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Recent posts

Which local telco will Apple partner with for the iPhone?

Apple iPhone

Slowly, but surely, the (legitimate) iPhone launch is making its way to Asia. Apple has recently partnered with O2 in the UK to be exclusive telco to distribute the iPhone. The added perk with this partnership is that the iPhone will have unlimited access to the Cloud partner hotspots around the UK.
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Promote the product, not the company

I was watching the La Salle – Ateneo game this afternoon from a local bar in Makati and I couldn’t help but notice how the Samsung Mobile logo kept on appearing above the game timer. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see company brand names, I can’t help but feel desensitized. I don’t feel a connection with the brand. I don’t feel the need to buy “Samsung.” Now, say instead of the Samsung logo, they showed a photo of their new Ultra slim line of Samsung phones (the one that’s being promoted by Beyonce), wouldn’t that have a stronger impact to the audience?

Promote the product, not the company. I can think that the only exception to this would be “legacy brands” such as BMW, Rolex, and Coca Cola. But powerful companies are known first because of their products before they can become icons.

Man in the Mirror recorded on a Samson C01U

The Samson CO1U Condenser microphone has received legendary reviews from tech community groups and audiophiles alike. I have been exposed to using the microphone ever since Vic Icasas lent me one for recording the Mobile Philippines podcasts late last year with Art Ilano and Adel Gabot.

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After months of mental debate on whether I should be getting one, I finally decided to bite the hook, as I also found it useful for singing duets with Boogie and recording acoustic music – apart from its more suitable use as a podcast microphone. For current Samson owners, it would be wise to download the SoftPre application to configure the microphone to suit your needs. The microphone retails for P3,890.00 and is sold in all Audiophile stores. This is the recommended piece of equipment for those who wish to take their audio recording to the next level, without the burden of a hefty budget.

The complete recording set includes the microphone, the stand and the spider mount which retails for a little less than P5,500. You can actually forego the spider mount but I suggest getting the solid base because it only costs P420.00. You can also utilize your Make and Do skills to create your own pop filter using an old pair of stockings and a shirt hanger.

[display_podcast]

Without further ado, here is my rendition of Man in the Mirror, originally written by Michael Jackson. This version is arranged by Tuck Andress. Please pardon the mistakes, as I was having a hard time playing this piece on a classical guitar (it’s much easier to play this on a steel string folk guitar as the fret boards are smaller). Or maybe I’m just rusty.

WTF! WTF! WTF!

Rico sent this to me earlier today. Rather disturbing. I knew my media related work would catch up sooner or later.

Please help me hide.

Any information on the events that occurred would be helpful.

Biblioteca Fernandez and Book Stores

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That’s the library on the second floor of my home, where I spent 1/3 of my childhood waking hours (the other 1/3 of my 80’s was spent in front of the television and the remaining pie was dedicated to toys). Afternoons and weekends were usually spent getting lost in the piles of National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, and original copies of the very first Marvel and DC comics which my dad hard bound.

As I grew into my teens, the library was reduced to a fleeting memory and the books gathered dust at the same rate that the newly opened mall in Alabang gathered traffic. I opened the encyclopedia less, and opened my email more. Nonetheless, libraries still fascinate me: Whether it be the rustic smell of a leather bound tome, the whispering voices that provide an ambiance or the iconic librarian that I was attuned to as a child.

I guess the modern day library would be the “reinvented” book store – I can sit and finish a book in one session if I have to.

Which leads me to why I like events that are held in bookstores. If you have the time, do drop by the WeeWillDoodle event this Friday at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street. And grab a moleskine while you’re at it.

Blogger, remember your roots

Every so often it would be good to reflect on your roots as a blogger and what got you started with writing in the first place. Doing this can help put some perspective in your overall goal of blogging whether it be for fun, for profit or for sharing things with others.

Remembering your roots can also help you avoid unnecessary conflict in the future as it puts a lot of things in perspective. I’d like to share you my roots:
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Photography using artificial projector backgrounds

A wise man once said, If you can’t bring the subject to the location, bring the location to the subject.

Err, sometime early last year I participated in a campaign to model for a certain line of apparel. The photographer for the “SM Urbanista” campaign was Xander Angeles and he had a unique way of bringing a surreal urban look into the studio. As we could not do outdoor shoots, Xander brought the background into the studio. What he did was take photos of urban backgrounds and project them to the studio wall using an LCD projector.

I’m not quite sure how the exact settings for the camera were set but this was obviously done using a slow shutter speed (I remember not breathing for about 2 seconds per take) and I do not remember a flash being fired (I could be wrong). Can anyone explain the anatomy behind these kinds of shots?

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Yay, I made Technorati front page

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It was My Good Finds that informed me of this in the form of a comment. I actually do not know the repercussions of becoming a “featured blog” as I surmise that the lottery draw for this is completely random. Now, a front page Digg .. now that’s something. Nonetheless, it’s nice to get some attention from the guys at Technorati. :)

I think the true feat here is being informed that you were on the front page, since being able to catch someone you know on the featured blogs list is quite a one in a thousand thing. :)

How to increase the chance of getting a Press Release published

In the communications industry, advertising in magazines is one effective means of getting your message across. Placing a one page advertisment on the right newspaper or magazine can most probably get the message to your target demographic. However, there is always a back door to getting published without having to pay a cent. Welcome to the strategy known as the press release – a means to get your message through without having to pay P100,000.00 for an ad space.

I was part of a panel last week at the “PR Rocks” PRSP Summit together with Ms. Pennie Azarcon-dela Cruz of Sunday Inquirer Magazine and Jones Campos of Globe Corporate PR. We discussed the Malu Fernandez controversy from an editorial perspective, corporate transparency to consumers, and tips on how to pitch to the media. Ms. Pennie, an award winning editor, gave some tips on how to make the editor’s job easier in choosing which press release to place.

Are you a PR or marketing practitioner? Here are some effective ways to get your press released published. You have to bear in mind that dozens of press releases make it to the inbox of newspaper and magazine editors every day. How does the editor pick the really good ones to publish? How do you make your piece of paper stand out from the rest of the stack? Here is a compiled list from Ms. Penny with some of my notes:

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Blogs as Tools for Nation Building

Although the term is widely used, I must give credit to Joey Climaco for lobbying the term nation building whenever we dialogue about advocacy campaigns.

Back in June, I volunteered my time with the Coca Cola Foundation for a project that made use of blogs as tools for documenting effective ways to help save the environment. This project is currently running as part of a contest for Coke Barkada, which involves the participation of 100+ college organizations across Metro Manila. Meaningful blogging is but one of the measures for this contest outcome as the students have to undergo tasks ala Amazing Race to determine the winners. Here is one of the examples of the blog of the UP Sandigan Organization maintained by Efriel Hazel Leynes:
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Morph: Helping tech entrepreneurs in more ways than one

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Last month, Winston Damarillo launched yet another company called Morph (their website is a neat www.mor.ph domain hack), which is described to be a “SaaS accelerator” for entrepreneurs.

Morph is a Software as a Service (SaaS) marketplace company. We are engaged in every aspect of the SaaS industry. Our business portfolio includes subscriber-supported web services, hosted web applications, web infrastructure, delivery platform, and market engine for web-enabled applications. Founded by a team of entrepreneurs, Morph is a “technoprise” entity that builds Web 2.0 companies. We provide the operational infrastructure, technical platform, and business stimulus necessary to bring web start-ups to market. [Mor.ph]

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From what I understood during the presentation, Morph helps tech entrepreneurs by providing the legal, marketing, investment and back end support for software as service ideas which they pitch and discuss together with Morph. This is why Winston describes the company as some sort of “accelerator” or “incubator” for new projects because it provides an ideal environment to jump start a SaaS-oriented project from zilch. I must stress the fact that Morph does help even with the legal and marketing concerns for the product. Very 360 degrees.

If you are interested in finding out more about Morph and maybe even pitch an idea, you can contact Macel Legaspi and she will help you get in touch with the right people.

Contact Information
Macel M. Legaspi
macel@morphlabs.com
+63917.627.7681

Other coverage:
The Manila Bulletin Online
INQUIRER.net

Price drop for remaining stocks of Apple iPods

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This is just a heads up – the old iPod models are selling like hotcakes in the Philippines. To give you an idea of the price drops, iStudio prices point to P12,900.00 for the 30GB iPod and P18,xxx.xx for the 80GB model. This is a huge steal for consumers who have been wanting to buy cheap, but brand new.

Last word was that the 30GB model is already sold out at iStudio in Bonifacio High Street, The Fort. Check out the other Apple official dealers for prices and availability. The new 2007 line of iPods will be out this coming 28th of September.

Survey says: Women don’t like pink gadgets!!!!

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I wonder what Pink SEO and Geek Girl Manila have to say about this article:

Hardware Widow Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has put down in black and white what plenty of women around here have been thinking for ages: we want technology but we don’t want it coloured pink or encrusted with fake gemstones.

[…] Only nine per cent of the women S&S talked to think it’s important that their gadgets look feminine. Rather a lot of ladies are completely turned off by the abundance of pink products. [The Register]

I’m not a lady, so I honestly cannot give an insight on this claim. I do think that the mindset is taboo, and that consumers are a lot smarter than this. What do the lady geeks think?

Uncategorized

Tobey Maguire as Rick Hunter? Oh no.

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Swinging from his role as Peter Parker, Tobey Maguire is set to play one of the main characters in the upcoming live action version of Robotech. Now hold it right there. Tobey Maguire as Rick Hunter (Ichijyo Hikaru in the Japanese Macross version)? I make this assumption as Maguire can’t possibly portray Roy Fokker or Admiral Gloval.

I don’t know. The movie reeks too much of Hollywood to me. The fact that they’re using Robotech as the title and not The Super Dimensional Fortress: Macross (the original Japanese title from 1983) is already … err … never mind.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (超時空要塞マクロス, Chōjikū Yōsai Makurosu) is among the many 80s ‘space opera’ anime series produced in Japan. It was broadcast between October 3, 1982 and June 26, 1983 on the Mainichi Broadcast System, and produced by Big West, Studio Nue, and Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd. North Americans may have already come to know the thirty-six episode saga as the first part of Carl Macek’s Robotech (1985). Driven by music from Haneda Kentarou and Iijima Mari, populated by mecha designs from the famous Kawamori Shoji, and developed by Studio Nue, Macross has become one of the most recognizable brands to this day. It was most certainly one of the leading series of the transformable-robot genre, thanks in no small part to Kawamori’s excellent Valkyrie designs.

But really, I don’t know. If I were them, I’d actually consider remaking Do You Remember Love? which was the title of the 2 hour movie finale which was actually a compression of the entire 36 episodes that aired in 1984.

What I have written, I have written

The following events take place within the last six months.

A public relations agency called me up after I posted a review of their client’s product x. The account executive was a little careful with the words coming out of her mouth and she was asking if I could “improve on what I wrote.” I stopped dead on my tracks (actually I didn’t really stop because I remember clearly that I was on an escalator at Rockwell) and asked her,

“What do you mean by … improve?”

It may be true that bloggers are now being tapped by PR agencies to test consumer products and services. Because of the nature of our content management system, we can edit our entries anytime. But I highly doubt that bloggers are becoming tools of PR. I think it is quite the opposite. Yesterday, I gave a short presentation to marketing and communications students at the PR Rocks Conference sponsored by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines. I told them that bloggers, though they may not be journalists are passionate individuals who hang on to their credibility. They, I would like to believe, do not sell out.

Out of politeness and still bearing the shock of not knowing what to say, I told this person, “Let me see what I can do…”

I texted her immediately after putting the phone down and told her that I was greatly disturbed by that request. She understood deeply as I have been in touch with this person since my editor / writer days at Hinge-Inquirer – as the request was truly odd. I read my review once more and it was no different in style to the dozens of reviews I have written since 2003. I am always fair and want to give products a fighting chance in the market. I didn’t see why I had to “improve” on it. What I have written, I have written.

Take everything away from me, but please don’t take away my credibility. I understand that the PR fellow was just doing her job but it is also our duty to educate remind PR practitioners that we need to set criteria. Sometimes they get too engrossed in their work. :)

On bad products
I have a personal opinion about REALLY bad products – I never review products that don’t make sense to consumers (VERY iffy market / VERY sub par features / VERY horrendous pricing scheme) because I know that such types of products will die a natural death. Giving a bad product a bad review is like kicking someone when he’s already down. In the case of this scenario I just outlined, the product was not bad. I gave a fair perspective on the strengths and weaknesses.

So what is the purpose of this post? Because of this incident, I would like to reveal the 8th characteristic of Blog and Soul (only 7 are posted), something which I never really wanted to talk about because I felt that it was unnecessary. The 8th pointer of the Blog and Soul Movement is to protect bloggers from sacrificing their credibility to PR. This does not happen intentionally, but I tell you that it does happen. I have dealt with several PR and ad agencies in the past – Ogilvy, GMCI, Strategic Edge, Bridges, Dominguez, Stratworks, etc and know that they are all composed of very good and upright people whom I respect and love. But we, as bloggers, must always be on guard just in case. Just in case.

The last thing you want to happen is to realize that you’ve sold out without knowing it.

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