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Singapore Well Positioned to be the Virtual Community Magnet for the Region

15 May 1999 - The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC), launched the largest network of interactive virtual communities in Asia, called Community Connection (, at Suntec City on 15 May 1999.

Singapore, 15 May 1999 | For Immediate Release

The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC), launched the largest network of interactive virtual communities in Asia, called Community Connection (, at Suntec City on 15 May 1999. Built on a sophisticated infrastructure, Community Connection serves as a common platform to bring together different virtual communities and services in the region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong, into a single virtual network. Community Connection will be a landing pad to expand on Asia's electronic commerce market.

Why Community Connection?

Community Connection allows businesses to co-market through this network of virtual communities that collectively generates a critical mass user base, which is the basis for electronic commerce.

Businesses are also able to operate at a lower cost by leveraging on the broad and rich set of common utilities provided by the Community Connection infrastructure. These utilities include:

- Allomail - an email service with anti-junk mail and multilingual capability.
- Page U - an integrated Asia-wide wireless Internet message service for cellular and pager users.
- D.I.Y. Clubs - a step-by-step guide, with easy-to-use tools, to help users build their own private clubs and chatrooms.
- Chatzone - an interactive chat channel for users to share ideas and thoughts
- BuzzBoard - a bulletin board for 'live' discussions.
- Simon Sez - a personal advisor to provide recommendations on just about anything.

There are 13 virtual communities, ranging from business, entertainment to learning & lifestyle, in Community Connection today. Through a single Login ID and password, users can have access to these 13 virtual communities - BusinessOne, CoolHot, DiscVault, Gatecrash, HardwareZone, HuaZongWang, Jobsite, Live-e, Makansutra, ONE Community, ProjectAccess, SmarTown, and WebAuc. Community Connection is set to reach one million users by Year 2000.

"By pooling resources together, we will be better positioned to compete in this fast moving and global industry. In the past, OTC has helped launched some exciting common interest websites. We aim to help some of these sites become globally attractive through the Community Connection initiative," says Michael Yap, Chief Executive, National Computer Board.

A one-day exhibition was also held at the Suntec City Atrium to provide hands-on experience in the world of virtual communities. Virtual communities are websites on the Internet that offer focused content to attract like-minded, common-interest users and to provide an interactive virtual environment for users to obtain personalised services.

Community Connection is a Virtual Communities initiative by the Online Technologies Consortium (OTC). First announced on 21 August 1998, this initiative aimed to collectively generate a critical mass of virtual community user base and to groom the local online industry to become global players in the emerging borderless virtual community marketplace. This effort in building strategic virtual communities alliance with global partners is in line with the national objective to become a global hub for Internet-related services and industries for the region.

Released by the National Computer Board, Singapore

About The Online Technologies Consortium

The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC) comprises members of the local online industry and is sponsored by several industry players. Singapore's National Computer Board (NCB) serves as host and caretaker for the OTC. Viewed as an essential mechanism for transferring technologies and solutions at a shared cost, the OTC's mission is to inspire the use of enabling technologies to accelerate the growth of Singapore's indigenous online industry. It does so by pooling together scarce resources and in providing the platform for the sharing and exchanging of experiences and expertise.

The OTC is partially funded through industry sponsorships. The NCB provides matching funds in terms of necessary technical resources to jump-start the Consortium. The sponsors of the OTC form the Council which is responsible for the overall strategic thrust and directions of the Consortium. The Council oversees the work of a core management team responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Consortium, and a Technical Services Committee.

Brief On The 13 Virtual Communities

BusinessOne (

An information hub for the business community offering personalised online reference services. BusinessOne is a joint initiative between Singapore Network Services Pte Ltd and the National Library Board.

CoolHot (

A multi-player virtual arcade that offers the latest range of online games CD, with previews, reviews and tips. CoolHot is owned and operated by Acer Computer International Ltd.

DiscVault (

DiscVault is Asia's largest online music store with over 30,000 titles. It is owned and operated by Net Megastore. (

A hangout for teenagers who want something different, radical, provocative and controversial. is owned and operated by X-media Interactive Pte Ltd, a leading Internet solutions provider.

HardwareZone (

A meeting place for the computer savvy on the latest hardware and software news. HardwareZone is owned and operated by a group of university undergraduates.

HuaZong Wang (

A one-stop gateway to a rich collection of Internet resources (content, application & services) in Chinese language. HuaZong Wang, the Chinese Webtop, an effort of the National Chinese Internet Programme (NCIP).

JobSite Singapore (

A one-stop, free job placement service community. It also offers up-to-date information on the job market. JobSite Singapore is owned and operated JobSite Singapore Pte Ltd.

Live-e (

Live-e is an entertainment virtual community for building fan clubs. Live-e is owned and operated by Live-e Pte Ltd. The website also features online booking for concerts organised by Live-e.

Makansutra (

A virtual community for food lovers where food will be the single uniting factor and favourite pastime for its members. Makansutra is owned and managed by Makansutra Media Pte Ltd.

ONE Community (

A community where people from different special interest groups, meet and share their interests on anything local. A wide variety of issues are covered by ONE Community ranging from leisure activities such as shopping, travel and TV & movies to society/cultural issues such as family, friendship and religion.

Project Access (

A website with access to global youth network in support of youth empowerment and development. The website is owned and managed by Project Access (PAX), a social enterprise that develops youth as active participants in their community through personal ledership development. PAX is also the national coordinator for the Millennium Young People's Congree (MYPC) - an international event that focuses on global sustainability, civic responsibility and peace. (

It is Asia's newest education website for the young - a virtual education mall for students, teachers and parents. features online resources from newspapers, magazines, books, TV and the Internet. is owned and operated by Strategic Technologies Pte Ltd.

WebAuc (

WebAuc is an online auction site. It features a wide range of new or used items. WebAuc is owned and operated by Singapore Computer Systems Ltd.