Interview: Jonas de los Reyes, Community Manager at Yahoo! Philippines
With the news of another Filipino landing the coveted job as Yahoo! Philippines Online Community Manager, we hooked up with Jonas de los Reyes to get some inside info about his new role over at Yahoo. A former eCommerce Manager at decade-old Yehey, Inc., Jonas is now based in Yahoo’s SEA Singapore office but will obviously be flying back and forth to the Philippines more frequently to do his tasks in promoting Yahoo’s Filipino online communities.
First question, and for the record, what’s your official title and job responsibility over at Yahoo?
My official title is Community Manager and my job responsibility is basically to drive user engagement of Yahoo!’s community-based services like Yahoo! Answers, Flickr and Yahoo! Groups in the Philippines by establishing connections with the Pinoy online community through product blogs, message boards, emails and YM and through offline activities as well like meet-ups, road shows, workshops and seminars. In short, I’ll be an evangelist of Yahoo! to Pinoys, teaching them and helping them maximize their online experience with our products.
Since the vacant position was listed back in September 2007, I’m sure a lot of people applied for it. Can you share with us the process you underwent in the selection process? How’s it been so far?
The process was essentially like any other job application. I saw the job vacancy in Yahoo! Careers a month before it was posted in a jobs site and applied for it via email and after more than a month was contacted through mobile for the interview. What followed were two phone interviews and then an exam. After that, I didn’t hear from them again until January this year, when I was invited for a final interview in Singapore. Yahoo! flew me to the Lion City for a whole day of interviews by different people consisting of Community Mangers, Product Managers, Producers and Customer Care Managers. A month after that, I was informed the good news that I was hired (a month before I got married, hehehe).
Based on your job title, it looks like Yahoo’s strategy for the Philippines is building on community more than anything else. What are your near-term plans as Community Manager?
As far as Yahoo!’s strategy is concerned, it will be best to refer to the attached articles which outlines our plans for the Philippines. To be regularly updated on initiatives related to our communities of users, you can check the Yahoo! Philippines Answers blog.
Prior to this, you were eCommerce Manager for Yehey for 2 years. How will that experience help you in your new role as Community Manager for Yahoo! Philippines?
I believe any prior experience I have has contributed in one way or another to where I am right now. Whether that work experience before is directly related to what I’m doing now or not, the lessons, insights and learnings that I have gained from them will be something I will bring with me and I know will help me in effectively performing my new role right now.
Can you share with us any figures on usage of Yahoo sites or services in the Philippines? Which ones are the most popular among Filipinos?
Yahoo! does not break down usage figures per country. But what’s important to reiterate is Yahoo! is the Philippines’ leading Internet company, reaching 85% of all online consumers in the country and 53 million in SEA.
You’re the second Filipino (next to GM for Yahoo! PH, Jojo Anonuevo) to take an active role in Yahoo! Philippines. Are we going to see more positions being available anytime soon?
Many more Yahoos have taken very active roles in our operations in the Philippines. In fact, 20% of the regional team here are from the Philippines. This speaks volumes of the company’s commitment to the country and its users every since the Yahoo! Philippines frontpage was launched two years back. Do refer to the attached article for more reference.
The team is definitely growing and I know the company is looking for several key positions including Account Managers, Communications, Search Editors just to name a few.
Any Philippine-specific events or activities we can expect from Yahoo this year?
There are always Philippine-specific events like UP-Yahoo! Hack Day and Flickr “Eye of Philippines” Event that both took place in Manila last year. Please keep a lookout at http://www.yanswersblogph.com.
What’s your personal take on the recent issue on the proposed Microsoft-Yahoo merger/acquisition?
This is not an area I can comment on. What I can tell you is that I’m simply thrilled to represent Yahoo! in our country and be part of the team that ensures the Internet services we have come to love continue to offer us an indispensable Pinoy-centric online experience.