Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

Basic Reading of Global Filipinos

A New Social Media Website for the Filipino Community

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Home page of PinoyKubo.com

I’m wondering what Canadian company Astraqom, describing themselves as “a world leading provider of online community platforms leveraging IP communications,” is doing playing a “me, too” venture with the Facebook vs. Google+ world of social media networking by coming up with PinoyKubo, its social networking platform beta-tested in June this year. Here are some of the quips I’ve seen so far:

PinoyKubo is home to several online games, Filipino e-cards, chat, blogs, videos and more.

PinoyKubo is a global online meeting place reaching people of the Philippines around the world.

PinoyKubo offers the following applications: Chat, Video Chat, Photo and Video Uploads, Online Games and a lot more!

“The online community’s audience, membership, and market include Filipina and Filipino expatriates, business people and students who are in the Philippines as well as abroad. It also is popular with those who are in a position to develop business with those in the Philippines and those who wish to learn Tagalog or just be immersed in the exciting Philippines world culture.” I do hope it’s not one of those Match.com-wannabes touting “Filipina” (notice that was the first word description talking about membership).

What does it have that Facebook doesn’t have? That should be one of the first few questions that comes into mind. PinoyKubo has an answer:

“You can record your own audio and then save it and load it as message to your friends. You can enjoy a lot of our OPM songs or choose and play with something like 20,000 games. Take a test or make a test. But most people really love how they can draw and write a message literally and send it via the PK chat! Sing-along on the Karaoke! Make friends and have endless chatting, gaming or listening fun.”

PinoyKubo touts groups, too, but it relates it to businesses and organizations becoming popular, or as champions, via sponsorships, ads, partnering options, and special events. Add the phrase “…and be an important part of 2011 and future image and branding.” The list of companies who are taking part in the new Filipino social networking site are Astraqom (obviously, the creators of PinoyKubo), Manuel S. Enverga University, Virtual Phone Line, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

There’s an e-commerce component mentioned by PinoyKubo. “Any PinoyKubo member can start and operate his or her own electronic store and sell services and products online. Because of the company’s emphasis on empowering Filipinas and Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad and also those who enjoy the culture, there are no fees for transactions. Payments are made via Paypal.” (Again, the emphasis on Filipinas. Why not use a generic, non-gender term?) Their PR.com publication writes, “The PinoyKubo e-store is available to retail brand names or home hand-crafted items. The PinoyKubo community members do not have to buy their own store website, nor do they have to install anything to get started. With a minimal few minutes of effort, they are up and running with their own stores.” Click here to watch a YouTube video of a demo in setting up an e-store.

Jonathan Sowah is the founder of PinoyKubo and AstraQom. He is reported to say that the PinoyKubo social network’s stores is an effective way to expand entrepreneur and businesses’ reach into the benefits of social media.

TMCNet contributor Rahul Arora writes that with PinoyKubo’s features and tools, the participants can easily meet long-term social and entrepreneurial goals. They can make friends to collaborate with, get appreciated for one’s talents, accomplishments and abilities, and discover and employ new methods and tools to reach social and business (also may be entrepreneurial and financial) goals. But most of what he writes are copied from the Astraqom website.

Let’s summarize. PinoyKubo is:

  • Social networking site, like Facebook (photo, links, chats, etc.)
  • Online gaming site, like Friendster;
  • Blogging site, like Blogger or WordPress;
  • Meeting place, maybe like LinkedIn Groups
  • e-Cards? Plaxo.com comes to mind
  • e-Store, like Multiply
  • Video uploads, like YouTube
  • Anything else I missed?

PinoyKubo today has about 50,000 members (they call it “friendships”) after three months of beta-testing. They are planning a comprehensive game archive with over 14,000 different games and activities, plus social-oriented ones.

AstraQom Corporation merged with Aon Communications (Canada) Inc. in 2009 and has operations in Ottawa, Montreal, Maniwaki, Toronto, Miami and Mexico City (Mexico). It is a member of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).

I salute a Canadian company offering a service for Filipinos, worldwide. I advocate cloud-based applications and social media for the workplace. I’m not much of an online game afficionado but maybe it’s a carrot to the younger generation who are prospective buyers of its e-stores. So, join http://www.PinoyKubo.com and see what a predominantly Filipino market can do for you and your small business.

Sources: Facebook Page | PinoyKubo Info & Fansite | SGE Entrepreneurs | PR.com | TMCNet.com | American Banking & Marketing News

Image of Home Page at PinoyKubo.com

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