10 Most Thoughtful But Less Popular Singapore Blogs

What would you do to find the best content that people in Singapore blog? You’d likely Google top Singapore blogs. Yet like all search engines, Google is powered by algorithms which use quantity as indicative to quality.

The first result was a Top 50 list from ASEAN Up, which analyzed over 120 blogs and ordered them by estimated monthly traffic and social media follower counts. Similar lists were posted by The Smart Local and Alvinology, both among the most popular Singapore blogs.

But is popularity equal to substance? They are not equal, but neither are they mutually exclusive. Yet there is no way that Google can judge quality in human ways. That needs to be done by humans. And there are lists curated by humans. I found lists of lifestyle bloggers, food bloggers, parent bloggers, and sociopolitical bloggers.

Nonetheless, these are among the most popular types of blogs. If you check the list out, many genres are little accounted for in the lists of top Singapore blogs. I thus decided to make my own alternative list, with these criteria:

1. Thoughtfulness
2. Eloquence
3. Limited Popularity
4. Non-Fiction

To clarify, by “Singapore blogs” I include blogs written by Singaporeans, or for Singaporean audiences. And blogs should convey a personal voice, though they need not have only one author.

Are there Singapore Blogs Worth Reading?

I dived deep into multiple Google searches. It was difficult. I believe many thoughtful blogs cannot be found, simply because there’s too little traffic or too few search terms which can identify them. For instance, how do you find “personal blogs” when the bloggers never use the term on their own pages?

I did discover a few gems, which I combined with some I already knew to produce this list of well-written Singapore blogs. Some are (or may become) inactive, but I included them because thoughtful content lasts. And newer is not always better, unlike what Google seems to assume.

I excluded blogs which I regard as overly technical or overly political. This is not to say those cannot be well-written or purposeful. It reflects a human judgment on my part, that thoughtful blogs should seek to bring people together, rather than perpetuate divisions along the lines of expertise or political orientation. Yet they may belong on other lists I hope to draft in time.

Now read on for my recommendations, complete with sample article links!

Socio Empath on Facebook

guanyinmiao’s musings [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Jin Yao blogs on sociopolitical issues in Singapore, including the education system, National Service, and community service. He writes with a journalistic sensibility in response to news. This is unsurprising given he has written for the creditable (but now defunct) Singapore alternative news site The Middle Ground. If you relish frequent and stimulating insight on socially relevant issues, check Jin Yao’s blog out!

Consensus SG [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Founded in early-2017 by Rio Hoe and Daniel Huang—both Singaporean law graduates—Consensus SG seeks to generate reason and productive dialogue in public discourse. The multiple writers address themes ranging from politics to civil rights to education to history and culture. Output has slowed in recent months, but their consistently sensible and well-edited blog commentaries retain value even after the heat of political moments.

Jeraldine Phneah [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Jeraldine Phneah (or Jeraldine Tan) generates articles on current affairs (such as education, environment, economy, and politics), personal development, and travel. Unlike the two above, she writes in the 1st-person rather than the journalistic 3rd-person, prioritizing her personal voice over intellectual insight. If you appreciate candid yet not overly political opinions from “someone like you”, Jeraldine’s blog is worth a visit.

The Long and Winding Road [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Twice crowned Best Photography Blog in the Singapore Blog Awards, Jerome Lim has put together a remarkable repository of sights and reflections. It was not easy to size this blog up, with treasures often hidden deep within site pages, from specific physical sites to cultural and religious festivals. This is the closest I’ve seen to an ethnography of Singapore, sprinkled with but never distracted by personal memories and impressions. Highly recommended!

The Heartlander Tourist [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Zach (inferred from “LionCityBoyZach”) has also compiled a repository of Singapore, albeit mainly in its present form. As the title suggests, this is more a travel blog than a cultural blog, which shows in the mainly impressionistic snapshots of all things from heritage to food, topped with Google Map directions. Zach has moved to Sweden and started another blog, but this remains a user-friendly resource for anyone looking for unsponsored ideas.

Scribbles from a Singaporean Girl [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

The Scribbling Girl is an ex-Sociology major, but any sociological slant in her posts arises spontaneously rather than explicitly. She writes about everyday life with an assertiveness like Jeraldine’s, but I include her blog for the introspective posts I still recall, even if she hasn’t updated since March 2015. I appreciate her brutal self-honesty and humility in those, traits I see in myself but which I have detracted from.

SELAH [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

SELAH is a Christian faith-driven magazine which is fueled by personal stories commonly marked by allusions to religious passages, as well as interviews involving more cultural discussions. While there are diverse writers—it’s open to submissions for prose, poetry, and photojournalism—the pieces do fit coherently. The result is an accessible yet stimulating collection which does not come across as encroaching on others’ beliefs.

Sociological Thoughts [Link] [FB]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Another Sociology major, another largely anonymous author. But unlike Scribbles, J’s blog is clearly sociological: the subtitle reads, “Rethinking everyday life through the sociological imagination”. Scouring through the archives, I noticed a biographical shift in orientation from academic to introspective, one I see as laudable, that I know I will also make in time. The prose, like the minimalist design, evokes clarity and thoughtfulness. Highly recommended!

SmartCasualSG [Link] [FB]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Eugene Lim (a.k.a. Socio Empath) adopts a highly eclectic orientation in SmartCasualSG, tackling everyday life topics from education to social life to health to the arts and travel. Driven by a faith in the sociological imagination as a force for empathy and agency, he muses over both abstract ideas and personal stories, while seeking to give voice to Singapore creators and social activists. If you are receptive to new ideas for your everyday life, I promise a reflexive and evolving ride.

Luther Yap [Link]

<- Political – Cultural – Experiential – Introspective – Academic ->

Luther Yap exhibits wide-ranging aptitudes by writing about economics, philosophy, theology, pedagogy, and music. Like The Scribbling Girl, his blog can be read as a collection of personal interests which need not relate to a coherent whole or larger causes. He writes in mostly theoretical language, with frequent allusion to his Christian faith. While this may be the least accessible blog on the list, his voice will certainly be compelling to some.

Socio Empath on Facebook

Any Excellent Singapore Blogs Missing?

This is, of course, just as indicative list of blogs derived from what I could find. If you are a lesser-known blogger, or if you know other well-written Singapore blogs of any genre (even literary), please leave a comment to let us know! I cannot promise to add them to the main list, but I will keep your comment if it’s useful, and I may even include your recommended blogs in future topical lists. No harm trying, right?

As you must have noticed, I included a spectrum under each blog. I mean for it to be circular, since the line between the political and the academic may be thin. So it is across the categories. All I mean is to express the range of possibility, so that we can better understand what we are reading. And for the creators among us, to figure out what we are doing and where we want to head.

That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed reading and found some gems like I did. Share this list with your friends! If you liked the penultimate recommendation, thumb me up on Facebook!


Socio Empath

Hi, my name is Eugene. I am a Sociology graduate from the National University of Singapore. This blog is an invitation: To see our selves as colored by cultures, and to brighten the colors of our society. I seek to help you create freedom in everyday life, with empathy and the sociological imagination.

1 Response

  1. March 11, 2018

    […] hope this is useful- and credits to smartcasual for these awesome […]

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