My first encounter with WordPress with with a humble blog at the time with about 400 unique visitors a day. Back then, we – I say we because there was Howard, Adel, Poch, Jason, Jim, Art and myself with a few guests here and there started what is known today as the Mobile Philippines blog, a flagship blog that has formed part of the stable of the Hinge-Inquirer Publications blog network.
Most, if not all of the original team have moved on in their respective industries. Some still work for the publishing company while others, like me are involved with other projects be it the academe, new media, retail, etc. But that’s life ladies and gents, so it is time to pass on the torch to passionate folk who want to make a name for themselves in the Philippine blogosphere. I got an email from Eva and Upper, who are the “two pillars” of the technology editorial team, issuing out a call for bloggers for Mobile.
The old template was designed by Gary Mercado back in 2004. The 2006 portal-like template was enhanced by Gail Villanueva and now, Mobile has just renovated again. The Mobile blog is a supplement to Mobile Philippines, one of the top 10 technology magazines in the country based on a recent Synnovate Survey.
Mobile is a “well placed” blog in the sense that its traffic has been growing and your involvement with the staff brings you up to date with the latest in Philippine technology, especially cellphones. The site has a PR of 5. It also has a permanent link to the country’s number one news website, INQUIRER.net. Huge traffic value here.
If you’re interested, I would suggest sending an email to Upper at upperviceo at gmail dot com as I’m not privy to the full details.
Strategic Edge sent over a Core 2 Extreme Quad Core desktop box for this blog. These machines were built for high end multimedia and gaming, and quite frankly we haven’t really seen this out in the wild yet. Pricing info is still not available yet. Here are some pictures of the unpacking process and some shots of the interior. Click for more.
In my previous post, I was talking about how podcasters should be performance artists. I guess watching stand up comedy acts like Pablo Francisco can definitely be inspiring in creating livelier content.
I notice too that TWiT, one of the most popular podcasts on the iTunes Store (loosely referred to as the Billboards for Podcasts) have the guests do voice impersonations at times. I think this has more to do with how Leo Laporte can infect everyone else with his voice acting.
When I used to direct plays, a technique I made use of to “unleash the inner actor” would be to have the characters do a dramatic run through of the play with the lights closed or with something to cover their eyes, like a paper bag … or cucumber slices.
Statistically speaking, hiding behind a mask helps remove inhibition, allowing characters to play their role more effectively (Batman and other superheroes for instance hide behind a mask to transcend into another personality).
Try podcasting in the dark or with your eyes closed. It helps.
Several days ago I wrote an entry on why podcasting seems to be so much harder to do. The concession was that unlike blogging, the resources needed to podcast would entail much more equipment. Of course, you can achieve a semi-decent podcast using the built in microphone of your laptop or by purchasing a cheap mic from your friendly computer store for less than P200.00.
But then after some reflection, I realized that the real reason why it is much harder to podcast isn’t because people think it is hard to do. Let me repost that paragraph here:
People THINK that podcasting is very hard to do. When in fact all you need is a cheap ass microphone and a free recording software like Audacity. Once you start recording, all you need to do is be yourself — having a guest over would help but if you really are in the need for some divine inspiration, then San Miguel can always help. You can always find a free service to host your podcasts like Odeo, Twango, Gcast or Podomatic. Against all odds your first podcast may really suck – in terms of coherence or content. But a podcast series is always a work in progress. It may not be obvious to you, but check back on your old blog entries and see how far they have evolved since. The same thing works with podcasts. Just do it!
Unlike blogging, which is now considered to be a spectator sport, podcasting as well as videocasting are performance arts. Though blogging requires technical as well as creative skill, these are already learned in our schooling days such as being trained to construct a grammatically correct sentence and write a paragraph that makes sense.
In school however, we were never taught to do radio shows, or to train our voice to be more attuned for broadcasting. The little that we learn to hone these creative talents are learned in extra curricular activities which for the most part, were … extra and optional.
I admit. I’m a n00b at podcasting. If what I do create sounds okay, it’s because its so easy to edit audio using GarageBand. In fact, editing is the easy part. The hard part is the performance – the voice. The content. The pauses. It is so much harder to get listeners engaged. You have to be theatrical. You have to be musical. You have to be three dimensional. You aren’t talking. You’re performing.
Let me describe the ambiance. We’re over at a friend’s house in Bataan sitting around the pool. No one’s swimming. Three of us have our laptops out. Two of us have a Globe Visibility dongle dangling from the respective USB ports, surfing the net. The remaining friend is finishing a presentation and playing a podcast.
We’re supposed to be on vacation.
I remember in my early childhood education classes that it is quite normal for children to do “group play” – a term that describes how several children can be found in one group, but engaged in their own activity. The developmental logic here is that young children may not be ready to engage in group activities like playground time, but may be ready to “socialize” with others in the form of similar activities – like playing with building blocks, clay or … surfing the net with laptops.
I’ve been to similar events – like the “wala lang” PhilMUG meets where we used to doing group surfing at Seattle’s Best in Alabang and talk once in a while in between refreshing Mac OS X updates.
But the true reality is, we enjoy this time together.
Have a peaceful Holy Week!
It’s not true that Mac users get the better deal of things. In the same way that it took Yahoo! Messenger for Mac a couple of years to release an update, it is going to take a while for Google Desktop for Mac OS X to fix its quirks.
The Mac version of Google Desktop is somewhat slim compared to its current Windows counterpart, only consisting of the Quick Search—no toolbar or gadgets yet. However, the search box works well—it’s significantly faster at searching my files than Spotlight is when searching for the same files. Bringing up the search box is easy: simply press the command/Apple key twice in succession and it pops up over the top of your screen. The user can change the keyboard command in Google Desktop’s system preferences at any time, however, if they prefer some other key combination. [source]
The thing is, Macs already come bundled with the Spotlight search feature and my brain has been hardwired to it. Plus, coupled with Quicksilver, I feel that I have enough “getting things done” search apps to help me throughout the day. Although Google Desktop is supposed to work in conjunction with Spotlight – and based on the initial review, even better than, I highly doubt I’d want to make use of a similar feature when that is all it can do, as of its latest version.
Too many apps spoil the search, and I would like to keep things simple
[courtesy of Emerging Earth]
It’s official. The Philippines is now an eccentric geek hangout based on the standards of the owners of Crumpler. These guys are the makers of the bags that changed the geek world to what it is today – fashionable, quirky and still geeky! No other bag has created such a cult following in the world as the name Crumpler is backed by a few years of quirky personas and drunken copywriting skills for their product catalogue.
That’s me in the pajamas with Gabe Mercado of SPIT and in the middle is the famous Pineapple Ju-ju of Crumpler. You can view other interesting Crumpler videos here, such as the Bag Rider (do not try this at home) and Crumpler at MacWorld.
More than ten years ago, our high school group used to come by to one of the homes of friend to swoon over his 486DX rig with Sound Blaster Pro speakers. The speakers were the most important part of the set as we needed them to play a now classic trivia game called You Don’t Know Jack!
Dubbed as Jeopardy with an eccentric twist, YDKJ has reinvented itself into a web based game where you can load up several “episodes” into a flash player. Many aspects of the game were preserved such as the minimalist use of visuals, the quirky announcer with dozens of side comments, the Jack Attack!, and the “DisorDat” segment.
This is definitely a good move for the Jellyvision folk as flash games are becoming cheaper and cheaper to manufacture and distribute over the web, thus making their “innovation” back in the 90′s just some plain old. But YDKJ has carried itself rather easily through several years of cult following so now, it will be easier for you to experience the Jack Attack with friends anywhere with an Internet connection.
The launch of StudioNow ushers in a new era of video production by directly connecting consumers with expert video/movie editors. The StudioNow Editor Network includes a range of expert editors, from film-school students to major-network TV and Hollywood feature film professionals. Editors can sign-up to feature their editing talents and are assigned projects matching their skill level through the StudioNow website.
In the social media scene …
This is especially helpful for bloggers who do not have the resources or knowledge to create good quality video shows. All they need to do is create the raw recording with a cameraphone and submit the content to the pool of editors who will execute your project with all the specific instructions taken into account.
StudioNow is also hiring video editors who can work from anywhere around the world
Yesterday, Amor Maclang of Geiser-Maclang PR asked me rather nicely if I could bring some blogger friends to the Palm Treo 750 launch at The Embassy, The Fort.
Geiser-Maclang is one of the few PR agencies in the Philippines that has been rather active in taking bloggers seriously. Of course, this is a loaded statement, as it still is not obvious how “serious” they have been. But nonetheless, Amor is taking baby steps in getting to know the Philippine blogosphere (she is a blogger too). Parteh anyone? I only have limited slots (I can’t acommodate the entire blogosphere … hindi kaya ng powers ko yan)
If you are interested to come (preferred: if your blog’s niche has to do with technology), please leave a comment with your name and blog title and I will forward your names to her. The cool guys and gals from MaPalad (Philippine Palm OS Users Group), the Pinoy Windows Mobile friends and the Microwarehouse peeps will also be there.
The Treo 750 is the Palm-manufactured device that runs on Windows Mobile. Some say this spells the death of Palm, but in a world where you can boot Windows on an Intel Mac, there’s no saying where technology will go today. From the first impressions of the 750, the word is that Plam did a very good integration of the Windows Mobile 5 OS onto the Palm hardware.
The said event will be at Embassy, The Fort at around 8:00 to 10:00 PM on Tuesday. March 20 2007. In return, please blog about the event.