It has been 1.5 years since the free Internet Marketing (IM) Program was started in June 2008 and nothing has so far been documented on this community service. So I thought maybe I should write something about it especially when we have just started 2 new groups (G10 & G11) on 28/9 and 29/9/09 respectively.

Group-1 started off with the humble floor

Group-1 started off with the humble floor

Some Histories of PECC

Personally I have been a full time internet marketer for the past 8+ years and during that time, I have been sharing/mentoring a small group of friends in my home. Besides friends, I have also taken in a few total strangers who somehow came to know me and requested to join us. Eventually we all became friends. So we have been meeting quietly and having discussions on every Friday night till the early Saturday morning.

Then came the 12th General Election on the 8 March 09 when I signed up to become a volunteer as a polling/counting agent for YB Sim Tze Tzin (Pantai Jerejak State Assemblyman) , and eventually became one of his Special Assistants for about a year before I left to focus on PECC. During the early period when I was with him, Komag started to retrench workers and we were trying to find ways to assist those who got retrenched but we discovered what we have been doing were basically fighting fires. Even if we could get jobs for them, it does not mean that they will not lose their jobs in the future. And conventionally, government will just keep trying to create jobs to keep the people employed.

Group-3 now with tables and chairs

Group-3 now with tables and chairs

But however, with the availability of technology especially the Internet, unconventional methods could be used. Example, teach the masses internet marketing so that they could have a skill to survive on their own instead of being part of the “MNC slavery” only. It is easier for the people to start their own internet business because the cost is very much lower compared to the conventional brick and mortar businesses, plus the risk is minimal.

And so I gathered about 15 of YB Sim’s election volunteers and started to form a small group to teach them IM weekly with the support of YB Sim who actually allowed us to use his service center for the training. Before long, through words of mouth, more people from all walks of life got to know about this free IM mentoring program and started to join us. The original group grew big to the extend that the service center was not able to cope anymore that we have to break up into more groups. This went on

Group-4 is getting big

Group-4 is getting big

for about 7 months until January 2009 when everything was starting to “break-up” because the service center could no longer cope with the “load”. Electricity overloads, aircond failed, lack of spaces, etc. At that time, it has already grown to 6 groups with a total of more than 200 members. You should have seen those ladies coming for the IM classes straight from work, with nice make-ups but all smeared when they left due to the heat and perspiration. 🙂

The Birth of Penang e-Community Club (PECC)

And that was the time when a few of us decided that it was time to move out and get ourselves a proper training center where people could be trained in a more conducive and comfortable environment. At the same time, we started to form a committee and registered our organization legally with the Malaysian Registrar of Societies (ROS) under the official name of “Kelab e-Komuniti Pulau Pinang” and was subsequently approved on the 12 March 2009.

Group-5

Group-5

At the same time, we have found a new place at the Sri Sungai Nibong Complex with reasonably rental and ample parking spaces in February 2009 and have been operating our IM program from there since. After having moved to our own place, we’ve added another 5 more groups and the membership eventually grew to more than 400 people as at 1 Oct 09. The cost of setting up the PECC training center was contributed entirely by the participants themselves as well as some funding from YB Sim.

IM Classes Conducted Outside PECC

Other than just doing the IM programs at our own training center, we are also working closely with YWCA to conduct IM classes for the single mothers and cancer survivors in YWCA on every Monday morning. At the same time, we are also currently working closely with Penang St. Nicholas to explore ways to teach the visually impaired the IM skills to enable them to be financially independent and to regain their self-esteem.

Over at our own PECC center, we also have participants who are visually impaired and physically challenged. Internet business is suitable for them because it provides a level playing field. Besides IM, we are also planning to conduct free internet classes for senior citizens to get them to become net savvy so as to enable them to use technology to improves their lives.

All IM trainings are currently conducted totally free as a community service and all the mentors/trainers are either full time or part time internet marketers themselves and they are all unpaid volunteers. The age range of the participants are between 12 to 60 years old.

** Next Posting: The Objectives of PECC

Group-6 was the last group to be held at YB Sim's service center

Group-6 was the last group to be held at YB Sim's service center

Group-7 was the first to use the PECC training center

Group-7 was the first to use the PECC training center

Group-8

Group-8

Group-9

Group-9

Group-10

Group-10

Group-11

Group-11

IM classes conducted weekly in YWCA

IM classes conducted weekly in YWCA

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27 Comments on Penang e-Community Club (PECC)

  1. Justin Choo says:

    Alvin,

    Great job! But I noticed a high attrition rate in my group G9. If the trend was the same with the others, then you might like to take stock of this.

    Very frankly, if not for the ever affable Kok Wei who sat beside me, I would be also a GONNER by the 3rd lesson!!

  2. Alvin Cheong says:

    Justin,

    We’ve expected an attrition rate of about 30% after 4 months. Majority of the people are looking for easy quick cash and as you know, internet business is not a “skim cepat kaya”. So after a few months, some are expected to drop out. But our main objectives have been met, which is to create awareness in the first place. Successful or not, it is up to the individual.

    Most of the people who dropped out are not serious about IM. They joined the class because it is free. So no commitment on their part.

    During lessons, they play games, surf the net, read news, facebook, chats, monitor stocks and forex, etc. Doing the IM program for free when outside commercial companies are charging thousands do have its setback. But then, we’ll still have to keep going because there are also some who are seriously trying to make a living from the net, and these are the people we’re trying to assist.

  3. Allan says:

    with or without them, IM can only get bigger and juicier in terms of $$$ …

    the believe system is very important 🙂

    thanks ALvin !

  4. Kenny says:

    Interested to know when and time you have your IM classes. Guess venue is at Sri Sungai Nibong Complex .

  5. Kenny says:

    Pls let me know when and time you have your IM classes. Thanks.

  6. SL says:

    i have interested to join IM classes. Please let me know when you have start a new group. thank you.

  7. Sukhi says:

    Am interested to participate in your IM classes. Please advise the time and how to enrol. Thanks

  8. SF Lim says:

    Hi Alvin,

    Could you pls let me know when there’s a next IM class. Thanks.

  9. Alvin Cheong says:

    Guys,

    We are providing the training for free and the waiting period is extremely long because we do not have enough volunteers to go around. Usually participants will have to wait for up to 6 months before they could get on-board with us.

    Currently it is even worst after “The Star” highlighted our work in the press. For our next intake in March 2010, all the 120 seats have been filled with a long waiting list too. So I am really sorry that we are not able to take in anymore.

    We are not only doing the IM program in PECC but also conducting “Internet Savvy Program” for the senior citizens too. As such, our resources (volunteers) are being stretched to the limit now. IM is held on Mon, Tue & Wed (4 months), while the ISP is on Fri (1.5 months). One group consist of 40 participants and the session is once a week for each group.

    The time for IM is usually from 8:30pm to 12:30am. Sometimes it could even stretch until 2:30am depending on the topic for that week. The longest session we had was 13 hours.

    We don’t do any sessions on weekend because that is reserved as our family time.

  10. Georgia says:

    I would like to find out more about your activities, when is your next e-community activities? please advice, so that I can participate in the programe. Thanks.

    Best Regards Always
    Georgia

  11. Alvin Cheong says:

    Georgia,

    The next available group will start only in February 2011. All earlier classes are already full. As we’re doing it as a community service for free, the queue is always long.

    Rgds,
    Alvin.

  12. Steven says:

    Alvin,

    I am IT savvy person and I would like to join this e-community for Feb 2011 session. How do I go about it?

    Thanks
    Steven – Penang Bayan Lepas

  13. Alvin Cheong says:

    Steven,

    Pls contact me at alvincheong[at]gmail[dot]com.

    Rgds,
    Alvin.

  14. Davina Khoo says:

    Alvin,

    I’m from Sabah. How long is the seminars go? How about if I cannot master the skills for the first lessons.. Can I join the other batch again.

    Davina,

  15. Alvin Cheong says:

    Davina,

    Actually we are not conducting seminars like those done on a commercial basis where you can only attend once. The main objective of PECC is to create a local e-community where people with the same interest could come and learn together in order to be able to live off the internet financially. There is no graduation as internet evolves into something new all the time. So it is an on-going learning process for everyone including myself. We have our own learning center where people comes back all the time to mingle and get to know each other.

    In PECC, we have a very big pool of talented members with different IM experiences and capabilities. So we will always have new people coming forward to share and teach the others. The only fixed IM sessions we do are the weekly Basic Internet Marketing classes which takes between 4~5 months to complete. And members are free to come back to attend as many times as they like. It is not a problem for us because it is a community service after all. We do have a member who has actually attended 8 rounds. 🙂

    Currently, we have members from Perlis (north) down to JB (south) and they travels weekly to Penang. Also one each from China, Philippine and Taiwan who are currently staying in Malaysia. Are you currently working in Penang?

    Rgds,
    Alvin.

  16. bygoh says:

    Alvin,

    Accidently found this webside. Great job you and team are doing. I will be interested to join any upcoming course in 2011. Pls let me know.

  17. John says:

    Hi Alvin,

    Great team you have here.
    I am interested in joining the Penang e-Community Club (PECC)

    I was wondering when will be the next batch course
    will be held?

    I am also bring my friend along.
    Do I need to register with you?

    Pls let me know. Thanks in advance

  18. Alvin Cheong says:

    Bygoh / John,

    Pls send the following details below to pecc.penang@gmail.com

    Full Name:
    Preferred Email:
    Mobile no.:
    Recommended by:

  19. John says:

    Hi Alvin,

    Already done as requested. I still have not received any replies from you on when is the next class is going to be held and where will it be.

    Prompt reply is appreciated.

    Thanks

  20. […] course, we have cancelled Discussion 2. Instead, we will have a presentation from members of the Penang E-Community Club about Internet […]

  21. CM says:

    Hi Alvin,

    I am interested in the IM class. May I know when is the next session that I can enrol?

    CM

  22. Alvin Cheong says:

    CM,

    We will be starting 2 new groups (26 & 27) in December 2011 but however they are all filled. Since the free IM program that we are doing is a 5-6 months program, the next one will only starts sometime in June 2012.

    Rgds,
    Alvin.

  23. CM says:

    Hi Alvin,

    Thanks for the reply. Can I register in the waiting list for the upcoming group (December)? Just in case if there’s anyone withdraw from the course.

    If not, I would like to register for the program in June 2012.

    CM

  24. Alvin Cheong says:

    CM,

    Yes, we can always put you in the waiting list in case someone pulls out in the last minute. Can you pls add me into your facebook so that we can bring this communication over there?

    http://www.facebook.com/alvincheong

  25. shirlee sim says:

    Hi,
    How do I register to learn?
    Please advise,

    thanks n rgds
    shirlee

  26. Alvin Cheong says:

    Hi Shirlee, I have already sent you an email with the registration details. Pls check your email for it. You are just in time because we are starting our new 29th group next Thursday (10 Jan 2013) @ 8:30pm.

    Thanks and Happy New Year.

    Rgds,
    Alvin.

  27. jehfrey says:

    Hi Alvin,
    Good day to you. I was introduced to PECC by one of my x-college. Yew Chien Chern if you know him. Reading thru most of your posts here, i am really impressed for what you did and your mission. I, too, one of the newbies that want to understand more about IM biz and its opportunities.
    May i know if you still conduct training to the public ? Kindly share details.
    Thanks.
    Jehfrey

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