Those were the days, eh? Tobi Reyes, the founder of MyPhilippines — and of Impact Internet, a dialup ISP which has since disappeared — was building what should have become the ultimate Filipino search engine, content portal, and social hub: driven by its community (founded on the newly acquired Pinoyexchange) and funded by high-visibility product sponsorships and dozens of blinking, flashing, clickable GIF ads.
Mike Palacios of Pinoyexchange had invited me to join the revolution. I was already a politics and religion forum moderator for them, and I’d been wanting to get into web design and development, so I made the jump: I left the world of digital video editing to jump into the dotcom boom — a boom which turned bust the very month I arrived, June 2000. I should have seen it coming, I guess: NASDAQ had crashed, Silicon Valley’s extravagant partying had died down, and the “Long Boom” utopianists were falling silent.
I was there for about three months as “Web Executive.” My job was to manage a small team of web designers which got smaller and smaller till there was just me, and the company had been acquired by a Singaporean company called Impact Digital Media Group. In that time, there was a meeting, followed by a weekend of somewhat patronizing human resources team-building activities at a resort somewhere in Laguna, then a flurry of resignations over the next few weeks. When the cubicle walls and timecard punchers were installed, I left for a better offer from a video archiving company in Makati.
For a time, MyPhilippines.com continued on. Yuga took over my post well after I left, and I liked the designs that came after my rather amateur start. Today, however, nothing seems to be there but a preview ad for prepaid internet and credit cards. Tobi, are you out there? What’s up next?