I’m learning a lot both in the sessions and off-session talks with participants of the Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference here at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center.
I had a long talk with Bryan Nunez, technology manager of Witness, a website that uses video to expose human rights abuses. Bryan is a geek and an open source enthusiast. We got to talk about open source content management systems, an area that fascinates me: Mambo, Joomla, Drupal, Civic Space, Props, Cofax and even Campsite. I told him about the Xinha Here extension for Firefox and how this makes developing CMS easier because you no longer have to work on integrating a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor for your system. Bryan, here’s the link to the developer of the extension. Here’s a link to my post on it.
Bryan and I also talked about Sun.Star Cebu’s citizen journalists project. He was interested in how Sun.Star was running the site. I also got to meet Bobby Timonera (in photo) of Mindanews, Alecks Pabico said Ma’am Carol Arguillas was scheduled to arrive later yesterday.
Conference participants were treated to a dinner in a restaurant at the Manila Bay by Sen. Juan Flavier. On the way back to the hotel, I was seated in the bus with Steven Gan, editor-in-chief of MalaysiaKini, how cool is that.
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I was all set to attend yesterday’s iBlog2 summit. I’m here in Manila for the Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference organized by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.
I was scheduled to arrive before noon yesterday but the flight I took got delayed. I arrived at the hotel at past 1:00 p.m., went through my to-do lists items of things that needed to be done by then and the next thing I knew, it was already past 2:00 p.m. It would have been great to finally meet bloggers I only knew online. It would have been great to revisit the school where I spent some of my best adolescent years in. Meeting an “old flame” and finding out you can connect to the Internet in the hotel room I’m staying in saved my day.
The Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace is a very informative conference. You can download the presentations at the WordPress blog opened by Alecks Pabico last night. I also got to meet Dean Jorge Bocobo. Some of the Pinoy journalist bloggers attending it are Manolo Quezon, John Nery, Erwin Oliva and of course the members of PCIJ.
Listening to some of the speakers brings me back to a familiar line of thought that keeps coming back to me during Martial Law and Edsa 1 anniversaries, and like Jacopo Belbo in Foucault’s Pendulum—I keep asking myself whether I’d have the courage to defy fascism.
This afternoon, Rebecca MacKinnon of Global Voices and Manolo Quezon will be speaking. Manolo is scheduled to talk on “Tag-teaming against the President: Philippine case study on how bloggers and mainstream media kept a “banned” conversation going and online.”
Note to self: schedule installing of this great WordPress plugin later tonight.