Friday, April 17, 2009

Review - Self Study Source

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Another website by K Alliance LLC is Self Study Source. The site aims to promote the availability of self-paced computer based training videos on a wide variety of topics from its site. This includes:
  • Microsoft computer based training courses such as in the areas of programming (.net vb and / or c#,), web development, database administration (SQL), web applications, security, operating system, server, among others.

  • Microsoft Office or desktop applications (Access, Accounting Professional, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Project, SharedPoint, Visio, Vista, Word, among others.)

  • Cisco certification (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE) on network administration (CCNA), network professional (CCNP), and internetwork expert (CCIE).

  • CompTIA certification trainings (Linux, A+, Network +, Security +, among others)

  • Network security certification training (CISSP, CEH, CFED, ACFT, CPTS, CWNA)
Demo videos are available but one must register first. After that, the link to it gets sent.
The training packages available includes video cds, workbooks, courseware, and live mentors or trainers.

I think packages like this are timely as I.T. professionals need continuous training if one desires to be on top of the game against competitors. One has to choose between self-study program or instructor-interactive face-to-face program.

On the improvement side, it will help if there are testimonials that can attest to the effectiveness of the program.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

AKA: First Philippine Mobile Mini-Site Directory


Last April 7, I catched up with Ariel Roda and got introduced to one of his investee companies - SAKLOLODOTNET. The company is headed by Mike Jabillo (managing director) and Lawrence del Mundo (business development head).

One of their projects, AKA Mobile Directory, aspires to be the first Philippine mobile directory. At a glance, the service allows users to:
  • Sign-up for free if done on the web. Standard peso text rate applies if registration is done via mobile phone.

  • Create a mini-site with keywords that best describe who they are, what they're selling, contact number, e-mail address, etc. Those who are familiar with keywords and search engine optimization can harness this feature.

  • Users can also follow other profiles and receive alerts for any shout-out and mini-site updates. They can also use the same facility to contact the mini-site owner and receive the message through text (without having to know their mobile number).

  • Sellers can also do direct follow-on advertising via trailer ads that gets received through the mobile phone. This is received by mobile phone-based searchers who hit their sites with specific keywords. This can be used to give discount or freebie items to also measure the effectiveness of the medium.
Non-registered users can still search within the site or through the mobile phone using the command syntax AKA FIND produsts, services, skills using keywords. (Example AKA FIND seo sem)

I believe this site has a lot of potential and will be more useful if it will have features like:
  • Be embed on a website to attract followers.
  • Be able to post shout-out ads to other members and take advantage of their following size.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Social network users who leave negative feedback are real to themselves (mostly)

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.

Friday, April 03, 2009

IT training grows online

The big challenge in being part of the Internet and IT industry is that one must be able to cope with the demand of the times especially in terms of information technology (IT) skills. There is a growing number of websites today that allows you to become a subscriber, pay a fee, and take various online training programs.

Others are membership based and training is delivered through a coaching and sharing of lessons learned structure.

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Using K Alliance as an example, an ideal online training allows:
  • Student or subscriber to get individual to corporate subscription.
  • Pick from a wide range of desktop, IT, soft skills, among others type of courses.
  • Choose to get a computer based training or online (dependent on Internet connection).
  • Prepare for IT certification.
    I used to take beta test exams before and often find myself in the old days just reading through manuals. With a customized program like this one, it should help you prepare better and simulate an actual exam.
  • One unique feature with K Alliance is that they have a USB dongle that needs to be plugged in whenever the online training is accessed. This is for piracy protection purposes. It is also unique per course.
  • Online chat with an expert with whom you can ask questions.
  • Learning management software hosting services available where you can also load your internal special trainings. This instead of building on your own.
  • If satisfied with the service, have programs where you can become a reseller and make a full business out of it.
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