5 Tips to Becoming a Good Web Writer
Thursday, 2 February 2012 | (0) Leave A Comment

Hey Readers,

Today’s blog post is in response to the question posed by one of our readers, Jane – “What Makes a Good Web Writer?”
Perhaps you have been inspired by us or other blogs that you have stumbled across and decided to take up the challenge of becoming a web writer. Thus, THEHUMANNEQUIN writers have put together 5 tips to help enlighten you on adapting to the style of writing for the web.
Credibility is essential for a good writer as it shows how trustworthy and reputable a reader perceives the writer to be. Therefore it is important to be a credible writer so you not only get the reputation, you also gain readership as well.

Firstly, always research before you start writing because if you cannot get your facts right, you are taking a huge risk because your readers  will not be interested in contents that are not true, resulting in a possibility of the decrease in readership.

Secondly, include hyperlinks to external sources. This not only helps cite where you get your information from, but also helps in terms of backing up your content from other trustworthy websites and readers it is also a form of cross-referencing information.

Lastly is the citation of sources. This is the most important as without it; you are subjected to plagiarism, which is unethical for a writer as it is the form of copying information and making it your own. (Read more about it here). You should include footnotes or list out the sources at the bottom of the article.  

Some ways to find out if the author or website is credible:
  1. Who is the author?
  2. Who do they link to; do they provide sources to back up their points?
  3. Are news, advertising and opinions clearly separated?
You can read up more about credibility of a writer here.

Unique Selling Point (USP)
With millions of blogs out there, it may seem impossible to come up with a distinctive beat which will be recognizable towards the readers. However, if you do want to start blogging in any relatively popular niche, then you will need to twist for your blog topic.
Thing is, you do not need to come up with an entirely new beat – you just need to have your very own Unique Selling Point.  It’s easy, but a lot of work is put into it. Just mix a great number of things that applies to your blog and use it for a broader niche.
Also, try to create a unique angle out of your article. It helps! Limiting your audience to have a unique topic is perfectly fine. With that, more readers will get to know about your site quicker and it helps you stand out in the crowded blogosphere.
 Get more recognition rather than just being yet another cliché blogger!


Social media widgets can increase traffic to your blog site

People, just like you and I like to feel heard. It’s a basic human desire for social interaction, to feel heard and understood. What better way to curb this want than through the myriad of social media widgets available.

Having a simple Facebook share button or a Twitter retweet button does not only make it easy for readers to share content with their friends but also increases traffic to your site. Your content goes viral with a simple click and before you know it, new readers are streaming into your site for more.

But keep in mind that interactivity is not just limited to social media widgets but also in the way your style of writing. Be conversational, just like how you would talk to a friend.  Speak to the reader and not at the reader. Learn to cultivate asking questions in between your content to be more engaging and content in form of videos or picture are another way to increase interactivity.

Layout & Design
All of us would have left a blog with a messy or cluttered layout at least once before. Yes, the design of a blog is very important. It gives the first impression to the reader, just like how you give your first impression to others when they first see you.
First thing you should think about is the colours and theme you are going to use. Choose a colour which will not be too distracting for the reader, something light and easy. Pick one or two of your favourite colours which will go well together (Blue and yellow would be my choice) and work on it.

The colours and theme we have for TheHumannequin ourselves

Next up would be the user-friendliness of your blog. A lost reader would most likely end up clicking the ‘X’ button at the top of the web page or find another site to visit. Make sure that the important links or buttons of your blog are placed prominently and are easy to find.

An example of tabs you should include for a travelling blog Source: Our partner, WonderWanderers

Fulfil these two main points and you are good to go for this factor. Don’t forget to suit the design of your blog to your style to make it unique and fun so that readers would go ‘wow!
Understanding Online Behaviour
Attracting web readers to read your articles is a do-or-die decision. Five seconds is all you have to impress and grab your reader’s attention; which proves a point that web readers have very short attention span. Call them indolent or apathetic; it is unlikely for web readers to click more than three times to reach the designated page. Hence, crafting an accessible web page plays a huge responsibility in sustaining readership. In addition, what pull them in are not only saucy and controversial headlines, but straight forward and catchy ones. So, KISS your headlines; in other words Keep It Short and Simple.
A proficient blogger aspire their articles to Inform, Persuade and Entertain the readers. However, what one fails to understand is that the secret formula behind the trick is to write them in active voice. This enables interactivity. Not to forget that uncommon jargons could be your greatest enemy that acts as a barricade from you reaching your goal.  Thus, avoid jargons which could confuse your readers.

We hope these tips are helpful and good luck! J


Wednesday, 25 January 2012 | (0) Leave A Comment
5 Things to Make You Laugh Out Loud (LOL)

Laughter is the best medicine. So, keep the doctor away and make way for the chuckles.  

By Charissa Selvasekaran

Starting of the list is American comedian Ellen DeGeneres who will definitely tickle your funny bone with her five time Emmy-winning talk show.

It’s not just a talk show about celebrity interviews with Hollywood’s A-list. Ellen is never afraid to embarrass herself in the name of humour and her love for pranks or quirky yet fun twist on familiar games adds a refreshing take to her talk show.

Quite often I find myself clicking on one of her YouTube videos to squeeze in a laugh after a stressful day. Just one I tell myself, but once you click on one, you just can’t stop. 

The Ellen DeGeneres Show will put more than a smile on your face. It will leave you with belly-aching laughter.


2.       How I Met Your Mother

Remember the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S?

It had the world rolling with laughter and eight years after its final season, it still has you laughing so hard that your eyes tear up.

One show that may very well be following in its footsteps is How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). Ted (Josh Radnor) is among the five main characters that start off the show by narrating to his adolescent children the events that led up to him meeting his wife.

But fret not. It’s not just another romantic comedy. Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), the shows most raved about element leave viewers amused with his relentless tactics in pursuit for attractive women.

HIMYM which is currently in its seventh season will be back for its eighth season. “It’s going to be legen...wait-for-it...dary!”

3.       Damn You Auto Correct
You either have it or if you don’t, the person next to you probably has one. While smartphones have made life easier for all of us, the iPhone’s autocorrect function sometimes may result in a not-so-smart correction.
For those of us with iPhones, you probably have been there. You are hurriedly texting, the autocorrect function inserts an incorrect word and before you know it, you already hit the send button. The result, you’re left red-faced from the awkward moment.
Damn You Auto Correct is a collection of hilarious iPhone blunders sent in by its users to share the joy of laughing.

4.       White Chicks 
White Chicks may have been released in 2004, but don’t let that put you off. It is a movie with undeniable humour starring Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans.  
Two African-American FBI agents are given the opportunity to rectify themselves after a drug bust gone wrong.  But just how far do they go to save their jobs? The Wayans Brothers impersonate socialites, the Wilson sisters to protect them from a kidnapping plot. As the Wayans Brothers transform into bimbotic white twins to fool everyone, they get into hilarious situations.
Though not received well by critics, more than a handful who have watched it tend to differ. Why not check it out for yourself? You are sure to gain at least a laugh or two.  

5.       YouTube
Laughter is not only the best medicine but it can also help you lose weight!
Sounds too good to be true? According to Dr Helen Pilcher, laughter can burn up to 100 calories. (Bet that New Year’s resolution seems a lot easier now.)
So, if you are looking for a good laugh, YouTube is the place to go. Countless of users continue to upload videos on pranks or comedy scenes from movies or sitcoms leaving you spoilt for choice. And if you are unsure as to what to type in the search bar, just start with “funny” and that will set you going.
Go on. Drop a few pounds with a hearty laugh.

Friday, 20 January 2012 | (1) Leave A Comment
Reunion of UK band Blue for 2012
By Farhana Aziz

Blue invited for a small showcase performance at ION Orchard.

It’s been almost a decade since the last appearance of British boyband group, Blue (consisting of Simon Webbe, Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Antony Costa) from the music industry. However, with their recent trip here to sunny Singapore, it seems like the Blue hype continues to grow stronger than ever.
Currently, Blue is working really hard to surprise fans with their upcoming comeback. Fans can expect a huge dance banger-like genre from Blue’s latest album Champagne City.
What’s more exciting is that their brand new album which will be dropping in Easter 2012 will consist of works and collaborations with Bruno Mars and Ne-Yo. “It’s got some haunting notes on the chorus,” said Lee Ryan on a song called ‘Black and Blue’.
Back in October 2011, Blue performed for a free fashion concert showcase sponsored by ION Orchard. They were enthusiastically greeted by fans that had been drenched in sweat while waiting for the quartet all night.

The open-concept concert was made free to the public.

Audience was very supportive as they sang along to familiar songs. The boys pleased them with 7 of their number 1old school tune hits (such as ‘Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word’ ‘You Make Me Wanna’ ‘All Rise’ ‘If You Come Back’ ‘Breathe Easy’ ‘Fly By’ ‘One Love’).


However, do not be upset if you missed the gig!
It’s confirmed that Blue will be back here in Singapore for their ‘The Greatest Hits Tour’ on 28 Feb 2012 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Together with Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and a1, this is definitely the concert you’ve been waiting for!

Here's one of Blue's popular single, U Make Me Wanna, back in 2003.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012 | (8) Leave A Comment
Steve Jobs: A touch that changed it all

How that touch happened and how it changed our expectations of a phone

By: Vivian Koh Jia En

What mobile phone do you remember having when you were younger? I remember receiving my first phone for my 12th birthday – a Nokia 2100. Joy would be the word to describe how I felt when I held the simple phone in my hands, but how many people would feel happy getting that phone now?

My first mobile phone - a Nokia 2100
Source: TechTree

If you look back through the years since mobile phones were first invented, you’ll see that we’ve come a long way since. With each passing year, the mobile phones on the market only gets better, with new functions, applications and even slimmer phones. Despite there being a large range of designs, these phones all have one goal in common, to meet the needs of our increasingly hectic lifestyles.

And as phones continue to improve, we consumers have definitely become more demanding in terms of what comes with our phones.

The iBrain behind the phone
One man decided to make an impact in that timeline. With recognizable greyish hair, usually sporting a black turtleneck and blue-washed jeans, yes, I’m talking about Steve Jobs, with his iBrain, I would call it. Shortly after releasing the iPod, he wanted to venture further. 

 A mind-map of the actions which his iBrain came up with
See a larger version of the mind-map
Source: Flickr user paz.ca (under CC license)

Knowing that consumers would choose the convenience of one device instead of carrying both their phones and music players, he speculated that other companies would eventually create phones with such functions. He did not want his new product line to falter and in 2002, that’s where the idea of an iPhone first started.

It was a long and difficult process which took his idea about 5 years to realise. The first iPhone was finally released in 2007. It had a number of downsides including the initial high price of US$599 (which has been brought down to US$399) and the inability to record videos. However, the product successfully opened up the wireless world and brought benefits to their stakeholders. Its success could already be seen from the start as it was listed as ‘Invention of the Year’ by Time Magazine in the year it was released.

 The issue of Time Magazine which featured the iPhone
Source: Wordpress of Scott Mindeaux

Not the first touchscreen phone
Let’s admit it, before the iPhone, touchscreen phones were not that popular. Many of us were not even aware of such phones. The iPhone was outstanding as it did not need styluses. A light finger tap was all it needed to click on an application. Such sensitivity and multi-touch has allowed developers to create great experiences for users.

 Thousands of applications have been created and distributed thanks to the iPhone
Source: Bindapple

With all its functions and cool design, it has certainly won over the hearts of many. It also didn’t help that the iPhone had an advantage over other brands as Apple distributed apps and music through only one store. It made it easier for its users to download new apps into their iPhones and iPod Touch, making it even more convenient.

Less clutter, more beauty
Jobs saw that consumers did not mind paying more if a product made their life easier and simpler. He made sure that Apple was always consistent with the phrase that “less is more”, which explains the simplicity of the iPhone only having a single main button. 

In short, he revolutionized what consumers expect from their phones, leading to similar smartphones being created by companies like HTC, Samsung and others as consumers now want lighter, convenient phones which can offer them the same, if not, better functions. I think many will agree that Steve Jobs was definitely someone to look up to as he followed his heart and had a strong passion.

 The man behind the touch takes a break away from his usual style of clothing
Source: Flickr user lwpkommunikacio (under CC license)

How has the iPhone changed what you expect from your phone? Leave your comments in the comment box above!  


Tuesday, 17 January 2012 | (14) Leave A Comment
Five megabytes worth of Steve Job’s life

We all know his story as a co-founder of Apple. But now, it’s time to unfold the little facts that were talked only in a millennium.

By: Aneesa Beham Binte Tajudeen 

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me”. The titleholder of this quote is the man who was famous for his black turtleneck and blue jeans outfit. If it still doesn’t ring a bell to you, it is non-other than the prodigy, the late Steve Jobs. The miracle his technology performs has set people to awe. However MR. Jobs wasn’t only a man with intelligence, wealth or fame. Behind the man’s mischievous smile laid his fair share of struggles and a perplexed family circle

He, who carried the world under his wings to the next level with his creation of artificial intelligence, was indifferent from other menfolk. MR. Jobs turned a father at the age of 23 with his high school girlfriend Chris Ann. Initially denying paternity over his daughter, Lisa Brenna, he was obligated to provide welfare as the court reached the verdict. However the paradox was, despite the fact of MR. Jobs himself being an adopted child who refused to speak to his biological father, neglected fatherhood over his own blood once. Nonetheless, few years later he accepted Lisa who is now a journalist and a writer.

The eyes that vision the future of technology.
Photo courtesy: Flick- By: MATUES_27:24&25

Music heals the soul. It couldn’t have been any different for Mr. Jobs. Perhaps, that could be the reason why the diehard fan of The Beatles and Bob Dylan changed the way the world perceived music. In the past music consumption was a physical mechanism. One had to either purchase the albums or borrow it on a temporary basis. However, with gradual inventions of technologies the norms reformed. Even though Apple wasn’t the first to invent a portable player, it broke the barrier allowing people to indulge in music with its creation of iPod and its counterparts, allowing music to be listened and viewed at an instant go. The master plan behind all the devices was iTunes; software which legalizes online music downloads.

 “One more thing…”was MR. Jobs’ famous  phrase during his product launches to hook the audiences as a form of saving the best for the last. This genius has indeed saved his last message to heal the world. And that is organ donation. MR. Jobs was diagnosed from pancreatic cancer which affected his liver. Despite organ transplantation, his health condition didn’t seem to favour MR. Jobs. Nevertheless, the vegetarian used his prerogative to a good use by legislating applicants for a driver’s license in California to be inquired if they would like to be a volunteer of organ donation. His notion behind this agenda was clean; to aid people with illnesses who are playing the death game.

One man “technology army” MR. Jobs donned.
Photo courtesy: Flickr, by: myretailmedia

Mr. Jobs was a living attests of a human all rounder. No man is a monk or a sinner. As much as he was a demanding boss, he wasn’t a cold hearted soul. He made Apple contribute part of their profit to charity. Episodes of failures were common as the billionaire once quoted “I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food”.

The bitter moments of MR.Job’s life, when he fell ill.
Photo courtesy: Flickr, By: heptasarim
The world might have bid farewell to the peter pan of technology on 5th October 2011. His demise is certainly a huge loss for the world and Apple Company. Nonetheless the legend’s physical absence will never be overshadowed for his words of wisdom and inventions left behind for over a decade would consistently jog our memory. 

So peeps, now that you have read the article, share with us your favorite moments of Mr. Jobs' inventions or something new that the world doesn't know.


The Digital Age: Steve Jobs
By: Farhana Aziz

The man, the myth, the legend!

(CC image courtesy of Iwpkommunikacio)

He is the man who came from the future – revolutionary; realistic. We can’t help but thank him for molding us to be who we are as of today - gadget-obsessed, social networking narcissists and masters at thumb movements.

The once famous Power Macintosh has been ruled over by the latest generation technology, Macbook Pro.
(CC image courtesy of William Brawley and raneko)

How it all started
Looking back, it’s amazing how Apple developed: from a Power Macintosh running on DOS to an OS X Lion operating on the Macbook Pro. For obvious reasons, it’s undeniable – Apple truly is a powerful invention. It has touched our lives in one way or another. You don’t have to be an Apple fan to appreciate the invention. You only need to agree that Apple has definitely created a worldwide avant-garde transformation.

Apple’s corporate image
It’s not about being a loyal shopper of Apple or not. To be honest, I am no diehard fan to either PCs or Microsoft or Apple for that matter. However, it is without a doubt that Apple’s image is just classy and appealing that anyone in proximity to this invention might suffer a great loss without it.

Well-wishing notes pasted outside the Apple Store in Clarendon.
(CC courtesy of Ron Cogswell)

In spite of all the irrational explanations that was reported to demolish the empire Jobs has built – the only reason why many still mourn over his death would be: knowing that the world had just lost someone so firmly rooted in the future.

Over the years, we’ve probably dealt with great losses: Kim Jong Il, Michael Jackson, Brittany Murphy, Amy Winehouse, etc. Whether they’re life-changing or not, they’re a prominent figure for a reason.

Fans leave wrath of flowers in loving memory of the late Steve Jobs.
(CC courtesy of Lydia Fizz)

Come to think of it, I first heard about his passing via mediums that Jobs himself created.

The future generation
It’s quite a worry to know that our future is unstable without Jobs around. It’s even hard to actually imagine that our lives were only about depending on ‘brains’ that could actually make ideas work and eventually make this world a better place.

One of Apple’s extraordinary inventions – the iPhone.
(CC courtesy of blakespot)

Who are we to judge Jobs?
What saddens me the most is that we as human beings of this century take modern technology for granted. Take a look around you. Everyone probably owns a smartphone. We are either too busy flaunting what we have that we never really took notice the littlest details that made up this revolution. Jobs have sophisticatedly maneuvered around a touchscreen’s lack of tactile sensation into our clumsy hands. He didn’t just stopped there – he continued to show us even more. The effort, the sweat, the criticisms Jobs went through only to produce something humans hunger for. When all good things come to an end, we only question the possibility of the need for something new.  Who are we to argue when we are not even working hard to be a significant person to the world?

In hopes of a better future
Technological generation is a milestone step towards the future. It’s interesting just thinking what would probably be deemed as an acceptable substitute for a future. With the death of Steve Jobs, it scares me to know that such devastatingly small pool of visionaries who can give us that colossal revolution, has gotten even smaller.


Apple: Before and After Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs- The driving force behind Apple is gone. What will become of it?

By: Shermaine Lee

Each time I look at the fruit, it reminds me of Apple Inc. and its co-founder the late Steve Jobs.

The young Steve Jobs
(CC Image courtesy of Iwpkommunikacio on Flickr)

Although not a fan of Apple products, I respect Steve Jobs for revolutionizing the Digital World.  The advent in technology has been rapid and immense, resulting in people storing images and games in an MP3 to using phones with fully-fledged touch screens. With the passing of Steve Jobs, it seems certain that this will impact Apple and subsequently the world of technology. That being said, lets look back at some of his past accomplishments and achievements in his life.

Technology Breakthrough
In the past, desktop computers were difficult to use as it featured a command-line interface. The Macintosh was then introduced. It was the first desktop computer to use a graphical-user interface and a mouse, and achieved commercial success. This resulted in a string of other brands of desktops following suit. This changed the way people perceived desktop computers to be.

The Macintosh, featuring a mouse and graphical-user interface
(CC Image courtesy of Marcin Wichary on Flickr)

Apple then went on to release many of its other products over the years, which also proved to be major hits, ranging from the Apple Mouse to the iPod.  

            The Apple Mouse
         (CC Image courtesy of Mitmensch0812 on Flickr)

          The iPod
                                           (CC Image courtesy of dyobmit on Flickr)

Fast forward to the year 2007, when it proved to be the most successful time for Apple yet as its sales reached peak high. Within days of launching the iPhone, it received explosive reception, selling 6 million units in over a year. Unsatisfied with the restrictions that the original iPhone had, Apple released a newer version of it the following year and so on and so forth. What is your say on the latest iPhone?

Steve Jobs with the first iPhone
(CC Image courtesy of Iwpkommunikacio on Flickr)

Which came first: iPhone or Android?
Competition soon ensued between Apple and Google’s Android with the former claiming that Android phones were stolen products of the iPhone.

[1] “Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.”
(Read more about it here and here.)

Death of Steve Jobs
Fighting a long battle with pancreatic cancer since 2003, Jobs died on October 5, 2011. As Apple announced the death of Steve Jobs, they mourned of his passing with flags flying at half-mast and people paying their respect at Apple stores.

Flags flying at half mast at Apple’s headquarters
(CC Image courtesy of marc.flores on Flickr)

Memorials of Steve Jobs outside one of Apple’s stores
(CC Image courtesy of Lydia Fizz on Flickr)

Now that Apple has lost its leader, the “main brain” behind revolutionizing technology is also gone. Before that, the charismatic and perfectionist leader brought the company to great heights, convincing the world that Apple would not fail under him, creating amazing products one after another. How do you feel about his management of Apple?

Problems faced
Personally chosen by Steve Jobs, Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook announced the iPhone 4s to the world, just a day before his death. However, it did not receive that much of an explosive reaction as it had as compared to the iPhone 4. (Read more here and here).
When Apple released news of Job’s passing, within days [2] the shares of Apple fell by five percent in trading while shares of some of its rivals such as Samsung Electronics and HTC gained.

 Apple’s homepage, paying tribute to its co-founder
(CC Image courtesy of manveetSingh on Flickr)

In the same week, [3] Market research company comScore conducted an analysis of the smartphone market share in the U.S, with Google’s Android in the lead with 43.7 percent and Apple’s iOS following behind with 27.3 percent.  

Will Tim Cook manage to keep the late Steve Job’s vision alive? Or will the post-Jobs era hinder the success of Apple?

Feel free to share your comments.

5) http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/review/2114695/iphone-4s-vs-iphone-head-head-review

[1] Steve Jobs on the on-going lawsuits that Apple is involved with Android. (CRAVE, CNET ASIA, Nov 09, 2011) http://asia.cnet.com/crave/schmidt-says-android-came-first-before-iphone-62211940.htm
[2] Concerns of Post-Jobs era (SCI & TECH, XINHUANET, Oct 06, 2011) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2011-10/06/c_131176750.htm
[3] Analysing smartphone market shares in the U.S (SCI & TECH, XINHUANET, Oct 06, 2011) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2011-10/06/c_131176750.htm