We’re officially at the tail end of 2016, and there’s no better time than now to take a look back on all our articles from this year, and see which were the ones that truly caught the attention of you, our readers.
So let’s take a trip down 2016’s memory lane, and do a good old #throwback, VP-style.
Not exactly a surprise here, since Pokemon GO was pretty much the national game of 2016.
Published on the 7th of August (which conveniently coincided with the National Day weekend), one day after the game’s local release, I remember churning out the article in my shabby home clothes with one leg perched on my dining chair, trawling Facebook pages and posts while furiously typing away on my laptop.
Needless to say, the effort paid off, and article was very much well-loved by Singaporean PokeGO players.
Nobody wants to be underpaid, and that sentiment was proven with the sheer reach of the article.
HR firm Kelly Services released their 2016 salary guide, and while it didn’t cover every single job scope out there, provided a good gauge for what those working, and those on a lookout for a job should expect.
Given the rather bleak economic and employment landscape in 2016, we also noticed the general trend of work-related articles like these doing better this year.
3. Google Wants You In Its Singapore “Kampung” – Here Are The Roles That They’re Hiring For (14 Nov)
It started with a tipoff in August. According to a local Google-r, the tech giant’s Singapore campus was revealed to have moved to the newly-minted Mapletree Business City II.
While everything remained hush-hush in the next few months, the metaphorical cat, which was already halfway out the bag, was eventually unveiled in a grand opening ceremony which even saw our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran as guests-of-honour.
Needless to say, the uber-cool interior not only gave us major office envy, but also signalled the high possibility of being part of the Google family. And judging from the overwhelming response we got from our article, it’s clear that the HR team and hiring managers over at Google will have had an influx of applications since then.
On the other end of the employment spectrum, this article, while pretty damn depressing in content, was useful for those who wanted a heads-up. As observed, the list was mostly made up of banks, and reflected the generally bad year of the industry in 2016.
The threat of retrenchment and being redundant, regardless of industry, had been looming around the labour market the entire year, and from what we’re reading in the news, won’t be going away anytime soon.
So perhaps next year, we might (unfortunately) need to do a 2017 version of the article.
5. It’s Official: Singapore Malls Are Dead, As Occupancy Reaches Its Lowest Level In 10 Years (1 Nov)
Just like the article begins, “Can’t say that nobody saw this coming.”
2016 was the year that we saw offline retailers downsizing, or even closing down altogether, and while many of us mourn the loss of the nostalgia that comes with walking around shopping malls, the harsh truth is that we are also the ones who have brought this upon ourselves and the industry.
Almost everything under the sun can be bought online these days, and the sheer variety (and discounts) that these portals give us are a logical choice over an offline retailer that might only have certain quantities, and certain brands stocked at any point of time.
The online shopping scene will heat up with the impending arrival of Amazon onto our shores, and we can only predict that if offline retailers stick with the status quo, the casualties among them are only set to increase.
The emergence cool offices seems to have been one of the hot topics in 2016.
Airbnb’s new Singapore pad made us drool in envy, as we were treated to photos of their chic, yet cosy space. With their design philosophy based on applying local building typologies and materials to their new spaces, the office also featured kopitiam chairs in the cafeteria, references from local playgrounds, and items sourced from local neighbourhood shops and designers peppered around its interior.
7. Here Are Some Rare Pokémon That Singaporeans Have Caught In The Last 24 Hours On Pokémon GO (16 Aug)
Ah yes, yet another PokeGo article.
While the first few days of the release had everyone figuring out the game and catching every Pokemon they came across, the competitive spirit that games tend to induce quickly emerged, and many were hungry for rarer catches.
Thus, it’s not surprising that many have used the article as a benchmark of what’s out there, and have thus gone forth to “catch ’em all”.
In what probably won the prize hands down for Nikon’s PR nightmare of the year, the fiasco taught us 2 things – 1. photoshopping a photo could actually win you a prize, and (but?) 2. if unveiled to the keen eyes of netizens – it won’t be for long.
With the incriminating post, and all the evidence to prove its illegitimacy spreading on social media like wildfire, the lack of an apology (or even a statement) from the photographer just fuelled the fire even more, as the news even made it to international news channels.
Eventually, he did emerge from the rubble to issue an apology, albeit strongly hinting that it was Nikon that was taking their time on the issuing of the statement.
While it had met with mixed reactions, the issue has since more or less faded from the collective memory of the public.
9. Here’s How To Unlock All US Netflix Content In Singapore So You Can Truly Netflix And Chill (11 Jan)
Singaporeans love lobangs, and this was one for the Netflix crowd.
Released at the start of 2016, the local version of the entertainment streaming platform was notorious for only releasing a fraction of what was offered by its American counterpart, and many Singaporeans had to look for alternative methods to satisfy their entertainment cravings – one of which was using a VPN.
According to users, though, the offerings have increased since then, so perhaps local Netflix-ers won’t need to engage in this extra step to get their fix any longer.
10. Shit Is Getting Real: SMRT Is Introducing 24-Seaters Driverless Cars End Of This Year In Singapore (20 Apr)
I guess shit didn’t really get real after all – well, not yet at least.
So far, the latest update of the venture has yet to be unveiled, but this year has seen the rise of autonomous vehicles – both internationally and locally.
While a recent accident involving a self-driving car at the one-north area has put a screeching pause to public trials by nuTonomy and Grab, trials of autonomous buses in NTU are still ongoing, and LTA doesn’t seem to be giving up on their plans, so don’t put the possibility of a driverless commute on the backburner just yet.
There was a time when online publication Goody Feed’s enticing headlines filled our Facebook feeds.
As clickbaity and clickbait comes, its viral articles were a guilty pleasure many loved and yet hated with a passion, and it embodied successfully the saying “so bad, it’s almost good”.
Regardless, the day came when clickthroughs into the site (which was frequently accompanied by internal rants of “damn it, it make me click again!”) were greeted with locked page, only allowing readers to access the full content if, and only if, they ‘liked’ Goody Feed’s Facebook Page.
Infuriating to many because it felt like a cheap technique to get more social media ‘likes’ (though it worked), this soon incurred the wrath of the Facebook gods, who promptly blocked all their content on the platform.
No official statements have been released by either side since the incident, but a quick check on their revamped page now reveals unblocked, and blocker-less content that has a clearer focus on quality posts vs. clickbaity ones.
This also came as an important lesson to online publishers – play the social media game shrewdly, but also fairly – or face the consequences.
We end off the list with, well, a list.
Featuring 9 Singaporean startup founders who have achieved success in their ventures while still in school, the list was both inspirational and aspirational, proving that while all of us have 24 hours in a day, there are those who are making much more out of them that we could ever imagine.
Startups founders are only getting younger, and we can only look forward to seeing even more student-entrepreneurs emerging in the year to come.
Onward To 2017!
2017 is inching closer, and we can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring us – both the good and the bad.
From all of us at Vulcan Post, have a happy new year!