Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium Promo

The folks at Advance Insight Innove Inc. are running a promo for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium.

The mechanics are fairly simple: Buy an OEM Mac version of Adobe CS4 Design premium and you get either a 13″ MacBook, a 20″ iMac or a combo of a Mac Mini and a32″ Samsung LCD television. The price the software is PhP 101,400.00  (or approximately US$ 2147.00). This price is exclusive of VAT.

I think his is a good deal as the Adobe CS4 Design  Premium currently sells for US$ 2315 at the Adobe store.

For more information, you can contact Ms. Fria Alivio at advance.insight (at) gmail.com.

Stepping Down as User Group Manager of the Adobe User Group – Philippines

After five years at the helm, I’m stepping down as the User Group Manager of the Adobe User Group – Philippines.

I’m stepping down knowing that the community I initiated in 2004 will be in the capable leadership of Rey Mendoza, Jr. and Michelle Santos. I’ll still be involved with AUGPhil in a difference capacity, but AUGPhil will move forward with Rey and Michelle leading the way.

I’ve had my share of successes and challenges (mostly challenges :P) in reaching out to the Adobe designer and developer communities here in the Philippines, and I could say that despite the challenges in the last five years, AUGPhil kept afloat and is now primed to take on bigger things with the new leadership.

Keep an eye on AUGPhil in the coming months, there will be good things coming up. 🙂

2009 Philippine Blogging Awards Finalists Announced

The finalists to the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards have been announced and list is pretty long. Here are the finalists for the different regular and special categories:

Best Technology Blog

Best Travel Blog

Best Entertainment Blog

Best Personal Blog

Best Food & Beverage Blog

Best Family & Living Blog

Best News & Media Blog

Best Business Blog

Best Sports Blog

Best Hobby & Recreation Blog

Best Fashion Blog

Best Photo Blog

Best Culture & Arts Blog

Best Commentary Blog

Best Videocast

Best Podcast

Best Humor Blog

Best Gaming Blog

Best Advocacy Blog

Best Beauty Blog

Special Award: Best Blog Design

Special Award: Best Foreign Blog

Special Award: Best Filipino Abroad Blog

Special Award: Best Filipiniana Blog

Whew! That was a pretty looong list. But nonetheless, congratulations to everyone for reaching the finals of the most prestigious blog awards in the country. 🙂

WordCamp Philippines 2009

I was only there during the morning sessions, but from the looks of it WordCamp Philippines 2009 was a success.

Held at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, WordCamp Philippines provided venue for WordPress developers, bloggers, and enthusiasts to talk about the best open-source blogging platform and blogging topics. It was also great to catch up with my friends in the web and blogging scene here in the Philippines. 🙂

The talks I was able to attend were very good. Here’s the morning program I was able to catch:

  • 9:30am – Meet the WordPress Family by Beau Lebens
  • 10:30am – WordPress in the Wild by Markku Seguerra
  • 11:15am – Citizen Journalism in the Context of the 2010 Elections byDanilo Arao
  • 11:45am – A quick look into the Mozilla community through the lens of localization by Seth Bindernagel

I particularly liked the talks of Danilo Arao and Seth Bindernagel. Professor Arao shared nice information on blogging as a form of citizen journalism. One thing that stuck to me from his talk was that blogging per se is NOT journalism, until the blogger is aware of the practice and responsibilities of journalism. More over he added one tip for the bloggers: “To be a good blogger, you have to write well, you have to write fast, and you have to write responsibly.”

Seth Bindernagel of Mozilla’s Localization team talked about Mozilla’s efforts on localizing Firefox to different locales and upcoming open web standards Mozilla is supporting. I was pretty amped with his demo of HTML 5, and the audience were in awe with what crazy stuff you could do with the upcoming HTML 5 specs. This was a great preview of what will happen in next year’s Form Function & Class Web Design Conference.

Just before I left, I addressed the audience and gave a short talk about the Asian Institute of Management.

Hats off to the Mindanao Bloggers for holding a great event. I had a great time working with them in coordinating the event venue and logistics. I’m looking forward to next year’s WordCamp Philippines. 😀

Update:

Here are some WordCamp Philippines 2009 posts I’ve found so far:

Here are a few snaps I took from WordCamp Philippines 2009:

Mozilla to have Bigger Presence in the Philippines

I had breakfast and coffee with Mozilla‘s Gen Kanai (Director of Asia Business Development) and Seth Bindernagel (Director for Localization), who are here in Manila for WordCamp Philippines 2009. The morning conversation centered on Mozilla’s presence in the Philippines, which I think is about to become bigger.

According to Gen, the Philippines got the attention of Mozilla because it’s one of the top five countries in terms of growth of Mozila Firefox usage. I shared to him that the stat is to really surprising because I’ve observed that the awareness of Firefox in the Philippines has gone beyond the tech geeks and developers. Both Gen and Seth agree that the Philippines presents great potential for a Mozilla Firefox community to flourish.

I also asked them about Mozilla’s relationship with Google, which has its own browser in Chrome. Seth shared that Chrome uses chunks of components from Firefox, and Gen said that the relationship between Mozilla and Google may be described as a “coopetition” or competitive competition as of the moment.

But going back to Mozilla Firefox Philippines community– here are some Mozilla developments we will likely see in the near future:

  1. Mozilla Firefox Philippines Community – Starting with WordCamp Philippines 2009, Mozilla will gradually build a formal community that it will support. According to them, Mozilla is willing to support a passionate group of enthusiasts and developers who are interested in web standards, and extending the tools and software supporting web standards.
  2. Mozilla Firefox in Filipino – According to Seth, there’s a strong possibility of Mozilla Firefox released in Filipino, or even dialects such as Cebuano and Ilocano, if the local community wants it. Being the Director for Localization in Mozilla, Seth said he will support initiatives from Filipinos who are willing to lead the localization efforts. Heck, if Facebook and Wikipedia have localizations in Filipino, why not Mozilla Firefox?
  3. Mozilla Firefox in Form Function  & Class – I mentioned to Gen the Form Function & Class event the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) launched last July and he said he thinks Mozilla should be part of future events. Folks from Mozilla would be interested in having a talk about HTML 5 and developments in Mozilla about that spec. So next year, expect Mozilla to be part of Form Function & Class! 😀

I personally think these are welcome developments to the web community here in the Philippines.  Moreover, I’d love to take part in the development of the Mozilla Firefox Philippines community. 😀

Book Review: SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate

Joel Postman’s SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate may be lightweight in terms of pages (it’s under 200 pages), but the contents pack lots of good content for companies trying to get on the Social Media wave.

As the title suggests, the book is targeted to corporations who would like to put a Web 2.0 spin to corporate communications. The tone of the book is not technical– as a matter of fact, there is no code anywhere in the book. This makes it accessible to managers and executives that know something about the internet and marketing. One theme the book touches on is “Going for it,” that is, allaying some of the fears most corporations about social media (e.g. lack of control, unauthorized information, chaos, etc.).

There are easy to read case studies of how companies implemented social media to their advantage.  From corporate blogging, Twitter, and social media ethics, Joel Postman showcases the wide array of online tools in a practical and concise manner.  Also, the book touches on the fudgiest part of social media: measurement.

If you’re looking for a play-by-play guide for implementing Social Media-powered corporate communications, this book may disappoint. Postman gives a pointers approach to showing the way to the promised land of SocialCorp and chooses his words carefully to to avoid confusion. But if you ask me, SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate is a great starting point to begin the Social Media journey for companies.

My Y4IT 2009 Talk: Web Usability & User Experience Design

As I said in my previous post, I was invited to speak at the 2009 Y4IT Conference held at the University of the Philippines – Diliman in Quezon City and my talk was held yesterday.

Although it was my third year in a row to speak, it was my first time at the big stage. My talk, “Web Usability & User Experience Design,” was held at the University of the Philippines Theater and that capacity of that venue, by my estimate, is 3,000. Last year, I was at the UP Film Institute’s Cine Adarna, a place with at least 1,000 seating capacity. But regardless of the venue, both places were crowded and extra seats had to be provided to accommodate all the attendees.

As far as my talk went, it was pretty OK. I didn’t get nervous since there as an intermission my Pinoy Dream Academy finalist Liezel Garcia before I went on stage. The energy of the crown was pretty positive as I started. And this was helpful as I wasn’t feeling 100% at that time.

One thing I learned in presenting to large audiences is that the start has to be great. And with a crowd that was at least 3,000, I knew my start had to be better than great.

So I started to loosen up on stage and addressed the audience very casually (the attendees were primarily college students in their junior and senior years). Interestingly, I started off by telling the crowd that my talk was about, gasp, love.  Anyways, I got their attention and proceeded to transition to the meat of my talk: web usability and user experience design.

The most frustrating part about my talk was that when I asked the audience who did web projects in school, a very small, and I mean small, amount raised their hands. I could only see the negative in this. Either a) the audience wasn’t listening to me, or b) Information Technology students in the Philippines today are NOT into doing any web design or development. If the reason was the first, it meant I failed to do the necessary research about the audience and if it was the second, it meant that the future of web design in the Philippines doesn’t look good.

I also got feedback from a blogger who was part of the audience that the slide deck in Powerpoint that I used was great. (Although he was not convinced the audience was ready for my talk). But in anycase, any type of feedback is welcome. 🙂

Over-all, the experience of speaking before 3,000 people about usability was a blast. I hope the audience learned a thing or two about web usability and user experience design and I get to do this again next year. 😀