Selling Out and Dumb Wi-Fi: Build Social Networks to Revolt, But Is That Enough?

Smart Bro/Smart Wi-Fi logo. Hideous.

Interesting anecdote about a social network built as leverage against an almighty company before the term “social network” was even coined. Short story is that the company crashed, the stocks were no good, and the shareholders were outraged. So Ronald Lewis and his friends turned to the Internet and built, bringing together over 23 million worth of shares from 2,700 shareholders. More importantly, the news of this injustice spread even to the media. This was in 2001, way before the Web 2.0 and one of its favorite buzzwords, social networking, were born.

Change gears—to the Philippines. One must ask, has anybody done something like that in this country?

A Social Networking Example in the Philippines: The Smart Wi-Fi Chronicles

It reminded me of The Smart Wi-Fi Chronicles. The website lets all disgruntled customers of Smart Wi-Fi, now known as Smart Bro, rant about the slower-than-dialup service they’ve been getting.

I was one of those customers, and I posted a few times there. I’m glad I’m out of those dark days now, when my mom would call Smart practically every night until she’d blow her top off. (To think I am the acerbic one in this household, not her.)

Social Networking in the Philippines: Lacking the Follow Through

‘Mmmkay, we already have a website that lets people voice their concerns about a crappy product X. But has it tugged at the consciences of the people from Smart? And have we seen any improvement in the internet connections of these people? I still see new posts on the site, don’t I?

The term “social networking” may be one of Web 2.0’s greatest assets. In this country, it was put to good use but lacked the follow through.

When Gary Mercado recently threatened to sue PLDT in one of his recent posts, then took it back, and concluded that someone still should (since he wasn’t going to), I had to agree. Too many complaints like his and those documented at the ‘Chronicles have got to count for something in court. Yet Gary’s entry reflects most of our attitudes: we have the energy to complain—even build sites that let people complain.

But we stop there, and continue to suffer with slower-than-dialup internet.

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Design × code × words for a better web,
made in the Philippines by Sophia Lucero.