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So what now, Google+ (Google plus) ?

August 7, 2011 2 comments

Back in 2003, when I was still in 2nd year high school, social networking sites were starting to rise and be in demand. That time, I was an active user of Friendster because it was the popular networking site where most of my friends belonged to.

The hype of Friendster and the increasing number of social networking sites such as Flixster, Netvibes, Multiply, MySpace made my father give me an advice. He said to me, “If you want to get rich and famous, think of a site that will be better than Friendster and other sites available in the Internet.” And congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg for making my father’s words come true and founding Facebook.

For the past years, Facebook has been successful in attracting users to join the network and in continuing to improve the site. There are a lot of features that fit everyone’s lifestyle and demands. There has been numerous times when I thought if ever there will still be another website that can beat Facebook. And this is where Google+ comes in the picture.

Google has been known to be one of the top providers of web applications to make it easier for people to share and disseminate information. There is Web search, Gmail, Google Maps, and the list goes on. Who’s not guilty of using any of Google’s products?

So what now? Google has just launched Google+ and people are increasingly being drawn to it.  A particular video on YouTube discusses the advantages of Google+ over Facebook. Will Google+ become a threat to Facebook? Meantime, let’s watch the YouTube video that introduces Google+.

As I mentioned above, Google is one of the top providers of web applications but not all applications has been successful. Take Google Wave and Google Buzz that only made noise but not embraced by users. There is also an article written by Chunka Mui entitled Why Google+ is Poised To Fail which you may consider reading.

It is still early to say whether Google+ is a successful project or not. As always, the users will determine the results. Any insight on Google+?

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New Social Media Killed My Planner

December 31, 2009 7 comments

One of the activities in my 2009 planner

My 2009 planner/diary is full of schedules, details, upcoming activities, birthdays, things-to-do, important happenings of the day, and others from January until May. The rest of the months have days or weeks without any entry. And I think I know who the culprit is.

This blog serves as a tribute to my planner, This Journal Will Actually Change Your Life (2009). This is a great planner because it offers you countless trivia and activities that will actually change you if you will only let it. There are trivia about other countries, celebrations, behaviors, humans, animals, phenomena, and other stuff from the most serious ones to crazy ones. It has spaces for notes, lets you gauge your daily mood through a chart, helps you keep track of your monthly expenses, offers quarterly check up, suggests websites for you to visit, and reminds you to pay attention to the small things that you might have forgotten like cleaning your desks and cabinets or checking the batteries of your flashlights and emergency lights.

However, something made me neglect my planner when June started. I totally do not blame my studies since it never made me neglect other things or it seldom becomes my reason for neglecting something.

All I can blame for the “death” of my planner is the new social media, mostly Facebook. Facebook did not only kill my planner, it tried to replace it since I joined that network last June.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • Microblogging seems easier than writing on the planner/diary.
  • In new social media, what you post is almost always shared to others effortlessly.
  • I get invited in events through Facebook with all details included so I do not have to write it down.
  • Facebook reminds me of the birthdays of my friends, no flipping of pages needed.
  • Videos and pictures from special events are recorded or stored in social networking sites and other sites like YouTube. Printing and pasting them on the planner is optional (and hassle).
  • I can see others’ posts even without their permission through new social media. It is like reading others’ journals too.
  • My planner has all activities and stuff ready and set for me for the whole year while new social media constantly changes and adapts its activities to fit my varying interests.

Despite the death of my 2009 planner, I still bought a new planner for 2010! Hehe! It is Luxe Monologue. It has a corporate look unlike my previous planner. No trivia, no fancy drawings, no extra activities. I just hope that my planner for 2010 will not bore me even if it has no drawing at all! This time, I will try my best not to let anything kill it. I shall not neglect it. Besides, I cannot access the Internet 24/7 while I can bring my planner anywhere and anytime as long as I have my pen.

Goodbye 2009 and to my planner! Hello 2010 and to my new planner!

Happy New Year! May we all have a great year ahead!

Technology alone is not the answer…but at least, I am already registered!

November 1, 2009 5 comments
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a not-so-good photo of my hand with that meaningful thumbmark!

Second to the last day of registration for 2010 elections, Oct30 (Friday), I decided to go back to the nearest COMELEC office to my house (near SM Manila) and have myself registered no matter what. I am blogging about this so that I have something to look back to after years.

If you are thinking that I am about to whine about my experience that day, well you are right! hehe! I am aware beforehand that going through that line is definitely not easy. I admit that I am envious of my friends (Jorron, Ace, Ren) who are already registered. I also know that, as what others call it, this is the price of cramming and the bloody line/process should not be blamed solely on the COMELEC.

Enough of disclaimers. I was there at the registration for 8 freaking hours (you may change the underlined letters), hours when I should have been sleeping, playing restaurant city, starting reading Vampire Academy ebooks (given by Kath, of course), or watching TV with my brother. I was there as early as 6:30am until 2:30pm. People ahead of me came at 4:30am.

There were lines outside the COMELEC building and another line when you get inside the building. I stood up for 6 hours, sitting from time to time along sidewalks. I was wearing rubber shoes and my heels still ached a lot because of standing too long. I managed to control my sweat glands (haha!) so I did not sweat at all while I was outside the building. But when I went inside the building, the adjective hot was an understatement. Fortunately, nobody fainted.  The space of the building was maximized, people were everywhere around you. At some point, it’s hard to breathe. One false alarm would cause panic and stampede. While waiting for my turn, I was planning what to do once panic occurs.

It took me 8 freaking hours (again, you may change the underlined letters)to finish the ff simple procedures:

  1. (Assuming that you are qualified and you have complete requirements with you) Get three registration forms from the COMELEC people and accomplish those. If you have downloaded forms, have them validated.
  2. Submit the accomplished forms and requirements, like a photocopy of your ID with your current address, to the COMELEC official and wait for your name to be called again.
  3. After receiving back your registration forms and requirements (rechecked by the officials),have  your biometrics taken…then you’re finished!!

I waited for 5 ½ hours to get to STEP 1, 30mins to finish STEP 2, and almost 2 ½ hours to reach STEP 3. Not to mention, taking my holy biometrics only lasted for not more than 3 minutes.

So WHY did it take me loooooong hours to finish these simple procedure?

  1. Technology alone is not the answer especially when you are lacking in man power. Yes, taking biometrics is time efficient but what the use of that if you only have two apparatuses to serve thousands of people? Moreover, what can 10 officials do to speed up procedures for thousands of registrants?
  2. There was prioritization!! In other words, people cut in and COMELEC officials allowed that! These people are not ordinary persons but maybe actors/actresses, relatives of government officials, or ordinary but RICH individuals who had easily squeezed their butts in and finished STEPS 1-3 in just 15mins just like that without falling in line! They were escorted by COMELEC officials so people in line could seldom, or not all, complain.
  3. Abusive people. There were, and there will always be insistent individuals would occasionally cut in the line before people who look either too kind or gullible.

HOW did I survive?

  1. I had no choice but to trust all the people ahead of me that they would not let people cut in because everyone knew the sacrifices of each person in line. Even men did not allow attractive women to cut in. haha!
  2. There were interesting and bubbly people around whom you could communicate with. I met this cute little girl, called by her grandma as Teresa. She was so energetic even if she was perspiring hehe! I remember giving her one of my biscuits because she was hungry and so bored. I hope to see her again.
  3. I brought water, 2 sachets of biscuits, 2 cupcakes, and lunch (longganisa with rice) with me! Of course, tissues, alcohol, fan, and a book (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) to read when there’s no one to talk to.
  4. Patience and a touch of aggressiveness (in a good way, okay). I had to wait and maintain my patience while actually using the aggressive side of me when needed.
  5. Humor. There were moments of laughter there. People giggle and laugh together out of jokes.

What I wished:

  1. I wished I registered earlier than October. I could have avoided that line.
  2. I wished there were more than just 2 apparatuses for biometrics. That would definitely speed up the line. No budget for that? Bakit yung NBI, government office din naman pero madaming aparato kaya mabilis ang proseso? No budget for COMELEC or they just don’t want to fund its operations?
  3. I wished people who sneezed and coughed without covering their mouths were sent out. Ansama ba? They should have covered their mouths because in a place like that, it’s very easy to transmit and acquire viruses.
  4. I wished people who sweat a lot were separated from those who don’t hehe! Joke lang pero wish pa rin! (I belong to the latter ha! Hehe)
  5. I wished registrants did not bring their kids with them. I pity kids who had no choice but to endure that line with the elders who brought them. If no one would be left at home with their kids, they must’ve not gone to COMELEC and chose to stay at home with the children instead.
  6. I wished that COMELEC put up an express lane for the people they gave special treatment. It was very unfair to see registrants, who did not fall in line, walking directly to the biometrics room accompanied by COMELEC officials.

I am lucky that I did not have to go back there the next day unlike others. I am lucky that my registration took only hours, not days.

After going through and finishing the procedures, I walked out of the COMELEC building feeling more than happy and contented. It was like I was floating. Haha! That’s for real! Now, for the first time, I can exercise my right to vote on May! Let’s all be responsible voters.

Alright, this is one of long posts, I guess, or the only one?

Online Services for the Dead

October 14, 2009 19 comments

ripEven the dead can benefit from online services. This may sound a little spooky or an early Halloween post. Or is it really early? October na kaya!


About 3 months ago (Don’t get me wrong, I did not intend to save this as a Halloween post haha! It’s just that I only remembered this now), I saw a big billboard somewhere in QC promoting the funeral house’s new service—the E-LIBING. If we already have email, e-delivery, e-cards, e-games, and other online services like ordering plane tickets online, buying and paying for stuff online, even donating online, why not have an online service for our deceased loved ones.

This E-LIBING, offered by St. Peter Chapels allows the family, relatives, and friends who cannot attend the funeral to view the final rites and interment of their loved ones. The E-LIBING complements the other service which is the E-BUROL. E-BUROL enables the family, relatives, and friends to view the wake of their dear ones. These two services let people from anywhere in the country and outside the Philippines to view and be with their loved ones even for the last time, even just on line.

Now, are online services getting better? 🙂

Why we’re so alarmed by Ondoy

September 28, 2009 6 comments

Philippines has experienced so many typhoons and calamities even before. How come the typhoon Ondoy has done so much not just to its direct victims but to most citizens especially in Metro Manila?

  1. Ondoy, 15th weather disturbance in 2009, caused flood that is declared to be the worst in history by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services, Administration (PAGASA). Many areas were flooded and many people were stranded along the way.
  2. The typhoon greatly affected 25 provinces (Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, and Bataan). Moreover, President Gloria Macagapal –Arroyo declared these provinces under state of calamity including Metro Manila.
  3. I can say that Ondoy has become controversial also because it hit Metro Manila, the national capital of the Philippines, and a defined metropolitan in the country. This time, the typhoon did not only damaged provinces and remote areas but it also struck cities and places of high class people. Ondoy did not choose its victims. Poor or rich, known personalities or not, everyone was affected.
  4. In addition, social networking sites (in which people of all strata from different locations all over the globe are members) especially Facebook serve as online means to disseminate information in no time. Everyone is informed of the latest about the victims and other operations. Pictures, videos, and other testimonies about the typhoon spread in the internet. Heroic stories and ways to help the victims are posted.
  5. For most of us, especially for me, this is the first time that I personally know few of the victims. Now, I am completely not indifferent about Ondoy-issues. I and my family are more than safe in our house but that should not stop me from doing something about the issue.

Let’s act, share a helping hand, and get out from the comforts of our house. Let’s DONATE , REPORT, and help in repacking goods for the Filipinos in need.

I wish people would set aside their own interests, even just for now.  Why put names, labels, and logos on styrofoam, plastic bags, and others when you can just give it plainly to the people?

How Disappointed Can You Get?

September 13, 2009 6 comments

It’s your last year in your university and probably your last time to watch UAAP Cheer Dancing Competition as a college student. Your university did not win, nor the other universities that you expect. How disappointed can you get?

uaap_season_72_logoWith all those tamaraws using “sarimanok,” eagles (who happen to have the same color as the sponsor) imitating “MJ,” archers performing a “pseudo-masquerade,” falcons turning “Japanese,” tigers being “set on fire,” warriors with “jeeps,” and bulldogs who (oops! I honestly can’t remember their performance 😦 ), still judges are judges and I cannot contest their decision. In the same way, I am the “judge” of my own blog and I have the right to say that when UP Pep Squad started to add story (adding “kwento” and not just dance there) to their cheer dance last year, it seemed that other universities suddenly did just the same. Oh well, that’s it. Imitation is next to admiration :-).

After getting your attention, let’s move forward to something else. Have you tried searching your whole name or nickname in Google and other search engines and getting unwanted/disappointing results like a hate blog or site of another person with the same name as yours? I know this is a bit late post in response to Sir Barry’s question in his blog last time. But this is another story, okay.

I remember trying to search my name in Google when I was in 4th yr high school like what our English teacher told us to do. I saw that my name was registered in a database of a school where I never attended. Then, just this semester, I found out that my name was still registered in that database. It’s not that I am against that school or what, but seeing my name under that school may bring unnecessary problems in the future since that school can’t be seen in my resume.

Here are some tips (based on experience) on how you can save your online reputation:

  1. Copy the exact URL of the site where you see your name.
  2. If possible, copy the exact location and paragraph/text where your name appears (because this is what the search engine keeps on finding when your name is typed)
  3. Double check your accounts and see if you are registered in that site in any way. (Most databases and other sites send messages to email once in a while and these messages often include a link that allows you to unsubscribe.)
  4. Contact the admin or webmaster of the site and relay your problem politely. (There is always a way to contact the admin or webmaster of a site. You must give the URL and even the exact location and text where you see your name to make it easier for them to address your problem.)
  5. If the problem persists, repeat all steps (hehe!).

As for my own problem, I did not get the result I wanted when I first contacted the webmaster. I repeated the first four steps carefully and that time, I was successful. Now, I am completely happy with the results when I search my name online. This is one thing UP has taught me: speaking without getting intimidated, even to the person of authority (like here, a webmaster hehe!), as long as I really have my point.

Overnights, Stress, and Friendship

August 28, 2009 14 comments

Two weeks had never been that stressful. However, one of the ironic things is that most stressors were not directly academic-related but extra-curricular activities which others, including me, called unnecessary-but- wanted stress.

Stress-ZebraStripes

It was my first time to be allowed (or my first time to impose) to spend two nights at my 2 friends’ houses, in the same week and another overnight the week after. In addition, staying extra hoursss in school and in coffee shops, and going to school even if I had no class must also be counted.

Aside from unsolicited eye bags and zits, another indicator of busyness and stress is an exhausted wallet. We had to buy overpriced coffees and bars from shops that provided haven during group meetings. Moreover, it’s during these consecutive hectic events that you would love your laptop and Wi-Fi even more. Your and your friends’ laptops and Wi-Fi become your best friends. USB’s  and CD’s become secondary because you can send small files to others through email and big files through sendspace.com. Search engines, such as Google, are very helpful for immediate information and needed pictures. Furthermore, access to social networking sites such as Plurk, Facebook, and Twitter become avenues for venting your stress and for getting updates from your friends. For instance Restaurant City, an application in Facebook, has become my favorite pastime, online detoxifier, and motivation to stay awake and work. 🙂

Of all the factors that turned out to be visible and felt in this stressful two weeks, friendship has been the most fulfilling and uplifting among them all. Now, I know this is being too cheesy but your friends (your FTF social network) are the only ones who will remain after all your experiences, happy and sad ones. And to those who endured my being RC-addict and my low tolerance for sleepiness, this is for you–> 🙂 (another smiley).