What did BlogOut2007 mean to me? To me it was a huge mega project. It was my " baby ". Just a couple of days after I joined The Digital Movement, MingYeow had thrown me the task of organizing this event.
At first I was super apprehensive. But to be honest, Nexus was such a huge event that I was intimidated by Ming Yeow and the team. Crap, I have to do this good, if not I'd be so dead... Moreover, Ming Yeow had given me this task in the midst of my preparation for the exams. I was really "kancheong". Insecurities came creeping up "Am I capable enough?" , "What if I screw up?"...
But I bit the bullet, you know what, screw it, you only get to live once right? Let's just shoot for this, you never know until you try right? RIGHT... little did I know that I was in for the ride of my life... Let me tell you EXACTLY how this story unfolds for me, and you can be the judge.
That night, I actually sat down, scribbled down a rough agenda and emailed Divya and Walter about this event. Then I mailed them out to the TDM team. Waited and waited.. just 2 responses. What the hell? Is this the way the team works. No one seems to be supporting this event, in fact some didn't even know what the hell I was talking about. Damn.
Tried to raa raa the team a bit, but seemed like my efforts were futile. Suyuen and Wayne seemed really supportive but really, no one else really showed interest. Some even flamed the idea... *argh*. Why was I even asked to do this when no one even seemed interested in this idea? I was new to the team, did not understand the team dynamics, was left utterly confused. This then transpired into Wayne calling me a couple of nights after, telling me that being new to the team, I did not understand how to team worked. I had always been used to the top down approach, where there was a clear leader, clear objectives and all that. TDM did not work this way, people churned out ideas together, there was no one person in charge. To be brutally honest, I wasn't so much angry at everyone, but more like I was really taken aback. I mean what the hell, I had put so much work in the midst of my exams and then being told like we should scrap all those ideas and start from scrap. *expletive*
So the journey began for me.. learning more about how the team worked and how they churned out ideas. Truly I took some time to get used to the way they worked and I was struggling within. I didnt want to offend anyone. Many a time, I felt I didn't know anyone within the team and it was difficult for me to reach out for others to help me. I felt really alone and like I was carrying the entire weight on my shoulders. Still many people questioned the objectives of BlogOut, with someone even asking me "Are you doing this because you want to, or is it because MingYeow wanted you to?" That remark truly hurt, because after trying to plan so hard, BlogOut truly became part of me, and as much as others didn't believe in me, I wanted SO MUCH to make it work. BlogOut truly was something I grew to love, I had passion in its cause and I really believed that the many blogging communities out there had a lot to share and if I worked hard at this, I could make it work. Despite all these, I had to tell myself and remind myself of the greater cause behind this..
I need to commend these people for their invaluable help. Really, awesome awesome people. Peter Du, Chern Jie, Suyuen. These 3 people were the corner stone behind Blogout2007. If it is anybody I'd be totally indebted to, these 3 are the heroes behind blogout2007. They talked the talk and walked the walk. They said what they did and did what they said. Without them, this would be truly impossible. Impossible, impossible impossible. Something I've learnt is that it isn't the loudest people or people who say the most that matter, but its the people with the softest voice but work hard behind the scenes that make the whole lot of difference. From the bottom of my heart, thank you guys! You were the ones that help me ease my frustration and gave me the much needed support during the whole event planning. Cannot overemphasize this at all.
Somehow, in time we began to get more traction from the team, thanks to Wayne Meow and Zen. Since they had been with the team longer, they were able to garner more support than I was so we began to pick up pace. Sponsors such as Microsoft, Nuffnang soon came on board and we started to gain momentum with the help of Mike, who helped with sponsorship. It was truly great meeting Ming of Nuffnang and Nic of Microsoft. Truly they are the BEST people to work with -- easy and the passion they had for what they did shined. It was truly encouraging meeting them -- drove me more towards making BlogOut2007 something I thrived on, dreamt of and breathed in.
The Wiki site was awesome, we started getting a lot of responses and the people from Ping.sg and tomorrow.sg started to help us publicize the event. Joe Augustin, Julen and Jennifer Lewis from STOMP and Debbie Cai and Gang from Marketing-Interactive agreed to attend the event. These really helped us ramp up and ZaoBao picked up our story.
Websg.org soon also agreed to join us and Moblog soon fell in as well. It was exciting seeing these huge blogging communities lending their support. Preetam, Uzyn and Kevin Lim were extremely helpful in feedback and being very supportive. KUDOS to them. Guys, you rock!
Everything just seemed to happen so quickly.... everyday after work rushing out to meet sponsors, to plan logistics with geek terminal, this that, this that. It was as a full time job, but one I truly loved and lived for. It was awesome, the rush of the build up to the event, tiring yet energizing... the TDM team soon coming to life. More people believed in it and people started to trickle in giving their full support. Became more encouraging we soon knew we were on to something GREAT.
Throughout the preparation phase, I felt a roller coaster of emotions. I felt angry, disappointed, happy, encouraged and supported, stupid, proud, ignored, insane, afraid, excited. Truly, these were the emotions that plagued me. Angry: at the team who seemed to ignore me despite me pleading with them to help. Disappointed: From those people who did not believe in the vision of Blogut2007. Happy: CJ, SY, Zen, Mike, Meow, Swati, Kevin, Bill, Walter, Peter, Wayne's help. Encouragement and support: Ping's interest. Happy at how much they believed in me and offered their help. Sometimes much more than the team I was working with. Stupid: At how incompetent I was... Why can't I get things right? Have to change and change the plans, having people disagree so much, having people agreeing so much. Why so many things to handle? Why can't everyone agree? Proud: What the hell. Screw you all, if you all don't agree and if all of you have conflicting thoughts, I'll do it my way and I'll show you. Ignored: Where are you all? I thought you promised to help? Insane and afraid: Will I be able to pull this off? Will sponsors back out? Will we fall flat on our faces? Will we have enough time to get everything done on time? Will i get screwed over last minute by the internet connection? Excited: The day before THE WHOLE TEAM actually turned up. Everyone seemed to believe in it and wanted to truly help pit. Suddenly we were working as one. ONE vision, One dream. One thing to achieve. We were as ONE. Piotr and Scott came along and although they were not from the team, they acted as if they were. They believed in me. Funny how those who believe in you are those whom you weren't that close to in the beginning. From this we truly grew, our friendship developed. Shout out to Piotr and Scott for being the pillar for me. Piotr had stayed with me late for 2 nights before the event. How many girls can boast of hot guy waiting for them without complaining.... you really can tell a lot about a person when they stand by you huh?
With that being said, I remember feeling washed out, tired, and alone at times. But others, it felt like I was riding on a wave of high.... I don't know how better to describe it. It was times like these of confusion that Bill Claxton came in and to help and encourage us. To inspire and teach me to look at the bigger picture and engage the crowd. Thank you, Bill.
Too soon enough... 24th May came. I'll blog about this more when I have collected my thoughts.
To close, I will not forgive myself if I miss out these people who have been truly monumental:
CJ: No one beats your commitment to BlogOut2007
Peter: Your willingness to serve and step up has been inspirational
Scott: For your believe in me
Piotr: For your believe and patience
Suyuen: For your encouragement. You are a friend I can call on, for sure. You worked from M'sia, fighting with me for this cause
Zen, Wayne and Meow: For doing so much behind the scenes
Bill and Kevin: Your feedback and thoughts have made Blogout2007 possible. I owe it to you all -- helping me and encauraging TDM as a team
Ping: Without you, what would BlogOut be??
Walter, Yokeching, Preetam, Uzyn: For being so obliging and for your encouragement
Stomp, Marketing interactive, websg.org, Microsoft, Nuffnang Exoro: For your attendance, which drew th masses
Foo, Danny, Chris, Irene from Geek Terminal: Your support and assistance.
James Seng: Your post on Tomorrow.sg
MY PARENTS: For being there, most of all. And for coming to support me when blogging was something alien.