Friday, December 28, 2007

Philippines Top 100 Blogs (as of December 2007)

After posting our version of the Philippines Top 100 Blogs last July, based on Ratified and PinoyTopBlogs, a lot of new blogs have come into play.

Here's an update of the said list looking at their blog juice - where the rating is based on Bloglines subscription (40%), Alexa ranking (15%), Technorati ranking (30%), and inbound links as per Technorati (15%). This is what I found as of December 28, 2007 using the top 100 listing in Ratified and Basapa's Top Pinoy Probloggers.

I note that the lowest ranking blog for this update got a blog juice score of 2.7. In the July list, the lowest was 3.4. I highlighted those who have experienced an increase from the last update to this one. Around 24 blogs dropped out as well.
  1. - 6.6 (gain)
  2. - 6 (gain)
  3. - 5.9
  4. - 5.6 5.6 (gain)
  5. - 5.2 (gain)
  6. - 5.1 (gain) - 5.1 (gain)
  7. - 5 - 5 (gain)
  8. - 4.9
  9. - 4.8 - 4.8 - 4.8 - 4.8 (gain) - 4.8 (gain)
  10. - 4.7 - 4.7 - 4.7 (gain) - 4.7 (gain) - 4.7 (gain)
  11. - 4.6 - 4.6 (new!)
  12. - 4.5 - 4.5 (gain)
  13. - 4.4 - 4.4 - 4.4 (new!)
  14. - 4.3 - 4.3 (gain) - 4.3 (new!) - 4.3 (new!)
  15. - 4.2 - 4.2 - 4.2
  16. - 4.1
  17. - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4
  18. - 3.9
  19. - 3.8 - 3.8 - 3.8 (gain) - 3.8 (new!)
  20. - 3.7 - 3.7 - 3.7 - 3.7 (new!) - 3.7 (new!)
  21. - 3.6 - 3.6 - 3.6
  22. - 3.5 - 3.5 (new!)
  23. - 3.4 - 3.4 - 3.4 - 3.4
  24. - 3.3 - 3.3 - 3.3 - 3.3 (new!) - 3.3 (new!) - 3.3 (new!)
  25. - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 - 3.2 (new!)
  26. - 3.1 - 3.1 - 3.1 - 3.1 - 3.1
  27. - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 (new!) - 3 (new!) - 3 (new!) - 3 (new!)
  28. - 2.9 - 2.9 (new!) - 2.9 (new!) - 2.9 (new!) - 2.9 (new!)
  29. - 2.8 - 2.8 - 2.8
  30. - 2.7 - 2.7 - 2.7 - 2.7 (new!) - 2.7 (new!)
If you have a blog and your blog juice is in the range of the ones listed above, please post a comment and will add you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

TitikPilipino: More content in 2008

TitikPilipino is one of the few companies that we got to feature in the Philippine Internet Review and Podcast Episode 5.

This site of Jay Frank De Jesus started as a lyric server for original Pilipino music (OPM) last June 8, 1997. With issues on intellectual property rights and his respect for the copyright of Filipino artists, TitikPilipino has evolved to encompass more information about Filipino songs, artists, and the albums in 2000. It also covers music news such as album releases, concerts, events, album, and artist awards. This is also complemented by an active discussion forum.

The site includes album information such as track, artist, composer, lyricist, arranger, and producer listings in a fully searchable database. Jay used to gather this in extensive research through old albums, casettes, and CDs from all over. Now, record labels provide most of the album information.

In 2004, the site receives a daily average of 5,000 visitors with 40,000 page views. Total site visitors in the year 2005 reached up to 2 million. That growth is noteworthy to think that it had 100,000 visitors in 1999.

TitikPilipino's turning point came when it finally won the Philippine Web Awards in 2003 for the best music site category. This is when Jay started taking the site more seriously and began adding shopping components into the website where people can buy cds and music sheets.

In the enclosed video, the year 2007 served another milestone for Jay when the site was relaunched with more content and product offerings. This strategy has worked well and shall be continued in 2008.

In Podcast Episode 5, Jay shared that buiding a site that is closest to one's heart, deep knowledge on products, and understanding how the Internet works are critical factors in putting up an online business.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chikka: more OFW programs for 2008

Chikka is one of the few companies that we got to feature in the Philippine Internet Review.

Given its minimal capital in the beginning, Chikka started during the dotcom bust. However, customer service, innovation, and good technology are the company’s competitive advantage. The company protected its initial competitive advantage, the Instant Messenger, by patenting it.

Dennis Mendiola, CEO of the company and name as the 2006 Ernst and Young Information and Communications Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, strongly protects value in the chain by building on businesses that are viral in nature, where community begets community. Having the first mover advantage will make it expensive for rivals to get to the same level as where the company is now. His business wisdom was greatly influenced by his early dotcom ventures. It taught him to manage well his operating cash flow, have financial discipline, prudence, and sensibility in making projections.

Since 2003 when this interview was made, the company have all confidence to scale up because of its technology, knowledge, and rich implementation experience, on how to do Internet and mobile marketing the right way.

Instead of doing everything on their own, they expanded (and still expanding) through franchising by finding local counterparts in immediate target markets. The company already has operations and/or partners in China, Singapore, Malaysia Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and United States.

The company is the first local entity to strike a major deal with Google. It is one of the few organizations that have attained all CMMI Level 5 organization, ISO BS7799, and ISO BS15000.

In 2007, Chikka expanded its service offerings to the United Kingdom and Spain. It also won in the services category of the Web Awards.

For 2008, as Michelle Pestano shared in the video enclosed here, the company will focus and launch new services that shall cater to the global Filipino in connecting them with their families. is driving and pulling the SMS marketplace forward. It plays a great role on what makes the Philippines the most sophisticated and advanced SMS user in the world today.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Blogs and Twitter as News and Rumor Source

Blogs and Twitter are fast becoming a source of breaking news, rumors, and intrigue happening anywhere in the world. It is noticed that a lot of media news, photos, and even columnists now taps blogs as a resource for stories. Blogs and Twitters help media outfits as breaking news gets immediately plugged by readers through it.

On the other hand, users provide first-hand account whenever they are in the scene of events. It is fast becoming an important tool that support grassroots reporting.

Do you have a Blog and Twitter experience to share?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The ZTE Broadband Deal

Much has been written about the ZTE Broadband Deal and the recent expose forces the government to change its game plan for the project. The government indeed has to improve its process in procurement to make things more transparent and well thought of. I hope the time will come when the Commission on Audit will be able to release a report as to how much expenditure in government ICT has gone to waste for poor project leadership and sustainability.

What also caught my attention during the hearing was the inquiry made by Senator Mar Roxas that shows a glimpse on how ICT projects like this are thought of.

Part 1

Part 2

Additional reference:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Winners of 2007 Intranet Design Awards

The Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) recently announced the winners of its 2007 Intranet Design Awards. They are:
  • American Electric Power (AEP), United States
  • Comcast, United States
  • DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany
  • The Dow Chemical Company, United States
  • Infosys Technologies Limited, India
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co., United States
  • Microsoft Corporation, United States
  • National Geographic Society, United States
  • The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), United Kingdom
  • Volvo Group, Sweden
Although the use of the Internet in promoting products and services online has grown dramatically, the use of Intranets in companies, especially in this part of the world remains to be seen.

Here's a video as well featuring one of the directors of NN/g who talked about the awards.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Underestimate? - Trillions more internet addresses may emerge

The foundations are now being laid out for the inevitable upgrade of the Internet towards IPV6 that may result to emergence of trillions more Internet addresses. (Truemors)

I asked Lawrence Hughes of InfoWeapons about this and he believes that trillions may be an underestimate. "Each NETWORK gets many trillions of addresses (a "/48 block" of 2**80th addresses), and there are enough "/48" allocation blocks for every human alive to get over 4000 of them."

InfoWeapons is a member of the IPv6 Forum and Lawrence is the head of the Philippines chapter. The company is also a member of the US IPv6 Consortium. They have been running a production IPV6 network for almost 3 years in Cebu.

Additional references:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Online casino bluebook

Every now and then, we get advertisement placed in our site. A recent one we got lately is from the online casino bluebook. The site is a guide to popular online casinos and poker rooms.

The site ranks online casinos by bonus size, payout percentage, customer service, game features, number of games, software graphics, and ease of use. It will be interesting to know how many of these sites are actually hosted in the Philippines where registration is allowed in some of our economic zones.

It can't be denied that despite legal impediments in some countries, online casinos and gambling are still growing since they first started going online in the late 90s. The site reported that there are nearly 800 online casinos on the Internet today.

I wish I have known of this site much earlier. I had an inquiry this year about doing a market research on online casinos operating in some countries. This site has done its research and even listed online casino sites that requires no deposit.

It includes a listing of bingo hall, poker rooms, and even sportsbook where it marked those allowing horse betting as well.

Serious players and prospective entrepreneurs could consider joining its newsletter also as a $1000 monthly giveaway is raffled every month.

(This is a sponsored post)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cheaper and faster bandwidth makes Internet video e-learning possible

The other day, I found out that I'm one of the speakers in the recent Y4iT event to talk about E-Learning. As I'm taking a break in Adelaide, I had to develop a video tutorial within the day that can be played in the said event.

Yesterday, the feedback that I got was positive and felt a great relief. I guess with cheaper and faster bandwidth, it is much easier nowadays to develop online video e-learning programs and disseminate it to anyone interested, regardless of where they are in the world.

Perhaps initiatives such as the Mindanao eLearning Space (MeLS) which was launched last August 26, 2005 would perform better. MeLS is an electronic online learning program for Department of Education's teachers and principals in Region 11, 12 and the Autonomous Region for Moslem Mindanao (ARMM), to improve their competencies in teaching and school management. The program was allocated at least P4 million a year from 2005 until 2008 funded by the Australian Government's Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) with a 10% counterpart funding from the Department of Education. It was jointly developed by DepEd, BEAM and the University of Southeastern Philippines.

Participants were given CD-ROMS and learners guide for the program, and in the e-learning space, assignments, exams, presentations and discussions get disseminated. Visiting
Mindanao eLearning Space does not give indication on how much has been achieved since it started.

Expanding to Australia Internet Review

Hi everyone. Some update in this blog. As my projects and 2nd home now expands to Australia, I've decided to upgrade this blog and include Australia Internet developments in my coverage hereon. May this bring more content for everyone's reading pleasure.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

IMMAP recognize winners of 1st Boomerang Awards

The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines organized the Boomerang Awards early this year in time for the 1st Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit. This award is the first in the country to showcase and give recognition to outstanding marketing campaigns that have utilized the internet and mobile devices as tools to meet business objectives in the most creative and breakthrough manner.

Twelve finalists in total competed for the Cyber Boomerang Award, Mobile Device Boomerang Award, and the Grand Boomerang Award. All entries were judged by prominent jurors such as Rob Martin Murphy, George Gozum, Tom Sipple, Dominic Chan, Stephane Chabanel, Jose Illenberger, Agapito Alcantara, Karen De Asis, Tommy Lopez, Donald Lim, Ed Mapa Jr., and Arthur Policarpio.

IMMAP Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit

Cyber Boomerang Award
The Cyber Boomerang Award is given to outstanding campaigns that have used the internet as their central marketing medium.
  • Gold Award - "The Philippine Explore Experience Return" (PEER) Free Flight Promo
    To fight bad press in the real world, a cyber-campaign was launched that not only to turn things around but opens the eyes of the world to the true beauty of the Philippines. This non-traditional program gave away 250 round-trip airline tickets from North America to the Philippines. It used negative images in ways that make them attractive and positive. The results were also non-traditional in terms of breaking set objectives and targets.

    This program launched a revitalized "balikbayan" program targeting the 2nd-3rd generation Filipino-Americans whose impression of their homeland was negative and driven by "backward" images. The website ( had over 7 million hits and acquired 85,000 names with 69,900 individual new database information. Over 10,000 participated in the online survey which provided additional information on the Filipino-Americans' travel preferences and packages including insights on heritage and travel purchase habits. For the duration of the promotion (October to December 2006), the Filipino-American segment posted an increase in visitor arrival of 5% vs. same period of the previous year.

  • Silver Award - Chowking "3G Web"
    This campaign for the website of this brand not only made the Chowking brand stronger to the market, it was temptingly delicious that inquiries for store franchisers came streaming from all over the world. This website from 800 visitors in February 2007 grew to 6,863 by June 2007 coming from 59 countries. Spending for the website marketing budget has increased from 85,000 per month in June 2006 to P135,000 per month by February of 2007.

    The campaign is now going through some incarnation of sorts with two more versions being built for Indonesia and the UAE to cater to the needs of local consumers.

  • Bronze Award - Smart 3G
    With a media plan tasked with driving traffic to a specified service's site, this campaign delivered 1.04 million visitors per day for 30 days (January to February). Cost per hit was below P0.09 - comparable with primetime TV levels. It also drove more than 50,000 people to the service section of the mother brand's website. During the audit of the performance campaign using Google Analytics, it was discovered that they were able to double visit the said section from the mother brand website, making it among the top most visited section of the entire portal. There were also more visits to subsections of the section such as rates, services, and coverage areas.
Mobile Device Boomerang Award
The Mobile Device Boomerang Award is given to outstanding campaigns that have used mobile devices as their central marketing medium.
  • Gold Award - Gatorade "Get into the NBA Promo 2"
    The objective of this campaign is to increase sales during peak summer months, build a database of consumers and strengthen brand preference among sports enthusiasts. The campaign utilized the text raffle execution.

    To join the promotion, consumers bought the product, texted the unique promo code found on the bottle cap, and kept the bottle cap as proof of purchase. Each successful sending of a promo code earns for the consumer "promo points". Weekly SMS updates were sent to all promo participants informing them of the "score-to-beat", thus generating significant excitement among participants. The highest pointer at the end of the campaign automatically wins an all-expense paid trip to the United States to watch the NBA finals live from courtside seats.

    The campaign was unique due to the "highest pointer" execution which encouraged significant consumption. It achieved set key objectives such as yielding of double-digit increase in sales, built a fully-profiled consumer database, and reduced implementation costs versus traditional raffle execution.

  • Silver Award - Ponds "7 Days Campaign"
    This team used mobile technology to address common sampling issues (high cost, logistics, control and inability to build a usable database, manpower) and as a medium for cost-efficient and targeted product sampling. It allowed efficient sampling tracking and automatic database building for the brand.

    Once the consumer texts the call to action keyword, he or she will receive a confirmation message that they can avail of a free trial pack at any partner outlet upon registering their name, age, gender, and address.

    The campaign generated more than 300,000 SMS hits in a short span of 1 month, averaging more than 10,000 hits daily. Market share also increased as a result. At the cost of P15.00 per consumer using traditional product sampling, the brand was able to save around 4 to 5 million in sampling cost through this innovative mobile sampling execution.

  • Bronze Award - Rexona "First Day Funk"
    This campaign created an entire movement for people who need all the confidence they can must on that one day of the year - students and the first day of school. This campaign generated tremendous buzz with students singing and dancing to the movements anthem - "First Day Funk" in campuses nationwide. This campaign resulted to a double-digit increase in sales for Rexona, plus an increase in market in the highly competitive deodorant category.
Grand Boomerang Award
The Grand Boomerang Award is given to outstanding campaigns that have used both the internet and mobile devices as their central marketing medium.
  • Gold Award - Philippine Daily Inquirer - INQuest: The Philippine Daily Inquirer Adventure
    This entry using the most modern of mass media - the internet and mobile - was developed for one of the oldest forms of media - the newspaper. By the end of the campaign, there were over 25, 000 registrants as part of an active database, exceeding targets over 25%. The website got over 4.2 million hits, averaging 19,000 hits per day at 18 minutes per visit.

    The novelty of the program - a multimedia game captured the interest and imagination of the youth as evidenced not just by their active participation, from SMS and web registrations to online chatrooms, but also by the size of the crowds who attended on-ground events.

    Traditional and passive medium into an interactive, engaging, innovative and entertaining media brand to appeal to the youth market it wants to lure back. This campaign helped the brand evolve into an innovative and dynamic news brand. The market/culture by making the brand more contemporary, fun exciting and flexible, adapting with the times. It also gave valuable learnings and insights on the market. This entry was also shortlisted as one of the best in the world in a global search of the most creative business ideas and showcased just how well Filipino marketers and advertisers have embraced new media to achieve business objectives.

  • Silver Award - Dove Campaign for Real Beauty Interactive Billboard
    Extra large or extra sexy? Aging or ageless? Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder. Especially if what you are beholding is a giant billboard asking you pointed questions that gave millions real case to pause and reflect about how true beauty is viewed and considered. This campaign 'flew' totally - made people reconsider this 'beauty' old adage as well as bringing a refreshing change to the way marketers used 'traditional' media as billboards.

    By launching the first interactive billboards in the Philippines, this brand made everyone talk about beauty as a topic that was more than skin deep.

Friday, August 10, 2007

IMMAP makes history in 1st summit

Despite the heavy typhoon a day before, more than 400 participants joined the 1st Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit (August 9 and 10). For an association on its first year, this event is indeed record-breaking that sets a positive signal on the demand of Internet and mobile marketing.

This is what I learned so far from the sessions that I was able to listen to:

Simon Bond of Proximity Asia was able to share how brands have tapped on new media technologies such as blogs, videos, among others to create user generated content. For instance, Air New Zealand was campaigning New Zealand as a tourist destination and was sad as hardly one from the country knew anything about the place. They send a blogger to China for two-weeks to take on interesting adventure and blog about the experience. Due to his popularity, celebrities and other famous personalities have also visited New Zealand. The build-up of marketing activities resulted to have New Zealand as the 2nd most popular destination for travelers from China going to abroad.

Nix Nolledo of Xurpas shared how hard it was in 1999 where no organization wants to advertise at that time. Today, several opportunities exist today to build successful branded web IPs and it is easier towin market share from an empty space. He notices that a lot of companies have not really taken advantage of mobile spaces. He cited G-Blogs as an example as that site generates 10 million page views a month. It is also important for brand to get customers opt-in on a long term by building communities.

Nix emphasized as well that in their experience, those who combine Internet advertising with other forms, such as mobile marketing, have higher chances of success. He expressed high hopes on mobile TV but ponders on whether this would be subscriber-based or be supported by advertising-sponsored model. In the end, he shared that good campaigns are well planned. Companies should not make cost their number one means of choosing who should supply with digital marketing services. Finally, there are only two advertising mediums that are trackable - Internet and mobile.

Yota Mitsunobu of Dentsu shared changes in the purchase process as users can now directly act on and immediately make a purchase. Before, the conventional purchasing behavior can be referred to as AIDMA (attention, interest, desire, memory, and action). Today this has changed to AISAS (attention, interest, search, action, share). This means that consumers can now research for more information about a product before making that decision purchase. Once done and they have taken action, buyers can also share their experience through various means from blogs, word of mouth, short messages, among others.

Michael Bayle also delivered a presentation about Yahoo Go and Yahoo oneSearch. A lot of developments are happening in Yahoo since it launched its campaign "Be a better searcher". Michael is optimistic in delivering Yahoo through the mobile phone. He see it as an action-able environment where clickthroughs are higher that brands should take advantage of. Yahoo believes that they are capable of matching their inventory to the needs of their partners.

Enrique Gonzalez, CEO of IPVG, delivered a talk on marketing opportunities in online gaming. He gave an overview on how the online gaming industry is maturing stating also 25% of Internet users now play online games or at 4 million Internet gamers with revenue turnover of 1 billion pesos in 2006. The company is know for its popular games such as RANOnline (#1 Internet game in the Philippines based on our survey) Internet users and gamers growth population play a factor to the growth of the online gaming sector. Enrique predicts that there'll be 16 million Internet gamers in 2010. What makes a great game is one part content but a big part of it is a community that plays the game. Brands can advertise in game site, game launcher, home page of the game, include visual logo at the back of game such as billboards and merchandise. He also cited Wimpy's burger as a case study for creating virtual ads and items inside the game. It is also trackable as the gamers interaction with the brand is measurable.

Aileen Apolo, country consultant in the Philippines for Google, talks about how more and more companies globally are advertising online. However with so much developments in technology, Internet users usually multi-task. Advertisers have to work harder in making themselves relevant to their target audience. Aileen shared that they expect that there'll be 24 million Internet users in 2008 according to ACNielsen. She encourages users to adapt to consumer behavior and be found where the users are. Campaigns must be done off-line and online, complimenting each other or merged.

Ferdinand Dela Cruz, head of consumer business group of Globe Telecom, delivered a presentation on mobile advertising. This is where the mobile phone screen is being used as an advertising medium, similar to TV or radio. With 57% mobile phone penetration, it is growing target media. TV and radio can't be denied that it offers high visibility and reach. It also expires immediately, after airing. Print has fast turnaround but it can be busy and cluttered. Internet is a terrific and interactive medium but low PC penetration in the country is still limited at this point. Creating a personal advertising message is now the challenge and is the "Blue Ocean". Mobile advertising advantage to the telco is its ability to profile its user and select a set of customers based on characteristics such as gender, age group, location, telco spending, type of phone, among others. The mobile phone is useful as a tool to get a feedback from customers, respond to inquiries, guide or influence the customer in the buying process.

The mobile phone as an advertising tool can be complementary to traditional ads or tactical campaigns. It can be a more effective tool compared to mailers and traditional coupons. Brands can benefit through mobile marketing due to carrier's unparalleled reach. Customers can be given opportunity to get product and promo offers relevant to them, understand them better, avail of discount, and freebies. Very soon, mobile phone carriers will be able to provide contextual content discovery such as being able to offer your information and related services from keywords you punch in. There's an expected regional opportunities for marketers due to brand alliances that carriers have with neighboring countries.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Philippines Top 100 Blogs

After posting the timeline of Philippine Blogs, initially based on Ratified, the next question I got is that if they are also considered as the most popular blogs in the country. Ratified and PinoyTopBlogs are useful starting points in researching the top Filipino bloggers.

Another perspective is by looking at their blog juice where the rating is based on Bloglines subscription (40%), Alexa ranking (15%), Technorati ranking (30%), and inbound links as per Technorati (15%). This is what I found as of July 28, 2007 using the top 100 listing in Ratified and Pinoy Top Blogs. (You can also Digg this story)

This blog post is a work-in-progress.
  1. - 7.3
  2. - 6.9
  3. - 6.2
  4. - 5.8
  5. - 5.6 - 5.6
  6. - 5.4
  7. - 5.1 - 5.1 - 5.1 - 5.1
  8. - 5.0 - 5.0
  9. - 4.9 - 4.9 - 4.9 - 4.9 - 4.9 - 4.9
  10. - 4.8 - 4.8 - 4.8 - 4.8 - 4.8 - 4.8
  11. - 4.7 - 4.7 - 4.7 - 4.7 - 4.7 = 4.7
  12. - 4.6
    - 4.6 - 4.6 - 4.6 - 4.6 - 4.6 - 4.6
  13. - 4.5 - 4.5
    - 4.5 - 4.5
  14. - 4.4
    - 4.4 - 4.4 - 4.4 - 4.4
  15. - 4.3 - 4.3 - 4.3 - 4.3 - 4.3
  16. - 4.2 - 4.2 - 4.2 - 4.2 - 4.2
  17. - 4.1 - 4.1 - 4.1 - 4.1 - 4.1 - 4.1
  18. - 4.0 - 4.0
  19. - 3.9
    - 3.9
    - 3.9 - 3.9 - 3.9
  20. - 3.8 - 3.8 - 3.8
  21. - 3.7 - 3.7 - 3.7 - 3.7
  22. - 3.6 - 3.6
    - 3.6 - 3.6 - 3.6 - 3.6 - 3.6 - 3.6 - 3.6 = 3.6
  23. - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3.5
  24. - 3.4 - 3.4
    - 3.4 - 3.4 - 3.4 - 3.4 - 3.4 = 3.4
If you have a blog and your blog juice is in the range of the ones listed above, please post a comment and will add you.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

E-Commerce Law, Republic Act 8792, IRR Signed Electronically

ON June 14, 2000, Republic Act 8792, otherwise known as the Philippines E-Commerce Law, was signed into law.

Its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) was signed last July 13, 2000 during the Government Information Infrastructure Conference (GIIC). The IRR was considered to be the first signed electronically worldwide and created in less than a month through intense deliberations, headed by former DTI Assistant Secretary Toby Monsod.

E-Commerce Law Philippines - Republic Act 8792 IRR signing

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Timeline of Philippine Blogs - listing according to archive age

In trying to determine the history of blogging in the Philippines. I decided to come up with a list of Philippine blogs to date and have picked those listed in Ratified to begin with. The archives were helpful in determining the time they started. Those who have started earlier but archives were no longer accessible are age-listed here according to its current blog's oldest post. Those who have gaps are adjusted to the time their blogs became active.

We will very much appreciate if you can share the story behind your blog and we'll post it here. Cheers!

This listing is a work in progress.



Sunday, June 17, 2007

Write a Tribute: 13 Years of Philippine Internet

I found myself happy after reading this Philippine Internet history thread at SEO Philippines Forum. It is important for the new generation of Internet users to continue in recognizing, and even celebrate, the growth of the Philippine Internet.

Because it is not a matter of who has the right to do it. All Filipino Internet users should rejoice with the infrastructure that we have today that allowed many of us to communicate, learn, establish ourselves online, and even earn.

Various groups whether business, education, SEO professionals, media, bloggers, among others should recognize and reflect on the impact of the Internet in our lives and how can we do better with it.

As this blog's main intent is to continue documenting Philippine Internet developments, I admit that there's so much happening out there that we couldn't cover all.

With that, I'm inviting our readers to join this tribute writing activity to celebrate the 13 years of Philippine Internet from now till June 22, 2007. This is how it will work:
  • Write a blog post as a tribute to the 13 years of the Philippine Internet. Topics can be very flexible but some suggestions can include:
    • your 13 favorite websites/blogs
    • 13 ways the Internet change your life
    • your personal Internet history (start to date) and 13 lessons learned
    • your list of 13 favorite Internet personalities
    • 13 wish list on the future of the Philippine Internet
    • 13 growth drivers of Internet in your town
    • well, just be creative!
  • Include a link to this post.
  • Post a comment and let us know about your blog entry.
I am not sure how far this tribute writing will go. But those who believe that the country's Internet anniversary is still worth celebrating online, I hope will join.

Those who gave tribute to the Philippine Internet are:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monitoring the Fraud and CyberCrime Case

One of the stories we featured, written by Danny Escasa, in the Philippine Internet Review: Ten Years of Internet History (1994 - 2004) was the credit card online fraud case of Total Solutions Software Inc. (TSSI).

"Total Solutions Software Inc (TSSI) is a subsidiary of YES Limited, a Hong Kong-based IT company founded in 1988. In 2003, TSSI launched, a Filipino community Web site whose aim is to bring together Filipinos from all over the world and provide them with a means to contact Filipinos both in the homeland and those working abroad.

The service relevant to our discussion is YESPinoy Send Money, which provides members a way to send money to a SMART Money cardholder in the Philippines using a credit card and an Internet connection. YESPinoy also provides a mechanism for members to order SMART Money Cards for friends and family.

In the middle of October 2003, TSSI noticed irregular activity within their computer system. A number of YESPinoy members were sending money to the same individual, some successfully, but other transactions had not been honored by the credit card issuer. The registration details of members who had allegedly sent money to the same individual had details of persons in the US. Oddly enough, their access point was, according to TSSI's audit trail, a Philippine Internet Service Provider (ISP). TSSI then called some of the US residents who were supposed to have been sending money, and found that the latter had never heard of YESPinoy and had no connections with anyone here.

With the cooperation of SMART Telecommunications, TSSI found that the SMART Money Card that had been sent money was drawing cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Quezon City. TSSI, after further investigation, worked with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a sting operation that effected the arrest of three individuals who were detained at the NBI jail and charged with violations of RA 8484 (Credit Card Fraud), RA 8792 (E-Commerce Act), and falsification of public documents and estafa under the Revised Penal Code.

TSSI said that the design of their software enabled them to detect and trace the fraudulent transactions. The audit trail's revelation that members who were supposed to be in the US were using a Philippine ISP was key to breaking the case. One thing that TSSI officials wanted the public to know was that, when a credit cardholder disputes a charge, the issuing bank will decline the transaction and it's the merchant who's left holding the bag. In this case, TSSI would take the hit. It's important to mention this, because those who might intend to engage in a fraudulent credit card transaction have to realize that it's not the issuing bank (e.g., CitiBank or Standard Chartered) that absorb the loss, it's the merchant. In this case, TSSI had to account for the charges, which meant that they were spending money that wasn't going back to them, in contrast to the salaries they pay their programmers, which get TSSI code in exchange for money. If there are enough declined charges, TSSI could go out of business and their Filipino programmers unemployed."

Around that time, Charles Yeomans, Managing Director of the YES Group, was also interviewed at ANC to have a better understanding of the case in 2003.

Part 1

Part 2

When asked on the amount that was taken during those times, Paul Hubbard (Philippines country manager), said it was P15,000. This is the amount that they were able to spot. He no longer counted those that they disapproved in the process. But the point, according to Paul, was if the suspects were not stopped, the damage could have been worse.

What dragged the case were the technicalities, such as the motion to quash, stating that is not the rightful party to file the case against the suspects, among others.

It was only this year when Paul had been able to present evidence and proceed with the actual prosecution. The suspects plead “not guilty.”

As to how far this case will go remains to be seen. On the positive side, TSSI's aggressiveness in this case boosted its credibility as a serious e-commerce payment service provider in the Philippines.

We all must take proper precaution to fight fraud and identity theft online.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Online radio gets democratized

In 1998, PhilRadio began its live Filipino radio programming on the Internet. It caters to Filipinos abroad who miss radio shows back home.

Last August 2006, I got the chance to talk to Wilson Chua of eRadioPortal and featured him in the 12th episode of the DigitalFilipino podcast. Wilson has a small information technology company based in Dagupan City. The idea of putting up eRadioPortal started with his desire to listen to a jazz radio station, which is not available in their city. But when Microsoft Windows Media Services became available, it opened the opportunity for Wilson to venture in this project and it went live in 2002.

Today, eRadioPortal hosts numerous radio programs from all over the Philippines, being streamed to the rest of the world. He cited several advantages why radio stations should consider going online. This includes:
  • Reach out to the rest of the world where there’s nearly eight million diaspora and overseas workers. As majority of listeners are based outside the country, Wilson often receives emails of appreciation for the service they provide that made home much more closer to them. There’s no wonder why our diaspora are as much attuned and sensitive to the situation of the country today. Online radio has empowered them to listen to the issues first hand and interact in discussions.
  • Prime time programming no longer exists as time boundaries have shattered. Therefore, advertisers need to appreciate or recognize the value of this medium since commercials can also be listened to abroad.
In the last iBlog3, Wilson (handout) was very much optimistic on podcast growth globally and confirms that the Philippines listens to a lot of podcasts and local radio stations online.

Website owners who uses a podcast also increases their site popularity. There's the time shifting advantage where people can listen from different time zones.

Content is also portable as it can be consume wherever. Media companies are also using podcast as a tool to combat pirates.

This only proves the usefulness of the Internet, whose level of use and purpose are dependent on each one of us.

As Wilson announced during iBlog3, they are now looking for interested content providers who would like to host their programs in eRadioPortal.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

JJ Disini on Advocacy and Politics Online

One of the persons we interviewed for the Philippine Internet Review: Ten Years of Internet History (1994 - 2004) was Atty. JJ Disini of Disini & Disini Law Office.

JJ is a lawyer specializing in information technology matters. He represent mobile content providers, e-commerce companies engaged in e- banking, B2B marketplaces, on-line services, as well as, "traditional" IT companies such as systems integrators, ISPs, network providers. The website,, was established in 2000 at the same time he formed his law firm. One of his main goals in maintaining the site is to provide legal information for those interested in various areas of the law. He continuously updates the resources section of the site by including informative materials such as an Investment Primer and an Outsourcing Primer.

He was the principal drafter of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the E-Commerce Law – Republic Act 8792. He also wrote a position paper for the Philippine Internet Commerce Society, in support of Cebu-based CyberPromdi in 2000 to counter a proposed ordinance banning minors in Internet cafes.

Janette Toral (JT): Since the passage of the E-Commerce Law what's happening now in the legislative arena?

JJ: There have been various initiatives in Congress relating to e-commerce such as the cyber crime bill, the convergence bill, and of course, the bill creating the Department of ICT. However, there have been no new laws to date. I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing or not. It seems to indicate that ICT isn't much of a priority in the national agenda. However, I do believe that certain initiatives are worth pursuing. In particular, I believe a data protection and privacy law would benefit various sectors of the IT industry including the outsourcing providers as well as the public in general (whose informational privacy can be secured through the law).

JT: What's next? Do you see tougher issues in the area of cryptography and intellectual property?

JJ: I think the challenge now in the policy arena revolves around formulating a strategy for addressing various issues. There appears to be no "game plan" emanating from our policy makers with a specific agenda and action items. I think the time for motherhood statements of support and development have passed. We need to initiate steps to implement specific programs to get the industry going and ensure the continued development of the ICT sector.

JT: Do you ever see the Internet being governed? Will it be through traditional courts or dispute resolution?

JJ: Internet governance is far too complex to have any ready answer. Overall, I do believe that the use of technology (probably through private contracting) remains the strongest source of regulation on the Internet. The best example is the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) of ICANN which effectively legislated protection to trademark owners against cybersquatting. In a mix of private contracting and technological control, UDRP has been an unqualified success. I think there are important lessons in that experience relating to Internet governance. Of course, a government can take an extreme position like China where ISPs are heavily regulated in order to block access to "offensive" sites. In the final analysis, the success of governmental control depends on many factors and an individual government's efforts may be thwarted by hackers and other liberally- minded citizens.

I don't believe the traditional courts can effectively handle multi- jurisdictional issues arising from the Net. Unless, of course, those courts are created by International agreements and some order is placed in terms of venue and jurisdiction. Still, I imagine those kinds of suits will be very expensive to litigate and very inconvenient to at least one of the parties.

JT: As work-at-home arrangements are becoming popular in the Philippines, do you find companies monitoring workers-at-home result to privacy violation?

JJ: I'm not aware if monitoring is that effective for people who tele-commute. I imagine that at best, the company can screen the person's email. Still, in the workplace, a vast majority of employers - at least in the US - monitor computer use to avoid unauthorized surfing and other factors that impact on productivity. In that respect, I believe the employer has a right to institute monitoring equipment. In the final analysis, computer resources are provided by the employer for business purposes only. As such, the employer has the right to monitor the use of those resources to ensure their proper utilization. If employees want privacy, then they should use their own computer resources -- at home, for example.

JT: Is it possible for Filipinos to elect a Philippine President from the comforts of their own home or work place (especially for OFWs)?

JJ: Theoretically, yes. The issue of course is authentication. But that's a common issue for all on-line transactions as well as current "off-line" election procedures in place.

JT: Do you think it's possible in the future that there will be a candidate in national politics that will represent the Internet community? Who do you think that will be?

I guess it's difficult to say or determine who comprises the Internet community. There are users and there are business people, government officials -- all having different interests that need to be protected. I think at most, we can have a candidate with an agenda that supports various interests within the Internet community. Perhaps, that would be enough.

Who would that be? Anybody who takes up the cudgels for promoting Internet use and commerce in the Philippines.

JT: A lot believe that the Internet changes everything about the law. Almost everyone can maximize the use of the Internet for both good and bad purpose. As a safety principle especially in legislation, what is commonly noted is that whatever is allowed in the real world should be allowed on the Internet and vice-versa. Do you think this principle will remain the rule of thumb in the next 10 years? How does this double-edged sword affect our rights and liberties?

JJ: It's not so much a rule of thumb as a stop-gap measure. The advent of the Internet and the pace at which adoption and usage has grown over the past years has far outpaced Congress. The making of laws is a deliberate and deliberative process that cannot possibly be done in Internet time. So, in the absence of any pronouncements from Congress, the courts have no choice but to apply existing laws to new situations -- with varying success. I believe this will continue but I also believe that the process is continually improving as the legal analysis improves and legal experts come to understand the peculiar issues the Internet brings to the law. On the whole, I wouldn't be too concerned about our rights and liberties. I don't think excessive regulation is in the offing and those of us online should be free from restrictions for years to come.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Benj Arriola is World's Best in SEO

It was March 6, 1998 when Dino Ignacio became the first Filipino to put the Philippines on the Internet map as his site Bert is Evil won the prestigious Webby Awards.

After nearly a decade, another Filipino shines online. Last week, May 2, 2007, Benj Arriola made his mark in Philippine Internet history by being first to win the SEO World Championship.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Ordering instant food delivery online

Back in 1996, Filipinos were able to get their first taste of local e-commerce as Magoos started selling pizza online. If I recall correctly, in its earlier days, there was also e-Kain that serves as a middle-man where various food establishments can have their online ordering needs be served through this site, like ordering Wendy's hamburger online. (Migs and Danny, am I referring to the correct site?)

Lately, a group of friends, some of them are even IT professionals such as Fernando Martirez III, formed HCC Delivers that accepts online ordering of food and be delivered at offices. As business boomed, HCC Delivers now focuses on sites with regular food delivery needs and special occassions.

Today, if my research is correct, there are only two food establishments that offers instant food delivery service: McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

How come online food ordering is not as popular in the Philippines? There are several reasons and here are some:
  • Number of food establishments are too many, almost anywhere. This makes it impractical for locals to order food online unless such is the only medium to reach an establishment.
  • Most online food ordering sites focuses more on international ordering for relatives here.
Your thoughts?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dreamville: biggest Philippine-based social network?

Last December, I wrote a piece as to how social networks are targeting the young segment of the Internet population. This was further confirmed during iBlog3 when Steve Tsao of IP E-Games talked about their growing Dreamville community.

Dreamville is an avatar based portal in the Philippines using the CyWorld engine. Each user that joins has their own avatar where it can be dressed up through purchase of items. The site has more than 400,000 registered members with a big chunk of them active on a daily basis. I wonder if this number of members can already make them the biggest Philippine-based social network.

Effort is also being made to make its hompies (pages of Dreamville members) community exciting by having celebrity bands have their own hompies online.

Feedback is also sought from iBlog3 participants as to how can Dreamville become more attractive and strengthen its growth further in the Philippines. A lot of ideas came to mind that includes:
  • Giving point value for recruitment of members. Points can be used to dress up a site or purchase load in other games.
  • For the enterprising, create ad spaces where members can upload ads of their own sponsors.
I'm sure that there are more ideas and encourage readers to share some.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Davao Bloggers Made History!

Let me congratulate the Davao blogging community as they made history last night for being able to organize their first gathering of bloggers dubbed as the Davao Bloggers Party!

It is great to see ideas like this coming to reality and hope to see more bloggers in other Philippine cities and towns getting themselves connected on a personal level, more than just virtual links. Mabuhay to all Davao bloggers! I hope a lot of you will be able to join iBlog3 this April 13 and 14.

Congratulations to the winners of the numerous contests conducted that night!

Here are some of the blog coverage we found so far.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Internet Mover & Shaker: Jaime Enrique Y. Gonzalez

In preparation for iBlog3: the 3rd Philippine Blogging Summit, I will do a series of features about some of the speakers who can be considered as one of the local Internet movers and shakers.

Let me start with Jaime Enrique Y. Gonzalez (Enrique) who is the founder, incorporator, and currently Chief Executive Officer of IPVG Corp.

Enrique can be considered as one of the Philippine Internet's successful entrepreneurs as he had a series of start-up internet ventures including (that is now which were acquired by Bigfoot Ventures (NY, USA), and Adobo Interactive which was acquired by Philippine-listed subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate MBf (now IPVG). Enrique also sat on the board of Edsamail, formerly a leading I.S.P and e-mail provider and previous experience in investment banking having worked on cross border structured finance deals involving investments upwards of $10M USD.

The commercial launch of e-Games last March 31, 2006 challenged the online gaming industry with its free to play (free2play) model under MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) and casual games.

IPVG Corporation (PSE: IPVG) is a major sponsor of iBlog3: the 3rd Philippine Blogging Summit. I'm excited with this development as Enrique will be one of the speakers on this two-day gathering to talk about "Building Communities: One Blog at a Time. The E-Games Experience".

He will speak extensively on how user generated content, blogging and viral marketing techniques formed the foundations of growing their online gaming portal, via its gaming arm, IP E-Game Ventures, Inc. (IP E-Games).

“Word-of-mouth marketing has been taken to a whole new level through the use of blogs, user-generated content and IP communications. With over 3.5M E-Games members, we now manage one of the largest and most cohesive communities in the country. Our company supports the active use of blogs as a community platform.” says Enrique.

IPVG is publicly listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE:IPVG) and engaged in the information technology and communications space. IPVG owns three operating subsidiaries engaged in information technology and telecommunications, on-line gaming, and business process outsourcing.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hottest or Emerging Trend in Philippine Blogging

I'll be moderating the Blogging Trends Panel for iBlog3 and would like to request for three (3) topic suggestions on what do you think will be the hottest or emerging thing (and who can be invited to represent them) in Philippine Blogging this 2007. Those topics and people shall be invited to join this panel.

Some ideas:

1. Making money through blogs
Because there are now more Filipino bloggers who earn through blogging.

2. Community blogging
There are now more blogging communities created, whether for strategic revenue generation purposes or for niche market segment, that allows more bloggers to be recognized as well.

3. Election blogging
Not sure if it is hot or only a short-term trend.

4. Competitive blogging (contests and more)
There's growing rivalry or competition in the local blogosphere and there'll be more.

5. Youth blogging
Comprising the biggest segment of Philippine bloggers today. With the ability to earn online and even compete much easier today, will they become a serious force this year?

6. Mobile blogging
It hasn't clicked much in the past but will it do this year?

7. Celebrity blogging
The growing number of personalities or aspiring artists blogging online to showcase themselves.

8. Video blogging
Most creative uses of YouTube and similar technologies. (expecting to be more this year)
Perhaps feature most popular Pinoy YouTube member.

9. Podcasting
Podcast advertising revenue surged to US$80 million in revenue in 2006. The media networks are now doing it. Will 2007 be a prime year for serious podcasting?

Your feedback will be very much appreciated.

Registration for iBlog3 will be announced soon. I encourage you to sponsor this FREE and non-profit event, visit to learn about the packages.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Innovative Teachers Uses ICT and Internet for Education

It is great to see that more and more institutions are promoting the use of ICT and the Internet for advocacy and education. In the Philippine Internet Review, we featured projects like the IBM Computer Eyes Program, Philippine Schools Cyberfair, among others that intends to serve that purpose.

Last week, Warren Ambat of Baguio City National High Schol-Main, Donald Dungog of the Science and Technology Education Center in Lapu-Lapu City Cebu, and Evelyn Waperi of Iligan City National High School were named as the top three winners of the Third Innovative Teachers Leadership Awards (ITLA) by Microsoft Philippines through its Partners in Learning program. They were recognized last Wednesday at the Manila Yacht Club Pasay City.

The three teachers competed with 49 other entries for this competition. Implemented with the Department of Education, ITLA seeks to give Filipino educators the recognition they deserve for contributing to the improvement of the student’s learning experience through the imaginative and efficient use of information and communications technology in classroom teaching. Teachers Ambat, Dungog, and Waperi, will travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia to represent the Philippines in the Microsoft Regional Innovative Teachers Conference where 150 teachers from 22 countries shall converge and share their creative teaching practices.
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