Saturday, June 28, 2014

Overview of GDays Mandaue here.

Bernardo Arellano III, GBG Iloilo Founder, went up as the second speaker . I remember getting updates from him and the GDG Crisis Mappers when the earthquake and Yolanda relief operations were happening. They came to Bohol and went out to map the areas where the roads were too damaged to pass through, where the most help is needed and where the nearest evac stations were. You can find the map here. They really helped out a lot of NGOs and made the relief process faster and more efficient. Hats off to them for making such a difference.

GDays Mandaue 2014 Tech Event
Bernardo Arellano III talks about Google Places

Why is mapping your business such a big deal? Most traditional brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs rely on the word of mouth within the community and fliers and whatnot to attract attention to their store. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing but, let's say, you're a hotel owner for example and you rely on the word of mouth. What good will it do if the people who know about your great services and amenities are the people that don't really NEED a place to stay since, well, they live there. What if you're offering a specialized service? Wouldn't it be great if not only the people around your area, that, give or take,  may only use your special service once a year, but also people that are actually looking for your service, use your service?

I made a foreign friend at a local event one time and she said "You can't look anything up in Google about the shops in Bohol". She was planning her trip here and turned to good 'ol Google to help her with her plan since she's new to the area. She wanted to look for a nearby convenience store near the hotel she was staying in, a auto shop or service center nearby her area to get her motor checked if anything happened, the nitty gritty details that she needed weren't there and in turn, these businesses just lost a fine customer. She could have just looked for them when she got to the hotel, of course, but my point in giving that example was visibility. You're running a business and you want as many people to know about it as possible. What better way to do it that using Google Places and Google Maps? With the right optimization, you could have a global audience! What also makes most Google services the best is that it's for FREE. A good chunk of these features are, which is great!

Here's a great video on what is so important about getting your business out there.
"Each small business is different but they all need one thing to make them successful. Customers."

So how exactly do you "get it out there"? I'm sure a lot of people are already familiar with Google Maps but there is this other service from Google that isn't as popular, (according to me that is because before the event, I had no idea that this service was available) Google Places. Here's a quick video on what Google Places is all about:

So I'm not any Google Places expert and I've never even used the thing before since I don't have a business to market BUT I want people to know that a service like this with huge traffic, I might add is just there. For free. Just sitting there. USE IT. 

Creating a Google Places Business Listing

Calling out to business people in Bohol!! This exists! I will join your ranks soon but while I'm not there yet, give more power to small businesses!! Please, so all the smart Pinoys will STAY in Pinas!

Oh and on a  further note, I know this such a late announcement but whatever. Google Street View is coming to the Philippines!! Yeeey! So stop bathing naked in the street near the drain because you'll never know when your naked ass will be up live on the internet for everyone to see :D

Right now, only Intramuros has been captured properly. They'll be partnering with the Department of Tourism and will be starting at Metropolitan Manila and will hopefully work their way down to other historic places of the Philippines. A more detailed report from Rappler here.


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