As #PHNET20 was celebrated lets remember

The challenges we face – The celebration of twenty years of Philippine Internet or in Social-Media-Speak or #PHNET20 has come and gone. Through out Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines it was celebrated with forums, meet-ups and celebration. Like was the timeline across social media platforms sprang up with remembrances and celebrations of yesteryears. How was one introduced to the Net: How one’s Digital Cherry was popped was retold. There were also status messages and posts about why was one was one still on the Net and why was it important that it be done: A blogger blogs; A Twitterer tweets; A Facebooker facebooks; A Youtuber youtubes; and an Instagramers instagrams or latestagtams … So on and so forth. All of these are fine and dandy as they say in some parts of the world. The most significant celebration I witnessed was a series of speeches over dinner last Saturday Night at the #PHNET20 Dinner of Smart at the Conservatory of the Manila Pen.

If I am not mistaken the speeches were said almost exactly at Earth Hour. And the speeches came from the pioneers of the Philippine Internet. Like most things it reminisced and celebrated the Internet but more important for me was that it also cautioned how the growth of the Philippine Internet should be treated and the challenges of making the Internet more accessible to the greater part of our Nation.

Specifically, If you were to list down and recapitulate the things said it would be:

First, There was our response and limit things that we cannot control nor understand. The warning here is not to adapt a slash and burn policy with regards to the Net and more IMPORTANTLY this also advises us to UNDERSTAND AND LEARN THE NET BEFORE WE ACT ON IT. Nothing proves the importance of this with the debacle and controversy that surrounded the Cybercrime Law.

Second, The challenge of bridging our DIGITAL DIVIDE. It was said that from time and time we hear and read that we are the social media capital of the world, but only THREE OUT OF TEN FILIPINOS ARE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. This is the DIGITAL DIVIDE that must be filled up: This is the challenge that must be addressed.

Personally I am happy that this was said. I am overjoyed that the Pioneers of the Philippine Internet said these things. These thins are often not said online or even offline. We tend to push it aside. We tend to ignore and not mention it. We block it out.

The THREAT OF CONTROLLING THE INTERNET and the DIGITAL DIVIDE in the Philippines should be mentioned and talked about. It should be DISCUSSED and ACTED UPON. We should not forget these things. Yes market forces might solve this – Smart talked about delivering the Internet by sachets: Making it more affordable. And the Philippine Government through the DOST has implied on several occasions that the country will be connected by 2016. This is well and good but it is important that we take a close look at all of these things and act when and if needed.

We need to think beyond the bubble of three out of ten Filipinos connected to the Internet.

Here is a good infographic about the State of the Philippine Internet by Lin Lhe.

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Social Media: The Digital Field of Dreams and Nightmares

If You Build It Other Things May Come As Well … Not Really Things You Like

A recent slew of items that flowed through the news feed of Facebook and the Twitter Stream just shows that it is not enough to build your presence online but you must know how to protect it. Look at the case of a government agency setting up FB pages and Twitter accounts that became lightning rods that attracted negative comments and bile from the web; or a business that waged a digital war of attrition with its customers; or online personalities locked in an on-line street brawl that attracted undue attention. All of these resulted in negative perception or even notoriety for those involved institutions, brands and persons.

In the film Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner hears a voice in the wind that told him If you build it he will come. And he built a baseball field out in his farm and they did come: his long deceased father did come and talked to him. Indeed IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME.

A caveat or warning should be added here and it goes like this: OTHER THINGS MAY COME AS WELL: AND NOT REALLY THINGS YOU LIKE.

IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME
OTHER THINGS MAY COME AS WELL
AND NOT REALLY THINGS YOU LIKE

So you have to think and consider whether it is worth it to build the equivalent of your Internet Field of Dreams. If you give a lousy service or bombard your customers and patrons with negative updates without any news of resolutions then an unmoderated FB page and a twitter account is not for you.

If you want and desire feedback then make sure you and your people can take the heat, roll with the punches and improve your service, product or demeanor by considering the feedback.

War of Attrition waged by posts, status messages and tweets waged for a long time is not only counter-productive but can be FATAL.

Use the Web to explain your side. Remember though if you need to settle things and in certain cases settle things offline.

The Internet is all about PERCEPTION and PERCEPTION is the sum total if your ACTIONS and UTTERANCES / STATEMENT.

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PR Guy and Senior Blogger

PR GUY OR PARENG PABLIK RELAYSON

Somewhere in the Philippines….

A long time there was a PR Guy using his Google Talk. He was a self-proclaimed expert in this and had several Google Talk Windows open. He was conversing:

PRGUY: Pre ( Filipino Slang for Pal or Bro). I will take care of everything just give me the budget for the hotel stay, the travel expenses and giveaway. I promise you will have your news seeded in media and social media. It is as good as done, Chicken Feed! LOL. Wat ya think?

PRE: hmmm that seems Ok except that I am part of the media and social media. Not your client. YOU FULL !!! … #%%^*.$@!!!!!!

And so Children remember to think before you click.

SENIOR BLOGGER

In the meantime sometime between that and now. A blogger went to an event. He woke up early for the event. He went to the event early. So early no one was there. He waited and waited and waited till he could not wait anymore and asked about the event. And then he found out that the indeed the event was there …but a week early.

Truly, It was a Senior Moment for said blogger.

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