Updated 2: Added clarification points from Janette Toral in quotes. The full email will be posted here.
Updated 1:Just added more links
It all began at Facebook, which might be the most proper way to start this story since this is a Digital Story. I think most things today start at a social media site anyway … whether it is Facebook or Twitter or in Google+ or a blogpost. This was a story I learned this afternoon from the gentlemen of the Internet Marketing and Mobile Association of the Philippines or IMMAP – Hans Roxas-Chua, President, Michael Palacios, Head of the Ethics Committee and Danilo Eguia, Executive Director. This is my take from that particular afternoon.
Anyway this story started at Facebook – Facebook promotion campaign. Two agencies approached IMMAP to help them clear things up concerning the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI permits for Facebook contests. And the answer that came back was a heavy pamphlet called the Consumer Act of the Philippiness and of course other related laws.
Not suprisingly it was discovered that because of the speed by which the Internet and social media was changing things there was a need to talk and learn so that things could be done more effectively and fairly.
So IMMAP and DTI began to talk and do things.
One of the things done was IMMAP gave free slots to the DTI people to the Certified Digital Marketer Program. And IMMAP and DTI began looking at how to expand the talk to include other people. Another group came to help things out and this was the Digital Filipino Club – who is one of over a hundred plus members of IMMAP. Now, the Digital Filipino Club had a Memorandum of Agreement or MOA with DTI, which can also be viewed here, that enabled them to have seminars, training and other activities. The important thins o remember is that with this IMMAP, DTI and the Digital Filipino Club were able to organize meeting.
And yes, the meeting did happen.
The meeting was divided into three equal parts or segment. The first segment was handled by IMMAP and it tackled Facebook promotion concerns. The second segment was handled by the Digital Filipino Club an it introduced blog and blog promotion concerns to the general talk. And the final and third session was for DTI which actually became an open forum where everyone began to ask questions about contests and on-line promotions.
Update 2: Points clarified by Janette Toral regarding the topic covered by the Digital Filipino Club:
When DigitalFilipino Club presented during its time, several of our members shared their efforts from Sulit, Cashsense, AyosDito. Two bloggers shared their cases: Jayson Biadog and Charles Angel Lacson. My point: our time wasn’t focused entirely on blogging. Saying that we used our time for presenting blogging examples is definitely not true.
What came out of the talk were two things:
First, And probably well known to all was the interpretation of the law with regards online contests and promotions.
And in the process understanding the complexity of the situation.
Second, And not well know but equally important as the first point was that the DTI ended the meeting with a call – for people to help and to continue the conversation. In fact Talks in the near future were already scheduled.
Why is this important? The context differs. To report only the first and not the second gives the impression that what happened was a briefing where it was categorically stated this was this. If you include the second then you get the impression it was a discussion as well. A very big difference.
Then it seemed what came out was only the interpretion of the laws and not the outreach effort being done by the DTI. Indeed it is of no surprise that it became a bush fire that seemed to get out of control and burned people and groups.
Update 2: Points Clarified by Janette Toral regarding the topic covered by the Digital Filipino Club:
2. I end the blog post by indicating that we are initiating 3 more sessions:
- continue the discussion with the bloggers as their policy will definitely affect a lot of us.
- session on group buying sites
- session on dispute resolution
So saying that we did not present the 3rd side or our moving forward initiatives is inaccurate either. [Source]
It is not all bad though. This document was made and is still bein made. And this document along with the story of the meeting told above gives new meaning as to what has happened and what needs to be done.
If any lessons would be taken from this it would probably be these.: First, check and learn the story from as much sides as possible. Second, no matter how diverse we are and no matter how much we differ there is still a need to voice our collective voice specially if someone or an organization is reaching out. Third, If we do not speak for ourselves then someone else will.
BTW. There is going to be a part II of the online discussion regarding the DTI issue – August 3, 7-9 p.m., tonight . Please register here.