Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blogger, Plurk, Delicious, Multiply, Facebook... A Surge in Social Networking

Today, I open my first Blogger account. In fact, it's my first official blog. I've had my Windows Live Spaces for about two years now, and it used to be my personal blog when I was in Chicago, but I realized it was difficult to get an audience in Live Spaces. Really difficult. And I got too busy with other things to keep on blogging.

Fast forward to today: My work requires me to (1) keep in touch with the online world and what's new out there, (2) create a public professional profile online as the online face of the agency, and (3) become an authority in creating digital efforts for my clients. I work in the Manila office of Leo Burnett / Arc Worldwide as the head of the Digital CRM team. My team brings into the agency the expertise of using digital channels to deliver CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) principles into the marketing mix of our clients. But enough about that for now.

Why Blogger? I still have to figure that one out. Blogger used to be Blogspot till around 2003 when Google bought the company. Some of my friends use Wordpress, which is supposedly ranked #1 (See review here). And then others use LiveJournal. All these three are free, easy-to-use and powerful tools. I decided to use Blogger because some of my closest blogger friends are on it. Ergo, it will be easier to connect to them and their blogs.

Yes, I'm now a sucker for social networking. I didn't used to be. I remember the time when everybody in Manila was raving about Friendster and collecting friends online. And I refused to follow. I didn't like the idea of having an online profile to promote yourself. Why would you if had a very active social life in the real world, right? Oh, but I was connected alright. I had Yahoo Messenger, Skype, and my chat friends on some chat sites. I had my mobile phone book to SMS anyone I knew. And I had my trusty email address book to keep in touch. But times have changed. And it's changing faster and faster. And a mid-30s guy needs to keep pace or get left behind.

For me it all happened in the past two years. Before I left for Chicago, I had already set up my Friendster profile but with virtually nothing on it. I set up my Windows Live Spaces, as I mentioned earlier, to start a personal blog. But also because Microsoft was a client of mine at that time. It was in Hong Kong after my Chicago stint that things started to pick up for me. My new-found friends were using Multiply to share online content (links, photos, videos, and personal thoughts) with each other. I had to join to be part of the loop. Then an officemate of mine practically forced me to create a Facebook account because, as she said, it was fun. And it sure was. I quickly found the friends and family I left in Manila and elsewhere in these social networks. Or they quickly found me.

A few years ago, I had a problem: I was an outta-sight-outta-mind kind of guy. If I didn't see you, if you didn't call, I was out of touch. Today, because of social networking, I get glimpses of what's happening with my cousin living in California, with my high school classmate on a trip to Italy, with an old barkada who has moved to New Zealand, and with an old fling living in Chicago. And, nowadays, I remember birthdays much much more often. Social networks have made this big world much smaller.

On a regular day, I check my Facebook and Multiply every quarter hour on the average. My Friendster is a grave site. And there's always something new to discover online everyday.

Last week I created my Plurk account. Plurk describes itself as "a social journey for your life." In a nutshell, it's the new Twitter plus karma points. Twitter never really took off in this country. At least not that I know of. Maybe Plurk will. We'll see.

Today also I created my Delicious account. Delicious is about social bookmarking. It extends the bookmarking functions in your browser to something online which you can share with others. Really interesting concept, but I still have to find it's purpose in my human life. Maybe I'll write about that too in the future. Maybe not.

Let me end this first post by welcoming you to this blog. Join me in my journey into what's new online, and offline. And maybe you'll learn a new thing or two in the process. Feel free to comment and contribute. I like conversation more than rhetoric. That's your part. 'Till next time.


  1. Try these as well:


    various interest groups at ning.com

    those are top of my head stuff, give you more later. :)

  2. With many hours spent online by consumers it does make sense to try to capture them in their virtual hang out.

  3. Exactly.
    There's a global trend we've been observing that we in Leo Burnett call IN-SPERIENCES -- instead of going out, people are staying in more. I'm sure a big part of it is staying in but being online, in so many different forms.

  4. But it's quite tricky to capture these people in their virtual hang out actually since they tend to be more personal. And they can easily shut you out or burn you down when they don't like you....and worse they'll have a whole mob behind them.

    So actually, you'll have to be more careful in the virtual world. It's the consumers' turf, and brands are usually not welcome...unless you're able to hit them in the right spot.

  5. Pau, I agree. You need to either sponsor the conversation or be part of it.

  6. and we welcome you to blogger. :-)

    (as if ako ang may-ari ng blogger.com no?)


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