Last Friday, I took a leave from work to attend the gPhilippines event organized by Google at AIM Conference Center.
Having attended several tech events before (mostly organized by Microsoft), I have to say that this one had a lot to catch up on in terms of logistics. The venue failed in comparison to others I’ve attended (other events I’ve attended were in Shangri-La and other hotels) and made worst by the bad air-conditioning. The food was also lackluster. Then again, this is a free event so I should probably not complain.
Anyway, the conference did make up for these logistical flaws with the content.
The day started off with Welcome Remarks from Usec. Manuel Quezon III, PCDSPO. Although there was an air of politics (and a sense that he was campaigning) in how he spoke, he was able to highlight some key projects by the government which will use Google technology to disseminate information.
The keynote by Loren Shuster was pretty interesting as well. Did you know what Google originating from a misspelling of the word googol? Do you know the mission statement of Google? He also went on to say how Philippines has been lauded (time and time again) as the next big thing… and that this looks to be the reality more than ever in the internet age, and is the reason why they were having this event in the Philippines first (in the Southeast Asian region).
My key take-away from the keynote was this awesome video from Dollar Shave Club.
The next talk (by Sebastian Trzcinski-Clément) is what the geeks (like myself) came for because of all the cool innovations he demoed:
- Things I was not so impressed because I have them on my Galaxy Note
- Facial recognition
- Panoramic Picture
- Google Translate on Voice
- Google Goggles
- Finding out who a local celebrity is (his example was Sarah G)
- Solving Sudoko
- Voice actions
- 360 Degree Photo on Google Maps
- The average time people spend on a page: 8 seconds. So the challenge is how to keep them longer and how to make them return.
- Tools are meaningless unless put to service
- Google Apps can be very useful for start-ups
- Ads are complimentary content
- Ads should change (continuously) to minimize the possibility of being ignored
- The top-downloaded mobile apps are either funny or useful. If you can be both, even better