"Position yourself as a center of influence, the one who knows the movers and shakers. People will respond to that, and you’ll soon become what you project." (Bob Burg)
We are at a time and age where technology is king and its effects and influence continuously shakes us to the core. It could either be beneficial or disadvantageous, would work for us or against us. With a constant surge of modernization that technologies go through from time to time, comes along with it various innovations for software and applications, that constantly spoon feed the public with information of all sorts and provide real time breaking news that connects individuals around the globe. This is the power of Social Media, and what makes up Social Media? think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wordpress, Tumblr and various Social Media platforms that inform, mediate, educate netizens day-to-day. Information and Knowledge is power and with this fast paced environment we are rooted in, it is our innate duty to be conscious and adapt a sense of awareness.
The Game Changers forum was the perfect avenue to get to know a few prominent individuals and how Social Media affects their day-to-day living . Armed with knowledge and skills from their own respective fields, they took the time and effort to share their perspectives and insights about Social media.
It took me an LRT ride and a trike to arrive at the venue, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which is near the famed walled city of Intramuros. Being that it was my first time in this part of the metro, I had to regularly peek out from the trike to at least check a portion of the walled city, and noticed some men wearing costumes as a ‘Guardia Sibil’.
"No, this is not a costume, it really is their uniform.." pointed out by my friend.
As I had arrived at the location, the auditorium was filled to the rafters. My friend told me that I missed out on one speaker for the forum. Her name is Rosario Juan, she is responsible for the use of #rescueph tweet which was used at the height of Ondoy and Habagat, wherein citizens from various locations used Social Media to ask for assistance and help in areas which were deeply affected by the typhoons during that time. And from that #rescueph, it evolved to be a site where concerned individuals shared relevant information for emergency contacts and a portal to share any news and information when disaster strikes.
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Second speaker is one of MMDA’s Game Changer in terms of reaching to the masses to provide real time news and updates regarding the traffic situation of the metro. Because of him, the social media app MMDA was developed. His name is Yves Gonzalez, and with his perseverance and an outstanding vision to one day create an app that will provide a long term solution, came into fruition, when he was given a regular post by MMDA. An event of which he recounted as a highlight in his life was when he went to the United States to visit his Dad and at the same time, witnessed a worldwide conference for all IT and Application Developers. This ignited his calling to learn more about Programming and when he came home, he took the initiative to take classes to further hone his IT skills and in the span of his dedication and hard work, along with the help of friends and volunteers, came up with the idea of an app for MMDA. The pinnacle of it all was when he had to return to the United States for the same conference and out of the 20,000 recognized apps on display, among them was the app he created. Interesting tidbit though, that at the time his app was on display on the said conference, Steve Jobs spoke enigmatically for the last time to the crowd before his passing.
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Third speaker was one of our country’s popular folk singer, Noel Cabangon. For his take, he delighted the audience with a ‘mini-concert’ as he sang his original songs which depicts love for one’s country and at the same time, songs that convey the political and economic ambiance of our country. With his gift for songwriting, this was his outlet to voice out his concerns and statements about the underlying decays, social and political woes that still continues to creep in in this free society because of man’s greediness and indifference. Armed with his weapon, the guitar, he gamely challenged everyone in the auditorium to sing this song with him: 'Mabuting Pilipino'.
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I was looking forward to this next speaker as she is one of the Journalists that I highly regard and look up to. In a nutshell, she narrated her humble beginnings of how she came to be a Journalist. She started to work for The Probe Team alongside with Cheche Lazaro. Her work ethics and contributions were recognized by a major international news desk and was given the post as Manila and Jakarta Bureau Chief for nearly two(2) decades in her tenure with CNN. She recounts the East Timor event as the highlight of her career on CNN, as being that she was on the battle field, she bore witness to countless individuals that had perished during that time, fighting for the state’s independence. Her impressive resume does not stop from there as she was given the post to head the news department of ABS-CBN. Now, Maria Ressa is the CEO/Executive Editor of rappler.com, a social media news network of which, any breaking news here and abroad is delivered through various social media platforms real time. Her take on Social Media was an eye opener: I learned of the term ‘Human Superorganism.’ Now you ask, how does this scientific term relate to Social Media? Like a network or interaction of organisms, individuals which are on various social media platforms interconnect and refer each other for products, services and events. Because of Social Media, the World Wide Web becomes within reach and had become a small place for all individuals of different backgrounds to share and relate a human piece day in and day out. Even then, through Social Media, Forecasting is also the name of the game. Using tools and analytics to measure responses received to and fro specifically from the app Twitter, case in point: The American Idol finals competition between Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips. Maria and her team gauged the measure of results of who will likely be AI’s last man standing. With the help of a Twitter analytics tool, they found out that in the United States alone, Phillips was in the lead but when it comes to the global arena, Sanchez was the top choice and Philippines, partook a huge chunk of the twitter responses globally, and this result came in even before the winner was announced on the show. An FYI moment.
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It was Bianca Gonzalez's turn to give her insights on how to build your network via Twitter and at the same time, anecdotes on being a responsible netizen when it comes to Social Media. Here are some of the few guidelines:
Be a dot connector. Among your network of family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues, there will always be a referral for a specific product, service or an event of which, you helped initiate since they are a part of your network.
Don’t be afraid to message people of influence. This will break any barriers or impressions of key public figures. For them to reciprocate and interact with people shows a humbling side of them as well as their genuineness to relate. After all, we share the same problems and do the same responsibilities day in and day out.
Spread Positivity /Right the wrong. Be responsible at whatever you do and this even extends to the World Wide Web. As much as possible, we don’t want to create mass hysteria or panic over a false story or rumor and the same time, create tension and hostility. Ok, so that was over the top :-D Simply create a sense of Camaraderie, Respect towards each other and show some Love. :-D
Exist in the world not just the World Wide Web. Less surfing will help - web surfing that is! Go out! Explore and make the most of what life has to offer as it will lead you to numerous adventures.
Photo credit: yahoo.ph
Last but not the least among the lot, Sen. TG guingona from the Kaya Natin Movement believes that to propel a positive change in the society is to include the masses when it comes to discussions and decisions that are dealt by the Senate. Through Social Media, we can voice out our suggestions and opinions over bills and laws and this will provide constituents an avenue to edit and draft resolutions and bills that is beneficial and advantageous for the common good. Governments should not be resistant to new ideas and should welcome such innovations in order to be at par with the changing times and at the same time, citizens will go hand-in-hand in building a nation where rulers do not fall onto deaf ears of the plight and pleas of the people, where Honesty and Transparency is upheld in all sectors and Character and Integrity is highly valued.
Photo credit: kayanatin.org
As Ms. Ressa pointed out during the forum, we are at an Age of Reference as opposed to the Age of Deference (the hierarchy of traditional media is mostly adapted) where a breaking news or story can now come from various sources (Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Colleagues) and in a split second, is shared on the World Wide Web.
Be responsible and be infomed!