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omy.sg launches first bilingual Blog Awards to honour outstanding “new age wordsmiths”

Singapore, 30 April 2008 - omy (www.omy.sg), Singapore’s first bilingual news and interactive web portal by leading media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH), today launched the first bilingual blog award in Singapore, aptly named the Singapore Blog Awards. The award seeks to honour tireless “new age wordsmiths” who devote much time and energy in maintaining informative, regularly updated and innovative blogs, often out of interest rather than for personal gains.

There are a total of seven categories in the inaugural Singapore Blog Awards – Most Insightful Blog, Most Entertaining Blog, Best Individual Blog, Best Blog Shop, Best Blog Design, Best Youth Blog and Best Photo Blog.

Nominations and registrations for the Singapore Blog Awards are now open. Interested members of the public can log on to the official site, http://sgblogawards.omy.sg to nominate their favourite blogs. Bloggers can even nominate themselves for the award.

Nomination and registration will end on 1 June 2008. This will be followed by a judging round by the omy editorial team to select the top ten blogs for each category .

The shortlisted blogs will then be put through a rigorous public voting process and scoring by a panel of professional judges. The winners will be announced and crowned at a closing ceremony, with details to be announced later.

Winners of each of the seven categories will walk away with a custom-designed trophy by famous multi-disciplinary artist, Mr. Tan Swie Hian and a laptop.

Ms Lee Kuan Fung, Interactive Editor of omy, said: "In this day and age, while it is acceptable to not own a blog, it would be shocking for someone not to have visited a blog before. omy’s aim in organising the Singapore Blog Awards is to let netizens interact with each other, and to give encouragement to bloggers. Through this Awards, we hope that all quality blogs will be recognised and read."

Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient, Mr Tan Swie Hian, said, "It is a remarkable thing to give out awards to others, and it takes foresight and generosity to do so. We do not have enough organisations giving out awards to reward deserving and hardworking people in Singapore. For a young and successful web portal like omy to organise this Awards is highly commendable, and definitely worthy of support."

To further spice things up, there will be two additional Celebrity Blog Award categories – Best Local Celebrity Blog and Best Overseas Celebrity Blog – to honour well-written blogs maintained by known figures. There will be no prizes for these two categories and the winners will be determined entirely by public voting. Nomination is also open for these two categories now.

Award Categories:

1. Best Youth Blog
For blogs written by bloggers aged 16 years and below.

2. Best Photo Blog
For blogs with predominantly photo entries, including professional photography, candid photos and self portraits.

3. Most Insightful Blog
For blogs with interesting and revealing insights, analytical reports, dealing with various social issues.

4. Most Entertaining Blog
For light-hearted blogs with strong human interest, humour and entertainment factors.

5. Best Blog Design
For blogs with strong aesthetic appeal and site architecture.

6. Best Blog Shop
For blogs which deal with online commercial activities.

7. Best Individual Blog
For individualistic blogs with free-wheeling content about daily lives and musings that cannot fit into any categorisation.

Judging Criteria
To pick the award winner for each of the 7 categories, a score will be computed based on 30% public votes and 70% scorings by a panel of professional judges. Bonus points are also awarded to bloggers who go an extra mile to call for voters by pasting the blog button on their blogs!

Judging Criteria Points
Relevancy to award category 10
Expression of thoughts / Design 30
Inspiring/Creativity 30

Judges Total = 70 points
Voting Total = 30 points
Bonus Total = 10 points
(Bonus for blog button on template = 5 points; and Blog button for each entry* = 1 point) *maximum 5 points

Celebrity Blog Award

1. Best Overseas Celebrity Blog
For blogs written by overseas celebrities in the entertainment and media industry, writers, sportsmen and others

2. Best Local Celebrity Blog
For celebrities’ blogs written by Singapore celebrities in the entertainment and media industry, writers, sportsmen and others.

About omy
omy (www.omy.sg)is Singapore’s first bilingual-friendly (Mandarin and English) news and interactive web portal by leading media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH). Launched last year on 25 September, the portal provides the latest news and infotainment for web-savvy users and provides them the opportunity to generate news content by becoming citizen journalists. omy currently enjoys more than 5 million page views per month* and is one of the top news/entertainment/blog sites in Singapore.

Targeted at online users from 18 to 35 years old, omy is easy to navigate, even for users unfamiliar with surfing Chinese sites on the Internet. It engages users through various new media channels that they are familiar with -- via SMS, MMS, vodcast, podcast, Internet forums and blogs. omy empowers users by providing an interactive platform for them to share their views and opinions with other users, as well as with the omy editorial team.

For those who prefer visuals to text, omy offers an interesting range of vodcasts on current issues, lifestyle, fashion, beauty, cars, shopping and showbiz. There are also exciting online games for those who like challenges, and other interactive features such as geoblogging (blogging based on geographical locations), bilingual forums and sections for users to submit their own videos and photographs.
Source: (*Nielsen NetRatings, 25 Feb 2008)

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Alvin Lim
Online Marketing Executive
omy
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: 6319 2490
Email: limlh@sph.com.sg

Adrian Cheong
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: 6319 2261
HP: 9798 6097
Email: cheongcy@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 110 million pageviews with 7 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.