Monday, April 25, 2011

Technology can never replace human touch

Technology can never replace human touch

Monday Starters - By Soo Ewe Jin

COMMUNICATION is a two-way process. Someone wants to share information, and someone must be willing to receive that information.

Whether the information is sent via a smoke signal, like in the days of old, or through the latest technology, it is totally useless unless it is received, processed and acknowledged.

We may rejoice that we have lots of e-mail storage space, and that we can stay in touch with anyone, anywhere, anytime. But the reality is that you probably only want to stay connected with a handful of people, and the bulk of those connected to you are conveniently ignored.

If we choose to ignore e-mail from people we know, what more unsolicited e-mail?

The Internet works in a rather mysterious way. People hunt for information and if that proves interesting, it will spread like wildfire. Even a local video clip on how snatch thieves attacked a lone motorist in Section 16 has been watched by more than 350,000 people.

Security consultant Benjamin Seow is amazed how people have flocked to view this clip after he posted it online. But I reckon that if he had offered the clip to, say the police, for it to be uploaded on the official police website as a form of public education, it would not have generated such traffic.

A friend who works for a major airline was sharing with me the amazing viral campaign they did recently which was so successful that the system crashed and they had to postpone the launch by another week. It turned out pretty well in the end, with sales hitting record highs. He is now spending long hours trying to figure out the power of new media.

The Internet is full of such stories, which is why the big guys, even with their fantastic resources, generally cannot fathom how a seemingly unknown person can create a bigger impact than them.

I think at the end of the day, it is about making people feel special.

In recent weeks, I have received many thoughtful e-mail and letters from many people, near and far. You cannot template such forms of communication because everyone has gone the extra mile to pen those words to me. And so, my response is to do likewise.

People click when there is genuine communication, not because it is being forced onto them.

Back in 1996, during the great national blackout, I observed how the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) staff worked non-stop to restore power. When they came to my neighbourhood, one person angrily told them that the food in his fridge had gone bad, he could not watch TV, and that it was too hot to stay indoors.

One of the workers replied, “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I have not even had the chance to go home and see my family for the past 48 hours.”

That effectively silenced the whiner and we all gave the TNB crew a round of applause after they finished their work.

I subsequently wrote an e-mail to the then TNB CEO Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, thanking him for all the hard work his staff had put in. Those were the early days of the Internet and there were no Blackberries and IPhones that connected such senior people to the masses, so I wasn't expecting a reply.

But I did get a reply. A really personal reply where he expressed his thanks that he finally got one positive e-mail from the slew of thousands of angry e-mails and phone calls, especially from VIPs demanding their power be restored first. I was just an ordinary consumer saying thanks but the information was conveyed at the right time and at the right moment, and so it made a difference.

So, to those who want to communicate, be it to millions of people at any one time, or to just that one special person, remember that there is one thing that technology can never replace. It is called the human touch.

  • Deputy executive editor Soo Ewe Jin wonders if it is possible for some technopreneur to harness the innate ability of a wife to walk by her husband who is quietly reading the newspaper in the living room and say, without any prompting, “Don't even think about it!”

  • ------this is another good article to share, I like the first sentense "COMMUNICATION is a two-way process. Someone wants to share information, and someone must be willing to receive that information."
    ------Those higher up, please remember communication is a two way traffic, never ever try to force anything on us, please!

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Making Money From Hobbies --can you do that ?

    Making money from hobbies


    A HOBBY can be more than just a pleasant past-time activity. With some effort and perhaps a little bit of luck, it can make you money. One famous example is Famous Amos, the popular US-based cookie company.

    While not many will strike gold with their hobbies like the founder of Famous Amos, here are some examples of individuals who have managed to turn their favourite past-times into decent money churners.

    Adelyn Koh currently owns and runs the Junk Book Store, which, according to the Malaysia Book of Records, is the biggest second-hand bookstore in the country.

    But the idea of selling second-hand books actually started from a hobby, or rather passion for old books, says Koh.

    Adelyn Koh with one of the old books available at the store.

    “Yes, it started from a hobby of my husband's. He used to collect a lot of books and then one day we felt, why not try selling them?”

    The rest, as they say, is history. Koh now operates from a three-storey shoplot in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, which is just five minutes away from Central Market a long way from humble beginnings of selling books from a 600 sq ft room in Jalan Ampang.

    Junk Book Store, established in 1990, today has an inventory of more than one million rare and used books, with the oldest book dating back to the 19th century.

    Many individuals are known for “being good with their hands,” and don't realise its significance until someone else starts appreciating it.

    For Ratnam, 58, who resides in Johor, tinkering with his 1967 Volkswagen Beetle when he was in his 20s was nothing more than just a weekend hobby.

    “I started small, first just changing the engine oil and perhaps adjusting the brakes. Than I moved on to bigger jobs, like engine overhaul and transmission replacements. It was always a hobby and I had no intention of doing it for profit,” he says.

    Then one fine day, a friend, who also owned a Volkswagen Beetle, couldn't get it started and went to Ratnam for help.

    “I managed to diagnose the problem quickly and got it started,” he says, adding that he did not charge his friend in return for the help.

    “My friend kept coming back for minor jobs and would occasionally introduce me to some of his associates (who also owned Volkswagen Beetles) and they started bringing their cars to me for repairs.

    “I never asked for payment but many of them felt obliged to pay me. Now, more than 20 years on, I still get people coming to me to repair their (Volkswagen) cars for them and it provides me with some pocket money,” says Ratnam.

    A retired postal worker, Ratnam says he's practically a full-fledged mechanic today.

    “It started out as a hobby. Little did I know it would help me make extra money now that I'm retired.”

    Khatijah, 64, from Kuala Lumpur, used to bake cookies for her son, a banker, and his colleagues. Soon, word spread and she was preparing food for the entire office.

    “I first started baking them on weekends for the family. My son would take the remaining biscuits to work the next day. Initially, I started making extra because his colleagues also wanted to taste the cookies.

    “Soon, I started getting requests from the bank manager himself. Some of them wanted the cookies for their family and friends and the orders started getting bigger,” Khatijah says, adding that she makes a “nice small income” from her cookies and biscuits.

    Many individuals who are active in sports or just do it as a hobby have managed to reap more than just its “health benefits.”

    Kepong Baru-based Universe Gym manager-cum-trainer John Anthony was just a regular member at the gym when it began operations in the late-80s. Then, it was owned and run by a close friend of his.

    “I would go to the gym in the evenings to exercise, just like anyone else. I would help to take over whenever my friend had to leave the gym to attend to personal matters.”

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, John's friend passed away and the gym was closed for about a month.

    Fearing that the business would be sold off, John took it upon himself to reopen the gym and manage it on a temporary basis until a suitable partner could take over its operations.

    “No one else wanted to take over and the gym was just idling away. I felt that it would have been a waste if it was shut down,” he says.

    That was in 1996. Fast forward to today and John is still running the gym. What's more, business has grown and its members have more than tripled.

    “We've also shifted to a bigger location and (we're) now the most hard-core gym in Kepong,” he says in jest, adding that he now mans the gym on a daily basis and earns a reasonable side income from it.

    John says most of the money is used to maintain and upgrade the gym.

    Khalid, 32, from Terengganu, aspired to become a professional football player when he was younger but opted to do something else when he realised that teaching was his true calling.

    He still has a passion for the sport and on weekends organises football classes for kids.

    “It was a hobby of mine (playing football) and it still is. As a teacher, my weekends are free and I thought, why not try to earn some extra income from it?”

    Khalid says he started giving free football lessons to his siblings' children at a nearby field and soon “the group” got bigger.

    “Today, I'm coaching kids from my entire neighbourhood,” he says, adding that he does make much from the lessons he gives.

    “It's not much, but I don't really do it for the money. The money is just a bonus,” Khalid says.

    ----Reading through the star today and found this interesting article ---- making money from hobbies,wellsaid.I should start looking at my hobbies(so many half-hearted unproductive hobbies!) and see whether I can make something out of it.

    Monday, April 18, 2011


    So there is no surprise in the Sarawak election and the market really rebound, but can it last?
    why I say so? I missed the buying?No ! just read through the Hwang dbs comments, I am still not convinced to start parking my limited funds for the BURSA.

    Today's Market Preview
    Our Malaysian bourse will probably kick off the week on a positive footing today. Its benchmark FBM KLCI may rise to challenge the immediate resistance level of 1,530 ahead.
    Essentially, investors who trimmed their positions last week due to uncertainties over the outcome of the Sarawak state election on
    Saturday could make a comeback following the victory of the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition. If so, then Sarawak-linked stocks that were sold down last week – such as Cahya Mata Sarawak, Naim and Dayang – may get a lift today.
    Other counters that are likely to be of interest include: (a) Proton, in response to a news report saying that the government could be setting up an advisory council to study a proposed merger with Perodua; (b) Tomei, which has just announced a single-tierdividend per share of 3.3 sen, translating to a dividend yield of 4.9% based on its last done price of RM0.68; and (c) Smartag as it makes its debut listing on the ACE Market this morning

    Thursday, April 14, 2011



    WHO LOVES PEK MOH ???????!!!!!!!!

    Related Posts with Thumbnails