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On Blogging and Character

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Recent posts

iPhone 3G: $199.00 for 8GB

The second coming of the Jesus Phone is nigh. Just moments ago, Steve unveiled the iPhone 3G at the WWDC 2008 conference. I managed to do a Live Plurk of the event. You can click the link to see my comments and some responses. I also have an initial post up at Cellphone9 for the coverage. Nothing fancy. More of a first impressions look. As a follow up I also wrote a piece on what a $199.00 iPhone does to the cellphone industry.

With Windows Mobile devices costing in the close $600.00 and above, what happens when the world’s most talked about phone get a huge price cut by half? What happens when the world’s most talked about phone acquires Microsoft ActiveSync and Exchange and push email? What happens when it acquires GPS and maps as well? All for the price of an entry-level phone from Nokia or Samsung.

Regarding the latter, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Overall, a lot of the new services announced won’t make huge waves in the Philippines. But the price point of the new and improved iPhone will. At less than P10,000.00 the 8GB iPhone will probably kill most of the competition. That is, if people don’t start charging more for unlocking it :)

Hey, ever thought about it? What was your most memorable blogger event?

Amidst the controversies on blogger related events, we can’t deny that blog events are some of the most fun extra-curricular activities that can make or break our day. Have you ever thought about it? What was the most memorable blog event you’ve been to? I’m not looking for the best – because that’s relative. I’m looking for something memorable – and maybe in the comments section, you can say why.

So let’s vote! I started a list here but anyone can add events as they deem fit. It could be a media event they attended as a blogger, an all-blogger event … whatever. Just vote! I’ll have this poll open for the next two weeks, which will close on the 20th of June.

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What was mine? Well, easily the b5media blogger mixer gathering at Kape Isla late last year. ;)

So … when was the last time you bought a Collezione shirt? Me — 1992? :)

Oh god. When was the last time you bought a Collezione shirt? I’m VERY SURE that at one point in our lives (maybe during the late 80’s, teehee) we owned a Collezione branded tee. Because I guess that was the in thing then: a plain collared polo shirt. Hah! That was nostalgic.

So the nostalgia faded until about last week when I started to see “Collezione C2″ ads being displayed on the blogs. I first thought that Collezione was launching a partnership with the tea drink brand but as it turns out, Collezione C2 happens to be the new division of Collezione that’s well … not stuck in the 80’s really very innovative with keeping up with the times! :) Here is a photo of me wearing one of their shirt. Skeptical I was at first but it really fit well when I put it on. The tela isn’t thin and though it isn’t stretchable like my Threadless tees, they’re warm and comfy.

Other than that I haven’t seen more of the designs. More designs here! But this isn’t their new line that will be unveiled on the 11th of June.

Well, if you’re curious to check out Collezione’s new line, there are a series of two events that will be happening next week:

On June 11, Wednesday, 6:00 PM at CAV Restaurant in Bonifacio High Street, Collezione C2’s Creative Director Rhett Eala unveils My Pilipinas the Series. What a neat-o URL www.mypilipinas.org — makes me wonder why nobody had that parked. If you’re interested in coming you can confirm with Sara at 0917-5334624.

If you can’t go, there will be an open exhibit from June 12 to 14 at The Spa @ Bonifacio High Street from 12 noon to 10:00 PM.

* CAV is that wine bar in front of mag:net. The place caught my eye the first time I tried it because they were serving wine ala dispenser! There have been mixed reactions to this from wine lovers because it might “cheapen” the experience as you don’t get a bottle. Customers are given a card which they have to punch into the machine and choose between full glass, half glass and “sample.” Personally, I think the concept is geeky and CAV allows you to appreciate wine if you just want to taste.

How to Make a uMobile Invite Move Faster!

Hello again friends. A lot of you have been asking about uMobile invites. I recently emailed their technical support asking about why the sign up page was disabled. Well, it is back up now so I can start sending out invites again. But I also learned that I can only send 10 invites per month which means that the process might take longer — THEREFORE, I was able to get clarification on how to get more invites. I’ll paste the bulk of the email here and highlight the salient portions:

For your inquiry, yes you can invite 10 of your friends every month. That’s 100 friends in a year! We recently enabled the invite page so now you can start inviting your friends again.

If someone is interested in our service, they can request an invite code to customerservice at umobile dot com dot ph by simply sending their complete name and email address. If their request is unique or valid, we will send an email with an invite code.

Note that every application is still subject for approval. An applicant cannot log-in to the “My Account” page of the website until he/she is approved and have received their ümobile SIM. When the application is approved, we will send an email to confirm their approval and our customer service will contact them to confirm when and where their FREE ümobile SIM will be delivered.

So there you have it. Unfortunately I didn’t know about the limit and used up 10 invites for my family and close friends. But as you can see, the solution is right there on the email. Please send them an email with your details and then they will send you a respective sign up code. You will then be able to send out 10 invites per month to your close friends.

I really hope this helps and I apologize for the small mix up!

HP 2133 Mini Note PC First Impressions (with photos!): Kills the ASUS eee 900?

The ultra-light phenomenon has just tipped once again. With ASUS releasing the eee and eee 900, other manufacturers have gone light (see ACER’s Aspire One product feature) and now the market has definitely tipped. HP has just released the Mini Note PC to the Philippine market last night and I was lucky to have taken home a demo unit from the event. I think this was because I won the wackiest pose on the HP wall — I balanced the Mini Note on my head.

Here’s a short size comparison between the HP Mini Note PC, my 13 inch MacBook and a standard sized Samsung F400 (Bang and Olufsen) mobile phone:

HP desktops and laptops have always had that reputation of being good but *cough* expensive. Their direct competitor would be Toshiba in terms of pricing and “status.” But I was floored to see something that night that made me realize how companies are now trying to -reinvent themselves to the new market. The HP Mini Note PC is the cheapest full functioning ultra light PC I have ever encountered. I can’t believe how much style and features were packed into this thing, with an array of choices for the operating system and a ridiculously low price, it isn’t funny.

Let’s check out the full package, specs and pricing:
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I *Can* Touch This!

Thanks, MC Hammer for being awesome! The baggy pants rocked back then.

Acer Summer Power Fest 2008: Cagayan de Oro

Recovering from the flu, I bravely joined Acer’s 2008 Media Power Fest in Cagayan de Oro. While last year had an army obstacle course to offer, this year was an amazing race around the city capped with a white water rafting race – we paddled for 2 hours!

This video was made by one of our teammates, Kit Joaquin.

And of course, the winning shot ….

No presscon. No product briefings. Just pure, unadulterated adrenaline for 2 whole days!

Rockstar Blogs

The blogosphere is alive with a lot of local talent. Here is a short list of blogs that I read with corresponding RSS feed links. This list is always a work in progress. Check them out now!

Blogging Rockstars

Fritz Tentativa // RSS
Coy Caballes // RSS
Phoebe Ramos // RSS
Just Wandering // RSS
The Technograph // RSS

Art Samaniego // RSS
Franny Wanny // RSS
RebelPixel by Markku Segguera // RSS
Aileen Apolo // RSS
AJ Matela // RSS

Baratillo // RSS
PinoyBlogero // RSS
Mike Abundo // RSS
TechnograPH // RSS
Our Awesome Planet // RSS

Dessert Comes First // RSS
100 Pound Foodie // RSS
Pass the Sauce // RSS
Swipe Some Gloss // RSS
Funny Sexy // RSS

Karla Redor // RSS
ShutterBugged: The Photoblog // RSS
Gibbs Cadiz
// RSS
Anna Carlos // RSS
Flair Candy // RSS

Ada “Adaphobic” // RSS
Adel Gabot // RSS
Jim Ayson // RSS
Karen Pamintuan // RSS

Pepper Lunch at Rockwell Kills the No Rice Diet

Met up with Fran, Didi, and Sophie for dinner. We had previously come from an event with Juned and AJ and made our way to Rockwell for dinner. The Pepper Lunch craze has really hit town (I even updated their Wikipedia entry to say they’re already in Manila). When we heard that Chuvaness was opening Pepper Lunch in Manila.

As of this writing, I’ve eaten at Pepper Lunch three times (it only opened last week!). I really try to stay away from rice whenever possible, and if I do eat, I only finish 1/4th to 1/2 cup of rice. But it’s really different. My no-rice diet is now a pseudo-rice diet courtesy of their Beef Pepper Rice. It costs about P140.00 for an extra cup of their special rice with crushed peppercorns and the secret butter they add to the middle.

I’m not much of a food reviewer so you can check out the entries of Phoebe, AJ, Sophie and Fran. I did take photos, but probably brought the wrong lens. I took the macro out to see if I could get the steak in detail but realized how hard it was to shoot with smoke coming from all directions. What’s the best way to shoot food that’s inevitably spewing smoke? Items from grills and hot plates are hard to shoot as is!

All I really have to say is that if you’ve had a really crappy day at work, Pepper Lunch at Rockwell can really save what’s left of it. Congratulations, Chuvaness :)

How does uMobile work? Here’s a video I made :)

Hi folks, looks like umobile is catching the interest of the general public, and why shouldn’t it? I have an account with them (but no SIM yet) and for those who are curious to know what’s in their dashboard, here’s a virtual tour I made last night. Some points of interest:

a. the unlimited ability to change your mobile phone number for P50.00 anytime (stalker fodder?)
b. invite-only scheme to apply
c. the ads

Anyway, pardon the coughing in the video. It’s that season for the colds.

U Mobile (ümobile): Country’s 5th Telco is the Free, Advertising Based Service

EDIT: Erratum on the free load and how it works

EDIT II: Apparently the referral system is now up. I’ll be referring people who want a umobile number. The application requires me to input your name, email and a current cellphone number so if you’re comfy with giving that out to me, send me an email. All info you provide will be held in strict confidence.

EDIT III: Short video walkthrough here

SMART Telecommunications, Globe Telecommunications, SUN Cellular, Bayan Telecommunications. And now there’s room for one more.

There’s a new number in town and that number is “+63999.” Word is out that a telco called CURE which was bought by SMART has been launched for the public, and their name is U Mobile or ümobile, the country’s first free advertising-driven telco. It’s sort of like Inquirer Libre which we get to pick up on the train station free of charge — because everything is subsidized by advertising.

ümobile is a brand owned by Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprise, Inc. CURE belongs to the family of the 2 leading telecommunication giants—PLDT and SMART. We maintain our independence as far as strategic business decisions and day-to-day operations are concerned. SMART supports us in our needs especially on network complement. [FAQ]

Is this the telco for the masses? Well no. Not really. Not yet. Currently, applications are by invite only and I heard that people who have been invited to the service (those who went to the launch party a few hours ago) will be able to refer friends who can join up and avail of the free service. I heard as well that there is an allocation of P350 worth of credit per month for users P100 a month for the first 6 months for free. The P350 is the maximum amount of load you can receive by participating in the ad program that is sent to your mobile. We were blown away and I really have so many questions to ask. But as of the moment, that’s all I know.

Commenting on the worldwide telecommunications scene, this is something Google wanted to do – buy their own spectrum and launch their own telco free of charge, driven entirely by advertising. The Philippines is the first in Asia to have an Ad Driven telco and yeah, this is huge. Freakin’ huge. The telco has been in operations for more than a year now undercover and have now launched officially with several partner establishments to deliver advertising directly to the mobile phone.

Ads are purely contextual and users will have to answer a thorough survey which is updated every year in case interests changes. So yes, “contextual” is dependent on the survey as far as I was informed.

Cool beans. Freakin’ cool beans. This is big.

P.S. I won an LG KU380 Phone from the raffle — well I think everyone went home with one! Marketing is surely aggressive. Open bar. Piss drunk. Wheeee!

34 Seconds of LOL

I live by the premise that everyone is entitled to their 30 seconds of fame. Well, here’s mine. It aired as a slot for Convergence on Net 25 for Acer’s outreach program for OFWs.

Please LOL all you want :)

Stages to Becoming Mainstream

Over the weekend, I was having a discussion with one of my cousins in the ad business and we were talking about the airsoft phenomenon in the Philippines and how it has transformed a small enthusiast group into a mainstream public endeavor. He lists down the following stages that transforms a niche hobby into an industry and I realized how these stages can be applicable to almost any hobby:

Stage 1 An enthusiast group with no other benefit than the game itself

Stage 2 Community takes root in the form of dinners and activities outside the sport

Stage 3 Community evolves into a series of institutions

Stage 4 Mainstream media features

Stage 5 Injection of Celebrities

It is at this point — at STAGE 5 when a hobby turns mainstream. It is also under this thought that a BUSINESS MODEL simply because there is a traditional revenue model to back it up, which is entertainment (yeah, the celebs).

It is through these five stages that an INDUSTRY is born. This is why we now have regular sponsored Airsoft tournaments with hundreds of players converging to play (capturing the opposing celebrity faction leader), eat, drink and see the Viva Hot Babes in the flesh.

My question is, what stage is blogging in the Philippines at?

Verzio Envii at P29,900 in Manila

“Love looks through a telescope; Envii, through a microscope.” - Josh Billings

The Envii

Hey folks, I’m back and posting between the sniffles. My seasonal flu is spot on with the weather change. Because of this I haven’t really had the time to fiddle with something that came through the mail – the Verzio Envii, which is Verzio’s first Windows Mobile 6 handheld. First saw this little thing at the Verzio store in Bonifacio High Street and lookie here – there’s finally one in the mail.
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Uncategorized

New Media is all about conversation. Spam NEVER talks back.

I recommend Stowe Boyd’s post on PR Spam. In the Philippine context, what he’s saying is that PR practitioners should engage bloggers and journalists through social tools like Twitter or Facebook, and not through the email inbox. That way, it looks more like an invitation to join in on the conversation, with our time well spent in listening to a pitch. Stowe wants PR practitioners to stop spamming inboxes:
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