Using social media to promote your product launch

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

Pardon the shameless plug, but my goal is to share our own experience in using social networks and multimedia to generate buzz and deliver information on the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game that our company is bringing to the Philippines this February, Rohan Online.

I think the important thing for companies to remember in this digital age is that apart from traditional channels such as mainstream media, the Web has empowered us with powerful and relatively inexpensive tools for directly reaching out to our audience and engaging them in a conversation. These tools, such as social networks, are not meant to replace but rather complement the role that traditional media plays in our overall communication strategy. In the face of the global economic slowdown, however, companies will have to become even more creative in taking advantage of the free tools that are available online instead of just relying on above-the-line promotion.

How about you, how are you using social media?

Filipina cited as one of most influential female bloggers

Check out my two-part post for CNET Asia on Fast Company recognizing Filipina Shai Coggins, a co-founder of one of the world’s biggest blog networks, b5media, as one of the most influential female bloggers.

Ironically, Shai found out about the accolade a couple of days after she ceased her employment at b5media.

Here’s Part 1 and here’s Part 2.

Thanks again for agreeing to the interview, Shai. brings Internet TV to RP and GM Cydie launches LU! blog, a Philippine site offering original online shows in HD, is now online.

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

Call me biased, but I’ve always been a firm believer in creating shows for the Web from the ground up rather than just repurposing the same programs that are already showing on TV. So I’m really happy that a Philippine company has launched to offer original online shows in HD.

Like regular TV, you have different shows catering to different tastes. But unlike TV, you can watch the show anytime you want instead of having to catch it in its time slot.

I’m also happy to share that GM Cydie of our massively multiplayer online role-playing game RF Online has launched her official Level Up! blog, GM Cydie’s Nook.

Here’s an excerpt from her first blog entry.

It was a lesson learned not to tell anyone that you’re a girl or, worse, post your profile on a site gamers frequently access. From then on, I started using male avatars to avoid these experiences. This may apply to other female gamers as well.

Guys pouring attention moderately is nice but more than that is irritating. It’s OK to ask for Friendster or YM accounts and the like but when a girl says no, don’t push it. Chat in moderation as well because most prolly they’re PL-ing or farming. Nakakaistorbo kayo.

Death of EGM and what happened to EGM Philippines

I’m still saddened by the death of Electronic Gaming Monthly, but I’m coming to terms with it. Ironically, a few years back, I was involved with plans to bring EGM to the Philippines. 

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

It was my online platforms manager Kevin Codamon who broke the bad news to me yesterday when I walked into our office, and it was definitely staggering to those like us who were weaned on the magazine. I read Kevin’s blog post to know more about how Ziff Davis sold its 1UP online network of gaming sites, which include the online version of EGM, to their competitor, Hearst-owned UGO Entertainment.

What’s more shocking is that Ziff Davis has decided to discontinue EGM, meaning this January issue is the iconic print magazine’s last. The irony is that the magazine is just one month away from its 20th anniversary, but no one knows yet what will happen to the unpublished February 2009 20th anniversary issue.

I didn’t want to blog about it here yesterday till I’d digested everything, but many of us were Plurking, twittering, and basically lamenting the death of EGM all throughout the day. In retrospect, it’s not so shocking given how many high-profile magazines have been dying lately–in fact, Mike Abundo, who blogged about the demise of EGM yesterday, firmly believes that magazines are doomed and has been saying that for some time. Print publications have been suffering for years now, and with the global economic slowdown, we have to face the reality that they’ll confront even more challenges.

It’s really an emotional reaction to the death of EGM because it’s been synonymous with video games for generations of gamers. The reality is that many younger gamers may not even be that familiar with EGM or that attached to it, in the same manner that, say, Sesame Street may still be around but is no longer a must-watch show for today’s kids as it was for those of us who grew up on it. (Did I just compare EGM to Sesame Street? I’ll burn in video game hell for this!)

Read the blog entry for the story behind EGM Philippines.

How about you, do you still read print magazines?

Missend, missed call

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

Do you answer text messages (SMS) that get missent to your mobile phone? Just to inform the person that he or she sent the message to the wrong person?

I used to, particularly when the message seemed important. No, nothing as dramatic yet as a life-and-death situation–and seriously, wouldn’t you call rather than text if it’s an emergency–but stuff like someone asking the recipient if he or she has already arrived at the meeting place, or why he or she hasn’t called.

Life without tech (sort of)

I had a great time in Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija — we went on a roadtrip there Friday night and came home Sunday morning. Thanks again to my kumpare Joel Pinaroc, his brother Jay, and their Tito Dan and his family for their warm hospitality.

I blogged about our “escape from urban life” for CNET Asia. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not sure how many of you have been to or grew up in a rural area, but we’re talking a house (though a modern one) surrounded by ricefields, with a stream, piggery, carabaos (water buffalo) ducks, chickens–the works. It’s a different kind of experience, particularly for someone like me who lived his whole life in the city, and I always welcome opportunities like this to get away from it all and forget about my complete immersion in the digital world, at work and at play.

In a world where many of our friends and colleagues are people we’ve only interacted with online, it’s good to just spend time talking (well, OK, drinking and talking–we arrived there at 11:30 pm and proceeded to drink a lot of brandy and beer until 4 am) with friends and meeting new people whose lives don’t revolve around technology.

Oh, and if you haven’t tried bulalong kalabaw yet, trust me, it’s better than bulalong baka! 🙂

My new online home

I know, I haven’t been doing any personal blogging in a while, what with my Level Up! blog Play to Win, my CNET Asia blog Babelmachine, and all the cool stuff the Level Up! Multimedia team has been doing.

It would be too ironic, however, for someone who’s deeply into multimedia and the digital lifestyle not to have an online home of his own, so here you go, it’s the brand-spanking new 🙂

As I said, we’ve been very busy here at Level Up! We just finished holding another groundbreaking project last week, the Reliving LIVE: The LIVE 2008 Experience online show, and you can read about it by going to my CNET Asia blog. Here’s an excerpt from that post:

I’m fond of saying that while content may be king, context is queen. You have to understand your online audience, and tailor your content and services to their taste. You have to give your community a stake in your service, particularly by showcasing the content they have generated. And you have to remember that if you have an existing online community, you have employees or members who have already become online celebrities.

For instance, in our case, we have community managers and brand managers whom players already look up to, because they’re gamers themselves, interact with the community on a daily basis, and have built trust over the years.

They have more online cred/gaming cred than a real-world celebrity whom you might invest in just to endorse your brand, but who knows nothing about your content and service, and who hasn’t built that kind of rapport with your audience. As the YouTube generation knows, the best online content doesn’t necessarily come from the giants in mainstream media, but from ordinary users and online celebrities.

I’ll soon be able to talk about another new project, so stay tuned.

By the way, a big shout out to Kiven for helping me with the domain and hosting.

Anyway, hope you’ll keep visiting Make yourself at home 🙂