I’m Back… Sort Of.

Headlights of my long trip-cum-honeymoon. 

– Dangling my legs off a cliff in Yosemite, and seeing a real life wolf walking in front of our car. Time spent waiting for car park > hiking time. It was Memorial Weekend.


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Why I’m here

I, Khoo Wee Sheng, take you, Liu Wen Xian, as my lawfully wedded wife. For better or worse, in Singapore, Taiwan, the United States or Mumbai, I promise to be there for you in sickness and in health. In good times and bad.

Though we have spent so much time apart in two different worlds, know that I love you, I have always loved you, and know that I have never ever thought of abandoning you. I have always known that one day, you would become my wife. From this day forth, know that I will never ever forsake you, and will always be by your side. holding your hand, walking with you and sharing yummy food with you.

Whenever you need me, I will be there. For you, for us, for our future family, for your parents and mine. Most importantly, I promise to hold you, hug you, comfort you, and let you know that you will never be alone in this world. I love you.

Distance has made me understand what love is, what it means to truly and deeply fall in love with someone, such that the person is no longer just a person, but becomes a part of who am I. It has taught me what I want most in my life. Not a career, job or money. What I want is you. To be with you, and to love you and cherish you.

I may not be able to give you everything you want, but I will try my best to fulfill your every need. Through this dark time where we try to find our footing in a new city, I promise to try my best. To overcome the distance and be standing right here, by your side.

Every birthday, every Christmas and every New Year. Oh, and one more day. Today. The 3rd of May 2013. The day I stop living my life alone, and I will listen to you, I will talk to you. I will tell you everything and I will spend the rest of my life with you.

Shanice, dear dear, Mrs Khoo. I love you.



Home… for a while


What it includes
– Ducks pooping in the swimming pool
– Ducks pooping everywhere on the sidewalks
– Scrapping wet poop of the soles of your shoes
– Waking up to the wild mating call of a gazillion ducks every morning.
– Nasty geese that hiss and bite at you if you get near their young ones.
– Dirty old geezer who surfs porn beside you in the business centre.

Still, I wouldn’t trade the lovely spring weather for the humidity and tropical heat back home.

*Deep breath*

Ahhh.. . poop.

WordPress Quandaries – Curation Through Culling

300 Followers? No... This is SPAM!

300 Followers? No… This is SPAM!

Disclaimer: Rant Piece Ahead

Let me start off by asking this question – Do any of you actively choose to unfollow blogs that you are currently following on WordPress sites? Or is this some taboo topic, only to be whispered around in hush tones around campfires at night.

I’m going out on a limb here and say most of you don’t. You have either never thought of it, or you feel your gut wrenching whenever your mouse button hovers over the follow / unfollow button in the omnipresent bar hovering on the top. (I call it the Fubar.)

But before that, let’s discuss your views on what the heck a Follow actually is:

  1. Currency – I follow you, you follow me back. This is courtesy, in some strange blog-culture manner, and society approves of it.
  2. Free Love – Oh, cool story bro. Follow! Oh cool pic. Follow! It doesn’t matter what the rest of your blog looks like. Follow! Exclamation points are just so awesome!
  3. E-Peen – This blog has ten thousand followers, thus it must be awesome. How it got them is not important.
  4. Ceretas Paribus – Followers and Following should grow in constant of one another. It’s only respect that I should show an interest in the community that has shown an interest in me.
  5. Interest – I have looked through this blog and it’s contents, and have found it to be highly entertaining and relevant. Hence I grace the blog with a follow. Also known as, if you chose this option, you’re probably lying.

But my real question here is, how then do you actually interact with the people you follow? What happens when your follows grow to such a extent, that you can no longer separate great content from the chafe. In particular, this relates strongly to the Reader Feed and email notifications. Sometimes it is what it is – Spam.

Behind the wall of spoon-fed social interactivity, there is A TON of awesome content on WordPress sites. So much so, I’ve practically abandoned Facebook due to sheer boredom from its drivel content. On a weekly basis, you read something inspiring or quirky on WordPress that makes you feel that you are a better human-being, just for having read it.

There’s my take on blogging right there. You can quote me on it. And the reason why some blogs thrive when others fail. After all, content will always be king.

But my take on the whole following / follower mess is a lot more depressing and cynical. What WordPress is terming as a social experience is turning into a festering pool of pro-creating viruses that seems hell-bent of turning every single blogger into a following-liking machine i.e. A social-media kid rather than a content creator.

And everyday their numbers grow. Have you ever seen the number of followers on your blog fall? Didn’t think so. But when was the last time you heard from 90% of your followers? Whether you see this as a good or bad thing, that’s for you to decide. It’s like the Facebook like and share after all. Clicking means interaction.

So what then must eventually happen? My personal opinion is that in the long run, two possible scenarios will occur. Likely in sequence:

(1) Overload leads to desensitization

The Reader, Notification functions will be largely ignored by the populace as people just keep clicking like and follow like sheep. This is detrimental to WordPress since content quality must give way to efforts to publicise and rise above the noise. Much like it already is.

(2)A counter-culture of unfollowing will start develop

A movement of self-curation, whether enforced or spread like an idea, people will learn from their behavior in real life and learn to be discerning. You don’t go around throwing five-star reviews everywhere, but neither do you troll and post comments in the negative. Rather, you just learn to ignore, and block out the bad.

Then one day, you finally learn the reason why the unfollow button is there all along. Inspired, you click on it. The world doesn’t end. You breathe, you smile. You go to another blog, and you click it again. You start swinging, wielding your mighty left mouse button like the chainsaw from Evil Dead, mowing down zombie blogs.

The Purple Pony Blog? Unfollow. Blog with nothing but reblogs. Unfollow. Wilson K’s blog…. maybe next time.

Don’t wait people!

The inevitable will come. Start unfollowing today. Turn your Reader into a well of knowledge and creativity that you can tap on everyday to nourish your soul. Turn every email you receive into one you will actually bother to click on, and let’s show those son-of-bitches blog trolls that we’re not falling for their little tricks and fairy dust again.

You can start with me first, if you like. Just move your mouse up, you know you want to. And… click. I offer myself up to the gods of Mount WordPressian as a willing sacrifice. May my blood wash away your trolls, inhibitations and inability to use WordPress effectively anymore.

Signed in blood.

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Happy Two Month Old Blog!

Mmmm... Cake

Mmmm… Cake

A few days late with this, but whatever, it’s the internet. I can say it’s the Vatican Queen’s birthday and people will believe me. In breaking news, they just made me Phantom of the Opera. But before I go for rehearsals, let’s do a blog review and discuss WordPress Analytics! Note, this is a self-serving post, anybody who reads this and gets pissed off, well, it’s your fault.

Good Stuff That Happened In March

  • Content: I’ve hit the sweet spot in terms of where I want my blog to be now. Mostly original content backed by my stories. I no longer feel the need to hide behind big name writers and websites. Not sure how this happened, I didn’t plan for it. It just came out. Heck, I even wrote one semi-guide using my own content and examples.
  • Originality: I’m writing more original content in all my posts – stories, reviews, ravings, guides, then ever before, all in, I’m pouring over 20,000 words of self-written content into my blog each month. About 600-800 original words per post with lots of quotes. It seems that with each week, I use less and less of other people’s content.
  • Theme: I think I found a theme which I am comfortable sitting on, one that actually has readable fonts while still providing structure. Though I’m still sad that I cannot just increase the font size automatically. Why WordPress sticks with mainly tiny fonts, I have no idea. Just 1-2 size upgrades for me would be perfect. Other than that, I’m still eyeing the MimboPro theme enviously, though I think it’s a dumb move since I don’t have that much content for such a newsy theme.

Bad Stuff That Happened In March

  • Like-Trollers: Still an amazing ton of them. Not sure where they get their kicks from honestly. What’s sad is when I click on their blogs, they have tens of thousands of followers. Like me, you have probably followed a few trolls before who liked all your post but never actually read anything. WordPress seriously needs to clean this up, if nothing else it is extremely misleading, encourages bad behaviour, and has turned one of the major metrics into a downright joke.
  • Follower-Trollers: Not as bad, but yea, I can’t get rid of you, and that makes me sad. I can imagine WordPress doing an infograph one day showing off all these metrics, and I’ll just be like whatever. If I can block them from even showing up anywhere, that would totally make my day. No, diarrhoea medicine guy or crappy SEO guy, I am not interested in you. The bad thing is, I’m wary about following people now, or even clicking on the likers in my post. More than 50% of them are turds.
  • Readership-Count Dropped: It’s just a given that fiction story posts do not get the same number of views as say a reblog from a famous author or a writing guide post. One of my stories, got a lot of new viewers because I tagged gaming, xbox and stuff. But did they actually read the posts, no. Refer to like-trollers. Plus I didn’t get the big reblog I got in Feb and earlier in March. One reblog by a big site will totally send your site to new heights for the entire week and not just the day. But still, I try to cut down on troll posts unless it’s something I like, e.g. Mad Men or World War Z (only 2 likes but top viewed post for content posted in April).

Analytics… Or “Pics Else It Didn’t Happen”

  • Internet loves Memes – Those I posted in the past are still my top posts on a week-to-week basis – The Immortal Jellyfish (20% of all my views), The Biodegradable Urn and The Gazelle Meme all gets lots of hits from Google. Jellyfish gets consistent hits every single day. The view count of that alone is multitudes higher than everything else, even those reblogged by others. The Gazelle Meme got like 11 one day, just not sure why. These people do not bother reading the other stuff too, so whatever.
  • Readership Count is Wonky All you need is one reader trolling through your entire site and your view count skyrockets. Honestly on all the best views days, that’s what happens. Else, I attract a very small but consistent unique user figure, just the number of views differ.
  • How to get to 1000+ followers Post and tag more photo prompts of the hottest google searches, reblog more content from big names. Until my own stuff gets better, thats the only way. Else I could make internet-friendly stories, very short, to the point, with a gimmick… maybe next time. Until then, just got to brush up my own content.

What I want to do

  • Need More People To Follow – I unfollowed quite a lot of people this month, but now I actually have a awesome reading list choke full of stuff I want to read instead of “Gif of blogger of the month” award ten times in a row, when their blog has more exclamation points and “You can do it!” stuff than actual content. Hence would like to look for new people to follow. Story Tellers, Artists, and Writing Guides are nice. The who to follow tool on the Reader page sucks very bad. No poetry or haikus though.
  • Keep At It – Just keep what I’m doing. But clearly I need to change somethings to get readers. The only way I see I can do that with sticking to the theme of stories, is probably to do something like Rick Mallery and his amazing Power Shorts Daily. I have the base in my photo prompts, just need  a change of style and become as awesome a writer as he is.
  • Structure something – People like structure or know if something can be expected. Using Rick Mallery as an example again. A story on a daily basis in your email – Very neat idea. Particularly when they have been all pretty amazing thus far. Follow him.

Gems Of The Month 

Rob Akers – Another story-teller. He writes stories based on his time in Iraq / Kuwait as a C130 pilot. He doesn’t focus on the action though, you get a detailed look at life behind the scenes. The politics and the fear in the eyes of the soldiers.

Amazing Series on Dialogue By Les Edgerton – He guest-posted them on Kristen Lamb’s blog. Amazing four-parter article that will train you how to look at dialogue differently, including the tricky subtext. Too bad he doesn’t have a WordPress blog, but he does have a Blogspot one though.

End Thoughts

I’ve decided to be more active on Quora again. They actually have an amazing community discussing and posting stories, story ideas and what-nots. In bite-size friendly pieces. Plus I like answering when people ask for ideas.

End Post. I shall have my digitally enhanced cake and eat it now. Gif-flavored icing rocks.

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