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By Carlo S. Ople I was just reading the latest articles on the recently concluded Anti C on-Ass rally on Inquirer.Net. According to the police, this rally had the lowest turnout, around 6,000 based on their estimates. The organizers, on the other hand, claim that they had 13,000-15,000 warm bodies. You got to ask yourself the question: despite all the outrage this issue has generated, why only 15,000 pe ople went to the streets? I'm sure there are varied reasons but at the end of the day the measurement of success for events like this is the number of participants. Sadly 15,000 is not representative of the majority of the Filipino people and can easily be dismis sed by the politicians pushing for Con Ass. However, the good news is that on the Internet, we have almost double the numbe r of the people who went to the rally sign up on the "Stop Con Ass Now" cause on F acebook. As of this writing, there are almost 28,000 sign-ups on the cause. With that in mind, I came up with this short article explaining the strengths of Cyberactivism and why it should be taken seriously not just by the proponents, but also by politicians and organizers who want to provide a platform for the ci tizens to be part of a cause. Physical Rallies can be Inconvenient Let's face it, life these days is hard. Missing a day of work means a salary de duction or a lost vacation/sick leave. The reality is a lot of Filipinos will n ot "pay" to be part of a rally by missing work. I think this was the biggest hu rdle a lot of office workers had to face in Makati when they wanted to join the rally last night. This was the sentiment of several colleagues I have here in the office. Rallies also need a convergence point. You physically have to be in one spot on a specific time to be able to make the effort count. This literally makes the rally limited since those who are outside of Manila, especially those in Visaya s and Mindanao, cannot participate because they won't buy a plane ticket and fl y all the way here to protest Con Ass. Virtual Rallies, on the other hand, are completely the opposite. All you need t o have to be part of it is to have access to the Internet. The good thing these days is that there are more than 10,000+ Internet cafes spread all over the Ph ilippines and most of them charge very reasonable and affordable rates. There are a few cafes in Davao that charge as low as P5/hour. By going to the w orldwide web, you transcend the inconveniences brought about by physical rallie s. You're still counted and your part of the movement without having to spend t hat much time, resources, and effort. Physical Rallies end when they're finished This, I think, is the biggest weakness of physical rallies. When the crowd disp erses, the event ends, especially if there were only a few or an average number of attendees. Other succeeding rallies are usually treated as separate efforts and they don't really all add up in terms of metrics. And that I think is one of the strongest qualities of Virtual Rallies. The mome nt a person joins, he's in it for the long haul. The count is cumulative regard less of the time and space. As long as the website is up and running, people wi ll be counted. That's the reason why the Facebook Cause against Con Ass is alre ady nearing 30,000 sign-ups. Imagine if we give it more time? That number will continue to grow and eventually might even end up more than 100,000. What is more effective in pushing for a cause? An unsure attendance of 6,000-15 ,000 in a rally in Makati or a virtual representation of more than 100,000? Organizers of the Anti Con Ass Campaign should really take Cyberactivism seriou sly. Given the right firepower, the Facebook approach might actually be more ef fective in the long run. Carlo Ople is the main author of New Media Philippines (http://newmedia.com .ph), a blog that aims to help Filipinos maximize and realize the potential of New Media. Apart from being a blogger, Carlo also serves as a Marketing Manager for one of the leading online gaming companies in the Philippines. He is also a freelance digital marketing consultant and has worked with various politician s and business owners expand their reach and influence through the use of socia l media. Read more about him at New Media Philippines (http://newmedia.com.ph)< /em>
By Anna Valmero THE Filipino online community slammed the approval of House Bill 1109 that set up a constituent assembly (ConAss) that might allow the administration to stay in power beyond 2010. The approval of HB 1109 on Tuesday midnight empowered Congress to convene itsel f into a Constituent aseembly, where members of the House and the Senate could vote jointly to amend the 1987 Constitution. Filipino quickly jumped on the issue, as they launched an online website called No to Con-Ass!. Others li nked to this site, as they included an online badge that said, "Have you no sha me?" Filipinos also launched an open letter to administration allies at t he House of Representatives that read:
The Constitution is a defining moment in history. It is the height of creating a politics of freedom, identity, and national strength, created an d ratified on the basis that oneâs country is not designed and built on whims, but that of foresight and the common good. It sets a precedent for justice and fairness, and is the building block of democracy in free nations. June 2, 2009 was a defining moment in history. It is the height of a politics of ignominy, imprudence, and insolence; the approval of a shameless and ambiguo usly-worded resolution that threatens the very existence of this countryâs demo cracy. One that sets a precedent for injustice, unfairness, and opens the door s for corrupting, unchecked power. You made a grip on the very throat of this countryâs democracy, and choked it. Shameless. That resolution will be tested in the Courts, and perhaps maybe eve n struck out of the record one day. Forgotten, perhaps, but it should stand - and it will stand - as a testament to shame.
Blogger Marocharim who wrote the statement noted that the letter was supposed to have been sent to Co ngress but he thought twice, saying that "maybe theyâll just throw it away.â Asked to compare going out in the streets or launching an online protest, Maroc harim says, "I see it as a new channel for resistance, like TV. I'm not saying that it will replace the old, kailangan pa ring mag-rally [we still need to att end a rally].â âI am not saying one blog entry will change the world. But from the Dumaguete ( National Summer) Writers Workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago, I realized how much we (writers) can do. Writing isn't about hits or self-promotion or for m and technique--it's about making changes both inside and out,â the blogger sa ys. He quips: âI happened to like my country enough, and to care for this nation en ough, to go in front of my computer and write something a small ripple but Iâm seeing a wave there somewhereâas plurkers link to the site.â Personally, he believes that the Constitution is better amended after the 2010 elections for the reason others cite tooâprudence. âWhen we take the time to sit down, discuss these house bill, get a move-on on the constitution, get everyone involved and educated, debate, disagree, agree-- that's how we do things in democracy; not that way, like they did June 2.â And this action is also reaching out to political figures: Manuel Luis Quezon I II took time to "plurk" a running account of what happened during the Wednesday House session and so d id Bayan Muna party list Representative Teddy Casino. More and more as Filipinos are indeed turning to social networking sites in hop es of swaying political debates.
By Carlo Ople* (Editor's note: re-posted from author's blog http://newmedia.com.ph) AS most of you probably know by now, the House of Representatives approved HR 1109, more commonly known as the Con Ass (Constituent A ssembly) resolution. I'm pretty sure that the Senate will take this up with the Supreme Court to determine if what the House did was in accordance to our constitution. Anyway, I wanted to focus more on what was happening on Face book while the hearing was going on. Several opposition congressmen were actual ly micro-blogging on Facebook! Imagine that, hahaha! I took some screen shots f or your viewing pleasure. Check out what some of our congressmen said in Facebo ok after the break. CONGRESSMAN TEDDY CASINO con ass teddy One of my personal favorite comments during the evening. A lot of people left c omments on this and it was nice to see that Congressman Casino was replying to some of them. Talk about real time interaction. Note my comment in the print sc reen. Heh. CONGRESSMAN RUFFY BIAZON con ass ruffy biazon Congressman Biazon was very active on Facebook during the proceedings. He was a ctually like a reporter the entire time. It's kinda sad that he wasn't given th e opportunity to speak during the plenary but at least he was able to voice out what was in his mind through Facebook. CONGRESSMAN ERIN TANADA con ass erin tanada I was able to hear Congressman Tanada deliver his objection speech. It was very articulate and hard-hitting. He wasn't able to update during the actual procee dings but he was able to make posts before and after. While it's not Plurk or Twitter, these Congressmen actually micro-blogged throu gh the status update feature of Facebook. I'm sure that it's only a matter of t ime before their staff teaches them how to actually microblog through their mob ile. Maybe we'll see more consistent updates then. Social Media is a very powerful communications tool, and I wouldn't be surprise d to see more politicians start using this channel not just for the 2010 campai gn, but also for governance. I talked about this in length during my interview with Cheche Lazaro (Media In Focus). So, interested to hear what your congressmen have to say online? Add them up on Facebook. :) Carlo Ople is the main author of New Media Philippines, a blog that aims to help Filipinos maximize and realize the potential of New Media. Apart from bei ng a blogger, Carlo also serves as a Marketing Manager for one of the leading o nline gaming companies in the Philippines. He is also a freelance digital marke ting consultant and has worked with various politicians and business owners exp and their reach and influence through the use of social media.
By Carlo Ople* A lot of people used social media to condemn Hayden Kho for his actions, which eventually led to a full-blown Senate hearing (not that I'm agreeing that we shoul d have a Senate hearing for a sex scandal). Now his supporters are relying on S ocial Media to support and defend him. I was given a link by a good friend thro ugh Yahoo Messenger. Apparently, someone made a blog called "Give Hayde n a Chance". supporthayden The first post entitled "Let's give Hayden a chance", already has 1 6 comments as of this writing. The site counter on the sidebar also shows that around 400+ people have already dropped by the site. I'm guessing that it's onl y a matter of time before the hundreds become thousands then maybe even million s. It's a bit annoying and amazing that this issue has been completely blown out o f proportion. I fully support the women... but a Senate hearing for a sex scand al? Shouldn't we be paying more attention to Swine Flu and the fact that there are 14 confirmed cases already in the Philippines? I can understand social medi a going "gaga" over the Hayden scandals because it's a human interest story but for institutions to go as far as they have... man! Carlo Ople is the main author of New Media Philippines, a blog that aims to help Filipinos maxim ize and realize the potential of New Media. Apart from being a blogger, Carlo a lso serves as a Marketing Manager for one of the leading online gaming companie s in the Philippines. He is also a freelance digital marketing consultant and h as worked with various politicians and business owners expand their reach and i nfluence through the use of social media.
Editor's note: With the author's permission, we've updated this entry to cl arify some terms. By Carlo S. Ople* Over the past few weeks, there have been talks going around on what advertising agencies and marketers should expect from bloggers. Iâve been thinking about t his for a long time now, and I think I have enough examples and put enough thou ght into this to publish it on this blog. Companies who want to tap bloggers should be aware of the different kinds of bl oggers. Not all bloggers can influence your target market, and not all of them can have the same level of interaction with their readers. Iâve generally defined the types of bloggers into these 4 categories: Value, Ho bby, Journal and Google. Thereâs a fifth type which Iâll share at the end of th e post. Note that these categories can overlap, and in fact some of the best bl oggers have stricken a balance on how to be all 4. However, these are rare blog gers. Most of the bloggers right now just fall to either 1 or 2 of these catego ries. 1. HOBBY BLOGGERS. They generate content from the t hings or activities that interest them the most. The best example here would be Food Blogs. There are so many already in the Philippines. Whatâs amazing is th at only a few restaurants are tapping the potential of driving more traffic to their stores by partnering with the top food bloggers in the Philippines. Other topics that Hobby bloggers talk about can be: anime, movie reviews, fashion, g eneral merchandise, photography, etc. Hobby Bloggers have good potential to grow communities and with that comes auth ority and influence. This happens more if the blogger is actually good at what heâs doing. If a Hobby Blogger is also a Value Blogger, then you have one of th e most influential types of online personalities (more on Value Bloggers below) . 2. JOURNAL BLOGGERS. They usually post about life experiences. Their topics can be really random and can be anything under the sun. A lot of Journal Bloggers can be found on social networks especially on Multiply. Favori te topics include current events especially topics that are being discussed by media outfits and online communities. Journal Bloggers' readership is usually c onfined to their circle of friends. This is so because people interested in fol lowing Juan Cruz for example, will be people who know and are close to him. The reach is not there. However, since Journal Bloggers are very credible (because they know each other personally) to their readers, you can expect that they ca n easily convince readers 3. GOOGLE BLOGGERS. They focus on Search Engine Optimization w ith no or little regard to relevant content, personal branding and influence. B loggers like them are in it for advertising and money. They prioritize building keywords so that search engines like Google and Yahoo will point towards them, thus giving them substantial amount of traffic. The problem with Google Blogge rs is that they may have really high readership, but you donât know where itâs coming from and the level of influence and interaction is very low. Google Blog gers will have a hard time building communities and a loyal following. 4. VALUE BLOGGERS. They are writers who put content, personal branding, and service as top priorities. Value Bloggers focus on delivering pos ts that add value to their readers by giving them insights, tips, tactic and ad vice on how to improve oneâs craft, hobby, or whatever. In other words, people go to Value Bloggers because what they write is relevant, sensible and useful o r something that can actually learn from. Value Bloggers will rarely sell out c ontent and advertising because they care about their personal brand and believe their audience deserve more than paid PR releases. Value Bloggers are the most influential types, because they have the strongest potential of building commu nities around their blog. They can easily get a following because what they off er is practical sound advice and insights on their particular niche. In fact, a gencies and marketers may encounter problems closing deals with Value Bloggers because they will not compromise their integrity in exchange for a few thousand bucks. OVERLAPPING TYPES Personally, I find Value Bloggers crossed with anything (especially Go ogle) will be the most effective Blogger in terms of reach, interaction and inf luence. Whatâs important here is that to build trust, they should focus on a ni che and deliver quality content useful to readers. They shouldnât settle for co py-paste methods or getting content from existing bloggers or online sources. B loggers are not just grapevines for information--they can generate good content . FOR MARKETERS: LET YOUR ONLINE MARKETING AGENCY DO THEIR JOB. If you hired a consultant or an agency to handle your blogger events, make sure they screen the invites well. The worst mistake you can do as a Product Manage r is to just say "Get me as much bloggers as possible." What if 90% of the blog gers that attended are not legit but posers? Then youâre just wasting your mone y, effort and time. Make sure that your consultant or agency does the following : 1. Donât do open invites. Tell them to show you the list of bloggers they plan to invite. 2. List of bloggers should show URL, niche, blogger type 3. Ask for their stats as well- Unique Visitors is an indicator of traffic (rea ch), while Bounce Rate and a high ratio between Unique Visitors and Page Hits c an be good tools to measure influence. Donât do blogger events just because itâs the âinâ thing. Do it because you kno w that it is really a cost-effective way to get your communication across to yo ur target market. However, make sure that what your offering is really good les t your PR event turns into a nightmare when your product disappoints the blogge rs. To Bloggers: What kind of blogger are you? Are you really giving value to your readers? Are you building an online community with your content? Are you bloggi ng just for the heck of it or do you want it to become a tool for you to advanc e your career, profession and business? Carlo Ople is the main author of New Media Philippines, a blog that aims to help Filipinos maxim ize and realize the potential of New Media. Apart from being a blogger, Carlo a lso serves as a Marketing Manager for one of the leading online gaming companie s in the Philippines. He is also a freelance digital marketing consultant and h as worked with various politicians and business owners expand their reach and i nfluence through the use of social media.

Why we all must blog

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By Niña Terol (Editor's note: Originally posted on author's blog) 1. For writers and other creative souls, blogging is practice. Participants of my Freelance Writing for Dummies class know this: I cannot stress enough the im portance of blogging, especially for an aspiring freelance writer. Blogging off ers a free platform for writers and other creatives to test out their ideas, ho ne their writing style, explore various subject matters, and begin developing a relationship with an audience. Writing is very serious work, and anyone who wants to become a writerâwhether f ull-time or part-timeâmust treat it with utmost respect. It is a demanding art- craft that requires the readerâs full attention once the page is opened, so the writer must ensure that the written material is worth the ink, the space, and the readerâs time. Blogging, then, is like the rehearsal before the actual performance. It allows the writer to flex those critical writing muscles and get into character so tha t once âreal writingâ is needed, the audience wonât be disappointed. 2. For public personalities, it is an avenue to connect with their a udience using more than their on-cam persona. Ours is such a media-inundated cu lture that itâs sometimes difficult to tell which is real and which is reel. Ne ws is often biased, sensationalized, and âtelenovela-dâ; reality shows are some times âgamedâ and are often part of the celebrity-manufacturing machinery of ou r ratings-hungry networks; and there is hardly any time or space for public per sonalities to just let themselves be. While blogging by celebrities is one more way of extending their media reach and, therefore, of expanding their populari ty, it can also be a good venue for them to show the public what theyâre really made of. 3. For politicians and other public servants, blogging is one way to connect to their constituencies and have an alternative forum for feedback-gathering. My principal knows this, which is why he tries to update his blog, Facebook, and o ther social networks as often as he can. Blogging is a great way to test out id eas, solicit instant feedback, and continue a two-way dialogue with constituent s that is just made impossible by mainstream media. US President Barack Obama h arnessed the power of blogging and social media to the max; other politicians f rom around the world have learned from his example and are trying to follow sui t. A note for politicians though: donât use blogging and social media merely for g randstanding or to win an election. Use it, too, to improve on current projects , update your constituencies about your projects, ensure transparency in all yo ur operations, and provide a forum for the public to air their grievances. Like reading on a page, reading a blog requires the audienceâs full attention, so p lease make sure that your words are worth our time. 4. For organizations, blogging is an über-cheap alternative for reporting to s takeholders and constituencies, rallying support for a cause, expanding oneâs c onstituency base, or announcing events. If your organization doesnât have the b udget to maintain a website or produce newsletters or annual reports, put up a professional-looking blogsite that can store your updates, photos, advocacy mat erials, and event announcements. In this age of free blogging platforms (I like WordPress and Blogger), free widgets, and even practically-free documentation courtesy of camera phones and low-priced digital cameras, you now have no more excuses to not have your org information and updates online. Oh, and if you want to fund raise online too, blogging will NOT give you the pl atforms for online fund-collection, but it CAN give you avenues to begin a conv ersation with your constituency, build relationships, and âraise friends.â Then the money can start flowing in. 5. For artists, musicians, and other creatives (again), blogging is a free plat form to promote your work and nurture a fan base. For years before he finally p ut up his Multiply site, Iâd been bugging my fiancé Paul to have a venue for c onnecting to potential clients and audiences online. Now that he has a Multiply site and is also on Facebook, heâs enjoying the process of putting some though ts down, choosing photos and videos to upload, making contacts, and meeting âon line buddiesâ from different parts of the world. For creative souls in search of inspiration, blogging is also a great way to ca ll out to the Muse. So is reading othersâ blogs. Who knows what images, words, rhythms, and ideas can arise while reading someone elseâs words, commiserating with someoneâs pain, or sharing someone elseâs joy? 6. For companies, blogging is a great way to reach out to a certain segment of your target market. One brand-built blog that caught my attention is Doveâs Cam paign for Real Beauty, which featured real blogs by real women. It made real Do veâs brand proposition that beauty is not only the domain of models and celebri ties, but of everyday women living everyday (but not necessarily ordinary) live s. According to Technoratiâs State of the Blogosphere 2008: âBrands make up a majo r part of bloggersâ online conversations. More than four in five bloggers post product or brand reviews, and blog about brands they love or hate⦠Companies a re already reaching out to bloggers: one-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates⦠Bloggers are most open to receiving marketing messages from other blogs. Even non-blog web content is more influential among this gro up than traditional media sources for brand information.â If you see that blogging would complement your overall brand strategy, then the re shouldnât be any reason not to try it. 7. For families, blogging is a great way to document and share precious family moments that can never be replicated. More than just sharing photos and videos on your social networks, itâs also great to capture the feelings and the conver sations that were all part of the experience. Whether itâs a momentous occasion such as a birth, a wedding, an anniversary, a graduation or a ânon-eventâ such as making pancakes with the kids, taking the pet out for a walk, having an âad ult-likeâ conversation with a toddler, or practically anything else under the s un, blogging is a way to make sure memories donât just fade away. Iâd also recommend good olâ scrap booking, but for busy parents who donât have the time or the patience to artfully lay out photos and other mementos, bloggin g is the way to go. (Blogs can also be set as private so the whole world wonât have to see whatâs meant only for your family and friends.) 8. For individuals, you actually donât need a reason to blog. Some people blog to share recipes, others to share lyrics and quotable quotes. Some use their bl ogs as online journals and share their thoughts and feelings with the world; ot hers use their blogs to comment on social events and be engaged spectators in a world thatâs constantly shifting. Some write lengthy prose that seem like maga zine articles; others write catchy one-liners. Some have an audience of million s; others have an audience of 10. But it doesnât (and shouldnât) matter. As lon g as youâve got something (non-violent and non-offensive) to say, then you shou ld be able to say it. What is personal is universal If you think about it, never before in the worldâs history have we been given a chance to document the worldâs collective consciousness. Now, thanks to blogs and other social media, the Web has become just thatâa repository of the state of peopleâs consciousness at any given time. What were people feeling when the United States elected its first African-Ameri can president? The blogosphere gives us a clear snapshot of that through people âs blog and micro-blog (e.g., Twitter) entries. How are people coping with job loss and financial instability? We can find out at any time, too. What went thr ough your head the moment your crush told you that, yes, he wanted to be with y ou too? If you blogged about it, then you can revisit that time, too. More than self-promotion or self- flagellation, blogs and blogging allow us to understand ourselves and our world better. Brands and politicians alike tune in to the blogosphere because, here, they are able to capture real, instantaneous thoughts and feelings that donât have the normal editing or censure processes of traditional media. Through micro-blogs like Twitter or Plurk, weâre able to capture âThe State of My NationâRight Here, Right Nowâ. The world is constantly changing, the Web is constantly changing, WE are consta ntly changing. But thanks to the introduction of blogging and other forms of so cial media engagement, one thing that will never change is our desire and our a bility to connect to other human beingsâeven if itâs just through flickers of w ords or images on a computer screen. __ Niña Terol is a self-proclaimed Communicator, Enabler, and Organization-Bu ilder, using the power of vision, words, and connections to inspire, empower, a nd motivate others around her. She is a political communicator by day, a freela nce writer and poet by night, and an advocate for reform in Philippine governan ce 24/7. To subscribe to Long Live Blogging, click here: http://longlivebloggin g.wordpress.com/subscribe/
Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO--A schoolboy and his father have unleashed software that lets peo ple listen to YouTube's vast collection of music videos as if it were a private collection. Muziic software created by 15-year-old David Nelson enables computers to mine Y ouTube's rich database of songs and play customized lists of tunes free of char ge. "The Muziic player is a pretty cool little thing," said analyst Matt Rosoff of technology industry tracking firm Directions On Microsoft. "It looks and works a lot like iTunes in that it is a downloable desktop applic ation; but you get all the content from YouTube. You have an all-in-one-place l ibrary of music for free." Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 in a 1.65 billion-dollar stock deal, says the Muziic service has only recently caught its eye and that it is c hecking whether it conforms to the YouTube terms of service. Google has been trying to develop ways to make money off of YouTube and that go al could be undermined by a Muziic Player that lets users tap into the video-sh aring website's music while avoiding advertisements. "Hopefully, they will work something out," Rosoff said of Muziic and YouTube. " Muziic is analogous to a subscription music service, but it's free." Nelson and his father, Mark, launched the self-funded Internet enterprise this year and bill it as the first "YouTube for music." David Nelson is Muziic's chief technology officer, having switched from public school to taking online high school classes from home in order to devote more t ime to the website and the player software, according to his father. Muziic Player takes advantage of Content ID software that YouTube built into th e video-sharing website to enable owners of music to more easily locate copyrig hted works. Muziic servers crashed for an hour on one day last week due to an overwhelming amount of Internet traffic to the nascent website. "We served thousands of downloads of the Muziic Player and Encoder in just a fe w hours!" a message about the incident on the website's blog said. "Weâve expected and anticipated extreme growth in our website and application . .. However, within less than a week of our 'unofficial' launch, we have been -- over abundantly -- blessed with huge amounts of traffic!" Muziic said it had to add another computer server to handle the load for reques ts for the media player.
By Izah Morales INQUIRER.net During the victory party of their m ovie, âWhen I Met U,â commercial model and actress KC Concepcion disclosed that she would be having her own website soon. "Iâm making my own website now. That would be my official website. I love blogg ing. Lahat ng nasa utak ko, makikita ng tao dun. [People will see whatâs on my mind through that ]," the young actress says. Concepcion says she began blogging when she was still a student. She joined multiply.com in April 12, 2005 and collected 188 contacts cum friend s. In her multiply site, she wrote, "hi... :) i have no myspace. no active face book. no friendster. no blogspot. just this. a little island in cyberspace. hop e you enjoy the ride.â Her first blog entry was about a subservient chicken. Most of her entries containe d pictures and stories of her travels, student life and showbiz engagements. Concepcion says her blog eventually became a venue for her fans and supporters. ââYung nabuong fans ngayon, âyung mga sumasama sa mga events, sa mga guestings, âyung mga supporters, actually, nag-meet sila sa blog ko nung hindi pa ako pum apasok ng showbiz. Kaya sobrang special sa akin âyung blog ko kasi nakilala nil a ako bilang tao, bilang estudyante, hindi lang bilang kung sino ako ngayon. [M y fans and supporters met through my blog and this happened even when I was not in showbiz yet. That's why my blog is special. It is a venue for them to know me as a person, as a student and not just the person that I am now.],â she says .
Izah Morales INQUIRER.net EXPRESSING oneself in this digital age comes in different forms. You have blogs and videos, for instance. Tang Teazperiment i s among those riding on the blogging and user-generated video trend, as it laun ched an online show that features flash mobs. A flash mob describes a large group of people who suddenly assemble in a publ ic place to perform an odd action for a brief period, then they disperse. "With the new media, teens can express themselves internationally,â says Ketchu p Eusebio, host of Teazperiment. âItâs such a relief for students because they donât need connections with any m edia outfit but just their laptops and the Internet,â adds Andi Manzano, co-hos t Teazperiment. The term flash mob was unknown until Harperâs Magazine Senior Editor Bill Wasik published an article on March 2006. Wasik began organizing flash mobs in May 2 003 in Manhattan through social media networks or via email. Cindy Abella, brand manager of Tang Fruit Teaz, said the show is a competition open to anyone who may want to submit video clips apart from the seven particip ating organizations in this project. "Teazperiment is about channeling oneâs boredom into something creative," says Abella. Seven school organizations from the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Ma nila University, Trinity College, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sa n Sebastian College, La Consolacion College and Far Eastern University-FERN hav e already submitted video clips, which will be judged by viewers. Under the organization category, the video with the highest number of votes fro m the viewers would win P50,000. On the other hand, the top three videos from i ndividual submissions would be rewarded an Xbox game console and a Rockband gam e (first prize), three Asus laptops (second prize), and Nokia cellphones (third prize). The voting period for the organization category ends in March while voting for individual submissions ends in May.

'Facebook Me'

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In this week's Talk of the Town (for both print and online), you will find an article I wrote about the social netwo rking phenomenon. This issue also highlights the top 10 social networks (but there's a disclaimer there that says the list changes depending on the source of the information) an d the steps on opening a Facebook account. Here's an excerpt of the article:
JUST a few years ago, you could hear people say, âCall meâ when the y want to keep in touch. Later, it evolved into âE-mail me,â and with the explo sion of mobile phones, âText me.â Thanks to the Internet, people are now connecting and interacting with friends and family through online social networks. Just to give you an idea how big social networks are, MySpace has over 184.1 mi llion members, according to â5 Facts about Social Networking Sitesâ published b y Pipl website, an online search engine for people.
P.S. Just as I was writing this blog entry, I received some feedback about the top 10 social networks. They were asking why Multiply.com was not there in the list. Apparently, Multip ly.com might be big in the Philippines, just like Friendster, but worldwide, it is not. Here's one list, which I found very useful and informative. This list also provides a different picture. What about you, what do you think are the top social networking sites out there ?

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