You want someone to represent the Philippine blogosphere? Get Sybil

Blogger Jayvee Fernandez caused quite a ruckus in several Philippine blogs recently when he accused Janette Toral of “misrepresenting the Philippine blogosphere” for her own merit.

Clueless that I was, the first person I asked, via IM, about Jayvee’s “Bloggers, MISrepresent” post was Janette. She then told me that she suspected that she was the subject of the post. The two, it seems, have now settled the issue. Disclaimer: Janette writes a weekly column for the newspaper I work for but I do not deal with her.

I will not deal with Jayvee’s criticisms of Janette’s presentation. But I don’t think his criticisms are enough to support his allegation that Janette misrepresented “the Philippine blogosphere.”

But a core issue in the whole exchange is something that I feel strongly against. Some people have this unfortunate tendency to box blogging–and the people who practice the craft–in.

Bloggers, including Filipinos, are a varied lot. We’re not a clone army.

Some make a living off their blogs, others don’t. Some are journalists who blog, others are bloggers who are now also journalists. Some blog to get laid, others get laid off because of blogging. Some are atheists, others are devoutly religious. Some use WordPress, others Blogger, Multiply, Serendipity, etc. Some are link whores, others are plain whores (and I love them for it). Some are good cooks, others are kitchen disasters waiting to happen.

To represent such a diverse group of people, you need to have an extreme case of schizophrenia.

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The world is watching. How do you say goal in Chinese?

First off, let me apologize for the lack of postings and failure to answer e-mails and comments. Three words: World Cup fatigue. I’ve also recently breached this blog’s monthly bandwidth allocation but Ploghost‘s Abe Olandres helped me keep this site up. If you ever need a Philippine web hosting company, Ploghost should be your first choice.

From PinoyPress comes this link to a New York Times article: “The World’s Watching – and, Perhaps, Cheering.” Journalist Carlos Conde was quoted in the article as saying: “If there’s anything that can be said of my country, it’s never crazy about football. Basketball, yes, as you know, but not football. There’s absolutely no buzz here.”

Football, sadly, isn’t as popular here in the Philippines as it is in the rest of the world but over the years, its popularity has grown in the island I now call home, Cebu. With live broadcast of matches restricted to pay-per-view channels, I’ve been catching some of the matches through Internet TV, using the TVUPlayer.

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Portrait of the Filipino as blogger

The latest episode of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Pinoy Pod features several top Pinoy bloggers: Manolo Quezon, Abe Olandres, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, represented by executive director Sheila Coronel, Rickey Yaneza, and Bryan Boy. The “Portrait of the Filipino as Blogger” segment is too short because Pinoy Pod squeezed in two topics for the episode: Pinoy bloggers and two Fil-Am filmmakers.

Central to the very short discussion is the political blogs v. gossip and showbiz blogs issue. As you can see in Pinoy blog rankings like Abe’s Pinoy Top Blogs, showbiz-oriented weblogs hog web traffic.

Manolo told Pinoy Pod: “I was never upset about it unlike some other people because you just have to realize that it will always be a smaller percentage of people interested in politics day in and day out.”

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Posting with Flock

Finally, after weeks of waiting, I have now downloaded Flock. I just came from the PCIJ conference on Journalists as Bloggers in Manila where I finally got to meet Jovie Francisco, John Nery, Yvonne Chua, Ma’am Sheila Coronel, Sir Caloy Conde, JV Rufino of Inq7.net and of course Abe Olandres.I also got to meet again Alecks Pabico, my classmate during the Konrad Adenauer training for trainors back in 1997. I learned a lot from the conference and I’ll be posting entries about it later – I just have to finish tasks that have been put on hold when I went to Manila. I had an interesting talk with Ariel of PPI.

Abe Olandres: With blogging, everyone has a voice

Abraham Olandres runs some of the country’s most visited web logs: pinoyblog.com, pinoytechblog.com and yugatech.com. He is among the very few Pinoy bloggers actually earning enough from their sites to pay for web hosting and other expenses. Abe said in an e-mail interview that a month’s earnings from his Google AdSense account are enough to pay for a year’s hosting and domain expenses. Below are transcripts of my e-mail interview with him for my “See it, hear it, blog it” article for Sun.Star Cebu during the 2005 Cebu Press Freedom Week.

Max: Professor Jay Rosen of the New York University said early this year that the question of bloggers vs. journalists is over. He says the “question now isn’t whether blogs can be journalism. They can be, sometimes. It isn’t whether bloggers “are” journalists. They apparently are, sometimes.” Do you agree with his statement? Do you see yourself as journalists in the mold of reporters producing original news content or more of opinion writers who comment on news items?

Abe: Although I tend to make opinions on news, I find myself making the news or passing it up so that more people can be made aware of it faster. In that sense, one might consider the blogger a journalist.

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See it, hear it, blog it

(Note: I wrote this article for Sun.Star Cebu during the Cebu Press Freedom Week. I am reprinting it here to continue the community conversation on the topic. I will be reprinting later my notes for this story.)

Manuel L. Quezon III knew Sept. 5 would be historic. It was the day the House of Representatives would vote on a committee report dismissing three impeachment complaints filed against President Arroyo.

He was up at 6 a.m. that day, cramming as much work as he could in the morning to clear his afternoon schedule, in time to cover the House vote for his personal site at www.quezon.ph.

Quezon covered the House session live in his weblog, posting his first entry at 4:06 p.m. and ending only at 4:03 a.m. when he collapsed in exhaustion. He continued in the early afternoon of Sept. 6.

His coverage wasn’t your regular news report. It was a recap of the events written by a historian, opinion writer, speechwriter and one of the country’s top bloggers:

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