Monday, April 5, 2010

Yahoo! Philippines paves way for online democracy with the Purple Thumb microsite

Elections-dedicated microsite provides people with the most comprehensive news and provides venue for users to share their opinion on the Philippine elections.

Yahoo! has harnessed the power of social media and developed a first-of-its-kind election dedicated microsite called Purple Thumb ( The Purple Thumb microsite gives Filipino voters the opportunity to share user generated content, post images, videos and express their views on the 2010 Philippine election. The microsite leverages top Yahoo! properties Yahoo! Answers and Meme. 

The Purple Thumb project was launched by Yahoo! Philippines on February 16, 2010 at Hotel Intercontinental Manila, with the theme, "Tapping the groundswell: How social media will change the way elections are covered."

Here is the list of speakers and their topic (in order of presentation sequences):
Welcome Remarks/ Background of Purple Thumb
by Jack Madrid (General Manager, Yahoo! Philippines)

Introduction to the 'now' revolution
by Alan Soon (Managing Editor, Yahoo! Southeast Asia)

Ethics and news in the age of Twitter
by Joey Alarilla (Social Media Editor, Yahoo! Southeast Asia)
and Ellen Tordesillas (Political Blogger, Vera Files)

Integrating social media in the newsroom
by Howie Severino (Broadcast Journalist; Editor-in-chief,,
Arlene Burgos (Head of Social Media,,
and Katrina Sandejas-Mañosa (General Manager,

Why social media matters in this election
by Manolo Quezon III (Blogger/ Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist/ TV host),
Luz Rimban (Vera Files), 
and Janette Toral (SEO and Social Media Specialist/ Blogger/ Founder,

How are candidates using social media to engage voters
by James Jimenez (Comelec and Social Media Spokesperson)

A Tweeting life
by Mong Palatino (Blogger/ Lawmaker/ Activist/ Legislator)

Tweeting a candidate
by Margaux Salcedo (Estrada spokesperson; Blogger)

Benefits and risks of social media in covering this election
by Erwin Oliva (Moderator of this forum event; Philippine Country Editor, Yahoo! Southeast Asia)
and Gang Badoy (Founder, RockEd)

Other panelists: Mong Palatino, Gang Badoy (RockEd) and Noemi Dado (

Moderator/ Emcee: Charley Braga (Yahoo! Southeast Asia producer)

Filipino voters can join a real time election conversation from the Purple Thumb microsite; discover more about the Presidential candidates, and share election images on Meme.  More over, Yahoo! Philippines is working with media partners; ABS-CBN,, Manila Bulletin as well as bloggers and local NGOs to deliver balanced coverage of the election on the microsite.

The advent of social media has extended the democratic process to the digital space, allowing people to socialize with one another and at the same time gather news and information. With the help of social media tools, the rules of engagement have changed. Now, with internet access, anyone can be an online researcher, publisher and broadcaster.

Yahoo!, where over 600 million people visit every month, aims to bring together social experiences from across the web in a single place. Communities tied together by services such as Twitter, Facebook and Friendster are changing the way people gather news online. 

The consumption of news has shifted from discovering "what happened" to finding out "what's happening right now.”  News is no longer one sided it is now a two way conversation which connects online users and invites them to influence the creation of news as it happens.

“We believe that social media serves as an important platform in the coming elections. With the help of our content partners the Purple Thumb microsite will bring Filipino people the most comprehensive election news as it happens,” explained Jack Madrid, Yahoo! Philippines Country General Manager. “Not only do they receive the most updated news, the microsite also provides a platform to freely discuss opinions, share images, content and up to the minute news,” added Madrid.

The Yahoo! Purple Thumb Meme account hosted on the microsite can be found at hash tag #Yourpurplethumb. 

About Yahoo!
Yahoo! attracts hundreds of millions of users every month through its innovative technology and engaging content and services, making it one of the most trafficked Internet destinations and a world class online media company. Yahoo!'s vision is to be the center of people's online lives by delivering personally relevant, meaningful Internet experiences. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal (

Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc.

All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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