Tuesday, 27 July 2010

How do You Find Your Blog Audience?


That’s right: according to the website SocialWebSchool, you don’t find your audience. They find you. Your job, as a blogger, is to make it easy for them to find you when they decide to look for information. It’s a simple formula, but it’s so easy to get off-track.

The following information is on their website, but do check their website to learn about many blogging tips!

Identify your audience, or “Tribe” if you prefer. You’d be surprised how few bloggers even think about this. If you’re writing for one-legged ex-sailors with an unhealthy obsession with white whales, you will need to write differently than if your audience is primarily librarians who recommend books about sailors with an unhealthy obsession with white whales (also, these two groups will face different problems, I would guess).

Understand your audience’s needs, desires, and frustrations. Do NOT assume they are just like you: they aren’t, although you may have some things in common. Do some research. Find bloggers who are already engaging your audience and read their posts and, just as important, read the comments.

Once you understand who they are and what they need, share information that helps them solve a problem. Pick one problem per post. Another day, another problem, another blog post.

Worried you will run out of problems to help your audience solve? Don’t. Your audience will never run out of problems. Collectively, they have more problems, with more variations than you can possibly imagine. If you keep researching your audience (oh, did I forget to mention that’s an ongoing task?), and interact with them, you will discover new things you can help them with.

Their problems (it doesn’t have to be a big problem; it could be a small problem like “where can I find pipe tobacco locally?”) are what send them to Google in search of solutions. If you have created a focused, frequently updated resource of information and search engine magnet by writing blog posts that address their questions and issues, they will find you.

What is an audience?

An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature (in which they are called the "reader"), theatre, music or academics in anymedium. Audience members participate in different ways in different kinds of art; some events invite overt audience participation and others allowing only modest clapping and criticism and reception.

But a blog audience is perhaps a little different, or is it?

Followers of blogs usually follow a blog that is of interest to them, maybe on travel, fashion, cooking, fancy cars, photography or anything else that maybe of interest.

My blog is titled:
my life in Singapore

My thoughts and feelings about my life in Singapore. What we have seen, the places we have been, what we have done and the people we have met.
and that is what it is about ...
people we have met, places we have been, what we have done and what we have seen. But it is also about how to help my fellow Expats, where to find what, how to get where, how we found something, what's on in Singapore, anything I come across that I think will help someone else here in Singapore .... I will blog about!

My most popular blog posting (over the past four years) is on "Taking the bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru" I probably get about 20 - 25 visits per day on that page alone!

This week's most popular page is the one on
the rehearsal fireworks for the National Day Parade. Have had about 90 visits to that page over the past few days.

When the "Great Race" was on TV recently - well a few months ago - I was getting about 25 hits per day just on eating an Ice Cream sandwich, only because they had interviewed one of the Ice Cream uncles along Orchard Rd .... this led to my photographs appearing in the June issue of Food and Travel.

Another popular blog posting is titled:
Would you eat a sandwich with a spoon?, it is about certain foods that require the appropriate utensil. Asian foods are no exception: they seem to taste better eaten with chopsticks!
So if you want to be one of the FOLLOWERS of my blog, then click on the FOLLOW button on the top of the blog page! 

According to my stats, I have had over 200 visits to my blog in the past 24 hours. Including 94 from Singapore, 56 from the US and 19 from Germany ..... and yes I see only 5 from Australia, most unusual as it is normal to only get one or two daily. No one from down there is ever interested in reading what is happening in Singapore!!

But in the past 12 hours I have had visitors from Argentina, Kerala, Vietnam, Hay River in the NorthWest Territories of Canada, Hong Kong, New York, Surrey, Japan, India, Kuala Lumpar as well as many other places.

The referring sites are firstly Singapore Yahoo (big surprise there), then Singapore google, thirdly it is google.com and next comes Facebook.

There are now an estimated 220 million active Internet users worldwide, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, but the value of that audience seems to be falling even as it grows in size and scope.

Web companies like Yahoo, which reaches 35 million users per month in the United States alone, and AOL, which reaches 37 million, have scrambled to replace lost revenue as the value of Internet ads -- and, by extension, of surfers' eyeballs -- has eroded.

But even though the wisdom of plastering banner ads on general interest Web sites may be in question, the Internet audience is still a highly valuable commodity, if it can be harnessed in the right way. As some bloggers have found out .. to their advantage too.

If you do not have a blog and am interested in getting started, click HERE to read the blogger's guide and help page, or HERE to learn how to create a blog.

But let me know how you go and if this blog posting was of any help to YOU!!


Monday, 26 July 2010

a visit to PM Gallery at Batu Besar, Batam, Indonesia

PM Gallery is located at Batu Besar on the island of Batam, Indonesia and specializes in Indonesian crafts, be it candles, garden ornaments, lamps, water features, silk scarves or furniture ..... they have it all. 

If they don't, they can do their best to get it for you!

You can see some of the items in stock by clicking on this small photo here:
PM Gallery

Friday, 23 July 2010

two days at the Singapore Garden Festival

The Singapore Garden Festival was on from 15 to 22 July 2010 for the third time to charm visitors with dazzling show garden and floral displays. Award-winning garden & floral designers from 17 countries transformed Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre into a veritable feast for the eyes. 
The  Festival is the only garden show in the world to bring together award-winning gardening luminaries from all around the globe under one roof.
This year’s Festival showcased 31 masterpieces with countries such as Canada and Grenada making their debut appearance in Singapore. Over 250,000 tropical and temperate plants and 65,000 cut flowers were used for the show. To catch a glimpse of the exquisite displays see display below:

You can REMOVE the ad for "superpoke pets' by clicking on the X 

Also have some images on my flickr site!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Day two at the Singapore Garden Festival.

floral display by children
Originally uploaded by Leone Fabre.

way behind with my blogging, so once again this is just a quick upload of where I have been the past two days!

I have spent 10 hours over the past two days wandering around the Singapore Garden Festival which actually finishes tomorrow.

Yesterday I spent most of the time in just one area - the floral displays - and in particular the displays put on by school children. All were very impressive, like this one.

The ages of the children ranged from 9 years to 17 years.

To see a few more of the images you can check them on flickr:


Today am off to meet a friend for lunch, so will be back here on my blog very soon.


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

at the Garden Festival in Singapore

at the Garden Festival in Singapore
Originally uploaded by Leone Fabre.

Will catch up very soon on the last few days of our trip to the Cameron Highlands......

am just a little busy with attending the Singapore Garden Festival at the moment.

So much to see it is incredible.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

the elusive Rafflesia that was first discovered in 1818

The purpose of our Jungle Trekking or bush bashing adventure?

To hopefully see the rare Rafflesia!

Yes, we went through all that hoping to get a glimpse of the 
corpse flower as it is also known.

we did get to see one or two, but babies, not yet 'hatched' 
and then one that had just died!

All of the known species of Rafflesia are threatened or endangered. 
It is a "Totally Protected Plant" by law in Sarawak, but elsewhere in 
Malaysia it is only safeguarded by laws when found in 
protected areas like National or State Parks.
Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It was discovered in the Indonesian rain forest by an Indonesian guide working for Dr. Joseph Arnold in 1818, and named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the leader of the expedition. It contains approximately 27 species (including four incompletely characterized species as recognized by Meijer 1997), all found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay PeninsulaBorneoSumatra, and the Philippines.
The plant has no stems, leaves or true roots. It is an endoparasite of vines in the genus Tetrastigma (Vitaceae), spreading its root-like haustoria inside the tissue of the vine. The only part of the plant that can be seen outside the host vine is the five-petaled flower. In some species, such as Rafflesia arnoldii, the flower may be over 100 centimetres (39 in) in diameter, and weigh up to 10 kilograms (22 lb). Even the smallest species, R. manillana, has 20 cm diameter flowers. The flowers look and smell like rotting flesh, hence its local names which translate to "corpse flower" or "meat flower" (but see below). The vile smell that the flower gives off attracts insects such as flies and carrion beetles, which transport pollen from male to female flowers. Little is known about seed dispersal. However, tree shrews and other forest mammals apparently eat the fruits and disperse the seeds. 
The 'babies' are just a few months old.....

Rafflesia is an official state flower of Indonesia, also Sabah state in Malaysia, as well as for the Surat Thani ProvinceThailand.
The name "corpse flower" applied to Rafflesia is confusing because this common name also refers to the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) of the family Araceae. Moreover, because Amorphophallus has the world's largest unbranched inflorescence, it is sometimes mistakenly credited as having the world's largest flower. Both Rafflesia and Amorphophallus are flowering plants, but they are still distantly related. Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest single flower of any flowering plant, at least when one judges this by weight. Amorphophallus titanum has the largest unbranched inflorescence, while the Talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera) forms the largest branched inflorescence, containing thousands of flowers; this plant is monocarpic, meaning that individuals die after flowering.

The flower lives only for 7 days.
Rafflesia arnoldii is rare and fairly hard to locate. It is especially difficult to locate the flower in forests as the buds take many months to develop and the flower lasts for just a few days. The flowers are unisexual and thus proximity of male and female flowers is vital for successful pollination. These factors make successful pollination a rare event.

So yes .... we did get to see the Rafflesia, but not at it's best!

Am happy that I did this trek and to see what we did ...... hopefully I will one day get to see it in all it's glory!

Click on the following links to read about our adventures:

The Muddy Drive
The start of our adventurous day.

The Hard part of our adventurous day!

Stray tuned for our visit to the Boh Tea Plantation ....

update (JAN 2011)

a few links that maybe of interest to you:

Fly Over: NDP 2010 Rehearsal Show 2

Fly Over: NDP 2010 Rehearsal Show 2
Originally uploaded by Leone Fabre.

Last night - July 17 2010 - we went to the second rehearsal for National Day 2010.

Took this image with the wide angle lens. hence the odd looking buildings and skyline.

In this image you can see the Singapore Flyer on the left, then the MBS (Marina Bay Sands) to the right, the newest and most expensive Casino / Hotel in Singapore.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The hard part our adventurous day .....


did you read the blog about our very muddy drive in the Cameron Highlands?

did you read the blog posting on the start of our adventurous jungle trek?


well then link back to these first before you go any further:

The Muddy Drive

The start of our adventurous day.

Good, now you have the general picture of the five of us ladies doing some Bush Bashing!!

But after the little trek across the Bamboo Bridge the going got tough, really tough  ....... BUT, the tough got going, which was more important!

I really must say here that we all supported one another and I doubt anyone of us would have continued on with the trek had it not been for the care and support from each and everyone of us.  I had more support than I thought possible, if it was not for Christine grabbing my hand every now and then ... I would have given up.

If Susan was not at the other end of that log across the river, I would never have made it across.

Though each of us were much stronger than we thought we were.

Christine has done much more bushwalking than any of us, Suxin has done more mountain climbing (I think!) but we were 'as one' on this adventure into the Cameron Highlands on Wednesday June 30 2010.

and then we managed to see (some of) the Raffelsia - but next blog post will be about what we saw and what we didn't see!!

On the way back down we stopped for a well earned rest and some refreshing bamboo juice.

at this point I am sure you would have realised that only four of us were enjoying the fresh taste of pure bamboo juice ...... in some of these images you will see Susan in the background recording all this hilarity!

The driver (Raja) and our guide had to walk into the jungle BAREFOOT to get the bamboo that was full of the juice just for us.....

after seeing 'dead flowers' .... we had to start the trek back again ... an hour of walking thru mud, climbing over tree's, crossing the river, scrambling up the muddy 'mountain', grabbing the bamboo stick as we slithered down as well, watching out for 'creepy crawlies' of all shapes and sizes .....

and just generally looking after each other too.

we arrived back at our vehicle and ready to head to the Boh Tea Plantation....

more to follow soon...

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Friday, 16 July 2010

day two of our adventurous week in the Cameron Highlands!

This trip is based on expedition style, good fitness is required.

Trails are raw and undeveloped.

Please Be advised that this trip is not one of those 
run-of-the-mill packages 
and require some time to prepare.

This is no sugar coated jaunt.

One needs reasonable fitness to trek lofty hillside, 
cross streams and brave dense foliage that have 
kept exotic and rare flora and fauna hidden for eons.

If you are game, we will take good care of you. 
All we ask is that you exercise and work on 
leg muscles 2 weeks ahead of departure to 
avoid cramps and fatigue during the trek.

OK, so I read this days AFTER we had done our jungle trekking expedition.
and then I read this bit:
We have had participants as young as 8 years old 
and as old as 62 years old!
and I even felt pretty damn proud of myself, 'cos I will be 65 in just two weeks ... so now I must be their oldest participant.  :-)

I had organised a private 'day trip' for the Wednesday we were to be in the Cameron Highlands. By "we" I mean myself and 4 of my friends (Suxin, Suzie, Susan, Christine and myself) I was under the impression we had booked an 8 hour private tour to see the Raffelsia Flower, the Tea Plantation and the Strawberry Farm. I had already given the others an itinerary so they could choose what they wanted to see on this particular day, so those three destinations were on our priority list!

Our driver picked us up at The SmokeHouse Hotel at 9.00am on the designated day. At no time was it mentioned that we would be "jungle trekking" nor what was in store for us .... had we known, I doubt any of us would have continued with our 'private tour'!!
But having said that and with hindsight ...... I am very glad I did.

Our first stop was at the drivers own home where his mother gave us tea. This was very pleasant, but we were left wondering - why?

When asked he said that it was too early to start the trek up the mountain and it would be better to wait a bit ..... we accepted that, but was a little 'suspicious' as to the reason.

After this he took us to the local village and said we could take photos of the village and children ... we felt extremely uncomfortable with this and asked him to take us on our journey. But he insisted on us seeing the local Orang Asli people so they could do a demonstration of their blow pipe hunting techniques. He offered each of us a turn at this ..... Christine and Suxin were they only ones to take him up on this offer and both did very well ... I think the men were very surprised!  
OK you guys ..... don't mess with us!!

We got into the LandRover to continue on our journey. He stopped a short time later suggesting we use the "modern toilet" as it is better to use this than use the jungle. OK ... I agree with that ...... so I got out and opened the door ......
perhaps I was the only one that 'needed' to use this facility as none of the others were game enough to attempt the effort of doing so!!

Then we started on the track up into the jungle area's of central Malaysia:

We were in a reliable Land Rover for good reason, as we found ourselves struggling up the hillside along a track of deep, soft and very wet mud.  After a few breathtaking moments, I could hear the varied comments from the others as to their safety and well being .... also at this point realised that none of them had ever done and 4 x 4 driving before!! No wonder they were nervous!!

But do click HERE to read all about our muddy drive!!

After about an hour of this driving he parked the vehicle and we were ready to start our jungle trekking ..... but were we? 

With many kilometre's of unmarked trail, the deep forested ground is rarely explored by outsiders. 

The Orang Asli, who hunt with blow pipes, walk in and out of the jungle on a daily basis, but this is jungle 'rarely explored by outsiders', so what are we?

so we started out by first walking across this bamboo 'bridge' held together with bits of rope and string ......

The journey was continued on foot under the supervision of the driver and a guide from the local village. We start the deep jungle trekking through hillside jungle perched 400m / 1200ft above sea level. Along the trek, the guide taught us a thing or two about jungle survival knowledge and did point out interesting flora and fauna.

the continuation of this adventure will be in the next blog posting ......

ROBERTS + NORMAN wedding - July 16 1921

ROBERTS + NORMAN wedding - July 16 1921
Originally uploaded by Leone Fabre.

89 years ago today my grandparents were married at St Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

Frederick William James ROBERTS born. 21 Dec 1900 at St Kilda, Melbourne Australia.
May Eileen Rose NORMAN born 16 Nov 1900 at St Kilda, Melbourne Australia.
Married at St Kilda on 16 July 1921 and had 4 children.

My grandfather was an avid photographer and he often took me with him on his photography walks!!! I often wonder what he would be thinking today of digital cameras and computers as he died in 1972 he knew nothing of either.

He started off as a projectionist and one of the first men in Melbourne to run a movie theatre. By the late 1950's he had six theatres around Melbourne at various times.