Friday, August 25, 2006

September 20: One Internet Day 2006 Cebu is now on its 7th year. We are celebrating this by holding a One Internet Day event on September 20, Wednesday, from 1:10 pm to 6 pm, at Raja Hall, Raja Park Hotel, Fuente OsmeƱa, Cebu City. Our theme for this year is "E-Commerce Build-up for SMEs".

This event is in partnership with Prime Software, CyberPromdi, and Department of Trade and Industry ICT Business Development Team.

The program is as follows:

12:00 - 1:10 Registration
1:10 - 1:15 Welcome (Janette Toral,

1:15 - 1:45 Keynote: E-Commerce for National Competitiveness and Policy Updates (Provincial Director Nelia F. Navarro, Department of Trade and Industry)

1:45 - 2:15 Internet Enabling Business Software Solutions: New Trends in Client-Server Web Computing (Mike Jurado, Prime Software)

2:15 - 3:00 Panel: State of E-Payment in the Philippines (YesPayments, Innove)
3:00 - 4:00 Panel: New E-Commerce Opportunities 4:00 - 5:00 Panel: Making E-Commerce Work

5:00 CyberPromdi Re-Launch (Frederick Amores)

This event is by-invitation only and to Club Members. Thank you for supporting!

September 19: One Internet Day 2006 Manila is now on its 7th year. We are celebrating this, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry ICT Business Development Team, by holding a One Internet Day event on September 19, Tuesday, from 1:10 pm to 7 pm, at the e-Library 2/F AIM ACCEED Benavides St. corner Paseo De Roxas, Makati City (Greenbelt). Our theme for this year is "E-Commerce Build-up for SMEs".

The program is as follows:

12:00 - 1:10 Registration
1:10 - 1:15 Welcome (Janette Toral,

1:15 - 1:30 Keynote: E-Commerce for National Competitiveness (Director Ludy Yaptinchay, Department of Trade and Industry)

1:30 - 2:00 Data Privacy and E-Commerce (Director Domingo I. Bagaporo, Board of Investments)
Awarding of Plaques to the principal drafters of DAO #8
  • Atty. JJ Disini
  • Atty. Lindy Gavino
  • Janette Toral

2:00 - 2:30 Building Buzz with Blogs (Maoi Arroyo, Hybridigm Consulting)

2:30 - 3:30 Panel: State of E-Payment in the Philippines

3:30 - 4:30 Panel: New E-Commerce Opportunities

4:30 - 5:30 Panel: Making E-Commerce Work

5:30 - 7:00 Networking and Raffle

This event is by-invitation only and to Club Members. Thank you for supporting!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pinoy Blogging Culture

It can be noted that there are now more Filipinos actively blogging from all over the world. In fact, it has created a new breed of online personalities and celebrities. With so much content online generated through blogs, it created the need to track a lot of them to have a gist on what the blogging community is thinking at the moment.

Topics ranges from personal insights, lifestyle, to political. It even allowed the exchange of opinion on emotionally-charged issues affecting the country. As issues are discussed, more individuals and organizations find themselves exposed where their undertakings can be questioned or attacked. This is where bloggers gradually are realizing that there are also copyright and ethical concerns that they had to deal with.

One of the biggest accomplishment that Filipino bloggers have achieved is the staging blogging summits, iBlog and BlogCon, annually and be seen as a event to look forward to. This is the point where bloggers take time out to come together and exchange insights on various blogging developments.

Based on our Metro Manila Blogger Report, more than half of bloggers are very young. However, Angelo agreed with Maoi that the higher age segment with disposable income should seriously be considered for targeted marketing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Internet Love: for real or to escape?

There are stories here and there about Filipinos falling in love online. However, it is also a reality that there are those who seek for love online with the hope of escaping their current situation or predicament. Some join friendship listing with the intent of meeting new people and possibly potential life partners online. These are often referred to as mail-order bride or marriage broker sites.

In the US, nearly 15,000 foreign fiancees admitted in the country have met their partners through marriage brokers. This is according to Tahirih Justice Centre. There are also risks for women who don't get to fully know their prospective desired partner as well.

In the Philippines, there are sites like that claims more Filipinos are looking for love online and boast of more than 100,000 users to date. Start-up GrooveNet also entered the scene by licensing and creating a local version of There. on the other hand is considered one of the world's most popular social networking site. More than 5 million Filipinos are members of the site that prompted the company to explore its potential in the Philippines.

Fast Internet User Growth

The number of Internet users in the country is gradually growing. The growth today may still be slow but it is turning out according to our conservative projections cited in the Philippine Internet Review volume 1. If such will continue, our projection for 41 million Internet users in 2014 may just happened. In fact, even sooner than we think.

One of the most interesting companies to watch out for in trending this growth is the PLDT group of companies. Reaching 1 million broadband subscribers in 3 years or 2009 is like increasing its current wireless and wireline broadband base by 5x.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Slow PC Growth

There are many questions in relation to the number of computers in the Philippines. In the year 2000, there's an estimated 1.113 million computers in the country according to IDC. By the end of 2005, vendors gave a rough figure of 2 million in households, businesses, Internet cafe, schools, and government.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sports spikes up Internet traffic

No doubt that Filipino sport celebrities are contributing to the growth of the Philippine Internet. Manny Pacquiao for instance, during his most recent fight with Oscar Larios, created a revenue stream from those who would like to watch the game via Internet TV.

On the other, other sports like basketball admitted being affected by Internet shops.

Cybercrime: a globally connected concern

As exposure to hacks and cracks never ceases, companies globally address it by hardening their policies and infrastructure within the organization. Authorities globally are communicating with the private sector to earn trust and seek collaboration in capturing organized cybercrime networks. For the Philippines, this is an issue as a lot of US companies admitted that some of the pings or attempts come from the country.

In fact because of high tech printing gadgets today, there are now fake or counterfeit US dollar bills circulating around the world. Oftentimes referred to as "supernotes," these fake bills was first found in the Philippines as a local cashier caught it by the feel of the paper.

One of the challenges in cybercrime enforcement is the extradition of suspects from one country to another. If two countries don't have the same or similar legislation for that matter, double criminality can't be established which is a requirement for extradition.

Another growing concern is the 1 billion pesos online pornography market in the country where vigilance of the community is needed in capturing these elements and bring them to court. A growing number of alleged traffickers are using the Internet as a medium to market.

Rebels and various cause groups are also using the Internet as a medium to express their grievances, propaganda, and introduce themselves. Although this may work in favor for the government in getting more information. It can also work otherwise.

The passage of the E-Commerce Law or Republic Act 8792 was crucial in demonstrating the Philippines' stability as an outsourcing destination of ICT related or enabled projects. As data privacy is a growing concern as well, the Department of Trade and Industry released a guideline (pdf) that can be shown to local and foreign prospective clients on our resiliency in protecting personal data. It is hoped as well that this guideline can be used in protecting ourselves from unsolicited business calls.

To continue this demanding task, law enforcement entities also face the dilemma of getting funding support and hire cybercrime fighters. Good thing there are entities giving equipment and training donations.

Still, there are global security software executives, despite having Philippine presence, still clueless on policy developments in the country and using old examples.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Playing with online games

It is no secret that online games is the primary revenue driver for most Internet cafes in the country today. With nearly 5.6 million Filipino online gamers and US$14 million in revenues, according to International Data Corporation, this comes as no surprise.

This community is also seen as potential for in-game advertising. One exciting company worth watching out for is e-Games due to its Free2Play model. Despite that, new games like Freestyle, among others are expected to build a growing user base. With Filipinos becoming experts in online gaming, they perhaps be able to follow the footsteps of overseas-based Filipino professional gamers someday.

The Filipino language, Tagalog, is also influencing international games such as The Sims(TM) native language, Simlish, where it is partly based. Another game, similar to our child's play Jack 'en Poy, is also gaining international popularity because of its mix gaming arcade and card collection approach.

The popularity of online games is also creating a new form of virtual income. I've met individuals who are now earning a living by playing a person's game character and by selling them. Joel Yuvienco challenges educators to harness this as a tool for learning.

Definitely more games are expected to come in the country from Korea, Japan, USA, among others.

Online travel and tourism matures

For those who use the Internet and regularly travels as well, I'm sure you'll agree that the travel industry is slowly but surely catching up in adopting e-commerce.

Gone are the days when you had to deal with inaccurate flight schedules and poor e-mail response time. However, making frequent flyer programs more customer friendly is still something most of us want to see.

What is good about the Internet is that it also allows small players to compete and allow them to achieve significant revenue online. Those who are also aggressive in marketing and provides fast response time to inquiries are gaining competitive advantage too.

You now see local travel associations as well signing agreements with companies like Triton Distribution Systems to boost their services. Hotels in Makati and Alabang are gearing up to accept online reservations too.

The Internet has also inspired local government units to launch tourism drives and tap the Internet as a resource to achieve that. Inspired bloggers like Anton Diaz contribute to the growing number of high quality sites that makes Filipinos, especially those from Manila, the various places that one, local or balikbayan, oughts to visit.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Gambling goes high tech

Our country surely has gone a long way compared to how were in the early days of online gambling. There were even efforts then to pass a legislation with the intent of blocking it.

The popularity of the Internet allowed the surge in online gaming, as well as in online gambling. The Philippine Amusent and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is no exemption from realizing this opportunity and saw it as a venue to boost its revenues, which in turn is used to fund government projects. Last year, PAGCOR granted a ten year contract to broadcast live, in-progress casino table games from Filipino casinos to Kenilworth using Roulabette.

Roulabette(TM) is a method and system for placing wagers on live, in-progress casino table games such as roulette, baccarat and dice from locations remote from the actual casino tables at which the games are taking place. The system begins at the casino, where television cameras in strategic locations above the casino table games follow the games being played at the casino tables, and microphones pick up the sounds of the table play. The game play is transmitted via digital satellite and cable transmissions to subscribers who are able to wager by using set top boxes which receive the broadcast of the game and record wagers and results. Although there were a lot of worries whether it is legal or not especially now that the US government is going on a crackdown campaign. Online gambling is also illegal in France.

However, it is expected that addiction to gaming will increase as the Internet allows a gambler to compete with anyone in the world, 24 hours a day. The Philippines is also becoming a popular destination for global operation of gambling sites due to the government's ability to issue online gambling licenses for online casino sites. Online casino operators in the Philippines pay a 2 percent tax on their gross winnings. Singapore is also competing in becoming an online casino hub.

Online gambling is not only limited in Metro Manila. You now have companies like First Cagayan offering similar services and capable of issuing licenses too. Games are also no longer limited to your traditional casino games but includes regular sports betting services like basketball or football games and even cockfights as well.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Real estate selling online

Taking advantage of the overseas dispora, OFWs, foreigners marrying Filipinas , more and more real estate companies are realizing the value of the Internet in selling properties online. The savings and markets gain is beyond compare by justing sticking to traditional billboards. Despite troubling rumors about peace and order in the country, Davao City and Bohol real estate sellers are attracting buyers online.

However, real estate players are now exposed to risks as well such as being libel, among others.
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