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i didn't write what's partially down there...

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Some thoughts on blogging

My younger daughter was curled up on my bed yesterday afternoon. I was half lying beside her with my arm thrown across her in a loose embrace. We were having one of our girl talks. Waistline, actually, and exercising. Somewhere in the long conversation that drifted from one topic to another, I took the time to tell her how happy I was to be her mommy. She’s 11 and she’s growing into a thoughtful and generous adolescent. She would often pop into the bedroom to ask if I was thirsty or hungry or wanted a cup of coffee. She would offer her savings if I run short of cash in the house. She often does little things that, taken together, touch me in a big, big way. I guess I wanted to let her know that I am aware of them and how much I appreciated her gestures.

I’m lucky, I guess. I have two wonderful children, an equally wonderful husband, friends whose company I enjoy and, yes, even friends in the blogging community. I never really thought I’d have real friends in the blogging community. Not with the kind of blogging culture that I was exposed to during my first months of blogging. There was a time when I thought that each and every blogger looked at one another as some form of competition.

When I started blogging in 2003, there was no Filipino blogging community. I frequented a blogging community called Wanderlust (wanderlust.com). I was one of two Filipinos active in that community. From there, I got acquainted with a lot of American blogs and bloggers. This was just a few months before the Iraq War began and the impending war was the primary content of most of these American blogs. At least, the ones I found worth reading. Apart from the war, there were two other major concerns: linking and not getting into the “worst blogs list.” I remember a very popular American blog, a young woman’s diary, that was cited in the “worst blogs list” and it was the buzz for a few days. Others were saying, “thank goodness it wasn’t me” and some such stuff. But what really struck was how so many bloggers seemed to be experiencing some kind of delicious shudder over the inclusion of some but not one’s own. I thought it was something about the American culture.

I was to realize later on that it was not about the American culture. It was actually one very real aspect of the blog culture. Competition (for readers, traffic and popularity) can be so stiff that a bad thing said about one blogger would be glorified by others. Even when the ‘bad thing’ was nothing more than a subjective statement. It seemed funny that no one thought that the only real winner under the circumstances was the owner of the site with the “worst blogs list”. It was that site that really got the traffic, readers and popularity because many of those not included in the list were only too happy to link to it to show that it was not they, but someone else, who made it to the list.

Those who are not too fortunate only experience that part of the blogging culture. Those of us who are more fortunate make contact with people who will not assess us as being either an asset or a liability in the blogging community but simply as us. But whether or not we’re lucky enough to be among the fortunate few, we cannot ignore the nastier aspect of the blog culture. How should it be addressed?

When I was interviewed by the Tech Editor of the U.P. Parser last Sunday, I was asked if I believed in regulating the Filipino blogging community the way the city of San Francisco proposes to do to its blogging community. I said no. Regulation is censorship and I’d be the first screaming freedom of speech over every dimension of cyberspace. Code of ethics? I said no too. Why? Because no blogger, or group of bloggers, has the right to impose his or its standards on others. No one has the right to say this and not that is the correct language or style for writing blog entries and this, not that is the proper attitude that a blogger should take.

So, should we leave things as they are and allow some to destroy others for their own twisted reasons? No, because destruction can only happen if it is allowed to happen.

In the same interview, I was asked to give my message to bloggers. I said Go, blog! History should not be written by scholars based on second hand information. Blog about you, what goes on around you and how you perceive events and issues. It is us who should be writing history because it is us who live it. Personally, I consider it as something I owe my children. There is only so much that I can relay to them now. There is much more that I want them to know about even after I am gone.

It is the words in the blogs with enough substance that will survive. Not the petty ones. Not the ones that seek to destroy others. Not the shallow, callous ones that only gain momentary attention. Long after the blogs are gone, the ideas and the ideals will live. Set your standards high, reach for excellence and rise beyond the madness of the petty. That is the way to survive the nasty aspect of the blog culture.


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that's a post from House on a Hill
=)
that's exactly how i want my blog to be... in the future! when i'm not being so self centered with telling you what has happened in my life and my life alone. Instead i'll be posting my opinions on various cases in life...

weow. that's my dream blog! a blog that voices out my inter-relational feelings!
a different one of course, not this type...

'this is what happened to me last friday, my boyriend invited me to lunch in Napoli's and the food there is disgusting! (i'm very very sorry, i haven't tried napoli's yet! haha) i swear i won't eat there again!!'

but, instead...

'what's bringing lot's of filipinos in the line of poverty is the lack of food!! i firmly believe in the Malthusian Theory which states the improportionality of population and food supply. So i think, we better not waste the food we eat, just like what i did yesterday when my boyfriend invited me to lunch... i just puked and puked and puked..i know it's very rude to be like that so next time, when he invites me... i'll pick the restaurant.'

something like that...pero hindi ganun....err.. ung.. may relation yung events of your life to another case experienced by LOTS of people... like poverty?

blah... end of post.