Attack of the Lines

weapons in the form of words

Red Horse Beer 13th Muziklaban First Online Digital Press Launch

Late post is late.

I’ve experienced first hand Red Horse Beer’s 13th Muziklaban First Online Digital Press Launch. I got an online invite from Red Horse which contained a username and password to log in to the livecasting site. It.was.awesome! I may be sounding like a tech newbie, but that was seriously something else!

Red Horse Muziklaban has become quite an icon in the OPM scene ever since it’s birth in 1999. It has produced bands that went from obscurity to being OPM legends. Some of the more famous Muziklaban winners were Mayonnaise, Gayuma, Even, Light of Luna, and Hatankaru. On its 13th year, Red Horse is continuing the Muziklaban tradition of encouraging amateur bands to perform and promote their music. Not only does Pinoy Rock get new talent every year, it also gets new breeds of Pinoy Rock musicians.

During this year’s launch though, Red Horse Muziklaban showed that they’re not only going to introduce new bands and rock musicians, but that they are also going to do something new. This time, Muziklaban went live on the intarwebz. As the times change, I think it’s a good move by Red Horse to reach out more to the online community. They can reach more people and even Pinoy music lovers across the globe. It just shows that Muziklaban is ready to be an even bigger event every year. A bigger Muziklaban means a bigger and greater opportunity to promote Pinoy Rock.

So kudos to the first online digital press launch of Red Horse Beer’s 13th Muziklaban!

To bands who are interested in joining Muziklaban, here are important dates:

Deadline of submission of entries: September 15, 2011

Eliminations: October 1 to November 5, 2011

Semi-finals: November 2011

Grand Finals: January 2012

The Grand Champion will win P1M worth of prizes: P500,000 cash prize, band start-up support through music video or album production support worth P300,000, and a Red Horse Beer endorsement deal worth P200,000.

The winner in the best original Red Horse Beer song composition will also take home P500,000 cash prize.

To enter, visit http://www.redhorsebeer.com

RAKRAKAN NA! RAKENROL!

Advertisements

Alcopops and Calories: Not a Sweet Deal

A warning to alcohol drinkers (including me):

Alcopops and Calories: Not a Sweet Deal

As early as 2003, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a Washington DC-based non-profit watchdog and consumer advocacy group focusing on nutritional education and awareness, has alerted young adults that one alcopop has more calories than a sugar-coated donut, and that drinking two alcopops is like downing the caloric equivalent of a thick sirloin steak.

Alcopops, also known as “alcomix”, “RTDs” (ready to drink), or “FABs” (flavored alcoholic beverages), are sweet, sugary alcoholic beverages that look and taste like lemonade, cola, punch, and tea.  Alcopops contain 5-6% of alcohol by volume consisting of distilled spirits that is mixed with nonalcoholic beverages or flavoring or coloring materials.  Advertisements for these “starter” drinks make them appealing to young drinkers, particularly girls and young women who do not like the taste of traditional alcohol products.

CSPI released findings of a study conducted by the Global strategy Group (GSG), a Washington DC and New York-based strategic polling firm.  The study was a census-balanced, nationally representative telephone project, which covered 600 Americans ages 18 years and older.

The major conclusions of the study were the following:

1. A large majority of Americans pays attention to the caloric content of their food and beverage choices, and most Americans think that the calorie content of their diet is important. Nearly all Americans think it’s important to avoid becoming overweight or obese.

2. Americans know about alcopops and many say they’ve tried them. Awareness and usage of these products is much higher among older teens and younger adults than among others.

3. Americans don’t know that alcopops are high in calories. Approximately 2 in 3 Americans mistakenly believe that beer and common high-calorie foods have about the same or more calories than the average alcopop (230-275 calories). Most think that alcopops have fewer calories than popular high-calorie foods, such as a sugar-coated donut.

To add, four in ten and half of 18 to 29-year-olds (47%) mistakenly think that calorie-rich alcopops have about the same or fewer calories than a regular beer and about half of young people who drink them also mistakenly share that belief. A large majority of  Americans also believe that producers advertise alcopops in such a way as to obscure their high calorie content.

4. Many Americans, including younger people who represent the key target demographic for alcopops, say drinkers would modify their behavior and drink less alcohol in total if they were aware of the high calorie content of alcopops.

The study shows that Americans who consume alcopops are likely to modify their drinking behavior if they were made aware that these drinks contain between 230 and 275 calories.

In fact, more than half of Americans (56%) – 68% of women and 44% of men – say people would switch to beer or light beer.

5. Americans don’t know whether popular alcopops are more like beer, wine, or liquor. Most Americans, including most drinkers and alcopop consumers, either don’t know or think alcopops are something they’re not.

“Alcopop makers would like young people to think that these drinks are made with rum or vodka and are less caloric than beer,” said George A. Hacker, director of alcohol policies at CSPI.

“The reality is that these drinks are just cheap alcohol, artificial flavorings, and lots of added sugar, giving them more calories than beer. Three alcopops have more calories than a ¼ pound burger and a small fries.”

6. Younger adults and other Americans strongly support requiring producers to provide calorie content and other consumer information, such as alcohol content, serving size, and ingredients on the labels of all alcoholic beverages. They also support posting this information at bars and restaurants where alcohol is not served in its original container.

In fact, more than 3 in 5 drinkers (61%), and especially young women (75%) think that consumers would use alcohol content and calorie information to make better choices about their drinking.

Taken from: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=80&articleId=700401

From Positive Ideas to Ideas Positive

This is the transcript of my SMR for Ideas Positive if you’ll have trouble reading from the JPEG.

Here ya go!

Action comes from good ideas. Good ideas come from positive thinking and positive ideas.

This is the challenge of Unilab’s Ideas Positive Youth Camp. The program’s goal is to encourage the youth to think of innovative and sustainable projects that will help address environmental, economic, health, and social problems and issues in their chosen communities and barangays. Unilab invited students from colleges and universities inside and outside the Metro to not only showcase their ideas and skills but also imbibe the spirit of Bayanihan by joining the Ideas Positive competition for best project plan.
The participants were asked to submit video presentations of their projects to the Ideas Positive website. Voting for the best video was opened on the program’s Facebook page. The Top 5 teams will be in contention for the top prizes. Winners will receive seed money and support for the implementation of their projects.

Among the 21 teams who joined, the top 5 entries presented and defended their plans on the final day of the Ideas Positive Youth Camp last September 25, 2010 at the Unilab Bayanihan Center, Mandaluyong City.

A distinguished panel of judges composed of Dr Oscar Tinio from the PMA, Dr Nina Gloriani, Dean, CPH UPM, Dr Ed Morato from the ABS CBN Bayan Foundation, Hapinoy’s Mark Ruiz, Ogilvy and Mather’s Randy Aquino, and Bert Manlapit from Unilab decided on the best entry.

Up for grabs are the following prizes:

3rd place: P50,000 seed money, and iPod shuffles for each member
2nd place: P50,000 seed money, and iPod shuffles for each member
1st place: P100,000 seed money, iPod shuffles for each member, trip to Boracay

Below are the 5 finalists and a brief description of their project plans:

Team Pet Society aimed to address water shortage by proposing a method for conserving water. The group proposed that the community be provided with PET bottles filled with stones and pebbles that will be placed inside toilets to have a lesser amount of water for flushing. Pet Society chose Brgy. Sauyo, Quezon City as their community where water shortage is definitely an issue.

Team SERVE wanted to help Brgy. Maragondon, Cavite in its health problems. The team proposed to provide a “water ambulance” or a motorized banca dedicated solely for medical emergencies, since the barangay is located on an island off the coast of Cavite. Aside form the banca, the team also proposed the construction of a pharmacy which will provide low-cost but high-quality medicines.

Team UB and G’s battle cry was “May Papel Ako!” In line with this statement, the gropu proposed a paper-charcoal production facility in their target community. Aside from using the charcoal for the barangay’s cooking needs, the people can sell their product to generate income and ensure sustainability for the project.

Team Biggkas’ goal is to put up a garden where fast-growing vegetables (Pechay, Carrots, etc) can grow easily even in a small area. Produce will be used for feeding programs in the barangay’s elementary school and part will be sold to other customers to be able to sustain the project.

Team CPLH proposed a plan that consisted of different stages and phases where their plan for Dengue prevention and social marketing stand in tandem with each other. Brgy. Commonwealth will be the beneficiary of this project, since it is one community where numerous dengue cases were reported.

At the end of a series of tough questions (or tough love as one judge put it), 3rd place went to CPLH from the University of Santo Tomas and 2nd place to UB & H from UP Diliman. The team who placed first and who will put their Ideas Positive into Actions Positive is Team Biggkas from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

After 2 months of preparation, research, immersion, and hard work, 21 teams and finally, the 5 finalists showed that anyone can be infected with the Bayanihan spirit and that indeed, Ideas Positive can most definitely turn into Actions Positive.

For more information, visit:

http://www.ideaspositive.com
http://www.unilab.com.ph

Sample SMR:

Sample SMR for Ideas Positive

P.S.

For any corrections or if you’re really having problems with the JPEG, please do comment. Thanks!

One-stop-shop Virtual Collaboration

Wikis range from simple editable web pages to really intricate intranet systems.

Companies who have realized the power of collaboration between employees from different departments or even different locations go to the extent of establishing an intranet which is a one-stop cyber work desk. Some intranets look like a dashboard where you could see your planner, files, urgent stuff which you currently need to do, and even an instant messaging platform for communicating with your colleagues.

Back in my OJT days, my boss tasked me to upload our media buys on the intranet for easy access with the people in the Singapore office. The platform looked exactly like your typical online dashboard (e.g. NetVibes) except that
it had widgets for a planner and scheduler, a To-Do list, a documents repository, and one for media plan and buy uploads. The media plan and buy uploads has its own form where you just fill in the costs, outlets, and other details. It even converts the cost in pesos to euros. What’s even more interesting is that you can access the buys from other offices of the agency all over the world. At the time, I didn’t really realize that I was working on a wiki. That platform is an example of a wiki rolled into an intranet.

I wish I could post the screenshot of the intranet here but silly me, I seem to have lost the damned file. So much for the practicum folder.

Anyway, you can do a lot with a wiki. If you want a virtual office with a virtual desk and a virtual conference room where you can meet with anyone anytime anywhere, then installing a wiki is the way to go.

Furthermore, it’s not only companies who can wiki. We students can too.

Professors can set up a wiki for his classes where he can upload documents and lectures and even let students do group activities online. This type of wiki is great for internet courses.

For students who really strive to be organized with their academic life and their group projects (disclaimer: not me), there are free wiki places online like PBWorks where you have your assignments tab, activity tracker, planner, and of course, workspaces for group meetings.

PBWorks for students

What’s great about wikis is that they are really great one-stop shops where work and communication with colleagues both local and international is rolled into one. Read: virtual office. On the other hand, some platforms only allow for one-at-a-time editing. For work that involves brainstorming and instant input, waiting for people to type in their contributions can be a drag. Nevertheless, having a wiki workplace means that you only need a computer and an internet connection to do all your work and harness all the power and awesomeness of collaboration.

Here are some free work sites for students:
https://pbworks.com

http://www.wikispaces.com

http://www.wikidot.com

These sites can also host organizations for a certain fee.

For companies who want to establish their own wiki, they can go to:
http://www.socialtext.com

The Keyboard is Mightier than the Sword

Words are powerful indeed. They spark wars, state peace treaties, destroy reputations, establish personalities, build relationships and break them.

Maybe that’s why heroes and villains have their payabangan moments before every fight. The villain needs to insult the hero first, and then the protagonist retorts with his good vs evil speech. Of course the better lines would have to go to the hero.

Kidding aside, the power of words have reached a new height with the Internet. While the Web contains a mix of images, videos, and other audiovisual elements, it is mostly made up of words. You type in words in your favorite search engine to retrieve pages containing more words that state the information you want. Hello Wikipedia. Your blog posts are perpetually made up of the written word; even photo blogs have words to describe the images that you see. You either use some particularly imaginative words or direct and simple crass ones when you rant on Facebook, Twitter, or on Tumblr.

Companies, products, brands, governments, personalities, and whatever and whoever else use words to communicate, inform, and project an image.

Not to mention that you ultimately use words to communicate through e-mail, FB messages, Twitter replies, blog comments, and YM chat.

Just as your words can and will be taken against you in a court of law and in real life, they can and will make or break you on the Internet.

A slightly misworded status message can produce an entirely different meaning, a single tweet can start a Twitter war (hello Justin Bieber and John Mayer), what started out as a mere “speaking out my mind” stat can either garner you a wave of supporters or get you a hate club. Even if the Internet is supposed to be a free-for-all kind of thing, you still have to be careful of what you say.

In the OrCom sense, organizations take great stock on what they say and what is being said about them on the Web. Wise companies know what kind of information to reveal, the right kind of words to say to their target stakeholders, and even when they put up blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts, they know that more than keeping their audience engaged, it’s as important to keep their image and reputation in check. On the other hand, even the lack of online presence can say as much about the company. People can take it against the organization in a way that it seems closed off from people or that they just don’t have any interest in talking to their stakeholders through the internet. In these times, that’s not the best move to make.

Thing is, the Internet is one huge grapevine where everything gets known to everybody in just one second. With just one click on the “Send,” “Tweet,” “Share,” or “Post” button, whatever it is that you wrote gets broadcasted on the whole of Netdom. Even if privacy settings stand in the way of other people looking into your message, it still gets known by people who matter to you.

On the organizational scale, what they write is right there for everyone to see, share, comment on, praise, and criticize.

What’s particularly amazing (and terrifying) about the Internet is that everyone can respond to any message you make, and more often than not, people read and believe what their own kind is saying about an issue.

Furthermore, what you say, nay, write on the Web stays there and can even transcend the boundaries of virtual reality. So the “delete” button is there for a purpose. It’s just as easy and as fast to retweet, reblog, share, and copy-paste-save. By the time you realize that there is something wrong with what you posted, it’s already far too late. Worse, there is written proof that you indeed said what you said. What this means is that you have to be really very careful with anything you post.

In the end, it is still the written word that wins wars, whether they may be in the real world, or on Twitter. And if in times past, it’s the pen that is mightier than the sword, then today, it’s the keyboard that wields the real power.

Fandoms will rule the world!

Ever wonder about the “what ifs” of your favorite shows, books, and animes? What if Grissom and Sara of CSI didn’t get married? What if Aiden of CSI: NY didn’t die? Will it be Danny and Aiden instead of Danny and Lindsay? What if Ichigo finally killed off Aizen of Bleach? What if J.K. Rowling kept Sirius Black and Professor Dumbledore alive?

Somehow, all of us wondered what would have happened if stories took another turn other than what really transpired on the show or the book.

Or maybe we could have just wanted to put some meaning on some interesting tidbits that the original writers left hanging.

These “what ifs” have prompted the creation of fanfiction, its authors and authoresses, and the fanboys and fangirls who have been all too happy in reading alternate twists to the original plot.

But what are the issues on fanfiction? There’s the usual copyright infringement and intellectual property arguments and all the other stuff that come along with them.

Then again, if these issues are so serious, and authors and producers are hell bent on preserving their precious copyrights, then fanfiction.net and fanfiction communities on Livejournal should be long gone by now. And yet they are not.

But I guess that’s not the right argument to preserve the existence of fanfiction.

As a fanfiction writer myself, of course I have a deeper motive for wanting to keep fanfiction alive, but I think that the following arguments still hold true.

1. We’re not seeking profit from writing fanfiction. The best compensation that we could ever have is to let our imaginations run free and for other people to enjoy our works with us.

2. We may be leeches off of the creations of others, but we also add to the hype of the fandom. Instead of looking at us as threats, how about treating us as really appreciative and really dedicated fans who go to the extent of letting the characters and storylines run through our heads and actually exerting creative effort even when the show is off air or even when we set down the book or the manga.

3. Having fans write fanfictions about the show/book/manga/anime/what-have-you is actually a measure of effectiveness. The more fics written about the show/book/manga/anime/what-have-you, the bigger the fanbase. It means that the fans are so involved that they continue to imagine and speculate about the original work.

4. The original writers can leech off of us as much as we leech off of them. Actually, we’d love it if they’d finally come to their senses and see that this pairing is so much better than the original one or that they’d actually feed off of our imaginations.

5. Share the creativity! Writers can share and collaborate with us by just simply reading our fanfics. Maybe they can get inspired for the next season or arc.

6. Because of the Internet’s quality of being such a free space for all, it’s virtually impossible to censor and shut down every fanfiction site. We’ll find more and more places to share our love for fanfiction. This is not a threat. It’s a fact.

7. The biggest benefit: Show loyalty. Brand loyalty. That’s it.

See, not all “copyright infringements” are bad. In today’s age of the Internet and sharing and collaboration, staying clammed up is not the way to go. It’s just about finding a balance with everything.

P.S.

Visit http://www.fanfiction.net to read fanfics on your favorite shows/books/anime/manga/what-have-you. It’s a fun place, promise.

You can also search for fanfiction communities on http://livejournal.com, and perhaps even join one.

P.P.S.

Love goes out to Precky Kwan (causticmonologue.wordpress.com) and her speech for giving me a topic for this post.

The New Demographic

If there’s one thing that I learned from OC 152 over and over again, it’s the importance of how to reach and talk to your target audience. I realized that sometimes though, we tend to forget that we’re dealing with a whole new demographic group. It’s easier to just think of our audience as male and female, 18-25 years old, yuppies, class A, B, and C, Jejemon, or what have you. Yes, we can segment our audience or market. But the thing is, we treat them as a whole mass of passive eyeballs who consume both our messages and products without giving them a chance to feedback. Counter me by saying that there are surveys and market research. We still reduce them to numbers and statistics which they most certainly are not. WE are people, not numbers.

The phenomenon of New Social Media and the Internet has affected the modes of communication. By the name itself, messages and content are created by people themselves. Furthermore, people are in themselves, media. Messages are passed on from individual to individual, or from one individual to many. As more and more people are logging on to the World Wide Web, communication habits change. People with different cultures, different ages, and different backgrounds become bound together by their interests, and not just by personal networks or even nationality. People have found a way to express themselves and speak their thoughts on practically everything under the sun. The Internet has created a new demographic – a group that is defined by their interests and their being basically, social creatures who create their own messages and content.

From the OrCom perspective, organizations and companies should recognize the potential of the Internet for their processes. More than serving the organizational goal of making profit, companies should capitalize more on building relationships with their stakeholders over the Internet. Netizens appreciate it more if companies make the effort of reaching out and conversing with them rather than bombarding them with advertisements.

Now since I think I bored you with this quite academic entry, I’ll make it up to you in this second part. As part of both the new demographic and the OrCommunity, I think I can say something on what we netizens like and don’t like with companies’ communication strategies.

1. Enough with the ads. We don’t notice them anyway. If you insist, make sure we get Wowed. And if you DO advertise, place ads on appropriate sites. Products that are irrelevant to the interests of a certain community will get looked at with disdain.

2. Creative marketing and PR campaigns are much better than static ads. Create blogs, microblogs, viral videos, interactive and dynamic microsites, online games, and much more.

2.1 Treat blogs like a journal, not another site for press releases. The feeling of actually reading a company’s day to day life (or its CEO) makes us feel that they’re just like us, ordinary people.

2.2 Viral videos should be as unique and as crazy as possible. Seriously. The shock value of the video and a clever placement of the product does wonders for brand retention.

2.3 Interactive content like mini-games, flash applications, applets, discussion boards, videos, audio clips, and special features for sites and microsites draw netizens by virtual busloads.

2.4 For all these, do not think “advetising.” Think engagement and interaction.

3. Do not make it hard for us good netizens to search for information on your website. Have a good clean layout with relaxing colors. All the extra pizzazz do not guarantee customer satisfaction. Also, make sure that everything that all FAQs are there in a short but precise format. It’s just too easy to close a tab nowadays. And most of all, we hate sites that do not give us the information we’re looking for. READ: complete details, please.

4. We love on-time answers to our inquiries, complaints, and suggestions. Prompt replies are much appreciated. I also think that standard replies shouldn’t echo those rehearsed lines that we hear over the phone. A little bit more friendly tone won’t hurt.

5. When we comment on Facebook or reply on Twitter, it would be great if we can hear from your company. Don’t treat SNS as a fan counter. Treat them like direct lines to your customers and even crisis management and PR tools.

6. Keep discussion boards and forums open. Do not discourage customers to say anything about your brand and product. Improvements and innovations come from keeping an open mind and line of communication. Don’t be afraid to collaborate.

7. Be fun, unique, and interesting. Try to shed off as much “big corporation” aura as you can. We hate it when you pull the untouchable impression on us.

8. If you can’t reach us, reach our friends. Their persuasion powers are greater than yours.

One final piece of advice: ask yourselves what your online habits are and what would catch and retain your attention. Think of what you like and don’t like with regard to the online efforts of other companies and products that you see. What kind of response do you want to get from the company? What do you want to see? What do you want to know?

Ask yourself as a netizen. You’ll know.

Ambula: Home-cooked Delights Just Around the Corner (with a not-so-short backgrounder for SMR)

Before I give y’all my sample social media release, let’s talk about what a social media release is.

A social media release is akin to a press release or an article about a business, a company, or an organization. The added feature to this document is that it’s made easier to share and more interesting to read.

While the phenomenon of NSM has made it imperative for media releases to change and accommodate the new media consumption of netizens, some basic communication and writing principles don’t change.

Let’s look at some guidelines:

1. Keep it short, simple, concise, but it still should have the BAM factor.  Since people’s attention spans are getting considerably shorter, it’s best to grab them at the first few sentences to get them to read the whole release.

2. Speak the language of your audience. To communicate is the first and foremost goal of the SMR and even for the traditional press release. Therefore, if you want to communicate the right message to the right people, say the right words.

3. The Internet is a form of visual media. In this form, images are important in communicating to people. A generous helping of pictures and videos will help keeping readers engaged to your release. It’s also important to organize not only the body of your text but also that of the whole webpage. Elements should be balanced and colors should be pleasing to the eye. Pages with poor layout can turn people off at first sight. They might not even get to the body of your release.

4. If you can’t help writing a long release, it will help if you create sections in your text. If you’re moving to a new point or idea, place a heading over that content. It will give your audience room to breathe.

With these basic principles in mind, you can probably make a pretty good social media release. If you’re having doubts about your release, step into the shoes of your reader. If you find that there’s something off or missing with your release, it’s time to edit edit edit!

And so, for my sample media release, I did one for Ambula, a restaurant located near UP Diliman. Take a gander below.

Trying my hand at SMR. Hope it's not a total failure.

So there. I invite you to eat at Ambula if ever you pass by the area. The food is great! Try their Kare-kare,  Sisig, and their Lechon Kawali and Lechonsilog.

Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+S. Wait. Where’s the Like Button on this Thing?!

For selecting specific texts: cursor drag, ctrl+C, ctrl+V, ctrl+S.

For music: click on Limewire, type in title of song and name of artist, select host, click Download.

For photos: right mouse click, save image as, select directory, press enter.

For particularly tricky content (e.g. Flash), there’s always Print Screen…

I remember when Sir Barry asked us what kinds of content arouse our interest, how we know that those are interesting, and what we do with those that we like.

Well, for content that I positively like or like to the point of LOVE, I follow the steps indicated above (and more for other special stuff that require special techniques).

On further thought, and because I need to write something for my communication blog, I started thinking along the lines of the questions that Sir Barry posed.

And so, I came up with my levels of “Like” and what I do when I “Like.”

Level 1: Force Feed

These are content that are particularly unsavory and hard to digest but are good for the mind (or so professors say). I don’t have anything against education, and I do believe that whatever our professors make us read is for our own good. But there are texts that are so dry and so technical that I am very tempted to click on the Back button.

This does not only apply to academic texts. There are other informational content online that I know are well, informational and  important, but are written or presented in a way (poor page layout added to already uninteresting writing) that takes effort to even scan.

Much as I would like to close the tab, I have to read and extract the information that I want.

Level 2: Informational but not necessarily Interesting

There is a difference between “interesting” and “informational” just as there’s a difference between “REALLY?” then read word for word and “oh, that’s nice” then scroll up and down, scan, get main idea, and click back.

I usually categorize some news articles and other academic texts under this level. These content keep me updated with what’s going on in the world, but they are just that – informational. They are not particularly interesting to me either because they do not fall under my interests or because they just fail to pique my interest. This is not to say that these kinds lack in informational value or importance. I’m just not interested.

Level 3: Informational and Interesting

There are kinds of content that provide information on my interests (e.g. US Open is starting on the 30th with Del Potro out with an injury), and there are those that provide such new information that catch my attention and thus make them interesting (e.g. news headlines for the day: read hostage taking and Hong Kong’s bashing).

Level 4: So Informational and Interesting that I Click on Related Articles or Google Search

These are usually content that I find so interesting that I am prompted to read and search for more information. An example would be a particularly well written article on foreign economic policy that provided new information and piqued my interest. Because I found the topic to be interesting, I want to update myself on what other things are going on with the American or Chinese economy.

Level 5: BAM!

Or as it goes by its other name, the “OH DEAR GOD” level.

These are kinds of content that knock me out as soon as I reach period. Whatever type of content they may be, whether its a news article, an academic text, a Facebook stat, a Tweet, a picture (oh, especially pictures), a video, or whatever, if they’re that funny, that shocking, or that scandalous, they’re sure to leave my jaw hanging. And this usually leads me to the next level:

Level 6: Where’s the Damn “Like” Button on this Thing?!

There’s no problem if it’s a Facebook stat or object or an entry on WordPress.

Seriously, would you not look for a Like button when you see a cute thing like that poking out of a bush?

For sites that don’t have the “Like” function, let’s look at the next level:

Level 7: Comment!

The authors should know how much their content affected my senses! If they somehow killed one of their readers, they should know, shouldn’t they? Besides, it’s also one way of letting them know whatever else I’m thinking, and it’s really fun interacting with the authors. If we’re talking about something that interests us both, it’s really just fun to laugh and share stories about it. A lot of fanfiction ideas came from the comments and the conversations that ensue between me and fellow writers (comment boxes turn to convo boxes). Aside from fanfiction, I think it’s a lot satisfying to be able to talk to the author of the content and talk more about what he/she posted. Not to mention that other people can also join in the fun.

Level 8: Repost, Share, Tag, Retweet, and Pull Up a YM Window to Spread the Word to a Friend

This is why I love Facebook so much! It’s easy to repost, share, and tag. Other people should be as excited, depressed, or concerned about this as I am! In the case of Twitter, it’s as simple as cursor drag, ctrl+C, ctrl+V, type in “RT @” and add your comment. Or if you just plainly want to strictly Retweet, there’s always that “Retweet” button. And if these aren’t enough, there’s always YM to facilitate the joy, sadness, or panic between me and a friend.

Level 9: Rant about It on My Blog

And if the emotions can’t be reigned in by Level 8, there’s always the blog to go to. Personally, it’s gratifying to hear other people’s opinion about what I just read, saw, or heard. By people I mean online friends who I only met on the interwebs. Sometimes, it’s enlightening to hear what other people outside my circle of close friends say about the matter. It’s pretty cool (and comforting) to know that other people out there take time to respond to whatever it is I’m saying.

Level 10: Save Target As

Because the content is just to great to pass up, it’s time to use the power of the ctrl key and the Save Target As command. I want to have a part (or a whole) of that awesomeness all to myself even when I’m offline.

Level 11: Dukot, Abot, Alok

A moment of failure here as I forgot the original lines from the Chippy commercial. Anyway, this stage is where I exhaust (or try to) every means of sharing with other people the awesomeness or the un-awesomeness of a particular content. This is also where I try to contribute to that certain content. If it’s gratifying to share, then it’s also as satisfying to contribute and collaborate (hello fanfiction!).

Some levels happen simultaneously and some lines blur between stages, but one thing’s for sure: if I like, you’ll know that I LIKE.

P. S.

I somehow exchanged this post with the one posted before this. I guess I was just too excited to talk about sports that I wrote and posted that one before this one that’s supposed to talk about the class’s latest lesson.

As for the SMR, well, that’s coming up soon. Take note of SOON.

Disclaimer:

Because Karen made me guilty that I put acad-related stuff on the first two levels, I would like to say that I do find some (read: SOME) academic material to be interesting. Really.

Where stealing is not a crime and travelling is illegal

The magic of sports is for everyone – guys, gals, kids, oldies. For sports nuts, there’s nothing more heavenly than plopping down on your favorite couch, watching the game live on the TV screen (if they can’t watch LIVE that is), cheering wildly for your favorite team, being a third commentator next to those from the station, and switching the channel when the team is going to lose. Ooops, I guess that’s just me.

Which is why advertising on sports events and programs is such a lucrative business. As co-presentor, a company can expose their brand steadily for 2, 3, or even 4 hours straight (and in all promotional materials) with no fear of viewers changing the channel. The trend today is more than just placing ads on those screens around the court and showing commercials between breaks and timeouts. Companies and brands can sponsor segments on the show like text polls or assist/three-pointer/dunk/kick/goal/whathaveyou of the day. And if you’d look a little closer, you’d be able to see whether your favorite player or team has a swoosh, three stripes, or a crocodile proudly sewn over their chests.

Of course you’d have to compete with the sports action but really, people are bound to notice your brand in the course of several hours.

Let me give you some examples (but really, just because I’m excited to talk about sports).

During basketball games, whether its the NBA, the PBA, the UAAP, or the NCAA, it’s usual to see the changing rollers or the LCD screens around the perimeter of the court where brands and products get exposure all game long. A little shoutout to Sir Barry: really, the Unilab logo and name are as conspicuous as they can get (not that I’m complaining). Then there’s the instant replay/amazing assist/smashing dunk/shot or assist of the game/player of the game sponsorship. Then, co-presentorship where the company really gets every bit of exposure it can get. And in the PBA, it already says a lot for the company or brand if they sponsor a team. READ: Company TEAM (with professional players of course). As in name the team after the company or brand.

For tennis, advertising is a little bit subtler (just a little bit). Brands are placed on the walls around the court, the Ralph Lauren or Lacoste logo on the ballkids or on the umpire’s shirts, the Perrier cooler between the players’s seats. And then there’s the sponsored outfit for the players. You’d associate Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams with Nike and Andy Roddick with Lacoste. For the last several years, Sony Ericsson sponsored both the ATP and the WTA (now, it’s just the WTA). So yeah, there’s  the logo on the nets.

Then there’s baseball, one of the most (I think) advertising-heavy sports. Advertising efforts are everywhere – from placements on walls around the field, LCD spots high on the stands, branding on the main LCD display, scoreboard sponsorships, text quizzes and polls sponsorships, live acknowledgments, and really, name it, they got it.

And then, football. During the last FIFA World Cup games, brands like Citibank, Kia, and Hyundai have practically stamped their logos on every promotional material that ran for months before and during the competition. Other sponsors and advertisers made their mark during the games, with their logos sitting innocently but noticeably on the photo wall behind the coaches and players when they make their comments after the games. Not to mention the exposure and the branding on FIFA’s website which thousands of netizens visit a lot of times even before the games actually started. Not to mention the Barclay’s Premiere League. If that doesn’t speak for itself, I don’t know what will (Barclay is a bank). There’s a trend nowadays that companies and brands sponsor whole sports events.

Then there’s golf (much talk about Tiger’s sponsors), motorsports (seriously, it seems that the car and motorcycle bodies are made up of logos and brands, not the actual, uh, bodies),  American football, hockey. All have their share of advertising.

Go crazy.

And then there’s the internet. You name it. Website branding, ad spaces, banners, widgets, really, what have you. And then there are the fantasy sports leagues. Castrol is sponsoring its own F1 fantasy league and even offer prizes for the winning managers. Some fantasy leagues also have advertising pretty much like the real thing. And what’s really good about online efforts is that companies can better target their consumers. If the brand is targeting the more hardcore sports nuts (those who are not just satisfied with their TV sets), advertising online is a good way to reach them.

There are also sports forums and fanpages. Now those are gold mines for advertisers. These are places where not only discussions about sports stats and strategies go on but also talk about what product this player or team is using, what they are wearing, and how the newest aerodynamic Nike pair of shoes, can make your (and consequently, you) favorite player leap from half court to the basket.  By advertising on these sites, you’d be able to further convince and persuade sports people and fans to buy your product. You’ll
also be able to listen in on what they think about your brand (the eternal argument whether Nike is better than Adidas) and what they want from you (my feet can’t breathe in this pair of shoes; I can’t run in these!) The possibilities are endless.

Sports is about pushing the boundaries of the human body and spirit. I also think it’s pushing the boundaries of human thought and its capacity to think of advertising campaigns. As Adidas says it, “Impossible is nothing.”