Yesterday once more on

It’s night time in Singapore, another new day in America and a radio station in Florida is playing oldies, taking me back in time as the music rings clear as a bell from my computer. The joys of internet radio.

The DJ comes on and talks about the songs we just heard: Love Is Strange by Mickey and Sylvia, Come On by Chuck Berry, Matchbox by Carl Perkins, I Wish You Would by The Four Tops, Johnny’s Still Singing by The Five Wings, and Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean.

Continue Reading

94% of internet users in Singapore are on social networks

Merry Christmas everyone! I see “merry Christmas” is trending both in Singapore and worldwide on Twitter. Twitter and Facebook must be deluged with Christmas greetings since almost every internet user in the world today visits social networking sites, according to the internet marketing research company, ComScore.

In Singapore, 94 per cent of the internet users are social networking, as you can see in this chart showing social network usage around the world. It is taken from a ComScore report released a few days ago. Facebook has more users in Singapore than The Straits Times has readers, as we will see later in this post. The figures in the chart show the percentage of internet users using social networks in October. Ninety-eight per cent of the internet users in America and Britain use social networks, 96 per cent in Australia and 95 per cent in India.

Social network users worldwide
Social network users worldwide

Continue Reading

How words get into the Oxford English Dictionary

I have seen the word "linguaphile" (meaning word lover or language lover) on and the Free Dictionary, but it's not there in the Oxford English Dictionary. It no longer tries to be comprehensive. "The language is expanding so fast this may be an impossible mission," said Edmund Weiner, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Mark Abley recalls their conversation in his book, The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English, where he also writes about Singlish and other variants of the English language, as I mentioned here.

"The Internet poses problems," said Weiner. "We tend to avoid citing the Web unless we feel we really have to. What we've tended to cite are newsgroups and discussion groups – they guarantee to archive them for a long time. We've occasionally taken quotations from websites. But we don't like doing that."

Continue Reading

Facebook, not news, reigns in Singapore

Singapore has more broadband subscriptions than people, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

But the top Singapore news website attracts only 2 per cent of the total broadband subscriptions on any given day.

The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) portal gets about 100,000 daily unique visitors, according to Google Trends.

Facebook, on the other hand, gets about a million daily unique visitors from Singapore, according to the same source. Twitter gets more than 60,000.

Singapore (population: 4,987,000) has a total of 5,257,800 broadband subscriptions, including 1,400,300 residential subscriptions, according to IDA.

Just over 1 per cent visit the second most popular news site.

Channel NewsAsia gets about 70,000 daily unique visitors.

Singapore's leading newspaper, the Straits Times' website gets a little more than 50,000 — less than a seventh of its print circulation. The SPH newspaper has a circulation of more than 380,000. Its citizen journalism site, Stomp, gets fewer than 25,000. And just over 15,000 visit the website of Today, a freesheet jointly owned by SPH and MediaCorp, which also owns the TV news station, Channel NewsAsia.

The BBC gets more than 40,000 daily unique visitors from Singapore while CNN gets over 20,000, Yahoo News over 100,000, and the New York Times and the Times of India over 10,000 each. Google Trends didn't show 2010 data for several sites, including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Malaysian papers and Chinese news sites.


You can create charts like this for other websites too on Google Trends. It shows the number of daily unique visitors, where they came from, what other sites they visited and what they searched for.

Just go to, type in the internet addresses of the websites you want to check, press enter, and see the charts appear on screen. Read here how Google collects the data.

Here are separate charts for each website so you can see the figures for the last 12 months.

Continue Reading