The Black Sheep

Monday, January 07, 2008
The night was getting deeper as I trudged along the dark alley leading to the apartment. The misty air and the stillness of the night bring back memories of the past. Memories that I have put on the back burner for a long time now. Memories that served as an envenom that is slowly killing and eating me wholly. Then rain drops started falling and before I knew it, thoughts kept flooding rapidly together with the rain.

It’s the first day of my Senior year. I can’t describe the excitement I am feeling as my dad pulled over our Chevrolet in the school’s driveway. I hurriedly gave a peck on dad’s right cheek and went down to meet my friends and gave each other some updates on our summer vacation. The bell rang and we sped up to our rooms and faced our books. Another dreadful year in school again, but at least this will be my last year in High school.
I am Eunice, the only daughter of two of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. An average girl living a grandiose life. I was born with a silver spoon. I live in a grand house in one of the plush villages in our place. I have lived a sheltered life, away from the harsh reality of the world out there.
And he’s Vincent, my long time crush for as long as I can remember. We have been studying in the same school ever since Grade school and even though we have been seat mates for so many years now, still, for him, I don’t even exist. He never even uttered a single word to me, just a few forceful smiles whenever our eyes meet in the school’s hallways. He was the school’s jock and every girl swoons over him and would die just to date him. I don’t know If I’m lucky or what, but I must confess that I am one of those.
It’s a cloudy afternoon when I decided to watch one of Vincent’s practices in the field. I tagged along two of my best girl friends so I will have some back ups. I know this is now the right time to muster enough guts to talk to him. After all, the party of the year is just a few weeks away and I have already envisioned myself entering the venue with him by my side. I know that sounds a bit ambitious but I think it’s just about time to show him what I’m made of. What Eunice wants, Eunice gets.
The moment I saw him walking towards my way, I can feel how my body stiffened and how I felt the urge to throw up and just pass away. Good thing I brought along my two best cheer leaders. I slowly walked towards him as I put my sweetest smile as I introduced myself to him. “I know” was all he said, and then gave a quick smile and fled with the other jocks. My world was crushed down into pieces. The ultimate love of my life can’t even give me a second of his time. But hey, at least he knows my name. I exist in his vocabulary and that already counts. Although I know I need to work harder to get him notice me. And the next time we meet, I bloody swear, he’ll never leave me again, ever.
The party was in the house of one of the popular girls in school. I was wearing my best dress and even had my hair and make up done. Tonight, Vincent will surely notice me, and he did. Surprisingly, he even invited me over their house and everything happened so fast. In just a blink of an eye, people started noticing me, girls even started hating me. All just because I have with me the school’s most popular guy. Everything changed; it was a dream come true. But everything also changed when my monthly period was delayed.
After one of our classes, I look all over the school for Vincent, only to find him in the field flirting with some other girls in our school. “Excuse me, can you just give us second?” I pulled Vincent away from the girls who scampered away. “Hi, what’s the matter” he asks casually as he fixes his hair. “I’m pregnant!” I tell him straightforwardly. “You’re what?!” He repeats his question again as though I have uttered the silliest joke in the world. “I am pregnant. I did a pregnancy test and I even consulted two doctors just to confirm. And I am. It’s 2 weeks old.”
Vincent stared at me for a long minute then shook his head. “I am not the father of that. Who knows, that might be someone else’s child. Who knows, you might have cheated on me.” “How dare you say that to me?!” I shouted feeling all my blood rising and my hands trembling. “I’m sorry but I’m not going to take any responsibility for that. Go find a father for your child, but not me.” Then he quickly walked away to get his things and catch up with the guys.
It’s a gloomy day, rain started pouring down and I don’t even mind. I looked at Vincent until he vanished from my sight. I walked home all drenched and head straightly to my room. I cried and did not eat dinner that night. I even skipped my classes the following days telling my parents I was feeling ill. Then one night during our usual dinners, I finally decided to spill the beans.
“Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant.” I silently uttered while we were in the middle of laughing over the antics I usually does when I was still a child. Both of them stopped eating and stared at me silently. I can feel the tension in the air while I look at them anticipating for some answer, but my father just stood up while my mother followed after him.
That was the last time I have eaten dinner with them. They have disowned me since that night. I tried calling my friends to let me stay over their houses even for the mean time while I find some place to stay, but they refused to for the reason that their parents won’t allow them thinking that I am setting a bad example for their children.
I am currently working as a cashier in a little convenience store in a small town away from home. I decided to keep the baby and I need to work hard to keep us alive. I have two jobs. I do dishwashing in the morning at a restaurant two kilometers away from my stinking little apartment, while I go to the store from eight in the evening till midnight. I know what I’m doing is risky for me and my pregnancy, but I need my jobs to pay the rent, bills and for my food. I have never imagined life would be this hard. Especially for a young girl like me who should still be in school and inside the classroom. But instead I’m here in this convenience store working my tail off. I missed my once wrapped in cotton wool life but I need to show them I can make it.
“Eunice, you haven’t paid the rent for thee months already, if you can’t give me the full payment tomorrow, then I’m afraid you may need to find a new place to stay.” Adelaide, our landlady, warned when she saw me one night arrived from work.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I don’t know where on earth will I produce money to pay my three months rent. The last time I made cash advances, my employers told me that that would be the last time already because I have made so many cash advancements ever since I get in the job. I thought of going back home but I can’t for fear of rejection for the second time. I cried myself to sleep that night, still not having answers to all my problems.
The next day after my shift, I decided to walk my way home, notwithstanding the chilly weather outside. My feet were heavy as I padded along the cold December night. But still I could feel the hot tears trickling down my face. I stopped and sat on the sidewalk as I sobbed all the pains I am feeling. The rain started to pour and so are my tears. Then all of a sudden, I felt a hand on my shoulder, as I glanced up, I saw my father’s face, smiling. And although it’s raining, I can see he was also crying.
“Let’s go home now my little lamb.” He finally said. “We’ve been waiting and searching for you since you left.” With that, I stood up and hugged him, and after so many months, I felt again the feeling of being secured.
The night was getting deeper as I trudged along the dark alley leading to the apartment. The misty air and the stillness of the night bring back memories of the past. Memories that I have put on the back burner for a long time now. Memories that served as an envenom that is slowly killing and eating me wholly. Then rain drops started falling and before I knew it, thoughts kept flooding rapidly together with the rain. Then a small hand suddenly tugs me. “Come on mommy, it’s already raining, let’s get inside the car. Why do we always go in this place every year anyway? Then all you do is just look at that dirty little apartment over there” Marguerite, my daughter, inquisitively asks. “Nothing, let’s go now, I’ll explain it to you someday.”

Dapihapon

Magtatakipsilim na naman. Mag-iisang taon na pala mula nang naramdaman ko ang ganito. Bakit nga ba hindi mapuknit sa aking isipan ang iyong maamong mukha? Bakit ba tuwing magagawi na lamang ako sa dalampasigang ito ay muling bumabalik ang mga masasaya nating alaala? Alaalang nagsisilbing lason na unti-unting pumapatay sa akin.


Dapithapon nang una tayong nagkakilala. Halos hindi tayo magkamayaw sa pagkukuwentuhan habang naglalakad sa tabing-dagat at namumulot ng mga sigay. Kung minsan nama’y palihim tayong nagtatagpo sa gabi; humihiga sa buhanginan habang tinatanaw ang mga bituin. Minsan nga, naitanong mo ang aking mga pangarap na isang buntong-hininga lamang ang naging katugunan.

Ninais ko ring huwag nang uminog pa ang mundo ng mga panahong iyon at huwag nang umandar pa ang orasan dahil batid kong ang bawat tiktak nito’y hudyat din ng ating nalalapit na paghihiwalay.

Nang dumating ang araw na aking kinatatakutan, nangako tayong magtatagpo rito taun-taon. Ngunit nasaan na ang iyong pangako? Ah! Sana’y nakita ko noon pa ang tunay mong pagkatao. Sana’y nalaman ko nang maaga na bawat salita palang binibigkas mo ay taliwas sa iyong damdamin. Sana’y nabatid ko na pagkakaibigan lang pala ang tangi mong nais na inakala kong pag-ibig na. Sana’y nakita ko ang mga ito noon pa. Disinsana’y hindi ako naghintay, umasa…masakit pala.

Ang tabing-dagat ang siyang nagsilbing saksi sa inakala kong isang wagas na pagmamahalan. Ang bawat paglubog ng araw dito ay lagi na lamang nagpapaalaala sa akin ng ating mga masasayang sandali. ‘Di ko na rin alintana ang pagtulo ng luha sa aking mga pisngi. Kung alam mo lamang na sa tuwing sasapit ang mga panahong ganito, ako’y nasasabik na masilayan kang muli. Ang iyong mga nangungusap na mata, nakahahawang halakhak at paglalambing ay lalo lamang nagpapatindi sa aking nararamdaman.

“Tanga ba akong talaga o sadyang mahal lang kita?” Minsan ko nang naitanong sa aking sarili.

Sa bawat pamamaalam ng araw ay para bang lalo akong nawawalan ng pag-asang makita kang muli, dahil batid kong may sarili ka nang mundo ngayon at masakit mang isipin, alam kong hindi na ako bahagi noon. Baka nga sa pagbalik mo ay hindi mo na ako kilala…iyon ay kung babalik ka pa.

Takipsilim na at makikita ang isang taong nakatanaw sa dagat na wari’y may hinihintay. Lagi siyang ganoon…

Lagi akong ganito. Naghihintay pa rin sa pagbabalik mo. Isang suntok sa buwan ang pangarap na ito. Ngunit sana’y malaman mo, narito lamang ako, naghihintay sa dalampasigang ito. Kung saan mo ako iniwan, doon mo pa rin ako mababalikan.

Rendezvous

Sunday, January 06, 2008
It’s been barely a year since I first saw you. There you were wearing your olive green jacket. You glanced my way but I wasn’t really sure if you even noticed me.

Well, sure enough, you saw me but you really didn’t see me. My friend has told me so many things about you. That you already have someone special in your life and that with that looks you have, it’s pretty obvious that you’re a player.

It’s very rare that you visit the floor and whenever you do, I can’t keep myself from standing to search every bay and post to see whose PC you’re fixing this time. Am I mean or what? Because sometimes I wish that all the computers in the floor would all crash down so I’ll get to see you the whole day and you’ll never hide again in your secret hideout.

But there came a time that I told myself to stop dreaming about you because you’re just too impossible for me, besides I also have someone special in my life so what’s the point of yearning for you. After all, you don’t even know that I exist.

Time fleetingly passed by and nothing’s changed. Every time I see you, my heart still skips a beat and I feel the urge to come up and talk to you but I was too afraid thinking that with such busy schedule that you have, you don’t have the time in your hands to talk to someone whom you don’t even know. I’ve been thinking of smiling at you whenever our eyes meet but I was too paranoid thinking that when I do, you’ll see in my eyes the feelings I’ve been keeping inside. I know you have caught me so many times catching stolen glances at you so I assumed you already know that I do like you.

Well, it must be true that “Whenever God closes a door, He opens a window”. Because you suddenly came into my life just in time. But…did I also came just in time or am I wrong timing again?

Everything started with that 7 hued arch in the sky every after the rain, and that’s what exactly you are to me. Yes, you’re my rainbow after the rain. You turned my gloomy sky into a colorful one. But still, there’s this certain fear that keeps me from believing that you’re for real. See, your love life was in a shamble that time and I don’t want to meddle in a situation like that anymore, I guess I’ve had enough of it. I’m scared to think that like the rainbow, you’ll also vanish into thin air after bringing color into my sky.

And who would’ve thought that fairy tales could still come true? I’ve already set aside that dream of mine before but everything went against it just when I’m about to curse that thing they call LOVE.


Now, you’re here, in front of me, I know I’m into a deep fall again and though how many times I tried reiterating to myself that you won’t see me the way I see you, still I gave in. Sometimes I want to slap myself for me to wake up from this dream of mine, for this illusion might just turn out to be a disillusion after again another month or so.

Actually I want to thank the person who broke my heart before, for if it weren’t for her, I won’t be able to feel the ecstasy you’ve been giving me. If it weren’t for her you won’t even notice that I exist because of my non-stop whining about her.

Well, everything happened so fast, in just a span of 2 months we’re already inseparable. I must have done something good in the past for having you in my life right now. Who would have thought that a poor girl like me who’s just contented in loving you from afar would actually get the chance to know you, tell you I love you and be with you. Miracle or whatever you want to say, all I know is that you are my DREAM COME TRUE.

But still, there’s this certain fear. A fear that I might lose you someday. Yes I love you and so do you, but there’s this particular thing that keeps us from getting too much involved with each other. No strings attached as what they usually call it.

I know I am into another tear-jerking situation again but I love you and I’m willing to wait for you. I know how weary I am already for all the heartaches I’ve been through, I’ve had enough of my “begging attention days”. Been there, done that. Don’t worry, I can handle this, I really love hurting myself, I think it’s becoming one of my favorite hobbies already.

Yes, you’re not mine and I don’t have all the rights in the world to ask where you are, where you’ve been and who’s with you. After all, it’s just ME…I’ll just be deaf in everything I hear, I’ll just be blind in everything that I see and I’ll just be numb in everything that I feel. Yes, numb! That’s what I already am.

Well, I just want you to know how much I treasure you. You’re not mine, I know, but I still believe that someday time will come that you’ll turn my dream into an official reality.I also hope that one day, I’ll just wake up and find out that you’re already ready to stand for what you feel without extra baggage with you. I’ll wait no matter how long it would take…I’ll wait.

But please don’t make my waiting like an eternity. Because the least thing I would want to happen is getting tired after everything and then finding out you’re all set again to make everything official. And for the nth time, I’m telling you this, I’m not the person who easily gets tired of someone especially if the person is just too special like you. I hate waiting but for you I will make an exemption. You know I’m just here, and anytime you want to meet me and make everything all right, don’t hesitate to go. I’ll just be still and wait here in our meeting place. For now, I’ll just stay here and wait till you come and tell me that you’re now ready to spend the rest of your life with me.

You Love Him,..You Love Him Not

Sunday, April 01, 2007

You can’t sleep every night because every time you close your eyes, it’s his face you see. You said it was only a crush but are you sure you aren’t head over heels with this major cutie?

Read the following signs to find out if you’ve fallen really hard over your dream dude or he’s merely an infatuation.


  • You find yourself saving all his text messages for you and even jot it down in your diary, with… take note, the date and time it was sent.
  • You started fishing information about him,.
  • You find yourself going to the places where he usually hangs out.
  • You keep all the little things he has given you, even that scratch paper you asked from him during examination.
  • You don’t mind talking to him on the phone for more than an hour even if it’s already your final exam the next day.
  • His number is on the speed dial of your cell phone, and you’ve actually memorized it, even his landline number.
  • You unconsciously find yourself scribbling his name on every page of your notebook.
  • You invent different names out of your names combines. (Actually it’s the name of your future child with him. Dream on!)
  • You think that all his jokes are funny (even the ones that are not).
  • Even if he’s really getting on your nerves, you just can’t stay mad at him. A simple text or a smile from him is already enough to melt your heart away. (sigh!)
  • You’ve memorized all his favorite songs and even practiced singing them (It doesn’t matter whether it’s a love song, R&B or rock)
  • You stated to read his horoscope. Who knows what lies ahead of his future, maybe it’s you.
  • Your heart skips a beat every time you hear his name
  • You’d never decline his invitation (not unless you’re bed-ridden or just really insane)
  • You’d take the risk to call him just to hear him say “hello” and after that hang up the phone (just be sure he doesn’t have a caller ID


The Fallacy on Homosexual Relationships: Is it Love or Lust?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It is still difficult to fathom why Homosexual love exists because since time immemorial it has been branded that Homosexuality is immoral and plainly wrong. Others relate Homosexual love to lust thus giving an impression that God strongly condemns this affection because lust is considered one of the seven capital sins which was later manifested through the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Others blatantly pronounced this act as ethically wrong and strongly stand on their views that there is no such thing as love between persons of the same sex and gays only misunderstood their sexual desire to love to give justification on their relationships. On the other hand, supporters of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexuals strongly articulate that such belief are nothing else but narrow mindedness and arrogance.

Perhaps the first thing that one must determine in order to assert if Same-sex love is promiscuous is the question of Homosexuality. Some believe that “anything unnatural is sinful, and that homosexual sex is unnatural” (Gay Church n.d.) But according to UCLA GBLT, homosexuality is not unnatural since it occurs generation after generation, despite some cultures' strong prohibitions. The article also stressed that ones sexuality or gender is not a choice, rather it chooses the person. Just like one cannot choose the color of his eyes and his being left-handed. (UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Resource Center n.d.) So, if Homosexuality is natural, then it can be concluded that Homosexual love can also be considered as a Heterosexual love and cannot be considered as a threat to the society.

“Love is a force of nature” so goes the teaser of a controversial film that shocked the film industry in U.S. Brokeback Mountain is a film which tells the story of two young men – a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy – who meet in the summer of 1963, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love. (Johnson n.d.) Contrary to the usual notion, this movie is not primarily to promote gayness in any form neither a western film about cowboys but a film about human and a picture of love in a different perspective. A love between two men.

With this, the issue about homosexual relationship, especially in US, aroused several arguments once more and still, non partisan consistently condemn and reiterate that love, not in God’s plan, is not love at all. Love and lust are often misconstrued but the only way to know which is which is to test their longevity. It has been tried and tested, love can withstand years while lust can only last in just a few days or even in just an hour. So, if one’s going to look at it clearly, if Homosexual relationship is only about lust, how does one explain relationship of this kind that lasted for so many years and some, even forever?

While it is true that each person has a free will to choose whom to love, still, it is easier said than done. And yes, love is indeed a force of nature that once it hit someone, it leaves people weak, disabling them to fight that compelling attraction to someone, regardless of age and even gender. Who have heard of someone wishing “Someday I’ll grow up and I’ll marry a girl like me and we’ll live happily ever after.” No one! Destiny or not, God has a reason for everything, even the beat of one’s heart has an explanation.

Perhaps the greatest gift that mankind can receive is world peace. Everyone has been wishing for that what seem so distant word but still it remained far-flung from humanity. Why? Simply because up to now, instead of people walking their talk of spreading love all over the world, they let their bigotry rule over them without even giving chance for others to love and be loved in return. Jesse Davis (Inner Self n.d.) emphasized in his article that Gay people also live on the same planet with the rest of the people and everyone should be open about it instead of pretending that they don’t exist.

If it’s morally wrong to love a person who is of the same sex as hers then how can one typecast someone who straightly condemns and discriminate his fellowman? Also, as what is mentioned in the article, “Accepting homosexuality”, time will come that members of the third sex will soon be dating and seeking companionship from members of their same sex. (Davis n.d.) It’s a known fact, just like heterosexuals, homosexuals are also humans who need love just like anyone else. It would be so unjust to forbid them from the thing that is human nature.

Maybe it would take a long time for everyone to accept the reality that Homosexual love exists and needs the respect it deserves. That these people did not choose to be gays or lesbians nor to be a hazard in the society. If some people think that Homosexuality is such a sad life, then think again, perhaps it’s also them who make the lives of these persons depressing by reproaching them to exercise their rights to love. The formula is simple, people just need to understand and respect every individual regardless of their sexual orientation and stop being too righteous because each person is equal in the eyes of God in spite of color, age, profession and gender.

As what Lowe said in his article “…you cannot reason a person out of a position he/she did not get into by reason in the first place. So very many have no reason, only prejudice, for their homophobia, for they have never studied homosexuality.” (Gay Church n.d.) Therefore, it is hard to argue with someone on a topic as sensitive as Homosexual Love, especially if the person have not had any experiences yet dealing with the third sex. Moreover, if his eyes are still shut and his mind is still close refusing to accept the real world outside his comfort zone.


References:

Davis, J., [no date]. Accepting Homosexuality. [online]. Altamonte Springs Florida &

Delta, British Columbia. Available from http://www.innerself.com/

Relationships/accept_homosexuality.htm [Accessed 13 March 2006].

Johnson, R., [no date].Brokeback Mountain [online] New York Times Company.

Available from http://gaylife.about.com/od/moviestheatre/a/brokebackmovie.htm

[Accessed 13 March 2006].

Lowe, B., [no date]. Appendix B. Bible Passages on Same-Gender Sex [online]. GALIP

Foundation. Available from http://www.gaychurch.org/Gay_and_Christian_YES/

a_letter_to_louise/Appendix_B.htm [Accessed 14 March 2006].

UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Resource Center., [no date]. What

Does It Mean? [online] UCLA.Available from http://www.lgbt.ucla.edu/what%20does%

20it%20mean.htm [Accessed 13 March 2006].

Mailing List: Subscribe Or Unsubscribe?

Saturday, March 18, 2006
As Featured On Ezine Articles


“It’s not about what you know but who you know”


This statement is true when it comes to marketing. Competition nowadays is very stiff and as a businessman, one can no longer ensure the stableness of his business like the way it used to be. Different enterprises has been sprouting like mushrooms that in just a blink of an eye he will just wake up and realize that his business is already down to its foreclosure. Entrepreneurs cannot always rely on the loyalty of the customers either since if they are given a more attractive price, goods and services, then definitely, they won’t even hesitate to switch to its competitor.


Now this is where marketing enters the picture. The most important thing in business is retention and to always keeps the business in the spotlight. And establishing contacts always does the magic when marketing is the topic. It’s just a matter of getting the right information from the right person.


So how does one establish contacts anyway? There are several ways on how to produce wide arrays of connection to make product marketing much easier. Ever heard of the term “Mailing list?” Mailing list is a list of names and e-mail addresses. On the other hand, this list may also include home address of a person. From this list collected, forms a database which is very important if one is dealing with an online marketing sector.


At this moment, the question at hand is where to get that list of names and e-mail addresses? The basic way to build a mailing list is by securing names and address information from people who shows interest in a particular product. Some coffee shops, usually have fish bowls positioned in an area near the counter where customers can easily spot it and drop their business cards for free mailing lists if ever the coffee shop have an upcoming promos.


For online marketing, one should regard the mailing list as the most important facet in a business because without customers there would be no profit. Thus, they should be taken care of, both old and new.


There are various ways wherein one can get the information he wanted, for increase of contacts, through the internet. Many hate pop ups but promoters of particular services or products actually love pop ups that they even pay just to have them. But why break bones when you can have pop ups do all the workings? Plus the good news is that these allegedly annoying stuffs are only for free.


The website http://www.homemadebooklets.com offers a free account to let your promo and services appear through pop up windows in somebody else’s homepage. Well, that’s too much of an exposure and worth the two minutes you spent on just signing in.


So how does this work? When a pop up window appears in the middle of the net surfing, tendency is that the user will just ignore it and click the “x” button without even taking time to read its content. Others, who get irritated with the windows that continuously show up, will eventually decide to take time in reading what that window was trying to convey, and if the offer interests him, he’ll just simply check the box to get a free report or offer. Here’s the catch, once they did that, they will be automatically added to the auto responder series and he can be contacted automatically by the owner of the pop up without the latter even lifting a finger.


Aside from pop-ups, special offers by TIME.com and CNN.com is one good way of gathering e-mail addresses as a part of their mailing list. The objective is clear, visitor or even regular patrons of the site who wants to avail of the special offer “Get 6 issues of TIME for only $1.99” just needs to simply fill out the order form and give out information like names and e-mail addresses. This also goes with CNN’s free membership. The member benefits they are offering like breaking news e-mail alerts, sports news and score alerts, CNN/Money's portfolio tracker and a wide variety of e-mail newsletters plus the games and trivia is really an offer without even spending even a cent.All of these just for an e-mail address only and giving it out with a reputable company like TIME and CNN won’t hurt either.


They say that it is a lot harder to acquire new customers than to keep a current one, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the loyalty and trust of both? Keep in mind that business is all about marketing and networking. Take care of the current, look out for future and watch how the mailing list grows. Then, at the end of the day, one will realize that a marketing genius can really go far in business but a person with lots of links and contacts can go farthest.


Sources:

http://www.soaringprofits.com
http://www.asashop.org
http://www.entrepreneur.com

How Contagious is the Viral Marketing?

Everyone who’s involved in marketing or advertising has already mastered the art of reaching their target consumers in a fast, effective, easy and even cheapest way. There are lots of ways and means on how to touch prospective clients and the television is proven to be the most effective yet expensive way. Nevertheless, with the fast boom of technology, the Internet is now also considered as one of the easiest and comfortable avenue to disseminate product awareness.


The word “free”, perhaps, is the most compelling word in a marketer’s vocabulary and this is basically what Viral Marketing is all about. From the term itself, which is coined from the word “Virus”, viral marketing is a marketing technique which is similar to a spread of an epidemic that can reach others through word of mouth to increase brand consciousness.


Viral Marketing has been popular because it’s been proven to be more efficient than the others. It makes advertising easier, and it can obtain a high and rapid response rate at a relative low-cost. Remember, if one likes a particular service, a person will tell it to his friend then his friend will pass it to her friend, therefore, a word or mouth marketing starts. However, one main weakness of this technique is that messages, which are usually send through e-mails may look like spam mails, thus creating a bad impression on the brand and without knowing it, the said promotional messages will just be sent to the e-mail’s trash bin.


One typical example of viral marketing is the Hotmail.com wherein the tactic goes like this. They give away free e-mail service, then every message they sent has a simple tag at the bottom which says “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com”. On the other hand, those who receives the e-mail will be able to see the note below the message and it will encourage them to get their own e-mail address with hotmail since it is just for free then the list goes on, the propelling of message to reach a number of recipients hence increasing social networks.


There are several types of viral messages and methods of transmission. One type is the pass-along message which encourages users to pass the message to others. One example of this is chain letters which prompts readers at the end of the message to forward the e-mail to a number of users believing that they’ll get good luck if forwarded and bad luck if done otherwise. Another form would be the infamous anonymous matching on ecrush.com which requires a user to create a list of friends or acquaintances they secretly crush on. A match only happens if the object of their affection responds by logging in and does the same. Most of these services allow users to email anonymous messages notifying them that a concealed person fancies them. Hopeful romantics become hooked up on this marketing as they aim to find out if their crush also feels the same for them.


Also, the process of dissemination can occur in various ways. It may be through word of web where it converts web-based information into an e-mail. One classic example is the article from CNN.com wherein there’s a link that encourages someone to send a particular article to a friend. Another sample would be the word of email, which is considered to be the most common type. It’s just the simple forwarding and exchanging of e-mails such as jokes and the like. But perhaps, the fastest mode of transmission would be through instant messaging such as Yahoo messenger, ICQ, Google and MSN since this is most popular among young people and a link referred by a friend is more likely safe than by some unknown sender through e-mails.


Sometimes marketing companies even offer rewards or special offers for referring customers, encouraging the use of the aforementioned methods. Freebies and discounts can be music to the ear of everyone especially if acquiring them is just as easy as counting from one to three. This is probably one of the main reasons why marketers prefer this technique among others.


For a viral marketing to be successful, an effortless transfer of marketing message to others is important and this works famously on the internet because on the spot transmission is a lot undemanding and less costly. Also, from a marketing point of view, it is essential that the message to be transferred is simple to avoid degradation. In short, the principle of KISS must be followed. Keep it short and simple so that marketing message would not trigger the recipient to aim the mouse pointer to the “report as spam” button.



Sources:

http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing

Ebooks: Now You're Talking

Electronic books or commonly known as Ebooks are fast becoming popular with today’s busy lifestyle. This is especially suitable for those people who don’t have much time in their hands to read books but can’t get their favorite sci-fi books out of their hands.


Ebooks can be acquired through the net with fee or sometimes even for free. It has become increasingly common that e-books can get pretty quite addictive at times. And why not? Getting an e-book spare someone from traveling to the nearest bookstore to get his very own copy of his much beloved series not to mention that it’s only for free and won’t even eat up a single space in the book shelf.


Ebooks can be enjoyed on laptops, Palm, or even Pocket PC. But guess what? Fanatics can still get hold of the stories they want while doing something else sans the strain in the eyes they get from reading. So give those eyes some rest and let the ears do the working.


Now, the latest innovation of ebook is finally here to meet the growing demands of readers, who, in spite of their active schedules, still want to catch up with their pledge of being ultimate book worms. The Audio Ebooks are the digital counterpart of a traditional book on a tape wherein the content is in Mp3 format that can be played on a computer, cassette player or even on portable Mp3 players. Nowadays, aside from the old tapes and CDs that are being used, there are actually a lot of free and paid audio ebooks that can be found on the net.


Some of the well-known audio ebooks that are now available are the A Midsummer Night's Dream of William Shakespeare, Don Quixote by Migeul de Cervantes,The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Complete listings of free audio ebooks can also be downloaded on the Project Gutenberg site which is http://www.gutenberg.org/audio/thelist_computer.


Audio ebooks can also be a big help to children who loves books but can’t read yet because some fairy tales have with them a CD which can be played along as the child scans the pages of her book. In that way, the child gets to know the story of Cinderella even before she learns how to read. What's even great about exposing children in audio books at a young age helps hone the child’s listening and comprehension skills plus it sharpens ones imaginations.


Also, aside from books, lectures, public radio programs, newspapers, such as New York Times, and magazines, which includes Scientific American, an audio ebook version of them is also available for easy comprehension and comfort.


In addition, if one feels overwhelmed enough to create his library of audio ebooks, there are also some useful sites on the web which converts ebooks to audio.


With the help of TextAloud.com, converting of ebooks to audio can be hassle free already. This site also offers a variety of voices to choose from that it’s impossible not to think that a real person is actually reading the text in live. Perhaps, it is because behind those voices are the author of the books itself or a professional actor.


Have a penchant for foreign languages? TextAloud.com can also help you in learning Spanish, French and German because they also read ebooks using the following languages. It’s like hitting two birds at a time. You get to learn other languages while listening to a story. What an offer, right?


In the near future, with the vast booming technology, it is not hard to visualize seeing more number of people walking or just simply sitting in one corner with ear phones stuck on their ears with a distant look in their eyes as if they are being traveled into some distant place. Don’t fret, they’re just too amused and focused on their audio ebooks that they couldn’t care less of what people might think.


So the next time, while stuck up in a traffic, waiting in queue for a movie or even while traveling in a bus , instead offreaking out or killing yourself from boredom, why not get your Mp3s and give your ears some exercise and your brain some food?



Sources:

http://www.gutenberg.org/audio/thelist_computer
http://nextup.com/TextAloud/ebooks-to-audio.html
http://www.lib.rochester.edu/main/newsletter1-5/vol5-audio_ebooks.htm
http://www.successconsciousness.com/ebooks_benefits.htm
http://childrensbooks.about.com/cs/forparents/a/audiobooks.htm
 

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