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Monday with the Editor: Getforme turns five this November

Hallo everyone

Our Web site will be five years old on 28 Nov 2004. In the past five years, we have seen Web sites come and go. We are glad we are still around.

It's been nearly five years of hard work, first setting up this Web site, and then going about making it work.

We have always focussed on content. 'Content Is King', many seem to say. People visit this Web site because of its content on all-things Singapore.

Today, we have about 75,000 hits daily. When we started out in late 1999, we could count, perhaps, 40 hits per day.  We had to go around requesting other Web sites to add a link to our Web site so that we would get visitors. People didn't know we were around. We didn't earn money on our Web site then.

On the contrary, we were bleeding rather badly through the Internet boom, while highly publicised Web sites got the limelight. But, these Web sites came and went with a bang. They lost big bucks in the Internet Dot Com bust. Why shouldn't they? They were spending big bucks as if there was no tomorrow!

Perhaps, it was because we kept a low profile and did not seek financing that we managed to come through and survive the Dot Com bust. While other Web sites were spending borrowed money obtained from eager venture capitalists working on nothing more than pure hype, we were struggling to keep afloat by taking on part-time jobs.

Has all the hard work been worth it? Yes, I say. Because we have touched some lives - local people as well as others who have stayed in Singapore and left to live elsewhere.

The things we have written about, and the information we have amassed here are what we are most proud of. People seem to connect with these things we have produced.

Our Explore Singapore section, which we started in March 2000, has been bringing joy to visitors, both local and foreign. Here are some of their comments:

"I miss it (Singapore) dearly and take great comfort in looking at your pictures and imagining I'm talking a long walk from City Hall MRT all the way to Grange Rd where I used to live..."

"I just wanted to compliment you and your team for the wonderful work on your website, especially the page on 'Exploring Singapore'. 
Having been overseas for a number of years, it's great to be able to see the changes that are taking place by 'strolling' down memory lane."

Our Singaporean Cooking section attracted the attention of a group of Singaporean students studying in London. They emailed us to tell us "your recipes are great, and they're the sort of home-cooked dishes we miss. Your pictures are wonderful - in your quintessential Singaporean HDB flat..."

A lady wrote in to say she "loved the 'Singaporean cooking with Madam Kang' -- uncommercialized look...very personal touch :-)"

Our stories on familiar Singapore icons drew nostalgic comments from visitors. When we wrote about Colbar, a visitor from England let out that "the Colbar as a young boy was where I enjoyed cold coke after keenly fought games of football and as a teenage boy was where I enjoyed sneaky cold bottles of Tiger.."

Another visitor said, he "loved looking at the pictures of old Singapore as they have brought back many happy memories of my time spent there as a young sailor on HMS Bulwark in 66/67 and the many friends I made."

Yes, I daresay we have succeeded in making this Web site a success, for we have touched lives. And our Web site aims to go on touching lives with our articles and the information which we continually collect and preserve here, both for the present and the future generation of Singaporeans and Singapore residents.

We take pride in reading the comments that our visitors have been sending in to us through the years. We are heartened to know that we are indeed on the right track, that we have not lost sight of what we set out to do in the first place - reaching out to people who have called Singapore their home, whether it be for a few years or forever.

Not counting the various databases that we have here, there are already more than 7,000 Web pages of content, including pictures, on our Web site. As we grow further, we hope to be able to reach out to the young ones, other than those who come in to do research for their projects.

We have also been sorely lacking in our community segment. We have tried in vain to set up a viable community network through our forums. Our forums remain relatively empty. It cannot be that Singaporeans don't respond kindly to community setups - they are attracted, like bees to honey, to Web sites such as 

We can't be like And we won't, for the simple fact, we are Singaporeans and proud of being what we are - reserved and fiercely loyal to the ideals that have made Singapore a success that is the envy of many in the region, and around the world.

And that is the way in which will move ahead through the years. We will defend our Singaporean ideals as we present our content to Singaporeans and the world. So, when you are looking through our Web site, you are actually looking at what Singapore is all about. 

Have a good week!

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Click New Web sites for the list.

We are now 7037 pages thick and growing.

Public Holidays DEEPAVALI is the next public holiday. It falls on 11 November 2004.


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20 September 2004