Defiance

Its been one hell of a ride but we’re finally at the end of the tunnel. Lots of things happened, (well, mostly on the past 3 days or so but whatever) but as they say, all good things must come to an end. There’s so much I learned from blogging but everybody else seem to have blogged about it so I just have a few words to say.

As I’ve said this is the end of the tunnel. What’s ahead now is a whole new world of challenges, dreams and opportunities that will befall us in the form of New Social Media. I hope you remembered, if not picked up a thing or two in my posts and I thank all the nice and encouraging comments I received. Know that I don’t think any of them are just superficial flattery and seeing a new comment always bring a smile to my face.

With that set and done here’s one last picture to present my favorite lesson

Be unique

Never be bound by any rules, tips or guidelines in your course through life. The world is filled with infinite possibilities just waiting to be fulfilled. open new doors, do not be afraid to push that red button. Who knows? YOu may just be the next big thing to ever step on the net 🙂

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SoulMate: We’ll be together in the end.

There are somethings in life that we won’t be able to miss out. Some experience them earlier than others, some take their time, sometimes you might even be surprised.When this happens, we at SoulMate want to make sure that we’ll be there for you.  Just as destiny’s wheels turn, so will our ever open arms to aid you in your times of trial. You know everyone’s got to be ready to kick the bucket in style. And what better way to do it than with your SoulMate.

SoulMate offers funeral services for as low as P 40,000 with a very reasonable and negotiable down-payment. Our quality services will be sure to knock your soul off your body (Pun intended). We will make sure that you reach the other side with no worries of what’s about to happen yo your former shell.You’ll be able to rest assured up there in heaven for eternity that you’re body was in good hands. We even offer a 25% discount for senior citizens.

We also have a variety of coffins that are sure to make you’re former self looking good as ever. We’ll be sure to lay your body in one of the most comfortable places on earth. You can even choose from a variety of colors. Pinks are the new in thing right now so don’t miss out on this.

SoulMate is conveniently located in Pag-Asa, Binangonan, Rizal, just across from the local church. How convenient can that be?

Remember, we’re looking forward to meeting you 🙂

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Even if you win; you’re still a retard

I’ve come across a lot of discussions about organizational conflict during the past years of my study in organizational communication. It’s not that much of a surprise that its one of the most common research topic every year. Not only is it interesting, its also very important to every communication specialist, HR, or PR practitioner. Conflicts can be good or bad depending on how you handle it. But one thing that is know to every communication specialist out there is that internal conflict is a lot easier to handle than external conflict. External conflict directly involves the people that should be buying your products and messing up in handling external conflict can deal a devastating blow to every company.

Now, imagine that external conflict being ‘excalated’ to the internet. Yes, I meant to use the word escalate because internet conflict gives the power or anonimity and broadcast communication to your adversary. This is unlike in real life where you can actually contain the problem before it gets ugly. The internet is the nest of bad news hungry people that love beating the hell out of big companies and bashing their products. So how do you solve Internet Conflict?

Calm down. Seems like your generic advice when it comes to anger management but it actually is the most important of all the tips you can get.  Dealing with an idiot spouting nonsense about your company with a hot head can attract more idiots to bash your company. Do not give people more reason to hate you. Never fight fire with fire, or in this case, flame with flame.

The thing you’d want to avoid the most is more people joining in on the discussion and rallying against the big bad company. Calm down, and end things quickly. Avoid caps lock. Do not sound arrogant. Do not be too apologetic as it may give flamers more confidence to flame. Do not use ill words. Listen to what the other person is saying.

Remember that not all people hate you for valid reasons. Sometimes, there are just people that love to hate. They are more commonly known as “Jackasses”. There’s nothing you can do to stop them because they flame you for flaming’s sake. It is important to remember that dealing with these people is like studying tornadoes. You go near and examine it but get too close and you’ll be the last person I’d want to be. Ignoring people like these can be potentially dangerous as people may view the rant and end up believing it. That’s where you come in. Go in the battlefield,give your two cents and try not to feed the attention hungry troll too much. The more people see how calm and collected the company is in handling a flamer, the better the rep your company gets and the less the people that listens to the jackass.

Do not be agitated by trolls. Do not be absorbed in a flame war. Leave immature ranters alone to make idiots out of themselves. Empowering your supporters is more preferable than attacking haters. Do not give he impression that you’re company is on a defensive stance on an issue.

There are some people you just don't want to have an argument with.

Avoid conflicts as much as possible. As they say, “prevention is better than cure” The more controversies and issues your company gets involved in, the less credible it seems to people. You’d be surprised on how a couple of red marks can affect your company. The internet is one to blame for this. People write on the internet and these writings can be viewed by other people all over the world. And they’ll blog about it, and blog about it and blog about it. And that shit is potentially permanent.

Before you know it, an issue on the delay of pays can transform into an issue of employees not receiving any compensations at all. Then you’ll become a national phenomenon and that image will stick to you for a very long time.

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Blogging Blues: This is not a Rant

Being required to blog can be a real pain. I should know… (Sentences omitted for security of grade). Not only is it tedious, it can give you a sense of impending doom, especially when deadlines draws near. (Sentences omitted again for the safety of blogger’s grade). In it’s purest form, it’s not really something for one without the inclination towards it.

This is not a rant mind you. I just needed to let out some emotions in the first part. Now for an objective view of my blogging experience for the past five months or so. I’ve found some basic blogging rules every (regular/someone who wants to update frequently)blogger should know.

Do not cram. We’ve heard this so many times but most of us don’t really appreciate this valuable lesson. Cramming is not only bad for your health, it also greatly reduces the quality of the blogs you will release. Evidence: Just browse through all my blogs. You’ll see the evolution of quality and the changes in the frequency of blogging during the past few months.

This is especially important to keep in mind while doing corporate blogs. You cannot afford to make a half-baked blog about your company because you have to make ends meet. If you ask me, its better not to blog at all if you can’t regularly blog useful blogs for your company. Worse, bombarding people with pointless blogs are just going to hurt your company and nothing more.

Stay relevant. Read my posts. I know, I’m all over the place. This really isn’t something an average blogger should worry about but if you plan to manage a couple of subscribers, its pretty important to stay on topic or in character. People read your blogs because they are interested in it or on you. If you constantly change your identity every two posts or so, it might cause a confusion as to what your deal really is. This may be unappealing for some of your followers.

The same with corporate blogging. Consumers don’t want to be confused and organizations should take it upon themselves to remain organized and consistent with their blogs. This helps people develop a relationship with your blog and essentially, your brand.

Blog entertaining. Wit and humor are one of the fundamental elements of a blog. Though as unfair as it would seem at times, but really, a blog in a text book language would drive people away from it like wild fire. People have very limited attention span that you have to work your way around as a blogger.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be a stand up comedian to do this especially when you’re making a corporate blog. Write something down that would put a smile or a smirk on you’re reader’s face. Make reading you’re blog be worth their time. Serious humor. Remember that.

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Pass the Message: A rather simple blog for a little exercise

Basic Marketing

Let’s make this even simpler:

Send a message to a group of people

People who receive it will pass it on to others

They’ll then send the message to other people to make them send the message and the cycle continues.

Its just too good to be true. Unfortunately, its all a game of pass the message.

Pass the message is a game where… well… you pass a message. Your group usually forms a line or a circle and a message will be given to one member of the group. The message will then be passed from one person to another until everyone got the message. The fun part of this game is how the message will turn out completely different once the passing ends. What does this imply?

The model stated above is not completely true. If we factor in the human tendency to alter the message sent, just sending a message can lead to a very messy situation in the future.

Change in message can lead to:

Misinformation that could lead to many problems and issues regarding the usage of your company’s product

Misinterpretation of company’s message that can lead to misinterpretation of the company’s identity

Misuse of information leading to exploitation of altered facts, usually causing ethical issues for the company

Mishandling of arising issues could cost companies millions from a problem that isn’t supposed to happen in the first place

Just your everyday life in the internet

This problem, however dangerous, can be prevented by taking some precautionary measures:

Make your company statement clear in your company’s blogs and SMRs. Avoid vague, ambiguous, and weak words like some, most, maybe, probably, and few.

Constantly monitor “talks” about your company online.  Do not let misinformation about your company spread like wild fire. Correct all wrongs and manage your company’s image.

Do not release more information than necessary. Monitoring one message can prove to be a handful. Do not trouble yourself with more information than necessary. You may be aiming for the attention of the people, but really, it can be more trouble than its worth.

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Epic Fails: Internet slapstick at its finest.


Before reading this, here’s a picture worth your time.

Epic fail pictures are quite the uncelebrated treasures of the internet. Ever since I started using the Internet, epic fail pictures have always put a smile on my face.

Epic fails are basically images or videos of some people/animal/inanimate objects/fictious beings/everything else that are put into situations where they do something out of sheer stupidity. In its purest form, it is the slapstick of the internet; people make fun of the humiliation and pain of other people. How have this phenomenon shaped the internet landscape?

Acting like an idiot catches attention more than acting cool.

Getting a bad rep in the net can potentially be irreversible

This makes you vulnerable to other companies’ attacks

It can hurt your organization in a lot more ways than one.

Your company will look like an idiot


It will ultimately result to less consumers for you because of the implied incompetence you’re company has earned in the net.

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Pulling the Reigns on Social Media Use

“Slow and steady”. This could very well be one of the weird things  you could ever think about when starting a business these days. With the advent of the new social media era, companies are now able to communicate with a potentially immense amount of people in instant real-time. Gone are the days of snail mail and being forced to rely on paying huge amounts of cash for a very unreliable mass media communication. So why bother limiting the use of this great technology?

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Feel the heat yet?

It’s easy to get people’s attention; hum a tune, poke them in the shoulder, call out their name, dance in the middle of the street, run and scream like a mad man, you can even throw bricks at them if you feel like it. The hard part is handling the pressure that comes with the people’s attention.

Of course as a profit-based organization, you would most definitely want people to dream about your company day and night. But can you manage this many people looking at your company for every success and (possible) flaws?

Though it may be easy to obtain, people’s attention span have evolved into something rather too small for you to waste. If you get people’s attention, be prepared to impress one of the harshest judges on earth; the Netizens. These people will embrace, bash, applaud, destroy, or just plain ignore your company once you go online and present yourself. Be sure to manage the amount of people talking about your company or you’re in for a world of hurt.

2. Tie loose ends before running in the net or you’ll trip

YOU HATE MONKEYS, DON'T YOU?!

You are not dealing with people; you are dealing with people in the internet. There’s a huge difference between the two that’s about the same distance as the sun’s circumference.

People in the internet are more likely to say bad things about your company compared to normal people mainly because of two things; people actually listen to you  in the internet (ideally) and the veil of ambiguity that comes with the net makes it a perfect tool for a hit and run.

That being said, you should always try to double check things before releasing it in the net. How many people are going to be affected by this release? Will it be good or bad for them? How about other people that could possibly be involved in this? Are we infringing copyrights? How will the people react? This isn’t going to kill anyone, is it? Be to make your social media release as bash proof as possible.

3. A single success is a lot better than a dozens of success and dozens of failures.

Even if that guy on the left becomes champion someday... This epic fail is still too brilliant to forget.

Netizens love failures. A single misstep could prove to be a crippling blow especially if your company has all eyes on them.

Selling a defective product once can erase all the hard work put into your past ten successful products.

Netizens judge a company by the mistakes it did. Yes its unfair but that’s just how it works. This makes unleashing tens and dozens of products at once a very bloody job if you think about it.

A single rat infestation in a branch of a fast-food chain could terminate the whole company altogether if netizens bash it enough. You are making irreversible damage with your brand in every mistake you make.

Work on the basics.

Start slow.

Be strategic in every approach.

Do not disappoint the people.

Avoid unnecessary risks.

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Why go for cult? Fandom Madness

When you want to sell a product you’d most likely want to advertise or promote it to as many people as you can so you’ll get more sales. This is not such a bad thing mind you but in this modern day and age, a little ingenuity and uniqueness can go a long way.

I’m talking about aiming for cult status rather than going the usual mainstream path most companies take. Admit it; its hard to be everyone’s number one, even harder is to maintain being number one. And being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of companies that are trying to do the same thing will make it even harder than ever. So why not trying to take the path less taken?

Main reasons why going mainstream is not such a good idea:

Everybody else is doing it

Mainstream can be unpredictable

You are limited to “what’s in”

Why aim for cult?

1. Making fans out of people

Damn you Twilight...

The thing about targeting a more specific audience is that you trade off quantity for quality. You may not have worldwide fanbases but having a group of people that would kill for your product is a very good thing.

You see, “aiming” promotions and advertisement makes “targeted” people feel appreciated and more connected to your product. Thus they’ll form a sort of connection with it. Twilight might be a good example of this. Some people hate it. Some people LOVE it. Please take note that Twilight targeted young women (maybe teenagers at that). Everybody else may hate it, accept it, embrace it, or just down right ignore it but who cares? All that matters is you take care of your loving fans. And if you do…

2. Fans will “PROMOTE” your product

Drunk dude or die hard fan. You decide.

Ask a real Harry Potter fan what he or she thinks of the book. You’ll be surprised by how long they can talk about the story, the characters, the series, the author, even the cover pages.  What does this imply?

Fans are potentially very good advertisers and promoters of your brand. These are people that are more than willing to talk about your product in a positive light to other people. Though there may be haters that are hell-bent on proving otherwise, your loyal fans will always be there to smite down these evil ones.

This is especially effective with the rise of new social media. People are now empowered to voice out their opinions and your fans will use the hell out of this new media to claim the superiority of your brand. I can remember the last time a friend of mine posted something about Twilight being the next best thing since the Internet.

Again, take care of them well. If you do then…

3. Fans will breed other fans

The number of fans rised... EXPONENTIALLY!!!

Remember what I said about exchanging quantity for quality? That minor flaw can be solved through time. Remember, fans promote your brand. This could potentially lead to more fans ,and more fans, and more fans. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of twilight fans are big enough to start their own country.

This is a very good thing because you’ll be able to develop a fanbase that have both quantity and quality. In fact, your cult might take over mainstream if you try hard enough.

This is just one of the advantages of aiming for a cult hit rather than a mainstream hit. This doesn’t mean that going mainstream is a bad idea. If you have a unique and crazy enough idea, then there’s nobody to stop you from taking over the world. Remember; just make something good 🙂

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Valkyria Chronicle is Going Mainstream

Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical role-playing game published by Sega, developed by their Sega WOW division exclusively for the Playstation 3. It was released in Japan on April 24, 2008. A European version was then released on October 31, 2008, followed by a North American version released on November 4, 2008. The success of the game spawned multiple manga titles, a televised anime series, and most recently the development of

Valkyria Chronicles follows the life of Welkin Gunther, a young militia lieutenant forced into service by a continent-wide war in the land of Gallia, located on the continent of Europa.

“The setting can best be described as a mash-up of WW1 and WW2 themes… the waning aristocracy and power struggles of the first war along with the weapons of mass destruction and persecution of a historically derided people of the second.” (Gamefaqs review)

The story of Valkyria Chronicles 2 takes place two years after the conclusion of the original game. A group of young Gallian Military Academy cadets find themselves plunged into a bitter civil war when the newly formed Gallian Revolutionary Army stages a coup. As the epic drama unfolds in the game, players will experience stories of friendship, love and growing pains during a time of war and revolution.

What’s interesting about this series is the radical shift in tone between the original game and its sequel. I won’t dwell in the differences between gameplay since i feel that its an overall improvement from the first game. instead, Ill deal with what has changed in the tone and overall execution of Valkyria Chronicles.

Console to Portable

As mentioned earlier, VC1 was made exclusively for the PS3 but what’s this? A sequel to VC1 is being made exclusively… for the PSP?! This dealt a significant blow to those who have played the game and loved it on the PS3 but doesn’t have a PSP.

This move is not unjustified though. Role-playing games (RPGs) are the mainstream genre as long as portable gaming systems are concerned.  With recent releases of Hexyz Force, Ys Seven, especially Persona 3 Portable, RPGs are taking the PSP by storm. Portables are also undeniably a lot cheaper compared to consoles so that gives people more incentive to buy the game.

But as they say, at the end of the day you always have to take care of your fans because they are the most vocal and emphatic audience you have. Of course you can always buy a PSP if you’re really a fan but purchasing one for the sake of one games feels a little overboard.

Animeness

Don’t get me wrong; I like anime but fans of VC are having mixed feelings about the shift in the game’s tone, particularly in the character department. The original VC is drawn anime style but the story is portrayed a lot darker than what you would expect from a typical anime. This focus on history and morality issues charmed a significant amount of fans. Some even say that it’s the best strategy RPG created since Final Fantasy Tactics (which I still feel is the best SRPG ever). There are about 50 characters that have a unique story and personality each and they are predominantly mature adults, one you’d really expect to be in war.

In the sequel however, the series made yet another turn towards mainstream; mainstream shonen manga that is. The gutsy positive young main character who isn’t afraid of anything, the moody, conservative, handsome rival who likes to act cool and antagonizes the hero every now and then, the shy quiet girl who secretly likes the main character, etc, etc. And most of the significant characters are in their high school years. So that’s Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, Rave, Hajime no Ippo, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, Air Gear, D. Gray-man, Beelzebub, Eyeshield 21 and a whole lot more.

This didn’t looked good for some purists. Some felt that the dark tone was an integral part of the game and that removing it will take a lot of fun from the game since it wouldn’t be the same.

Here we see a company’s attempt to change their target audience. Obviously, Sega is looking for a younger audience this time as compared to the first game. Though you should ideally target a larger demographic, unhappy fans can prove to be more troublesome in the end.

Personally, I find the animeness of VC2 to be quite appealing and so do some fans of the original VC. A lighter story does not equate to worse and though Sega may lose the interest of some, it will surely lure in new fans of the series.

Overall feel

Sega’s main problem right now is falling short in the fan service department. VC1 was such a big hit that fans that love the game were willing to buy a sequel as soon as its out. But when they found out about the radical changes in the game (most of which are against them), people started to doubt whether they would buy the game.

Gaming companies and organizations alike should take care of the people who love their product. If you’re planning to change your target audience, at least give some consideration to the people who loved your product in order to satisfy their expectations from your game. Fans are not merely some who bought yourproducts, they are also people who encourages other people to buy your products, making them an indispensable stockholders of your company.

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The Perfect Storm

In my last post, I’ve analyzed how the interplay between people, technology and formal and informal networks yields the organizational culture. It was focused on what was happening inside the organization so its now time for the other side of the coin. I’ll try to explain the effects of new social media to the organization on elements outside the organization, specifically the consumers. You could say they are the life and blood of organizations since they decide whether your organization deserves to live or not.

First let’s visualize a simple scenario.

Big ball is the org and the little balls are the customers

Here we have the organization and its customers. let us consider a scenario where the organization is a profit-oriented organization. If the organization has a product they want to sell, they would want to advertise their product to the people.

Black lines are "communication" attempts by the organization

Back then, orgs will try to bombard people with tv commercials and everything in the mass media arsenal to convince their customers that their product is good. This is heavily a one way communication since the consumers have no way of providing feedback to the organization. Another disadvantage is that its costly as hell and there’s no telling how many people saw your advertisement. Of course you could air during prime time but that would cost you even more. In other words, its costly and inefficient. But what if we introduce new social media?

I don't really have to pint anything out do I?

First effect of new social media; the invasion of Social Networking Sites. People are now “connected” more than ever. With the power of blogs, wall posts, tweets, forums, boards, and everything else that the internet has to offer, people now have the power to express themselves before an immensely large audience. Organizations are now introduced to a new breed of customers. This could potentially spell either salvation or doom for all organizations. If you make the people happy, you can be the next big thing regardless of the size of your organization. If you do otherwise, you have a very rough road ahead of you. So what does this say about comm strategies of orgs?

Looks more like an electric fan than a storm to me...

No more power play of television commercials. This is the time for a more fluid form of communication. Remember what I said about people having more power to communicate? Well, organizations can also communicate with these people, a two way communication making way for a collaborative economy. Organizations do not tell the people what they want and expect the people to bend towards it; the people tell the organization what they want and the organization must work their way around these expectations in order to satisfy the needs or their customers.

Instead of doing a research study on what the people want, organizations can now “work with” the people they target themselves. The less-talk-and-more-work principle now clearly applies to the current market, thus the thin line. Flexible and continuous flow of information is described by the curved line. People have different tastes and can even change over time. The organization must learn to ride this flow or else they’ll get left behind.

And why is this the perfect storm?

"The Perfect Storm???"

You can now relate to the people you target more effectively and efficiently than ever. What’s more is that these people can pass on the word of your organization through word of mouth, which is arguably the best form of advertisement in this day and age. Other people outside of your network will then be “caught by the storm” and will be a part of your customer list. If you manage to ride this storm successfully, then it can’t get any better than this.

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