Is the Philippines ready for e-commerce?

I’ve long been a believer in e-commerce in the Philippines, even prior to writing the “e-Business Made Easy” handbook for the Philippine Internet Commerce Society way back in 2006. So it’s gratifying to see how online shopping has become more mainstream in the Philippines in the past couple of years.

Which is why when Jonha Revesencio invited me to co-author an article on Philippine e-commerce for The Huffington Post, I readily agreed. It’s a subject matter that’s close to my heart, which I’ve been writing about since my days as a tech journalist. And, hey, it’s HuffPo, right?

Here’s an excerpt from our HuffPo article that came out today. Thanks again, Jonha, it was awesome collaborating with you.

The Huffington Post Philippine e-commerce article

For his part, Timothy Go, Head of Operations of A-Solutions, which provides digital storefronts for businesses, said that the Filipino demand for e-commerce will continue to grow because consumers have come to value the convenience of online shopping.

“We have a growing population that is getting access to more disposable income and they have access to the Internet. They are aware of what is happening abroad and many are slowly wishing the same products and services could be enjoyed locally. As we’ve seen online retail grow dramatically over the past two years — I think this is a testament to where the industry is going,” Go said.

Read the full story.

I believe the future is bright for e-commerce in the Philippines. How about you?

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Beyond ‘shareability’ and ‘virality’ in content creation

“Shareability” and “virality” shouldn’t be the main consideration for content if we want to create quality content, whether as journalists, marketers, or storytellers.

It would be like following the unfortunate trend in Philippine politics of candidates being selected not because of their qualifications, but because of “winnability.” There’s more to content than creating linkbait headlines, pandering to the lowest common denominator, writing for keywords, and promoting fleeting hashtags. Let’s write for people, not just for algorithms. Let’s create real conversations and invest in long-term engagement.

This was the question I asked Maria Ressa, CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler, at the Future of Media (#FutureMediaPH) conference on April 29. She gave the keynote speech at the event, which was organized by Blog Watch, The Philippine Online Chronicles and Vibal Foundation and presented by Smart, PLDT and Acer.

Maria agreed that content is still king and that this is an issue every news organization, blogger and other content publisher will have to tackle, balancing the quality of content with the speed of distribution, and the depth of stories with their popularity.

We are no longer living in the old days when news organizations were the gatekeepers, but now more than ever we all have to work together as a community of storytellers to create and demand quality content, and discover and protect the truth.

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Happy 20th Birthday, Philippine Internet!

Over 14 years ago, I interviewed Manny V. Pangilinan and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II about ecommerce and convergence as a tech reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, for an article that came out on print and online at INQUIRER.net.

You can read the archived story here. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Philippine Internet, here’s hoping more Filipinos will have access to the Internet and benefit from ecommerce and convergence.

Here’s an excerpt:

Ayala also co-chairs the National Information Technology Council, the country’s highest IT policy-making body. Like Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, Ayala is a member of the Estrada administration’s Council of Senior Economic Advisers. And though the respective conglomerates that they represent might be rivals in several fields–such as the Ayala Group’s Globe Telecom and Metro Pacific’s Smart Communications Inc.–Ayala and Pangilinan were in complete agreement on the need to remove legal obstacles to convergence.

Read the full story.

For more updates on the 20th anniversary of the Philippine Internet, check out the #20PHNet hashtag on Twitter.

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