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The beginnings of The Online Citizen

Trivia about the beginnings of The Online Citizen…

The name was conjured at Glenda Han’s pub in Boat Quay. I believe that pub was called The Camel (in French). That was where my friends in the WP and I would hang out. (This was in 2006, when I was a WP member.) I had 2 names on the shortlist, after weeks of throwing up various alternatives. The other option was Ground-up.

In the end I chose The Online Citizen because of how the government (yes, even then) were trying to discredit the online community, with the media painting us critics as unpatriotic.

So I chose “online citizen” as a rebuttal to that – that even though we may be online, we were still citizens of Singapore, with our rights to speak.

And I thought that such a name would always ring true – which was then reinforced with the tagline “A Community of Singaporeans”, which had always been on the website. And we lived up to the name and tagline – in the 9 years I was with TOC, we had some 600-700 volunteers pass through our doors, especially in the first 3 -5 years.

And I am proud to say I met with every one of these volunteers – because of the kind of website we were, I had to know every one that volunteered with us.

TOC has never been about any one or two persons. It was always a community, of Singaporeans.

Without the volunteers, TOC would be nothing. And they were an incredible bunch of people, young and old.
I never thought politics would attract so many.

*I resigned from the WP in 2008 because as TOC got more well known, some people thought WP was involved with the website (which was not true because TOC had nothing to do with the WP, and I never discussed the website with any of the WP leadership). To avoid any confusion, I decided to resign from the party, since I was TOC’s Managing Editor then.

Anyway, just a little trivia.

 

Andrew Loh

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

5 Responses to “The beginnings of The Online Citizen”

  • Heaven has eyes:

    Thank you everyone at TOC..
    Its really a sad day for us readers of your wonderful alternative news platform.
    All the Best.

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  • xoxo:

    Never mind.
    Can start a new SINGAPOREANS ONLINE.

    Never say die,we are Sgs.

    Else,call it Kampong Online.

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  • I have said this before and I will say it again. For the sake of Terry and his fellow writers, better NOT try to revive TOC.

    Even if in the unlikely event that the court rules in TOC’s favor, TOC would be staring at the new FICA in the face, much more painful death for TOC.

    As far as TRE is concerned, I have “STRONGLY ADVISED” the team to disband and shut down the website.

    It is not worth throwing one’s life away for the sake of the dafts, who will never wake up.

    The dafts can continue to read Mothership, REACH or even sextalk at Sammy’s.

    Anyone disagreeing?

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  • Kaiju:

    Yes, I disagree.
    Got plentiful stuffs out there to read, why stick to local manure?
    Sinjapokelang illiterate or from lousy school, cannot read non-sinjiapoke things?

    TRE Techie:

    The dafts can continue to read Mothership, REACH or even sextalk at Sammy’s.

    Anyone disagreeing?

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  • A voice please:

    Society will always need an alternative view and voice.
    Need a venue for ground feedback to avoid group mentality.
    Not good for Singapore future.

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