The Bittersweet Internet

Since I didn’t update my blogs as often as I should, I will add one more entry to not really make up for it but because I have a couple more stories that I want to share.

Everyone has a social networking site. My entire family has one and unlike others (again, no one in particular) I don’t dread having them as my contacts since I don’t post anything that they don’t already know. My mom was actually able to reconnect with her former classmates, distant relatives, and friends who are all over the country.

Even I was able to find my friends from elementary school and this made me really happy since I lived in three different countries during my first 10 years of life. I thought of looking for my classmates on Facebook and I actually created a MySpace account since that’s used by kids in the US. I actually found my best friend back in the 2nd grade at the Jakarta International School and I was absolutely positive that she wouldn’t remember me but she did which made me extremely happy. Her mom’s Indonesian and her dad’s German and now she’s going to a university in Bath, UK and she still looks the same way she was back then but even prettier. I also scanned our class picture and she tagged some of my other classmates. I was also able to find my friends and classmates in the 4th and 5th grade at Sta. Barbara School in Guam. Amazing.

My 2nd Grade Class Picture at the Jakarta International School ('96-'97)

My 2nd Grade Class Picture at the Jakarta International School ('96-'97)

This why the “Sweet” part of the Internet – interconnectivity and reuniting with old friends is possible.

The “Bitter” part comes in thanks to my little sister but I won’t put all the blame on her because I am guilty of doing the exact same thing. I’m talking about being distracted. Instead of focusing on what you have to do for school, you just have to check your Facebook or Twitter before doing anything and eventually spend hours chatting, looking at photos, or updating statuses. UGH. My mom has officially grounded my sister from using these sites along with the YM since she needs to focus more on school. Although I tend to do the same, back when I was high school or grade school, the Internet wasn’t as accessible or as popular and I think that was a good thing since I focused more on getting things done as compared to my being distracted now. 😛

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October 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

A Week of No School…

…means a whole lot of Internet, well for most people anyway. With the aftermath of Ondoy, classes were suspended for a whole week which left most kids (who weren’t seriously affected by the typhoon) with absolutely nothing to do.

This is the blog entry for October 03, 2009 when the OrCom Silver was moved to but was postponed yet again because of another pending typhoon.

The transition from September to October wasn’t so smooth because of the typhoons that struck the country. A lot of events were postponed and even the classes were put on hold since recovery from the storms took some time. And because classes were suspended, kids were all stuck at home left with nothing to do but surf the Net. On almost a daily basis, a number of my contacts on the numerous social networking sites were online all day taking quizzes on Facebook or talking to each other over Twitter. It’s incredible how people cannot even last a day without poking into other people’s business. Admit it, when you go online, you just have to check out these sites even without updating anything. Its madness I tell you, and even celebrities are hooked. During the suspension of classes, people were itching to go to school out of boredom. I also know of some people who chat over Twitter even when they’re tables away at a café (and I won’t be pointing any fingers).

Television, cable, and cinemas are at risk of losing their spunk because everything is at your fingertips. You want the latest episode of your favorite show or the brand new single from your favorite artist? Try the word download.

So the next time you find yourself bored, remember that the Internet exists and that if you get sick and tired of your regular Internet habits, you can always try something new. But you’ll have to come up with a whole other game plan when it comes to power or blackouts.

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Change

I think this one word explains it all. Everything has undergone change or better yet, a revolution and hopefully, it’s for the better. 🙂

We were fortunate to have a speaker that day (although I had no clue despite the email that was sent out and come to think of it, I don’t think I ever receive any of the class emails. Haha) and there’s a funny story that comes along with this. Sir Barry assigned Jess and I to sort of usher our guests and wait for them at the gates (this was probably because we were sort of wearing matching outfits that day. Haha. Colored tank tops, jeans, doll shoes, and a black cover up – to preserve our Maria Clara image. Haha). We were told that the plate number ended with the numbers 444 so we figured that they’d park in the CAS parking lot. After waiting for over half an hour, we were called back only to find out that the speaker was already there. Haha. How embarrassing, but I convinced myself that he probably was dropped off at the small gate which is why we missed him in the first place.

Today was also the day we had to pass our SMR and I did mine on the Gerry’s Grill branch in Ortigas. It was really convenient for me since I live really close to Emerald Ave. where Strata 2000 is located. This was actually Jess’ contact from last year’s PR group project (I wasn’t a part of it since I skipped PR last semester for my radio job, but will eventually take it next semester) but it was a good thing that they had a new manager which it makes it sort of different from what they might have did last year.

I also contacted my boss, the owner of the radio station I work for, because aside from owning Mellow (FBS Radio Network), he also owns all the Chili’s and Texas Roadhouse branches and I was aiming for Texas Roadhouse in El Pueblo since that’s still in Ortigas and super near my place of residence. Unfortunately, he didn’t wasn’t me to do an SMR on Texas Roadhouse for reasons he couldn’t disclose but he did endorse me to Chili’s which was either in Greenbelt or Greenhills, so decided at the last minute to do Gerry’s Grill instead. 🙂

Back to our speaker, he was quite the interesting fellow and had a lot of really good credentials. Mr. Paolo Pangan works for Yehey Corporation and he gave an awesome talk on what or how the Internet has truly revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives. He started off with a video called “Shift Happens” which gave interesting facts on the Internet which was followed by a powerpoint. It pointed out that via the Internet, anyone can be a publicist, an entrepreneur, a broadcaster, and even a DJ (everyone cracked up at that, but we all know that mixing songs is possible via Internet programs).

A new breed of “prosumers” has been created where consumers can also be producers and vice versa. WEB 2.0 was a world where people were formerly known as merely the audience, but now, the Net has empowered the users to be able to do more and be heard louder – empowerment.

The shift and changes that have and need to be done are from being active to passive, macro to micro, fixed to portable, static to live, messages to interaction, and many more.

According to statistics, over 28 million Filipinos who are online, which means there is 33% Internet penetration. And it’s no surprise that 83% of Filipinos that are online make use of social networking sites while 98.6% watch YouTube. Lastly, the top sites in the Philippines a couple of years back were: 

  1. Yahoo!
  2. Facebook
  3. Friendster
  4. YouTube
  5. Google

The final message of the entire talk was pretty striking which perfectly describes how we should act not only on the Internet, but in all things was “Don’t Shout. Listen.”

It was a pretty awesome day and I definitely learned a lot which reaffirms many people’s belief that somehow we can no longer live without the existence of the Net since everything we do is possible when we’re online. 🙂

September 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

This is How We Roll

This Saturday’s class (Sept. 12) was all about looking back on traditional PR practices (which are still used by most PR firms) and innovating PR by means of the Internet which is practical because it connects people no matter where they may be in the world. But before that, the respective groups in class had to report on how effectively they promoted their viral videos. Everyone made use of their respective social-networking sites and all other possible means including sending group text and instant messages over the YM just to make sure people would find out about it and check it out. I am even guilty of taking advantage of my job by promoting it on my radio show, but that’s part of the perks of having my own show and set of loyal listeners. 😛

I’ve posted videos in the past on my public Facebook account and they’re pretty viral. Haha. They were probably even more viral than the video my group made and it’s probably because it makes me look pretty stupid. My latest is a 23-second video that I made for kicks at one of my Sunday radio shows. I played one of my favorite 80s tracks from Michael Jackson (Rock with You) and I started dancing and even attempted a moonwalk. I got a bunch of comments which has actually motivated me to shoot more. Haha. 😛 I already posted that embarrassing video on my public account and even got comments there too. 😛 Going to back to the groups’ videos, most of us got a good deal of views but for some they weren’t really able to achieve what they initially had as a goal in making the video.

After that took up three-fourths of the class period, we had quite an intense discussion on PR and how it has revolutionized thanks to the Internet. We also pointed out the differences between online marketing and online PR especially since they are often thought of being overlapping or similar subject matters, when in fact they aren’t.

With that discussion, we were assigned to create our very own Social Media Release on a store or establishment of our choice that’s due at our next meeting. 🙂

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What has the World Become?

Yeah, don’t be fooled by the title. This entry is still very much related to New Social Media and the Internet but I have a very good and substantial explanation as to why I gave my blog this title. Today at class, we delved into the world of Wikis and Podcasts and learned the nitty-gritty of each tool.

When I first encountered Wikipedia back in high school, during the process of research on certain subject matters, I always thought that it was kind of peculiar – a website that could easily be edited by just anybody at the click of a button. It’s no wonder why most teachers and other professionals in the academe, FORBID their students to use wikis as their source of information. However, most of the stuff we find on Wikipedia pretty much conforms to the research we get on other more reliable sources but the only danger again here is that it is easily editable which may make some information inaccurate.

During class, I realized that there were a lot of sites that host wikis and that wikis serve as useful in a lot of industries especially in business. I just might actually use wikis in the near future when doing certain projects. 🙂

Podcasts on the other hand are a pretty cool invention. Most people mistaken me for being more drawn towards sound because of my current occupation, but it actually depends. Podcasts in the business industry are mostly done in the form of interviews or tips which may bore someone who isn’t interested in the subject matter, so selective listening is important. Satellite radio is very much similar to podcast radio shows except that with podcasts, you can take your favorite radio show anywhere you go and listen to it at any time of the day. That might be something I wanna try in the near future. 🙂

Overall, both podcasts and wikis are both awesome Internet-based tools that can be created and moderated by anybody who has Net access and a microphone and/or webcam (for podcasts). This leads us back to my blog’s title which is “What has the world become?” A question asked my many who have yet to embrace the wonders of technology and the Internet. Who knows that in the not-so-distant future, we just might find ourselves in a world where encyclopedias and the mainstream forms of media eventually become obsolete and maybe all we have left is the Internet.  🙂

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Triple “W” Dot the Internet Rocks Dot Com: A Reflection Paper on the Internet Apocalypso

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” These are the words of Ken Olson, founder of the Digital Equipment Corp. back in 1977 and had he known how computers would be at the forefront of all technology as we know it today, he would have totally eaten his own words, and would lose a lot of money had he challenged anyone to a bet or gamble. However, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943, had a much better perspective when he said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,” although I would have set a much higher bar or standard since computers are know as a worldwide necessity and commodity as opposed to it originally being an accessory of luxury. This is all made possible of course, by the wonders of the Worldwide Web or basically, the Internet that not only provides us with a gateway to infinite information at the touch of a button but also, the tremendous connections we can make with people a couple of blocks away or halfway around the world.

Before I continue with this reflection paper, may I just say that despite the length of this article or essay, it was definitely well written in such a way that the author knew how to keep his readers hooked and interested. He knew what he was talking about especially since he wrote from his personal experiences, observations, and encounters with not only the Internet itself, but also with the people he interacted with and the corporations he worked for. I don’t exactly describe myself as the best person when it comes to reading lengthy pieces of writing just like this one but it was definitely something I learned a great deal from. Where to start is my dilemma at the moment since I wouldn’t want to create a reflection paper with an equal length to the original essay since the entire article was an eclectic mix of the history of the Internet along with its undiscovered value and significance to corporations and people on a global scale.

The entire essay is definitely something that everyone can relate to since it talks about a variety of topics that all links to the fact that the Internet is something that shouldn’t be frowned upon because of it being a form of innovation or change and people aren’t so keen on things that modify the regularity of routine and stuff that they’re more or less used to on a daily basis. Its funny how the author starts with the premise of death and how life is too short that we, as people, constantly seek the opportunity to live life to the fullest by being the resilient human beings that we are, yet there are forces at work that are not only beyond our control, but also hold us back from realizing our true potentials. He also talks about how broadcast media and most companies or moguls take advantage of and prey on man’s lack of self-esteem by luring us to becoming passive consumers and audiences through constant advertising. This was probably why CEOs and the management of large corporations were one of the first to resist the concept of the Internet, which I will talk more about in the next few paragraphs.

The author also touches on how the Internet was developed a long time ago by the usual misconstrued and often-labeled “nerds” and “geeks” who hit the jackpot with this multi-billion dollar business. I actually recall a time back when my family was still residing in Jakarta, Indonesia and I was roughly around six to eight years old (probably between 1994-1996) and one of my mother’s friends who was married at that time to an American was already using email to communicate to her husband whenever he was on his overseas business trips while we were still dealing with the standard Windows95 and the floppy diskette. Well, I do remember that aunt of mine as the harbinger of modernization since she was also part of the few who owned a waterbed, which wasn’t exactly common during the nineties either.

Soon, the author describes the evolution of the marketing and manufacturing as a business: from the creation of standard models or products through unskilled product lines to the introduction of variety by giving consumers choices to the entrance of offshore producers. When alternatives were attempted, there were more misses than hits and all these companies had to do was to stop shoving their employees in the wrong direction, loosen their grip as management know-it-alls and give these lower-ranked members of the workforce the freedom to express their ideas and go crazy with innovation since the author does suggest that its usually the workforce who understand the company and its status in the competitive business world and this something I strongly agree with. If you think about it, the world of business is kind of like the jungle where everyone has to watch his/her back in fear of being preyed upon by stronger and feistier animals or losing his/her territory. There will come a time that a smaller animal, much lower in rank in the jungle like the toucan, will warn the rest of the animals of an impending danger, and that toucan will be laughed upon by the likes of the lion for being silly, but when the time comes that danger strikes, the lion will realize that it should have listened to the toucan. In the same respect, most stuck up members of the management should learn to listen to what their employees have to say and be open to suggestions that just might save their company from external or possibly, internal destruction and the correct and frequent use of the Internet is definitely one of the brilliant ideas on everyone’s list.

It is more likely that people of higher rank are much older than their employees which can probably explain why most tend to favor traditional means of earning and running their company when in fact, the best way nowadays is to check out what’s cooking on the variety of platters from the company next door all the way to Timbuktu and that is all possible through the Internet. I recall some of my fellow interns assigned to the Marketing department of the headhunting/recruitment firm I worked for during my summer internship and how they were assigned to research on our company’s potential competitors, which were in the likes of fellow HR firms, and this was all made achievable with the click of the button accessing information straight from the Internet.

Overall, the author points out that the Internet connects people, which makes it an indispensable tool not just for organizations but for every single living person on the planet and I can definitely say that I learned tons just by reading this slightly lengthy article. It undeniably gave me new insights on the Internet and how it has evolved and revolutionized many aspects of the business world and it actually made me consider a thesis topic that dabbles in something so interesting and complex, but I will perhaps give more thought to that. Since I started with two quotes earlier, it would probably be best if I ended with one as well and I found something that would really put some perspective to the idea of the Internet and people. In the words of Elbert Hubbard, “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men but no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

June 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.