Saturday, September 29, 2007

Paypal activates receive money feature in the Philippines

It is great news indeed that Paypal is fully activated in the Philippines allowing Filipinos to send and receive money online. For me, this is great news as it will allow me to send payment to blog ads network members, content development network members, bill clients, or drive membership fees to it.

Receiving international checks through the mail can have its annoyances, especially on clearing issues. With Paypal being fully activated, it truly empowers the Filipino Internet user and avail of all the opportunities available online and signing up in programs that pays through Paypal. However, the only way that the fees can be reduced is once deposit-to-account becomes available. The transaction charges, withdrawal charge, conversion charges (for different currency), and the ATM withdrawal charge will all have to be factored in when we estimate the price of our services.

Law enforcement authorities, the Department of Trade and Industry, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the banking networks have to be ready with this development as this will also result to possible fraudulent transactions, especially in local auction sites.

I am also certain that this will rock the boat for all local payment gateway and remittance service providers in the country. Will they perish or remain as a competitive option for payment acceptance?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Social Networks and Privacy

There's a lot of talk happening right now about social networks, especially Facebook. I agree with the Man in Blue that it is not the site but each one of us are owners of social networks. When I take stock of what I have, this is what I realized:
  • My Yahoo Groups allows me to keep my readers informed on what's new in my site.
  • Twitter gets me posted on what friends and idols in the blogging community are doing now.
  • MyBlogLog lets me know what my contacts are reading as it appears on "what's hot in my communities" and what else are they reading through its blog stats.
  • LinkedIn establishes a permanent connection with the people I've met in various events I participated in, club members, and those who joined my Yahoo Groups.
  • I monitor what my relatives and friends are up to through Friendster.
If there's one thing I enjoy about social networks is that it allows you to catch up with people whom you haven't seen for a long time, like what happened to Joh recently. In Facebook, I was surprised to see again one of my students in the APEC E-Biz Training for Women SMEs two years ago, Sarah Benjamin, site owner of Simply Rose Petals.

So I guess the idea of having an ultimate social network where all of these are in may be nice but I'm a little against it as well. For one, I support the idea of segmentation. There are just some stuff that you can't mix and best that they are separated. An entity having full vision of your Internet life may not be so great. We have to remind our kids also from pouring their heart out online or even inventing stories online using these sites as that may get them into trouble later on.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Change and Hate

I think the advantage of being on vacation, as depicted on my mini-me image (you can create yours too, thanks Shai!) is that it allows you to really think through ideas and even experiment.

Paolo Mendoza tagged me in this hate meme. I think stating it would cause problems. But, I'd like to sum it up by saying - I usually find ways to change the things or situations that I hate. Some call that as being pro-active.

That is why when some thought that The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs writing project was controversial, I guess it indeed was as its aftermath led to some form of "the market correcting itself".

Last June 3, I got my first blog recognition from Ross. This is the Thinking Blogger Award started by Ilker Yoldas. I'm required to pass this on to five people that make me think. I admit that finding those that hasn't received this recognition can be quite hard. For this one, I'm giving it to Jon, JM, Alex, Apples, and Max. Cheers also to Gibbs, Paolo, Sasha, and Benj who got this already. These people, I must say, are not afraid to question popular thinking and I hope they inspire more bloggers. Should you like to pass this along, visit Ilker's blog for the mechanics.

Last July 11, Aileen gave me a Rockin Girl Blogger tag. Roberta, who started this, asked that this get passed on to 5 others. In addition to the ones Aileen cited, I think the following deserve this too. I wish they get to blog actively soon. They are Reggie Bundang, Peachy Herrin, Gwen Nava, Joan Pinon, and Abby Lim.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Creating an autobiography

For quite sometime now, I've seen Dandelife in Joel Yuvienco's blog. Last night, out of curiosity, I tried and realized that this is what I need to look in my past writings and reflect on what I've done.

Thanks Joel!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Celebrating friendship and taking the high road

Continuing my sharing on the book "Winning With People" (and its workbook), one of the best chapters in the book is the discussion about the Celebration Principle. John Maxwell said that 'the true test of friendship is not only how loyal we are when friends fail, but how thrilled we are when they succeed."

As we've seen in our lives, success does not mean anything when there's no one who celebrates it with you and shares that joy. Unfortunately, when we have issues or Bob mindset, this will also prevent us from celebrating the success of others. (more so when you are not in good terms)

To keep an open mind, I note the following:
  • Focus on areas where there's an agreement
    I have a friend whom I don't see eye to eye on organizational and financial matters in the past, but I share my friend's passion on starting a business. I chose to retain the friendship and focused on that area where we jive and gradually discuss the difficult ones whenever the need arises.
  • Be happy when others succeed
    Celebrate their success and avoid comparing it to your similar glory.
When our success efforts are belittled, or worst, attacked or criticized or humiliated, it is best to take the high road and set a positive agenda with others, bring out the best in yourself. There's nothing to be gained for fighting back.

There's so much more with "Winning With People" (and its workbook). It is a very useful book in developing one's emotional strength and maturity.

I remember this line from a Denzel Washington movie (where he played a boxer who was put into jail). A kid with his friends helped appeal his case. He saw the boxer's book in a book sale and his friend said, "sometimes a book finds you". This book has indeed found me. The lessons gained will surely change the way I deal with people and there are things that I have to unlearn to fully apply it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Autoresponders - important tool for community development

A lot of people ask about the tools that we use in our website and how can one build a membership-based site.

For DigitalFilipino, I think being able to build a community through traditional mailing list, provide relevant content, and activities regularly organized since 1999 were important to its initial value recognition. I consider them as the first layer of community building.

In June 2003, we started offering free online workshops that engaged our community members better and provide initial introduction to paid services. It was offered to anyone interested at large.

Instead of keeping a database of email address of online students, and communicating with them one by one whenever you have a new lesson or announcement, I put all the lessons in an auto-pilot mode using an auto-responder.

For, we subscribed to GetResponse after getting recommendations from several friends.

Its features include personalization of emails, unlimited follow-ups, import and export features, send a broadcast email to your entire list all in one shot, attach files to any or all of your autoresponses, track your leads and responses, 19 different domains names to send from, send HTML-enhanced messages, own "confirmation" screen, selective broadcasting, block unwanted email addresses, bounce-back management, activity reports via email, among others.

I have no regrets so far as it has enable me to automate all communications I make to my target audience. I was able to create separate automated communication to current clients, prospects, free online workshop participants, among others. It's market segmentation in an automated manner.

Growing the mailing list though would require that you keep some standards on how you maintain it and I have three basic rules on this.

By December of 2003, that is the time I decided to launch my members-only website after discovering WebsiteWizard. I have four other websites hosted there and very much happy with its features so far. However, to make a membership-based site like mine sustainable requires being aggressive and work on offerings that will be hard to get from elsewhere. That is, trying to create a blue ocean whenever possible.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Inspired and thankful

There's a surge of energy within me as I was able to break out of my podcasting hiatus. Going out of local blogging community developments was helpful in finding what I want and get that spark of inspiration needed.

My first podcast and vlog tutorial is finally up. I know that this is a major deviation to what I've done in the past. But this time, I'd like to think long term hoping these materials will have lasting value online.


Click here to get your own player.

Vloggers like Gerry, Coy and Tanggera inspired me to give this a shot. Cheers as well to Manuel Viloria who shared info about the Thirty Day Challenge that ignited my creative content juice.