Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mustard Seed Holds Business & Tech Blogging Seminar for Bloggers

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Mustard Seed Systems Corporation recently invited business and technology bloggers to a Business & Tech Blogging Seminar on September 29, 2016 held at the Limbaga 77 Cafe & Restaurant located in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

The seminar's guest speaker was Chay Lazaro, Creative Director for Gadgetmatch and a contributor for Rappler. She discussed techniques on blogging and gaining more followers for blogs.

It was a bit off since both online publications or media outfits do not consider themselves as blogs. But what separates  blogs from news, or reviews and features, sites? I believe there is a thin line already on how to make your site, whether it's a blog or anything else, as long as it's online, they would follow the same rules and principles just like any other site.

Since the main owner, Josh Villanueva, of Gadgetmatch also came from Rappler, we would see the reason why their site also gained momentum. I've been seeing Josh even at product launching and events outside the country, and though they reviews some gadgets on loan from the brands, Chay has revealed that they also pay for their own travel fares and some times also buy their own units too to passionately put content on their sites.

They also made extra efforts on their video productions since Gadgetmatch was originally known for their YouTube video channel. This is where Chay's strength comes in as she is the Creative Director of the team handling the "creative" requirements of the site. This includes making their videos memorable by being graphically pleasing and interesting enough.

Though tech is more of a guy's thing, Chay also said they have a great number of female audience as well. Though she mentioned that their audience consists of a great number of foreigners form other countries, taht is expected for gadget sites of which everyone around the world would be very curious to find out what are the latest trending devices out there. We are just so lucky that the Philippines is a favorite of teh tech world that many brands would also launch their products here.

What have we learned? 

Well, the seminar was more like a confirmation of what we know since many of the ideas she presented were already being used by us. Since our site is a lifestyle blog, and thus have so many topics of varying genres discussed and featured, we couldn't really focus on just one thing such as technology. I don't really think they are also serious about the business aspects of their features since Gadgetmatch is not a business site.

Strategies such as quality rather than quantity like making videos short since the retention span of many online are too short...and that longer videos can be justified and tolerated if all that talk is paired with relevant images, are too "basic." 

Most video bloggers would know that since it would be boring if the viewers would be seeing only their face for several minutes.

Chay also said that unlike other sites, they do not release too many content or videos. They value quality and content-wise articles or videos rather than coming out with too many at once. However, she also mentioned that there should be a consistent release of content so the followers would keep hanging on and anticipating new stories from their site.

Overall, what she shared was mostly to prioritize the three Cs: Content, Creativity and Consistency.

Mustard Seed also allowed their partner brands or sponsors for that particular seminar, namely Acer, Cyberpower, Ncomputing and Intuit, to present their corresponding products after the seminar.

CyberPower discussed about their alternative source of power (EPS and UPS), NComputing advocated their single PC-powered network ideal for offices and schools (but not gaming centers), and Intuit about Quickbooks Online - their small on-the-go business accounting software. I was more interested in trying pout the so called thinnest laptop in the world manufactured by Acer.

Here are the specs and details of the products that were discussed during the Bloggers' Event:

TravelMate B117
• Power blink
• Color coded.
• The open angle of TravelMate B117 can reach up to 180°
• TMB117’s robustness and durability passed a series of rigid specifications for MIL-STD-810G military-grade test (Department of Defense Test Method Standard)
• Water-resistant keyboard. The water resistant area extends up to the touchpad and hinge frame.
TravelMate P648
• Carbon Fiber and Aluminum Magnesium Metal Cover
• Spill-resistant Design
• LED-backlit keyboard
• Face log-in
• Fingerprint reader
• NFC Tap Contact Pick-up
• LTE Support with Sim Slot
TravelMate X3
• 180° flat angle
• Bigger, wider touchpad
• Chiclet LED backlit keyboard
• Touch fingerprint scanner

CyberPower (EPS, UPS)
No. 1 in DC/AC Mobile Power in North America
No. 1 in Telecom DC UPS worldwide
No. 2 UPS Brand in the North American Retail Market
No. 3 in 5KVA UPS & below in the American Market
102 patents across US, Germany, Taiwan & China
Multi-awarded and internationally recognized
EPS – produces electricity during brownouts and blackouts
Pure sinewave output
Auto changeover
Multi-function LCD readout
Manual switch

 Desktop virtualization made easy and affordable
 20 million daily users in 140 countries
 5 million installations worldwide
 Get big savings (80% less maintenance, 90% less electricity)
 The primary device gets power via PoE from the PCIe card
 Adds 3 users per kit & can extend up to 1+9 users
 Connects directly from PCIe card to MX devices
 With 2 PCIe cards it can go up to 18 users
 The primary device gets power via separate power adapter, (6w, 12 VDC, 1.5 A included with kit)
 Adds 3 users per kit & can extend up to 1+45 users
 Connects via Std Network Switch to MX devices
 Can scale up to 45 users with 15 kits

QuickBooks Online (Intuit)
 Used by 1.5 million SMEs in the world
 One of Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2013
 Cloud accounting that’s easy to use, secure and reliable
 Has robust functionality
 Built for mobility
 Records invoices and quotations even when you’re on the go
 Records expenses and captures receipts on your mobile phone

The organizers should organize a longer seminar that would really tackle how to do "it." 

The talk was appreciated but since Gadgetmatch was not really a blog, the bloggers could not really relate well on what Chay has shared. Also, the knowledge imparted were more of the natural things to do ... rather than being new useful tips or strategies that are rarely known or identified.

Eventhough, we would like to thank Mustard Seed for the effort in organizing such an event designed specifically for bloggers. Thank you as well for some of the freebies and raffle prizes given, as well as acknowledging the early birds and rewarding them with some prizes too.

However, we were very hesitant on joining their contest that required bloggers to create three blogs about any of the three different sponsors in order to be qualified and valid to win some prizes. A single blog should have sufficed since the brands were not the main topic to be highlighted at this particular event. 

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