They’re staging a google bomb

I said in an earlier post that activists should consider taking the protest against President Arroyo to online social networks and using Google bombing. The Young Radicals blog has started the campaign, calling anti-Arroyo online forces to link “pekeng pangulo” to her home page at Kgma.org.

The blog is also calling for the Google bombing of the Department of Justice website with “sira ulo;” and the Gov.ph portal with “gobyernong bulok.” By using Tagalog keywords, the google bombing would be easier since they’ll have to compete with fewer sites than, say, trying to google bomb the President’s home page with “liar” or “fake president.”

Cafe chain pushes censorship body for Philippine Internet

Please excuse me while I puke.

Netopia, according to this Inq7.net article, is “urging” the government to create a censorship body to monitor the local Internet infrastructure. An official of the Internet cafe chain says the body “will operate similarly to the Movies Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and provide guidelines for the compliance of Internet service providers.”

Netopia President Raymond Ricafort told Inq7.net: “The government can discourage users from visiting indecent web sites in the same manner that they discourage adult films.”

Mr. Ricafort, if the government will discourage us from visiting sites in the same manner that they have been labeling certain films as “for adults only” then we’re fucked. And how, in Torquemada’s name, can you impose “decency” in the local Web infrastructure? By playing Big Brother and monitoring the traffic? How will you “prevent pornographic materials from being distributed through local ISPs?”

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Journalists who dont yet ‘get’ blogs

Journalism consultant Paul Conley describes three groups of journalists based on their awareness on blogging. The first group, which he describes as the “bright and ambitious,” has a good understanding of web logs and ‘at least a passing understanding of the fundamental shifts in media.’

The second group, Conley writes, ‘consists of people who don’t understand a thing about conversational editorial, but think that they do.’ He says these people demonstrate ‘shockingly low levels of curiosity.’ Conley says that if a publishers convinces someone from this group to blog, ‘all you’ll get is a poorly written column that appears in reverse chronological order.’ The blog, he says, ‘won’t be conversational.’

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Blogging a beauty pageant

Sun.Star Cebu’s Bisaya tabloid Superbalita is celebrating its anniversary. Part of the activities is the search for Miss Sun.Star Superbalita 2005. The Superbalita staff wanted a blog for the pageant so I created the Miss SuperB! blog, using WordPress, last night. I used the Vader style of the K2 theme.

Superbalita wants all blog entries to be in Bisaya. This is part of the paper’s campaign to popularize the use of conversational Cebuano, including in cyberspace. I am now a blogger for Miss Super B! and I’ll be covering parts of the event and interviewing some of the candidates. It is, needless to say, a job that many in the newsroom would kill for.

Coming soon from PCIJ: podcasts

A few months after starting its blog, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism is set to produce podcasts. According to this INQ7.net story, the podcasts are to be delivered in a radio show model, complete with speakers, guests, background music and sound clips.

This is great news. With blogging, PCIJ broke free from its previous news cycle. As I said in an earlier post: Before starting their blog, PCIJ was largely left out of the day to day coverage of news events. Youd expect PCIJs take on a news event weeks after the story breaks and it would come in a multi-page and multi-part article that would thoroughly dissect the issue.

Revisiting Serversidewiki.com

Early this morning I revisited my ServerSideWiki.com account for the first time in more than a month. I used my account again because the free host of my ZiddlyWiki, Freezope.org, was inaccessible this morning and my previous host‘s service has become intermittent. As I said in my previous posts on ZiddlyWiki and ServersideWiki, the free account of ServerSideWiki is already sufficient for most users, if they use it merely to keep notes. I group my notes into: blog, wordpress, journalism, personal and into my different tasks in the newsroom-online, column and copy desk. These still fit into the 10-page limit of the ServerSideWiki free account. Unless anyone knows of a more stable free Zope account provider, I’ll just stick with my free ServerSideWiki account for now.

Radical WordPress theme

I changed the theme of Sun.Star’s Blog Chronicles to Kiwi, a theme that’s so different from most WordPress themes available. I still have to customize the design, though. For a while, I thought of using it for this site but I still have to find a way to implement asides the way it is being implemented in my current theme. This post, by the way, is an aside and is displayed differently from my regular blog posts.

Protests in the time of Friendster and Google bombing

When you say protest action, the typical tibak or activist will tell you about methods in staging rallies, what to bring in gatherings etc. (in my time they told us to bring toothpaste and a hanky and to write the name of a lawyer and his phone number in our wrist). Online protests don’t seem to be part of the arsenal of political activists.

Critics of President Arroyo, for example, limit their actions to organizing assemblies, staging rallies and face-offs with riot police. But in a period when many of the youth spend a lot of time online, political activists would do well to take the campaign into social networks like Friendster or Multiply.

For those with websites, they can even google bomb the president’s page so that it will be the one displayed when you press I’m Feeling Lucky while searching for, let’s say, “liar” or “cheat” or “fake president.” US President Bush’s biography page was google bombed, that’s why it’s the page displayed when you search for “failure” and click on the I’m Feeling Lucky button.

The I’m Feeling Lucky or Sinuswerte Ako result for “liar” is a Japanese website with the word liar in its domain name. Still, the site only has 783 inbound links. If a thousand bloggers link liar to the President’s page, it will be the one displayed for the I’m Feeling Lucky result.

Malacañang, on the other hand, can fight back and ask sites of its supporters to link liar to the webpage of an opposition official or the website of an organization it particularly dislikes.