updated 31 Oct 2012, 21:37
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Tue, Oct 11, 2011
The New Paper
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Blogging about boob job is her springboard
by Maureen Koh

Sensationalism sells. Seriously.

And cyberspace ramblings have given bloggers rewards that extend beyond just extra pocket money.

It can be a shot at fame - or infamy. And modelling and acting jobs can come from being known or controversial.

Then there are the invitations to exclusive events.

Most bloggers who spoke to The New Paper on Sunday agree that "serious stuff - like politics - really isn't the way to do it".

People get turned off by serious stuff, said celebrity blogger, model and part-time actress Melissa Faith Yeo.

"We have to find a way to connect with our readers and really, serious, dry topics don't attract readers."

Yeo, 25, is best known as the "Boob-Job Blogger" for her breast augmentation, which attracted plenty of online attention.

In 2009, she announced on her blog that she was going to Bangkok for the procedure.

She wrote: "I'm going for a boob job. Yep, I said it and I'm not afraid to publicise it."

Even to this day, Yeo insists that she has no regrets about going public.

"It's fine if people remember that part of my life. I made that decision because I wanted to document what I went through.

"Plastic surgery is common in this age, but many girls don't have any idea what really happens.

"I felt that sharing my experience in my own words provided curious girls a better understanding of what they can expect."

Still, she has removed her tell-all boob blog entry and accompanying photos of the surgery.

Yeo says: "I want people to focus on my other areas of strength now. Like, my acting."

Not that people forget, she admits.

Yeo feels that she was lucky to escape unscathed from the negative attention.

The opportunities that rolled in as a result was a sweetener.

She was voted one of FHM Singapore's 100 Sexiest Women for 2008 and 2009. She also made the cover of FHM Singapore last December.

What followed were bit roles on Channel 5 drama Point Of Entry and The Pupil Season 2, the Channel U series Secrets For Sale, and a small role in home-grown movie Forever.

She also appeared in advertisements and was Singapore's ambassador for Fujifilm in 2009.

She is dating local TV actor Andie Chen, who is of the same age.

Little surprise then, that at a photo session for this story, Yeo was uncomfortable about portraying "the wrong image".

So why not switch to being a sociopolitical blogger?

"I don't blog or tweet about politics. It's not something I am interested in."

Her leanings seem reflective of the trend among local bloggers, most of whom prefer to avoid anything "heavy".

This could account for the findings by the Institute of Policy Studies, which showed that the Internet did not play a decisive role in May's General Election (GE).

They polled 2,000 Singaporeans aged 21 and older for the survey on the impact of new media on the GE. It was conducted from May to July.

According to its research, just three out of 10 voters used Facebook or online blogs for election information during the GE period.

This ratio does not include websites of mainstream media outlets such as The Straits Times or Channel NewsAsia.

Regular blog follower Germaine Sim, 30, is not surprised. She says: "Issues such as the GE is only temporary.

"And really, it's not going to get readers to go 'Wow! this will change my mind about xxxx'.

"But something like a sex video (of Peggy Heng) is a different matter. People are interested. They want to know more."

Also, online ad-placement services such Google Adsense and local ones like NuffNang are likely to support those with high page hits.

Mr Samuel Teoh, who provides consultancy services for online start-ups such as blogshops, says: "When a blog starts losing its page views, it spells trouble for the (blog) owner."

Mr Teoh, 47, says that unlike blogshops that depend on their products to push their prominence online, bloggers who sell on their opinions have a tougher task.

He adds: "As such, most bloggers resort to the 'shock and tantalise strategy' to lure readers.

"It's not shallow. It's just a smart marketing trick that works all the time."

This article was first published in The New Paper.


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