The morning after. Unfortunately it’s not one after some hot sex. But no, it’s the morning after the iBlog 3 and our alumni homecoming (which I’ll write about on a separate entry).
I’d have to congratulate Janette Toral and the rest of the organizers for a really worthwhile 2 days of discussions and dialogs on blogging in the Philippine setting.
I met a handful of other bloggers too. It’s nice to be recognized by a few when I plugged myself in the open mic forum. Met up with a few acquaintances too (seen Ade face to face after a decade) and I finally got to meet Sexy Mom and BA too.
I was really asking questions then. Even when Jester-in-Exile beat me to the mic a couple of times, I caught up with a few speakers outside to push my queries there. At least I got to introduce myself and got a green light to e-mail them some of my questions.
I’m not one who has enough time to really analyze everything and review each and every word said by each of the speakers. I’d rather do that when go really deeper into things when I consolidate what I jotted down from iBlog 3 and my own research on blogging. So I’m featuring my favorite quips from the speakers and just place a comment or two. I didn’t have a recorder with me so pardon if I paraphrase some things.
- Jaime Gonzalez on E-games Community Building
Paid sponsorship spot, I presume. And I don’t mind Janette wanting to skin me for asking whether E-games is doing something about its successful diversion of students’ interests from academics to online gaming. Mr. Gonzalez probably didn’t fully understand my question. Still, I don’t think E-games as a business is going to promote something that would trim down its sales by promoting academics over its games. And for that I fear for the future.
- Dean Alfar on Literature and Blogging
I asked Dean whether it was okay to post finished works online (in blogs) as means of publication. He gave this nice advice – exhaust all means to get published first on print. Then afterwards, you can opt to post them on your blog as a means of widening readership especially if you got published in a journal to which everyone doesn’t have access. Plus, I love his remark on one should give really give thought on posting a work that has been rejected for publication (which implies the question whether the work’s even worthy). Haha. Very sound advice indeed.
- Emerson Banez on Code of Ethics
I got dizzy with his presentation so I think I failed to fully comprehend what he was pointing at. I’m all for the creation of a Code of Ethics for Filipinos. I know Tim O’Reilly just put out his Bloggers Code of Conduct. But I think it’s more worthwhile to create one for our own setting.
- Anton Diaz on Photoblogging Success Story
He gave sound advice on building on passion + skills + voice as the formula for successful blogging. And I love his metaphor of heart + mind + soul analogy. Stylistically speaking, this analogy strips away the notion of a blog as just a body of text adding a more human dimension to blogging.
However, I’d like to point out that Strunk and White (The Elements of Style) is best for long-drawn academic discussions. I even have personal qualms on using it for other communication channels such as business letters and the like and especially for blogging. Strunk and White has this piece of advice – “Do not inject opinion.” Yeah, with this piece alone, I’ve violated that rule to damnation.
In any case, writing is a discipline. So as a counter-advice, use Strunk and White for practice but feel free to be creative and explore the malleability of language to get your ideas across. Or maybe Anton’s just cautioning against bad writing in general.
As Manolo pointed out, Anton’s a half-full kind of guy. I’m always been a realist and I call things as I see them so I’d say, I’m the half-empty-and-still-evaporating type. However, even with varying points of view I won’t think anything less for his pieces of advice. It’s because I think his purpose and agenda in blogging calls for that positive outlook in life. There’s nothing dreary about Our Awesome Planet and it’s a great relief from the slew of “emo” lying around. And you can’t call our planet “awesome” if you’re a pessimist. Unless of course, you’re awed by crap.
Manolo Quezon on Political Blogging
I only got to raise my question for Manolo after his talk. I asked him about his thoughts on whether political bloggers, as middle to upper class, will only reflect middle to upper class politics and is there a risk of it being hegemonic as it will only reinforce middle to upper class agendas. To which he answered (to paraphrase – No. There is no middle class voice to speak of. We still operate in clumps. There are varying voices and opinions among political bloggers.
- Alecks Pabico on Investigative Journalism and Blogging
“Sana wala na tayong away dun (I hope we have no more arguments there)” on whether bloggers are journalists and vice versa.
The best talk for me since it gave me deeper perspectives on my research. What I like about Alecks’ presentation title is that it foregrounds journalists as bloggers. I’m still (at this point) an advocate of Vincent Maher’s proposition that the concept of citizen journalism is dead. The PCIJ, as I see it, is an institution that has effectively engaged new media but still abides by the traditions of good journalism. The PCIJ is clearly not to be categorized as citizen journalists. However, I’ll give the argument a rest. Not until I come across a good model for blogging as a medium.
Angelo Racoma on Blogging and Mainstream Media
Another talk full of great ideas. Perhaps the best part of his talk was pointing out the relations of how social news, blogs and mainstream media feed on each other to push good ideas out in the open. Perhaps a refinement of this idea could serve as a good model in illustrating the current discourse practice of news.
I left right after Angelo’s talk. Shame I missed out on the other talks.
Now in restrospect, the iBlog 3. However, I now raise the question, “How do we define ‘blog’ and ‘blogging’?” It is to my observation that people just have varied definitions of what blogging is. I have always defined the blog as a technology that aids chronicling of information online. And what users of that technology (bloggers) do with it is what further defines the content.
I noticed that several speakers notion of blogging fall in a similar line – “A blog is what you make of it.” Fair enough I guess. Fill a blog with asinine remarks and it would be nothing more than that. Fill it with commentary and punditry, then it becomes a virtual soapbox. The medium only lends to the processes of text production and consumption, and it doesn’t put the clear-cut borders on the content, perceptions, and ideologies.