Concerning Blogging

Are you a professional blogger?

I hardly think I am. This blog is not my only source of income. Actually, it is not a source of income at all. I would prefer to think of it being a serious hobby and creative outlet.

Often I would say I live by my own standards, so the same thing applies to my writing. I want to deliver my best all the time. At times I forget how much effort and time I’m putting into this, when the gain is intangible (or even nothing). Well, there is the joy of sharing.

What is your style?

My style of blogging? I would want to say that it has the Hermès spirit. Excellence. Detail-oriented. Whimsical. Different. Sometimes snooty.

Unlike most lifestyle bloggers, I avoid putting myself into the picture (literally). I prefer focus on the topic. I don’t need the spotlight, so if you could look at my work… please and thank you.

I am not known by everyone, but those who should be reading my articles will find me. Fame is not of my concern (Fortune, however…) But this is why I don’t rely on mass lists of followers. Google knows best.

How often do you write?

Currently I am trying to keep with a pace of an entry every 2-4 days. It could be surprisingly exhausting, especially for some fellow bloggers. However most of my posts have 20-40+ photos and really long writing (even after summarizing). There is too much to say – but my way has always been to try to tell the whole story, or nothing at all. Publishing every two days, if I could keep up, means that each month effectively has about 15-16 slots for features.

What about the other reviews on your blog? Are you paid?

No, I don’t get paid for those reviews. They are written to share my opinions and photographs. I can only write reviews on the products I own, or places I paid on my own to visit. Sometimes, my friends loan me items to write about.

I’m a customer most of the time, so I exercise my right to write about stuff that are worth my time and effort. In a way, only entries with my neutral or positive impressions will “make the page” on my blog. Writing an entry filled with criticism falls under “neutral” for me – the feedback could either help improve a product or service, or serve as a warning for my readers. If I have there is no value to praise or raise constructive criticism at all, I will most likely pull the article. It will be a waste of time for me and my readers.

Brands should take my blog entries as “serendipitous” and free publicity, although they are welcomed to engage me. I will not refuse to write about something just because I was not informed/invited, however it will then mean the entry will be serendipitous.

What about those invited stuff?

Occasionally I get invited by publicists to previews and/or media events. These will be noted in the blog entries. While this means that I get to experience something for free, I do not receive monetary compensation for writing an entry. At the moment, I am more interested in developing meaningful partnerships with brands that resonate with my readers (and myself). I prefer writing editorial content than advertorials and having readers decide on the quality and value of the brand featured. I’m not saying I won’t do paid entries, but overall relevance to my site and target audience takes precedence.

What brands/companies has Dejiki.com worked with?

I have been engaged by Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Marine Life Park (S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Dolphin Island, Maritime Experiential Museum), Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa Leisure Group, etc.

Also, I’m proud to be recognized as a Garden Angel of Gardens by the Bay.

I was primarily focused on theme parks, but in recent years have expanded into attractions. I want to move on further to more categories, such as lifestyle products/services, luxury brands and occasionally – food! Most of these entries will be serendipitous, so it’s free publicity for the products and services I enjoy.

So how much do you charge? Can I have your blog rate card?

As that old saying goes: the best things in life are free; Dejiki.com does not charge for the publication of articles at this moment. I don’t want to put a price on my work (yet). Monetary compensation will not be accepted; all opinions on Dejiki.com are of my own.

How many people read your blog?

The traffic my blog receive fluctuates – it really depends on the themes and frequency of updates. Most of my readers find me via search engine, so my traffic is mostly organic. While I do have a Facebook Page, it’s not a true measurement of viewership. I have it set up as some readers prefer to receive site updates that way.

I’ll just be frank: I’m not trying to make money out of my blog, or become famous out of it. I would rather connect to a small, dedicated audience than have a large share of readers who are indifferent to what I write about. I’m also not that free to stir up the hive for the sake of blog traffic – that is just boring, don’t you agree?

Why should I engage Dejiki.com?

If you are looking for a blogger with a large following and hoping to catch on the reach, you have reached the wrong person. I am also unable to accept to every single invitation I receive because I cannot have Dejiki.com turn into a blog that covers everything under the sun.

But if you are looking for someone who, driven by a certain passion for detail and perfection, can deliver top-quality photos and writing, please contact me at the soonest.

Can you write a review or an article about my company, its products or services?

You are welcomed to write in to me, but please understand that I am limited to writing reviews and features on brands, products and services that are relevant to other entries on my blog.

I cannot write reviews on products based on press kits, spec sheets or “images” of products, unless the product in question is digital in form (e.g: online services). I am also not the right person to repost press releases. I understand that some blogs have started a sort of bizarre “virtual” reviews, but this will never be practised on Dejiki.com

Why did you not respond to my emails? Don’t you want to work with me / my client?

While balancing a full time job, my other hobbies and interests… I often leave a lot of emails hanging, even when they are specifically addressed to me. I apologise for the lack of prompt responses (and lack of etiquette for non-response). But just remember this: unless I have specifically said No, it’s not a No.

On Theme Parks

Everything about Theme Parks and me (Click to expand)

Why theme parks?

I feel that theme parks are extraordinary places where memorable experiences are crafted from places that are entirely artificial. In itself, themed entertainment is a major part of culture (or even a subculture). It is fascinating because the internationalization of major theme parks are really significant exportation of cultural products, and are based on other cultural goods. Just connect the dots and trace the origins of famous theme parks.

I was (and still am) obsessed over Disney’s Haunted Mansion. It is my favourite attraction of all time and believe it or not, I grew up reading, viewing photos and videos and other content about it. I did not have the opportunities to travel far, so I became a vicarious theme park visitor during my teenage years.

That is why I felt value in writing (in great detail) about the theme park in my country. In a way, I am giving back to the web the very thing that I was passionate about, and in a way, allow the world to see what themed experiences are offered in Singapore.

Why so many entries on Universal Studios Singapore?

It’s actually quite funny how I decided to write about this park. Before the park officially opened in March 2010, I was already an Annual Passholder. Yes, before the park even opened, I already paid for my Annual Pass. After it opened, I had several opportunities to visit the park, and I do so often, to the extent where it is a place where I hang out with friends who are also passholders. We went to the park after lectures AND even studied for our exams at the park. Needless to say, this habit of mine was criticized by some friends who felt that I am wasting my time at a theme park.

A few months later, I decided to document the developments of Universal Studios Singapore, with monthly updates and even features when the need arises. In some ways, this makes each trip to the park more meaningful – I am writing about what is going on at the park (inadvertently advertising for it, no less) but also sharing with the world what is happening here, especially for those who can’t travel here.

Do you get paid by RWS?

No, I don’t. Some readers and friends have confused me as an employee of Universal Studios Singapore and/or Resorts World at Sentosa. I am not affiliated to Resorts World at Sentosa or Universal Studios Singapore. Neither am I paid to write any of the entries.

I am simply a theme park enthusiast who loves to visit such places and write about them. My endorsement, if any, is strictly an expression of my own opinion. Free publicity for RWS/USS/MLP is a side effect.

However, I am deeply flattered to hear this and be compared with the park’s content producers and partner blogs. I occasionally get invited to some events organised by the park, but sadly, not for most of its key media events. It is challenging as I have to do my own research and legwork, as opposed to receiving press kits and special access that the media and some bloggers are fortunate to have.

What are your favourite theme parks and attractions?

Here’s my list of the best:

The Best in Theme Parks – rated by Dejiki

Best Theme Park

Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo Disneyland
Universal Studios Japan

Best Dark Ride (slow)

Mystic Manor (Hong Kong Disneyland)
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (Tokyo Disneyland)
Haunted Mansion (Tokyo Disneyland / Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World)
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek (Tokyo Disneyland)

Best Dark Ride (fast)

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Universal Studios Japan)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull (Tokyo DisneySea)
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 4K3D (Universal Studios Japan)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (Tokyo DisneySea)
Space Fantasy: The Ride (Universal Studios Japan)

Best Interactive Dark Ride

Toy Story Mania (Tokyo DisneySea)
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Hong Kong Disneyland)

Best Mine Train Rollercoaster

Big Grizzly Mountain (Hong Kong Disneyland)
Big Thunder Mountain (Tokyo Disneyland)

Best Flume Ride

Splash Mountain (Tokyo Disneyland)

Best Drop Tower

Tower of Terror (Tokyo DisneySea)

Best Motion Simulator Ride

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (Tokyo Disneyland)

Slow Boat Ride

Pirates of the Caribbean (Tokyo Disneyland)
Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage (Tokyo DisneySea)

Best Rollercoaster with Launch element

Big Grizzly Mountain (Hong Kong Disneyland)
Battlestar Galactica: CYLON (Universal Studios Singapore) [Closed Indefinitely] Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN (Universal Studios Singapore) [Closed Indefinitely]

Best Park Parade

Flights Of Fantasy (Hong Kong Disneyland)
Happiness Is Here (Tokyo Disneyland)
Paint the Night Parade (Hong Kong Disneyland)
Universal Reborn Parade (Universal Studios Japan)
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights (Tokyo Disneyland)

Why are there so many rides from Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on your lists?

They really have some of the best attractions in the world – hands down.

Why are there so many entries on Tokyo Disney Resort theme parks now?

I have finally revisited both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea after more than ten years, and finally, on my own terms – four days at the parks. The result is an amazing holiday and a lot of photos and information that could be compiled into The Grand Photo Tour of Tokyo Disney Resort. I love these two theme parks, and in my heart, they are the best parks on earth. I think it’s worth sharing, and although both parks have a strong following online and there are already ample resources on both park planning and attractions, I still want to write features, my way. I also want to convince readers that the best Disney theme parks are not in America.

You know… Japan is not all about Tokyo Disney Resort? There are other, more important, things to experience.

I don’t deny that. I will want to visit Japan solely for sight-seeing and experiencing the culture. I have plans for a trip to Japan sans theme parks. Okay, make that just “no Disney Parks”. Maybe I’ll squeeze a day at Fuji-Q Highlands, Universal Studios Japan, or one of the Sanrio places.

The Camera and The Photos

Which camera are you using?

Most photos are taken with the Sony NEX-6 and Sony Alpha A7.

I know that I have “converted” a lot of friends and readers to Sony’s Alpha platform, but I must warn you – a lot of photos on Dejiki.com are edited and not straight out of the camera. Sony makes greats cameras, but please don’t buy them and expect the same results!

How come your photos look so different from (other blog)?

I would say that most of it comes from the right opportunity, the right “eye” and lastly, my own processing touch.

Why Sony? Why not Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fujifilm?

I felt that Sony’s cameras offer great image quality and responsiveness in a very compact body. The lens mount also allows other lenses to be adapted and used with it.

I also have a rule when choosing a camera: It must be light and fit in any of the bags I own. I don’t want a “camera bag” bag.

Why do you keep to the same “one-shot” style for all your photos?

A few reasons. I prefer a clean, simple look. Each frame is just one photo. Also, it’s the easiest way to process and view photos, especially for those long entries with more than 30 pictures. Lastly, Dejiki.com uses a responsive (meaning: dynamic-resize) layout. Thus keeping the photos in its current way allows them to work with the different layouts (Mobile, Web, small/big screens, etc.)

Looking forward

What are your future plans for Dejiki.com?

I have a list of potential features over here.

In general, I wish to update more frequently and cover a more diverse range of topics. Taking in feedback from my readers, my entries are very detailed but it can be tiring to read essays. Almost everyone loves my photos. I will try my best to keep the word count down (The Halloween Horror Nights 2012 coverage is getting close to the length of an Honours Thesis) and have more entries dedicated to just photos. For now I would like to call them “PhotoShorts”.

What about more personal entries? Something other than theme parks, events and products?

When I first started this blog, I did want to have a mix of “personal” entries, but I think it’s a bit difficult to do that now. At least for the foreseeable future, the only “ups and downs” I’ll write about are on actual roller coasters.

I have more questions to ask.

Contact me and I’ll post my response here, or in a mailbag-style entry.