Friday, November 21, 2008

Things To Do On The Filipino Internet

As much as browsers, HTML, javascript and flash have changed the surface of the internet, the basic premise stays the same: open a website TO DO something. There are Filipino sites that help you DO several things --- here’s a list of them.

  • Check out the latest news – As much as the future has been depicted to be paperless, we still churn out newspapers; but what if newspapers aren’t available at all? Like for relatives abroad who want to keep up with the latest news --- that’s what online news sites are for. No wonder two of the biggest Filipino news sites are from the papers themselves --- and
  • Talk junk – Gossip is a Filipino pastime. Back in the day, when communication was scarce, newspapers and television were the only sources of information about the stars. Now we could IM the URL from sites like PEP and PinoyParazzi to the kumares.

  • Find something to do in a mall – Going to the mall is no easy feat --- when there’s something specific that you’re looking for, like a restaurant, or movie schedule; a pre-planned trip to the mall nowadays is more … methodical. That’s what ClickTheCity is for --- providing a well-compiled directory of establishments, movie schedules among different malls and reviews and opinions, both by the site itself, and the big following that the site caters to.

  • Be healthy – Every country has the right to be healthy. Every country too, deserves one-click information on doctors and establishments who will be able to take care of them, should an emergency arise. RxPinoy carries a philosophy of getting Filipinos informed about illness, while over40andfighting informs the youth, the generation who surf the internet, about what ails their parents. Both of these sites have directories of emergency numbers and physicians who might be right for the job.

  • Play online games - Gaming, as an industry, has grown exponentially over the last decade, and Filipinos aren’t too far behind --- we have Level Up Games, e-games and Typhoon Games to look for when there’s a need for a digital gaming fix. Competing head-to-head to acquire the rights for the latest and greatest online games, these companies are also bringing Filipino youth forming community values.

  • Organize a group of friends – Community, family and friendship are part of a Filipino’s intrinsic set of values. They look out for each other, and would do anything to help a fellow countryman, wherever he may be. This is when you need to balance communication, fun and organization. That’s where 24Ever steps in --- rather than focus on your own social network identity, you are showcasing to the world your important group of friends.

Did this cover all the cool things you could do on the Filipino internet? Do you think I missed some cool Filipino sites? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

7 Pinoy Sites That You Arent Visiting Enough Of

Filipinos have been making digital waves on the internet for the last decade now. If you happen to reach the 10, or even 5-year mark online, then you're probably doing something right. (Hosting DOES NOT pay for itself.) But we've transcended the stuck-in-ideas phase now; hatching web projects is easier than ever --- with the wealth of free resources, newly-developed technologies and the hard work of Filipinos who have studied to be known as the hardworking programmers, designers and writers they are now.

Gone are the days when you'd make a site that was good enough to be featured on Digital Tour. (Remember that show?) Ideas are a dime-a-dozen (and other some-such cliche saying) --- the ones that stand out now are the ones that are timeless, self-sufficient and always-growing sites. Here are a couple of what I personally think are the best-hatched Pinoy sites.

Alleba - A "pure" Pinoy search engine and directory that is, impressively enough, maintained by only one person! (correct me on this one) Using a wordplay of his mother's maiden name, (Abella) Andrew dela Serna has pierced the heavens to create his dream from 2001: an all-Filipino web search/directory site. An ugaling-Pinoy (Pinoy trait) is helping out your fellow Filipinos, regardless of where you are in life; that's essentially what he did: he's made the effort in pushing purely-Filipino content out there by adding them to his directory. Additions in his directory then have a better chance of being crawled by the larger search engines.

Byahilo - If there was one word to describe Enrico Dee's Byahilo, it would be: passion. His unquenchable thirst for life has him combining his passion for travel and photography and turning it into Byahilo. When you read Byahilo, you not only get a virtual trip to the best spots in the Philippines, but you also get to find out that he's doing what he loves, and getting away with it. (Quite often, literally, in planes and boats and other forms of transportation)

Pinoy Life At Large - Then again, if you prefer getting to know the Philippines tummy first, Arpee Lazaro's Pinoy Life At Large will help you. Arpie is, in his words, a "foodie by heart" --- he will point out the best and the worst in his crusade for epicurean delights. Aside from that, he is fastly-becoming one of the most prominent bloggers in the country, with his friendly aura of sharing what he knows.

PhilMusic - Online since 1997, PhilMusic has essentially carved out a piece of Pinoy music internet history for itself. Being the longest site online that is solely devoted to Philippine music, PhilMusic has been around to share its gallery of musicians, stream (sometimes exclusive) music online, when information on a local musicians was scarce and few, way before YouTubes, Last.FMs and MySpaces of today.

Over40andFighting - Apparently, not enough people who are over their 40's are aware of the adverse effects of bad habits and vitamin deficiency. Over40andFighting, which just recently got online is helping erase that. With its ad campaign, fun online tests and directories of medical establishments and alternative healing locations, it is doing you, or your tatay a favor by keeping you up-to-date with what's good for you.

TipidPC - There used to be a time when a need for gadgets would have you dressing up and visiting GreenHills. TipidPC has now become the leading online resource for all things PC/tech-related sales, brand-new or second-hand. The site also cultivates a community of brotherhood, with forums that are dedicated to helping the newbie understand just what he's getting.

Connected24Ever - Forget social network groups! The Philippines is about Barkada. Rather than add features that would complicate that simple line of friendship, Connected24Ever focused on creating online groups to share notes and videos with. Because videos are the new story; imagine a friend who is now working overseas, he/she can share stories with people who are living here. Being solely focused on Barkadas mean that being friends online does, in fact, complement being friends in real life --- it merely enhances the medium by which unique perspectives meet. Plus, the quirky design WILL grab you.