I had the opportunity to present my point of view on how to move forward with the use of the Internet as it turned 20 years old last March 29, 2014 at #phnet20 event. Purposefully focusing on how to use it to build online success. Thankful to TenMinutes.ph for the opportunity. Presented its original form in a JCI Manila learning session last March 25. My calibrated thoughts shared further at the 10th iBlog: The Philippine Blogging Summit #blog10.
As an Internet user, I learned that you need to be willing to stand, speak up for your beliefs, take action, and avoid the “entitlement” mindset.
You can use the Internet as a starting space to build a community and be of relevant service to others. Where your imagination and determination to get things done is your limit.
The Internet has empowered Filipinos by providing a neutral platform where they can realize their potential online.
In the recent DigitalFilipino Web Awards, I have seen more blogs penetrated the top 500 websites in the Philippines. Bloggers were able to wield influence and particularly attractive to entities who can’t afford mainstream advertising. Also relevant in terms of discussing issues and in shaping mindset of their acquired audience.
Although there are also social media influencers, but the changing policies of the platforms popularly used only prove that is important to invest in one’s online presence through a blog.
When I published the Philippine Internet Review 10 years ago, I was purposeful in getting two writers to focus on writing the timeline as I don’t want my being subjective to get in the way with the report.
I remember there was a debate on two persons – one referred to as the “father” while the other is a “grandfather”. Then I said, if you are the grandfather, then you are the father. Debate ensues through the years on that topic – even until today. It is subjective indeed.
Part of it is also vindictive. I know the feeling when the hard work you have done was not being recognized by “historians”. But in reality, it is unlikely for a person to be on top of everything that is happening.
But moving forward with Philippine Internet history, bloggers have an important role to play in documenting developments and serve as reference later on. More so for bloggers based in the provinces as how the Internet has evolved was hardly known. Although companies, entrepreneurs, social media users can also do this task if they will actively contribute information to these efforts and even write them.
I hope that our country’s Internet history and developments in the years to come will be written by bloggers both from a point of view of being knowledgeable on what happened and as a consumer witnessing events as they unfold. Perhaps a good start will be allotting a blog post a month specifically for a documenting Philippine Internet history on your space using the hashtag #nethistoryph
The future of e-commerce in the Philippines will be shaped by start-ups. This is the reason why we need more bloggers writing start-up developments. More than just earning from blogging on your own blog, bloggers should also consider being part of a start-up and become technopreneurs.
Filipino Internet users are one of the most active users of mobile devices in terms of posting event coverages, photo uploads, video taking, blogging, application testing, among others. Bloggers should actively try new apps, blog about their mobile experiences, and give suggestions on how can it be further improve – from app usage to Internet surfing experience.
With more entities and entrepreneurs marketing online, it will be quite expensive to keep up in terms of marketing cost. Focus is needed on sustaining and maintaining that tight relationship with the customer. It is easier said than done. But those who will be able to do it well are the ones who will keep on growing without necessarily being noisy online.
With transportation, weather, and infrastructure issues we are confronting in metro areas, it is likely that more entrepreneurs and businesses will work with freelancers – doing their work from home. But with more individuals getting into this space, the market becomes competitive too. Focusing on continuously building your skill while providing customer satisfaction will help a great deal in having regular projects.
Filipino Internet users will need to join groups that can allow them to vent their concern on issues such as fair taxation, better Internet connectivity, monitor power rate hikes, improving transportation infrastructure, general elections, lobbying for freedom of information, and proper implementation of the Cybercrime Law and Data Privacy Act.
I personally believe that the next 10 years of the Internet will lead to more e-learning programs be launched and more of it from various educational institutions. More companies and government offices will also embrace it for internal and external training.
The ones that will make a difference are those whose purpose is bigger than themselves. Those who have significant impact to their location, industry, or target market segment.
Marketing of products and services should be balanced with useful content that has long term value. It should be relevant enough to encourage people to share, write, search, and talk about it.
If you are working alone, start building a team. Get more stuff done. No matter how good you are, a great team will always perform better than you.
If you are part of a team, work on building your skills, maturity, strength, endurance, speed to contribute significantly to your team. Be an asset rather than a liability.
As long as you have one goal and one dream, celebrate and embrace your differences. Diversity wins!