Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bloggers at Venetto

It was the dedication ceremony of Hazel Recheta's four month old kid, Chaz, at Venetto along Visayas Avenue in Quezon City.

For those of you who are wondering what a dedication ceremony is, I can probably arrange a one on one seminar with Hazel's Pastor and he'll dutifully explain the intricacies of the ceremony as well as give you all the relevant passages in the Holy Bible.

Going through the ceremony was as close to an out of body experience as I could get -- my body was there but my mind was definitely in the resto's kitchen conducting an investigation of sorts and interrogating the chef.

Among the notables were fellow bloggers, Jove Francisco, Alwyn Alburo, and Joseph Morong. Avid bloggers all.

Right after the second round (by my count, since my wife Arlene and I arrived unusually early), after the small talk about what everybody was doing now, the discussion turned briefly to blogging and journalist bloggers.

Jove talked about it as if it were a movement among journalists, at least in Metro Manila, and how the community of journalist bloggers were THE THING nowadays. Personally, I have yet to find out if this is an organized movement or a social phenomena such as those described in Gladwell's The Tipping Point (which is a very good read, if you are wondering about how the dynamics of social interactions can be harnessed for marketing products and ideas).

Apparently, according to Jove, there are a number of journalists (both in print and broadcast) who have taken up blogging for a number of reasons and among them was to provide an inside take on their lives as journalists -- some personal snippets of the day behind the news that either don't get recorded on video or can't get printed or aired.

Jove, for example, writes entries on the scenes behind the news from Malacanang... There are days when his blogs are updated as many as three to five times in a single day providing a running account of the various goings on in the Palace -- from the Malacanang Press Corps dealings with the information bureaucracy headed by Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye to his observations on unfolding events such as the recent 2005 SONA. What is great about reading Jove's blog is that his entries come from the perspective of a reporter in Malacanang who has been through at least three Presidents -- though, Jove is certainly younger than a certain trilobite reporter who has been there for ages -- his accounts are tempered and disciplined as well as amusing.

Alwyn's blog is more personal in nature as well as those of Tina Panganiban Perez.

I have yet to see Joseph Morong's blog and something tells me this might be an interesting read.

My wife just started here blog a few days ago, as a way of recording her progress in painting her second reproduction of Van Gogh's irises.

Among the many things discussed, one thing that cropped up but was not fully discussed was the idea of bloggers earning some money through advertisements placed in their blogs.

Jove had said that in a recent blogger's conference (there are 8,000 Filipino bloggers, according to Jove) that it the idea of blogging for a few bucks through advertisements was acceptable, perhaps in the vein of subsidizing internet time and what not.

Of course, those of you who have been reading my blog will know that I have been using Google Adsense and have been writing about various ways of earning money through this affiliate program.

What Jove had broached, I think, was the possibility of local advertisers (Philippine companies) advertising directly through Filipino bloggers. This is a tantalizing prospect, in my view, because it holds the promise of providing bloggers with advertising revenue under a more transparent system.

Bloggers who really do come up with useful content (such as real accounts of current events, intelligent commentaries, reviews on various products/services, and such) deserve to get paid for their efforts.

One thing for sure is that a number of global companies subscribe to RSS feeds and to some extent use bloggers' writings in a number of ways -- among them is to gain feedback which can be used to fine tune their product or service, provide data for marketing and public relations, etcetera. This is a good thing for them because they can get it for FREE.


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