E-burol: A way to view your relative’s wake online

5 Jul

Yes this is real

I swear that when my boyfriend showed me this picture I told him it was edited. I thought that surely it was just some person’s witty idea of expressing how everything seems to be available online these days. I was wrong. This “E-burol” service does indeed exist.

St. Peter’s is offering this E-burol service for the relatives and friends who cannot go to the wake of their deceased. This service will allow them to view the wake online via the St. Peter’s website. As privacy is indeed very important, only select people (real relatives and friends) will be given the details on how to access the service. For more details you can check here. You can even download their “manual” that has step by step instructions on how you can use their service.

So what does this unique and revolutionary service show us? What implications does this kind of service have on our lives? Why should we care?

Everything is going digital.

It may not be the case now but we’re definitely going there. Discovering this E-burol service made me see that even more. We are now living in a digital age where we can talk to people who are halfway across the world. All in real time. We can now share photos, videos, news and opinions with just a few clicks here and there.

Business people are now looking at how they can use the internet and social media to their advantage. E-burol is most likely a product of the same line of thought. The owners of St. Peter’s must have seen and heard many of their customers talking about relatives who could not make it to wakes because of the burdens of traveling, whether it be from abroad or from a relatively far place here in our country. They saw the clients’ needs, saw that no other funeral services offered it, and since the technology needed for this project was available E-burol was created. I find this project simple yet effective because of it’s practicality and effort to bring people closer during vital times.

Adapt to survive.

Humankind is facing another big change, and that is of the digital change. With the advent of technology, we are discovering new ways to do things everyday. During this time, we must not let ourselves get left behind. I recognize the importance of valuing and preserving the traditional way of doing things, but we must not close our minds to the possibilities that technology will bring. It is inevitable that technology will be a huge part in our way of living in the near future (more than it is now). And, instead of fighting the inevitable we must learn to adapt to these changes.

Being a part of the Net generation, we can develop this adaptive nature by frequently updating ourselves about the new technologies in the market. There are tons of articles available online about anything you can possibly ask for about the internet, social media, online trends, and many more. Reading up regularly and testing out the things that we read about will keep us in the loop of this digital age development. We can also help our parents (and even grandparents) by explaining the things that we know, and teaching them the basics in using certain technologies.

As a future professional…

On a personal note, this E-burol means to me that as a future professional I should not be too dependent on what I learn in school. The University will only provide me with a good foundation, but after graduation my environment will be my teacher. I must make an effort to listen and to observe the environment that I will be in (office, community, etc.). I should also learn how to distinguish which new knowledge will be beneficial to me. I will surely not be one to “jump the gun” as they may say.

I certainly look forward to many new “surprises” such as this. Personally, I am determined to keep an open mind about new technologies and new services.

I end this post with my last thought, maybe you have thoughts on this (I’m sure many of you do): “Kelan kaya maiimbento ang E-numan?”


Why YouTube is the shiznit!

27 Jun

YouTube is the brainchild of three Paypal dudes (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim) who wanted to create a new kind of dating site that classified people based on their videos. The domain was activated June 15, 2005 and the first video was uploaded on April 23. Pretty soon the original idea of a dating site was lost, and YouTube became a video sharing site. It started gaining popularity with the general populace due to links being shared on social networking sites like MySpace, and several companies also started seeing its promotional potential.

Now, five years after its first launch, YouTube is one of the top known and visited sites all over the world. As you are reading this article, thousands of videos are being uploaded. In fact, according to statistics, an average person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube. I am a living testament to that finding. I check my YouTube account whenever I go online just to check if there are new videos to watch. YouTube has made my life more interesting in many ways.

I can watch shows online.

As much as I want to download shows that I want to watch, the storage space in my computer won’t allow for it. Thanks to YouTube however, I can watch shows through online streaming.

I can watch a lot of things from live action series (English, Pinoy, Japanese or Korean) to cartoons/anime. I can even watch old tv commercials that bring me back to my elementary days. This tvc is one of my favorites. I remember doing the coke beat with my classmates in a sort of competition. The loser will treat the winner to ice cream or even a full lunch meal. Ah, good times, good times.

Mulling over music.

When it comes to music, I use YouTube to check out new or recommended songs. It saves me the effort and time of searching, downloading, and then deleting a song file when it doesn’t really suit my tastes. Another thing that YouTube helps me with is memorizing the lyrics to favorite songs. No matter what the language your favorite song is in, you can find videos online with lyrics that you can sing along to then play over and over again until you’ve memorized everything.

Almost Easy by Avenged Sevenfold (one of my fav songs)

YouTube is also the place to view music videos. I am a fan of Kpop so I watch vids of Super Junior, 2PM, SNSD and many more. I even try to dance along sometimes (emphasis on the word “try” — I am not a dancer so I usually do this in the wee hours of the night or when no one’s around).

New Kpop song Huh by 4Minute

Education online

Yes, we can get educated on YouTube. There are many information-rich videos available that can educate internet users from all generations. There are educational clips for children, viral videos that increase our awareness of environmental and societal issues, and even instructional vids on how to make crafts, sew, cook, and many more. As funny as it may sound there are even videos that give out advice on relationships, and yes even what people in relationships do (if you know what I mean).

 Foodtrip28’s recipes I can learn how to prepare simple meals without buying a cookbook or bothering anyone to teach me.

YouTube has definitely made my life less dull. From shows to music and even educational stuff, I have access to all of these, and all for FREE. I can watch funny vids if I feel sad or just stressed. I can listen to my favorite songs, and even memorize the lyrics to the songs. I can do the things that make me happy. Most of all, I like YouTube because it gave us the opportunity to share the feeling of happiness with friends, relatives and loved ones. When I enjoy certain videos, I can show them to friends by posting it on my SNS or directly sharing the link through YM.

Today, YouTube is not the only video sharing site online. We have Veoh, Dailymotion, Vimeo and many more, but YouTube will always hold that reputation in being the pioneer in revolutionizing how people share videos online. How about you? Do you have more reasons why you love YouTube? Or maybe you hate it? Feel free to tell me. I would love to know about it.

The Internet: Of the good and the bad

22 Jun

I would be lying if I said that I hate the internet. Heck, I even experience withdrawal after just 2 days without an internet connection or access to the net. To me the internet is my research buddy, my unlimited phone line to my friends and loved ones, my diary, my entertainment and even at times my teacher (on various things). It is my stalking instrument and my gossip agent. Through social networking sites (SNS) I can get the latest scoop on my friends and yes even people I dislike. I can get bored and yet spend numerous hours on the web just randomly surfing about any random thing that comes to my mind. This is what the internet is to me.

I do admit that although I don’t hate it, there are certain aspects/effects of the internet that I don’t like.

Easier connections make us belittle communication.

Bill Gates (2000), in his essay about the internet said that “the internet makes the world smaller.” Through it people from different parts of the world can easily communicate with each other. This is most certainly true today where you can get answers and comments in your Facebook or Twitter in real time, chat with people online and even have a video conversation through Skype.

True enough that the internet indeed makes communication easier, but with that I believe that it also makes us belittle communication somehow. Belittle in a sense that since we know that we can easily communicate with people on our own terms and our own times, we procrastinate and put aside talking to some people. Think about it. In your social networking sites, how many out of your 350+ contacts do you purposely talk to when you’re online? If you talk to half or even more than half of your contacts then, wow! I admire you.

The question of privacy

How private is “private” on the internet? As Bill Gates predicted 10 years ago, we are now relying on the internet in sharing and exchanging sensitive personal information with different parties that we communicate with. We share financial information when we purchase products online, share our home addresses and contact information when subscribing to magazines or signing up for promos, and even share secrets with chat-mates or in forums. Even with the promise of privacy and anonymity in certain cases, how sure are we that the information that we share on the web is really protected?

I believe that this is one of the more serious issues that we have to face about the internet and technology as a whole. More than privacy settings that certain sites now offer, more discussions and laws (international and/or country specific) should be created. Until that time comes, we as the internet users should be more careful about the information that we share online. We should also be extra critical of the online services that we use.

It breaks barriers and yet creates new divisions.

If I wanted to I could chat with someone geographically living millions of miles away from here in real time. And it would be easy to do so. I can also get the same information from the same online articles that a doctor or a teacher or a CEO would read. I can find out about a certain place without having to actually go there. I can find out how a person looks like without actually having to meet them physically. And again, it would be easy to do so. These are only some of the many barriers that the internet has broken.

But what if I don’t have access to the internet? What if I don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter or a Tumblr account? What if I don’t play Farmville or Restaurant City? What if I can’t use the computer at all?

Now there is a division between internet users and non-internet users. This can be classified under the phenomenon known as the digital divide which is the gap between people who have effective access to technology & digital information, and people who have limited or no access at all. It is a fact that not everyone can use the internet. There are people who don’t have the resources to access the net, and at times they are looked down on because of this.  I also believe that there is a division between internet users that use social networking sites and those who don’t. Especially with the younger generations, those who do use SNS are considered to be in the loop while those who don’t have accounts in SNS often feel left out.

Even with what it has become today, I believe that the internet is still relatively young. In the many years to come there will most certainly be more developments which I really want to live long for. Despite all the issues, I believe that it’s all worth it. The internet is indeed a revolutionary being that can change the way humans live. The fact that people are aware of these issues shows that these are being talked about, and pretty soon solutions will be made.

Change cannot be done overnight so what we can do is to update ourselves on new developments, educate ourselves with the new technologies and reflect on how all of these things affect our lives. We should avoid focusing on the negatives and instead have a more positive view about things. Moreover, we should all keep an open mind for the things to come. We should all keep moving forward.

The first post of a blogging noob.

16 Jun

I have never been that patient with maintaining blogs.  Maybe because my mind is somehow wired to think that programming codes mean scary business, that’s why I never really took the time to learn all the necessary things that I need to know in actually having a decent blog. I did have one way back when, but it was full of private posts, “teen angst” if you can call it that. I don’t believe you can call that a decent blog.

So now that I am being required to create and maintain a blog, I’m actually pretty hyped about it. Because even if my brain keeps throwing alerts of “scary codes and other scary technical stuff” I can say “no, required ito.” Ha! Take that brain.

Now, on to the actual introductions.

Remembering an old English teacher of mine, I decided to entitle my blog as Comm-a based on the concept of the punctuation mark (comma). That teacher used to tell the class “A comma means a slight pause” hence the tagline because we all need a breather. For me this blog represents a breather from my usual writing activities which consists mostly of academic stuff and those short posts on social networking sites (SNS). Despite the seemingly stressful act of maintaining a blog, I want this to be my breather from all the papers, readings and other academic what-nots. Somehow this is different from other requirements. Maybe because here (web) is a place where I can freely express my opinions and thoughts.

I will post more things soon so please keep visiting. I promise even in this noob state that I will put in extra extra extra effort to make this blog a decent one.