Yup, Twitter is a tool

Just wanted to repost here my comment on fellow CNET Asia blogger Ryan McLaughlin’s latest blog post, Twitter is a tool, and so is Maureen Dowd.

Great post, Ryan.

Around 2004, when I pushed for the leading online news site in the Philippines to incorporate blogging, many people from mainstream media and the blogosphere alike were saying things like: “Why should journalists blog?” “Why would the biggest online newspaper in the Philippines want to go into blogging?”

Years before that, skeptics were asking, “Why should companies have their own website? Why are they commercializing the Internet?”

It’s the same cycle. Some people always feel threatened, particularly if they’ve always relied on a monopoly of information.

Tools are tools; it’s how you use them that matters. If you can’t compete in a world where technology empowers people, whether you’re a journalist, a blogger or ordinary citizen just tweeting whatever you want, then that’s your problem.

Don’t blame technology for your own shortcomings.


Is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Twitter?

Here’s an excerpt from my latest CNET Asia blog post.

I don’t think it’s been confirmed yet as the real deal, but last night Filipino Twitter users were passing around the URL of what is supposedly the Twitter account of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

What do you think? At any rate, if it doesn’t turn out to be her real account — whether she’s actually the one updating it or an assistant — someone should tell her staff about this. I asked one of my journalist friends to confirm, but no word yet.

Who will win: Manny Pacquiao or Ricky Hatton?

Of course, I’ll be rooting for Manny Pacquiao, but how about you? Do you think Pac-Man will prove too much for the Hitman when they meet on May 2 (May 3 in Manila)? Or will Ricky Hatton prove Freddy Roach wrong?

Hatton, after all, was irked by Roach’s prediction that Pacquiao will win in three rounds.

Who do you think will emerge victorious? Vote now!

Follow NASA astronaut Mike Massimino on Twitter

From my latest CNET Asia blog post:

I’ve been following the tweets of Mike Massimino, one of the seven astronauts who will take part in the Hubble servicing mission. Massimino will be onboard the space shuttle Atlantis, which is set to launch on May 12. Massimino has been using Twitter to keep people updated on his training and the Hubble service mission. Wonder if he’ll be able to tweet from space?

Read the full story.

Cybersquatters seek to cash in on Susan Boyle craze

It was bound to happen.

Eager to take advantage of all the attention being poured on the new Internet sensation Susan Boyle, more than 30 sites have been set up by cybersquatters, guardian.co.uk reports.

Here’s an excerpt from the news story.

While Boyle does not have an official web presence herself, according to research conducted by the web domain company Sedo, fans and cybersquatters have registered sites in her name across Europe and the US and in seemingly unlikely countries such as Turkey.

The domain name SusanBoyle.co.uk was registered on 10 April and put together quickly as a fan site.

Meanwhile, pop singer Cyndi Lauper has urged Boyle to accept a role in an upcoming movie.

Cyndi Lauper says it would be “fantastic” if British singing sensation Susan Boyle accepted an offer to be in a planned film starring the U.S. pop singer and actress Tippi Hedren.

Susan Boyle, at 47, became one of the world’s hottest celebrities virtually overnight after her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” on “Britain’s Got Talent” this month with the clip already viewed around 50 million times on YouTube.

Not everyone, however, is enamored with Boyle, as shown by the Boyle backlash.

Over at The Huffington Post, Rachel Thebault declared: I Just Don’t Get the Big Deal with Susan Boyle.

Oh, in case you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen the Boyle performance yet, watch the YouTube clip.

How about you, what do you think of Susan Boyle?

Happy Earth Day! But is Mother Earth happy?

Well, Mother Earth doesn’t have a lot of reasons to be happy with us, but let’s do the best we can to cheer her up on Earth Day and, heck, every day.

I’m not an environmentalist, and I know I could be doing more for Mother Earth, but I think most of us will agree that yup, global warming does exist, and it’s wreaking havoc on the planet. Stuff like unseasonal rain, which we’ve been experiencing here in the Philippines for the past few days when it’s supposed to be summer.

Anyway, if you have time, visit Earth Day Network and watch Earth Day TV.

Also, I love this song, and anyway it’s Earth Day, so here you go.