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 http://www.iblogph.org 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.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Online politics - good, bad, and ugly

My follow-up article just came out today as part of the ongoing online election monitoring coverage. Last week was exciting as I documented Chiz Escudero's live chat session in Ituloy AngSulong. I wonder if there'll be other candidates following the same path and have their own websites as well. For the websites I missed in my column, I'll surely make-up for that next time.

The 2004 elections gave us an initial preview as to how presidentiables can use a website for campaign purposes. Senator Panfilo Lacson's website started as a campaign platform for his presidency. At present, the site was re-titled as the Be Not Afraid movement and its latest update was as of March 2006.

There are so many websites today that claims to serve the purpose of maintaining honest elections and good governance. Very rare do we find these sites sustainable as time passes by. There are unique few such as the Transparent Accountable Governance, that despite its very rare updates, manages to survive and still online.

On a related note, is there a national candidate today that represents the Internet community? Who would that be? Taking from what Atty. JJ Disini shared in the Philippine Internet Review, this person must have an agenda that supports the various interest of the Internet community. Someone whose platform includes the promotion of Internet use and e-commerce in the Philippines. Do you know of any?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Aspiring Artists use the Net for Promotion

With more Internet users spending time online, it is no surprised that we are no longer as familiar with celebrities today compared to the days of That's Entertainment and AngTV.

However, fans use the Internet to help spread the word about their favorite celebrities such as Ron San Juan's Miss Saigon, Erin Blair's Lea Salonga mailing list, and even offer freebies such as of Donna Cruz that allowed downloading of ringtones during its early years.

Famous entertainers are now reaching markets because of how the Internet was creatively used to promote them. Take the case of Filipino-American comedian Rex Navarette (who has a blog). Perhaps he can be recognized as the first Filipino entertainer who was honored by fans and followers by immortalizing his skits online. I only came to know him after blog post about Maritess vs. the Superfriends and SBC Packers began to spread. While working on this post, I discovered that there's also the Nutshack cartoon series.
Early this week, I attended an event and met two new upcoming artist who will be launching their first CDs this March. What caught my attention is that these two have blogs.

Julianne is the first local artist of MCA Music who'll be launching her album entitled "Grateful" next month. Her song and MTV "Tulak ng Bibig" is being played on radio stations and MYX.

Another artist performing at that time is Joaquin Valdes who became known for the Date Joaquin project. He is coming out with his first album under Vicor Music entitled "The Jazzanova Project". He is also a host, theater actor, and upcoming director.

I'm sure that there are more Filipino artist coming out with their own blogs or websites. It will be great if we'll be able to record in Philippine Internet history an artist made famous online.

If you know of aspiring Filipino artist or celebrities who have websites or blogs, I hope you can share by posting a comment.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Are Philippine search engines still relevant?

When you talk to a lot of Internet users today and where they look for information online, most of them cite Google, Yahoo, or MSN as a website of choice in looking for local and international information.

Although some of the Filipino diaspora I know uses local search engines like Yehey and various directories to look for basic information about websites and companies, for purposes of immediately narrowing down their queries.

In 1995, when there was an estimated 10,000 Filipino Internet users, the first Philippine search engine surfaced. This was G-Spot (now offline) from Cebu-based GSILink.

In 1997, Yehey was founded and still remains as the most prominent search engine and Philipine Internet directory. During those days, the site competed with EDSA. To survive and grow, Yehey has branched into a general-use portal and provided e-commerce services (PayPlus+).

EDSA, MyPhilippines, and PinoyCentral also entered this market but eventually got out of it.

The only one that remained purest in its form, start to present, is Tanikalang Ginto - Filipino Links, a human-edited directory of Ken Ilio (who also blogs!) that started in 1994.

Is the Philippines search engine market space already dead? If there is still a need for it? What do you think it should have to remain relevant?

Right from the start, I always complained about local search engines not being able to crawl local sites. Until they do that, the eventual obsolescence of a search engine is inevitable.

To survive, it is in their best interest to partner or put in more resources to boost their technology. If crawling is an issue, another option would be to make the existing directory a fully human-edited site where the members can police themselves for abusive content submission of sub-pages.

With RSS, local search engines can start employing RSS aggregation technologies to pick up new content and store it in their databases. If this is done, there would be a surge in content and this would prompt more for local sites to embrace RSS.
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