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Thank you for your patience, and interest, and see you there,
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29 June 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

Vigilante justice, blogger-style (TODAy, 20060329)

Well, I certainly am a convert - that's we've brought our ranting to a new level, organised ranting that is. Let's see more catty blogs! c


This story was printed from TODAYonline Vigilante justice, blogger-style Have computer will condemn – poor car parkers be warned Wednesday • March 29, 2006 Mr Miyagi YOU'RE looking for a parking space at Suntec City and there it is — a red Subaru parked across two lots. Makes your blood boil, doesn't it? Now, you can take a picture of the offending car and send it to Parking Idiots in Singapore (parkingidiots.blogspot.com), a blog inspired by the American website, Parking Idiots (www.parkingidiots.com), where the tagline reads: "Your parking is our amusement." Not merely for amusement, the Singapore edition of Parking Idiots contains photographs of cars parked illegally or just without consideration for other car park users. And there is apparently no shortage of idiot drivers — at last count, there were 33 photographs posted on the site, and more than 5,000 visitors since the blog was created at the start of the month. The blog's author claims that various requests have been made to up the ante on "parking idiots", and one suggestion has been to create a "parking idiot" label that one can slap on badly parked cars. "Parking Idiot — if you can't park, don't drive! You have been caught on camera. Check parkingidiots.blogspot.com to see your photo on the Internet," reads one of the suggested labels. Be afraid! Even marginally bad parking is not let off the hook. Next to one photo of an idiotically (albeit legally) parked car is the comment: "This kind of idiot driver we normally forgive, because he is still within his lot — but just squeezing the next lot enough to make the next driver squirm." Until recently, the cars in the photographs on the blog had their registration plates blurred out, but apparently, after getting legal advice, the blog's author intends to accede to readers' requests that number plates be shown. "I am stepping up the blogsite a notch by henceforth NOT masking the plate numbers of the cars, unless specifically requested by the contributor of the photo," the author declares. If you still wonder whether the community at large has any use for blogs, take a look at bloggers like these who you could say position themselves as "community watchdogs". There's a dirty, clogged drain on Anson Road in front of Tanjong Pagar Plaza. Do you call the National Environment Agency (NEA) to complain or write a letter to the press? Neither — you take a photograph, start a blog and write an entry about it. There's a blog called "Singapore Town Councils" (towncouncils.blogspot.com), which pitches itself as a "community service for all residents of Singapore's Town Councils". Created on March 9, it invites readers to contribute comments or photos, "if you see any incident that you feel needs highlighting (whether a shortcoming of your Town Council or a commendation)". The four entries so far detail places under Town Council jurisdiction which, the blog claims, are not being maintained properly by the local Town Councils and the NEA. Blogger Jeff also tracks letters of complaints to the press on sanitation issues, including responses, if any, from the relevant Government agencies. Jeff — 51-year-old father Jeffrey Ho Loon Poh — has also created Singapore Alert (singapore-alert.blogspot.com), where Singaporeans can raise issues or give suggestions on "issues that may threaten the continuing existence of Singapore", such as bird flu, terrorism or the country's water supply. Then there's his Dengue Alert blog (denguealert.blogspot.com), which at the height of the dengue outbreak last year kept track of potential mosquito breeding areas — with the help of the public — and alerted the authorities. Jeff's blogs may just become useful repositories for complaints made by the community to Government agencies. Of course, there are bloggers who write about community issues, but don't dedicate an entire blog to a particular cause. You do not have to do that to be heard; there are things called blog aggregators, which put similar threads from other blogs into one place. A good place to start looking at Singaporeans writing about community issues is the frequently-updated Singapore Database (www.singaporedatabase.com/ community_currentissues_others.htm). Mr Miyagi has been entertaining readers at miyagi.sg for over a year, and believes that Joo Chiat might have been saved sooner if those campaigning for the sleaze to be cleaned up had had a blog.








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