Tag Archives: Blogging

Thank you to the Man from Manila

There is something to be said about the true character of a person, man or woman.

Francis Magalona was a true-blooded showbiz personality, he the offspring of a showbiz union.

Perhaps it is that old school lineage manifests itself no matter the bumpy journey one has — or had, as his— that niceness, gentlemanliness, courtesy, humility and passion for one’s calling seep through the superficial social stereotypes, self-vandalisms and peer pressures.

Francis was always a cut above the rest because he was articulate, artistic and intelligent and demonstrated the freest of expressions than any of his contemporaries ever did. Yet he always did things with flair, even as a noontime show host from which a live feed on its sister station broke to announce his passing today, Friday.

Rap is not Filipino, but Francis made it Pinoy. As a rap musician, he put an agreeable, friendly face to what became an angry, jaded and sometimes negative, genre. Like in person, his anger was acceptable and viral because, really, they were about concern for the Bayan (country) and for each kababayan (countrymen).

I guess Francis has said and done enough in 44 years: about his very public life, his nationalism, politics and advocacy, and his private pain and gallant battle with illness in which, finally, his physical shell could no longer handle.

FrancisM’s last entry dated 14 Jan 2009
I look forward to the pain as I know my journey is on full speed ahead. I will not be bold to say that without asking a favor from you all. PLEASE PRAY for me as I undergo treatment. Your prayers, as always, have sustained me. And am sure the Lord will listen to all our prayers. To His will I submit myself.

I salute a Filipino for accomplishing a lifetime in 44 years. Hopefully, your life messages will be listened to for years to come. Salamat, FrancisM.


 

Photo of Francis Magalona from his official site.
Please visit http://www.magalona.com
FrancisM’s AML blogumentary
Francis on Wikipedia
His clothing line and other creations can be seen here.

Watch the breaking news on QTV 11’s Balingtanghali here 

(This blog is cross-posted) | Image above: krvilla.09


UPDATE with a couple of links on general reading about FrancisM’s cancer, 08 Mar 09
 

Read up on Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia from cancer.gov
About Leukemia, AML and other types from leukemia-lymphoma.org
About Mixed-Lineage Leukemia from Howard huges Medical Institute, published Dec. 2001
Adult acute myeloid leukemia from the National Cancer Institute
Some AML FAQs from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance


UPDATE 2
Philippine music chronicler Pocholo Concepcion’s write-up (PDI: “FrancisM loses happy battle”) on the breaking news as it appeared in print on 07 March 2009 said so much more than any other quick write-ups that made it to the deadline. Read it here.


A growing number of links by and about Francis Magalona can be found here.

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Filed under AML Leukemia, Blogging, Filipino, Filipino values, Film, Francis Magalona, FrancisM, life lessons, Man from Manila, Manila, music, OPM, Rap, Tribute

WP 2.7 Dashboard surprise: Eyecandy!

Who wouldnt want a treat?

Who wouldn't want a treat?

After a long day — it didn’t help that the fickleminded early December weather was a mix of dry chilly wind and humid air  — a yummy surprise is always welcome.

You know how it is when the acknowledged cooks in the family are left to themselves in the kitchen doing their stuff while we go about our daily concerns. We know that they’re putting something *nice* together. How *nice* that will come to be, though, we leave it up to circumstance, knowing they won’t fail our expectations even when there are moments when their activities fall to the back burner of our  attention.

Such is WordPress.com’s upgrade, notwithstanding the sustained v2.7 announcement;   it can’t be helped but to ignore it sometimes, or be curious about it depending on one’s state of mind at the time that the notice appears (or is seen) on the dashboard. 
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Filed under 2008, Blogging, Dashboard, design, internet activity, Matt Mullenweg, Web Visual, Wordpress.com, WP

More WordPress stats: “Breaks 4 million hosted blogs mark” [Startupmeme.com]

startupmeme.com's WP 4mn mark image

I have to give it to the guys at WordPress. This heads up came from Plurk friend Startupmeme.com today on WordPress’ new milestone: surpassing the four-million mark for WordPress.com hosted blogs as soon as September entered the 2008 calendar.

The news was drawn from Joseph Scott’s blog posted on Sept. 3, 2006, or three days before WordCamp Philippines in which he proposes that if the sign up trend continues, WordPress.com “will hit 5 million in less than 4 months [or possibly] (end of December?)”.

WordPress.com, on which this blog is hosted, is the free blogging platform of WordPress.

During the recently-concluded WordCamp Philippines 2008, Matt Mullenweg showed a slide from his presentation of an increase of 1 million in WordPress blogs between his talk in Manila and WordCamp San Francisco in August — in just within three weeks.

Matt also said at WordCamp Philippines 2008 that there have been, thus far:

  • 4 million beta-testers
  • 11 million downloads so far
  • a total of 5 default plug-ins use in WordPress blogs on the average
  • between 1-2.3 million new blogs

This milestone proves that the principle behind WordPress’ dedication towards user satisfaction and a continuous effort towards achieving a robust and secure platform is on the right track.

Because of Matt’s personal appearance and targeted presentation last Saturday, it is comforting to know that there are companies, developers, programmers and designers who are inclined to listen to users and strive to offer good service. I wish all the guys over at WordPress all the best.

 


Image above courtesy of startupmeme.com from Joseph Scott’s blog
Joseph Scott’s original post
Startupmeme.com’s post with some additional data
WordCamp 2008 Philippines status report
Breakaway sessions at WordCamp 2008 Philippines from stellify.net
Some images from the WordCamp 2008 Philippines
Related WordCamp 2008 Philippines mind doodles

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Filed under 2008, Blogging, Filipino, internet, internet activity, Matt Mullenweg, MindanaoBloggers, Philippines, photomatt, Plurk, SNS, WordCamp, WP

Postscript to a Camp and a world premiere: WordCamp Philippines 2008

Having attended the first WordCamp in Southeast Asia at the College of St. Benilde in De La Salle University over at Taft Avenue last Saturday, Sept 6, I have to say that blogging truly is a serious undertaking for many, and I take it from those who attended and stayed throughout the event. This also happens to be the first blog-related event I had ever been to.

I missed the morning sessions and I feel deprived of knowing about some important issues regarding blog services in general, and the state of WordPress in the Philippines, in particular (courtesy of Chuckie Dreyfus).

However, I made sure to stay the rest of the day and be at the highlight of the event which I believe was WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg‘s talk and the premiere with live demo of version WP 2.7. But that is getting ahead of myself.

Organizers, volunteers and attendees busy at the front of house before entering the venue

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Filed under 2008, Blogging, Filipino, internet, internet activity, Matt Mullenweg, MindanaoBloggers, Philippines, photomatt, SNS, WordCamp, WP

a “geek” in all of us

IN THE EARLY days of the computer, only a selected number of people could take on its challenges and understand its language and mechanisms.

Often, these involve some kind of esoteric, if not iconoclastic, approaches with large attempts at writing down computations — in figures and diagrams — and shared eureka moments among individuals in a basement building or some isolated hall somewhere.

As computers evolved — its components and shells shrank, its operations became the equivalent of silent, invisible clockwork, and its language somewhat simplified — its attraction to a wider user base became inevitable. Computer mastery slowly became less a mystery.

Roberts, network

Roberts, network

Somewhere along the way, the Internet successfully blurred the lines between time zones and realities, personas and personalities and the once sacred/irreverent social categories as “geeks” and “nerds” from the M-O-S. Further down the timeline, the internet (true to form, still evolving into what is now referred to as “the Interweb”), whose existence is largely the result of computer evolution, influenced one’s reputation or repudiation, of product SRPs and marketability. In fact, the Internet has sometimes transformed reputation into market/able value (and its opposite consequences).

The most apt explanation we’ve given to computers, the Internet/internet and all encompassing experiences, is the fulfillment of  “connection”, where both have transcended commoditization to a necessary function, somewhat akin to an extended appendage.

Baran net image

Baran net, Aug 1964

By and large, the introduction of the Internet into our lives, and its subsequent conquest, has been motivated by good intentions. How else would computers be more work-able, beneficial and improved on if the terminals, controlled by humans, were simply stand-alones. As computers were our extensions, so too were its functions. 

And so connect we all did, under a virtual spider web of activities and communications, of accomplishments and failures, and of common goals and values. After all, as man is a social animal, this very necessary function has been taken advantage of by the Internet.

There was, for the average user, the IRC (generally a spin-off of the more selective and archival BBS), revolutionary in that it was a two-way communication “in real time”, which, of course, largely depended on the user’s bandwith, computer model and connection — internet connection, that is. From these two spawned communities, the “virtual” kind. In real life, people of common sensibilities, who converge and do exchanges regularly almost always gravitate towards, and eventually become actively involved in communities, don’t they? The virtual kind was not much different.

A quick fast-forward through these communication channels, e.g. BBS -> IRC -> mIRC ->  IM -> brings us to yet another consequence of the internet: the evolution of language/s and user experiences, where once, user experience was as quick and no-frills as a monochrome monitor, and language reduced to pictograms and acronyms for faster exchanges. Despite these limitations, however, each user came away from a chat session with some degree of liberation, each with a new sense of accomplishment, especially if the session meant being able to express anger, gain sympathy, share a joke, capture an audience or simply know the exact time and weather on the other side of the globe.

And on our side of the globe, in today’s incarnation of the venerable IRC, of what is now the new world of SNS — yet another one of those internet-only dictionary entries: Social Networking Sites — is the 21st century online community. “Virtual” gave way to “online”, chat boards and channels are now SNS’es, where the latest news of an earthquake in Japan, a traffic jam in EDSA or someone’s scrumptious lunch is broadcast in more “real time” than it ever was.

When a meet-up was hastily organized by a few users of one of these current SNS’es, Plurk (who’d have thought of such a name in the dial-up IRC-era?), called for, in true internet fashion, via postings online, a few brave souls in the northern part of Metropolitan Manila dared go out and defy the sub-stormy Sunday evening, drop the [wired] connection, dislocate from their extended virtual limbs, and go for a RL face-to-face. Real life. Real food. Real interactions. And some real-time electric currents exchanged via warm handshakes.

In the 21st century, it seems that nothing much has changed: the “Plurkers” all got to the Plurkfiesta in their most casual wear, arriving either by carpool or public transportation. Connected still, even as this happening was completely “wireless”, except for the occasional online update posting via G3 on some users’ phones (ok, now that’s very 21st century). Most especially, nothing has changed the human need to still be among warm bodies indulged in real-life chatter.

“Ah, a nerd-meet is underway”, was probably what was on some other people’s thought bubbles on the other tables. But nerds nor geeks these were not. Rather, this was a gathering of a motley of very ordinary people: a disc jockey/magician, a teacher-explainer, a bakery-owner, a photographer/fish collector, a travel agent, an educator, some bloggers, a balik-bayan and so forth. But perhaps because the invisible interweb that was cast has been virtually anchored into our lives, and computers have become the other brain that work within us, there is a geek in all of us.

 

There is always something about breaking the fourth wall, as it were: where true interaction takes place across the table and personas become real persons; nicknames have faces and minds have voices. Where “LOLs” become even funnier when burst in a chorus. Where virtual becomes real. And where “user experience”, now more enriched with computer GUIs and APIs, becomes a personal one.

Many more such communities inter-weave elsewhere, some regularly, some for the first time.

What took all of these years to make computers conquerable, and the internet experience seamless, is the fact that at the end of the day, the fulfillment of basic human function is brought to another level. Perhaps the process of selection is different, the mode of communication circuitous, and the agenda free, but the commonality among us prevails: the interpersonal exchanges, no matter how brief, will always be embedded deeper and stored greater than any memory chip will ever hold.


Credits

Top graphic and bottom four photos: krvilla
“Roberts, network”, “Baran net”: Martin Dodge
IRC transcript image grab: Lim Quin


UPDATE 12 March 09
Including a link to this list of OS GUIs from 1981-2009 by webdesignerdepot.com. Great list with screen shots.
Also, toastytech.com’s collection of GUIs (from webdesignerdepot.com)

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Filed under 2008, community, Filipino, internet, internet activity, Plurk, SNS, WP