My 2010 - The Year That Was: Part 2
Two days ago, I post part one of my 2010 retrospective. Like last year, I decided to split it into two because, er, it’ll be too long a blog post if I did all 12 months in one. Now, let’s get to it, shall we?
The picture above was taken after the last session at the Asian Blogger’s and Social Media Conference. I was one of the speakers at the two-day event – other speakers include Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandez and my friends Kenny, Nazuwan and Joyce. Those of us up there, including my friends Marina Mahathir next to me and Foong Cheng Leong, were part of a panel discussion.
This event was probably one of the more high profile events I’ve been invited to speak at, and there were quite a few this year including one on social media for business in Johor Baru and Kuching. I really enjoy these talks as I get to meet people, exchange ideas and catch up with old friends.
This year has been a year of trips for me. Never before have I travelled to so many cities in the world (both internationally and domestically) in a year. In July, I visited Poland for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup. I chose this trip, out all of all my trips for the year, because it was a work trip but I had a great time learning about new technologies and I was totally moved and inspired by the passion of the participants. Then there is also the group of friends I made – dressed up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs above. A blog post from Poland here.
Among the other places I visited, which were highlights, had to be South Africa in April, Egypt in October (both courtesy of Nestle Drumstick) and France in September. Some were work related and some were holidays.
Earlier in the year, my good friend David Lian and I were having lunch and we were talking about an attempt to get a Malaysian hashtag trending on Twitter. It’s been done for sure – like with #yorais or when Yasmin Ahmad passed away (and most recently with Khairul Fahmi during the AFF Suzuki Cup Final) but there was never a concerted effort to create a hashtag for that sole reason.
Like with Khairul’s, the Yasmin Ahmad trending was really because of an event. With #yorais, it just sort of happened. So we talked about it a bit and thought that Merdeka Day was a good time as any. I called a few friends from Starbucks, GSC, RandomAlphabets and Topshop to get some goodies to reward Twitterjaya as a R.AGE project for work. I thought we would trend later in the afternoon (when the US were asleep) but we trended in the middle of the night – twice! It was quite a moment. Read about it here.
Last year, I turned 30 and had a massive celebration. This year’s birthday celebration was much more subdued – close friends, mussels and the cold weather. I was in London, my favourite city in the world, after a trip to France and thought I’d celebrate my birthday with my best friend Adam, a couple of cousins and other close friends who live there. It was truly special. Read the blog post here.
After the London trip, I stopped by Paris for a couple of days before catching a flight home. On my first night, I went to the Eiffel Tower in the evening only to be there right at the moment when they decided to evacuate the area due to a bomb threat. I started Twittering about the event while lead to CNN picking up on the story. There were a few phone calls, a few almost attempts of me speaking to them live on TV but that didn’t happen in the end. They did quote me in their online story though. BBC and CNN in the same year, not bad eh? More pictures from the incident here.
A few months ago, my friend and former classmate John Lim asked if I was interested in being involved in a podcast show. I’ve never been on one before although I have heard a few. I was a podcast virgin. Well, in his efforts to build a local podcast empire (and he will too – mark my words!), John brought together four people including David Wang and David Lian, to create the Life On Line Show (#LOLshow) – a weekly podcast about social media and all things on the Web, with a local twist. You can listen to the most recent episode here and visit our site to find out how you can win a Blackberry Curve 3G. Thanks to John for the opportunity, and to the two Davids for being such great co-anchors on the show.
I didn’t get a chance to do much running this year. With all my travelling, it was hard to be in town when there were runs happening, let alone find time to train. I did participate in the KL Marathon (but only ran 10K, as I usually do) in the middle of the year and that was it. I also injured myself doing that run, so I took it easy for a while. So I was pretty thrilled when Nike decided to organise a 10K run in KL, as a spinoff from the Human Race 10K events they’ve been running globally for the past two years.
It was because of the Human Race that I picked up running (I ran the past two years in Singapore, thanks to Nike) so I was really looking forward to doing the KL one. Only shame was that I couldn’t head to Singapore two weeks after that to participate in my annual Singapore run “pilgrimage” as I was in Egypt. I blogged about the Nike City Run Kuala Lumpur here.
I finally made it to the cover of KLUE magazine! I’ve been featured a couple of times in the magazine, even wrote for it before, but never been on the cover (not that I make cover of magazines that often). Not many people know but KLUE was one of the first places I interviewed to work when I returned from Australia after my studies. In this cover story (that I share with several others), I was asked to reflect on one of the streets I grew up at in Bangsar. This was the second last physical issue of KLUE (which is sad) so I’m glad to have made it before the end.
In June, I was invited to a photoshoot for a campaign to spread awareness for HIV/AIDS. The organisers – Ruumzcauses and PT Foundation – had brought together 42 local personalities including Sheila Majid, Tiara Jacquelina, Amber Chia, Asha Gill and more to pose with messages we wanted to spread. There were two reasons for these pictures: first, it was to encourage others to take similar pictures of themselves (you can still upload them here), and secondly, our photos would be put together into a calendar that would be sold in aid of PT Foundation.
HIV and AIDS has always been a cause close to my heart since I was in college so I was more than honoured to be invited. You can read the blog post here.
After being featured in August Man’s Men of the Year lineup and the Martell Rising Media Personality Award last year, I didn’t think that there was any more place for me in that context in local magazines. Then I got a phone call from Lennard, then the editor of M2 Malaysia, about his Leading Men of 2010 edition and that he wanted me in it. I had a good time at the shoot – it was with two old friends – and caught up with others like Zain HD and Grey Yeoh, who I don’t get to catch up with often enough. Not a bad way to end the year, no?
Well, that’s my year. I’d saw it was quite awesome, wouldn’t you. I’m so honoured, privileged and grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in the last 12 months. There were bad times of course but I prefer to focus on the good. Makes life so much better, I think.
A new year, and new decade, is only two days away. I can’t wait to start all over again. Hope your 2010 has been equally, if not more fruitful, as mine has.
10.05pm Malaysian time (+8 GMT)