Four years ago, I started this blog.
And so many things have happened over those four years! I have moved to a new country, changed career paths, been through two relationships, became an uncle four times, and still I am blogging!
Thank you for staying with me through thick and thin.
If this is your first time here since last week, you may have noticed also that my website may have looked a little different.
Yes, I have completely overhauled my blog layout. The old kennysia.com layout was a classic and I loved it. But I must admit I never put much effort into designing it. Basically, I whipped up that one up within half a day because I was desperate to start blogging four years ago. And it never really changed much since.
To me, the classic was a easy on the eye and it stood well against the test of time. I designed it to fit well on a small screen because back then, most people's computer monitors were 15 inches.
But, as with all things measured using "inches", bigger usually means better.
Eventually people's computer screens grew wider and wider, and subsequently my blog became narrower and narrower. Before I knew it, kennysia.com on a 24 inch monitor was looking slimmer than Kate Moss on a diet.
Too bad Kenny Sia remained fat. :(
In any case, it's time to change the layout. First thing I did was to I shifted to a wider layout whilst still keeping most of what I love about the old kennysia.com intact. Hopefully you like the new look.
If not, then please get used to it 'cos I ain't changing it! :P
On every kennysia.com anniversary, one thing I always enjoy is to take a walk down memory lane and look back some of my most memorable entries of the past year.
Without a doubt, with 2008 being a red hot election year, a lot of my entries were skewed towards Malaysian politics.
And why not? So many funny things happen when the election time is near. Like the suggestion by certain people to hire Mat Rempits to transport senior citizens to voting booths.
One of my favourite entries this year was definitely the kennysia.com Who-To-Vote-This-Election Decision Generator.
It was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek view of the issues brought up around the time of the elections, but that little program of mine has received so much attention that even Channel News Asia interviewed me about it.
I am never a political activist like RPK or Jeff Ooi, but I had good intentions to inform and educate. I want people to know who they're voting for instead of just voting blindly. So a week before polling day, I took the initiative to have face-to-face interviews both the Barisan Nasional and DAP candidates for Bandar Kuching.
But the internet being the internet, what resulted instead was an uncivilised flame war targeting mostly towards the BN candidate. Poor guy.
It is shameful and disgusting that these people are using the internet to spread hate, when it is originally intended for porn.
Of course, after the elections, even more funny things happened.
Like how almost every single Malaysian politician suddenly decided to embrace the internet and hop on the blogging bandwagon.
Or how our Information Minister suddenly think it's a good idea to export Malaysian-made TV shows to Korea.
Or how Sarawak failed to give us Datuk Jessica Alba.
Of course, who could've forgotten that legendary Ahmad Ismail, who created outbursts after outbursts. First by claiming Malaysian Chinese are immigrants, and then by having one of his supporters completely destroy the picture of his former chief minister.
Politics in Malaysia is so wickedly entertaining.
Certainly, by no means do all of these entries mean that I don't like Malaysia. Because despite all the quirks that this country have, it is still home.
And that's the reason why I published my post What Makes a Malaysian a Malaysian on Merdeka Day.
I think I must have created a history of sorts when a reader of mine requested me to propose to his girlfriend through my blog.
I normally do not entertain strange requests by strangers. But this one, I have no heart to turn down. Fiona accepted Gavin's proposal on the 12th May, and they now live happily ever after.
Shrek is heartbroken.
I didn't do as many pranks or parodies as I did in previous years. But one of my favourites this past year has gotta be when I invaded McDonald's wearing a Saddam Hussein mask.
I think we scared the crap out of everybody that night and everyone had a big laugh over the range of facial expressions we saw. Waste of time? Yes. But damn, it was well worth it. ;)
In amongst all these favourites, there were numerous snippets of life, event coverage, reviews, travel logs and advertorials. One common characteristic very obvious from my entries this past year was that I made very little mention of my personal life on my blog.
Despite kennysia.com starting out as a personal blog, I've always made a conscious effort not to write too much about three topics in particular: my family, my work and my relationship. It was a deliberate choice I made back in 2006 when I got into trouble with both my loved ones and my readers several times over the contents of my blog.
The most common advice I got from readers back then were "with great power comes great responsibility." Therefore, do not write anything about the people you encounter in your life or else you could bring them trouble. My family also has never been overly supportive of my blog, let alone me writing anything personal on my blog at all.
So gradually kennysia.com was converted from a personal blog to one you see today that is more magazine-styled, more lifestyle-oriented, focusing less on myself and more on political humour, the events I attended and the places I travelled to.
Doing so however, de-humanizes this blog. I made kennysia.com lost so much of a personal touch. So much so that these days, I get the feeling somewhat that I wasn't quite treated as a human being anymore.
Instead, I am like this machine that is supposed to entertain everyday, tell jokes and make people laugh. I was told that I deserve to be judged, I deserve to be ridiculed and I have no right to defend. Also I'm not supposed to write any ads, because machines don't write ads. And if I'm not doing a good job, then I deserve to be scolded and ridiculed.
Suddenly, all normal human compassion and courtesy for me are thrown out the window. kennysia.com no longer felt like mine. It felt like a property of others.
For a moment, I felt like following KinkyBlueFairy's footsteps and close off comments. But I do know a lot of people who enjoy reading comments. So why punish the masses for the treacheries of a few?
Well, I'm ready to experiment re-introducing my more personal and emotional entries back to my blog. In due time, I hope to be more open regarding matters of my personal life. Hopefully doing so will humanize me. If I succeed, then at least I know there is still good in people. But if being open about my personal life will subject me to even more exploitation and judgment, then I'll know when to give up hope and stop.
Besides, I am hopelessly incapable to telling jokes these days. I haven't been smiling myself for such a long time. If I ain't happy myself, I don't even know how the heck I am supposed to make people laugh.
The most comment I have ever received in a blog entry this past year was 742.
Unfortunately, it was on an April's Fool prank I played on the readers. ;)
Announcing to quit blogging was one of the oldest April's fool tricks in the book and I never expected so many people to fall for it. But many did, and although I wasn't being serious, I am touched that many readers showed genuine concern.
On a more serious note though, quitting blogging isn't something entirely out of my agenda.
In two, maybe three years time I think I will stop blogging as regularly as I do now. As I grow older, other priorities in life will eventually take over and I will update less. As long as blogging remains fun, I shall sit and enjoy the ride.
Besides I still have lots of ideas in my head waiting to put into writing, so there's a bit more gas in the tank to last a while. :)
If not then, well, there's always that Year End Sales at Nirvana to look forward to!