#2117 | Getting my first Chromebook!

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Hey guys,

So I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, but in November, I finally stopped dithering, went out and bought myelf a chromebook.

This came as a surprise to most people – I have a perfectly fine macbook pro (old, but trusty) and I work off a second hand iMac in my office (bought off carousel for $400, can you believe it?). But I wanted something portable and functionable enough that I could use for travel – I’m always on the go, and more often than not I’m out of the country at least once a month. I don’t always need a laptop on these trips, but I do get a bit nervous whenever I dont have it cos I’m afraid something urgent will crop up, so I end up lugging it along out of habit anyway. And half the time, it ends up being deadweight, because I either dont use it, or use it just once on the trip. Of course, a simple solution would just be not to bring anything – but the occasion has popped up more than once where I needed to rush some edits, or do some writing, and I’ve always been glad in those instances to have broguht my MBP with me.

My travel set up is hectic, because I usually have my laptop, DSLR, and an extra lens if I’m headed on a big trip. All things that I obviously will not put in my check in baggage, so I’m always lugging around at least 3kg of electronic weight around with me in my carry-on backpack, in addition to other miscellaneous plane things. I knew I wanted to streamline this because not only is it cumbersome, it’s also not great for my back. And all signs seemed to be pointing to getting a portable work machine that would serve my basic needs while on the go to complement my more fully fleshed out work set up back home.

Ever since my chromebook appeared in my instagram posts, multiple people have written to me asking me to do a review of the chromebook. I’m not a tech expert, so if you want to know the super technical specs stuff, please do your own reserach. But from a user’s experience? Sure. Here we go:

Chromebooks – what?

Chromebooks are basically computers that run on the google chrome OS. It is not a brand, it is a type of device – like a phone, a tablet, or a computer. My particular chromebook is made by HP (it’s the HP Chromebook 11 g5), but you could get one from Lenovo, Acer, Asus, etcetera. Their defining characteristics are usually that they’re cheap, and that they run on the Google OS. Beyond that, each chromebook differs.

Chromebooks – why?

Like I said, I wanted a work machine for travel. I considered getting a tablet, but I quickly realised that Im a traditionalist and I need a keyboard. The tablet + keyboard combo would add up to too much money for my liking, so that was out. My boyfriend pointed out that I could have upgraded my current 4 year old macbookpro to the latest one which is way lighter, and so reduce the number of devices I would need to own in total. But my MBP is chugging along fine, and the new macbooks start at a ridiculous 1,900 to 2,000SGD, which I refuse to pay unless my current MBP dies completely.

That left netbooks and chromebooks. They’re both cheap options – netbooks are tiny laptops that usually run Windows 10, and chromebooks are tiny laptops that run the Google OS. Most retail for 500SGD or under. They’re also smaller and lighter, thus fulfilling the portability requirement for me. I debated for very long between the two, but finally went with the chromebook.

Chromebooks – why I decided to get it and how I decided which model was right for me

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My matte black chromebook! You can identify chromebooks by the little google logo at the top corner

What I got was the HP Chromebook 11 G5. I bought it from the HP store at Marina Square Singapore for $449, and it came with a one year warranty, the charging cable, and a free squishy sleeve.

Deciding on this was a matter of sitting down and writing out what I wanted vs what I needed, what I would realistically use it for (which begs the question: what I was willing to compromise on), and what was available to the Singapore market.

What I wanted
Portability (weight)
Portability (size/dimension)
A good keyboard
Good battery life
Touchscreen option
A nice screen?
Something cheap (<$500) Something that doesnt lag too much Something that looked nice

All of the above I would have liked, but I know that at $500 which I refused to budge on, compromises would have to be made. So I narrowed it down. Portability was key – weight was more important to me than size, although preferably I hoped to find a sweet spot between the two). I had to have a good keyboard because I would be using it mainly to write. I tried one of those super thin keyboards before and hated it, I need a solid keyboard that’s evenly spaced and with good key travel (kind of like the amount of depression you get when you press the keys). Everything else was just a wish list. So this is what my list of needs looked like after considering the above:

Something light
Good keyboard

Everything else I reasoned, would be a bonus, but I wouldn’t die without. And I knew for $500, I couldnt expect something that would blow my mind – but that’s ok. I just needed something that worked for my purposes. Everything else would be fluff and glitter dust.

What I would use it for

Narrowing down that above list of requirements came with truly knowing exactly what I was in the market for. People can get overboard when buying new things, and I’m like that too. I want everything! I want a sexy looking laptop that weighs next to nothing and has three USB ports and an SD card reader and solid wifi connection and a screen that will blow my mind, and preferably this dream laptop costs nothing!!

But that’s unrealistic. To narrow down what you truly need vs what you want, ask yourself what you are using it for. For me, I needed something to 1. Blog on 2. Reply emails 3. Possibly book tickets for things when I’m travelling.

So that’s like, a glorified blogging machine. Ok. If I can watch Netflix on it on the go, great, that’s a bonus. But I don’t need a fantastic screen or something that’s got a hardcore enough processor to edit photos on. I can do that on my phone. I just need something small that I can write on. Ok. Great. That simplified things a lot for me. So if youre thinking of getting one, ask yourself what youre going to be using it for, then work backwards from there!

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Working off my Chromebook on my lap on a plane ride. It’s very light, so it balances quite easily.

What was available at my desired price point and for my needs?

For under five hundred bucks, honestly, my options were a B grade tablet, a netbook, or a chromebook.

I needed a keyboard, so a tablet was out.

That left netbooks and chromebooks. I was more inclined towards a chromebook because my girlfriend Kate from New York uses one (they’re pretty rare in SG) and she swears by it, and also because it was new to me and thus exciting. But the netbook seemed safer because the Windows OS is something more familiar, and it has all the things you would traditionally see in a computer – Microsoft office, offline apps, etc. Whereas the chromebook would only run things off Google and the Chrome app store, and its utility was mostly reliant on the availability of a solid internet connection.

So I went on various tech websites to read reviews of specific net vs chromebook models, but it wasnt helpful because the verdict was like, everything had pros and cons and HELLO? Dont tell me that. Just tell me which is better. But nothing gave me that answer. Then I went on tech forums (mostly useless, too much technical jargon) and finally, to reddit. Reddit, the place I go when I wanna hear conspiracy theories about the meaning of the latet Black Mirror episode. But it turned out to be a pretty good thing because the support for chromebooks on various Reddit threads was nearly unanimous.

I realised quickly while browsing threads that I didnt need the windows OS – it was just a more familiar, safe option. Also, windows netbooks tend to be slower, because the hardware developers pay rights to Microsoft to run Windows, so the leftover money invested into the hardware is less. Whereas Google and Chrome is free, so the cost of the chromebook mainly goes towards making a solid book. Then they have profit markups from there.

Lastly, and specific to me: I use a Mac and macbook as my main computers, and I have two phones (work and personal, 2 numbers), one iPhone and one Android. The one thing that would unify everything was the google platform. It seemed unnecessarily complicated to add a Windows OS to the mix, and now I had a solid reason to move most of my work to the cloud. Now, I can edit my documents in Google Drive on any one of my computers, then pick up my phone and add notes if I think of anything extra on the go. It was all about streamlining my workflow, and the Google OS made the most sense for this.

The purchase of most chromebooks will also come with 100GB free Google Drive storage, valid for 2 years. This is really a great bonus!!! It’s obviously to encourage you to store things in the cloud instead of on the device itself, which, yknw, im totally fine with.

Availability in the Singapore market

Chromebooks are not popular in Singapore – I think many people are not willing to move to something that’s so web-based and away from a familar platform, and brands may not think it’s worth it to bring an entire line in? Most great chromebooks arent actually brought to Singapore, and I didnt want to ship something so expensive from the States because I’m paranoid and also cos sorting the warranty out would be a pain. I had my eyes on the Acer R11 and Asus C201, both of which arent available here. So from the existing options I picked the HP. It was between this and an Asus model, but I went to both stores and tried them out several times, and the HP has a truly great keyboard which is crucial for me. It also looks slightly more chic, coming in a nice matte black. So the HP it was!

Chromebooks – My experience so far

I’ve had the chromebook for a week now, and I’ve used it pretty frequently in that time. Obviously, my review might change after six months or one year of use, but here’s my take for now.

The HP Chromebook 11 G5 has a truly, truly amazing keyboard. Typing is so comfortable on this that it is an immediate win for me. And it is so light (just over 1kg) and small (smaller than A4) that I have no problems slipping it in my tote bag when I travel, and sliding it out to pick up work on an existing document on the go. In fact, this blogpost was entirely typed out on a car ride from Pakbara Jetty Terminal to the Hat Yai city center.

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The keyboard is matte, has good key travel, and is decently spaced out so typing for long periods doesn’t cramp your hand.

The battery life is sick. Way better than my Macbook – because it doesnt have to do as many things as my mac, and so it doesnt have all the battery consuming applications of a macbook. The advertised battery life is 12 hours, but I usually get about 8-10 out of it, depending on whether I’m working off the internet or not. Either way, I have never had to bring a charger out with me, as my chromebook lasts and lasts and lasts.

Because of the improvements made by Google to it’s offline drive support, I can create and edit documents offline, which becomes immediately synced to the online server once I connect to wifi. Then when I pick it up again from either my Mac or back again from the chromebook, I just copy-paste the contents to my wordpress composer and finalise the draft before posting it. When I work offline, it just autosaves a draft every five seconds or something, so I’m never worried that my work will be lost halfway.

The offline G drive support wasnt available as recently as 2 years ago, and without it I definitely wouldnt have gotten the chromebook because i want to be able to work offline. The offline capability means I only really need the internet to back it up to the cloud server – before Google added offline functionality, chromebooks were useless without internet. This was also was a good signal to me because it indicates that as long as Google keeps updating and improving its services, my chromebook will benefit from it, be it one or five years from now, as long as the hardware doesnt die on me.

For those of you who still want to use MS Word to craft documents, they do have that available as an application. It’s slightly stripped down from the full desktop version IMHO, but still workable. Google owns Android, and in a recent move, they’ve allowed newer chromebooks to access the Android Play store. This means chromebooks with a touchscreen can play games now.. But it’s not something I need or want to do. I downloaded the apps for MS Word, Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox, and Multi Messenger (a multi platform app that lets you chat with whatsapp, FB messener, and Telegram all within the same tabbed app), and that’s all that I need right now. I’m trying to keep my Chromebook free of things that i dont need, because I want to keep the expereince as straightforward as possible and I am conscious of the fact that too many apps will slow it down. So far, it’s been pretty smooth.

And lastly, my chromebook is so fast. Start up time is almost immediate, it springs into action once I open it, and it hasnt given me any lags so far yet. This is also because I take care not to run too many applications at a go or have like more than 10 tabs open, as I know that might slow it down, but so far user experience has been smooth.

Things that I dont like about the chromebook so far are minor physcial things – my HP chromebook’s keyboard, while amazing for typing, doesnt have a backlight. So if I’m working in the dark, I cant see what I’m typing. But I’m so used to keyboards that I can type without looking at the keys, so thats fine. It’s just a minor inconvenience and also something that’s a bit jarring when you first notice it.

My monitor’s hinge is limited to slightly over 90 degrees, and I would have liked the option to push the screen back a bit more so if I work in some positions it makes the screen more comfortable to look at. But this is something that only comes up when I’m working while in cars/planes, and it’s also solvable by adjusting my seating position.

The trackpad is pretty mediocre, it’s not bad, but after coming from using a macbookpro for almost six years, it sure is a noticeable difference. Still, none of these things bother me in the long run because I just smirk at the fact that the whole computer only cost me 450$ ho ho.

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Chromebook relative to human

Chromebooks – Is it right for you?

For those of you who wrote me asking about the chromebook, I know youre scanning through this post thinking so is it a good buy or not!?

Well, that depends ultimately on you. Different people have different needs, and all I can do is give you an honest recount of my experience. I will say that it will never be my primary laptop purely because I need apps like Pages/Word for writing, and when I’m in full on work mode, I have like seven hundred things running at once. But for travel? It’s perfect. The Chromebook makes an excellent secondary laptop, and it’s been a joy so far.

Some of you who wrote to me want to use it as a primary laptop for school. I dont know if I would recommend this because school sometimes requires groupwork and I dont know students these days are ok to work entirely off Hangouts and Google Docs? Again, be sure you know what exactly you want to do with your new computer and if this can be done within the limitations of the chromebook. Heavy video / photo editing and gaming, for example, is a no go. But if youre using this mainly to take notes and do web-based work, I think it’s a pretty good deal.

And if you’re a working professional looking for something light, productive, and power efficient? You won’t be disappointed with a chromebook, I think, not when offline functionality for Google has been so improved and when there’s wifi hotspots nearly everywhere in the city anyway.

The bottom line is, it’s a $450 machine that’s very value for money, does what it’s supposed to do, and this model in particular looks pretty neat while doing so. In other words, yes, Baymax, I am satisfied with my care.


#1316| Healing Touch Singapore Review – Oiling up paid, earned and owned media.

Currently listening to:Red, White and Doze mix tape by The Jane Doze

Hey Guys,

I want to talk a bit about this fantastic spa I went to yesterday which had amazing masseuses and a really well executed media plan which is honestly pretty kick ass impressive for a spa.

So for some reason, I was having the worst upper back/neckache yesterday. My headache was also so terribly pounding that my colleagues described me as Depressed Looking, Terrible, and Please Go Home. Yup. Just what every girl wants to hear.

My headache was so bad though, that I didnt just want to sleep it off because I’d wake up with backache still there- so Mavis and I googled Great Massage Places in Raffles and this popped up:

A paid ad, for Healing Touch Singapore.

For those of you unfamiliar, how paid google ads work is, you do market analysis for certain targeted keywords, and then execute media buys and integrated SEO (Search Engine Optimized) copy into your website. Understandably, there will probably be more than one company vying for the same keywords (ie. imagine Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and Spinellis spamming money to buy the top search result for keywords “MOST AMAZING COFFEE EVER“) so Google does some algorithm mumbojambo and you appear on the top paid ads for a certain percentage of the search results. This is classified under Paid Media in Advertising Speak- referring to any ad space you buy. This includes Facebook ads, banner ads, blah blah blah.

So they managed to rank top on page 1 of Google’s search for Great Massage Places in Raffles, which was pretty impressive i thought. This despite the fact that after clicking through, none of their outlets were, in fact, in Raffles. They have one in Upper Thomson, River Valley, and Tampines, which was the one I went to.

I read through their website, which had reasonably compelling copy and the prices really did seem reasonable. The thing that sealed it for me though, was their Facebook page recommendations left by, i don’t know, a million customers?

All discretely glowing reviews! I couldnt understand it. How miraculous were these massages that all their customers took the trouble to go on Facebook to leave them a nice review??? I booked my massage immediately.

Booking done via calling/online booking. It was pretty seamless and fuss free, which was nice esp since i was having a headache and didnt want to deal with Press One for English, Two for Chinese, Three for Malay.. you get what i mean. As another side note, in Ad Speak this falls under Owned Media- any thing or channel you own, like websites, Facebook pages, twitter handles, so on and so forth.

The Tampines branch was conveniently located within a few steps of the MRT, on the fifth floor of the CPF building. From the time i stepped in till i left, the staff and masseuses were polite, soft spoken, and could do wicked things with their hands. I chose their signature Asian Fusion Massage,which is an oil based stress relieving full body massage, and at this one point in time the lady literally got on all fours on top of my back and started cracking the hell out of it. The point being i felt absolutely amazing after the whole thing, and even more impressively- noone asked me to sign up for a package even once. UNHEARD OF.

Of course, they don’t ask you to sign up probably because they know they’re so good you’ll be back soon…

Still, I didnt understand how it could get so many positive reviews on Facebook. I mean, I checked in on foursquare and tweeted about it (received a BUNCH of enthusiastic replies from previous customers, they obviously have a cult like following), and I would probably have made a passing mention on Facebook or my blog, but go to their Facebook page and leave a paragraph? Really?

Then this morning I received this:

it all makes sense now

At first i was wondering how they got my email, and then i realized- The online booking system. So devious! And then, the follow up incentivized call to action.. so quietly effective because potential customers (ie. me) would be won over by the barrage of positive reviews!

This is where the last bit comes in- I very superficially explained Owned and Paid media earlier on, but the last one is basically the dream of every marketer and brand: Earned Media. Earned media is the “snowball effect”, “word of mouth“, or as everyone loves to call it, “viral” effect of any advertising campaign. Most brands are fantastic at paid and owned media, but earned media is always a tough nut to crack. I think Healing Touch did a pretty neat job of integrating paid and earned media to achieve their desired results: not case study level, but pretty noteworthy nonetheless.

And of course, their massages are to die for, so that helps.

Healing Touch
Website | Facebook page
199 Upper Thomson Road (next to Long House food center)
5 Tank Road #01-01 (Opposite Liang Court)
Tampines CPF Building #05-10 (beside Tampines MRT)


#1308| The Socialite Camera (and yes, win yourself one.)

Currently listening to:we found love by coldplay
status:feet sliced bloody PEK CEK LA

Hi guys!

Boy, do we have a lot to talk about. A whole bunch of stuff has happened over the past few days. But before that:

Sick of me posting up examples of great advertisements and campaigns yet? Maybe you’d rather be a banker or doctor or lawyer and honestly don’t want to see any more advertising campaigns? Well, too bad. By nature of my job i see them everyday and they’re too amazing not to share.

Another awesome ad campaign sent out via round robin email in the office.

Highlights from the Cannes Lions 2012: Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell’s “Invisible Drive”, an entry for the Cannes Lions Environmental Design, Exhibition and Live Events category. So amazing.

And effective, too:

The YouTube video was watched more than 10m times. It received 60,000 ‘likes’, 14,000 comments and 21,000 users selected it as their favourite. Our documentary was ranked as no.1 in the ‘Viral-Video-Charts’, beating superstars such as ‘Akon’ and ‘Pitbull’. During the campaign the search terms ‘F-Cell’ and ‘Invisible Mercedes’ enjoyed a disproportionate increase. Several international newspapers, TV and radio stations spread our story. However, not only them: our target audience turned into brand ambassadors, too. Overall, the campaign gained over 450m media impressions around the globe, helping to increase the awareness of Mercedes-Benz F-Cell technology by 43%.

– Excerpt from the Cannes Lions website

For those of you who don’t know, the Cannes Lions is the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry. Christel is currently in the land of longchamps now for the festival too! Somehow i need to get my ass there within the next three to five years… i might spontaneously combust just looking at all the ads i wish i’d crafted though.

Besides that.. I have also rediscovered my extreme lack of will and determination in my money saving plan. In other words, nothing new.

I do not need a new bag, I told myself. I do not need a new bag i do not need a new bag… I bought three pairs of Steve Maddens.

Gorgeous, aren’t they? I know, i know. I should be contrite with guilt. But there’s no point lying, because i’m really not. Im actually really pleased with myself.

Many thanks to Bex who helped me get a discount on the shoes!!! For the rest of you, the Robinsons Expo sale is ongoing till Sunday 🙂 I went back and got another two pairs of shoes yesterday, one dark brown leather ankle bootie heel from the UK and another pair of patent cream flats that look a little bit like XiaoQi’s Tory Burches except they do not cost 900 dollars.

The black glitter stilettos from madden pictured above are a bitch to wear though. I wore them today and though the sole was incredibly comfortable, I’d forgotten to account for the glitter edges which were rough and pretty much sliced my ankles bloody. I ended up making off with Pearlyn(my colleague)’s slippers after work because my ankles were gory, like horror movie SAW-worthy gory.

Are you relatively frustrated at the lack of How To Win A Camera As Per PROMISED From Your Blogpost Title yet?

Sorry guys, I’m being deliberately annoying. The thing is, Sony just passed me their new Cybershot WX100 camera to play with earlier this week. (Rather, I got it from Waggener Edstrom, their PR firm) I googled it and i came across this description which i thought suited the camera perfectly: the Socialite camera

Look at how tiny it is! It’s smaller than my phone!

There are DSLRs, and then there are Semipros, and then there are compact cameras. When i was making my decision last January on which camera to buy, the reason why i bypassed the semipro stage and went straight to my DSLR from the fujitsu compact i was using at the time was because i thought i would end up with a dslr anyway and it didnt make sense to splurge 6 or 700 dollars on a semipro and lust after a dslr for two years before upgrading it. Also, semipros are kind of big. At least the one i had my eye on, the Olympus PEN, is.

Well I’ve never regretted it, and I’m still wildly in love with my DSLR, but the one thing i’m not so hot on is the bulkiness of the entire package. It kind of restricts the bags i carry to large totes, which i do like, except i buy all these evening clutches and they just sit around sadly in a corner with noone using them.

The Sony Socialite aims to remedy that- its currently the smallest and apparently the best on the market of its genre, very ‘handbag sized’ as evinced by the photo above.

As a side note, i’m very taken by the words ‘handbag sized’ these days. Like, a ‘handbag sized’ novel i can pop into my clutch and read on the train to work.

I brought it out last night and today, so here are some photos for your perusal. Obviously not DSLR quality, but rather decent for a compact i think.

Dad’s birthday dinner at Sushi Tei
Happy birthday Daddy! 🙂

See, there’s this background defocus mode which imitates the effect given by prime lenses on the DSLR.

Anyone hitting sushi tei anytime soon should definitely try their black sesame ice cream. it’s awesome. And also, nostalgia in the form of frozen strawberries, the kind they used to have at Mosburger!

Also, a meeting this afternoon on this exciting but not very difficult to guess project Andrea and I are working on. We headed to Food For Thought- i’ve never been there, and i am VERY IMPRESSED by the wild berry pancakes that i ordered. I can’t say the same for Andrea- all she ate was fungi ie. her side dish of mushrooms.

Looks good, doesn’t it. You know what else looks good?

The Ridiculously Photogenic Andrea.


And the not so photogenic me. Here I’m demonstrating the (also amazing) camera on the nokia lumia 900, which i will do a review on (really) soon (i promise).

Who we had our meeting with. Have you guessed what our project is yet? I’m leaving it at that for now because there is nothing more annoying than someone who starts but doesn’t finish a thought.

We’re testing out the ‘smile shutter’ function on the Socialite- i know, I’m “late to the party” as Miko so elegantly put it. The smile shutter function has been around for awhile, on Sony cameras. I LOVE THIS SMILE SHUTTER FUNCTION. Let me explain.

For non sony users, the smile shutter is a function that basically triggers a shot on the premise of a smile. You don’t have to press any buttons, just grin at the camera and the shot fires. This is particularly useful for group shots- can you imagine? Instead of rushing to fit everyone in the frame before the timer goes off, just tell everyone to frown until you’re picture ready then all smile at once!

The image of this happening in my head is just cracking me up, i tell you.

But what i really like about this, is the smile meter that pops up. When you frown (see above, pic 1), the smile meter drops all the way to a zero. It’s hilarious. Okay, only i found it hilarious. But it’s pretty funny, i think.

Also, the camera picture quality is conspicuously better in the daytime, as with most cameras. Here, a shot of the people i work with in indoor lighting

Miko and Fanaa


I was gushing about the smile shutter function to one of my clients during this meeting we had earlier on (insert miko’s late to the party comment here) and these were some of the shots the camera fired while on smile shutter mode.


if you want this camera but are a broke and struggling student like me, Sony is giving away the Socialite via two competitions:

1. the #moreinless twitter contest

what you need:
a. a twitter account
b. stellar secondary one english paper two summary skills

You need to justify why you deserve to walk away with the Cyber-shot WX100 in as few characters as possible via Twitter. It’s a concept that is really relevant to their product, because they’re trying to show how less is more. I would probably like this contest more if i weren’t so bemused by the fact that i actually did propose something like this to another client (different industry though) of mine, but it’s still pending and if we do it now everyone’s going to think we copied Sony. Maybe next time..

The contest is ongoing, from now till July 2nd. They’re giving away one camera per week, so go try your luck!

2. More Zoom in Less Room contest- Guess and Win

what you need
a. LEGENDARY Draw Something-esque skills

Sony’s releasing five zoomed in pictures each week, and you have to guess what the original picture is of. Four cameras are up for grabs in the contest which spans over four weeks, and the first contestant to correctly submit all five entries each week will win a Cyber-shot WX100.

The contest is only starting on the 10th of July, and runs for approx a month till 6th August. You can access the competition here on the 10th, but meanwhile it’s a pretty sick microsite detailing different aspects of the camera which makes me wish i were a web designer.

That’s a total of 7-8 cameras Sony’s giving out over this and next month, so do go try your luck! It’s really a sweet camera- though it’s early days yet, given how i just got it. Really great timing though, i was dreading lugging the dslr around for Seniors camp and this year’s Freshman Orientation Camp. (I’m a senior attached to the Klaus OG, SIGN UP NOW)

Oooh, and one last thing. It looks like Twitter is down, and for the first time the fail whale isn’t anywhere to be seen! It is also probably a statement on how exciting all our lives are that this absence of a fail whale is capable of producing this much buzz in our lives.

PS. (Yes I’m well aware that my post is rather incoherent today but give the girl a break, i’ve been working late nights and my ankles are bleeding. that didnt make sense either, did it? See what i mean.)


#1307| Social Touching (?)

Currently listening to:nothing
status:a little bit zoned.

Hi Guys

this above is the view i look at everyday while walking out of the office.
i have a theory about this view.

I think its intentionally built to look pretty so when you work late you can’t help but feel rather mesmerized into a state of happy calm looking at this. This also distracts you from realizing that you were working late.

It’s ingenious.
I think its a very plausible theory.

Anyway. After work today i went to get my nails done with Pearlyn because i am a superficial being who takes comfort in trivialities and small luxuries, okay. For some reason every time people ask me where are you going and i say oh to get my nails done they roll their eyes at me or give me a oh-you-child look. I don’t roll my eyes at you when you yabber on about the new chainsaw upgrade in L4D, do i? There you go.

Base is hot pink with the french tips done in Designer.. De Better!, my current favorite nail polish color from OPI’s muppet collection.

Today while doing my nails i wondered what it is that makes people who are normally so averse to being touched, willingly flop their hands into that of a strangers. If you describe it out of context it sounds strange, it really does. A lady picks up your rather flaccid hand and massages it, touches your fingers individually and paints them.

And then there are things like salons, and massage parlors.

People plopping down wrapped in only a towel to be poked and rubbed and prodded all over by a virtual stranger, or sitting in a cushy chair and handing over one’s head to a hairdresser to run his/her fingers through your hair.

I think what i am saying is
It’s just awkward
I need to focus my thoughts on things that make more sense and not things like social touching ew

oh yes
lastly, yet another advertisement i wish i’d thought of first



#1302| If any bank can pull this off, it’s probably OCBC. (In other news, win yourself an ipad!)

Currently listening to:Comes and goes (In Waves) by Greg Laswell

Hi guys,

So, i know you all clicked on this because of the ‘win an ipad!!!!‘ bit up there in the title (see, i know how my readers think!) but before that:

Guys, my cat is RIDICULOUSLY popular on facebook. I posted this up right before i went to sleep with her curled up on my sheets like this, and i woke up to 40 and counting likes and a bunch of private messages inquiring if she had siblings/was pregnant/was for sale. And when i post up a picture of say, the current book im reading, noone gives a shit.

This reminds me of a sofa conversation i had with my sisters the other night.

Baby sister: “wow check out this amazing singer i found on youtube.. wait a minute, why does she only have five hundred views??this is a great song!!”
Middle sister: “lul check out this cat on youtube meowing. FOUR MILLION VIEWS.”

People on the internet love cats is what we concluded.

Right after i typed this i turned around and yelled, ATHENA BABY, YOU’RE POPULAR! And she didnt care. Oh well.

Anyway, to the point.

I’ve been a fan of FRANK by OCBC ever since I got the invitation to be one of their initial fifteen digital influencers mid last year. No, this isnt an inflated sense of ego speaking, it’s the voice of someone tired of long DBS ATM machine queues and cumbersome confusing bank websites. In any case, the OCBC Launch of their new banking site i attended at Group Therapy back in September last year had smoked salmon canapes instead of the normal cubes of raw food companies somehow like to serve, and i was won over. I really, really like salmon, okay.

Since then, FRANK by OCBC (their new youth bank) has been rolling out one great initiative after another- have you SEEN their beautiful banking site??? – and it seems to only make sense that their next campaign is premised on Pinterest.

Charming: even the theme colors of Pinterest match the OCBC colors.

The brainchild of the gorgeous Sarah Chong from Wild Interactive, the campaign leverages on two vital principles of social media strategies- the incredible appeal of the highly visual, and co-creation. Did you know that the Vitamin Water drink by Coke was completely co-created by the Coke community, right down to the label design and drink ingredients? Now you do.

Now to the ipads you all were eyeing.

Basically, this campaign is a search for a new FRANK by OCBC card design. They put out a call for the FRANK community to create a new pinboard named #FRANKbyOCBC Card Design, and pin images which you think will best inspire a new card design. The three winners will get a special FRANK card printed with your new design, and .. yes yes, the latest ipad.

Oh and also, bragging rights for the rest of your life, having a credit/debit card with your design on it. I mean, COME ON.

this is the judging criteria, in case you were wondering.
No need to get all your friends to like your board or anything like that! Personally, i dislike like-baiting competitions, though i understand why companies would employ it in their campaigns for virality’s sake.
But, dont you ever get tired of being asked to like this and that and asking your friends to like pictures they honestly dont give a hoot about?

The entire inbuilt custom application tab for facebook is well designed, clean, neat font with a designer slant. Quirky enough to look like it has a personality, yet not too outlandish so as to undermine it’s professionalism. Very much like a shoulder length hair cut actually- long enough to look swishy yet short enough to remind whoever you’re conversing with that you’re probably smarter than them? Well, i dont know what that means for my waistlong hair so nevermind im not continuing down this train of thought.

And there you have my shameless self plug.

I (obviously) entered too, because i read the T&Cs back to front and theres nothing in there about OCBC digital influencers not being able to enter. It drives me crazy every time i run a campaign for a client and I’m not allowed to enter, like last year’s AirFrance/KLM valentine’s day competition. AIR TICKETS TO EUROPE!!!! But the ’employees and family/relatives of may not enter’ clause gets me every time.

This is my own pinterest #FRANKbyOCBC Card Design page! I started out pinning pictures of cats and sketches like this:

My life, every morning, except slightly less glamorous.

And then the more i pinned, the more convinced i was that FRANK should totally launch a superhero comic/ fairytale graphics range of cards! Im currently using the galaxy design, courtesy of FRANK, but i would drop it for one of these babies anytime. I’m still deciding between a Batman and Ironman graphic designer card in my head, from the imaginary line of cards that they’ve already launched in my brain.

It would be like one of those insane macdonald hello kitty crazes, except with unisex appeal. I would seriously go mad changing my card design every month or so. Gotta catch them all, and all that. No wait, that’s Pokemon. Ah, now that’s a thought.

Peruse the rest of the Marvel, DC, Pixar and Disney graphic designs i pinned here: http://pinterest.com/jemmawei/frankbyocbc-card-design/

You can enter the competition here.

I wrote a Very Pinteresting Deck (ha ha, im so punny i make myself chortle) late last month, and noted how companies in Singapore seemed slow to catch on despite Pinterest being huge in the US. I know Metro Singapore made small waves by being the first retail departmental store in Singapore to create a pinterest page, and it comes as a nice surprise that a bank is also at the frontier of such a trend. Very nicely done, FRANK by OCBC.

Banks seem to be trying to move away from the stuffy image a financial institution is burdened with, and social media seems the obvious choice of poison. First, it was Standard Chartered with the World’s Coolest Intern initiative, and now we have OCBC being the hippest bank in town.

Your move, DBS.