I'VE recently picked up the book "The Long Tail
" by Chris Anderson. It talks about the impact of the
Internet on our culture and economy and how it has created more choices (niche
s) for consumers. But this concept does not only apply to commerce but other as
pects of society, including journalism.
This brings me Abe Olandres' blog entry which I recently read, "Why I'm Into Open Source Consulting?
It's an interesting take on the state of the Philippine blogosphere, and how di
scussions (especially controversial ones) could spark greater discussions and s
ome form of journalism.
...But that is the beauty of blogging. Everyone wields the power, n
ot just a small group of people. Anybody can express their opinions and be hear
d. No one is preventing anyone from joining the conversation. Itâs all there an
d you are free to join or exclude yourself from the discussion. That power is s
o potent that you can even shut it off in a blink by clicking on that small squ
are box with an x at the top right corner of your browser. Out of sight, out of
The exchange of opinions (minus the cussing) is a sign that the blogging space
is vibrant. Anyone can add or subtract to it and that choice is solely theirs.
What would have been more sad was if nobody cared nor lift a finger. I feel ble
ssed that we are free to express our thoughts and weâre aggressively expressing
that freedom. My workshops around Asia opened up my eyes on why some people in
neighboring countries are afraid of blogging while others are being jailed for
I believe that the recent rounds of debate is a testament of our growth, both p
ersonal and as a society.
Blogs have allowed everyone who has a personal computer and a decent Internet c
onnection to say their piece. From time to time, we will see people take on nat
ional issues, and derive insights, which are then picked up by journalists.
In some instances, bloggers engage in some form of journalism and find out for
themselves the real score. Abe's recent effort to clarify ce
was, in my opinion, journalism. As a general observation, blog
gers often write opinions about a lot of issues. They also do write about perso
nal experiences, citing news reports they find in blogs and online news website
s. But if they go the extra step to dig up the real story from people involved,
then I call that journalism.
The long tail phenomenon suggests that bloggers are now part of a group of invi
duals involved in producing interesting and sometimes controversial pieces, whi
ch in the past are often published by newspapers. The Internet has literally ma
de everyone producers of content (i.e. opinion and news) on almost everything w
e could imagine.
"The Long Tail's" author writes::
Although it was the photocopier that first put lie to the aphorism
that "the power of the press goes to those who own them," it's blogging that ha
s really sparked the renaissance of the amateur publishing. Today, millions of
people publish daily for an audience that is collectively larger than any singl
e mainstream media outlet can claim. What sparked blogging was, again, democrat
ized tools: the arrival of simple, cheap software and services that made publis
hing online so easy that anyone could do it."
To all Filipino bloggers, let's keep the conversations going.