MESYM Blog

on 30 Jul, 16:17

Check out our awesome revamped Resources section!

Our Resources section has been completely revamped! Below a description of all the new features.

Resource types

It is possible to share the following type of media:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Documents
  • Images

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My Resources

All the Resources are shared directly by our Profiles, through the My Resources page:

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Resources in the Organization / Individual Profile

The resources will also show on the Organization or Individual Profile!

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Filtering / Searching

All the resources can be filtered by keywords / Profiles:

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We hope you will enjoy! And start sharing all environmental-related media with everyone 🙂

on 10 Jul, 17:30

How to make something awesome out of nothing*

This is the story of how, in MESYM, we are doing something (I believe) awesome, without a cent in our pockets… I believe our strategy is so powerful yet so simple, that it deserves to be shared with everyone.

My philosophy of how to create a movement, as we are intending to do with MESYM, is not mine, I actually stole it from my friend Nitin Dani, president of Green Drinks China in Shanghai (he has also written an article for MESYM). Green Drinks China creates awareness and promotes action through its Monthly Movie Night and its Monthly Sustainability Forum, in which a key speaker is invited to deliver a presentation on environmental issues. Nitin’s genius is that he has achieved to create an Organization out of thin air, just by using resources which belong to someone else during those times when these are not used.

So, for instance, his Monthly Sustainability Forum is held in ARUP (a construction company)’s offices after 6 pm, when everyone finishes work; the drinks and food distributed in the event come from sponsors; the forum’s speaker is not paid to deliver the presentation; his office is provided by a startup incubator office space which has an empty slot; and the work is done by volunteers who come and go, sometimes even foreigners doing internships and learning a lot of the environmental scene in China. In this moment, Green Drinks China is expanding and further creating action, and trying to create a business model out of helping others. It has no employees so no salaries to pay, no office rent or electricity bill at the end of the month, no marketing ads either. Yet, out of all this nothingness, there’s an Organization thriving to deliver real value to real people.

And this is the model we are trying to follow with MESYM in Malaysia: the space for our MESYM Documentary Night is provided by Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok, who not only do not charge us a single ringgit for it, but also gave us the keys to their office from the very first day; our work is all carried out by volunteers who come and go (as with MESYM’s awesome design, done by Chen Yee, the translation of the website to Malay, done by Emily, the every day content management, done by Nicolas, and many more people helping with all our daily tasks); only the bananas we get for our Documentary Night come from our pockets, so we can say we’re running an Organization with just 20 ringgits (or even less) for bananas each month.

And the most awesome thing is that our volunteers help us out of pure good will. As long as we do what we think is the right thing to do, people will constantly jump onboard and help us, and ask nothing in return. It is important to keep them active and motivated, give them tasks not too easy not too difficult and always engaging. And, more importantly, there’s nothing wrong with requesting: people appreciate to be appreciated, and asking them to do something and rewarding them with praises over their good work is (in many cases) all they need. I know of many people who are extremely bored in their office, they get a salary but no satisfaction whatsoever. We do the opposite: we give no money but the satisfaction to belong to a group of people going after a dream, and, I believe, this makes a real difference.

My personal experience during these last months (since we launched the new version of MESYM last April 21st), is that running an organization is really tough. To do it, is needed: perseverance, to not give up after all the initial frustrations; patience, waiting for emails to be replied to; good will, to help others and thus better connect with them; hard work, since things do not come easily; and networking skills, since we can achieve our goals only after people get to know about our work.

Also, it’s very important to be flexible, and to adapt to the new situation at any given time. In our case, MESYM.com is a platform for organizations and individuals to promote their events and actions, and connect with each other and create awareness by writing articles; in other words, we depend on this community, if this community does not create any event or action or article, then there’s nothing much for us to do, right? Well, it turns out that organizations do want to have their info spread all around, it’s just that they are too busy (or too lazy?) to also post the info in yet another platform. So we adapted MESYM to be a crowdsourcing platform: now not only organizations can post their own info, but now also volunteers can post these organizations’ info on their behalf. And even more, now our work is easier: we do not only reach out to all organizations, but also to local volunteers (from Penang, Kuching, Melacca, Terengganu, etc) who help post the content from the organizations in their area, and this way we can more easily map all actions happening in Malaysia.

Final remarks

Yesterday was MESYM’s 4th Movie Night, we had around 25 attendees, not too big not too small a number, but we are greatly satisfied. The crowd enjoyed the films, and the presence of Elizabeth John from TRAFFIC and fellow colleagues from WWF added magic to the night. Moreover, Shaun Lim, who recently wrote an article about his carpooling app for Malaysia, attended the event and introduced his app, and got connected to potential volunteers. I expect in the future to have more organizations to join us in our Documentary Night, more individuals to use MESYM to spread their ideas with everyone and try to find a volunteer or a potential business partner, or just a friend. Things are moving not too slow, not too fast, but certainly steadily, they are starting to happen, and we are very happy with the results so far.

*This title is misleading. It should actually be: “How to make something awesome out of the help of all the awesome people around you”.

on 25 Jun, 06:52

Awesome new features in MESYM!

We have a bunch of new features that, we believe, are awesome! We hope you’ll think the same 😉

Our aim is to connect all the green dots in Malaysia, make it easy to everyone to take action. With this in mind, we added some new features:

  • Detailed Google Maps location information for Profiles and Actions
  • Possibility to co-create Actions (and Events, Articles and Announcements) with another Profile

We hope you’ll find these new features useful. Also, please share with your friends, let’s make the sustainability movement in Malaysia bigger, as big as we can!

 

Real addresses for Profiles

When creating or editing a Profile, now we can specify detailed addresses, and as many as needed. Then:

  • Organizations can list all their branches
  • Individuals can say in what city or cities they are based
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Add Locations to your Profile

 

And it will show on the Profiles Map!

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Organization and Individual Profiles Map in Malaysia!

 

Real addresses for Actions

When editing or creating an Actions, now we can specify exactly where it takes place, adding as many locations as needed

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Add Locations to your Actions

 

And it will show in the Actions Map!

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All Actions happening in Malaysia! Any near you?

 

Google Maps in the Homepage for Events, Actions and Profiles!

Now, each Event, Action and Profile in the Homepage will also show  its location in the Google Map.

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Google Maps showing in the homepage, with detailed addresses for Events, Actions and Profiles

 

And also, a quick link, just click on the marker to show the Location directly on the Map:

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Quick link on the marker…

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… open the location in the Google Map

 

Super-powered Profiles

Profiles have been re-charged with a lot of info.

  • Social Sharing: tell your friends about the Profile
  • All locations in the map
  • All Events, Actions, Articles and Announcements
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Profiles show all its Events, Actions, Announcements and Articles

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Google Maps showing the Profile’s, their Events’ and Actions’ locations

 

Create an Action (or Event, Article or Announcement) together with somebody else

A group of Organizations can co-host an Event or make an Announcement together. Or a group of friends can co-own an Action or co-write an Article.

By co-creating an Action (or Event, Article or Announcement) with other Profiles, each Profile will get the credit, display its contact information, and be able to edit the information.

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Co-create an Action, Event, Article or Announcement with another Profile

 

If you think this is all cool, and you have friends, or you know of Organizations who might find it useful and use it, please spread the word!!!! 🙂
on 6 Jun, 14:56

You are invited to brainstorm with us!

You are invited to brainstorm with us!
Blog

Join MESYM in our second crowd-sourcing event! This time, we invite you to join us in a brainstorming session to formulate a strategy for MESYM to reach out to university and high school students.

Who?

If you are an educator, a student, or someone who is passionate about the youth, you are invited to join in and contribute your ideas.

What?

The purpose of the brainstorming is to find a strategy to reach out to high schools and universities, to encourage students to use MESYM as a platform to create actions. By the end of the day, we hope to have a short and long term strategy.

When?

2pm, 16/6. It’s a Sunday afternoon. We’ll serve home-made yogurt smoothies as usual!

Where?

Our place in Bangsar (5-10mins walk from Bangsar LRT).

How?

Drop us an email if you’re interested to come at info@mesym.com, and we’ll give you further directions!

on 3 Jun, 12:36

Many new Actions, Events and Profiles!

Many new Actions, Events and Profiles!
Blog

We’re excited to announce the results of the Action/Event Mapping Sunday! With the help of our awesome volunteers, we managed to get… *drumroll*

  • 16 new Events
  • 15 new Actions
  • 2 new Announcements
  • 16 new Organizational Profiles

Hurrah hurrah!! Explore the Action page and the Upcoming Events, since not everything could fit in the front page. There are many types of exciting initiatives, and quite possibly there is something interesting for everyone.

A huge thank you to everyone who came! Credits go to: Leo, Jun-E, Jackie, Nicolas, Amalen, Emily, Chris, Eric and Imran. With the added manpower, we were able to accomplish much more research in a much shorter time, and entered them into the website. Lots of ground was covered. Check out our calendar for June! So many events!

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To give you some idea of the work that goes on behind the scenes, this is a rough description of the process:

  1. Before the event, pre-research was done, so that the volunteers would have some leads to work on. This entailed finding as many Profiles as possible and listing them down in a master list. Special shoutout to Teckwyn for giving us many pointers.
  2. During the event, volunteers were briefed on why we’re doing this, and how we plan to do it. They were divided into groups of two, focusing on different parts of Malaysia, digging into all the Profiles provided in the master list to find their Actions, Events and partnering organizations (adding new Profiles to the list). All the posts need to be checked and approved, and then they are published.
  3. After the event, organizations have to be contacted so that they will know that their Profile and their action/event is on MESYM. We will work on these emails tonight.

 

And the pictures:

 

All in all it was a great event! We are planning for the next round. Soon!

on 29 May, 14:55

A surge of positive energy!

Good news everyone!

Remember the fundraising that happened almost exactly a month ago? Today we achieved our goal! Well, it’s at RM1999.18 because of conversion rates (our Paypal operates in Euro) but as far as I’m concerned, we have achieved our RM2000 goal. And for that I invented a dance of joy. True story.

What people may not see is that, it’s much more than the money. It’s the injection of faith that lifts you up from a rough patch, a boost when you’re sending out emails that seem to never reach their recipients, a firm squeeze on your shoulder when you are overwhelmed by work, work and more work. A childhood friend who has not spoken to you in years banks in money out of the blue, just because he believes in what you’re doing. The endearing gesture of a friend who, upon realizing that we were about RM65 away from our goal, donates a second time just to reach the target. And so here we are. I’m blogging with a huge smile spread across my face and gratitude swelling in my heart. Warm fuzzies!

I’m in a particularly good mood today because of this, and also because we have achieved another landmark: 600 likes on Facebook. And then two more. Woo hoo!! We’ve been relaunched for slightly more than a month, and it’s not been smooth sailing all the time. But we are on the right path, I would say. The mapping event on this Sunday has also been well-received as we’ve got quite many people confirming their attendance. I’m quite excited about getting the mapping done. The pre-research is under way and hopefully things will run smoothly on the day itself.

To end this post I’d like to share this TED Talk by Amanda Palmer, who talks about connecting with the community and being unafraid to ask for help. Asking for help is indeed difficult. But it can be very rewarding when you make that personal connection with people and they actually want to help you. The point of this post really =)

 

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Welcome to MESYM!
Connecting the green dots

MESYM.com is a crowd-sourced platform and a living database for environmental movements in Malaysia. There are many good actions being done out there. Our goal is to bring them together. We connect the green dots.