04 October 2009

TV: Bloggers exposed

TV: Bloggers exposed

Online TV series Project Alpha seeks to uncover Malaysia’s top bloggers, writes

IF you have often wondered about the prominent bloggers in Malaysia, Jojo Struys is giving you a sneak peek in her new online TV series, Project Alpha.

Airing daily on hitz.fm and nuffnang.com (the show debuted last Friday), the fast-paced and lifestyle series features seven of Malaysia’s top bloggers with seven three-minute episodes each.

Produced by Struys, Project Alpha is said to be the first online TV show to unveil the lives and real faces of Malaysia’s top bloggers from behind the computer screen — from what makes them tick to how they gain inspiration for their writing to capture the attention of many online visitors.

Emphasising that every blogger is unique, the show will highlight how they gain popularity as opinion leaders on various issues, ranging from fashion and lifestyle to entertainment news.

“Project Alpha is basically like ’A Day in the Life of a Blogger,’” explained Struys, a blogger herself. “They are totally diverse, and they write so well. So it is interesting to find out what goes through their minds, and what makes them do what they do.” Regarding the title of the show, she explained: “Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, which is also associated with No. 1.

“The word ’project’, on the other hand, infers something is hidden. The title is perfect, as we are uncovering Malaysia’s top bloggers.” Working closely with Asia’s blog advertising community nuffnang, Struys and her content-producing company Kyanite Sdn Bhd found several fascinating top bloggers to highlight in the programme.

“We have so many talented bloggers here. There’s one who is a daredevil seeking the next adrenalin rush, a travel blogger who lives out of her suitcase, and an entertainment blogger who receives an insane number of visitors daily,” she said.

Struys was amazed to discover that some of these bloggers are not employed, as they make enough money through blogging. Just as it was not difficult finding bloggers who were interested to be featured in Project Alpha, there were some who wished to remain anonymous.

“Some realised that they will be portrayed in a cool way and a funky manner in the show, so they were like, ’Why not?’ Besides, it would help promote their blogs as well.

“The show also inspires up-and-coming bloggers and encourages people from all walks of life to start their own blogs, and even earn extra income while enjoying what they love doing,” said nuffnang co-founder Timothy Tiah.

Ahmad Nazuwan Amran, 26, one of the top bloggers who runs local entertainment blog Beautiful Nara, was mistaken for a female in his early days as a blogger.

“From when I first started my blog, I did not reveal my identity. People kept referring to me as Kak Nara, so I went along with it,” Nazuwan said sheepishly.

Nazuwan, who had spent seven years in Korea studying software engineering and is fluent in Korean, said the word “Nara” means “country”.

He realises that once Project Alpha is aired, his cover will be blown.

“I’m ready to face the music,” he said.

Boasting visitors of up to 20,000 people a day, his success is also thanks to the many sources who sent in updates or the latest hot gossip.

Meanwhile, travel blogger Nicole Tan, 25, is excited to share her thoughts and adventures in her blog. The self-proclaimed “homeless vagabond” has travelled to almost every country in the world and does not plan on stopping.

In her blog entries, Tan shares that travelling does not have to be expensive.

“There are other ways of travelling if you plan carefully and don’t mind roughing it out once in a while.

“I’d love to be a travel show host, like those on Discovery Travel & Living, but I heard it is hard to get the job.

“I’m content with being the host of my own blog. That is enough for me now.”

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