Cheers to the 10th!

October 12, 2011 - 3 Responses

This is my 10th blog entry. After this, I am planning to reinvent the look of this site. I would also make some changes in the content. I want it to be more free-spirited one; that includes rants and other narcissistic matters.

All in all, it was nice meeting you all. I had a great time composing these entries. I would be back. Just give me a month to fix my life – by that, I mean I have to relax and have some out of town trips. The academic stress is just sometimes too much that it makes you want to just explode and disappear.

Thank God, I have the best support systems in the world.

If not for them, I could have turned into one retarded creature.

Let’s close the semester and be our best selves in the days to follow.

Thank you, people.

An OrCom thought: Organizational Communication 152 has shaken every single nerve that exists. It was an awesome ride with an awesome captain. Sir Barry, you deserve a sundae:)

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Buzzted!

October 12, 2011 - Leave a Response

This book entitled The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited emphasizes the importance of subliminal messaging in marketing.  Hard sell marketing can now be overpowered by less elaborative and very plain story by a friend or neighbour. These stories do not spread overnight but when it hits its peak, the buzz that it creates would definitely cause unexpected and amazing mileages.

The buzz operated generation that we have right now is fuelled by people who are influencers to their family, friends and other acquaintances.  Therefore, for a product or an event to be successful, it should create a buzz – something that will make people talk about it and unconsciously promote the event to a bigger network. However, sometimes it takes a lot of time to generate ideas on how to create a buzz. There are also instances that creating a buzz is not intentional – it’d just happen by itself as long as the product is worth buzzing about.

Several examples were given on the book into how the buzz applies today. One that hit me hard was the issue on those who make a review article on a movie or book without experiencing it firsthand. One would think that it is unfair. But if you consider the trend that we call Buzz, it will then be understandable. People talk to other people about different things. It could either be movies, books and other things. Each of them influences the other. Even though they did not experience it, some of their friends could have told them about it and it eventually influenced their stance on something –whether it is negative or positive.

An OrCom thought:  We should always identify the best buzz that will move us forward.

 

Facebook? NOT.

October 11, 2011 - 5 Responses

The other day, one of my friends was talking about how she will not be exposing herself to Facebook until all her important tasks are done. Immediately, I asked myself “Do I have that kind of relationship with Facebook?” I mean, does it affect me that much?” I just thought, NO. When I am doing something important, Facebook is not enough of a temptation to distract me. And then, I realized that I am distracted by a different site – TUMBLR.

It is such a temptation. Honestly, I check Tumblr first before any other site. It got me hooked because it is very simple and refreshing especially over the dramatic and narcissistic Facebook. I have three major reasons why I am addicted to it (and why I consider it a form of academic distraction).

It fuels creativity. Who would not want unlimited catalogue pages of artistry? It is like an online magazine without a theme. You cannot predict what will be in the next page. How cool is that? Whenever you feel like you need an inspiration to pull off some artsy stuff, just go to Tumblr. Just be careful while scrolling. You might miss a post!

It is plain funny. Tumblr is the best online site that houses the most hilarious graphic parodies of all time. This is where you would find crazy Memes and GIFs. Sometimes, my parents notice me making some tiny laughter because I can’t get over with a certain Harry Potter Meme or “an awkward moment” GIF.

It is (very well) targetted. You might think that Tumblr is a chaotic platform of different art genres. You are wrong. Just like any book, it has its table-contents-like page where you can choose which topic you would like to subscribe.

I feel a bit guilty procrastinating because I Tumblr more than finish my paper or review for an exam. On the other hand,  I also feel relieved because I think I found the best distraction; and even the most enriching one.

An OrCom thought: To all OrCom majors who want to boost their creativity, TUMBLR!

Ethics: The Japanese way

October 11, 2011 - Leave a Response

The tragedy that ravaged some province of Japan and affected its overall economy has traumatized its people in ways one could just ask “how to start again?

It's a one great blow

Despite this, they remained in touch with the discipline needed to rebuild their shattered towns. If we Filipinos whine and blame the government during typhoons, the Japanese faced earthquake and tsunamis simultaneously – and still maintain their cool.

Their disaster survival kit is not just based on government initiatives. It is bounded on their principle of tranquillity – something that most Filipinos are deprived of. We have to pick some grains of values to what have happened to them. I’m sure it will make us better citizens of our nation.

Integrity. During calamities and disasters where shelters are left open, looting seems to be a usual scenario. However, the Japanese just made themselves an exception to such reality through an almost 2.3 billion dollars of cash returned to owners via safe boxes and wallets. In situations where survival instinct could be at its peak, it is admirable how they are still able to maintain their integrity. It’s hard to deliberately compare cultures but you know what I mean. Y’ know.

Nationalism. Japanese people think about the present as much as they think about the future of their people and nation. There is a group of almost 200 retirees who volunteered to help clean the nuclear power plant and thus be exposed to high dose of radiation.

One retiree said “I am 72 and on average I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live. Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. Therefore us older ones have less chance of getting cancer.”

This is such a noble act of showing how they value their race and its future – an ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives of their children, and their children’s children.

Order. One would think that aside from the actual disaster, the second most chaotic scene would involve the evacuation centre and food supply distribution. But, no – they don’t take the word “order”  for granted. They mean it in every single way. Unlike others, they do not scourge on food supplies. They don’t need to be savages to immediately get their food. They wait because they know that they will have their turn. And when they wait, they do not whine or rant. Can we do that? The Ondoy experience just flashbacked and made me realize how much we, Filipinos, like it noisy and chaotic.

An Orcom thought: A national crisis tests not only the government’s immediacy  and efficacy but also the people’s resiliency and ethical principles.

DPWH needs an F5

October 9, 2011 - Leave a Response

After typhoon Pedring rammed most parts of Manila, a photo of three DPWH men standing and meeting at the shattered walls of Roxas Boulevard was posted online.

A civil engineer noticed something suspicious in the photo and blogged about it. The allegation on the photo being notoriously edited spread online.

Obviously, it's a "pa-pogi" shot.

The site administrator acknowledge the accusation and released a statement. They apologized for the release of the photo because according to them “it was not cleared yet ….before some staff posted it”. Does it mean that it was not yet the right time to release it because post-processing is still not over? So do they have DPWH staffs that do all the fabrication? They hire staff to intentionally deceive people? This is not acceptable. This apology does not help lessen the impact of such stupid act. They should have apologized for what this crisis has caused their reputation and not why the photo was uploaded on the wrong time.

An apology addressed to those men in the photo was also released.

“We would like to apologize to Undersecretary Romeo Momo, Director Rey Tagudando and District Engineer Mikunug Macud for whatever inconvenience that may have caused them regarding the photo earlier posted. Rest assured that we shall exert more diligence and prudence in the execution of our mandate to inform the public of our plans, programs, projects and official activities”

This is a better apology, indeed. However by “more diligence and prudence”, I hope they do not mean “extra carefulness in editing and fabricating” but rather extra carefulness in deciding how to genuinely establish their identity in the minds of the Filipinos.

Now, DPWH, please consider taking your online presence seriously.

a. Craft your messages well because you do not know how powerful the “print     screen” button is. Review your public relations plan (if you have any) because this controversy has caused you a lot of your reputation.

b. Hire competent administrators who have an eye in the digital arena. Remember that government agencies are forever vulnerable to criticism.

c. Consider your key stakeholders – the Filipinos. In this online generation, news can spread in minutes or even less. The youth and young working class are not passive and they know the term “blogging” and “photoshop”.

d. Lastly, wake-up and F5 your minds. The world is now flat. Adapt. Technologies have destroyed  continental barriers. Let’s not make Filipinos ashamed of their race.

An OrCom thought: Handle your online platforms well or it will be your greatest regret.

FlipTop: A different kind of enrichment

October 9, 2011 - Leave a Response

There is a trending form of social dialect called Fliptop. As much as I want to know its origin, there are hardly very few things written about it. Even GMA7 did not know where to exactly find its roots – “tila pagsama-samang pagkanta, debate at balagtasan”.

Is Fliptop the modern Balagtasan? Maybe.

Fliptop and Balagtasan have great similarities. Aside form the use of the mother tongue, both are also under the purpose of entertaining an audience with at least two individuals engaged in a conversation that follows certain meters and rhymes.

Let’s try to look closely at the dynamic of Fliptop. The two participants should engage on a verbal battle of sarcasm, mockery and other forms of destructive criticisms. Some mechanics are actually like that of our Debate and Argumentation subject – Organizational Communication 133. There are two sides of the house. The topic is always the same: who really is better than the other? Each side is given 1-minute to say his piece. Moreover, there are also adjudicators explaining the result at the end of the fight.

Now that the issue on the use of English over the Filipino language is constantly resurfacing, this Fliptop phenomenon seems to be a promising step in bringing back the language that appears to be an alien to its own people. Indeed, many would think that Fliptop is the modern adaptation of Balagtasan. Although, to some extent, Fliptop is enriching the Filipino language, the kind of enrichment is questionable. Why? Watch this video:

At some point, the video is funny. However, if we consider how this kind of dialect would shape the minds of these kids, I think Fliptop-ing should be reconsidered. These children might not mean anything by what they said and do it simply to be labelled “cool”, but subconsciously it is molding how they think and interact with people around them.

Here you go. The kids edition:I

An OrCom thought: Fliptop gives an unwarranted enrichment to the language and the kids’ cognition. It doesn’t need any legal regulation. It needs matured and empowered parents and elders to make an intervention before anything will go out of proportion.

The Metro uses it, the Metro pays for it.

October 9, 2011 - Leave a Response

If you happen to live or travel in the heart of Metro Manila, I will be surprised if you have not heard or ridden the infamous Light Rail Transit A (LRTA). It has been operating for almost three decades already but based on stories I heard from those who had the earliest encounters on its first operating season, the service and facilities have not really improved.  I have been using the train for almost four years now and the only major improvements that I noticed is the addition of 3 more stations before Monumento terminal and the use of x-ray scanner on some stations.

Due to these changes, maintenance expenses increase and the administration then asked for an increase in fee because the government can no longer provide enough subsidies. The government approved the proposed increase yet chose to keep details of the increase for a moment. Since majority of its daily passengers are students, the alleged increase lead to protest from various state and private universities.

A sit-down protest against LRT fare hike

I understand the reasons behind the protest. I know how hard it is to manage the allowance given the kind of economic status that we have. However, let us also take into consideration that other (even poorer) regions of this archipelago are also subsidizing almost half of the official fee of each passenger for such a long time already – and from which they have very little (or no?) benefit.  The standard fee is P48 but we are only paying P15. Remember, those who are mainly subsidizing us are from the far-flung regions that needed more educational, medical and agricultural subsidies.

How can we, people from the metro, attain to comfortablly escape the road congestion when we know that someone is toiling under the sun all day long just to subsidize our LRT fee? And still, many would wonder and question the kind of living in most provinces.

Let’s be considerate. The educational privilege that we have should enlighten us about the repercussions of its pursuance; that it would just worsen the economic situation in the agricultural regions because we let them invest on something where they do not earn something back. The country is not only about Manila and its people.

An OrCom thought: Let’s give them what they deserve. For almost three decades, we surely have had enough. And please, let’s listen to the government. Sometimes, they do know what they are doing.

The Dark Side

August 15, 2011 - 4 Responses

Dear Mr. Malone, hyperspecialization is a brilliant idea however I don't think it could last long enough to be a trend.

Last week, we were tasked to read an article from the Harvard Business Review entitled The Age of Hyperspecialization. It sounds so geeky right? When I first heard of the title, I was like “Hyperspecialization? – Hmkay.  Whatever”. But wait. The concept of hyperspecialization is neither as hyper nor scientific as it seems. It is as simple as breaking work previously done by one person into more specialized pieces done by several people. 

It is like a second degree division of labor where a task is divided into smaller (specialized) parts.

Promising concept isn’t it? In fact, the article claimed that this practice could improve output quality, speed and cost. In a micro level, these are undoubtedly obvious advantages of hyperspecialization in terms of efficiency and effectiveness however let’s rethink and not be overwhelmed that easy.

As Organizational Communication major, we are trained to look on both the individual puzzle pieces and the finished puzzle per se. So let’s step back and see if these advantages would still glitter on the bigger picture considering other factor that could be detrimental to companies that would adhere to the idea of hyperspecialization.

Although the article tried  to balance both advantages and disadvantages, it still missed a great disadvantage that I would like to emphasize.

Confidentiality is definitely on the rocks. If hyperspecialization will soon be a trend it would surely increase the demand on freelance worker. When a task is given to a pool of online battalion, it is impossible to secure the account’s confidentiality especially if the people are all freelancer.

If this happens companies are just picking within a roster of people who have worked with other companies, possibly rival ones. This is dangerous because it could promote bribery. Companies could bribe freelancer for information disclosure and the victim has no way of detecting who disclosed what because the information was made available to all interested freelancers. Also, freelancers, after working on a company, could entice competitor companies about being able to access vital information on the former.

In the corporate battleground where each company is ultra sensitive on rival company’s moves, this hyperspecialization is sure to pose threats that could further increase the friction beyond the mere competition.

I just presented one negative side of hyperspecialization in the context of employing freelancers. Although it is true that it makes instantaneous and quality output, companies should still be cautious of its dubious repercussions.

An OrCom thought: Hyperspecialization can be used but never be abused. 

Healthy Online!

June 28, 2011 - 2 Responses

The advent of social media has transcended the human culture into so many levels. The youth of this generation is definitely different from the youth ten years ago.

My mom once told my dad “You want your children to freak out? Suspend the internet connection – as easy as that “.

Truly, the internet has become an indispensable need and added liability of every household. From research work, gaming activity, shopping, social networking, life has never been as easy and convenient.

Download like there is no tomorrow. Play and listen to all sorts of stuff. Chat the whole day. Who is not guilty of these acts? Maybe those that live in the mountains are excused but never us, never.

I remember when it was my first encounter with the social media. The feeling was like an escape from the world to this bright screen filled with sites I could browse forever. But, as I grow with it, I realized that there are some things about it left unnoticed. Social media have given us benefits tantamount to some undesirable habits often overlooked.

 “I swear after this, I’ll do my assignment”. Whether it is about doing an assignment, project or even finishing dinner, most of us, procrastinators, have surely uttered this statement. There is nothing wrong in gaming, chatting or whatsoever you are doing in front of the screen. Just make sure that after setting your priorities treat it like your bible. Surely, social media will tempt you to set aside your tasks but remember, procrastination won’t push you forward. It will just delay you even further.

“I have to be online, no matter what happens”. It is a fact that humans are social animals; that by being always online, we are kept updated with the latest happenings from whoever and wherever. However, let us be reminded that social media is just a technology. And no matter how diverse your set of emoticons is, not one of those could ever exactly mimic how you feel. Turn it off. Go outside and live a real life.

“I’ll just copy and then paste”. This was a hit back in high school. Everyone is a genius in making assignments in a simple act of copy-paste. The internet is a think tank of anonymous people. The credible ones are not even half of the entire population. There is also no website available to verify information that we copy and paste. Thus, every netizen should develop a filter-mechanism when getting information online.

“Wow. This looks cool. Let me check”. If your pc mouse is as sneaky as a real mouse, you should be doing something to tame it. The act of clicking becomes a daily exercise to our hand. Hence, let this exercise also be a reminder for a healthy clicking. Do not click everything that pops, looks inviting and most especially those that says you are the grand winner of random raffles. Just recently, a lot of people were victimized by a virus in Facebook. The only thing done to activate the virus was a click to accept a request (which most did, unfortunately). Your anti-virus is not always updated. Keep your PC virus free. Stay away from online infections.

“Oh God, I forgot to log out”. There are cases when one has to go straight to an internet shop due to some technical difficulties of our very own gadgets. And whatever we do, whether it is typing or research, it seemed mandatory to open our SNS accounts. Shortly after we are done with the task at hand, we forget to log out our accounts. When this happens, there are two things you should immediately do. One, start praying (hard). Second, check if it was hacked and make the necessary report. The next one to rent the pc might be a notorious hacker. Log out!

An ORCOM thought: Your sedentary outlook towards internet would betray you soon. Be vigilant. Keep your online experience healthy.

The Awkward Syndrome

February 7, 2010 - 10 Responses

It is but a human nature to avoid awkward circumstances. Situations can be awkward in many ways. In context, I am pertaining to the awkward feeling when you supposed to know something but you actually do not.

One great example: You enrolled in a college degree but you can hardly explain yet what the course is about, even to yourself. 

Most Organizational Communication majors were and are surely infected with an awkward syndrome whenever asked about the program. It is the feeling of intense avoidance to explain the course and thus often pretend to be under other communication courses that are familiar like Mass Communication, Broadcast Communication and Communication Arts.

And just like everyone, I was once guilty of this syndrome. When asked” What course are you taking?” I always feel that the syndrome is triggered and anytime soon I would surely stutter. Nonetheless I still got an answer, a pretentious answer though.

”Uhm…Comm. I’m in to Communication. WHAT ABOUT YOU? I heard you got a scholarship from university x.”

I immediately swerved before the person could clarify whether I am under those classic communication courses. It is not that I am ungrateful of my course but rather, I felt that being a freshman taking General Education subjects, it is but difficult to give justice in explaining and defending my course to people yet. I felt that I need more exposure to the course – further immersion, as they call it.

I was sophomore then when the ultimate question resurfaced.

”What is OrCom? Is it like Mass Comm?”

Vehemently, I answered.

”Oh. OrCom majors are business people involve in communication within and outside an organization. We are like doctors – diagnosing communication problems and prescribing solutions after. It is different from Mass Comm. In terms of the exchange of messages, OrCom is interactive while the latter is ideally linear”

Being “syndrome-free”, I realized that literature, write-ups and blogs are not enough because it takes some incubation period for OrCom freshmen to fully grasp the whole thought of the program.  However, if you reach higher years in the course yet remained confused about it, there might be other degree program for you.

I might be a risk taker in pursuing a course that I hardly knew in the beginning, but there was never a regret. OrCom will unfold without you noticing it. When this happens, you would just thank the Almighty for blessing you with a course that never stops evolving; a course that would keep you in track with communication trends and styles. OrCom is never dormant. How could you not like it? Fate has never been this kind!

The Organizational Communication program has not been around long enough to be socially familiar; it is just apt that we, OrCom majors, make it a commitment to be the lead ambassadors of the program. Hence, this blog is just a step in fulfilling the ORCOMMITMENT.

An ORCOM thought: There is NO AWKWARD situation to avoid if you know YOU KNOW IT.