Last September 21, the Filipino blogosphere celebrated as the winners of the 36 different categories were announced at the awarding ceremonies of the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards held at the 1 Esplanade in Pasay City.
The event was a big improvement from last year’s blog awards, with a bigger venue, higher number of sponsors and evidently wider media coverage. It’s really hard to imagine that the whole thing was purely a community-based production with volunteers running the show.
I’ve been hearing and reading several criticisms of the awards, such as the release of the list of finalists, the promptness of the event, the arrangement of the program and “surprise” awards, but I say that’s only part of the growth and evolution process. Heck, the Philippine Web Awards is already more than a decade old, but it is still being hounded by criticisms. My suggestion to the next year’s organizers is to outsource the event management part and handle the strategy and conceptualization aspects of the awards.
The Philippine Blog Awards is definitely a salute to the Filipino Blogger, an event by bloggers for bloggers. So let’s take good care of it. ūüėÄ
I’m pleased to share that two of my other blogs have reached the final list in their respective categories: Big Lakers Fan for the Best Blog for Sports Category and Screensucked for the Best Blog for Entertainment Category. While I believe in the effort I put in for my blogs, I think only have a longshot of winning since the list of finalists are a virtual who’s who of great bloggers.
So, I’d like to allot a little space for my two blogs that made the finals:
Big Lakers Fan – This is probably the easiest blog I maintain because I always talk about my favorite basketball team– the Los Angeles Lakers. Like any sports fan, I want to curse at the world whenver my team loses and rejoice when they win, so I figured creating a blog about them would be the natural thing to do. This blog is also my blog that got the notice of the global crowd when I got published at NBA.com last June, ironically about a post on the Lakers’ loss to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals.
Screensucked– This blog has an interesting history. Almost three years ago, I wanted to make a blog about, well, nothing– just rants, links I found interesting and travel posts. But I soon realized that I got bored with those things because I found those things too limited, i.e., I rarely had a strong negative opinion about something, I didn’t have the time to look for “cool new sites” and I didn’t travel much. Thus, I put the blog on the shelf for a few months (Look at the blog’s archive).But I dusted the blog off after I realized I was watching movies with my girlfriend two to three times a week (thats’s our “thing”) and I seem to have something to say about the things that we watched. So, Screensucked was “reborn.”
These two blogs may or may not end up winning the Best Blog plum, but I sure am glad they got recognized. ūüôā
A good portion of the Philippine blogosphere (including myself)† considered September 6, 2008 a special day because it was WordCamp Philippines 2008 day.
And that day started really early because I had to polish the presentation I was going to give as a plenary session for WordCamp. My topic was something very close to my heart– Web Standards and WordPress– two of the main components of this blog. Since I left the house late in the morning, that meant I had to miss a significant part of the day’s talks. ūüôĀ (This should be a lesson to me not to wait for the last day/hour/minute.)
The past week was already† doozy for me because I had already given a talk at the Y4IT Conference on Wednesday, and then the WordCamp a few days later. (I think Jayvee and Juned had the same schedule) The two talks were significant, yet contrasting. Y4IT was like a rock concert, and WordCamp was more like an Unplugged event where it was more grounded and intimate.
When I arrived at the College of St. Benilde, it was in the middle of the i.ph talk. I met a few folks from the organizing committee who were extremely helpful. What they lacked in facilites, they really made up by the personal attention towards me and effort.
I was slotted after Aileen‘s Google Analytics presentation and once I got to the stage, I had some more clarity to what WordCamp was really all about. Unlike talks I’ve done before, I didn’t feel like an expert lecturing people, but a peer to the audience sharing what I like and do. We were all bloggers or somehow involved in blogging, so it was easier to draw from my experiences. In the end, I really felt good about giving the presentation.
Unfortunately, I had to scoot immediately after my talk because of another commitment so I wasn’t able to meet more bloggers and get my photo taken with WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. (Damn!) I did attend the afterparty at the mag:net cafe where I went up to the stage again and performed with the resident Rock-a-oke band, the Johnny’s.
Kudos to the Mindanao Bloggers, the volunteers and the Pinoy Blogosphere for making WordCamp Philippines 2008 possible. ūüôā
I’ve culled this list form Jehzlau’s blog (I hope he doesn’t mind), where he has a compilation of the WordCamp Philippines 2008 posts. This list is up-to-date as of this writing so check his blog post out, which he updates:
Yesterday, I had my second speaking engagement at the Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology or Y4IT Conference. I was a late inclusion in the line-up last year and I gladly obliged, but I was included in this year’s roster of speakers early on and so I was able to cook up something nice for the audience.
Last year, I talked about “Web 2.0 and You,” which was a primer on, well, Web 2.0. This year, I got a little bit crazy had the talk “The Internetís Next Big StarĖ You!” where I talked about how ordinary people are getting famous through the Internet, deliberately on accidentally. I started my talk by citing Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco and the Cebu Inmates’ Thriller viral video as examples then proceeded on detailing how internet fame comes about. A nice case study I showed was the “iPhone Girl” case where a factory girl in China became an internet sensation overnight by mistake. We had a meaty Q&A after, which is good because it showed me that my talk got people interested. ūüėÄ
I’ve found speaking before a big crowd a good personal challenge and I really enjoyed my spot yesterday. What’s next for me is a slot at this year’s WordCamp Philippines.
With the Web becoming one big glop of information, especially with bits and pieces coming from the users, business pundits have observed that personal attention has become one scarce resource. And whenever there is a scarce resource, economic theories apply. Thus the term “Attention Economy” was coined.
It may come to a surprise that as early as the 1970’s, experts have observed the deluge of information from various sources have outpaced the span of human attention. Herbert Simon wrote about this phenomenon in a 1971 journal from John Hopkins University, and was followed up by Michael Goldhaber in 1997 during the advent of the Internet in his article The Attention Economy and the Net. The blogosphere has also taken notice of the Attention Economy.
Web 2.0 has undoubtedly accelerated the pace of information creation and codification in the last half decade and if was hard to get people’s attention then, it surely is harder now, even with new ways of interrupting and distracting people from their digital lives.
But from what I observe, there is something that has become crucial today for the web these days– it’s Participation. This could very well be the new “P” of Marketing for this generation (with Product, Price, Place and Promotion being the other “P’s” of marketing.)† Participation for the Web 2.0 world creates the most value for web platforms. If attention is akin to money, as said by Goldhaber, then participation is the gold and silver being traded in the London Bullion Market.
Participation is the activity that creates the customer experience and would ultimately determine his or her satisfaction with a web application. Think about it– it’s easy to notice a website, but think how much a site or social application must do in order to get you to participate? Taking this further, once you have participated and felt satisfied, wouln’t you be feel more engaged? I came up with this simple model to illustrate my point:
I’ve called this model the “Attention-Participation-Engagement Model for the Web” where attention leads to participation which then would lead to user engagement.
There are probably around 80 million blogs today and that number will grow. Each will vie for your attention, but how many will you engage in conversation with?
I haven’t been building websites since I started my MBA last year. The reason? Well, business school has been very demanding and I’ve been caught up analyzing financial statements and crafting marketing strategies rather than busting out the elegant standards-compliant sites I’ve done in the past. I’ve also settled for doing speaking engagements and being a conduit for projects & managing them than taking on the projects themselves. (Hmmm… I think I could add “Web Designer Agent” to my resume… :P)
From a creative person’s point of view, business school is a place where the grand creative spark can be whittled down to a little flicker. It may be analogous to the whole “Management is where geeks go to die” business I read in Slashdot a few years back. (Whoa! Another Slashdot reference) But if you know where your strengths are, you can thrive in Marketing, or even Finance. I’m sure the guys at Enron were really, really creative.
But thanks to my relatively easy schedule for the past couple of weeks, I’m back in the game! I’m doing the design and development for the website of a Non-Government Organization and I sure am feeling the rust. I’ve never been out of the web industry totally, but I need to brush up on the cutting edge stuff (Geek mode on!). I’ve left the web craft for almost a year and I kinda feel a lot has happened in terms of the maturity of CSS and Web Standards implementations.
Ah, it sure feels good to be back in the game. ūüėÄ
Like the previous years, Y4IT will be focusing on contemporary and new technology that today’s youth will find useful and beneficial in their future careers. In my talk last year, the title of my talk was “Web 2.0 and You,” where, to my surprise, I introduced Web 2.0 to over 1,500 college and high school students. This year, I’m shifting my attention to the entertainment aspect of the Web. I thought of a catchy title and what I came up with was “The Internet’s Next Big Star– You!” I’m quite excited about it because I’ll be talking about a topic that combines two of my favorite subjects: The Web and entertainment.
Other topics for the multi-day event include eLearning 2.0, Blogging, CGI in Film Animation, Social Networking, Blu-Ray Technology, IT Certifications, Careers in Embedded Systems,† Podcasting, PhilNITS as a National IT Standard,†† What Employers Look for in IT Graduates, Outsourcing & Offshoring, Ruby on Rails.
If you have the time, drop by UP Diliman in the first week of September. ūüôā