The People Who Made Blogging Worth It

Sunday, July 31, 2011

You Want To Do This

A big shoutout to this blog I literally stumbled upon a few minutes ago: Flipnomad.com

The idea of selling all your belongings, quitting your job and then backpacking all over the world is one thing that lingers in the mind like a gallant flea on a hot summer afternoon. 

Who does this, right? 

Rich single people that's who. 

I guess, if ever I would do this, it would have to be a family trip on a comvee ala Wild Thornberrys.   





My youngest son would be Donnie the wild boy. And all of my daughters would be Eliza, so they say.

I, of course, would be the impeccable Nigel Thornberry and my wife would be the wonderful Marianne.





While dads and moms do wish that they could go away for awhile, I've gotten used to being with my little munchkins 24/7.

Kids, they kinda grow on you.

But enough about me and Nigel Thornberry. Go get yourself a backpack

Large Extreme Pak InvisibleTM Pattern Camouflage Backpack
 

Online Games

Let's say that you know that you're going to live for 60 years.

World of Warcraft Battle ChestThe initial 20 of those years are spent on the early stages of life. Let's call it the accelerated learning stage.

The next 20 years is spent on working and applying what you've learned. This does not go to say that you will stop learning, work experience is a vital component of learning in our later years.

If you're lucky, the remaining 20 years should be for retirement and maybe even travel. Some opt to not retire and continue on working for 20 more years.

Horsehead Nebula Print Art Poster Print, 29x22

Computed,

20 years is more or less equivalent to 7,304.84 days

20 years = 175,316.26 hours
20 years = 10,518,975.3 minutes

Horsehead NebulaNow let's say that you play online games 1 hour every day. If my computations are right, that's 7,304.84 hours in 20 years or 304.37 days.

It's almost a full year out of the 20.

The question is, what is the value of your time spent on online games?

Well, it's relaxing, it's fun, it soothes ourselves from the daily stresses of life and some would say that it helps us face the next days of stress.

But what if you are not employed?
What if you don't have a job?

I thought about leaving this in an open ended way but decided to take a stand. There's nothing wrong with playing. There's nothing wrong with enjoying yourself 1 hour every day - but if you are like me, and if you see your life as a project - then engaging yourself in an activity that does not produce any tangible result is next to nothingness.

We are engaging in nothingness. Think about that, it's an insight that's so obvious that we really don't see its simplicity.

So what?

Your life could be different. You could have a purpose. You could do something. You could be of use to other people. Your potential could be maximized.

NASA - The Horsehead Nebula Print PosterRemember this: the ones who created the game are benefited more than the ones who are playing and paying for it.

It's your choice.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Beef with Positive Thinking

Think cotton candy, marshmallows and an ice cold latte.

Now think about how you're going to get them. You need to get off the computer first and then try to find where you could buy some. Of course, you need to have money. If you don't have money, you need to work. If you already have work and you still don't have enough money, you can get another job, even an online one.

Then you'll have extra money. Then you can get cotton candy.

The thing I have with positive thinking is that the negative thought that must be banished is often bigger than cotton candy or marshmallow.

It's that home mortgage, unemployment, unpaid debt, tons of work that never seems to get finished, that insurmountable financial mountain that seems to be as high as Everest.

These are even the easier ones. What about things related to other people? Such as your husband having a love affair, your children getting into constant trouble into school or worst - with the law, problems that simply wouldn't go away with a simple solution or with a simple change in mindset.

You're stuck with it - But - you need to break free from it.

Yet the hardest thing to overpower is our own minds. Positive thinking is good and creates many changes for those who have managed to master themselves. But if you can't master your own habits, body and thoughts - you'll definitely need some help.

I need help, you need help, everybody needs help.

That's the next step after positive thinking. Admit that you need help.

It's not a weakness to admit that you need help. It's an affirmation that you are a finite being with limitations. It's putting reality on top of delusions and wishful thinking. It's an admission of circumstance and the realization that we are not just the sole speck in this universe who has some problems.

What's My Problem


When I was 21 years old, my problem was I that needed to be a better dad to my child. I wanted her to experience the best that life can offer. I wanted her to have a father and a mother in the traditional concept of "family".

I was brought up that way.

So I finished my degree and got a job with my father and this was when I became a man. My perspectives changed regarding a lot of things. I became less risky - I had to put some things in the back burner as I concentrated on charting my family's life.

Then my father died.


To me my father's death was a very bitter experience. I recently dropped out of law school and we were not exactly on good terms with each other. At the time, I could tell that a lot of people also were. Many lost their jobs and the firm had to contract to a very small one. I was unemployed at the time with a third child coming soon. Summarized here was my situation:

  • Unemployed
  • Wife pregnant with third child
  • A lot of things that my father handled would now fall on my shoulders
  • The people who worked for him is looking at us for jobs.
A 25 year old law school dropout with no job could not run a law firm, period.

People were calling us about all sort of things that we didn't know about. Farmers from one of our properties came to Manila and they were asking us about their jobs - when I myself had no job!

Nobody had a clue of what needed to be done, not even the lawyers.

It was a long and painful period of chaos and change which I will spare you from, but let's play a little game.

What would you do?
>
>
>
Now that is the past. Here's the current situation.

  • The law firm is still there and still actually has lawyers - just 4 now. With a different name.
  • We rent the building to them and we earn from it. Plus I was able to lease it to a restaurant.
  • The people who lost their jobs were able to find new jobs.
  • My family is now residing in the small garden estate. 
  • I discovered that writing online could at the very least pay the bills. 
Finding a Mission

Everybody has a mission in life. Most of us just don't know about it. I know I have. 

Sometimes we fail in those missions and it is these failures that make us doubt ourselves. But they could also build us up. For me, the failures are a given and are actually part of the mission. 

Failure is an option. You can choose to view it as part of the mission or as "the end" of the mission. You either use it to learn or you use it stop dreaming. 

Thinking positively won't get us closer to our dreams - but they'll keep us going. 

Asking for help and looking outwards is just the next step towards that dream.   

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Measure Of A Man's Success Is Directly Correlated To His Willingness To Have Uncomfortable Conversations

Many people become discouraged and defeated when they fail or make a mistake.  This can be applied to anything and any field.  Some people may even give up on their dream, because of hearing “no” too often or feeling like a failure.  This life philosophy is also a sales strategy.  For those who are very successful at sales, they know the secret of embracing “no” and refuse to allow any failed sale discourage them.  The key is maintaining a positive and optimistic mindset no matter what.  One more “no” is just one step closer to success!  Everyone can utilize this philosophy in order to overcome fears of failure and rejection.

The first part of this philosophy involves changing your views on “success” and “failure.”  Most people imagine themselves in the middle of “success” and “failure.”  From here they can only move in one direction.  One path leads them to success, and the other path leads to failure.  By doing everything they can to avoid failure, while moving towards success, they leave no room for obstacles along the path.  The simple truth is you cannot succeed in anything without facing some sort of a struggle.  Everyone will face at least one failure.  A person does not pick up a guitar and play it perfectly in the beginning.  That person will tune it incorrectly, accidentally play the wrong chord, forget how to play the next cord, etc.  When that person does not let this get to him and persists on the journey to mastering the guitar, by embracing his failures he eventually becomes a professional guitar player.  That person has attained his success.

Therefore, this concept of moving towards either success or failure must be thrown out the window.  The proper mindset is to imagine yourself to the left of “failure” and “success.”  This way you move through failure until you reach success, which is the destination.  With this mindset, the person accepts and understands there will be obstacles, mistakes, and some failures along the journey to success.  He/she takes advantages of these problems, using them to strengthen him/herself.  In simple terms: Success is the destination.  Failure is how you get there.

Now, you should understand that the first mindset is merely impossible and unrealistic.  Failure is a requirement on the road to success.  Remember that failure is not a possibility.  In essence, failures are the most important part of attaining a goal.  In addition, by understanding this concept, you can now have a more optimistic and positive attitude as you pursue your goal.  Whether you are learning guitar, a sales person, or a doctor, you will greatly benefit from this simple philosophy.

If you truly desire to succeed in all areas of life, embrace this philosophy.  Change your outlook on the road to success.  It is impossible to avoid or ignore failure.  So, why make things harder on yourself emotionally by attempting to avoid failure altogether?  Instead, understand that you must travel through failure to reach success.  The more failures you are faced with, the stronger you become and the closer you get to your destination.  At the end of the day, you will feel a lot more satisfied with yourself and celebrate both your failures and successes.  Isn't that more appealing than lying in bed with your muscles tense stressing about your failures and contemplating giving up your dream?  The benefits of this philosophy will not only help you succeed, but make you happier overall.  Remember that: Success is the destination.  Failure is how you get there.

Please visit The Personal Development Company if you would like to learn more about Go for No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz or other related topics

Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Open Letter of Support to AirBnB.com

Open Letter to AirBnB.com.

Hi, 

My name is Daniel Garcia and I am a very new member of AirBnB.com and am now using my blog to express my support for it in spite of the recent snafu caused by this particular issue

The event is a tragic one but not really a unique or unprecedented event specially in the leasing business. 

The criticisms lobbed by AirBnB's critics are mostly valid however incomplete and partially innocuous. I have been in the leasing business for 3 years now, so I know that there are certain risks involved specially when you lease your own home.
  • As quoted from the blog in question: 
  • "Ironically Airbnb.com’s site states “the promise of our site is that it is entirely transparent” when in reality, it is not. And therein lies the fundamental, though not immediately apparent, difference: on Craigslist, I am warned loudly and repeatedly that use of the site is at my own risk."
I am not an American legal expert, but landlords all over the world know that there is a certain risk involved when you lease your property to another party. That is a given. That is why contracts of lease are made and why security deposits are given. 

When you lease your property - moreover your very home to a complete stranger, you don't leave your most valuable items in it. You as the homeowner, are responsible for the security of your belongings.  

Be that as it may, (God I hate saying that) I think the proactive way in dealing with this problem is for AirBnB to create an open vouching mechanism based on reputation and trust

Open up your network and encourage building up your own community so that it could help protect itself from these kinds of events.   
  • Quote number two: 
  • "Alternatively, Airbnb.com tightly controls the communication between host and traveler, disallowing the exchange of personal contact information until the point in which a reservation is already confirmed and paid for."
This is a very valid point and I know that this is very tricky for AirBnb for the simple reason that open communication will make it lose business. Opening up communication channels between AirBnbers would negate the value of the service provided by AirBnb. Why use AirBnb then, when people could contact each other directly? 

THE SOLUTION

The solution lies in the role of AirBnb as the facilitator for the transaction. Unbeknownst to it, AirBnb.com is already a de facto social network - one wherein people could not communicate openly with each other though recent announcements seem to address that
  1. Open it up! Let users communicate with each other openly and use AirBnb.com in order to have a safe and enjoyable experience. The argument is, "Sure you can use Craigslist and bypass AirBnb.com - but you won't be safe. Use AirBnb.com and you're not only safe but also secure." 
  2. Build up your community. Use your large user base to your advantage. The Internet is social so why constrain interaction? Think about this, imagine users building up reputations and real relationships via AirBnb.com. The bad renters would be weeded out and the bad hosts would be socially ostracized. Use the power of social media to reward and punish.  AirBnb could be that platform. 
In fairness, the slew of improvements that CEO Brian Chesky proposed are impressive and addresses most of my suggestions. To quote:

  • Private messaging that lets users learn about each other prior to booking, without revealing private information
  • Reservation system that allows hosts to accept or decline guests, giving them complete control over who books their space
  • Transaction-based reviews that help users build trusted online reputations
  • Over 50 million Social Connections that show mutual friends through users’ Facebook social graph
  • Secure and reliable payment system that holds payment for 24 hours and facilitates security deposits
  • Algorithms that identify suspicious behavior
  • Flagging capabilities on every user profile, property listing, and message thread
  • Verified, professional photographs of Airbnb listings
As a response to this incident, we have begun development on improvements to increase the safety of Airbnb, including:
  • Doubling the size of our customer support staff
  • Creating a dedicated Trust & Safety department
  • Creating a Host Education Center where hosts can find safety tips
  • Designing enhanced tools to verify user profiles
  • Facilitating richer communication between guests and hosts before booking, including experimentation with VOIP and video chat
  • Offering insurance options to hosts
Of course, I've only been to AirBnb for less than a week. I am merely writing from my gut instinct as a commercial lessor and I do hope that this adds value to the situation.

As an added note, maybe Google Plus Hangouts could prove to be invaluable in your efforts with video chat.

The point is, Airbnb could be a revolution to the entire industry. Otherwise, people could simply book to the nearest Hilton or Hyatt. Opening the platform for greater social interaction will truly make it unique from the others. After all it is this personalized approach to leasing that makes Airbnb unique.

Cheers!

Signed, 

Your hopeful AirBnber (Still waiting for that first guest!)
Daniel Garcia
Building Administrator

I Listed My Home in AirBnB

Even though I practically live in a closed resort, I must humbly admit that I am not an expert when it comes to the hospitality business. We're not open for a variety of reasons. I am somewhat thrust into this with a little semblance of discomfort for the simple fact that I am an introvert. Now that I think of it, I honestly never imagined that I would ever inherit a resort.

If you're a 90s geek like me, you're probably familiar with the game Roller Coaster tycoon. The game begins with a swath of land that you inherit to turn into a theme park. My situation is like that though I don't really have access to funds that could kickstart this operation.

I was the guy who hung out in the library when I was in High School and College. 

I am probably the antithesis of what a real resort manager should actually be like. 

Yet I am not one to shun this responsibility as I now see it as a great opportunity not only for myself but for the entire community. 

So I decided to take the plunge and do this. 

I listed my own home on AirBnb.com


Sometimes, solutions to problems are staring in our faces and yet we continue to ignore them. I think AirBnb is the solution to mine.

So, if you're ever interested in going to the Philippines, particularly in Lipa City Batangas, why not pay me a visit and stay in our modest villa. It has seen some better days and is quite overrun with vegetation, but there's one thing I can promise you, I'll do my best to be a good host:

  • I'll show you around town. 
  • I'll be your very own personal resort manager and treat you to the ever famous Lipa Lomi
  • I'll show you the best place to have Barako Coffee
  • I could take you to a boat ride to the world's smallest active volcano
  • Tell you stories about Philippine culture.   

More information here

Can AirBnb.com Save My Business?

I've been thinking a lot lately about Airbnb.com and the business prospects of leasing this small resort. To be sure, I've had my share of offers from many characters including some local government officials who have informally raised the possibility of public-private partnerships, some informal queries on takeovers and some unsolicited loan offers.

I've rejected all of them because for me this is not only a business, this is also our home.



Engaging in a partnership with unknown parties, moreover government officials is out of the question because of the control that they might exert in my home. This is one risk that I am not willing to take.

Airbnb.com could be a solution outside of taking out a risky loan or partnership.

The process is simple, it's a bed and breakfast platform that lets you lease a room or your entire house to prospective clients.

But there are risks too.


Some safety guidelines

AirBnb relies on Craigslist.
 


At this juncture, it is safe to say that only time could tell. The challenges are many, including the distant location, the lack of funding and the lack of any tourist attractions nearby.

Competing with the big resorts is next to impossible due to the sheer dearth of their funding. But that is also their main liability.

I'm hoping that we can leverage on the small resort charm.

Check out my AirBnb.com listing here and feel free to comment on anything :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Seminar on Web Development

I love free seminars! 

That's one of the advantages of living near the city that I think should be brought more to the underprivileged areas here in the Philippines. That's actually a part of my vision for resort ville. Inviting guest speakers who could teach their knowledge to the children here, could inspire them to look forward to a promising future. 

Anyway, this web development seminar is located at the very heart of congested Metro Manila. I'll post the details verbatim:

From TiPidPc.com   

No fees. No mininum purchases. Open to all. Limited seats. No registration required. No certificate will be issued. 
FREE Coffee/Water by True Rated PC (bugsgunny / johnryorense)

July 23 (Saturday) :

11:00 am - 6:00 pm - Web Development - by the Pinoy Web Dev 

  1. Web Design Concepts and Principles - Dave Bryan Mercado aka anasazi
  2. Slicing PSD to HTML/CSS - John Michael Sales aka neojohan
  3. Cpanel Tutorial, and WordPress Customization Techniques - Rhomeo P. Hildawa Jr. aka _unbreakable69_
  4. Joomla Development (from 1.5 to 1.7) and Basic Security - Kenneth Estanislao aka QYUTdotCOM
  5. Social Media Integration - David Ralph Lleno aka SirDavid
Venue :

Activity area Techmarket 2011
Building 1 Eton Cyberpod E-life

Go here to check out the vicinity map.

Comic Con 2011 Goes Live




Streaming live video by Ustream

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Do You Blog?

Blogger Buzz: Why do you blog?

I blog for cash.

I may have written about this very same topic a few years ago and my answer was notably different. Back then, my raison d' etre was not as crass and straightforward. It was the passion for free software, linux, open source, learning and community that kept me going.

Today, it's different. Today is the day I reached a major milestone in my blogging career. I have achieved something that I have long been waiting for. It took me 5 years of blogging experience to finally crack the code.

Blogging for money, may indeed sound terrible and reminds one of those bland "how to blogs" that promise us the world if only we buy and download their blogging e-books.

I like to think of myself as different from them in that I really do blog with the fiery flame of passion. (Naks!)

Though age has weathered my skin, though the travails of this thing called life has taken a toll on my morale, I will continue to persist on blogging for as long as I can. Trust me, after blogging for so many years with no income - I think that I can continue on blogging now that I am earning some.

I was the epitome of the hungry blogger.

Blogging whilst not getting any sort of affirmation, in terms of monetary compensation or otherwise is just like being stranded in the Sahara. You walk alone whilst the sanded winds scratch at your face like a Bengal tiger on its prey. Every step in this desert is a blog post. The mirages consist of the promises that the gurus bandy about in this web of human thought.

The starved mind, perplexed, confused and wearied then challenges itself. It becomes your enemy. Doubt begins to linger like a cloud of doom. Uncertainty prevails like a nagging fly. What is the starved blogger to do, except to surrender his thoughts to the pen or to the keyboard.

Along the way, you meet other travellers. Some say that the savannah is nearby. While others point you to an inexistent oasis. It is here where the mind is the most weakest. It is here when you can succumb.

Don't look at the water, I often used to say. It may be illusions crafted by this tired mind.

Look instead for the tell tale signs of a river and then find the river.

I have seen that river.

Reinvigorated and strengthened I now know that one must find the source in order to never go thirsty again.

This is the next phase and the next quest.

Where there is a river, there is a sparkling spring and waterfall.

It's the beginning of a new journey.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Google Plus Is Us

Not just you, or me or him. It's about everybody's story and everybody's dream. 

Who am I? Nobody, but now I've made it a point to tell your story rather than just mine. 

What is Google Plus really about? 
  • It should not just be about web icons and personalities, but it is becoming like that. 
The thing is, they have the right to do whatever they want to do and talking about them just makes them more popular even if what they did was ethically controversial
  • Conversations. Talking with rather than talking at people.
  • Equality and Respect. Don't you love these two words? It's quite simple really, yet pristinely marvelous that we miss it.
In Google Plus Hangouts, everybody can talk and be heard. It's not a vodcast, or a webinar or a stream of a big raving social media guy - everyone can speak
  • A chance for the little girl or guy. Rebecca Black, love her, hate her, it's her moment. When is your moment? Anytime you want. Take it. Everybody can take theirs.
  • Should not be elitist. If it is going to be like that, then it will be a social network only for the elites.   

It's our turn. As much as we love you oh dear A-listers, you've been here far longer than any of us - and that's exactly the point. We're happy that you have made a lot of money out of our sharing and consumption and glad that you are now social media successes and legends. 

Your very farts and cutesy facial expressions are truly remarkable. 

I think, it's great that you have been making cash out of the Internet for more than 10 years now, but it's time that you made way for the little guys who are charting their own paths and making their way to their own dreams and destinies. 

You are privileged. 

To be in a position of advantage means that you can raise up the little girls and guys faster than they can do so themselves. We're sure that you're going to live up to your legend and make way for the next generation. 

P.S. 

There's plenty of room for everyone so smile :)



How to Streamline Your RSS Feeds [GUEST POST]

About the Author: Deborah Blair is a full-time writer with a passion for internet marketing, blogging, and time-saving devices. She also enjoys writing about health and wellness and is a regular contributor at aboutmedicalbillingandcoding.org.

RSS Feeds were created to keep you from bouncing all over the internet looking for updates on your favorite blogs, while building an audience for blog sites. If you are overwhelmed with the posts cluttering your feed, it may be time to set up some to integrate a few clutter management techniques.

Say Goodbye to Dead Relationships

While you may have been attracted by the first post that you read on a blog, if you find that you avoid reading one particular site’s updates, then it’s time to reconsider. Does this site represent your interests? Are you keeping up with the updates to this particular blog's feed? If not, you may want to simply take it off of your feed. No harm, no foul. Doing so will give you more time to focus on the blogs you still enjoy.

Create Categories

All of us have our favorite topics, so you want to make sure that these are separate from topics that pique your interest less frequently. If you love to cook, keep all your recipe blogs together. Blogs about books, politics, internet marketing, and humor can all have their own space. Creating categories will make it easier for you to find the information you really want.

Delete Old Posts

Let's face it – you were busy, sick, or maybe you took a vacation. During that time, you neglected your RSS feeds. You might have an interest in some of these articles, but there’s no way to get a fresh start without pushing out the old. Your life will not end because you missed a couple of posts. Start fresh and you'll be up to date in no time.

Control Your RSS Time

If you’re spending more that an hour a day reading your favorite blogs, you may need to thin your feed some more. Are there blogs that you’d be happy with reading once a week rather than every day? Which sites are as much a part of your day as coffee and the morning news? Mark the other posts as read and keep moving.

Use Your RSS Feed Reader's Tools

Some feeds provide keyword searches or statistics to help you find what you’re looking for and figure out what you read the most of. This can help you sort through big chunks of information quickly. Others have keyboard shortcuts to help you cut through material. Learn about your RSS feed reader's special features and use them to organize your reading time.

With a little bit of organization, you can keep your RSS feeds free of clutter, ensuring you’re spending time on the blogs and articles that are best suited towards your tastes. If you employ some of these tricks every few weeks, keep organized, and change your sites as your interests evolve, you’ll find that your RSS feed is indeed the time saver that it is meant to be.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Help Igor Choose Another Name

Igor needs our help. He has written a very promising fantasy novel entitled Betrayed, and would like to choose a pen name.

Igor Ljubuncic, that's his real name by the way, is the extremely hilarious and excellent Linux blogger who blogs at http://www.dedoimedo.com.

Igor, if you're reading this, I think your name is already as good as it is. Nevermind if the masses can't pronounce it. Your name is already unique as it is and keeps people guessing how they should pronounce it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Google +1 and Search Engine Rankings

Ever since the release of the Google +1 button, the SEO world has been buzzing about how much this new social share button by the search engine giant would affect search results. Now, after Google+ was released a couple of weeks ago and quickly garnered 10 million users, it is easy to see that this is going to be a factor that we are going to have to take into consideration for a long time to come.

Many sites have not implemented the button into their blog or website yet (if you have not I suggest you do) but Google+ users are still using it to share over 1 billion pieces of information a day which is quite astounding. All of these feel good numbers are great and all, but how does it help us in the world of SEO?

SEOmoz embarked on this quest to see how much, if any, the newly implemented Google +1 button affected a website’s rankings in the search results. One thing that is a clear take away from the study is social shares from Google +1 along with twitter and Facebook help in the indexation of the site. Within a matter of hours the new page was indexed and showing up on the SERPs with only a few social shares.

But, we ask again, how does it affect SEO? 

Unfortunately the experiment was pretty inclusive in terms of search engine optimization. When twitter was used there was a direct ranking result for high amount of tweets but the Google +1 shares could not find a similar correlation.

There is something to take away from the study and to keep in your back pocket. First, if you want to get your pages indexed quickly, encourage shares across many social networks. Second, twitter and Facebook are still more recognized in the eyes of the search engines but this could change in a matter of months. If Google+ and the +1 button continue to grow exponentially as they have you have to assume that they will become more of a ranking factor. Also, Google being Google I could see them placing more priority on an in house product than a product that they are directly competing with like say….Facebook.

I would advise to implement the +1 button, join Google+ and keep a keen eye out for any new studies done similar to this one because I think that you will begin to see a change of tide when it comes to social sharing.

About the Author:
Corey Rabazinski is the co-founder of Orlando SEO consulting firm SEOhatch. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hangouts ARE Video Hashtags

Marjorie Clayman, a friend I met on twitter inspired me to write this blog post. She was expressing her skepticism about Google Plus being a game changer and I thought about what could convince her to think otherwise. 

Then it hit me like a flying +1 sign that hit facebook on the head.

The earliest time I remembered conversing with you Margie was at #blogchat founded by Mack Collier

Then it hit me again. 

#blogchat + Google Plus Hangouts = Video hashtags / Video #blogchat

I emailed, and hopefully did not annoy, a developer who may have some knowledge about this, and as of this writing, I'm still awaiting for his response. 

Think about it, a video chat room. 

Now, I'm not a programmer so I don't know how the heck this would work out. But among the features I'm thinking about is being able to broadcast the stream of a public hangout to the general public. (Sorry about the redundancy.

On to the next level, I'm thinking about integrating such a stream with ustream.tv

It's like a directory of hangouts, ala old school public chat room type where anyone could listen and then join in on the conversation.  

Somewhere out there is a developer doing this and making this a reality. I'm not a programmer nor am I very comfortable in broadcasting what I do on an hourly basis, so I'm floating the idea out in the open in the hopes that someone may like it and collaborate. 

Mack Collier's vision of having #blogchat 's was great because it brought back the "public" to the fora. It means, dan nobody like me can be heard just as much as everybody else. Everybody is an equal. 

Engagement is set on a new level. 

Having emailed Margie before I published this post, she expressed cautious optimism about the prospects of it, particularly for #tweetdiner. 

I think this is exactly the intention of Google, however there is a minor problem - only 10 people could join in a hangout, for now. I'll give an update if there are further developments.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Real Reason Why You Need Google Plus

I got inspired to write about this because of an article written by Rocky Agrawal who guest posted over at Techcrunch. Quoted, he mentioned the following insightful tidbits:
"Although I like a lot of the content I currently see on Google+, it has limited appeal. It also has a dangerous priming effect as new entrants either look at the conversations and mimic them or decide that this isn’t their scene. It’s like peeking into a party and realizing that the people who are inside are nothing like you."
I agree with some of his points particularly on "realizing that the people who are inside are nothing like you."

FRESH START

But then that's the point. Everything about Google plus is a fresh start at social networking. It's a chance to rebuild burned bridges spurned from the ashes of failed social connections, an opportunity to see social reality in a different light, to create a new sense of wonderment from our disillusioned social networking eyes and more importantly, an opportunity to engage more with others who are not like us.

It's more than just group video chat or being able to systematically organize our relationships, it's an altogether different paradigm of interaction.

TALKING WITH PEOPLE vs. TALKING AT PEOPLE

Agrawal also said,
"Paradoxically, the extent to which the constraints of Twitter stifle conversation helped its growth. Because real conversation is hard using Twitter (vs. just tweeting out your own story) there isn’t the expectation that people will engage with you in it. Because tweets disappear as the firehose continues to gush, it’s easier to ignore them. I know—I’ve done it.
This appeals to a lot of the people that have popularized Twitter: A-list celebrities, media outlets, politicians and megabrands. (Techcrunch, 2011)" 
My point of differentiation is strengthened by the fact that I'm a nobody in the tech world, I don't even live in America and yet I feel that I've somehow made the rudimentary steps of what can be called engaging in Google Plus.

Not that I'm not having the same engagement on twitter or on facebook, I am, but right now, the hype and the shiny new buttons make it feel like it was New Year in Times Square.



YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE FACEBOOK TO JOIN GOOGLE PLUS


Some are still reticent to join Google plus because of the homey feel of Facebook with all the relatives and close friends in it. That is a very strong valid point so I'll take a different route from the other writers and  give you my humble advice: stay with Facebook but if you want to meet new people and broaden your horizons, connect on Google plus.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I'm In. Google Plus

It took 5 invitations and a week before I could get in, but finally. Whew. It feels like being able to enter the movie theater after waiting in line for hours.



What worked?

Apparently, filling out your Google profile is the key. After staring and staring at Mark Zuckerberg's Google+ profile, trying to intuit what he's up to in his rival's social network, I decided that it looks very much like the old Google profile. So I filled it up.

Are You with Google or Against Google?




What struck me as a bit odd was Google's insistence that I link my Picasa account to Google+ or not join at all. Not that I'm keeping compromising pictures there but the freedom to choose is important.


There you have it, the first thing you'll see after all the dialogs run away.

Clicking on the fourth tab on the top (the grey circley things) would then bring me to this part of the site:

The ever famous Google+ Circle.


I've noticed that most of the people here are email contacts, but some are totally strangers. It makes you feel like you need to invite the ones who don't have faces yet. They need a Google+ account.

I suddenly remembered this drawing:

Hehehe. Well, I'm off to invite some of my friends and family to put in my circles. Fill out your google profile and wait for at least 2 days. If it still doesn't work, mail me :)


Internet Marketing and Piracy in the Philippines

Current Philippine News recently reported on a Nielsen study indicating that half of Filipinos who go online, have never bought anything on the Internet.

This is unsurprising given the state of IP law enforcement in the Philippines where pirated or boot legged DVDs run rampant across the nation. 

In an online market where digital goods such as ebooks, movies and video games are the best selling items, the Philippines is not particularly fertile ground. 

On the marketing side, in an environment where ebooks are easily downloaded and pirated DVDs sold for less than a dollar each, how else could you sell services or goods to this country?

Until such time when Intellectual property laws are strictly enforced, Internet marketing in the Philippines would mostly focus on local goods and services and on niche markets. 

Existing business entities with a set paradigm for selling online would find their growth rates to be severely limited by this. 

There are many plausible explanations for this:

Picture Credit:
http://batchoyboi.blogspot.com
1. Baclaran-Divisoria mentality. Baclaran and Divisoria are both places in the Philippines where everything is dirt cheap. 

Why buy a $10 movie from Amazon, when you can just buy it in Baclaran or a roving pirate for less than a dollar? 

2. Ebooks. Books and literature has always been traditionally consumed by the middle class. Again, in an environment where the middle class is shrinking, and when the respect for intellectual property is very minimal, you won't be able to sell ebooks.

3. Nutritional Supplements. Multi level marketing outfits have invaded social media here in the Philippines and more often than not, nutritional supplements (mostly with no approved therapeutic claims) or business franchises for food carts are common fare on Facebook. 

However, since social media is the primary medium for conducting these transactions, most of the time sales of these are done on a person to person basis. The seller most often than not, is acquainted with her target market as a relative, work peer or friend. Thus, the sale is only consummated upon the physical transfer of goods and not made through online payment systems. In a strict sense, this is not an online transaction. 

SILVER LINING

The sale of services in the online world particularly through business process outsourcing is the silver lining to the potential of the Philippines as an online business center. 

Notable local startups who have 'made it' have done so in the form of Sulit.com.ph, IP EGames and countless other outsourcing services. 

Online publishing is a heavily competitive arena dominated by traditional media titans such as Inquirer.net, ABS-CBN and GMA News.  

Small and Medium Scale Businesses

Unlike in the US and Canada, much needs to be done for small scale Filipino businesses to thrive in the online world. For now, the online realm is just a medium for advertising and promotion. A fact capitulated upon and dominated by big brick and mortar businesses. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that a breakthrough could be in the horizon.  

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Petition Google: Don't Rebrand Blogger/Blogspot

blogspot/blogger petition

Earlier today, Mashable reported that Google was rebranding Blogger and Picasa. They are going to turn Blogger into Google Blogs and Picasa into Google Photos.

They're doing so in conjunction with the official launch of their new social networking platform: Google Plus, of which I have 5 invites and no access to.

If you are a blogger blogger and you just love the "blogger" brand

We've been blogging here for more than 5 years now and absolutely love everything about blogger.

Where else could we find a service that pays us first and then allows us to pay back in return?

To us, blogger is not just another free service. It's practically our lives.

Some people have even turned it into their livelihoods.

Though there are now many great alternatives to it. We are sticking by blogger because it has been really great.

So, please Google, we love you. But please don't "rebrand" Blogger, more importantly please don't rebrand us.

Sign the petition here:

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Cure for Blog Addiction

People say that blogs are passe, that they're things from the past and that social networking is the new deal. But I personally don't believe that. I think that blogs will be a permanent fixture on the Internet until such time that people invent mental telepathy.

The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force

The core of blogging are people's thoughts. Sometimes, we tend to get caught up in the doldrums of normal every day life that we seek out something fresh, we seek out distraction and essentially, we seek out other people's thoughts. It somehow affirms our own sanity to know that there are others who think like us, others who differ from us and others who are just plain and simple, insane.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Comics: Google Plus Invites

Click to make it large

Zuckerberg on Joining Google+


A few posts ago, we wrote about Mark Zuckerberg joining Google's new social network Google Plus. There was a lot of speculation on whether the person really is the CEO of Facebook. Finally, a credible source finally confirmed through twitter that it's really Mark Zuckerberg. 

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg is on Google Plus

Clicking the picture will take you
to Mark's Google Plus Page

While scouring the web for people with Google Plus Invitations to spare, I found Danny Sullivan, who wrote about Jenny Lee, who tweeted about finding Mark Zuckerberg's Google Plus Profile.

Don't know if it's legit though. :)

Update: It appears that this is really Mark Zuckerberg based on the people in his Google Plus Circle:


1. Ben Barry - Related to Mark Z. in some way





People With Google Plus Invites

We know that you're looking for Google Plus Invites. In fact Google has had to temporarily turn invites off because there's just too many people who want to play around with it. 

Take heart, we're compiling a list of the people who have Google Plus Invites so that you could tweet, message, email and "kindly request" them for one. Don't forget the magic word!

Now we're assuming that the people on Google Plus also have invites, after all, it wouldn't make sense for them to be on it and not be able to invite anyone right?

Here goes!

1. Leo Laporte - @leolaporte
2. Gina Trapani - @ginatrapani
3. Alan Henry - @halophoenix
4. Robert Scoble - @scobleizer
5. Jeff Jarvis - @JEFFJARVIS
7. Mashable Contest - Mashable.com
8. Ebay - Google Invites for Bidding - BE VERY Careful there! Caveat Emptor!!!!
9. Matt Cutts - @mattcutts
10. Jennifer Lee - @jenny8lee
11. Mark Zuckerberg - What?!? Yep, Mark Zuckerberg is on Google Plus

I'll continue scouring the web for you, but if you appreciate my efforts I would be glad if you handed one to me, just mail me :)

If you have any tips about someone, feel free to hit the comment section!