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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Metro Online Influencers Kapihan: Shaping Business and Political Landscapes Towards 2016

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Where else can you find the likes of Lynda Jumilla, senior news reporter of ABS-CBN; Janette Toral, Mother of E-Commerce; honorable Vice Mayor Isko Moreno of Manila; Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, Research Director of Pulse Asia; Atty. Karen Jimeno, anchor/host of CNN Philippines anchor, and the honorable Senator Antonio Trillanes?

Where else but at the Metro Online Influencers Kapihan!

I got an invite from Paulo Florendo but unfortunately I already had a previous engagement for that day so I missed this opportunity to hear the messages and stories of these influential people who have been using the power of online media for many purposes.

But since I truly support this idea of a "Kapihan" for online media practitioners, I am blogging about this event even though I was not able to attend. It gives me great pleasure to talk about how online media is becoming a powerful force to reckon with that even the traditional media of print, radio and television have started mobilizing efforts to create their own digital strategies as they are accept the fact that the only way to go now is online.

The event that focused on the role of online media and influencers in shaping the business and political landscape of the country towards 2016, was held at the Wheatberry Bakery and Coffeeshop located at 84 Scout Castor cor. Scout Tuazon, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. It was a very familiar place since I already had a chance to do a review of the restaurant.

We've learned that Senator Trillanes successfully launched a nationwide campaign from his prison cell when he ran for a seat in the Philippine Senate on a shoestring budget. The power of social media greatly helped him win a slot to be among the top choice for senators. You can also reach him now at his Facebook account sonny trillanes.

Vice Mayor Isko Moreno told everyone that Manila was one of the first cities in the country which introduced free Wi-Fi services in public places like their waiting sheds. We now know that the government is rolling out their national Free Wi-Fi Internet in Public Places project led by the Department of Science and Technology - Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO). It is interesting to take note that Manila was the first to implement the idea.

Miss Janette Toral, one of the most influential people in my life as a blogger, showed the increasing accessibility to the masses of social media networks like Facebook. Even Miss Janette, a very influential personality in online media, was amazed of the insights Vice Mayor Isko shared as those are actual experiences of a politician. She commented in Lawrence's blog that the Vice Mayor's experience in using social media as a tool in engaging constituents was her biggest take-away from the Kapihan. She hopes there will be more politicians like him who knows how to use social media to serve their constituents better.

From the blog post written by Lawrence Chan of the Collector's Connection, he mentioned that there is "a new study of how the campaigns are using digital tools to talk directly with voters - bypassing the filter of traditional media - finds that President Barack Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms.

In theory, digital technology allows leaders to engage in a new level of “conversation” with voters, transforming campaigning into something more dynamic, more of a dialogue, than it was in the 20th century.

Involvement through empowerment was the mission of the Barack Obama campaign. The first political campaign in history to truly harness the power of social media to spread the word, garner support and get people engaged. The Obama campaign reached 5 million supporters on 15 different social Networks over the course of campaign season; by November 2008, Obama had approximately 2.5 million (some sources say as many as 3.2 million).

In the Philippine setting, some (I believe many) politicians are also finding ways on how to harness the power of social media. It can work in both ways and there are also bashers, fakes accounts, etc.

People will also become more aware and it can work in both ways with social media trending / viral topics that are even picked-up by mainstream media. That is where the public opinion is rated. With the elections just about less than 1 year from now, politicians are also looking at other options.

The organizers are planning a more regular channel like Metro Online Influencers Kapihan for social media writers and bloggers to meet and have their voices heard."

I do hope that I can attend the next run of the Kapihan if given a more advance notice. So this is a shout-out to Paulo to keep me updated on future events of the group.

*Photo credits to Lawrence Chan

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