News and developments in the community.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

E-Commerce Talk at Ateneo

I'll be at Ateneo de Manila University this morning (9 am) to talk about "Doing E-Commerce for Real" at Ching Tan (SOM111). The event is organized by MIS seniors, in collaboration with the SOSE Sanggunian and ASES.

This event is a mini E-Commerce Convention that intends to benefit the BSO Network - a non-profit organization that provides assistance to MSMEs in the Philippines and with a greater vision of alleviating poverty through social entrepreneurship.

The students involved in the project are currently working on e-commerce site packages and an e-commerce primer where knowledge on e-commerce tools and other necessary information are incorporated.

I was also asked to give a message to be included in the primer. Here it is.

As we now live in the time of uncertainty, this presents an opportunity for us to innovate ourselves and improve the way we do business. What used to work before in our respective fields are suddenly in peril because our customers are belt-tightening.

As more entities want to spend less than usual, the challenge for each of us entrepreneurs is to ensure is that they will opt to continue doing business with us. Another way of looking at it is encouraging them to consider us as an alternative provider of products & services.

Price is only one factor in making that decision. The quality of service and relationship we invest in it is also another matter.

Being online is a big challenge as we can be easily judged by what they see online. In the end, it is not about how beautiful our websites are. It is more about providing the information that the customer needs - the moment they are looking for it. This can include the type of products and services, pricing, unique differentiation, ordering process, and transaction terms.

With so many sites competing with each of us online, customers are now selective and give due regard to those who come in as transparent right away with what they have to offer.

Entrepreneurs who are reluctant in competing head-on, take risks, and be aggressive are just wasting their time and resource for building a site online. Because there will always be someone out there who will be more inventive, creative, passionate than you are and they will get the business.

So to the BSO Network and stakeholders of this project, I commend your efforts for taking this initiative. And I hope that time will come that I'll be able to extend my congratulations as well as soon as we start hearing success stories from members who have benefited from this project.

Remember that being able to provide the service is one thing. The willingness of the entrepreneurs to take their business to a higher notch, even revised their offerings as a result, and be determined doing business in this new medium will be critical to its success.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Call for Nomination: DigitalFilipino Social Networking Awards 2009

The Social Networking Awards intends to honor Filipino excellence in social network marketing and advertising. Winners will be announced and recognized on the 2nd day, April 24, of the 2nd Social Networking and eBusiness Conference.

Entries will be accepted at the following categories:

  1. Social Network
    Campaigns done or carried out in social networks either as an independent effort or as an advertiser of the site.

  2. Widgets and Add-ons
    Campaigns done that requires widget installation or add-ons.

  3. Social News, Bookmarks, Media Voting
    Campaigns that requires getting votes in social news, social bookmarks, social media, or related sites.

  4. Photo Sharing
    Campaigns that involves sharing of photos by the advertiser or submission of photos by target audience or participants online.

  5. Video Sharing
    Campaigns that involves sharing of videos by the advertiser or submission of videos by target audience or participants online.

  6. Social Shopping
    Campaigns that promotes products / services and availed / shared within social networks.

  7. Micro-blogs
    Campaigns done through the use of micro-blogging sites like Twitter, Plurk, and other similar tools.

  8. Blogs
    Campaigns done through blogs or tapping bloggers.

  9. Search engine marketing
    Campaigns meant to raise your site's visibility in search engines to attract more visitors.
Who may enter
The awards is open to all Filipino organizations and individuals who have used or involved in the process of developing campaigns under any of the categories mentioned in this award. Campaigns eligible for entry must have run at some time during the period from April 1, 2008 until March 15, 2009.

The person submitting the entry will be considered the "nominator" and will receive all communications regarding the Awards. Anyone can submit an entry.

Judging criteria
Entries will be judged on the following criteria and compete head-to-head with other entries within their specific category.
  • Design (25%)
    The mechanics of the campaign.

  • Creativity (25%)
    The novelty / uniqueness of the campaign.

  • Copywriting (25%)
    The whole campaign promotion script.

  • Impact (25%)
    Results and returns gained by the campaign proponent versus time, effort, and amount invested.
As this is also an educational activity, DigitalFilipino Club Members will have a Social Network Marketing Competitive Evaluation Hands-on Workshop this April 6 and 7 to review entries received.

Nomination will begin this February 1 to March 31, 2009 at the Social Network.

What to submit
Users and campaign developers will be able to post their nomination in the forum. The entities will be contacted in the best effort possible. If unreachable or no response by April 3, their nomination will be considered as void.

All nominees will be given up to April 3 to complete their submission including access to relevant files that will help judges evaluate and measure the entry's effectiveness according to the judging criteria. These files shall be posted in Google Docs and shared to digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com.

Anyone can help in this award by:

1. Becoming a sponsor.
2. Chip-in any amount to help with the prizes.
3. Nominate deserving entries.
4. Create the awards logo.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SEO, Content Writing, Blog Marketing & Advertising, E-Commerce, E-Payment Workshop Series

All Club members are invited to attend the forthcoming E-Commerce, Search Engine Marketing, and Corporate Blogging Hands-on Workshop series this January 26 to 30 at Netopia Internet Cafe, Ground Floor Greenbelt 1, Legaspi Street, Makati City from 9 am to 5 pm. Club members can send participants for free on this training noting the following conditions:

  • Corporate members - 5 days (1 participant per day)
  • SME members - 3 days (1 participant per day)
  • Individual members can attend a one-day session
Non-club members (those who have not paid annual membership fee) can send a participant for three thousand pesos (P3000) per day, exclusive of VAT. Slot is confirmed upon receipt of payment.

Participants should fill-up the registration form and await slot confirmation. We can only accept a maximum of 18 participants per day.

The training program shall be as follows:

January 26 - Drive Search Engine Traffic to Your Site Workshop
(10 confirmed, 8 slots available)

This hands-on workshop will discuss tips and techniques to get your site to the top of search engine rankings (e.g. Google, Yahoo, and MSN) and stay there.
  • Introduction to Search Engine Marketing / Search Engine Optimization
  • Identify niche positioning for products and services that you'll sell, target customers, buying frequency and motivation.
  • Keywords discovery, attractiveness analysis, and implementation.
  • How search engines process information as it crawls websites.
  • Improving your website structure and navigation.
  • Improving your website page titles, description, menus, body text, other assets, and good content (on-page optimization)
  • Getting your website linked through directory submissions, article writing, online press releases, and social media/networking tools. (off-page optimization)
  • Introduction to paid advertising programs.
  • Tracking and fine tuning your website.
January 27: Web Content and SEO Writing Workshop
(13 confirmed, 5 slots available)

This hands-on workshop will teach participants how to write web content that is useful and attractive for its target audience and attain search engine rankings.
  • How the Internet user reads online
  • Web writing techniques to persuade customers and readers to trust, get in touch, buy, subscribe or read more
  • SEO writing skills to:
    • Inform search engines what your site is about.
    • Push your article and website to a high position on search results.
    • Encourage target readers to click on the links.
    • Connects with your readers once they reach your website.
  • Writing effective newsletters, blogs, Web 2.0 content, among others
  • Encourage readers to subscribe to your website content updates.
January 28: Creating an eStore (Your Own or Affiliate Site)
(7 confirmed, 11 slots available)

This hands-on workshop will help the participant plan and put up an eStore. They will also be introduced to the largest affiliate program online ( and set-up an actual eStore.
  • Identify niche positioning for products and services that you'll sell, target customers, buying frequency and motivation.
  • Competition analysis
  • Features list (prioritization)
  • Product pricing
  • Delivery options
  • Content plan
  • eStore Creation using aStore (example posted at Busby SEO Test)
January 29: Accepting Payments Online Through Credit Card, Paypal, and Mobile Phone
(12 confirmed, 6 slots available)

This hands-on workshop gives participants an overview on various payment options that can be explored online. Demo of local payment systems and Paypal for credit card payment acceptance shall also be done
  • Introduction to online payments
  • Evaluating online and mobile payment providers (comparative analysis)
  • Demo of Philippine-based online payment systems (email billing, web-based payment, mobile payments)
  • Using Paypal to accept payments online
    • Account creation
    • Creating Buy Now / Subscribe Now payment buttons
    • Creating an Invoice Billing
    • Creating Recurring Payments/Subscription option
    • Adding Paypal code to your website or blog
  • Fraud detection
January 30: Blog Marketing & Advertising
(17 confirmed, 1 slots available)

This hands-on workshop will give participants an appreciation on how blogging can be used to promote a company's products and services. It will also look into various ways that blogs can be tap as a medium to reach out to target market segments as a new advertising and marketing alternative.
  • Corporate Blogging Introduction and Uses
  • Creating a Corporate Blog
  • Corporate Blogging Guidelines
  • Blog Marketing
    • Tapping Blogs to Create Buzz (events, give-aways, promo)
    • Tapping Bloggers for Insight and Feedback (alerts)
    • Identifying target blogs
  • Blog Advertising
    • Direct advertising
    • 3rd party banner or text ads
    • Paid reviews
    • Paid features
    • Identifying target blogs
All training materials shall be posted at the club member site and also at our social network for online interactive learning purposes.

Interested non-members are requested to sign up as an Individual, SME, or Corporate member prior to the workshop and confirm attendance for food count purposes.