Janette Toral sharing her tourist experience in Australia.

Saturday 10 November 2007

Winners: Ratified Australia Text-Ad Raffle

Using Random's integer generator, the following three blogs got picked as winners in the Ratified Australia one-month text ad raffle.
Congratulations! To claim your prize, please e-mail me (digitalfilipino at gmail dot com) your anchor or ad text (limited to 50 characters, which is 2 lines in the sidebar). Once received, the ad shall be activated within a few days.

Just to let everyone know as well, you can now place an advertisement in Ratified Australia.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Shopping and earning at the same time

I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to the various affiliate programs online. One program that I checked out lately was aShopFor and created my own store.

When I or a site visitor makes a purchase online, I receive a contribution or commission. I tried this out last month and signed up in one of those direct selling cosmetic companies for my personal purchases. That registration is free but I also earned US$10.00 from it. As I'm preparing for my trip to the Philippines this Saturday, I could maximize this site further by purchasing for my hotel accommodation in Singapore (already felt bad for not using it to buy the airfare ticket) and getting a travel insurance.

Those who creates a shop that were referred by me also results to an ongoing commission for the revenue the affiliates generate. Although I still have to experience this should I be able to attract others to try it themselves.

The only downside that I've seen so far is the time it takes for the shop earnings to appear online. I guess as aShopFor is also a member of various affiliate program sites, it will have to wait for a report credit and then do the same to its members.

But putting that aside, I'm very happy with the concept of this site as it allows me earn from my transactions and could only hope for more shops to appear through it. I conclude that this site can be practical to those who are active in purchasing stuff online and would like to explore the possibility of getting a cash back of sort from their purchases - that they won't otherwise get unless they have a site in aShopFor.

Monday 5 November 2007

Doing seminars in Findon

Early today, I decided to visit three places to inquire about the fees that they charge to use a function room. This includes the Findon Library, Festival Functions, and Findon Community Center. Based from the rates, I figured more or less how much to charge should I decide to proceed in conducting seminars here.

Getting resource persons or experts in e-commerce, Internet marketing, and software process improvement who can be potential collaborators is one path I'm looking at as I don't think I'm confident to do this alone on the 1st attempt.

Another item to think about is the work required to do marketing and promote a particular event. I'm exploring to outsource the marketing part and that would mean scouting for entities who have expertise in doing this and with a good database. If they could function as the collecting entity as well, all the better.

Although registering for an Australian Business Number is an option so I can do this directly, I guess I'm having uncertainty if this is something that can be done on a continuous basis and whether I'll be ok with a TFN for now. In the Philippines, I outsource my events marketing and collection that makes things easy for me.

Another option I'm considering is to create a version of my e-commerce and software process improvement community here where members can attend the seminars for free. But building a reputation takes time. My e-commerce site was already four years old before I got to introduce the club membership part.

Still thinking...

Saturday 3 November 2007

Thinking too much

(I'm trying to explore a variety of ways of coming up with a blog post. This one was inspired from several blogs that I've read today and where I tried relating it to my experience.)

Today, I started my morning by sending a gift to a person whom I've been communicating for more than a year now (although I haven't met her personally). I found out that it was her birthday today through Facebook. Although I've been a member of the Amazon Associates program for quite sometime, it was actually my first time to buy an item (a gift) from the site. I guess the high shipping cost has always turned me off whenever I made attempts in the past. Looking for books that has an e-book version were not available either that makes it a heart breaker. But finally, buying that gift to this person, whom I'm extremely grateful to, is definitely worth the effort. At least I was able to start using those gift certificates earned from its affiliate program. Amazon should start considering having a Facebook gift purchasing application as there's much opportunity that can be captured and take advantage of the relationship linkage that goes with gift giving.

I'm happy in the past two days as my kids began enjoying the local library. It is a big deal when they start putting xBox game consoles inside these establishments that the children can use for free. The young ones can play a Fifa game while the older ones read books. I also found a whole barrage of activities happening the area that I would love to participate soon. Surprisingly, we all got dragged to the library since my daughter started making friends in school and they agreed to just meet in the library to catch up, borrow anime movie DVDs, among others.

My last week in Australia will be hectic as I need to prepare for my workshops and this include giving club members advance pre-work material. That includes last-minute self promotion too. Cramming can be frustrating when you want to integrate as much relevant information as you can as most of my club members are e-business entrepreneurs. There's a lot of pressure on the quality of the content. Take for instance the topic of web navigation, I'm now figuring out if I will have time to include data visualization as well. I guess trying to maintain an evangelist perspective requires you to really work hard to earn it.

Good thing I'm still spared in getting myself in the Second Life community as there are hardly virtual conferences of that sort happening in our part of the world. I noticed though that appreciation of technologies like Web 2.0 is still slow for organizations. So I guess Enterprise 2.0 won't be happening that soon. Perhaps what prevents it from being totally embraced is the idea of ownership and community belonging.

As I'll be riding the plane back home to Manila next weekend, one item that I still haven't decided upon is whether I will go and explore Singapore night life or just stay at the airport overnight. The thing is, my plane will land at 5:40 pm and my flight the next day is at 9:45 am. So I could either just sleep or catch up with people I met online hoping to see them. But disturbing people on a Saturday night is something that I'm not sure if it is ok to do. I hope to decide on this in the next few days.

Whenever in Singapore, one place I always look forward to visit is the electronics shop. They have so much stuff there although I don't really need anything right now and the least I want is to resort to buying gadgets just for the heck of it. Although in my past visits, I've been able to go around the market, have a good Indian food and Vongole dinner in different occasions.

Before leaving, I also have to announce the three winners of the Ratified Australia free text ads. Those who have the Ratified button in their blogs are entitled to be included in the raffle. I wish I could just write to all the blogs listed in Ratified and ask them to add the button but that would be too imposing (and I'm afraid of being rejected or be scolded for it). So I hope this raffle will subtly encourage more blogs to do so.

Another thing that I also need to wrap-up is a marketing plan for a company who plans to operate a casino site targeting those who live in China. With a growing economy, it is not surprising that you find a lot of people working there rather than owning a business these days.

I noticed several male Aussie bloggers joining the Movember campaign. This is where the guys have to grow and groom their moustache for the whole month as they campaign for funds that shall be donated to charities. I think such is a swell idea and will participate actively next year. So I encourage you to sponsor Darren Rowse and Nick Hodge for their Movember pitch.

By December, the election will be over and no one knows for sure whether Australia will have a new Prime Minister by that time. But with the campaign pitches, I'm partly biased in hoping that Howard will remain. I guess I just hate watching debates where opponents are so good in pointing their finger on faults instead of focusing on why their agenda is better - that would encourage voters to give new leaders a chance. The more they put down an existing leader, the more their good qualities, no matter how imperfect they are, also surfaces and gets remembered.

It is funny that I'm already looking forward to be back in Australia and to think I haven't left yet. I'm already thinking about buying David Austin roses for my planned garden, cookies baking, watch live football games and a symphony performance, doodling, and various arts and crafts. Reading up on past art work is something that I have to make time for to get some inspiration for arts and crafts through.

With the holiday season fast approaching, I will need to catch up as well with reading the catalogue junk mail and find out what can be bought in nearby stores that can be useful for the home and that the kids will love to (as there will be no family reunions for them this year). Although they made it clear that they want to have a great Asian Christmas meal to celebrate it so that will require some serious scouting for good Asian restaurants.

From December onwards, I'll try to network and attend meet ups to get to know more people personally. Although some might say that I'm being too optimistic as there's not much action happening in Adelaide.

I'm considering visiting the local zoo again especially once they have new animals there like the Panda that will be donated by the Chinese government. I hope they'll have elephants soon. I'm also thinking of planning a vacation in 2008. Perhaps Greece will be nice.

Friday 2 November 2007

Being away

(This post is inspired by my friend's twitter messages where I get all the ideas from. I am trying to fire-up a NaNoWriMo entry by getting prompts from it.)

I just woke up this 2nd of November. Everything is generally ok. I logged on to twitter and saw contacts giving their usual good mornings. Well, there's nothing outstanding on this day yet. I guess they are just used to that routine of telling the world that "Hey! I exist!"

I opened my e-mail and Facebook and check my usual messages. Also look at Warbook, Vampires, and if there's enough strength left, fight back or beat up other heroes. Being able to fight back and succeed against those who attacked you first gives this sense of pride. Silly isn't it? Although I'm very tempted to uninstall these applications. They can't hurt your game character if you don't exist anymore right? Not to mention that they can waste your time as well.

It is great to see people flock social networking sites more than porn. I have a no porn policy at home. Yes, I'm very demanding but also because I have young boys and girls in the family. Also, in Feng Shui, having a women painting or poster is bad luck for couples or partners.

Christmas season is fast coming. This year's Christmas is not going to be that exciting. Moving in to a new country, means being away from family and friends. Of course, thanks to the Internet I can still keep in touch but I miss the texting and meet up days for a great Italiannis lunch and Starbucks coffee.

I wonder what's the fuss for Christmas this year. Of course, there's the election in Australia and never-ending political scandals in the Philippines. Although life is too short to spend my day worrying about it.

Thinking of what Christmas gifts to give can be a pain sometime. I wonder if a Frank Sinatra CD or a music cd with cheesy and mushy love songs will be a click to old relatives and friends. For the kids, perhaps a 5x5 rubic's cube can be an interesting gift. For the girls, I thought of giving them 2008 predictions and some of the bead jewelry that I've made in the past.

Being away gives this kind of pressure and makes you think of the things that you should be thankful for. At least I'm spared from the blogging and IT jungle that I normally feel back in the Philippines. I still believe that in life, there are no permanent friends but permanent interest. Although we could co-exist in a civilized manner but there's still that lingering thought that some might be collaborating to take me down. Unless of course, I take them down first.

I activated my mobile phone roaming although I usually turn it on most of the time to avoid being swamped by calls . Not to mention the bills and the credits taken away from my prepaid mobile phone. I wish that all applications, Gmail, Facebook, Friendster, Yahoo will have text messaging programs that can be used to keep in touch with friends. Or even a site where you can manage your Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ecademy and other social networking programs. That should look very interesting.