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  • 09 Jul 2013
    The Honeymoon Travel Blog (abc) SINGAPORE ARRIVED IN SINGAPORE: "Singapore seems to be alive. Blink and another building goes up. More offices, more shops, more businesses, more hotels, more new bars… It's mind boggling." After our three day Orient Express extravaganza we arrive in Singapore with a slight sway in our step - something akin to sea-legs. We hop in a taxi from the station and before we know it we've arrived at the Fullerton hotel, one of Singapore's finest establishments. Built in 1928 and famous as the one-time Post Office with 100-metre long counter (now a swanky bar), the Fullerton is instantly recognisable thanks to its white stucco-fronted columns and wedding cake look. I really like the slightly off keel colonial-meets-Asian atmosphere - white-clad bellboys and an original red pillar post box sit comfortably alongside a huge lobby pond where Koi carp swim for good Feng Shui. We're welcomed at the door and whisked up to our suite. It's gorgeous - and ginormous! The stunning duplex suite in golden creamy colours is flooded with light from the floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the South China Sea and the crazy new Marina Bay Sands treble skyscrapers (complete with Titanic-look-alike structure neatly deposited atop the three buildings, about 60 floors up). We have a beautiful mezzanine upstairs, with swanky bathroom (with that amazing harbour view), elegant furniture in golds, dark woods and Chinese prints, and even our own terrace wedged between the imposing façade's columns. If only we lived here. We could recline on the mocha velvet divan, invite lovely friends for a cosy dinner party and watch movies on the huge flat screen TV. This could be our dream apartment… For now, we'll make the most of it for 48 hours while we also try to pack in all of Singapore's must do sights. There's a lot on the agenda. Between an expat friend's recommendations, and wanting to go back to the places we last saw in 2003, we might be a bit ambitious. .. Nevertheless, we plan an action packed schedule, starting with a walk down Boat Quay, where at night the street is lined with bars and restaurants, from Penny Black's English pub to seafood eateries where you can see the creatures before they meet their demise - anything from grumpy looking eels (who probably knew they were edible), to giant crabs (the size of a small dog - seriously!), and other assorted sea/see-foods. Also on the list is a visit to Chinatown. We decide to walk there from the hotel but take a wrong turn and end up amidst motorways and building sites, easily done in Singapore. It might seem small, but it's deceptively big when you're on foot - and building sites are a dime a dozen. We negotiate traffic, hop over barriers and jaywalk - not usually recommended in a country with strict rules and regulations, but we have little choice. I wouldn't usually mind jaywalking, but I seem to recall that even chewing gum is illegal here. Indeed, where else could you find brand new flat screen TVs in the street, sleek digital displays and a spotless metro system without a piece of litter or graffiti to be seen? Eventually we find Chinatown, and walk around the Temple, Pagoda and Mosque streets. Since we did the temple thing last time we just browse the stalls selling everything from very intriguing looking food to jade trinkets, the eternal Chinese dresses, silk bags, paper fans and plastic good luck charm cats - a must have item we decide to invest in, choosing an 'eco-friendly' solar powered waving cat with a cheesy grin. I really do love shopping, but I can't quite believe how many luxury malls and designer brands there are in such a small square mileage! The abundance of Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores is amazing. It seems that everywhere we look in Singapore, there's a mall - SunTec, Orchard Road, Raffles City… It's torture for me! I suffer major shoe envy - those teeny, tiny sizes are no match for my size 9s - the eternal curse of the 6ft2 giant. Singapore seems to be alive. Blink and another building goes up. More offices, more shops, more businesses, more hotels, more new bars… It's mind boggling. Nevermind visiting the old heritage sites, like Chjimes or the famous Black & White houses, there's barely enough time to see all that's brand spanking new! We squeeze in a dinner at Lau Pa Sat, the authentic food hall where locals chow down on Vietnamese, Thai or Malaysian food, and order something that tastes pretty good considering we have no idea what it is. On the other end of the scale, we also make it to legendary Raffles. It's compulsory in Singapore. The cream meringue-like building with its elegant high ceilings, beautiful beams, detailing and antique furnishings is opulent colonial luxury at its best. To start off, we pop to the courtyard bar (which is really well hidden) with its intricate, white latticed balconies, and have a couple of drinks before dining at the gourmet Grill. Spoilt with amazing foie gras and chicken confit terrine and the Australian Waygu steak, we even allow the sommelier to twist our arm and try a Chateau Margaux 2005 - a real treat. I try to skip dessert but am foiled by the chef who insists we try his petit fours with a coffee. I love the freshly made fluffy 'guimauve' marshmallows and the financier 'finger' with its almond flavouring. For 'apres' we sneak up to the Long Bar for a Singapore Sling - also totally compulsory here. Be warned! The bar with its peanut shells on the floor, paddle fan ceiling system and smiling staff is so cliché it's like a movie set. I start chatting to the manager who turns out to be an ex-member of Transvision Vamp - You meet the most interesting people, in the strangest of places!The pink drink we've come to sample is extraordinarily sweet (apparently specially devised for ladies back in the day) so next time, I'm sticking to Cosmos. PREVIOUS: "Entering the Orient Express lounge in Hualamphong Station was the start to a journey in a parallel universe."   For more from Rowena, follow her @just_glorious - take a look at or her portfolio at . For photography check  
    44914 Posted by I Lyn
  • 18 Nov 2013
    YouNet - SocialEngine Demo - View Video - Justin Bieber Babynice weekend for everyone >;)
    16695 Posted by I Lyn
  • 18 Nov 2013
    Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it
    3826 Posted by I Lyn
  • 09 Apr 2014
    Let’s dispense with the hype and marketing speak; an intranet is an internally focused, private website. And like all websites they’re meant to hand out information like a Pez dispenser. They are corporate brochureware and their time has come and gone. There was a time when an intranet was the best possible solution for internal communication. Most companies have events, announcements, files, forms, presentations, workflows and general information that needs to be accessible to the employees or groups within the organization. This content is the stuff of the intranet. It’s not that intranets aren’t useful; it’s just that they’re obsolete. They are like Windows XP — lots of people still use them, they can do a lot of useful things, but better technology has supplanted it. In this case, the intranet is heading toward extinction because of enterprise social networks and other social collaboration software. The Intranet Replacements Enterprise social networks and similar collaboration platforms have distinct advantages for disseminating corporate information. First, they allow employees to share useful information. Just because someone puts some content up on an intranet and sends a “look at this” email doesn’t mean that busy employees will bother to look at it. Employees don’t purposefully ignore corporate communications; they just don’t get around to it. Enterprise social networks allow other employees who have looked at the content and found it useful to share it with others, raising awareness of the content in ways the official company channels cannot. And let’s be honest, companies push out a lot of information to employees that is generally meaningless to them. Enterprise social networks’ sharing mechanisms along with the ability to follow people or groups that are of interest help curate information so that employees know that what they see is probably important to them. The second advantage that enterprise social networks have over intranets is the ability to facilitate meaningful conversations around content. Social content is designed to link the online conversation to the content. In effect, the content becomes richer as employees discuss the content, often sharing additional information to supplement the original content. The Key Differentiator Intranet software vendors will be quick to point out that they have added many of these social features, including microblogging and activity streams, to their products. That’s true but a key difference still exists between enterprise social networks and intranets and it isn’t features. It’s how they are used. Intranets are still designed to be a one way communication — company to employee. Enterprise social networks are meant to facilitate sharing and communication amongst everyone in the company. The corporate intranet assumes that the company wants to spew information to employees without response while the enterprise social network assumes that employees have valuable content to share with each other. Ultimately, the goals and usefulness of an intranet can be achieved by the enterprise social network but not the other way around. That’s one of the reasons that many of the top intranet vendors have effectively become enterprise social network vendors. Intranets are disappearing, subsumed into the enterprise social network. It’s time to let them go extinct.
    2542 Posted by I Lyn


Business 1,807 views Apr 15, 2014
Emerging niche social networks and the bond of community

Facebook has always been bad at building communities outside of your existing friends and family. It’s an online tool to build and maintain your existing community of relations.

In fact, social networks in general have been bad at bringing together people with a shared interest to create new communities. Whereas forums have always been particularly good at it. Look at Mumsnet, The Student Room and Gamespot for some incredibly successful examples of forums used to build powerful, long-lasting communities.

Now is the time to revisit what I believe is the greatest use of the internet: online community sites and their evolution into niche social networks.

The resurrection of the niche community

Despite the attention the big social networks have been receiving in recent years, community forums have remained popular and they’re evolving, adopting more ‘social network’ like features. There are hundreds of thousands, probably millions of these sites that have a combined audience comparable to Facebook.

Perhaps online communities have been overlooked slightly in recent years because they are so niche. You would only visit these forums if you had a particularly strong interest, and it’s this extreme and shared interest that unites people within them.

A fantastic example is the Transformer toys collector websites like TFormers and Seibertron. Why would you know about these if you weren’t interested in Transformers? You wouldn’t. These sites are insanely popular and extremely resilient because of their community bond. For every interest there is an online community to accommodate, be it for films, fishing, cooking and so on. They live and grow every day even if you know nothing about them.

I run a small local site called Love Clapham that brings together my local community online. During 2011’s London riots, where Clapham Junction became centre of attention, Love Clapham’s community played a pivotal role as residents confirmed to one another what was and wasn’t actually happening. Almost all local communities now have an online community site to accommodate. They’re incredibly powerful within each area. Search for the one in your area to see for yourself.

Long-term relationships

Back in the late 90′s early 00′s I ran a number of sites for pop artists and TV shows which were particularly good at bringing people together to chat about common interests. Building friendships and even marriages(!) that last to this day. I’m followed on Twitter and still chat online with many people I met on these forums but have never actually met – over a decade later. I’ve always been fascinated by this use of online and the untouchable strength of community.

Will community behaviour ever follow the technology?

Social networks are a natural progression from forums – forums 2.0! After all, much of the functionality is similar, only much better (posting images, messaging, discussions etc). Yet the community behaviour never followed the technology. So I recently discovered a games social network called Playfire with great interest.

Playfire is a new, currently limited but quickly developing social network that brings video game players together, cleverly linking to games consoles to display your game play activity from the Xbox 360 and PS3. As a video gamer this is exciting and I’ve already been using it in similar ways to how I would use a forum (e.g. asking the collective community questions). The big games websites Gamespot and IGN both have communities built around forums that have existed for over ten years and they’re both integrating more and more social network like features too.

Zeebox, a new iPad app and website built as a companion to broadcast TV demonstrates similar characteristics by bringing people together who like shows in real time to chat about them. This uses Twitter to form the community interaction. Twitter is particularly interesting because it can mould itself around other technology in ways Facebook cannot. I’m keen to see how this grows but also how existing communities like Mumsnet evolve from what we know as forums into more advanced social networks (aka forums 2.0, or as I like to call them, mega forums… joke).

Niche social networks are the next big thing

I was discussing this very subject of niche social networks and the dominance of Facebook with my colleague Guy Phillipson earlier in the year. We came to the conclusion that niche social networks will begin to have their heyday and, from the little evidence I’ve just written about, this appears to be happening right now.

Thanks to the wider availability of simple social network technology, niche social networks are cropping up every day. Open source platforms like JomSocial for Joomla and BuddyPres for WordPress mean almost every interest has its own niche social network. Take a look at Tasty KitchenFellow FishermenNew York City Runners and this fantastic Greek pet social network. Currently Google+ even feels like a niche social network for early adopting media/technology experts – I love it! It won’t stay like that forever of course.

In fact, if you look, some niche social networks have existed for a long time and other communities are playing catch-up. Dating sites like Match, MySingleFriend, Gaydar and PlentyofFish are a prime example of niche social network; in fact they were probably the first niche social network. Often they offer more than just a match making service, they build friendships around a common situation and generate wider discussion among the people that use them. And yes, they create new relationships.

This post is more about sharing some thoughts to generate discussion instead of drawing a conclusion. I will however finish on the thought that some social networks, predominantly Facebook, have distracted from something the internet is particularly good at: bringing people together online to form community. A lot of these communities already exist as forums which I’d argue are a form of social network in their own right and these are morphing into something more advanced and ‘social network’ like.

Let’s not simply focus on the scale of large social networks, as important as this scale and their influence is. Let’s also concentrate on the bond of community and the way in which the internet can create and strengthen this.


Tags: #younetco