen less relatives this year. My aunty just reminded me that this is probably one of the last few years I'll be getting Ang Pow since I'll probably get married some time in the next few years of my life. You know, getting old already... must settle down. Then I'll be the one giving Ang Pow's instead. Dammit the cost of marriage!

3) Chinese New Year COOKIES - THESE ARE EEEVIL. When I got home and saw all the CNY cookies we had, I went crazy. I can't even remember how many pineapple tarts or peanut cookies I've had in the past 2 days alone but I won't be surprised if it reached 100 of each. It's crazy! Sigh... I'm going to be so fat I know it. My little cousin today poked my stomach and said "Fat...".

I said "Watch when you grow old and your metabolism rate slows down boy!"

And he asked "What's metabolism rate?"

Things I don't quite like about CNY though:

1) How it's SOO JAMMMED IN PENANG! Dammit.. Last night after my CNY dinner, I was driving home at 11.30PM and there was a huge traffic jam from Sunrise roundabout all the way back to Tanjung Bungah. AT 11.30PM ON A SUNDAY NIGHT!!! Then again, it's all caused by people like me... Penangites from outstation that all come home to see family so okayy fine fine, there's a good reason for the jam.

The traffic police also helped quite a bit though. On a CNY long weekend and even at 11.30PM at night, they were directing traffic trying to smoothen out the jam. Well done to the Polis Diraja Malaysia! Thank you for working hard so late at night on a public holiday.

2) How it's always so hot - It's soooo damn hot these few days I can't bear to spend any time outdoors. It's terrible! I wore out my brand new red New Year's shirt and it was drenched in 20 minutes.

3) The Music - I don't quite like the tong tong tong chiang Chinese New Year music. My mum asked me to play it in the house the other day so I started playing a CD. Both my sister and I looked at each other and talked about how we didn't like this kind of music. Just then my uncle and Dad walked past us and said

Something tells me one day when I'm 50 I'll be dancing to this CNY song too and my kids will be thinking the same way about me.

I guess the good and bad come all as a whole package and the truth is, overall I like Chinese New Year. I remember missing Chinese New Year for 3 years while I was in London studying. Just made me feel more homesick, you know being away from family and all.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

London in Pictures

So I was in London for much of last week. Loved being back in London. London's a city where there's just so much to do it'll take a lifetime to finish doing them all. All sorts of shops, markets, museums, musicals and restaurants.

Going to share some pictures here of the trip.

1) The famous Piccadilly Circus.

Probably one of the most famous spots in London.

Almost as famous as this pub.

When I used to study in London I always walked past Piccadilly Circus all the time and kinda took it for granted but back in London as a tourist after all these years, I look up and go... Wow!

Then I just had to take a picture of it.

2) Gotta love London for how some of the buildings looked at night.

I especially like how they light up Selfridges.

3) Even during the day the buildings look so nice.

4) Went to London and had my favourite Persian food restaurant in Bayswater. Think it's called Alounak or something. They basically serve rice with kebab.

Yum it was great!

It's also the kind of thing that you eat and feel extremely terrible after. Bloated and all.

5) My UK friend Julia and Dawn from Singapore joined us.

Julia if you remember is my Hong Kong friend who actually was born and grew up in England. When she speaks Cantonese, she sounds exactly like she's from Hong Kong but she also speaks English with a very very strong English accent.

She told me the first time she heard me speak to her she thought that the English I was speaking sounded funny. Then she came to Malaysia to visit me and she said "Oh no... over here I'm the one who's speaking funny!".

6) For one of the nights there, Ming gave us all a treat at a restaurant called Rhodes. Among the group were Niki, Jojo, Michael, Xiaxue and David who were there for the Project Alpha Season 2 Shoot. Thanks to Adidas Fragrance, P1 and MAS.

The food was expensive and it wasn't great.

Wouldn't recommend it to anyone and the joke is that everyone else I talk to about Rhodes today somehow share the same opinion. One thing I thought was cool though was how they gave the bill in the end in an envelope that said "The Damage".

Here's a picture of Michael and Jojo, the Director and host of Project Alpha.

7) Went to Borough Market too one of those days.

It's one of those markets where they sell a lot of food.

From sausages

To seafood.
Ming wanted to go there to eat the Malaysian Curry they sold there.

While we were queuing up to buy it I saw a very tall guy standing at the side that looked really familiar. Then it dawned on me that it was Barney from "How I Met Your Mother". I was so excited! I wanted to take a picture with him but by the time I had finished buying my Malaysian Curry he walked away :(


See... model Malaysian or not me? Choose Malaysian Curry over a picture with Barney!

Loved the other stuff they had at the market though.

Like this little bakery stall.

Bought back lots of Gingerbread men for the Nuffies.

Wanted to buy a big block of cheese back but decided I would have trouble getting it past customs.

8) Went back to visit my Uni! (University College London).

Apparently the Malaysians at UCL right now are doing a great job with the Malaysian Society there, organizing a big Malaysian Night. I went to the UCL Shop and bought Princess a UCL t-shirt. Why? Because for the past year and a half she often went to sleep wearing a big "Stanford" t-shirt that some frat guy gave to her.

So HMPH! Now she shall go to sleep in a UCL t-shirt that her boyfriend gives her. *possessive*

9) Caught up with some of my UK friends too.

Had ice-cream with Adrian and Julia.

Adrian is from Hong Kong but he was my coursemate in UCL who is probably one of the reasons why I even graduated. After all his hours of patiently tutoring me.

He now works in the Bank of England. High flyer!

Julia works in an insurance company in London.

And she's single... but picky.

10) Being away for one week, Chinese food was a must at least once. So we all went to Chinatown after watching Wicked (the musical) one night for supper.

Look at the feast Ming ordered.

Jojo was hungry.

She didn't even bother taking off her hat.

Ahh gotta love London.

I'm going to miss it and it's really as great as it's hyped up to be if you ask me. You know, all the famous spots in London from Buckingham Palace, to Piccadilly Circus, to the musicals even to this famous pub.

I wanna go back again some time.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Princess!

It's 12AM and I've just given Princess her birthday present.

She's ignoring me now while she transfers her stuff from her old purse to the new one.

Here's the Miu Miu purse she got.

What do you guys think?

Looks totally Purple right! Not pink! How is that pink!!

Happy Birthday Baby!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dining at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants

Ming loves food. To him, the price of food know no boundaries. As long as it's good it's good.

Me on the other hand.... I like food but not enough to spend an obscene amount on it (unless it's a once in a while thing). So knowing that I will refuse to go for any really expensive meals, Ming booked a lunch at Gordon Ramsay's Maze in London without asking me first.

I found out about it first when I saw his tweet on Twitter which went something like "WOOHOO BOOKED A PLACE AT ONE OF GORDON RAMSAY'S RESTAURANTS WITH @TIMOTHYTIAH!"... but he later very casually told me "Eh by the way, we're going to Gordon Ramsay's" for lunch.

I resisted as much as I could but Ming insisted on going (especially since he already gave his credit card details to them). So a few days later I was there.

Finding the restaurant was a whole different thing altogether. Ming and I were looking for it and we walked past it like a few times without even noticing it on the side. The entrance was very low-key. No big signboard, no advertising ... nothing. I guess it didn't need all that to be known.

The place looked really nice. It was empty when we reached because we were early but as lunch hour went on, the place began to really fill up. It became packed with working people dressed in suits all having what looked like business lunches and speaking in English accents. Made me and Ming look damn low class since we were dressed in jeans and t-shirt.

The waiter explained that Maze was a bit of what he called a "savory" restaurant where we try a lot of small small dishes. So we made our orders and this is what we had.

Note: The name of the dishes on the menu were like really really long so I could hardly remember what they were. I'm going to keep it simple. Like a little too simple haha.

Some soup.

Quail that had very little meat on it but tasted out of this world!

Some vegetable thingy I randomly picked (and kinda regretted because it tasted weird).

Pork shoulder.

And this is dessert.

Some mousse thing that looks more like ice-cream than anything.

Throughout the lunch, Ming was busy taking pictures of the food with "The Beast" (what he calls his behemoth of an SLR).

Here's what I think about it overall.

My experience at Maze really made me look at food differently. The experience was just so different. We're so used to knowing how certain things taste. Like if we see char kuay teow, we know what that will taste like. If we see fish, we kinda know what that will taste like but you don't know what to expect when you look at the food in Maze. It's like you look at the quail and you don't know what to expect of how it tastes like and what it eventually does take like is something you've never before tasted.

To make the experience even better, when you put say the food in your mouth, two things happen to you:

1) You instantly feel a burst of all different type of tastes. It's like your tongue buds have an orgasm and you're confused at what you're tasting (because you know you're tasting so many different types of taste) but it feels great.

2) You taste the different phases of something you eat. Like the first 1-2 seconds of putting the food in your mouth you taste something, then between 4-5 seconds you feel a different taste kick in and even after you finish, each dish has a different aftertaste lingering in your mouth.

Ming was happy!

The bill in the end came up to about GBP 40 per head which nearly made me vomit blood when I converted it to RM (about RM225) but Ming and every other Londoner I asked seemed to think it was okay. A good meal in London already costs something like GBP25-30 per head.

To rationalize the price though, I decided that you had to look at it not as a meal but a whole experience. Like a thrill ride for your oral senses. It is after all something that I don't think you can have every day even if you were a billionaire. Plus I can't imagine that there's better food than this but apparently the original Gordon Ramsay restaurant is even more insane. So much that you have to make reservations two months before.

Here's the cool thing about lunch at Maze though. Eventhough the portions were really really tiny, I was very full at the end of the lunch.

Friday, February 05, 2010

New at Nuffnang

In the past couple of months, Nuffnang has been undergoing some new developments. To explain this I would probably have to go into some details of the things we've been doing. Not many people know but Nuffnang throughout the region (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Australia) is owned by the Netccentric Group. (For those of you remember, I blogged about Netccentric more than three years ago even before Nuffnang started)

The Netccentric Group which Ming and I started a few years ago also controls other web companies under the same group, among which are ChurpChurp, Rippelwerkz and another social media startup we've invested in that will be coming up soon. Lots of these companies work hand in hand (some behind the scenes) to make Nuffnang what it is today.

Every growing company reaches a time where it needs to consolidate some of its practices to make it run efficiently so that's what we've been doing in the past few months.

One of the things we've done is starting Nom Nom Media in Malaysia and Singapore.
With the growth of ChurpChurp, we increasingly see a number of advertisers we work with constantly looking at overall social media campaigns that integrate both blogs and Twitter, as opposed to just individual blog or Twitter campaigns. So for that reason (among many others), we decided to start Nom Nom Media to resell both Nuffnang and ChurpChurp and integrating them to come up with overall social media campaigns.

If you're wondering why the name "Nom Nom", click here to see the Malay Mail article on Nom Nom Media.

Nuffnang itself will evolve. Every technology company in this day and age has to evolve quickly or risk being left behind one day. So there are some exciting things that we'll be coming up with in the next few months to ensure Nuffnang keeps up with his growth.

Adding to the team

We've also been on a huge hiring spree adding people on all Nom Nom, Churp Churp and Nuffnang. Here are a few of the Nuffies that joined us this month from Malaysia and Singapore.

From Malaysia

Sara, Nicholas, Rachel and Jacq.


and there's Melody and Dana from Singapore.

While the "Nuffies" as we know everyone to be have always been hired under different companies in the group (Nuffnang, ChurpChurp, Nom Nom, Netccentric, Rippelwerkz and etc etc), to the outside world we've still always been known as Nuffies and we've always worked together as a single team.

The Netccentric Group has grown immensely in the past few years. We've now got 40-50 great staff in the group and we all hope that all we've been working on for the past few months will position us well to keep up with the growth we'll have in the coming years.

To those who have brought us this far: our clients, our bloggers/twitterers and very importantly our partners. Thank you for always having faith in us. The next few years are going to be crazy and believe us when we say we've done all we can to prepare for it now.