Four local bloggers have flown to Kota Kinabalu yesterday to attend the Borneo Bloggers and New Media Dialogue, a social gathering of 100 bloggers from Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan, the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam.
The event is expected to focus on networking, collaboration and dialogue on case studies, ideas, trends, best practices and issues relating to bloggers and the new media in Borneo. Eleven speakers will be presenting including two of the local bloggers, Reeda Malik, owner of anakbrunei.org and Kamarul Dzaman Hj Ajimain, the man behind geekinwhite.com.
In an interview with the Bulletin yesterday, the two well-established local bloggers both expressed apprehension as well as excitement, saying that it was the first time they'd be attending such an event overseas and representing their home country.
Kamarul, one of the eight finalists of the latest Borneo Bloggers Awards, will be delivering a presentation on the blogging scene in their home country as well as bloggers' activities within the community.
He stated his intention of delivering a positive message regarding blogging, an activity which he claimed was often perceived as "time-wasting" or "anti-social". Kamarul said blogging can bring good opportunities to promote the good image of the country.
"The opportunities to meet new people, share or learn new things with them are simply priceless. It might not be rewarded monetarily, but the chances of gaining something good out of it is a possibility," he said.
Kamarul further said that his reasons for setting up a blog had always been "connecting with people" and trying to find ways to enhance knowledge and establish relationships with others.
"I hope that by meeting other Borneo bloggers, I could foster future collaborations with those in Borneo, be it (through) more dialogue or maybe a charity drive event. Blogging and New Media is a very exciting venture, and there are so many ways to get positive results out of it," he stated.
Reeda Malik, for his part, will be giving a presentation entitled, "Branding yourself in the age of Web 2.0: A conversation".
"In this age of the Internet, information flows at a mind-numbing rate and the possibility of information overload is certainly high," said Reeda. "How does one capture the attention of an audience that has attention spans measured in nano-seconds? Once you capture their attention, how do you retain it and keep them coming back for more?
"As a blogger, I think it's important to keep up with the latest developments in social media such as Twitter, Foursquare, and so on," he added. "As with many other activities, the importance of staying agile cannot be emphasised enough."
Reeda said he looked forward to gaining the experience of having spoken to a group of peers from Borneo and hearing their stories and feedback.
"But more than experience, I am looking forward to meeting these peers face-to-face and establishing networks with them, which is what it is all about, online and offline," he further said. "It's all about establishing and maintaining ties with people."