Monthly Archives: March 2009

There’s something about classic black stilettos…

…that will never go out of fashion.

Trendspotting on Shoplette – Christian Louboutin black open toe leather pumps.

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Wrapped stiletto heel lifts a timeless leather pump fashioned with an open toe. from, United States
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New on Zinerepublic – 28 March 09

We released a few changes to Zinerepublic today. Do check them out, and we hope you like them!

Published issues on the zine rack

Firstly, if you’ve started a zine on Zinerepublic, you might notice that your latest unpublished issue has disappeared from the Zinerepublic home page. Don’t panic! We’ve just changed the way issues are published, so that only published issues appear in the magazine rack of the Zinerepublic home page.

This way you can add articles to your issue and work on it in secret till you’re ready for it to be released to the world. Then just click “Publish” on your issue page (or your MyMag page) and your issue will appear on the Zinerepublic home page and will be sent to your subscribers via email.

To view your current unpublished issue, click on “MyMag” at the top of the page when you’re logged in.

New article layouts

Secondly, we’ve introduced a range of article layouts for your articles, so you can select how you’d like your article to be laid out on the page, as a single column or two columns, with a large or small picture (if your article has a picture).

That’s a step towards making your articles and issues feel more “magazine-like” and hopefully make them a lot more fun to put together.

Please enjoy the new changes to Zinerepublic at:

and feel free to drop us a comment to tell us what you think. We’d love to hear from you.

Viva La Revolucion!

DIY wallets are totally cool

Trendspotting on Shoplette – DIY duct tape wallet

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Ducttape wallet. I made them myself out of duct tapes! from -, -, Singapore
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There’s something beautiful in the idea of saving money by making your own wallet.

Shoplette is now your crowdsourced shopping guide

If you visit Shoplette today, you’ll notice a few changes to the site.

Your crowdsourced shopping guide

We’ve converted Shoplette into a crowdsourced shopping guide featuring products the community think are hot, that they’re craving for, or that they’ve bought. To participate, you’re no longer limited to posting something you bought. You can now suggest cool products that you like or that you’ve spotted by clicking “Suggest a product”, adding a title and photo, and telling us where you found it. So now you can create your own crowdsourced shopping guide by suggesting cool products and places to shop, and following other users’ shopping suggestions.

New new look

New new look!

We’ve made everything cleaner with a bigger product gallery, so that you can focus on what you really want to see – more great products and where to find them. We’ve done the same thing for Shoplette Shops, so that the product catalogues are more focused on the Shops’ products. We hope that will make your browsing experience more enjoyable on Shoplette.

You can check out the new Shoplette here:

Please enjoy the new changes to Shoplette! And feel free to drop us a comment or email to tell us what you think.

Marketing on Facebook: Groups vs Pages

There’s a long-standing debate over whether Facebook Groups or Facebook Pages make better marketing tools for businesses. Technically speaking, Groups were meant for organisations, interest groups and groups of friends, i.e. groups of Facebook users, while Pages were meant for brands and businesses. But who ever used things as they were meant, eh?

Here are some pretty comprehensive comparisons between Groups and Pages:

Why facebook communities can work for your brand by Claudia Lim

What’s the difference between a facebook fan page and a facebook group

Facebook group vs facebook fan page – what’s better

With Facebook’s latest update to Pages, things get even more confusing, because now, Brand Pages are like User Profiles – brands can post twitter-like status updates on their Pages, and these status updates get broadcast on their fans’ newsfeeds (apparently). Although with the latest revision to the Facebook homepage, I’ve yet to see status updates from brands appear in the new twitter-like newsfeed.

So what’s a Facebook marketeer to do?

Well, as far as I can tell, it really comes down to these key differences:

Groups give you:

1. Viral invitations – your group members can invite their friends to join the group with the “invite people to join” link on the group page. This isn’t so for pages.

2. Openness of community – a group is really an open community around a particular interest area, in which the group members participate freely and help to create content for or add content to the group.

Pages give you:

1. Broadcast announcements – in the form of broadcasting your status updates to your fans’ newsfeeds (supposedly). So every time you have an announcement to make on your Facebook Page, all your fans get to know about it automatically.

2. Control over your presence – Page owners have more control over their Pages (like user profiles), deciding what apps to put on them and how they should appear. With Groups, you get the standard apps and the standard layout. A lot of the content on a Page is also focused on what you want to tell or show your fans.

I guess it depends on what you want to use your presence on Facebook for. If you want to create an inclusive community around your product, service or subject area, and let users contribute to the content of the community, then go with a Group. If you want more control over your presence on Facebook and use it to make regular announcements directly to users, then go with a Page.

But don’t forget that viral invitations (letting your group members invite their friends to join) can be quite powerful in growing a Group on Facebook, and there’s no easy way to enable that for a Page at the moment. So if you need to ramp up a community quickly, just start a group and ask your friends to invite their friends.

Finally, check out this link if you need to migrate your Group to a Page.

UPDATE: Oops! Looks like Facebook isn’t doing any more conversions from Groups to Pages. From Facebook’s Help page:

We’re no longer able to convert Facebook Groups into Pages. You’re welcome to create a Page and notify your Group members that you’ll be using the Page instead of the Group going forward. If your Group has too many members to send them a message, we unfortunately aren’t able to provide you with any other solutions for how you might contact them about this change.

Please check out our Facebook groups for Zinerepublic and Shoplette to see how we get on with them. And if you’d like to help us out, please invite your friends to join them too!

P.S.: Perhaps this calls for us to set up a Group and a Page as an experiment, and see which works out better.

Talk to us: Facebook Groups vs Page – What do you think?

Welcome to Zinerepublic! Viva La Revolucion!

So what’ve we been doing all this while, coding away in a little corner and reading irreverent manga for entertainment? Here we go!…

We’re happy to announce the launch of our new online zine publishing platform, Zinerepublic, and would love to count on your support and participation.

Zinerepublic is our attempt at a revolution aimed at democratizing magazine publishing. We believe that magazine publishing – from article sourcing and content generation, to editing, assembling and publishing issues, to subscription and distribution – should be open to everyone, so we’ve created tools to make it easier.

Zinerepublic is an easy way to create and distribute your own crowdsourced zine. On Zinerepublic, anyone can be a reader, writer and editor, create your own zine out of your own and other users’ articles, and submit articles that other editors might like to use in their zines.

We’ve just released a public version (is this an alpha or a beta? It’s our first incarnation – call it whatever you want) and would like to invite you to try it out by checking out the zines, creating your own zine, contributing articles, and giving us feedback on what you think about the site.

Please check out our new site here:

and sign up for a new account by clicking “Join”. Then give it a spin – start posting some articles and creating your own zine.

For inspiration, here are some zines that users have already started creating on the site:

The Little Arts Academy’s Magazine – A lovely cooking zine with the yummiest dessert recipes you’ll be dying to try (and eat).
Half Flat – A stunning art zine featuring the works of four groundbreaking illustrators based in Singapore.
Graff spotting – A globe-trotting graffiti zine about graffiti and street art sightings all over the world.

Enjoy the zines, have fun creating your own, and Viva La Revolucion!

Saint Young Men

Here’s a new manga we recently discovered that’s cracking us up and keeping us sane during our development crunch. You’ve got to love the premise:

“Having survived the end of another millenium, Buddha and Jesus are now taking a break on Earth, where they share an apartment.”

Saint Young Men Official manga site (Japanese)

Translations (until the English version is available on the shelves) here and here.

Is it only in Japan that we find such natural and unforced religious tolerance? Or do they just have a better sense of humour than the rest of the world?