I just got a heads-up from Edward Lim, iNTouch chief executive officer and managing director, about his company's partnership with Fring.
fring is a mobile internet service and community that enables users to access & interact with their social networks on-the-go, make free calls and live chat with all one's fring, Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo! and AIM friends using the handset’s internet connection rather than costly cellular airtime minutes. At the moment, fring is compatible with Symbian 8, 9.1, 9.2, Windows Mobile 5 & 6 and UIQ handsets. Voice for Yahoo! and AIM is still not enabled.
With the advent of Mobile VoIP (MVoIP) and Voice over Instant Messaging (VoIM), Filipinos who are fond of sending SMS can now save money by using the cheaper data plans of mobile providers e.g. Smart's P10/30 minute 3G or Smart Internet usage.
Edward believes that is it possible for corporate marketers or road warriors using data plans to call their head office using VoIM or chatting while on the road. In a sense, it is like saying goodbye to the P1.00 sms charges and break the 160 character limits to texting.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Last December, I signed up as an alpha user of Moomai and tinkered with it. This Philippine-made social networking site is in its alpha stage. Prior to this post, I'm quite confused on what Moomai intends to achieve and beat that curiosity by sending an e-mail to Luis Buenaventura, president of syndeo::media, and asked about the future of this new social network.
For Luis, moomai.com is an online social experiment and wants the audience to try it and explore how it goes from there. "I know that sounds really ambiguous, but I don’t put a lot of stock in big master-plans. Ultimately, if we can build something that people enjoy using, then we’ve already achieved a great deal, and that’s the kind of thing that takes a long time and a lot of hard work."
Like many Internet users who get to used a variety of social networking applications, one can't help but say - "not another one!", and this made me wonder on how Moomai will be different. At the moment, the site has some standard social-networking components like friend-relationships and blogging.
But what makes it different, according to Luis, is the rating system based on an old sociological theory called the Looking Glass - that states our sense of self is a composite of what our friends’ opinions of us are, and that we constantly reorient our identity based on the feedback that we receive.
"Moomai is simply a digitization of this phenomenon, wrapped in candy-colored interfaces and humorous prose."
Plans to launch Moomai will depend on how the testers will find it. Luis wanted to reach 250 volunteer testers first and maintain that number for 30-60 days. "So I can see how different groups of people respond to it. Once we’re satisfied that the engine works as advertised, we will move into open beta. At the same time, we’ll throw up Facebook, OpenSocial and (maybe) Friendster widgets that people can use on whichever social network they’re already on."
Observing this market got me intrigued on the revenue model that Moomai is bent on. But Luis admitted that he doesn’t care about it yet. "The reason is this: it’s challenging to come up with a profitable idea, and it’s challenging to come up with an innovative idea. It’s even more difficult to come up with an idea that is both profitable and innovative at the same time. With moomai, I’ve essentially decided that I’d like to try to be innovative first; we’ll worry about profitability later, when we receive our 100,000th signup or when our server bills start to hurt, whichever comes first.
I know that sounds like I’m being facetious, but I think people underestimate how volatile this industry really is when they ask questions about revenue models. Having a solid revenue-model planned out is only useful if you can see into the future and know what your audience will respond to. This will never work for experimental products like moomai because we don’t even know where this website is headed, let alone how we will make any money from it. I personally believe that the trick is to keep your company as agile as possible so that you can pull big 180’s within a small radius. I certainly don’t profess to see the future, but I’d like to think that I can respond quickly once it’s staring me in the face."
For now, Moomai is eager in building up a volunteer population to about 250 people. Anyone who’d like to give it a spin can visit http://moomai.com and enter your full name and email address into the invitation form.
Also, syndeo::media is in the process of growing the team. If you’re a developer who knows or would like to learn Rails, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo taken from Luis moomai page. Shot taken by Karla Redor)
Friday, February 22, 2008
I just had a chat with Gio Bacareza who is now the business development director for Chikka.
According to Gio, Chikka has a revolutionary project that would require partnership with web 2.0 and social network developers. "We have a revenue model designed for them. This new development keeps me busy in looking for developers, whether companies or individuals."
Chikka has one of the biggest social network not only in the Philippines but worldwide also. Its social network is based in its community of 40 million buddies using Chikka's messaging application.
Gio believes there's money to be made on the community besides text and advertising. "We're opening up our platform for the developer community to play around similar to Google Open Social and Facebook. The difference we have is that (1) we have other revenue models for developers than just ads: we got messaging, content, subscription services and (2) we provide the bridge to the mobile world."
The Chikka platform is still in the process of completing its APIs and documentation. "The first developers we work with, we will handle closely on a 1-to-1 manner. They will help us shape the platform. When we are ready to open the sandbox, then we unleash it."
Parties interested can contact Gio at email@example.com
Sunday, February 03, 2008
With 500 or more blogs linking to these sites in the past 6 months, the Philippines A-List Bloglebrity are: