The Great Instagram Purge of 2014

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Last week, Instagram went through a giant purge of bots. That meant a great deal of users lost followers in some way. Some lost thousands. I only lost 40, but it still felt like a lot.

I’ve never ever bought followers nor am I a huge user of hashtags, because I know they contribute to a lot of the bot numbers. But I guess they still managed to find me in some way. Instagram’s not like Twitter and there’s not so many tools out there for moderating your contact list (nor do I trust most that exist). I’ve never really used any strange “marketing techniques” to garner any of my current followers (on any social networks). I am a very big advocate on the attitude of “if they want to follow you they will”.

I’m a very big believer of influencer marketing, a topic that is now of heavy debate in Singapore. I think that’s what prompted me to write a post on the matter. This Instagram purge was very necessary for the network to know it’s real users and to reveal who their true influencers are. While Instagram still has yet to be infiltrated with ads, it has a lot of potential to be very valuable to advertisers. Hell, the other day I saw my first “sponsored ad”, one by Ferrero Rocher, my favourite chocolate in the world. How they knew that, I don’t really know. All I know is, Instagram’s ad network will be very targeted.

I’m not freaked out about social media and advertising. I’ve kind of always dove nose-first into it. We make unconscious decisions about everything we purchase and are surrounded by ads and marketing almost everywhere we look. I will just remain being myself everywhere online.

If you’d like to connect with me on Instagram you can find me here: http://instagram.com/tianafeng!

Hello Zomato

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There’s no doubt that the food scene here in Toronto is huge. There are plenty of restaurants, events, bloggers, apps etc that cater to all kinds of food lovers.

Recently, I became a blog partner on Zomato, a new restaurant discovery service that is impressive enough to take out Yelp and Urbanspoon. What makes Zomato different is that all the information collected on restaurants is done by actual people (working for Zomato). This results in accurate and up-to-date menus, phone numbers and existence. So many restaurants come and go on a weekly basis that this information is vital.

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A unique feature to Zomato are it’s Collections, a series of curated lists with a common theme. Current ones include “Christmas Events”, “Great Breakfasts” and “Terrific Thai”. They also have an app as beautiful as the website. Users can bookmark restaurants, upload photos, call restaurants and more. Refined searches are available where users can circle (or heart) part of a map and discover the type of cuisine they are looking for in the area.

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For those looking for something to cure that Foursquare itch (because Swarm sucks), Zomato also has a check-in option! It has it’s own social network where users can follow others and “heart” and comment on photos and more. I’m a newer user to Zomato but I’m enjoying it so far and already have so many restaurants bookmarked.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of the Zomato team, and they are awesome people but more on that later!

If you’d like to follow me on Zomato you can find me here:

https://www.zomato.com/tianafeng

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Now to go back to bookmarking a million delicious places on the app!

Impress Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails

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A few months ago I received my first #MapleVoxBox from Influenster, a service that is a little like Klout but encourages you to be more involved.
IMG_2632The package was mailed to me in a little box with an Influenster sticker.
IMG_2638This edition featured Impress Manicure’s Press on Nails. Everybody received different colours. I got a purple and gold patter, as well as a bright orange. Both were things I wouldn’t normally wear but I kept the purple and gold and gave the orange to my little sister.

Each package has 24 nails in different sizes. They’re quite easy to put on. You just peel off the back and press down on your nails. Originally, I put them on upside down because I liked the rounded edge facing up. However, the rounded edge is supposed to line-up with cuticles. You get a longer-lasting nail when you put them on the right way.

IMG_8901I thought they looked nice, like I had a fancy manicure. However, I didn’t really like the general “feel” of them. They constantly felt like a burden on my fingers and whenever I brushed my fingers through my hair, they would get caught or fall off. They’re nice if you lack time and want to get fancy for a night out, but not something I’d wear day to day.

Instagram “Like” Necklace

IMG_9379I saw this adorable necklace the last time I ordered on Photojojo and had been thinking about it ever since. Then one day I gave in and impulsively ordered it.

IMG_9356IMG_9360I love their silly branding of always sending a dinosaur with every package. They even tell you that on the box. Not entirely sure why a little necklace needed a big box though.

IMG_9357IMG_9361The charm itself is a lot bigger than I thought it was in real life and sits on a shiny silver-plated chain. It’s a Photojojo exclusive made by modern jewellery company, Plastique.

IMG_9389It’s been a lovely accessory and conversation starter when meeting new people last week at CMW!

Ride the Tempo on CBC Music!

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Today my music blog Ride the Tempo was featured in CBC’s list of “Canadian Music Blogs You Need to be Reading”. Normally I don’t care for lists but CBC was one of the early outlets that got me caring about Canadian music and influenced me to change the blog’s format to focus entirely on it. It was actually a difficult decision to make. Canadian music is not as popular or hit-generating as some of the bigger indie artists out there. Blogs that write about everything get a lot more hits, and return generate more ad-revenue.

I don’t blog because I think I’ll one day get rich off of it. I love exploring the Canadian music landscape. I care about it and will continue to do so.