Azrael Coladilla will be delivering the User Keynote at the upcoming 2nd Social Networking & eBusiness Conference this April 23 & 24, 2009.
I'm glad that Azrael gave me the opportunity to do this short interview to have a glimpse of his talk and personal experience in social networking.
Janette: What does a social network mean to you?
Azrael: By connecting with people online. Build your own community from a massive network of people.
Janette: As a user, which social networking services do you use the most and for what purpose?
Azrael: I have a lot of social networking sites subscribed to. One of them is Friendster, the first social networking site I got engaged in. Used it to look for old friends. Also connects me to my family since many have an account here.
Then I have Multiply. This is one of the busiest social networking site ever, and where I have my largest number of connections to people. I use this to blog, host my photo album, and marketing space in promoting my events and services.
Facebook is my next largest network and active space for connecting to people; studying the market and people’s behavior; promote and invite people to my events; connect to famous people online and get in touch with them locally or overseas.
Janette: How did social networks empowered you or made a difference on how you conduct your activities or business?
Azrael: Because different people are connected to each other, you will start to learn how to market more your business. By just reading and observing, you will understand what they want and decide if you need to go with the flow of interest based from those people.
The social networking site is a big ground of learning the target market and know their behavior online and offline. I learned a lot from different people especially those I met online and then offline. It makes me pop-up with new creative ideas and concepts that can be applied in my field of work or business.
Janette: Without social networks, what would be the difference for you?
Azrael: BIG. I might be lurking around in some online forums or hanging out in offline community and events.
Janette: In general, how do you assess the way majority of Pinoys use social networks?
Azrael: Filipinos use social networks mostly for making and meeting friends. There is greater potential in using social networks for marketing in the future that includes making a brand stronger and build your own community.
Janette: What should Pinoys do to take advantage of social networks in these times of crisis?
Azrael: If you are going to use the social networks for business, then you’ll be saving a lot of budget in marketing and promotion. It will be cheaper as the target market is already there. No need to search because it has tools to help you filter, connect to people, and even build your own community.
But before you take advantage of it, you must first learn on how to use it and maximize its functionality in the online space.
Janette: What are the biggest issues for you when it comes to the use of social networks? How do you hurdle it?
Azrael: The issue will be the immediate response to negative feedback in public networks. We can’t avoid it because people can express their opinion. We must be ready to answer, explain, and face it just to resolve problems.
The good part is that most people who leave negative feedback are real to themselves. They use their own identity and not afraid to share it in public. The trust will be received easily with this. It can make the social network user bond stronger by talking to them directly.
Janette: What do you want the future of social networks to be?
Azrael: The future will be - people can connect to the social network via mobile. More offline activities will be organized just to make the community alive and active. There will be a time, perhaps sooner rather than later, social networking sites can be monetize by its members.