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DMFest 2008: A Spirited Pre-Event Discussion On User-Generated Content

I was invited to a pre-event session for the Singapore Digital Media Festival 2008 by the kind folks of PR outfit Text100, where I had the opportunity to meet some of the festival’s speakers and panelists such as Muvee COO Philip Morgan, Ultimate Video FX director Stefano Vergilli, Seesmic Flex developer Hu Shunjie, as well as the creative director and co-founder of Magma Studios Chris Jones. Also present were familiar faces and friends in Singapore’s social media scene – Walter Lim, Daniel Tsou and Chinmay “NTT” Pendharkar of, Benjamin Koe, Coleman Yee, Bernard Leong, and fellow TDMer Andrew Peters.

After an introduction by Ivan Ho and Anthony Fu from the DMFest organising committeee, we launched into a discussion on the state of user-generated content (UGC) in Singapore. With the quality of the people present – panelists and media socialists alike – we were in for an extremely fun and intellectually-stimulating debate.

Here are some of the points that were raised:

– Proliferation of technology and tools allows the the creation of UGC on a scale like never before i.e. machinima.

– Opportunities for collaborative projects between traditional media owners and the social media can lead to great content.

– Still too much noise, and too little signal: for every UGC gem that has commercial or viral potential, thousands of others fade into oblivion.

– It’s by far easier for traditional media companies to adopt the tools and methods for creating UGC than for independent UGC-developers to find a revenue model.

– It’s a free market. Freemium models can exist, but by-and-large users in Asia and Singapore will not pay for content.

– Too much fixation by companies and media buyers on quantity rather than quality when it comes to measurement i.e. how many views on YouTube.

DMFest 2008 will take place in Singapore on 30 and 31 October, and promises a showcase of thought leaders in the digital media world. If it’s going to be anything like the discussion tonight, DMFest will be a blast.


Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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