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Glam No More

A video taken from the city of Antipolo, Buwis Buhay aimed to illustrate the lives of 6 english speaking  ‘taong grassas’ who disguised as such to see how people would react to them.

Beyond Borders

It is quite surprising to see how computers and new social media change the landscape of the work environment. Blogs, wikis, and chat rooms are just some of the tools that enable employees to exchange information faster and easier. New social media revolutionizes the way people communicate in the workplace but most importantly it allows the organizations to think outside of the box and engage their employees in a continuous process of bottom-up innovation and  mass collaboration.

The rise of the wiki workplace also paves the way for the decentralization of some organizations who have adopted the principles of Wikinomics. Hierarchical structures are ruled out. People can talk to one another regardless of their job titles. Bureaucratic walls are shattered that enable these organizations to build a community of shared knowledge. According to Tapscott and Williams, the authors of Wikinomics,  “…the workplace is becoming a self-organizing entity where centralized and tightly-controlled processes are increasingly giving way to more spontaneous and decentralized forms of mass collaboration.”

While more companies are embracing the concepts of openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally, many still haven’t especially here in the Philippines where traditional bureaucracies reign. ( Well, I wonder how our government agencies would react to these trends knowing that these agencies are bureaucratic in nature. )

As the future workers in our society, these trends pose a great challenge to us, OrCom practitioners. That is, to establish a workplace that allows mass collaboration to gain more competitive advantage and this could be done through:

Creating avenues for sharing and peering

Organizations should harness the expertise and creativity of their employees by engaging them into Web-based tools that would enable them to collaborate more effectively. In the case of Geek Squad, an elaborate internal wiki that Robert Stephens made did not work. Indeed, not all tools can be utilized for the same purpose. Finding the most appropriate tool is crucial in organizing employee participation. Thus, we should keep in mind what Robert Stephen said: First observe, and then implement.

Listening

Organizations should value the ideas of their workers. By listening to what the employees think and feel, they are actually harnessing their internal capabilities. Real collaboration only happens when organizations listen.

This particular chapter of the Wikinomics entitled The Wiki Workplace: Unleashing the Power of Us may  just be a trailer to what’s going to happen in the business arena. It may happen sooner or later but  definitely as future OrCom practitioners, we have a role to fulfill in this quest.

Wikinomics=Social Media+Business

I thought Wikipedia was the greatest thing that was ever invented back when I was in high school coz whenever I had to research on something I would just look for its definition in Wiki and voila I would had my assignment or project done in less than an hour. Gone were the days when I had to grab a heavy encyclopedia just to search for a particular topic. With the advent of Wikipedia, I can look for things simultaneously without turning a single page of a book.

I thought it was amazing not until my Comm II professor forbid us from using Wikipedia as a reference in our academic papers citing that it was not reliable. True enough, Wikipedia was/is/will never be a reliable source for writing academic papers since wiki (the software that runs Wikipedia) is specifically designed to enable Internet users to edit the content of the Web pages. That means, every person had the power to add, erase, modify, or change its content regardless whether the information that they put in those pages was accurate or not.

From then on, I did not bother to use it again. I began to dislike the concept of Wikipedia. All of a sudden, what I thought to be the most useful thing on Earth had turned to be the most useless. However, my opinion regarding Wikipedia or Wiki in general had changed after I read Tapscott & William’s Wikinomics, a book that tackled how social media transformed the landscape of business. Apparently, Wikipedia was one of today’s weapons of mass collaboration/peer production together with Linux, Youtube, and other forms of social media.

Peer production or peering is a new mode of production that allows everyone to share knowledge and create open source of goods and services that anyone can access and modify. It empowers the once passive consumers of mass-produced products to participate in wealth creation and innovation.

Perhaps, this new mode of production tells us that communication is not the only thing that is evolving. Business also evolves along with communication and with this kind of evolution only the connected will survive and those who are not will perish.

The Tremendous Power of Internet

I don’t see myself as an internet savvy. The truth is I only use the net to check emails on my Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts or when I have to consult Mr. Google regarding matters, which most often than not, are related to academics. I also use YM whenever possible.  I have a Friendster and Multiply account but I rarely use them partly because of my old PC’s incapacity to function rapidly and the other reason is due to my (inherent) laziness to maintain such accounts.

Recently, I created an account in Plurk , an online social journal. I got hooked to it but because I hardly use internet these days, I rarely use it as well. I’m also an avid fan of YouTube and online sites where I get to watch movies and TV series for free; however, I only visit these sites after I finished checking all my accounts in the Web and got nothing to do but have an eye-to-eye contact with my old PC’s monitor.

After reading Christopher Locke’s Internet Apocalypso, I began to despise myself for not being an internet savvy at all (at least not on my own perception). Indeed, our generation is lucky to have the Internet nowadays. Because of it information becomes more accessible to us, people worldwide become connected with one another, and business ventures become more manageable and profitable.

Perhaps, the most significant effect of internet in these modern times is the fact that it really empowers individuals to speak with their own voice and to participate in genuine conversations. From being a passive consumer of mass media, each of us now has the capacity to be this generation’s new opinion leaders, an opportunity that future Communication professionals (including myself) should take advantage of.

 Communication is evolving and I cannot prevent it from doing so. I guess the least that I can do now is to keep up with technology, forget about my laziness, and don’t let these wonderful opportunities that Internet is giving me slip away.

What’s in a name?

“What’s that?”

That’s the usual reaction of people whenever I tell them of my course in college. Well, I can’t blame them since most universities and colleges in the Philippines don’t have Organizational Communication (a.k.a. OrCom) in their list of programs and courses. Sometimes when I am not in the mood to answer their queries, I just tell them that my course is Communication without even ellaborating what kind of communication course it is. Some get satisfied while some are persistent (or maybe curious enough) to ask me further about it. And so, whenever I am faced in a situation wherein I have to explain what OrCom is, I always answer them with these lines:

“Organizational Communication is a relatively new course in UP Manila that combines business and communication. It encompasses PR, Marketing, Advertising, HR, and Speech Communication.”

I’m not sure though if I grasp the whole idea of OrCom but that’s the simplest way I know how I could explain it. To know more about OrCom in UP Manila, you may log on to www.orcomsphere.wordpress.com.