OrCom Students in a Wiki World

In my recent post about The Third Place I talked about how we, Organizational Communication students, are involved with a lot of online collaboration activities; hence, the need for WiFi. In this post, I’ll be telling you how exactly we collaborated for one project.

Team Praxis meeting

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Are you ready for Twitter?

Are you really ready for Twitter?
Your friends just signed up for Twitter. They start doing practically everything there–exchange gossips, share stories, links, and others and
you feel left out most of the time. And now they are even following your favorite celeb hotties. So you go to Twitter.com and you click
the Sign up now tab.
If the above scenario seems familiar to you, then you are one of the many people (and even businesses!) who sign up for Twitter and other similar sites due to “fear factor” (http://moblogsmoproblems.blogspot.com/2009/07/companies-dont-fall-for-social-medias.html).
This is not good because maintaining an online account is like having a pet bird (lovebird, mynah, parrot, whatever!).
* You can leave it once in a while but you definitely have to feed it (with your updates) or it will die.
* It won’t bug you if you haven’t fed it for a while, but it will just die down on its own.
* If you want it to be healthy, you have to feed it well (with quality, relevant, and useful updates).
So even when all your friends have their own pets already, you can’t just dive into the same thing just so you can relate. You need
something more than that for you to sustain whatever you will start.
Here’s a rundown of things that you need to ask if you are in doubt about signing up for Twitter.
1. Do you have a lot of useful information to share to the world?
2. Are the people you want to share those information with on Twitter?
3. Are the people in #2 unreachable in other platforms (like IM, Gtalk, or Facebook)?
4. Do you really want the world to share what you are doing every time (even where you are tweeting from http://blog.twitter.com/2009/08/location-location-location.html) to quite a number of people?
5. Do you really want to know about what other people are doing/up to in real time (as they update)?
6. Do you have a big, diverse, and scattered network such that friends from the same group/organization/school/company cannot be
reached in the same site?
7. Do you want to establish your online presence in different platforms as a way of building and maintaining your online reputation?
8. Are you open minded and can you take comments or criticisms lightly and positively?
9. Are you capable of dropping constructive comments to other people as well?
10. Do you know how to manage your time well?
If you answered mostly yes, then go ahead and click here (https://twitter.com/signup) to sign up. I am almost sure that Twitter will be of help to you.
If you answered mostly no, then your time is better off spent somewhere else. You surely don’t need another distraction to keep you from
finishing your tasks.
I hope you find the above list helpful. 🙂

Your friends just signed up for Twitter. Since then, they started doing practically everything there–exchange gossips, share stories, links, and others and you feel left out most of the time. And now they are even following your favorite celeb hotties. So you go to Twitter.com and you click the Sign up now tab.

If the above scenario seems familiar to you, then you are one of the many people (and even businesses!) who sign up for Twitter and other similar sites due to “fear factor” .

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The Third Place

The Third Place
It’s currently 10:23 in the morning and I’m making this blog at Mrs. Fields, while eating some banana bread and cheese roll
alternately, sipping some Raspberry and Echinacea tea, playing Somewhere Only We Know, checking my mail and
periodically tweeting. 10:23am is 2.5 hours away from my 1pm class, but why exactly am I here when I could be doing this
stuff at home?
I was reading Glenn Reynolds’ An Army of Davids when I got inspired to write about the OrCom students’ own third place.
Reynolds cited Ray Oldenburg’s idea of a third place:
1. Free or inexpensive
2. Offers food and drink
3. Accessible
4. Draws enough people to feel social
5. Fosters easy conversation
But before I move on to my own idea of a third place, let me tackle what my first and second places are.
School: This is my supposed workplace, so to speak. But since we don’t have our own classrooms in the University, I can’t
work there comfortably. The library (if you may call it a place to study/work) isn’t very conducive after all. In my opinion,
the criteria for a place to be considered conducive is different now. But our libraries, sad to say, are stuck with their own
definitions from the past.
Home: I don’t know if it’s the television, my bed, or my parents, but really I can’t seem to accomplish anything when I’m at home. As they say, work and life (home) can’t mix. Need I say more?
So I look for another place to do work; hence, the third place.
My idea of a Third Place, as an OrCom student, has a lot in similarity with that of Oldenburg’s. But I will have to add more
elements to make it fit.
1. Free WiFi.
As a Net Gen-er, it is not impossible for me to hang out with my friends and class mates while working. All I need is White
Winona (my 1005HA) and a wifi connection and I’m all set. We collaborate (more about this on my next entry) online and
that’s why it topped my list.
Places with free wifi: select areas within UP Manila, Mrs. Fields UN, MoMo, McDo UN, Starbucks Midtown, Baker’s Passion,
other food places in Midtown, White Berry (Bellagio Square)
2. Sockets
We are not anymore in a generation where the only place you can work with those doc files at is home, with that giant computer mounted on the wall next to the socket. Productivity and connectivity tools are way smaller now. And it follows that you can work at any place, provided it has a power supply. Going back, since I can’t always expect all my group mates/friends own a netbook with a good battery life (ie. enough to last an average 3 hour meeting), the absence or presence of sockets play a huge role when we choose a place to go to.
Places with free sockets: KopiRoti (Adriatico), Starbucks UN, Mrs. Fields UN, MoMo, Starbucks Midtown, Burger King, White Berry (Bellagio Square)
3. Great ambiance
Yes we are not easily contented. For a place to enter our list, it must have, at least, good seats, if not couches. Why is that so? At the very least, we spend 3 hours for a group meeting, add subtract an hour and a half for tweeting, chika, and other distractions that cannot be helped. That’s why comfy chairs matter a lot to us. You can’t expect us to conduct our meetings al fresco because we will melt, yes literally. Also, we want our places to have just the right amount of people = noise. A cramped place is a NO-NO!
Places with good-great ambiance: Mrs. Fields UN, Starbucks UN, KopiRoti (Adriatico), White Berry (Bellagio Square)
4. Reasonably priced drinks and food
We love to eat. And we love to do it while working. But we also have our attempts at frugality, which is why you won’t find us in places with that sell a single serving dish for 200, unless the deal is really good (like in Mrs. Fields UN)

Currently, it’s 10:23 in the morning and I’m making this blog at Mrs. Fields, while eating some banana bread and cheese roll alternately, sipping Raspberry and Echinacea tea, playing Somewhere Only We Know, checking my mail and periodically tweeting.

10:23am is 2.5 hours away from my 1pm class, but why exactly am I here when I could be doing this stuff at home?

I was reading Glenn Reynolds‘ An Army of Davids when I got inspired to write about  my own third place.

Reynolds cited Ray Oldenburg’s idea of a third place:

  • Free or inexpensive
  • Offers food and drink
  • Accessible
  • Draws enough people to feel social
  • Fosters easy conversation

But before I move on to my own idea of a third place, let me tackle what my first and second places are.

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What Lies Beneath

Yesterday I managed to digest the fifth chapter of Cluetrain Manifesto entitled The Hyperlinked Organization. And I don’t have to be a corporate king (or queen at that) in order to affirm the points made by Weinberger.
Whenever I go online (and that means everyday), I see that the Web is really just how it was described in this chapter–hyperlinked, decentralized, has the concept of hyper time, provides open access to everyone, contains rich data, sometimes broken, and borderless.
So how exactly did those things transform the way people do business?
Let me share with you some of what I saw and what I thought about them
1.Deception is an option (and you see it anywhere).
I totally cannot imagine my friend Arvin making use of his time online playing Travian or Poker or what-have-you. So when I saw this thingy flashing somewhere at the top of my Facebook page, I was riveted.
On surface level, the purpose was to drive traffic at their site. Not totally evil. But if we look deeper, it actually illustrates how companies that utilize social media have discovered another way of customizing their messages in ways that will best attract their target market. At this point, maybe the thing that gave us away is the frequency of message exchanges between him and me. They managed to make wise use of the links that I have with people so they came up with this banner ad that was meant to deceive in the hope of compelling me to experience it too. It (and all the other similar ads) failed.
Deception should not always be the way to go for companies and for the people that comprise it. It is unethical and it can be annoying, especially when people find out that you have deceived them for your company’s self-serving purpose.
2. They talk to me (us).
These dialog boxes appeared when I re-launched the Firefox/Chrome window after I forced-close it when my laptop was running ultra slow.
The label, obviously, is like someone from the Internet is actually talking to me. But more than sheer repackaging, what can be their intention in opting for a softer, more human kind of approach than the bland, computer tone like “Window and tabs cannot be recovered?” By actually trying to appeal to a “human side” and admit that what was happening is something that is, uhm, embarrassing, it kind of softens the blow as it reach the person. So, when you are trying to upload a video and then the window closes down, the initial reaction is get pissed. But with that message popping up, it is somewhat implied that they tried, but they failed so maybe you can let that pass.
In the same way that the kind of message that was exchanged online has evolved—from highly confidential matters by the military to gossips going on in chat rooms—the way companies talk to us have also differed. It is not always them in the serious tone. Rather, they try to appear human, imperfect and flawed. If you are a company who is too occupied with making sure that you sound oh-so-professional online [yawn yawn], perfect grammar, and brilliant formatting, in the light of attracting the right people, then you are mistaken. If no one has braved to tell you the truth, I will. You are boring. And if we find something boring, we will only click on any link in your site just to get you out of sight.
Time, money, and effort not spent quite well, ain’t it?
Disclaimer: I am not doing shameless plugs here. I was not exhaustive in capturing all pages and sites possible so those that will be mentioned here are just snippets of those that I happen to stumble upon lately.

Yesterday I managed to digest the fifth chapter of Cluetrain Manifesto entitled The Hyperlinked Organization. And I don’t have to be a corporate king (or queen at that) in order to validate the points made by Weinberger.

Whenever I go online (and that means everyday), I see that the Web is really just how it was described in this chapter–hyperlinked, decentralized, has the concept of hyper time, provides open access to everyone, contains rich data, sometimes broken, and borderless.

But how exactly did those things transform the way companies do business?

Let me share with you some of what I saw and what I thought about them.

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I got overdosed.

HISTORY

  • I used to list down my agenda before I go to the Internet shop.
  • I didn’t have my own internet connection until last semester.
  • I managed to be productive in an hour or so of staying in an Internet shop.

COMPLAINTS

  • Waiting in line in those computer shops again
  • My flash disk always getting infected by NewFolder.exe, Funny UST Scandal.exe, or ravmon.exe
  • Too limited time to work on my research or home works
  • No extra time for an online job, ergo, no chance to amass MONEY MONEY MONEY
  • Incomplete productivity

MEDICATION: Broadband installation at home

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If I Were A Brand

What is my brand? What brand am I?

I am not sure if these two are the same question only stated in different manner so by default I only need to provide just one answer. Just the same, I am still at the point of exploring the possibilities.

I have been asking myself this question for days now after reading an article somewhere, discussing the importance of personal branding. And as barrycade would put it, there is a sea of penguins (out there in the Arctic!!) that is vying for readers’/clients’/customers’/employers’ attention. How can I possibly stick out?

The potential of new media as an avenue to make yourself (or your brand) popular or accessible (at least), or to generate income, is just so overwhelming.

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But wait there’s more!

One of the things that I never fail to remember when asked about my childhood is TV shopping. You may think those infomercials sucked, but my brother and I had a GREAT time just watching those people promote the products that claim to solve all our household worries–from peeling potatoes to cleaning that stubborn mess from a sofa set. They seem to have a solution to everything and that really riveted us.

What would always make us sad at the end of any day is the fact that all these things are just too expensive, especially for us kids who are only used to getting coins from the elders to put in our coin banks. Even when they end with the line “if you call right now, you can get all these for an incredibly low, low price of only two-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-five-pesos”, we know in our young hearts that we can’t get hold of such wonderful treasures. Well, not just yet.

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