Live from X Media Labs @ NTU Singapore

xml_logo.jpgBernard and Sriram are the other livebloggers for this event. If you are lazy to read, Justin’s the photoblogger here. The official event blog is here. Check out the coverage for the earlier part of the day here and here.

There’s a significant number of prominent personalities in the local digital media space here. I just caught up with ex-STOMP editor Jennifer Lewis and also MDA’s Interactive Digital Media head Michael Yap outside. There’s also a number of local media entrepreneurs which I managed to catch up with last evening developing games and producing content for the web and mobile universes.


NewsFLASH! There;s also a post-event party tonight at Minstry of Sound thrown into the event upon feedback from attendees. Cheers to Megan Elliot who has made it all comne together, its ging to be a fanstastic opportunity to mingle with the other folks here in less stuffy environ. =)

There’s about a 100 attendees at this event, mostly entrepreneurs and practitioners from the various media companies around the world. There’s surprisingly few students at this event which I consider a pity as it will be great from an educational perspective providing exposure to what happens in the digital arts space outside of this lil island nation.

The current talk is about the evolution of Chinese art and the current development of digital art inside CHina by Prof Lin Hua from Tsinghua University. According to his bio, he is the dean of artsthere and has contributed his art works as diplomatic gifts through the Chinese government.


Ou Ning kicked off his presentation on “Creative Noise” with a video show about CHina’s young generation “Getting it Louder!”. More on Ou Ning’s project here. It comprises of clips of Chinese youths in their natural habitats of shopping centres interacting with the “Get it Louder” exhibitions. Ou Ning proceeds to show examples of the exhibits and I think my friend Justin has taken some photos of them which I hope to put it up here later.


We are watching a machinima clip that seems to be produced by Second Life citizen China Tracy. Its a story of courtship with themes of solitude and emptiness that perhaps describes some of the motivations for urbanites seeking companionship online. An utopianistic fantasy island within Second Life is profiled in the next video clip. Its a mash of structures and buildings evoking imageires of images of CHina such as the Shanghai skyline, the Beijing Olympics Birds Nest satadium, a floating bicycle wheel, flames from some power station, a large workers’ hat , the La Defense building in Paris orbits around the Forbidden City embedded within this island. Strangely, this island reminds me of Kevin Costner’s WaterWorld, albeit much cooler and the pproduction costs (of this video) less expensive.. 😉


Next up is the team behind Singapore Press Holding’s digital media efforts. Felix Soh, deputy editor of Straits Times and Jennifer Lewis (previously of STOMP! the user-generated content portal) will be talking about their efforts in building an online community and how to make that leap from offline print to online. There’s 240+ slides in his presentation, I hope he’s not going to go through them all..*groan* Many people have had their strong opinions about STOMP, there’s going to be a Chinese clone as well called OMY.

News break from Felix — Breaking news coming up will be a story on a Singaporean shot in the legs inside Myanmar! Shot by 40MM anti-riot weapon and then kicked into the drain, allegedly with his wife too. Pictures of his injuries were sent in anonymously this morning to STOMP — Straits Time’s citizen journalism effort. Its great to hear they regard this as a laboratory and continual work in progress and take pride in the fact its a living and breathing media organism. “DON’T COOK, KEEP THEM RAW” is their mantra to keeping content edgy. Only then will mainstream media appreciate the dynamic nature of interacting with real people whose minds and thoughts shift and cannot be captured in its entirety on any static sheet of paper or webpage.


Formerly Head of R&Dof China’s online gaming titan Shanda, Monte Singman, takes the stage. He is currently co-founder of Radiance Digital Entertainment (Linkedin profile). He has been in gaming for 21 years, sold his company to Shanda which explains his involvement there and was even involved in that legendary name most Gen Y pple of my age knew — Streetfighter!! THere are 44 million gamers in CHina, 90% are online gamers, and most are services, not products, since the latter is less likely to be pirated easily. There is a new trend of gamers playing from homes than from cafes. There are more broadband users in CHina than in United States. People who grew up during Cultural Revolution are learning to use computers and that demographic is a fast-growing one with car games being very popular. In terms of geographical composition of CHinese gamers, 44% are from provinces/ county capitals, 12% are from coastal cities, 31% are from 2nd/ 3rd tier cities. In terms of MMORPG players by occupation, there are equally as much professionals as there are students, which means some pple are not working. 😉 The ARPU of the average Chinese gamer is 200RMB per month, substantial in terms of Chinese standards, almost US$200 in terms of disposeable income within China.


This guy is phenomenal. I think he’s talking about me – the young of today, doing what we believe in and living out experiences when we are young, rather than regretting and musing in old age about the things we COULD have done in our youth. =) sorry, ego trip here for a while. This person is Suresh Seetharaman from Virgin Comics.


Assia from Ministry of Sound TV is up next. MOS TV was started in November 2006 and takes the famous superclub into new territories. MOS TV started from IPTV and is also on terrestrial TV now. It seeks to be the leading digital portal of dance music, pitting it close to MTV turf.

Assia goes on to lay out her business strategy for the audience. Awesome stuff as she obviously has lots of passion in what she is doing. She’s particularly impressed in Singapore being the 4th most connected nation in the world (in terms of broadband) and how we are ranked #1 in the world in terms of ease of doing business. MOS TV’s entry into Singapore has great timing, what with the first Formula 1 race next year, our new casinos in 2010-11 and its expected influx of sophisticated, club-going consumers. Its strong brand will jive up the local media and entertainment landscape and provide more impetus to startups and current industry titans like St James Power Station (an IPO expected early next year on the Singapore Stock Exchange) and Zouk.


Last act of today’s play — Amit Anand of Venture Gurus. They are not a venture capital firm but more of a consultancy service provider in terms of industry knowledge and connections. Sounds like a “startup mentorship” provider to me. Their focus in currentinly in Singapore and Mumbai but will extend to Australia and London soon. This sounds more like a commercial pitch of their company and their operations.