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Friendster and Facebook in the Philippines

I am not the type of person to spend much time on Social Networking sites such as Facebook or Friendster. In the early days of the Internet, There were Bulletin Boards where you could leave a message and wait for someone to respond. This worked like Forums work today. By the time I got involved on the internet, in the mid to late 1980’s I would go to specialized chat rooms to chat and then used programs for smaller groups by invitation such as Powwow, ICQ and AOL’s Instant Messenger. Now Yahoo has become the big communications tool. Most people have a Yahoo email address and use Yahoo for their search and individual internet live communication.

Mostly I enjoy face to face communications, and in the States using a landline telephone. With the Internet at times use Yahoo IM or GTalk from Google. With the addition of being able to use some form of microphone and speakers you can set up a voice call and if the speed is good, use a web camera to see each other while talking.

Before relocating to the Philippines I remember hearing all the news about MySpace. I am not sure if it was the first, but one of the frontrunners of the Social Networking sites. MySpace was primarily used by teen age children. Without realizing the risk of giving out too much personal information for the whole online world to see, this form of communication had caused many problems.

When I moved to the Philippines I heard about Friendster. This was a social networking site mainly used in Asia and I also heard about Facebook which was mainly used in the States. Recently many Filipinos have moved over to Facebook from Friendster. I think it is because it has more applications for the users to occupy their time and keep them onsite. Since I keep in contact with friends and family with emails, I saw no need for myself to have an account with either. Then one day someone mentioned these sites could increase visitors to my Blog site. I wondered how since most people I know already knew I had my site. But anyway I joined. I put my site title and a link to my URL and guess what; I did not get any hits.

I rarely visit Friendster any more but I do go to Facebook often to see if any old friends have located me. One of the main uses for Facebook was to put messages on your “wall” for your contacts to read. It is like the now popular site Twitter. I see friends putting a comment about how their day went, what they ate, or any little comment to share. Even though many people enjoy this type of communication, it is something I do not do. I am not saying I am right, and they are wrong, or visa-versa, it is just not for me.

Facebook now has many applications; one of them that have taken over is FarmTown and FarmVille. It is similar to the old program SimCity where you get a piece of land and plant different crops. Each item you want to plant has a cost, a growing duration until you need to harvest and a payment once you harvest, as I understand it, you go to a market and sell. The more points you make the more items available for you. You have the opportunity to get better priced crops, houses, animals and other amenities. If a crop is ready for harvest and you are not online to harvest them, they go bad and you lose your crop. You also can have friends that will offer you to plant, plow, or harvest their crops for payment. You can also go to a location and offer yourself to work for other farms that you’re not connected as a neighbor or friend. I am writing with very little knowledge since I do not play. I spend time writing articles, answering comments and other activities. I do not want to limit my time to have to worry about when my strawberries need to be harvested.

Many of the wives of expats here are playing this game. They spend hours working their farm, or helping others. I hear of some players that have to wake in the middle of the night because they need to harvest.

I think in the future, there might be a Facebook Anonymous application for the addictions to these games. You will see in the chat area “Hi my name is ______ and I am addicted to FarmVille.”

On Facebook and all their games available, the hours spent online and the advertisements on every page, the owners of facebook must be making a fortune. I guess I wish I could figure out to have a site to get this much activity.

Are you a FarmVille FarmTown or another Facebook application Addict? Let me know.

Are you a FarmVille Addict? Let me know.

21 Responses to “Friendster and Facebook in the Philippines”

  1. vicki says:

    I’m on FB, but don’t use the apps except for the “We’re Related” and “MyCalendar.” I always block other apps because I’m paranoid about phishing and ID theft. A suggestion to get traffic to your blog site: post a link to your current article on your status update. Also, have a link to Facebook here on your site and ask people to friend you. That’s how I found out Bob Martin was on FB. I looked for a FB link here, but couldn’t find one. I saw one of your comments to Bob and added you from there. I’m also on Friendster because of my cousins. I’m trying to convince them to shift to FB because I find it easier to keep up with their day-to-day lives.

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for finding my site, visiting and commenting. I started the Facebook page thinking if old friends and relatives found me on FB they would visit my site. Actually, I get very little followers from FB here and most old friends and relatives do not bother. I will try the link from here to FB and see what it does. Most of my readership are people that are expat wannabes looking for information about living here, expats already here from other parts of the Philippines and Filipinos both here or abroad. I do have some friends from Davao that follow this site. I have new friends from connection through this site. I enjoy all may readership and wish more would comment so I can know them better.

  2. Gene says:


    I enjoyed this post with a smile on my face. Made me think about my nieces and nephews here in the Philippines who seem to almost live on these type of sites. I/we tried facebook and quickly dicided it would take more time than we wanted to be active and “up to date” on it.
    But as a way to get more interest and activity on your own Philippine site, it might be worth sending your post to Harry The Horse in AC. I’m sure he would include it in his monthly online publication. It would get many reads there and many would agree with and enjoy your point of view. He is located at:


    • Bruce says:

      I am glad I added a smile to your face. Because of my nieces schooling, they haven’t spent much time on their Friendster pages. But now, Elena has enlisted them to join Facebook and start farming. I have a problem when they are running FB on 2 computers, mine crawls to a stall.

      I looked at Harry’s site and a few articles. I do not see any area he shows links and from the few I looked at, it looks like it is just articles of his adventures (being politically correct). If you think he would post a link to my articles or site, and if you know him, maybe you can check it out and make the intros.

      I still would enjoy posting a guest article at times about a family man living in Sin City.

      • Gene says:

        Good Morning Bruce,

        Am enjoying my 2nd cup of coffee and again you made my day. This time with a good laugh. I assume you have cable internet in your “barn.” You can borrow my sisors and cut the cord-as it were. For sure that will speed up you connection. Hahaha!!
        I have never met Harry and only know of him through his website. I’ll try sending him an email and see if I get a reply just for fun. I suspect he will post any letter you send him as is and would not edit out your site address if you include it in your mail to him.

        For me to write stories about life in Angeles I would probably have to get out and around trying the different “tasties” and night spots. Hmmm, I wonder if my wife would object to me trying the “menu” at some of those late night “snack shops???” Seriously though, we live in a resettlement about 8km from the wild world of Angeles City and don’t know what I could find to write about.
        I could list the names of those I put in our Brgy jail (we are both members of the Brgy police and PNP anit-crime unit)and I could even tell everyone how many fish our neighbor bought this morning. But somehow, I don’t think that would be of much interest to all the readers.
        But I’ll try to put something in writing and shoot it past you before too long.

        Have a great day and let me know if you need my sisors! Hahaha


        • Bruce says:

          We use PLDT. IF it keeps up having problems, we might change providers. Any story about life as a Expat, or interesting observations would be nice. Something you would like to share to inform life here from the perspective “This is the way it is” not sugar coating but not making it look like hell. Just for people to know it is not America and things are different.

  3. Alan says:

    AS the Baptist preacher would say “Amen Brother” 🙂 I have Friendster and Facebook accounts also but simply don’t have time to get into the games like Farmville . I sometimes wonder if that fact hurts or helps on-line relationships . One thing i did run across stunned me and that was that the Philippines was dead last in all of Asia in terms of internet usage . Hard to believe given all the cafe’s here . 🙂

    • Bruce says:

      Just to see what it is like, I started playing Fish World. It is boring and will probably let my fish die soon and never play again.
      I do not see the internet dieing here or anywhere. More and more are buying laptops and most internet cafes are full late afternoon and evenings.

  4. Gene says:

    From what I see here in the Angeles area, all internet cafes are full most of the time with lines waiting outside even. All kids and all using the internet. But also from what I have seen, they are not using the internet for research or for even sending emails. Rather what I’m seeing is everyone in each “cafe” spending time and money for internet use to play online games. Maybe thats the reason for low internet usage stats from here???

  5. Hi Bruce: I see you in Face Book. Like you I do not get readers for my blogs from Face Book users. One thing good about FB, I found long lost relatives. I joined Blog Catalog and the group, “Read my blog and I will read yours”. So far I have a dozen readers via this route. Try joining blog catalog, it is free.

    • Bruce says:

      I belong to BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog. I get very few readers from there. I think it is like facebook and other social network sites where people just like to add to build up their community list but never visit the sites. Many of these Blog network groups are the cause of so many hits of 00:00 time and 1 page views.

  6. Marvin says:

    The rumor I heard about friendster was they started in SF, California where it had a huge Filipino following, because of this it spread quickly to the Philippines. FaceBook was popular everywhere else. Now with Farm Town pinoys are switching over. If you work on your farm in the evening here its almost all Filipinos. I set up a router in my dorm, and every student with a laptop is playing farmtown instead of friendster versus last year at this time.

  7. Tom says:

    Farming? Fish? It does sound like wasted time to me. Thye should be playing HOI and learning to subjigate the world through brutal conquest and exploitation. Now there is time well spent. 🙂 😎

    • Bruce says:

      Between keeping this site going, trying to get some others up and running, and my content writing job 2 days a week, I have no time for any computer games. I am lucky to watch a tv show to relax in the evening. I tried the Fish World game to see and spend maybe 5 minutes a day on it. Probably let it go and let all the fish die soon. I have no patience or time to sit building a farm 15 hours a day. oh,,,,, need to go feed my virtual fish. hahahah

  8. Per says:

    Im much with you, Bruce. I don’t use Twitter, because I dont need to know every meaningless thing people do every 5 minutes. I dont have Facebook for similar reason, but also because Facebooks TOS says that they have the right to use any photo or anything you write and even sublicence it out without my permission nor paying me for it (even after you close your account). Being a composer and photo/pixel-artist, Im sort-of sticky about people earning money off my stuff without my permission or compensating me.
    But I _do_ have a friendster page. I was more or less forced to get one, when I started having contact with Philippinas, but I only have 12 friends there. I refuse to add people I have not had contact with and want to continue to have contact with. Actually, Im planing to delete half of my friends there, since we dont have direct contact any longer. But I found it a good way to get a better glimps into my main friends life, by the photos they post there, so they dont have to take the short time they have in the net-cafe to email me the pics.
    Also, I do have a Myspace. It became very popular as a window for composers, musicians and artists, so I decided to get one too. Im not very active, but I do have a short presentation of myself and have examples of my music and my artwork and see it as a possible tool for networking with people I can collaborate with.

    As to your comment about Facebook Anonymous… there really exist net-addiction and computer-game-addiction rehabs.

    As for games, I loved the original Myst when it first came, but have since then been rather cold about computer games.

    • Bruce says:

      I was on the internet from the early days. That was when a chat room had a few nice people and if we had more than 15, we felt crowded. I used to get up earlier in the morning to chat with friends before work and in the evening, turning on the computer was the first thing I did after turning on the lights.
      We joked about a 12 step program for internet addiction, but the problem, it was online. Maybe it is my age, I never got into many computer games except maybe solitaire.

      P.S. If I ever need, do you give free or discounted graphics help if I need a header photo or graphic for a future site?

  9. Per says:

    Im old too… my first web-browser was Mosaic, then I got the new Netscape 0.96 beta (!). Most chats where on IRC and most browsing in News Groups (not many even know what they are any longer). I had a state-of-the-art 14.4 dial up modem… Today I have a 100MB ethernet connection.

    A 12 step program online for internet addiction is rather humorous. 🙂

    I have done some CD covers and such, but I am more an artist than a graphics guy. But sure, if I can help you, I will be happy to. My payment scheme is sort-of robin hood based: if there’s lots of money involved, I want a part of it. If its a cause I believe in, its free. As far as I am concerned, you fall into the second category. Also, your blog here has given me enough value to motivate paying you back by helping you if I can.
    You can see some of my commercial art (as well as hear some of my music) on my myspace. and see some of my “playground” stuff on my flickr
    Let me know what you need, and I will see if I can make something for you that fits you.

    • Bruce says:

      I am glad you see my humor about an online 12 step program for internet addiction. 🙂
      I just viewed your photos and listened to some of your music compositions. “When evening falls” is my favorite. You do have an interesting mind as seen with your photos, graphics and music. I have no idea what I want or need. Some new sites are in the planning stages. I do thank you for the offer and will defiantly contact you if needed.

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