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Dear Talents,

In two weeks’ time, Netccentric will be celebrating its 10th year Anniversary.

Almost ten years ago I started my internship with an obscure startup called Netccentric. While startups today have bean bags, Herman Miller chairs and a pantry that gives the M&M store in Times Square a run for its money, this startup had nothing of that sort. Instead of a glitzy office this startup was based in the backroom of a site office of a construction site with old wooden tables and plastic chairs that look like they were stolen from the nearby Roti Prata stall.

I soon understood why. The founding principle of Netccentric was to be a long term sustainable company and in order to do so it had to be profitable. In order to be profitable it had to live within its means so it was spending money it made rather than money it raised.

This long term view of Netccentric was grounded in the businesses that the company is in today. When it comes to talents be it in Nuffnang or ChurpChurp, Netccentric’s ambition isn’t to find influencers who are already popular and broker deals with them to make a quick buck. Instead the plan is to find hidden gems and talents that we can add value to and then grow with them to make them the social media stars they are today.

Looking back here’s what we have done to build the blogger and influencer ecosystem that exists all around Asia-Pacific today.

1. We built an industry that allowed for full-time bloggers or influencers

The emergence of social media brought the rise of an influential group of bloggers and influencers with reach that go from the thousands to millions. With their newfound followers and fame, influencers had a pain point. How do they earn enough money so that they could focus all their time on doing what they love?

In came Netccentric to help solve this pain point that influencers had. We educated the clients on why they should invest in influencers and who they should invest in. We went for thousands of meetings and planned and pitched strategies for social media campaigns. Our work doesn’t end at selling deals through. Our team handles everything from executing the campaigns, reporting and following up to ensure that we and our talents get paid. This machinery works in the background of every paid opportunity that you see on social media.

Today, many of our top talents earn enough money to quit their full-time jobs and focus on doing what they love be it blogging or vlogging. Yet our work is not yet done for our mission is to bring financial independence not just to the top influencers but the mid-size ones that we have today too.

2. We created opportunities for new experiences, adding to our influencers’ mix of content.

Apart from financial independence, Netccentric’s motivation is to add value to the content our bloggers and influencers created. One of the ways we did so was by opening the door to new experiences, be it a trip to Japan or to Hongkong. Many of these trips aren’t paid and Netccentric makes no money from it but we do it, because it’s part of our mission to help talents grow.

Today we’ve not only flown hundreds if not thousands of our talents to different locations but we also have active close relationships with tourism boards all over the world from Dubai to Fiji Island. On a recent sponsored trip to Croatia that Netccentric arranged, Xiaxue, Fourfeetnine, Rachel Wong and Peary Pie traveled the coast of Istria, hunted for truffles and made a splash in the local newspaper.

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3. We invested in a Talent program to groom and market our Talents

As I’ve talked about a few times earlier, a big part of our long term vision is not to just work with existing popular social media stars but to groom new ones. We are serious about creating the next social media star and have invested millions of dollars in doing so. Just last year, we engaged the services of acclaimed PR agency, Asia PR Werkz, to raise the profiles of our Talents regionally.

In Singapore, Qiuting (or popularly known as ‘Bong Qiu Qiu’) is the living proof of our efforts. Since she joined us 6 years ago, we’ve helped and watched proudly as her traffic grew more than ten times, and helped expand the portfolio of brands that have worked with her.

Following her pregnancy, we successfully clinched year-long ambassadorships such as Philips, Biolane, Merries, Expressions post-natal slimming, each snagging five-figures per ambassadorship and cementing her as one of our top earners. She’s evidence that blogging can be a comfortable and financially rewarding career.

On the PR front, more recently she had a feature published in The Straits Times, and graced the cover of Celebrating Life by Thomson Medical.

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Qiuting is a testament that our hard work and resources can go hand-in-hand in creating a success for our Talents.

4. Friendships were fostered, both locally and around the globe

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As it is with many other things in life, when it comes to the power of influencers there is strength in numbers. So another part of our vision is to connect influencers across different countries and continents. Having a presence in the 8 countries around the region has enabled us to do this effectively and the friendships fostered have led to collaborations between the influencers which have led to the expansion of their following.

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We’ve also seen foreign Talents visiting local offices during their holidays, supporting our local talent’s new clothing line launch and even marriage between influencers who met through our community!

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5. We’ve worked with industry partners to regulate the social media space

As the major players in the influencer industry, we understand the importance in working with industry partners to develop the guidelines in this increasingly crowded yet unregulated space.

Internally, we published a set of professional and ethical guidelines that guides the way we work on social media. This Handbook gets distributed and explained to our Talents whenever they join our program.

We have since partnered with ASAS (Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore) to finalize advertising guidelines in social media and engaged local tax man IRAS to further define bloggers and influencers’ taxable income.

We hope to expand our efforts regionally to help our local talents navigate their way to quality and ethical content.

The Future

Today, Netccentric is a company that has over 200 staff in 8 countries. Funds raised from our IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange last year has armed us with a war chest. We need to take this growth further and to do more to grow the blogger and influencer ecosystem in the countries we’re in. We are also opening in new markets namely Indonesia and Taiwan which will then expand the Netccentric network and create more opportunities for our talents.

Beyond that, we are also committed to our next mission to help people connect and influence others through their stories. It’s the reason we’ve created Dayre, and the viral content we’ve seen created has only affirmed us further on this track.

As for me, I’ve grown from an intern to a Regional Director of the company overseeing the 200 staff. I have also since become a shareholder of this valuable company.

I’m honored and humbled that you’ve stuck with us through this time, and I promise that in the decade ahead, Netccentric will work better and harder to continue to be on the forefront of social media.

Thank you for the great ten years. Here’s to the next ten years.

The best is yet to be.

Hui Wen Yang
Regional Director, Netccentric Ltd

Christina Lau
Nuffnang Community Team

DID YOU KNOW: Fiji Island is a country on its own! It is made up of 333 islands, and only one-third are inhabited. Word has it that in Fiji villages, only the chiefs are permitted to wear sunglasses and hats, and the top of their hats are sacred.

A country that is so rich in culture, embodies strong camaraderie among Fijians, and a to-die-for scenery – one can only dream to be in Fiji right?

Here’re our Top 7 Activities for a Dream Beach Vacation – Fiji Edition!

1 . Helicopter tour:

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A backdrop like no other, a helicopter tour around Fiji will take your breath away. These thrilling aerial tours will cover the beautiful islands of Fiji such as Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands with exceptional customer service and safety.  This once in a lifetime experience will no doubt forge a memory that is unforgettable.

2 . Snorkelling

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Sail in the blue lagoon and explore the uninhabited beaches of Fiji Island. Your snorkeling experience will be nothing short of amazing when you’re sailing in the crystal clear Fijian waters.

3 . Quad Bike Tours

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From Mud Slinging to Cultural Discovery, the quad bike tours in Fiji covers an array of activities. Get ready to head up through the pine forests of the stunning Nausori Highlands, with plateaus overlooking the Mamanuca Islands. At the end of the tour you’d probably be covered in dirt from head to toe, but it’s definitely all worth it.

4 . Sky Diving

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Cited on TripAdvisor as one of the most exciting activity to do in Fiji, sky diving is not for the faint-hearted. You will oversee the stunning aerial views of azure waters, pristine reefs and white sandy beaches. This adrenaline-pumped activity will no doubt attract the thrill seekers, and we promise that it will be worth every penny spent.

5 . Fiji Liveaboard Diving

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You have not fully experienced the beauty of scuba diving unless you scuba dive in Fiji. Scuba diving in Fiji is rated amongst the world’s best – need we say more? Besides the commonly seen sea creatures such as turtles, snappers and jacks, you will be greeted with a plethora of other sea animals – most of which you probably never heard of.

6 . Fire-walking in Beqa

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Located just off Vitu Levu’s southern coast is Beqa Island and the surrounding Beqa Lagoon. Beqa island is home to a Fijian tribe called Sawau, who originated the traditional art of fire-walking. Be in the shoes of the locals for a day and experience this unique activity.

7 . Hike the Falls of Taveuni

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Also known as Fiji’s Garden of Eden, Taveuni Island teems with rare orchids, prehistoric tree ferns, tumbling waterfalls and natural water slides. Don’t miss out on the Tavoro waterfalls which boasts a 60-foot horsetail of clear waters.

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With our Top 7 Activities to enjoy while on your beach vacation, are you tempted to jet-set off to Fiji yet?

NuffnangSG is partnering with Fiji Airways and 6 Bloggeratis will be flying to Fiji to try out some of the above activities! 

Stays tuned to our live updates on NuffnangSG social media platforms from 29th June 2016 and experience the Fijian life with us!

@NuffnangSG

Dayre: dayre.me/nuffnangsg

Christina Lau
Nuffnang Community Team

Students probably have a love-hate relationship with the June Holidays. The longest academic holiday of the year, yet you’d be swamped with mountains of assignments and revisions waiting for you because exams happen immediately after.

Then again, taking a break is equally vital as your studies. Here’s what you can do during your June Holidays – whether you’re studying or not!

 

Free-Wifi Studying Places 

Explodingbelly, or Clara, feel your woes of looking for an empty study spot in your regular Starbucks or National Library to complete your tasks.

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A comprehensive list of 23 places to get your work done this June Holidays, Clara included both wifi/non-wifi cafes that you will be thankful for when you see eager students queuing up for a table outside National Library.

 

DBS Marina Regatta 2016

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Singapore’s ONLY urban pop-up beach, DBS Marina Regatta is back with more adventurous and exciting events for you. Catch live dragon boat races and with a lineup of up-and-coming music artistes, the DBS Sound House is perfect venue to unwind with friends over a pint of fresh brewed beer (with revisions under the way, of course. Priorities.)

Admission is FREE but it only spans over 2 weekends, so be sure to head over and have an epic time with your friends.

Dates: 28-29 May | 4-5 June 2016

Opening hours: 11am to 10pm

Venue: Promontory @ Marina Bay

Parents, you’d be delighted to know that apart from DBS Marina Regatta, our parenting blogger Kelvin, or more commonly known as Cheekiemonkies, compiled an exhaustive list of over 100 places that you can bring your children to this holiday. Head over to his blog and stay tuned to more of his recommendations!

 

Beerfest Asia 2016

For those above 18, this is for you. Beerfest Asia is back again, bigger and better than before.

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This isn’t your standard beer convention; with over 400 beers to choose from and a series of events lined up for you, Beerfest will be exactly where you need to be after a whole day of revision. Apart from the amazing live music at the background, you’d have a blast with the rest of entertainments such as stand up comedies, sample culinary offerings. All under the spectacular backdrop of Marina Promenade.

If you’re an UOB cardholder, do not miss out on their promotion here.

Dates: 16-19 Jun  (Thu – Sun)

Venue: Marina Promenade

 

Singapore Zoo – Ah Meng Zing Experience 

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Zoos never gets old, do they? With Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) constantly seeking new ways to enrich us more about animals, Ah Meng Zing allows you to learn all about saving animals and conserving wildlife.

Take part in their events such as Zoolympix and making your own animal-inspired crafts. Apart from Singapore Zoo, check out WRS’ counterparts such as Night Safari and River Safari for more activities!

Head over to their website to find out more. If you’re a NTUC, Passion or Safra Card member, you’ll be entitled to special discounts!

 

Safra Punggol Waterway Challenge

After days of revision and hard work on the books, this challenge is bound to pack you with endorphins to power through the studying.

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Ride, run and row along the scenic Coney Island and Punggol Waterway with your BFF or family members – different race formats are available for you to choose from. Head over to Safra’s website to find out more details on the race.

Registration starts on the 29th May 2016, so go register now!

Happy studying, and happy holidays! Time management is key, so do plan your time well and we hope you enjoy the activities suggested!

Christina Lau
Nuffnang Community Team

Singapore’s food scene has been on an all-time high recently; from salted egg croissants to the latest themed-cafes, even our Instagram feeds have problems keeping up. But hey, everyone loves a variety to choose from and I’m definitely not complaining!

In case you missed them out, we have sourced out some of the trendiest food and cafes that you can probably bring your date to, or even just a simple gathering with loved ones.

1.BAKE Cheese Tart

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Photo Credits: Misstamchiak

Originated from Japan, BAKE has been the talk of the town ever since it set foot in Singapore. I mean, why not? BAKE prides itself on only serving the “Best Cheese Tart Ever” and as far as cheese tarts go, it hasn’t disappoint yet.

Insider Tip: Avoid the long queues by buying your cheese tarts during off peak hours. Word has it that the waiting time for BAKE clocked up to 3 hours!

Aileen Lim for food blogger Maureen, more popularly known as Miss Tam Chiak has done a review on the various type of cheese tarts available in Singapore. Head over to Maureen’s website and find out more!

2.Prima Deli Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Tarts

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Photo Credits: Clara

Salted yolk crabs, salted yolk buns, salted yolk chips, salted yolk croissants… I can go on and on. But salted yolk lava cheese tart? This is a different ball game altogether. Our new foodie to the family, Clara, popularly known as Exploding Belly, swore by the buttery goodness of this tart. This local creation has won the hearts of many and will continue to win every salted-yolk lover’s heart. ;)

Insider Tip: Toast your tart prior to eating to savor the runny salted egg goodies!

Head over to Clara’s blog and be sure to follow her on Instagram! Don’t blame us if you salivate when you browse through her feed in the middle of the night though J

3.DC Comics Super Hero Café

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Photo Credits: Marina Bay Sands

The recent Batman VS Superman movie has got us all hooked onto the DC scene and this DC-themed Café will definitely satisfy the after-effects of the movie. It features superheroes-themed food such as Hall of Justice Combo, Chicken Hawk Quesadilla, Aquaman’s Arrabiata and Batman’s Dark Knight Charcoal Burger.

What is there not to love? While the food in the café tends to be on the pricier side, the view from MBS will be all worth it.

Head over to Marina Bay Sands’ website to find out more about the café!

4.LePark

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Photo Credits: Miss Goob

Situated at the roof top of People’s Park Complex, Lepark is the ideal place to lepak (chill in Malay Language). Lepark serves amazing tapas-styled food as well as proper mains. If you’re looking for a chill night session, you’d love to know that Lepark serves an array of craft beers that is not your usual run-of-the-mill beers.

Insider Tip: Lepark even has live getai (song stages in dialects) sessions occasionally. Like their facebook page and stay tuned to their updates!

Jiehui, more popularly known as Miss Goob, went for a taste event for Lepark’s latest menu. Head over to her dayre and find out more about Lepark!

5.Pompompurin Café

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Photo Credits: Clara

Pompompurin cafe has been the latest craze as far as themed-cafes go in Singapore. Originated from Sanrio, Japan, Pompompurin is now ranked #1 most popular Sanrio character! From its entrance décor all the way to the smallest details such as seats and cutlery, Pompompurin Café is decorated beautifully with Pompompurin’s characters.

Clara did a review on this themed-café here. Read to find out more!

6.Timbre+

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Photo Credits: ShoutSg

As Singapore first container Gastropark, Timbre+ is an urban food hall that offers a diversity of restaurant-grade food and casual eats at affordable prices. With music and live performances, Timbre+ is the ideal place if you want a relaxing and chill session with your loved ones. The graffiti sprays and abstract arts inside the container definitely livens up the mood.

Do note that Timbre+ closes on Sundays and parking lots are extremely limited, so you might want to park at Fusionopolis or take the train to One-north!

Read more about Timbre+ here at Cheekiemonkie’s blog!

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed reading about the latest food trends. Happy eating!

Rachel Heng
Nuffnang Community Team

7 days of school holidays too short for a proper trip?

In the previous post, we provided you 6 holiday destinations for 6 long weekends in 2016 but we figured out that some of us just do not have the luxury of time to escape Singapore for a break.

Your teachers probably wouldn’t let you off from assignments during the measly March holidays, we know, but hey you are allowed some fun time too!

Ditch the ridiculously priced movie plans with your friends and before you start complaining that Singapore has nothing to do, allow me to introduce you some of the places that are far more worthy than the $13 movie ticket you are going to fork out; some even require no admission fee!

1) Movie Mob

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They say the best things in life are free, and I totally agree.

Movie Mob is a free Outdoor-Drive-In Movie Screening concept that takes place in all locations around Singapore. Screenings are usually award winning films, so if you missed it in the theatres, you know where to go.

Movie Mob has locations from malls to outdoor spaces in your neighborhood precinct, so do not worry about not getting a chance to experience this unique event. If you are lucky, you may even get a chance to witness wedding proposals!

More information at: http://moviemob.sg/

2) i Light Marina Bay

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From now till 27 March, I Light Marina bay offers an array of creative and innovative light artworks – free! Yep, admission is free. On weekends, the festival is extended to 12 midnight.

Apart from the artworks, be sure to look out for live bands and street shows. From 26th to 27th March, there is even a tribute for our late Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew held by Nanyang Polytechnic students.

I’m pretty sure your Instagram feed will thank you for the photos and the experience will definitely be different compared to the usual late night drinking sessions.

More information at: http://www.ilightmarinabay.sg/

3) Haw Par Villa

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A park rich in chinese folklore and mythology, everyone should at least visit Haw Par Villa once. In the age where majority of us are starting to lose touch with these traditional chinese values, Haw Par Villa will surely serve up as an educational trip while retaining the fun factor.

More information at: http://www.yoursingapore.com/en_au/see-do-singapore/culture-heritage/heritage-discovery/haw-par-villa.html

4) K Suites

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Besides the movies, karaoke is definitely the next go-to destination whenever you need to unwind.

We all know how prices are usually jacked up during the holiday season and before you know it, the bill for a group of 4 can easily reach more than a hundred dollars. Furthermore, the cheaper ones are ALWAYS fully booked (plus rooms are usually awfully small).

For a 3 hours singing session, inclusive of 1 drink, you’d be surprised to find out that students are entitled to their $12 nett promotion during weekdays. You can even receive a Food of the Day when you gather 5 friends to K Suites.

Good quality sound system, comfy room, cheap price. What more can you ask for?

More information at: http://www.ksuites.com.sg/#/suites-information

5) Bubble Soccer

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Being encased in a bubble while playing soccer with your friends only mean that you will laugh till you drop. Originating from Norway, bubble soccer has quickly gained a following in Asia.

Do not belittle the effort needed for the game; it is extremely draining. Bubble soccer is perfect for building camaraderie, so if you need to organize a team bonding event, this activity is definitely ideal.

For just $15/pax, you get to enjoy 1 hour of bubble soccer and a list of other perks that the package comprises.

Check out Bumblebump’s website for more information and other deals that you are entitled to!

6) Laser Tag

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If you do not want to suffer the aftermath of a paintball session but still fancy a thrilling experience, then laser tag is definitely for you. Just like bubble soccer, laser tag will leave you perspiring buckets even for a 10 minute session.

If you still require further affirmation that you should try out laser tag, read our dayre post to find out how Netccentrics thoroughly enjoyed the game when they went for company retreat in Guang Zhou.

More information at: http://laserops.com.sg

7) Lazarus Island

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This is the furthest you can get away from the responsibilities back at home, while still remain in Singapore.

While the facilities and activities available are not on par with what Sentosa can offer, the serene island will ensure you a rejuvenating day off with your loved ones. No more jostling for an empty space at the beach? Count me in.

More information at: https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/ShowUserReviews-g294265-d2344433-r263699606-St_John_s_Island-Singapore.html

8) Easter Eggstravaganza at Universal Studios Singapore

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Parents, take a day off and head over to USS as they celebrate the month of Easter with your children!

Apart from the usual rides, USS has included a series of live events such as “An UnEggspected Wedding” and a special egg hunt with an exclusive Minion Easter Egg treat. If you’re willing to splurge, you can even get up close and personal with the Madagascar characters when you sign up for the USS buffet lunch.

Once again, Kelvin (AKA Cheekiemonkies) has compiled an extensive list of 60 March School Holiday Activities in 2016. If you still think Singapore is a boring place, think again.

More information at:

I hope you’ll find the above mentioned places helpful and possibly give you more ideas on where to go this school holidays!

Rachel Heng
Nuffnang Community Team

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