Friday, December 25, 2009

Planning a Summit using Gloo


In preparing for the Blog4Reviews Christmas Party last December 17, I used Gloo as one way to keep in touch with blogger friends to get their thoughts about the upcoming event. Now that the event is over, I updated our space and using it to get inputs for the upcoming ProBlogging Summit that will happen this 2010.
What I like about Gloo is its feeling of being part of a private network. For planners like me, this is important as there are project developments that I felt can be best shared in a closed network and engage those who are really active in the community.
Some of the things I was able to do so far includes:
  • Send an SMS to those who are using a Globe phone and give updates directly to a specific space member.
  • Chat with space members online.
  • Add sticky notes and post details on them.
  • Add a to-do-list to serve as a reminder.

Later on, I will also try adding pictures and videos for reference. Other areas of improvement I would like to suggest to maximize its utilization and effectiveness are:

  • Pictures to be added to the site directly rather than point to 3rd party sites.
  • Have the ability to update space members automatically through email or SMS.
  • Ability to add multiple network cellphone numbers.

I will be using the space as well to encourage folks to share contests and other activities happening online.

One doesn't have to be a Globe Broadband subscriber to be able to access the service although I'm sure there are more features available to them exclusively. If you are a subscriber, inquire about Gloo and find out what perks you can enjoy with it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mindanao Bloggers Summit 3 at Cagayan De Oro


IMG_0309, originally uploaded by Juned I.

Last October 24, I was in Cagayan De Oro for the 3rd Mindanao Bloggers Summit (MBS3) and Philippine Blog Awards Mindanao leg. Been very supportive of this community since its inception but this was my first time to attend.

Congratulations CDO Bloggers and Mindanao Bloggers for this successful event. Thank you Chiq Montes and the rest of the team for inviting me as a resource person to your event. More so to DigitalFilipino Club member Syntactics' Honey Caragos for taking care of me.

I have seen signs as to how this community is maturing. Will continuously observe its growth and support as needed.

It also feels great to deliver a talk that connects with people. Hope to see Malaybalay and Kevin again in future events and chat.

Look forward joining next year to support the 4th Mindanao Bloggers Summit in Zamboanga City!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Buzz Blogging on Yahoo Meme, Tumblr, Twitter, & Plurk



The new Google Real Time results makes me wonder on how blogging and search engine marketing will now change in order to be effective and attain a certain level of viral-ness.

If social media and the response of users to your content will heavily influence search engine rankings in the future, then it means the more one must invest in building profiles and blog actively in sites like Tumblr and Yahoo! Meme.

Of course this includes having a highly interactive account profile in Twitter and Plurk.

To be effective in these sites, I notice that one must be willing to:

  • Share or post great content (without violating copyright)
  • Reblog or repost the content of others to show appreciation
  • Leave a comment or click on like to give a thumbs up to the content.

The above actions can increase your followers from the community who are also as active.

These sites are ideal for the following use:

  • Post content that is meant to be passed on or to be discussed.
    It should be outstanding enough in order to merit such a response.
  • Spread the word about new blog post from your site.
    You can use a photo from your blog post as an anchor and give a link to your blog post article. This applies to Tumblr and Yahoo Meme.

Do you have a Tumblr, Twitter, Plurk, or a Yahoo Meme account? Share the url and will follow you. It will also be great if you can share how has it change the way you blog or share content.

Thanks!

Connect with me:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

iBlog Mini at Consumer Electronics Live Manila

Last November 15, I was at the Consumer Electronics Live Manila event at World Trade Center to host iBlog Mini. Many thanks to UP-ISP head, Atty. JJ Disini for having the annual iBlog extended in this mega event.

Big love also to fellow bloggers Micaela Rodriguez, Aileen Apolo, Noemi Lardizabal Dado, and Anton Diaz for sharing their valuable time to fellow bloggers on a Sunday.
Gave a short talk about mobile blogging. Hope this blog post on photo and video blogging via the mobile phone will help.
The event would not be complete without the generous snacks and raffle items from Summit Media and CEL Manila exhibitors shared to bloggers attending that day. Hats off to Donna Fuentes for helping us keeping the iBlog tradition where there is food and raffle galore.
Thank you so much again to all who joined!
If you have made a blog post about the event, just send me a buzz and will add your link here:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Winners of free delegate pass: DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit & 3rd Web Awards 2009

Congratulations to the following bloggers for winning one delegate pass each for the upcoming DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit to be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Makati City on November 12 and 13, 2009.
Note that the delegate pass is not transferable. Many thanks again to everyone who joined this simple writing project.

Please come to the event on November 12 and claim your conference kit. Registration starts at 8 am.

Bloggers are encouraged as well to read this guide or tips for conference bloggers (pdf file) for proper guidance.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Get a free delegate pass: DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit

Hello everyone. The DigitalFilipino Club is organizing its 1st DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit to be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Makati City on November 12 and 13, 2009.

I am giving away fifteen (15) delegates passes to this event. Should you like to participate and win one of the passes, this is what you have to do:

1. Make a blog entry about DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit and cite why you like to attend this two-day event (which speakers do you look forward listening to).

2. Your blog post must have a link to the following:

Post a comment to this blog entry and give me the url link where your post can be found.
Deadline for submission of entries is on November 5, 2009.

DigitalFilipino Club members shall review the submissions and picked their most-liked post.

The winners of the delegate pass shall be announced here on November 6, 2009. The delegate pass is not transferable. Should a winner not be available to attend, it will be passed on the next most-liked entry.

I hope you can join.

Of course, this event will not be possible without the support of our major sponsor Globe GCASH.

GCASH allows Globe and TM subscribers to pay or transact for the following using their mobile phone:

  • domestic and international remittances
  • utility bills
  • interest and amortization of loans
  • insurance premiums
  • donations to various institutions and organizations
  • sales commissions and payroll disbursements
  • school tuition fees
  • micro tax payments and business registration
  • electronic loads and pins
  • online purchases via GCASH Click
  • airline tickets

GCASH is tied-up to BPI Mobile Banking enabling Globe and TM subscribers to do various bank transactions through one's cellphone. GCASH is also used as a wholesale payment facility particularly for rural banks wherein various moeny transfer services are offered such as: text-a-deposit, text-a-sweldo, text-a-withdrawal, text-a-payment, text-a-remittance.

Also enabled by the GCASH platform is GCASH REMIT, the cash pick-up remittance service of GCASH. GCASH REMIT makes it easy for overseas Filipino workers to send their hard earned money from abroad, and their beneficiaries can instantly claim their remittance in over 2,500 GCASH REMIT pay out locations in the Philippines such as pawnshops, rural banks and money changers.

Globe also recently launched Immortal Load, the first load with NO EXPIRY via GCASH. You can use it to purchase load whenever you need it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blogging from Home - read online

"Blogging from Home" was written for easy reading and designed for the typical Internet user who wants to learn about blogging and its various use for business or personal intent.

I launched this book last August 2008 in response to the growing number of Internet users who are expected to become full-fledge bloggers using various blogging platforms and social networks.

As the book is expected to go out of print soon, I hope this page will provide a venue for exploration to anyone who wants to learn blogging at their own pace.

Complementary illustrated photos, demonstration videos, podcast, and explanatory text can also be found at the Blogging from Home Online Workshop.

Read the book below.)

Read the Introduction for insight on its development. The book tackles the following:

Part I: Blogging 101
  • Lesson #1: Blogging 101
    • Definition
    • Structure
    • Purpose
    • Finding Blogs
  • Lesson #2: Blog Set-up
    • Blog Information
    • Platform
    • Look and Feel
    • Podcast

    • Video blogging
Part II: Blog Ethics
  • Policy
    • Copyright 
    • Re-publishing 
    • Advertising 
    • Privacy
Part III: Content Development
  • Purpose
  • Blog Content Plan 
  • Tracking topics 
  • Monitoring blog performance
Part IV: Promotion
  • Ping Services
  • Advertise
    • Google AdWords 
    • Entrecard
  • Events 
  • Contests and Writing Projects
  • Social Networks
    • Content submission
    • Syndicate content
    • Interact
  • Giveaways
  • Advocacy
Part V: Insights
  • Blogging
    • Handling Attacks and Criticisms 
    • Managing Time at Home 
    • Revenue Disclosure and Taxes
  • Opportunities
    • Consulting and Blogging Projects
    • Book Publishing Based from a Blog
  • Creating a Blog Advertising Network 
  • Creating a Blog Writers Network
Conclusion: Blogging Ahead

Book info:
92 pages
ISBN # 978-0-9805061-0-5

Read the book below.


Blogging From Home by Janette Toral

I also created a video series to support this book.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Did Twitter, Plurk change your blogging habits?

I just came across Rob Angeles blog sharing his observation as to how Twitter and Plurk have change the blogging post habits of some and asked his readers to share their experience.

As my reply is quite long, I decided to just post it there. My blogging slowed down for quite sometime as I got addicted to Twitter and then Plurk when it was introduced. I even made a blog post in 2007 speculating that Twitter will replace discussion groups (yahoo / google groups).

However later on, I realized its use more on:

  • Disseminating information (with links) and get instant readers/reactions.

  • Rant and rave about a specific product or service without having to blog about it.

  • Ask a question and get replies.

  • Clarify an issue, if you want to, and let those concerned read about it and even reply.

  • Keep in touch even if your friends are not online and let them reply at their convenience.

  • Live micro-blog about events and share information right away. This I did several times already disseminating data / insight.

And so in the end, my blogging returned to normal and use Plurk / Twitter for the above uses and keep in touch with online contacts.

How about you? Did Twitter or Plurk change your blogging habits?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Winners of free delegate pass: Digital Delivers! The 3rd Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2009

Congratulations to the following bloggers for winning one delegate pass each for the upcoming Digital Delivers! The 3rd Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2009. This will be held at SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia on August 25 and 26, 2009.
Note that the delegate pass is not transferable. Many thanks again to everyone who joined this simple writing project.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Food Bloggers for WOFEX 2009


WOFEX 2009 will be held from August 5 to 8, 2009 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila, Philippines and food bloggers are invited to be part of its continued growth. Dubbed as “The Ultimate Food Show Experience”, WOFEX continues to co-locate events that bring together all segments of the food and beverage industry.

Food bloggers interested to attend this event are requested to sign-up on or before August 3 to waive the one hundred pesos registration fee.

WOFEX is organized by Premier Events Plus Group, Inc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get a free delegate pass: Digital Delivers! The 3rd Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2009

Hello everyone. The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) is organizing Digital Delivers! The 3rd Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2009 to be held at SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia on August 25 and 26, 2009.

IMMAP is giving away two (2) delegates pass to this event.

Should you like to participate and win one of the passes, this is what you have to do:

Deadline for submission of entries is on August 18, 2009.

IMMAP shall review the submissions and picked their most-liked post.

The winners of the delegate pass shall be announced here on or before August 21, 2009. The delegate pass is not transferable. Should a winner not be available to attend, it will be passed on the next most-liked entry.

I hope you can join and see you at Digital Delivers! The 3rd Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2009.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Join "My AyosDito Experience", win an iPhone 3G, HP Mini-Note

I just like to share the news that our club member AyosDito.ph is currently improving the mechanics and schedule of this content. Will announce final details soon.

Here are the mechanics:
  1. Title of the blog post should at least have the phrase: “My AyosDito Experience”
    Bloggers will share their experience in AyosDito.ph (whether it’s posting an ad, browsing through the items, buying items from advertisers, etc) and give suggestions on how the service can be improved further.

  2. Eligibility:
    Open to all bloggers within the Philippines.

  3. Submission of entries
    (coverage date will be announced soon.)

  4. How to submit your entry:
    All entries will be submitted by posting a comment in this blog post with the URL link to your entry.

  5. Choosing a winner:
    The most liked entry by AyosDito.ph will be chosen as the winner.

  6. Prizes:
    Grand Prize: One (1) lucky winner with the most liked entry will get an iPhone 3G 16gb.

    Consolation Prizes: 1 each for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

    These three consolation prize winners are blog entries that came in second to being the most liked entry. They will get one HP Mini-Note each.

  7. Winners will be announced through this blog on (final date to be set soon)
I hope you can join this My AyosDito Experience" contest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthday gifts to friends, yourself, & community

As we get older, I noticed that personal birthdays are becoming less and less of a big deal and we begin to focused more on the people around us. However, there are also a wide variety of ways that bloggers can celebrate this joyous occasion that includes:
  1. Just say happy birthday
    I make it an effort to check out my social network everyday and find out who is celebrating their birthday just to greet them. If I know the person's mobile number, I would even send a text or give a call. In my experience, our friends, online or offline, and family cherish that.

  2. Organize a party
    Celebrating a birthday is a blessing. This can include arranging a party for yourself by inviting friends and loved ones to celebrate it with you.

  3. Celebrate through your blog
    Some bloggers organize a contest through their blog to get their community involved in sharing this special day.

  4. Throw a party for charity
    This is becoming popular as well where you celebrate your birthday by sharing blessings to a charity or caring institution.
In the U.S., organizing a party for yourself or for the people you love can be easy as birthday party supplies can be purchased online, from sites like Birthday Express, for this purpose and be delivered.

There are many ways that birthdays can be celebrated. Don't hesitate sharing this special day to the people around you whether you are in the giving or receiving end.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Winners of free delegate pass: Social Networking & eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009

Congratulations to the following bloggers for winning one delegate pass each for the upcoming 2nd Social Networking and e-Business Conference Philippines 2009. This will be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Ayala Avenue, Makati City on April 23 and 24, 2009.
Note that the delegate pass is not transferable. Many thanks again to everyone who joined this simple writing project.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Credit card - a must for student blogger & entrepreneur

I'm scheduled to deliver a talk about "From Student to E-Commerce Entrepreneur" this Tuesday to students of AIE College. Also, on June 16 about "Blogging for Money. Blogging from Home" during the Iloilo IT Week.

The idea is to impress on students that if they are willing and hardworking enough, they do can earn money online even while studying. That is indeed true as there are many programs today where they can participate that provides both monetary and non-monetary value.

Having a presence on the Internet is the minimum that one must have. With a Credit Card, you can use that as a start-up capital to purchase a domain name, web hosting account, among others. If you are hardworking, that investment can immediately pay off even before your billing statement arrives.

(In the US, websites like Extra Credit Cards provide comparative information about various offerings they can consider and even apply online.)

In my case, when my daughter turned 18 last year, I immediately got her to do two things:
  1. Open a bank account and get those Student Credit Cards. There are many types but the one we got is a debit card in functionality but can be used to transact online.

    I noticed that some also refers to the debit card as one of those Secured Credit Cards.

  2. Open a Paypal account.
As she does a lot of freebie graphic design work to her online gaming design friends, she found herself receiving donations and even small projects in less than a week after she created it.

So if properly used and guided well, a student can really jumpstart an online entrepreneur career whether as a publisher or seller of products & services.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blogging from Home Online Workshop - Join Now!

video

The Blogging from Home Online Workshop was designed to give interested learners an affordable and easy way to know the ins-and-outs of blogging. All lessons are kept simple and straight to the point for your convenience.

Blogging from Home book buyers and DigitalFilipino.com Club Members are given access to the site for free.

Materials are mostly presented in text, video, and audio for a full learning experience. The following workshops shall be available and will be actively interacting to participants. We will be adding more in the weeks and months to come.


Blogging 101 Workshop
Lesson #1: Introduction to Blogs (podcast version)
Lesson #2: Parts of a Blog (video version)
Lesson #3: Finding blogs (research) (video version)

Setting up a Blog Workshop
Lesson #1: Blog information
Lesson #2: Blog Platform - Blogger.com
Lesson #3: Blog Platform - WordPress
Lesson #4: Blog Platform - Social Networks
Lesson #5: Blog Platform - Third Party Blog Hosting Services
Lesson #6: Look and feel
Lesson #7: Register your blog

Setting up a Podcast Workshop
Lesson #1: Introduction to Podcast (podcast version)
Lesson #2: Finding and Listing a Podcast
Lesson #3: Creating a Podcast Show Program
Lesson #4: Podcasting tools
Lesson #5: Podcasting platform
Lesson #6: Music for your Podcast
Lesson #7: Getting Sponsors and Advertisers for Podcast

Video Blogging 101 Workshop
Lesson #1: Introduction to Video Blogging
Lesson #2: Finding Video Blogs
Lesson #3: Creating a Video Blog Program
Lesson #4: Video Blogging tools
Lesson #5: Video Blogging platform
Lesson #6: Music for your Video Blogs
Lesson #7: Getting sponsors and advertisers

Blog Ethics Workshop
Lesson #1: Copyright
Lesson #2: Re-publishing
Lesson #3: Advertising
Lesson #4: Privacy

Blog Content Development Workshop
Lesson #1: Blog Content Plan Development
Lesson #2: Tracking Blog Topics
Lesson #3: Monitoring Blog Performance

Blog Promotion Workshop
Lesson #1: Ping Services
Lesson #2: Google AdWords
Lesson #3: Entrecard
Lesson #4: Events
Lesson #5: Contests and Writing Projects
Lesson #6: Content Submission
Lesson #7: Syndicate Content
Lesson #8: Interact
Lesson #9: Giveaways
Lesson #10: Advocacy

Blogging as a Business
Lesson #1: Consulting and Blogging Projects
Lesson #2: Book/E-Book Publishing Based from a Blog
Lesson #3: Creating a Blog Advertising Network
Lesson #4: Creating a Blog Writers Network
Lesson #5: Revenue Disclosure and Taxes
Lesson #6: Managing Blogging Time

Corporate Blogging Workshop
Lesson #1: Corporate Blogging Introduction and Uses
Lesson #2: Creating a Corporate Blog
Lesson #3: Corporate Blogging Guidelines
Lesson #4: Tapping Blogs to Create Buzz
Lesson #5: Advertising in Blogs
Lesson #6: Tapping Blogs for Insight
Lesson #7: Handling Attacks and Criticism

Online workshop participants are encouraged to share their answers, thoughts, and post questions throughout the workshop. Those who gets to complete the requirements will also be sent a certificate attesting to the completion.

I'm doing this project in collaboration with Buddy Gancenia who is in charge of all our multimedia production requirements.

Friday, March 6, 2009

10 reasons why I love Performancing Metrics for tracking website, blog performance

On page 42 of the book, Blogging from Home, I mentioned Performancing Metrics as one of the tools that you can use to track your blog performance. I warn you though that it can be very addictive due to its very user-friendly interface.

Don't get me wrong, I love Google Analytics. However, there are features and presentation that Performancing Metrics does so well that makes it hard to just tie yourself up to one analytics tool.

Here are some of the features I like:


1. The Dashboard
At a glance, Performancing Metrics gives you a snap shot on what you have in your website and be able to click right away and find out what is going on. If there are users viewing your site, it will also show you a number. This way, you don't have to wait for 24 hours to find out what has transpired at your site.


2. Visitor Log
The visitor log gives you an idea on the time, date, ip address, session actions, time, and referrer of every site visitor you had.


3. Action Log
The action log gives you a detailed activity of every visitor you had in your site. This includes the articles that they viewed, searches they made, among others.


4. Visitors per article
If you clicked on an article or post published in your site, it wil also show you the number of visitors it had for the span of time you've indicated.


5. Activity per IP Address
If you click on an IP address, it will give you more information about its location, operating system, browser, screen resolution used, and activities done in your site.


6. Visitors per city
If you click on a location, it will give you a detail on the number of visitors you had per location.

7. IP address of visitors per city
If you clicked on a particular location, you will also see the date & time logs, IP address, session or actions, and how did they arrived at your site.

8. Source
It will show how many of your visitors came from searches, links, direct, bookmark, social media, e-mail, and RSS feeds.

9. Details per source
If you clicked on one traffic source, it will give you the full details on where those visitors came from.

10. Newest Unique
Each traffic source has a newest unique feature that gives a glimpse on your newest visitors or sources of traffic.

I hope the above illustrations will be good enough to explain why I find Performancing Metrics to be useful. Try it out when you have time.

Related:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blogging 101: Parts of a blog

On page 11 of the book, Blogging from Home, I pointed out the parts of a blog. Here is a video counterpart of the said page explaining the structure or anatomy of a blog.

video

Blogging from Home book buyers and DigitalFilipino.com Club Members can join the Blogging from Home Online Workshop for free.

(The video was done by Buddy Gancenia who is in charge of all our multimedia production requirements.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Planning iBlog5: The 5th Philippine Blogging Summit


The iBlog5 team met yesterday to discuss the logistical requirements needed for the event. This is scheduled to happen on May 9, Saturday at the UP College of Law, Malcolm Hall of U.P. Diliman, Quezon City.

iBlog5: The 5th Philippine Blogging Summit is an activity spearheaded by the U.P. Law - Internet and Society Program (UP-ISP) headed by Atty. JJ Disini. UP-ISP is now a body under the Institute of Government and Law Reform headed by JJ as well.

We are now in the process of finalizing topics and speakers for iBlog5. Your input on topics and speakers will be very much appreciated. We also hope that majority of our speakers, same as last year, will be new faces from the blogging community.

This is initially what I have in mind. Note that this is still subject to revision.

Morning session: (some can be sponsored talk)
Afternoon session:
  • 1:00 - 1:20 Legal issues in Blogging
  • 1:30 - 2:30 Preparing Bloggers for the 2010 Elections
    - COMELEC on Blogging & Bloggers
    - Citizen Journalism for the 2010 Elections (Oliver Robillo, NAMFREL Chairman - Davao City)
    - The Bloggers Election Handbook project release (Janette Toral)
  • 2:40 - 3:30 Blog Advertising Situation in the Philippines (Yehey and 2 sponsors)
  • 3:30 - 3:45 Break
  • 3:45 - 4:45 Blogging to the Next Level (Fitz Villafuerte and Anton Diaz)
  • 4:45 - 5:00 Raffle & Group picture taking
7:00 pm onwards After-Event Party (sponsored)

At this point, we will appreciate referrals you can give in terms of entities we can approach for iBlog5 sponsorship. Just send me their info (contact name, position, company, email, contact number) and the assigned iBlog5 team member shall get in touch with them.

As usual, free food and schwags will be given to participants!

See you soon at iBlog5! I look forward meeting newbies and veteran bloggers alike soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to Photoblog & Vlog from the Mobile Phone

With mobile Internet becoming faster, it is now possible to actually mobile blog from your cellphone, take photos for your photoblog, and videos for your vlog. All of this can be also uploaded straight from your mobile phone.

I've been tinkering around this lately and able to come up with a settings that will work best for my Nokia N95 and support my mobile blogging endeavors. Here is what I've done to optimize it:
  • Photo settings
    Pick on small which is ideal for MMS. File size of pictures is less than 100kb which is good for blog posts too. Although you can also go for the e-mail size medium setting which saves a file at no more than 200kb like the Sony Vaio P shown here. (click on the image to see how big the photo really is)


  • Videos
    I'll go for e-mail normal quality. As viewers on the mobile phone may have limited time and you don't want to wait too long for uploading. Try to come up with 1-to-1.5 minutes video only. Be creative about it. For my videos, I tried creating a What's New series as an experiment and here's how it looks like. This is a quick interview with Jing Garcia, tech times editor of Manila Times, as he talks about the Sony Vaio P.

    Note however that once you picked a higher setting, the time duration I mentioned may not necessarily apply. Depending on the regular or mobile blogging platform you'll be using, check out the maximum file size allowed.

    For the e-mail normal quality with 1-to-1.5 minutes content, that should be like less than 4 mb file size.
video

So I guess my point here is that you can now actually do mobile blogging with all the necessary photos and videos taken and uploaded straight from your mobile phone. With the right settings and program format, the content you'll be able to generate can be an exciting one. Try it out!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Busby SEO Test Winners

It is over. The winners of the Busby SEO Test competition was just announced. The top 10 are:
  1. kabonfootprint
  2. pinayspeak
  3. imfreakz
  4. dstudiobali
  5. umpcinfo
  6. garyviray
  7. enticegh
  8. ianimaru
  9. alwinclores
  10. rumahabi
Although Gary's entry did not made it to the top 5 winners, being able to sustain the entry since it entered page 1 last December 10 is a big feat (he joined last November 25) as the domain has zero pagerank and relatively new. This in comparison to everyone else who joined the competition who were more prepared. With that handicap, my hats off to you Gary.

The hard work that has been put in and the support of friends in the community also played a big factor for this contest. Thank you everyone.

Also persistent efforts in the contest has allowed Gary's site to have the following to date:
  • traffic of no less than 200 visitors a day - without any promotion. At its peak point with full promotion, the site hit almost 700 visitors a day.
  • Nearly 20,000 unique visitors since the start of the contest.
  • PR2 home page, more than a dozen PR 3 and 4 deep pages that were created during the contest.
Congratulations again to the organizers and winners. For the 3 Pinoys who made it to the list - Rich, Gary, and Alwin - Mabuhay kayo Pinoy SEO!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Create your own & add comics to your blog

An ideal blog post should have a complement of a photo, video, or audio to make it more lively and interesting to readers. However, if such is not available, one can opt to create a comics strip and add it to your blog right away.

A comics strip also allows you to express ideas without having type it in your blog entry. It can also spark your creativity the more you use and do it. I just discovered the site - Make Beliefs Comix - which I used to create my first comic strip below for Busby SEO Test.

It has been a bumpy ride as we move up and down the page one rankings several times a day for that contest.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get a free delegate pass: Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009

Fiera de Manila Inc. and the DigitalFilipino.com Club just collaborated to organize the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009. This will be held at Hotel Intercontinental, Ayala Avenue, Makati City on April 23 and 24, 2009.

We are giving away two (2) delegates pass to this event.

I'll be inviting more companies to contribute and increase the number of delegate passes to be given out in the weeks to come. Parties interested can e-mail me at digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com. Those who'll be giving passes, shall be properly recognized here and be cited in one of our weekly updates.

Should you like to participate and hope to get one of the passes, this is what you have to do:
  1. Make a blog entry about the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009 and cite why you like to attend this two-day event.

  2. Your blog post must have a link to Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009 at http://socialnetworkphilippines.blogspot.com.

  3. Post a comment to this blog entry and give me the url link where your entry can be found.
Deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2009. We will list and link to all entries that get submitted here.

On 1st week of April, Fiera de Manila and passes donors shall review the submissions and picked their most-liked post.

The winner of the two passes shall be posted here on or before April 15. I hope you can join and see you at the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009!

Corporate Blogging, Blog Marketing & Advertising

This coming January 30 (Friday), I'll be holding a workshop on Corporate Blogging, Blog Marketing & Advertising at Netopia Internet Cafe, Ground Floor Greenbelt 1, Legaspi Street, Makati City from 9 am to 5 pm.

This hands-on workshop will give participants an appreciation on how blogging can be used to promote a company's products and services. It will also look into various ways that blogs can be tap as a medium to reach out to target market segments as a new advertising and marketing alternative.
  • Corporate Blogging Introduction and Uses
  • Creating a Corporate Blog
  • Corporate Blogging Guidelines
  • Blog Marketing
    • Tapping Blogs to Create Buzz (events, give-aways, promo)
    • Tapping Bloggers for Insight and Feedback (alerts)
    • Identifying target blogs
  • Blog Advertising
    • Direct advertising
    • 3rd party banner or text ads
    • Paid reviews
    • Paid features
    • Identifying target blogs
Training materials shall be posted at the Blogging from Home Online Workshop site for online interactive learning purposes.

DigitalFilipino.com Club members can send participants for free on this training noting the following conditions:

  • Corporate members - 5 days (1 participant per day)
  • SME members - 3 days (1 participant per day)
  • Individual members can attend a one-day session
Non-club members (those who have not paid annual membership fee) can send a participant for three thousand pesos (P3000) per day, exclusive of VAT. Slot is confirmed upon receipt of payment.

Participants should fill-up the registration form and await slot confirmation. We can only accept a maximum of 20 participants per day.

This is part of the SEO, Content Writing, eStore Creation, e-Payments, and Blog Marketing Workshop Series this January 26 to 30.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Promote several blogs using one tinyurl with Sqworl

If you have several blogs like me, it is quite a challenge to promote them all. One way I've handled it is by sharing my post via Google Reader and this gets fed to various social media sites that accepts RSS feed.

Another way to do it is by promoting your blogs through Sqworl. This service allows you to promote several sites at once using one url (or like a tinyurl). It creates a page where all the sites you've added are linked.

What I like about the service so far is:


  1. Promote several sites at once. This can be your personal sites or perhaps you are making a report compilation showing a good number of blogs or websites. You can also edit it by removing or adding more links.

    I created several but for this post let me share my blogs and Blogging from Home features compilation.

  2. Allows you to add description and even assign a title for each url. This is where you can also use keywords that you may be working on in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).

  3. This can be useful when creating profiles in various websites and you can only put one url as identity reference.
If there is anything that bothers me though is the screen shot that appears as I add each site. Most of the homepage and deep link urls are shown with no appropriate screen shot. Although that is only temporary and it shows the real one after a while.

If you have tried the service and created a Sqworl, share it here, tell something about the compilation you have made, and will check it out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

eBook Web Publishing with Scribd

I have met a good number of bloggers last year contemplating of publishing their own book. I am very supportive of such an idea as book publishing has its own merits.

In my case, my challenge has always been with the old ones I have published, around 15 more or less at the moment, what happens to them after a few years. One program I am currently exploring is Scribd. This allows publishers to upload their work and share it to others. It also has a qualified publishers program where revenue sharing is possible as ads can be streamed as the book gets viewed within Scribd.

Another option, if you have programming experience, is to work with the Scribd application programming interface (API) so that those that gets viewed at your site will also be able to stream ads. This will require me to work with a developer or really take time to learn it myself.

I'm currently exploring it and hope that Scribd will also deal with self-publishers, not just companies. I will share my experience on this one soon.

DigitalFilipino Stats Report - Filipino Online Shopper (1st Issue)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Make Money by Adding Amazon aStore to your Blog

Amazon.com is considered as the biggest online affiliate network with a variety of products being sold on its site. Blogs whose primary audience comes from the U.S. have a lot of potential to explore with this program.

Note that each Amazon affiliate member is allowed to create 100 aStores. I plan to fully maximize that this year as I try building blogs that caters to a variety of niches targeting international audience.

Here are 3 aStores I have done so far:


1. Influential Blogger bookstore
As I review a variety of books in that blog, the books I intend to feature are from authors whom I get to read on a regular basis.


2. Birthstones Jewelry Store
I created two variations. One for general audience and another for men. This is meant to complement my New Age Perspective blog.


I tackled some of my lessons learned in the creation of Amazon aStores at the Busby SEO Test blog. Additional insights worth sharing:
  • Make time
    An aStore is like a full-blown website. Time must be given to plan its structure.

  • Update your blog
    If an aStore is tied to your blog then the more important that it gets updated regularly. In the end, the quality of sales you get is dependent on the effort you have put in as well.

  • Be patient
    Don't expect instant returns right away as trust in your aStore is also tied to the amount of confidence set to your blog.

  • Use regular Amazon linking methods still
    If you are doing a book review, then don't hesitate to still link to the Amazon product page. I guess the reason for that also is that some products that end up getting purchased are not exactly the ones you recommended. But still you earn from it.

  • Explore other alternatives
    An affiliate program can be a source of passive or active income. It is up to you on what will be its role to you. Again, the income you'll gain will also be dependent on the effort you have put in developing and promoting it.

    On another note, Amazon.com payouts takes place quarterly and they only mail out checks if you earn more than UD$100 in commissions.
If you would like to learn more on how to create your own aStore, we will be having a workshop as well this January 28. I suggest you sign-up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Create Your Own or Join a Link Exchange Program

Like many bloggers and web site owners out there, I often get this weird reaction whenever I receive an e-mail asking to swap links. That is partly the reason why the DigitalFilipino.com Club was created. The least I want is be accused of being too selective and created the membership as an entry criteria to be linked.

Of course, there are usual ways where you can get linked by other blogs that includes:
  1. Submit your blog to directories.
  2. Organize or join contests or promotions.
  3. Post comments in blogs.
  4. Write a relevant post or comment and hope it will be re-blogged by another person.
  5. Write a guest post published in another blog.
  6. Join free banner ad programs like Entrecard.
However, if you have done the above and need more help, you can also explore joining or even create your own link exchange program.

Why should you join a link exchange program?

Once you have started accumulating a good number of blogs and web sites, managing the links can be quite complicated. Inter-linking within your blog network will only get you too far. It will still be helpful to get out of your usual family of websites and circle to reach new audiences.

There are paid and free link exchange networks out there that you can explore.

You can also get a freelancer who can do professional link building for a fee. This is usually pegged up to US$30 per hour. Subscribing to a tool or service is possible, the time needed to manage such also has its own cost that must be factored in.

Why create your own link exchange program?

Those who have a good number of websites in their network are in a best position to start their very own link exchange program. It has its advantages and challenges that includes:
  • Creating your own link exchange will give you flexibility to set the rules. This must be followed and updated regularly.
  • Build a relationship with network members as you monitor their sites regularly.
  • You may even earn a fee from it as some who will probably join may not have their own sites that can be used to host links.
I had past experiment with links trading such as creating my own webring, Internet directory, and outsourcing directory. The latest I have now is the DigitalFilipino link exchange network.

What if you got a lot of links to pass along?

I think this is not much of an issue at the moment as participants have their own blogs where they are also willing to post links. If it is a one-way pass-on, then that would a problem but in this case, it isn't.

Also, I use my family of sites and blogs as an initial fulfillment point (where the links are given back as soon as commitment is fulfilled). This gets removed as soon as link gets posted in the network.

Can I choose which blog will my link appear to?

As the whole service is free, there is not much flexibility at the moment. The link exchange network owner, which is me, gets to decide on this for now which is driven on a first-available spot basis.
Later on, when the service matures, and there is a software service built or acquired to support it, then there will be more control on where their links will appear.

Although there are some free link exchange networks that allows you to choose.

Why are links important anyway?

For blogs, the number 1 reason would be Technorati. A blog's authority is measured by the number of blogs linking to you. Although to prevent abuse, only the last 6 months is factored in.

Search engine ranking is also another reason as those who get linked by credible sites can attain better rankings. However, this can also be abused and that is why the duration of link exchanges in our system is only for 90 days.

So participating in a link exchange, even on a small scale, like 10 links, can still help but you should still consider doing the above 6 items I mentioned earlier. Link exchange is only one of the ways to get your blog promoted.

Now back to my Busby SEO Test entry.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Testimonial for Blogging from Home

I would like to thank friends and readers who gave their support for the Blogging from Home book project. Testimonials are more than welcome.

"All the information that a blogger needs to know is in this book. I have been blogging for more than three years now but I would never have discovered the power of blogging if not for this book! It was very helpful especially when I taught my mom, a retiree, how to set up her own blog." Mauie Flores, Living a Sugar-Free Sweet Life

"I'm a fan of DigitalFilipino and been a blogger for more than a year now. When I read this book (every bed time), I found so many insightful facts that made me realize "How to become a professional blogger". I'm giving a thumbs up for this book. Thank you Janette Toral!" - Isis "Aice" Lahora, Ice9Web.


"I finally got my own copy of the Blogging from Home book when I went to home to the Phils last Nov. It is such a useful book and has given me fresh ideas on how to blog better. Many thanks and more power to you and your service to the blogosphere!" - Arlene NS,
Carnation


"I first encounter this book during Philippines WordCamp 2008. I didn't mind it then because I am not really fond of reading books. Later, my friend Cesar of http://cnsqonline.com informed me that he got this book and he is really impressed about the information given. He said that there are a lot of things that he learned from this book. Because of that, my curiosity was triggered. So, I eventually bought the book online, because there is no one in my area selling this book. I am from Iloilo. After reading the book, indeed my friend Cesar was right. There are a lot of things mentioned in the book worth absorbing. Thanks Janette!" - Junelle Caravana, http://babsy.com/

For those who want to get into blogging quick, Janette's Blogging from Home is the book to read. This is an easy to understand yet pretty substantial book on the subject of blogging with topics ranging from fundamentals to content development to blog promotion and blog ethics. I consider the book a useful resource with lots of practical tips and links to current blog tools. - Ronnie Ravelo


"There are two things I can say about Ms. Toral's book. Complete and easy to read. Her book definitely offers a very comprehensive look into blogging. But not only that, it offers first timers an easy and understandable guide on the what- to-do's and how to's. After reading it, I was able to get a much better grasp on how this phenomenon works." - Russell Ri, Philippines Adventure Travel and Destinations



"All the questions that took me months to answer can now be found in a few minutes by reading 'Blogging from Home.' How I really wished to have found this book earlier!" - Ruby Ricafrente, Pinay Mommy Online


"I would just like to say I find your Blogging from Home book very useful. Tnx!!!" - Andre Quintos, CreativeAid

"I find the Blogging from Home book very informative. Its content is easy to read and understand, replete with guides and invaluable insights based on Janette's own experience. Indeed, Blogging from Home book is a gem!" - Dennis Rito, Vignettes



"I've been waiting for the launch of this book of yours. Your Blogging From Home book is a real treat as it has all the guides that I can refer to that will help improve my current blog and work me through creating new and better ones! Blogging can indeed be a business and it's a business that can be done from home. Mabuhay!" - Gwen Nava, The Grape Bunch

If you like your testimonial to be included here, just e-mail it to me at digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com with your photo holding a copy of the book and will post. Thank you.

Many thanks to the following as well who blogged about the book: