Friday, December 30, 2011

Raise your Weapon: Speak Up against online bullying

Zeus's Fist!, originally uploaded by RZ68.

My 2011 blogging space is marked by 3 interesting issues that allowed me to learn the various mindset that have prevailed this year.

Here's what I have learned through the years in dealing with cyber-bullies since I started moderating forums and expressing my opinion through writings:

1. Educate and inform the observers

I only respond to those who expressed their point of view if I knew their intention. Those who publish inaccurate information, insinuate malice without validating first what they heard, questioning by passing on judgment without understanding the issue are often shaped or influenced by their own clique, realities, and experiences.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Free Webinar: Becoming a Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur

I'm excited with the 3rd run of our "Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur" online program that will start this November 24, 2011.

As I get a lot of inquiries about opportunities in this area, we will have a free webinar to discuss the idea in "becoming a blog and social media entrepreneur" on October 24, 7 pm to 8 pm. Will also answer queries in relation to the upcoming course.

To participate effectively, I suggest having a reasonably fast Internet connection that has working speakers (so you can listen in while watching) and ask questions too.

I also did a similar webinar last year, Becoming a Blog Entrepreneur, when we were introducing our debut course. The video and presentation deck was posted online that you can also use for reference.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BlogIT 2011 at University of Pangasinan

Am doing a blogging seminar at University of Pangasinan today. Many thanks to Creative Alliance Services for inviting me. Embedded this livestream to demonstrate it to students. Will also update this post later to show pictures from the event.

Students from University of Pangasinan

Mugs and pins of BlogIT 2011 event

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to add Google +1 to your Blogspot site

I just got reminded of Google +1 from Noemi's blog and tried putting it on my site.

Here is what I did to add to my site:
  1. Logon to
  2. Click on Design > Edit HTML

  3. Look for </head> and paste the code indicated before it
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""> </script>
  4. Look for <div class="post-footer'> and paste the code indicated below it <g:plusone> </g:plusone>
  5. Click on Save.

I suggest start adding the Google +1 code to your site to help further promote your content.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blogger's Guide to Attending Events

(Updated May 28, 2011) Nowadays, bloggers get invited to attend numerous events, here are some tips I'd like to share about it on how you can maximize participation. This is also useful for bloggers who would like to cover events professionally.
  1. Check if you have conflict of interest
    If you have an exclusive contract with the competition or an active engagement that has non-compete clause provision, make sure to double check if there will be conflicts for you to attend the said event.
  2. RSVP only for yourself
    If you receive an invite for an event, assume that is only for you and can't be shared to others. If the person inviting said that you can extend the invite to others, best to tell your peers to contact the organizers directly if they are interested and avoid any misrepresentation (such as you are working for the organizer) on your end. Also, for your blogger friends not to be seen or accused as "gatecrashing".

    As Dennison mentioned in the comments area, there are cases also when you have to cancel your attendance to an event at the last minute. Best to still contact the organizer and apologize for not being able to make it as soon as you can. Don't assume that you can send a proxy. Let the organizer asked for it. For organizers, if the blogger cancels and tells you that they are sick, don't text back with a reply saying "inform me ahead next time". That will be very insensitive. Just say "get well soon" and move on. Focus on the people with you at that moment.
  3. Research
    Know the entity, organizer, and products that will be discussed in the event. Do advance reading beforehand in order to be as engaging as possible. If the topic is not in your league or you can't write about it, best not to attend the event. Personally, I have attended events where I am unsure if it is something I can write about. End up sharing it through microblogging - soundbites of the event while ongoing.

  4. Bring your camera
    Nothing beats using your own photos rather than use the ones provided by the host.

  5. Short introduction
    You will meet media, fellow bloggers, host, and organizers at events. Best to have a short introduction about yourself and your blog. They usually ask: what do you do? Where are you connected? What is your blog about?

  6. Bring business card and save contact information
    It will be helpful to have business cards with you and give to people that you meet. Get business cards or contact information of them too. Be proactive in doing this.

  7. Respect the event
    This includes coming in proper attire. Listen when the host and presenter speaks. Eat at the right time or when the host says it is ok. More importantly, don't be late. If you will be late, advise the person who invited you ahead. (Please avoid the situation when you are too late to the point you'll arrive when the event is almost over.)
  8. Off-the record
    There are discussions during an event that are considered as off-the-record. If unsure, best to ask if they can be quoted.
  9. Give-aways
    Accept give-aways graciously and not brag about it. Asking for an extra is ok, but say it without imposing and when the event is over.

    Don't claim giveaways for bloggers who are not in the event. Unless the organizer gives it to you and ask a favor to give to a blogger who is not present at the event.

  10. Post-networking
    After writing your story in relation to the event, spend time visiting the sites of fellow bloggers and connect by leaving a comment in their blog and through social networking sites (Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Do the same to the organizers. This can yield visits to your blog and even open opportunities.
Here are additional insights that is very subjective. Not all will agree with it.
  1. Get over the VIP behavior
    When a blogger accepts an invite to cover an event, they are there clearly for that purpose. I find it amusing when a blogger tells an organizer or PR that to only invite them in events if "blogger x" is not there. Organizers, in the best they can, treat all bloggers equally. Involving / informing organizers, PR people, and clients to your "bloggers politics" is a no-no.
  2. Be careful what you say against another blogger and/or organizer.
    There are bloggers who badmouth organizers and/or other bloggers. Some react while others listen quietly. Word gets around.

    You can just imagine how an organizer will react after hearing what you said to other bloggers against them when you write to them to get paid post opportunities or be invited to their events.

    Furthermore, when you throw accusations against another blogger, others who know you will pinpoint your "questionable practices" too online or offline.
Should you have additional tips, hope you can share them.
Bloggers' Etiquette 101
View more presentations from Janette Toral
Related info:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Developing Blog and Social Media Entrepreneurs

I get a different high whenever catching up with blogging peers who eventually become entrepreneur themselves offering blog and social media marketing services. Definitely believe that there are a lot of opportunities in this area and very few players serving the market.

That is why when the 1st Certified Blog Entrepreneur Program was offered, I had this excitement for there lies an opportunity in developing new players and foster long term relationship. Had the opportunity as well to collaborate and support some of the students all working on real or live projects that gave a realistic view on how hard a perceived easy task is.

This coming May 5, the 2nd batch of the Ateneo-DigitalFilipino Digital Entrepreneur Alliance shall begin under the Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur. This will be a pure online course spanning 9 weeks.

Of course, finishing the program is just one small step.  It is critical that the right project gets chosen as well. For instance, if you see yourself unsure whether you will become an entrepreneur or working for a company, it is best to use a combination of case studies to give hands-on experience in as many scenarios as possible.

What makes batch 2 different as well is that it will have weekly face-to-face consultation in conjuction with the webinars happening online. This will happen alongside my regular DigitalFilipino Club meet-ups which I hope will give participants further exposure. The same benefit shall also be extended to batch 1.

This will likely be the last batch I will handle as other resource persons, belonging to the DigitalFilipino Club, will be tapped in the future. The reason for this is I will be focusing more in developing collaborative vertical online entrepreneur programs and handle an e-commerce entrepreneur course this year.

Nevertheless, I will always function as a co-faculty in all programs that will be launched under the Ateneo-DigitalFilipino Digital Entrepreneur alliance - continue the sharing of knowledge and experience.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Talks that spark conversation - DigitalFilipino Talks turn 2 months old

Our DigitalFilipino Talks video blog just turned 2 months old with 42 episodes. Every time we have a recording with guests, DigitalFilipino Club members and friends, the pressure is there to come up with a discussion that will not only be educational but also spark reactions.

Looking at our top 10 videos for the 2nd month, here are some observations I had:
  • Throw in a big idea
    When I was about to interview Tonyo Cruz, the idea that first came to mind was the "better Internet" movement to serve as follow-up to the discussion sparked by Tunde Fafunwa's episode on improving the Philippines broadband infrastructure.

    However, as we were preparing what to discuss, I asked if he has read my post last January 31 and February 1 on creating a blogging association. We switched topic after Tonyo gave more insight on the need for a Philippine Bloggers Association during the interview preparation.

    One thing led to the other and there is now a serious discussion about it.

    Tunde's interview was an interesting case. I first posted his white paper online to jumpstart the discussion about it and interviewed former Catanduanes Governor and Congressman Leandro Verceles Jr. on how to politically resolve the Internet bandwidth issue. But when Tunde's video came out, it also caught the eye of various mailing list, local and international, where suggestions on possible solutions were also given.

    I only hope that at the end of the day, these interviews will contribute in making something better.

  • Go beyond the title
    I noticed videos that have a 2nd title such as Bjorn Pardo's Improving Merchant-Buyer Online Transaction Confidence got further boost when the 2nd title got added "(Can We Move Beyond C.O.D.?)" It helped amplify the question that we attempt to answer for the interview.

    That interview made me aware of the Xend badge which I now post on my site.

  • Share unique success experience
    When Maita Siquijor's interview on "Marketing Real Estate Online" came out, some online real estate entrepreneurs and bloggers reacted to the point of asking whether what she was saying is real or not. Then Maita gave clarification that further enlightened parties in the discussion where she said, "I haven't advertised in the printed classified ads for the past 4 years, so definitely most inquiries are from online, the balance being from my personal co-broker's network. And yes, especially from last year, 60-70% of my sales did come from online buyers, and majority of my buyers found me on the Net.

    I also didn't mention it: Some of the inventory that I sold were also from sellers who found me on the Net, and asked me to help them sell their property. These were inventory in my target price range.

    Also, my site model is that of a brokerage firm. I'm sure the conversion rates or traffic will be different (perhaps higher!) from a project seller's site, a foreclosure site, or a mixed development/single project site, or a pure rental site. So I'm almost certain that I have very low site traffic compared not only to the IM guys, but maybe compared even to a real estate project seller's site. From my experience, though, the actual inquiries and visits is from the client set that I designed the site for.

    Compared to a project-selling site where the inventory is almost identical/uniform, a re-sale home or condo is considered unique once lived-in, no longer as strongly associated with its original project brand (e.g. Ayala Alabang, Bonifacio Ridge), and will sell on whatever is its strongest unique features. There will also be fewer brokers selling this property, compared to project sellers (who abound like mushrooms). The likely inquirer will be one who prioritizes the same unique features, and will be prompted to inquire based on these. So write your property descriptions well.

    I think the few lessons that I remember from the internet and blog marketing modules worked well: ping your blog, tag your posts, categorize them properly, post/advertise in relevant sites, don't write identical content, write with relevant keywords in both your content and Metas, tag your photos, do YouTube, promote in FB, do Twitter, etc. . . I remember reading a good deal about these tips in @Janette's 'Blogging from Home' book.

    Lastly, the equally crucial factor is: How well can you attend to a lead, and close the deal offline? For a brokerage business like ours, homes don't get sold just from a virtual viewing. So I believe success belongs to those who can patiently attend to the online lead, and provide as speedy, accurate and expert service as possible to convert the inquiry to a sale." 
Look forward featuring more DigitalFilipino Club members and friends in our video blog.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Becoming a Better Blogger and Public Relations Professional: Managing the Client Relationship

My interview with Carlo Ople set the stage for more insight coming from the client's  side (whether they are public relations, corporate, chef, among others) and shared experiences on how bloggers / PR professionals tend to go out of line in their approach.

It made me reflect on the times that I may have also taken the blogger-PR-client relationship for granted especially when you are in a stage where clients seek for your services rather than the other way around. If you have done something wrong, the time to do necessary repair is now.

This is a post that I shall update regularly based on feedback received. May this help those of us who always strive do a self-check in our conduct as a blogger and / or public relations professional.
  1. Avoid making threats such as a negative blog post or rant in social media against your current or prospective client.

    Your prospective or current client, depending on their stature, have access to public relations people, fellow bloggers, Internet marketing players, and media professionals who can share this "perceived threat" they got to others even if the blogger's identity was not revealed. However, as it passes on, more information gets added and may get exaggerated.

  2. Calibrate or end contracts peacefully

    In some situations, a client agreement can change halfway for one reason or another. This includes a deal not pushing through due to a management decision. Some bloggers / public relations professional accept this graciously while others freak out.

    Worst, because of perceived threat, a service is availed of or maintained on either from the blogger or public relations side to avoid the negative scenario. It is like "We are friends as I don't want him or her to write negative stuff about me, product, company".

    Some may even be afraid to terminate a business relationship because of this. Worst scenarios can possibly happen just for the client to have a "reason" to exit such as tapping a 3rd party to expose a perceived negative practice.

    Learning how to accept "rejection" gracefully is a skill needed in order to survive in business.

    I remember a former client who never gets angry to a staff or consultant for their shortcomings. He will just move on, not burn bridges, and won't say anything damaging to others. But certainly, the next time he calls asking for advice or help, the staff or consultant is usually willing to help out.

  3. Decency

    No matter how popular you are as a blogger, don't let it get to your head.

    For example, in dining with a client, observe how they order before making yours. Offer to give a share in the tab especially if you are the one who suggested the place or ordered a very expensive meal. Be sensitive on other people's budget.

    In ex-deals, strive to give something back of higher value especially if you are already in a situation where it will be awkward to say "no" to you.

    Be careful that your actions don't go against the principles or standards that you communicate to others. For once it does, it disappoints and ruins the image.
Are we ready to professionalize?

For bloggers who generate income through this medium, I guess the next question is, are we ready to professionalize? It is inevitable that the marketing and advertising industry will set blog marketing and advertising guidelines sooner or later.

Do we want to proactively craft guidelines or wait for others to do it for our niche? Do we respond individually to proposed guidelines? Or do we respond as a group (perhaps a Professional Bloggers Association)?

Be careful

I guess no blogger / public relations professional goes high-up in the ladder without criticism or negative feedback on their actions. You won't be able to please everybody. Your actions or what you say (directly or through 3rd party) at times can also be misinterpreted. In the end, just be careful.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Year's Resolution 2011

2011 is going to be a lot about breaking new ground, passionate pursuits, new books, fighting the "elite", and enlightenment.

My resolutions this year includes:

1. Be more physically active
I got injured last February 2010 during the exhibit set-up at E-Services Philippines that resulted to a left "runner's knee". However since November 2010, I have been able to allot time to strengthen it. Look forward doing badminton, bowling, running and diving this year. and
2. Focus on content development

I just started the DigitalFilipino Talks series last January 10. This Monday to Friday online video program is an experimental project that I am doing in lieu of traditional conferences done last year.

In the process, I hope we can share more information and knowledge instantaneously featuring industry friends and DigitalFilipino Club members.

Topics started with focus on social media. But as we go along, we will be featuring other topics of interest from doing business to advocacies reflecting how diverse our DigitalFilipino community has become.

3. Vigilance
Admittedly, the blogging space is becoming more competitive each day as more commercial players working as contractors get projects in this arena. Being a player in this industry and active in associations, it can't be helped that I need to respond to issues using suitable channels when asked for.

I realized that my passive mode or style may no longer apply as the parties and issues get bigger and high profile. This is especially true when peers in the industry get accused and hurt.

4. Enlightenment
I look forward learning more about international issues this year as it will be my first time to watch a TED webcast event. Last August, I signed up as a TED Associate with book club member and look forward watching TED 2011 this year.

The books I have received got me all excited and look forward reading them. This is certainly a great addition to the things I'm learning already by reading the Asia Wall Street Journal.

I am scheduled to join the International Visitors Leadership Program for 3 weeks this August to September in the U.S. Won't be joining a local or international delegation for this activity. Will be able to customize my 3-weeks program based on the things I want to learn and people or organizations desired to meet. Will be making a separate blog post about this as I customize my 3 weeks agenda.

Will be launching a new book prior to this trip and give to the people I'll meet.

5. Connected

2010 was the year I decided to become a Mac user. Invested in a MacBook Pro and iPhone 4.

For 2011, will be investing on 3 new portable devices as working on Search Profile Index report requires having more than one computer to make the work faster while doing regular stuff such as blogging.

Will be more active investing on Internet connectivity further and upgrade the various USB Internet that I have such as my Globe Tattoo Stick and MyFi. Globe just launched its new Tattoo SuperStick.

It functions as an all-in-one wireless router where 5 devices can connect at the same time. This is cool for me as I usually connect my Mac and iPhone online. The same goes with my cellphone. As I'll be getting additional gadgets this year, a mobile broadband device good for 5 simultaneous connections will be useful especially if its speed of up to 3mbps will really hold up.

Already reached the point where it becomes more practical of getting a postpaid program such as this one and use it as primary Internet connection since family members have fast Internet connection using my prepaid Tattoo Stick and MyFi.

It is amazing at times how Internet connected we become. Have a broadband DSL connection at home and noticed that all of us gradually having our own prepaid USB broadband Internet as well for back-up. I guess it helps keep the Internet peace rather than argue when someone uploads / downloads a huge file or watching videos online.

What is your New Year's Resolution?