Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Social Good Summit: Responsible Online Users

Good day fierces!

Again, I sincerely apologize if I don't update the blog as often as I can due to work commitments but will do my best once my schedule permits.

So from journalism class, let's switch to usage of social media. I was fortunate to be one of the lucky 550 participants in the recent Social Good Summit last Sept. 22 at the Asian Institute of Management. Sponsored by @tweetupMNL and @rapplerdotcom together with Mashable, the event saw the gathering of various speakers in the government, entertainment and local citizens who are changing the landscape of social media in the country. The summit was divided into two sessions: morning and afternoon and I attended the afternoon session. Speakers included Tourism Sec. Mon Jimenez, Communications Sec. Ricky Carandang, Smart's Mon Isberto, FOI advocate and lawyer Chris Lao, TV host, magazine editor and columnist Bianca Gonzalez and Rappler's Maria Ressa. Master of Ceremonies were Tim Tap and prof. Chay Hofilena.

Each speaker talked about the importance of social media. Jimenez, who was credited for the slogan It's More Fun in the Philippines said that social media has helped the tourism industry because of the campaign's viral marketing. He even said that from the previous years, more tourists are now coming to the country and that the department is working double time to meet the demand.

Carandang, one of the heads of Malacanang's media bureau said that through social media, the government is now in tune with the people's needs. He showed a presentation of the gov't newsletter The Gazette and the evolution of the other department's use of twitter and facebook accounts.

Tourism Sec. Mon Jimenez and Com sec. Ricky Carandang answers questions from the audience. Hosts were Tim Yap and Prof. Chay Hofilena.
Smart, one of the country's leading telecommunication companies was not only a sponsor of the event but also talked about the importance of the cellphone industry in the country. Isberto said that social media has definitely changed the landscape of the telecommunication industry as more social media users rely on celphones as their means of communicating with one another.

Chris Lao, Bianca Gonzalez and Maria Ressa.
The famous line "I was not informed," made him the talked of the cyberworld last year but Chris Lao showed his courage infront of a room of people to talk about his experience as a victim of cyberbullying. Lao, now a lawyer told the audience that while he can laugh about it now, he is still in the process of healing and confessed that at one point, he wanted to leave the country. He has since become a staunch advocate of the Freedom of Information Bill still pending in Congress, appeared in a commercial and is now happily married with a child.

For someone used to the media spotlight, Bianca Gonzalez is also a victim of cyberbullying. She told the audience about her experience when one person claimed and tweeted she knew her way back in La Salle Zobel and began maligning her on twitter. When she confronted the person online, the girl made a 360 degrees turn and began praising her instead. The story was even documented by In the end, Bianca gave the audience 10 rules to remember in the use of social media which should always be remembered.

One of the most popular journalists in the country, Maria Ressa was the final speaker of the event. As former head for ABS-CBN and credited for the citizen journalism program of the station, Maria formed Rappler and is set to launch her book From Bin Laden to Facebook in October. Her presentation showed he evolution of social  media power especially in the Middle East which has been in the news for the past year. In fact, she even told the audience that social media has outnumbered porn as the number one hobby online.

Tonyo Cruz of @tweetupMnL
A question and answer portion of each session was also done and unfortunately, I was not able to ask my questions to due to time restriction but nevertheless had a good time. Tonyo Cruz of tweetupMNL closed the event with his remarks and hopes that the country will continue to show that the Philippines is indeed the number one social media capital of the world.

Indeed, the summit has been one of the best experiences so far. Looking forward to another one soon.

In the end, it up to us about being a responsible social media user. Always learn that with the freedom comes the proper use and responsible for actions.

A rare opportunity. Yours truly with Rappler's Maria Ressa.

Holding one of the moods of Rappler's Mood Meter.


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