The reason I started blogging was to express my thoughts at that time most ephemeral commentary could be read on the op-ed papers of the Newspapers and Magazines. Some I would agree with: Some I would not and some I would agree and disagree with on specific points. The only way you can react to it and even reaching the writer was to write to the newspaper and be subjected to the whims of the Editor, for better or for worse. And to be honest one of the things that attracted me to blogging in 1999 was the ability to express myself. And at the start I was a political blogger and I still am.
From the onset there was a certain freedom in having a blog. It was like having your own newspaper. Later I learned it could be more: It could be a radio station for your podcasts. A gallery for your photos and images: It could be tv station for your video casts. It was yours: Your home online a place you called home. And initially I had moved from several blogging platforms from multiply, to blogger, WordPress and self-hosted blogs using blog platforms from WordPress and Drupal. The initial explosion of my personal blogs was big, eventually though because of the demand of time and effort I cut it down to less then five blogs then to two: two self-hosted personal blogs – baratillo.net aka Baratillo Pamphlet and RadioCubao.com.
Why I am Still Blogging:
And blogging is not the new kid on the block anymore. You have twitter, which was initially called micro-blogging, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, which is another form of blogging or tumbling as they call it. Many of the bloggers I know have moved towards Twitter and even Facebook to air their thoughts, I use them also but I have not given up on blogging for two important reasons: (i) Blogging is a long form of expressing one’s thoughts and opinions; (ii)It is your publication: your home: your kingdom: your soapbox: your pulpit: your voice not only on Facebook or on Twitter but on the Net.
George Orwell once wrote an essay on Why He Writes. He stated that one writes for the followings: (i) To Point things of beauty and interest out; (ii) To satisfy the writer’s aesthetic sense: an exercise in crafting thoughts and satisfying the Ego; (III) To entertain the readers; (IV) To record things that happen around us – To chronicle events; and (V) To move readers to act and react -whether to join a political and social cause or maybe even buying a product/service.
Myths of Blogging:
Orwell of course did not include the obvious was for the writer to earn his living. And this allows me talk about the myth of earning through blogging. During the early days of blogging there were a number of seminar who promoted blogging to earn money. Their focus was on how to increase one’s wealth through blogging – the car that blogging bought and the gadget that blogging bought so on and so forth. To be truthful this image projected then and to some extent projected now was mis-focused because: (i) Only a very small percentage of bloggers earn directly from blogging and through ads; in fact the number got smaller when Google got wise and started culling and removing blogs designed to spam and earn money with useless information – also the arrival of twitter and Facebook further diminished this; (ii) A number of successful blogs only earn indirectly from blogs they have multiple income streams from consultancy, managing bloggers, giving seminars and their day jobs. (iii) A number of gadgets or items Bloggers get are freebies or gadget for reviews parts of a marketing campaign by PR and Digital Companies something they also give to other members of media – TV, Radio and Print. (iv) And there are advertorials in other words paid posts – paid in kind or in cash. If you take away the day job and consultancies/projects earning from blogging is not really a stable source of income.
Why Blogging is Important:
And this earning through blogging actually diminishes the importance of blogging for business – which is as the official word: the official on-line publication: official spokesperson: the official and last word for a person or business not standing on platform subjected to the whims of administrators who are not the person or owner of the business. And that id why despite the presence of Facebook and Twitter, the main home of their announcement and news are their blogs. This goes the same for Google. It is their:your voice on the Internet.
The Responsibilities of Blogging
And voice or voices comes in many forms and types. Blogs that highlight products or events are only a small part of the blogging community in the Philippines. There are still bloggers who are diarists. There are bloggers who craft stories. There are bloggers who write for the sake of blogging. A number of them are in tumblr, blogger and wordpress.com. In many ways the blogosphere is still as diverse as it was before – you just have too look beyond the echo-chamber to discover it.
The simple difference between a written diary and a blog is that one is not published and one is. And this brings upon the blogger the task of owning their content being responsible for it. Over the years I have heard excuses that we are not journalists, and that we do not have the discipline to be journalists. And for me that is a poor excuse. The moment we push the publish button we are responsible for it – everything from grammatical errors to factual inaccuracies and bias. We are responsible for it. Once you take uo blogging you bring on to yourself the responsibility of writer, editor and Publisher. And in general that is the responsibility one takes when one becomes a blogger. And that is why I am quite satisfied with the term blogger.