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Recent posts

PageRank restored to 5/10. Google issues warning on selling links

I was over at Mindanao Bob’s place last night when he pointed out Darren’s post about Google PR swinging back once more. ProBlogger.net is back up to PR 6/10. Over here, my PageRank has also been restored to its original 5/10. According to Darren, this fluctuation was confirmed to be a warning shot fired by Google for bloggers who engage in the selling of text links.

I’ve had confirmation now from two sources at Google that this latest round of updates was ALL about the selling of text links. You can see Jeremy Twittered the same thing here. Some of those who have had their updates reversed today were falsely penalized for selling links (like ProBlogger which used to do it but stopped months back).

This latest furore has all been about the selling of links and is a warning shot to bloggers and webmasters who engage in the practice. Of course not everyone who sells links has been hit (there’s no way Google will get everyone) but it’s a sign of what Google are continuing to crack down on.

PageRank is just a number. But to the blogging economy, it spells the difference between earning so much more from your blog. Darren writes the pros and cons about this move by Google but outlines, as we would all be advised, to not be stat crazy and to just focus on our content.

I assume that when Darren refers to “selling links” he refers to sites that openly hard sell links on their site. Here’s a read. This may also have something to do with the nofollow tag as well. But I may be mistaken. Anybody care to clarify?

On another interesting note, the LinkWorth blog shows their stand on the matter. It’s a very good read. What are they saying? Basically, don’t let Google bully you. PR is just a number:

Unless you’re listed on the first page for your keywords, why would it matter if you were spotted by Google and PR dropped? Money in your pocket is money in your pocket! Don’t give it back because you have less green in your toolbar! Just remove the toolbar and go with the flow, keep the ads, add more ads and continue writing great content on your site.

Diving at Paradise Island, Davao City

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Diving. Unlike basketball, football, volleyball and badminton, where winning is defined by the number of points your team scores by the end of the game, the objective of diving is different: don’t die.

We went diving over the weekend at the Paradise Island, a good 15 minute drive from Davao City, and though it may not be the best diving spot in Davao, it was still an experience. I’m hooked. We weren’t too adventurous as 20 feet deep was the most we went. I think Anton Sheker is planning a dive soon. Stay tuned.

More photos after the jump.
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b5media and our Board of Advisors

A great part of the reason why I joined b5media in 2005 was to expand my horizons with well known International bloggers. A few days ago, Rick Segal announced the official listing of the b5media advisory board. Among the board members are famous “blogtoonist” Hugh MacLeod, blogging star Robert Scoble, Doc Searls, Stowe Boyd, and Renee Blodgett. I’m not exactly sure what the dynamics of the group will bring forth but according to Stowe, their first board meet seems to be happening at CES.

Jeremy has a post up about why there was a need for a board of advisors.

Wow, more blogging stars! b5media has gone a long way since 2005. 🙂

Ingress at the Mindanao Blogger Summit

Spent the night at the NCCC mall for the ingress of the Mindanao Bloggers Summit. The evening was summarized by a lot of eating, Nintendo DS and moving stuff around.

Big day tomorrow!

Rejoice! Leopard is here!

I’m miles away from the Leopard store launch in Greenbelt (allegedly, all the Apple Powermac employees are in Leopard spots make up). But this is the most I can give. I videotaped the countdown to Zero Hour.

Was honestly expecting something grand to happen to the site. But still, I’m such a geek. Such an Apple Geek.

Our First Certificate of Recognition!

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Juned: It was fun

Jayvee: Is that the correct word?

Juned: It was fulfilling!

We talked about blogs, blogging, and using blogs as a teaching instrument in lesson plans. According to the teachers, high school students are very familiar with Friendster blogs as their means of self expression. Why not channel this enthusiasm into a learning tool in the classroom? The teachers were very receptive and although the session was short, we’re working on phase two of our school penetration program. We’ll be working with the top journalism students of Lagro National High School and help them use blogs in a number of class projects. The possibilities are numerous. [Blog and Soul]

Thank you to Arpee and Juned for working on this project. Do you want to volunteer your time to talk about blogs to students? Click here.

Google PR is just a number and this is my miracle explanation why

Putting things in perspective, I believe the issue about the Google PR numbers game is at most, a relative discourse. Yuga says that bloggers should not rely on Google PageRank and Riz exposes the idea that PageRank is a wonky statistic.

Let me give an analogy of how Google PageRank works in the light of print industry. In the beginning, a lot of media buyers would rely on ONE thing when it came to advertising on print. That THING would be the claimed circulation figures that a publishing sales team would present forward. Anybody could claim a readership of 10,000 copies nationwide but in reality the print run receipt would only amount to 1,500 copies. How bad! How evil! But why is this done? There would be such arbitrary things to consider such as pass on readership figures which were all transcribed from an in house formulae which nobody had any idea how it was calculated.

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Magazine stand visibility was another thing. So many of the same mag issue adorned the wooden displays at bookstores. Did it mean that the magazine sold well? No. Not really. It could simply mean that the particular issue was overstocked. There was so much market visibility BECAUSE there was very little conversion to sales. And magazine stands wouldn’t care less anyway as they stock on consignment.

What’s my point? There are so many things going on when it comes to determining what really brings influence forward. A magazine may only have 1,000 readers but what if their ads are all targeted towards the market? Advertisers still don’t realize this because the truth is, they don’t want to, and don’t have the time to dwell on such things. That’s the broker’s job.

The Google PageRank issue is proof that the online publishing / advertising industry is still in its infancy. PageRank, Technorati links, actual traffic … these are but figures which are arbitrarily defined by the industry as measures for influence and reach. But there has to be a system somewhere – a system that’s easy to understand and Google has made that system a no brainer for advertisers to grasp, using a scale of 1 to 10. And hey, who can contradict the number 1 company in the world? That’s advertising made simple.

Mac OS X Leopard in the Philippines

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Today is October 26 2007 in Philippine soil. In about a day’s time, Apple will make its biggest operating system announcement in the form of Leopard. The countdown on the Apple website current reads 17 hours to go. By that time I’ll be in Davao for the Mindanao Bloggers Summit, which means that I won’t be able to watch the keynote. I mean really, its not Leopard that I’m waiting for – great as the software is, this isn’t a scoop. It’s the anticipation of the new line of MacBook hardware that Steve Jobs MIGHT announce. I can hear him say it now:

“Mac OS X Leopard is available now for a retail price of $149.00. Oh and just one more thing … the new line of MacBooks will ship with Leopard starting today.”

But what about the local launch of Leopard? Well, I have the official date from the email invitation. Mac OS X Leopard will be launched on November 8 2007 in the Philippines.

November 8 2007.

November 8 2007.

November eight two thousand and seven. Venue and time to be announced.

See you MacHeads there! 🙂

Thesis: Blog Networks should NOT rely on Text Link Ads or Google AdSense

Aaron Brazell, our technology manager at b5media confirmed a suspicion I’ve kept to myself. A few weeks ago, Cellphone9.com dropped from a solid Google PageRank 6 to a 5 and then today, a 4. Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger also dropped from a towering 7 to a measly 4. Same goes for Brian Clark’s Copyblogger. Must be disappointing to admit it, but A Bugged Life, though not linked to the network dropped in PR from a 5 to a 4 a few weeks before Google declared jihad on blog networks. Funny though, because as soon as my personal blog’s PR dropped, it made Technorati front page.

At b5media, we are weighing how we want to respond to this. Either we give in to Google and let them dictate what we do and have the unenviable position of losing pagerank and possibly advertising dollars, or we take the stand that quality content is quality content regardless of Google and that our content will speak for itself. We still produce millions of pages of content per month. We still have respect in the community. We still have advertisers recognizing that these sites are valuable assets to leverage to get their campaigns out on. [Technosailor]

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“The Tetris Effect” – Mobius Games has a blog

Not to be confused with their portal, Mobius is currently working on their Blogger.com hosted blog titled The Tetris Effect. I’ve browsed through their entries and it seems to also be a place where you can stream Youtube videos of all their games, avail of promotions, submit fan art, and download their Mobius “blidget” which you can attach to your own blog.

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Here’s a thought – when companies host their blogs on Blogger.com, the personal impression is that they become less intimidating, as compared to self-hosted sites. Really, this is just my opinion. But that’s the general feeling I get when I see blogs that use third party blog hosting services.

Congratulations to Mobius for embracing new media and I do hope that they sustain the effort to blog regularly.

Safari, oh how I love thee? (let me count the ways)

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As almost any Macintosh user would hate to admit, I am torn between using Firefox and Safari as my default browser of choice. I love the versatility of Firefox, complete with the plugins and the sexy fact that it is developed as an open source project. But at the same time I’m also loving the way Safari renders my pages. I guess the debate is subjective for the most part – but what’s making me hesitant to make the complete switch is how Safari doesn’t support a lot of things on the web — like Facebook’s Warbook applet:

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Frankly, I use both browsers. Firefox has a better download manager tool but Safari’s browsing experience is less laggy and cleaner. Safari does have a community dedicated to developing plugins, but it isn’t as tight as the Firefox community.

If you’re a Mac user, what is your default browser of choice and why? If you don’t use Safari, what would make you do a complete switch?

Nintendo Wii Nights Comics

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Thanks Riane, you’re such a geek.

The Spin

I’ve always been fascinated at how the good public relations agencies master the art of The Spin. They are able to pitch, convince and communicate ideas and transmute them into a brand campaign, advocacy, or promotion. There is no moral judgement present in such cases as these awareness campaigns are to be taken as “amoral” at the very least. What’s important is the communication of the idea. The Spin.

The Spin can convince you to choose brand X over Y. It can coerce you to donate money for a certain cause. It can reorient your moral value to see something once evil as good.

To illustrate my point, here’s what happens when you recut The Shining and turn it into a family comedy:

It’s all in the spin. Nothing is real 🙂

Toblerone Thank You Day at the iMAX video!

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Amidst the tragic series of events that occurred last Friday, the Philippines continues to celebrate her freedom. The Mall of Asia iMAX parking lot was well attended yesterday, as October 20 2007 was marked as THANK YOU DAY PHILIPPINES. In this video, Bianca Gonzalez starts the countdown to the lauching of “Toblerone triangles” as the crowd inverts their umbrellas to catch them. Wild!
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Christmas Gadget Wishlist: EPSON 30s Home Theater Projector

I spent the long weekend with the EPSON Philippines team for a regional business conference. As an observer, I was witness to the launching of EPSON’s new solutions business unit that basically consisted of POS solutions, small to medium business projectors, and of course, their printers.

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Amidst the array of hardware solutions, one particular product caught my eye – the EPSON 30s Home Theater Projector, which is targeted towards consumers who want to set up an affordable home theater system in their living room. The 30s is very affordable for what it is, at a mere P36,000 to P40,000.00. Standard projectors usually set you back by around P60,000.00 and above. As a plus – this model comes with a built in DVD/CD player!
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