December 2007 Archives
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net AN ANONYMOUS Filipino blogger who is behind Blog ni Inday: Ang Sosyal na Katulong, believes blogging could communicate the different sentiments and idiosyncrasies of Filipinos thr ough humor. Blog ni Inday is about a fictional intelligent Filipino maid who speaks perfect English, sometimes to the point of being superfluous. The person or persons be hind the blog admit that the project is the epitome of the Filipino who often d oes not take life too seriously. âInday's life is a collection of ideas from Filipinos from all walks of life," the anonymous blogger known as the "Manager" said in an e-mail interview. Hoping to bring a smile or laughter to anyone who has had a stressful day, Blog ni Inday has captured some of the Filipinoâs idiosyncrasies. Started as a hobby by someone trapped in the corporate world, the Manager said Inday began as a series of text messages being sent to friends. It eventually e volved into a full-blown blog. "Yes, it's only a hobby. I am someone who has lots of funny ideas that's being constrained in a corporate environment, and the blog is an outlet for those," t he Manager said. The blog pokes fun at everyday situations, taking fictional Inday's life as an example of hilarious moments in peoples' lives. The Manager acknowledges that Filipinos can easily relate to Inday, similar to how the comic strip Pugad Baboy became a hit. "When I wrote the Deal or No Deal series, I was just voicing out my comments ev ery time I watch the show or portray what I would have done if I were a contest ant," continued the Manager. The blog started sometime in September 2007. It was not the first Inday blog to go online. There were others but somehow Blog ni Inday became a bigger hit, an d it literally got more hits online than other similar blogs, the Manager said. Asked if Inday was the epitome of being a Filipino, Inday -- who also answered questions via e-mail, replied -- "In a way, you can say that I am an epitome of being a Filipino. I'm erudite, given the proper education and the opportunity to have one. I am almost always much better than my employer but I never forget my roots. I stand firmly on my beliefs that don't fold easily. Most of all, I love and I hurt but I choose to remain happy." Manager added that since most of Inday's stories are reflections of Filipinos' sentiments, "we can't help but see a small sampling of Inday in ourselves."
By Abigail Kwok INQUIRER.net ARE you tired of reading lengthy blog entries that speak of philosophical topic s that almost give you a headache? Never fear, Twitterâs here! Twitter is the newest blog site that is uniquely different from its other blog counterparts. The concept of Twitter is micro blogging. That is, you write abou t minute things and details about you or just about anything and everything. Mi cro blogging, in short, allows you to revert to those old school diary entries that go something like,
âDear diary, today I went to school. The teacher gave us a pop quiz. I had lunch at the cafeteria. I went home at 4PM.âFounded in 2006, Twitter has since gained a huge following, with site visits re aching up to 500,000 in July of this year. You may think this is a step backwards from the modern blogging world as blogs today are a proven worldwide revolution, able to spark change in societies (or even start an argument). In fact, blogs were even viewed as threats by some cou ntries like China, which even banned some of them altogether. But Twitter is actually very helpful for some, as it has been used in emergency situations like the latest California wildfire that occurred just last October . In that incident, Twitter was used by the fire department as their main means of communicating with one another. The concept of Twitter is to answer the basic question, âWhat are you doing?â F rom here you can post anything from your activities to your feelings at that mo ment. The process of posting updates at Twitter is dubbed âTwittering.â A member can twitter away almost every minute if he pleases. Some twitter so fr equently that friends subscribed to his profile were getting annoyed at updates sent through their cellular phones. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that topics people twitter about range from their lunch (fried chicken and past a, anyone?) to pet peeves (buses along EDSA). Anyone can twitter using their ce ll phones, so just imagine how many updates you can receive in a day! If youâre familiar with Fri endster and Facebookâ s status update, thatâs exactly how Twitter works. Twitter is also a form of so cial networking, where you can hook up with your friends or build your own netw ork based on common interests. Other features of Twitter include SMS and IM upd ates, so you can update everyone wherever you are. Twitter is a breakthrough, in my opinion. Apart from being very user-friendly a nd easy to navigate, Twitter recognizes the fact that online readers have short attention spans. No matter how great a writer is, people will eventually get b ored reading lengthy articles or anecdotes from him because, a.) Reading from t he computer can give you a nasty headache and blurry vision; and b.) People jus t want to browse and get on with everything else in their lives. And although some may think it shallow to read other peopleâs activities and th oughts, you have to admit that everyoneâs a gossip freak. We all want to know w hatâs happening in other peopleâs lives. After all, we are curious folk. Even t he most mundane things can actually draw our attention. Not only that, you can also meet long lost friends through Twitter. Itâs funny how some people develop closer relationships with the people they interact with in their online network as compared to their social friends and families. Despite of some people getting annoyed at Twitter updates (hey, you can turn of f the notifications!) the blog site continues to gain a massive following. Add to that, most of the members of Twitter admit to the siteâs âaddictingâ factor. Like Friendster and Multiply , Twitter is fast attracting the Filipino online community, so this will de finitely be an addition to those friendsâ updates you receive everyday via e-ma il. Brace yourselves, folks!
By Abigail Kwok INQUIRER.net IT was not until two years ago that I got hooked into blogging. Before that, I found it absurd that people would post their thoughts and their daily activities for all the world to see. I found it even more absurd that peo ple would post on their blogs yet change the preferences to private so other pe ople will not read the entries. I thought, "Why create an online diary if you a re not going to make it public anyway?" So I shunned the idea of creating my own blog, even as my friends maintained ei ther a personal website or an account with a blog site. But everything changed two years ago. My friend sent me a link to her blog, and I decided to check it out. Within minutes, I found myself absorbed in reading her blog and was amused at how many people gave their inputs to her entries. It was more like an onlin e community where you can share your thoughts with your friends and they get to share their points of view as well. It was then that I realized that blogs are more than just personal diaries wher e you write your daily activities. Rather, blogs are powerful tools for communi cating with others. Nowadays, people use their blogs to share their most intima te thoughts, such as political views, entertainment rants and raves, and cultur al views. Blogs like that of Newsbreak and PCIJ are just some of the popular online journals that people regularly visit to read ab out political insights and editorials. That was when I decided to start my own blog. I created an account with LiveJournal, one of the popu lar blog sites today. What got me hooked into LiveJournal, or LJ, is that it al lows you to create and participate in an online community where you can connect with hundreds of people. Itâs also a plus that most of my friends have LJ acco unts, making it easier for me to connect with them. Having an LJ account also l ets me get in touch with my friends because I can read their entries and share my comments. It also gives me the venue to create new relationships, like parti cipating in online communities and groups. Below are some of the features available in LiveJournal:
- LJ communities -- these function like online discussion boards where people group together to discuss common interests, like tea or Harr y Potter. I, for one, am a member of several The Beatles LJ communities. T he perks? I get updated about anything Beatles-related, like reunion conce rts, Beatles merchandise, and even Beatles gossip. This is a great way to get connected from people all over the world who share the same interests as you.
- The LJ Scrapbook -- if you own your personal scrapbook, then m anaging the LJ Scrapbook will be a breeze for you. The LJ Scrapbook allows you to post pictures of memorable events or people and personalize them a ccording to your preference and style. LJ provides 1GB of free storage spa ce for you to post all the photos and media you want.
- Memories -- if you have a memorable event or occasion you want to remember forever, then place it in your LJ Memories.
- Customization -- LJ allows you to customize your blog site dep ending on your style and preference. Your blog site includes an avatar or a picture of you that acts as your ID or nametag, so to speak. When you wr ite your entries, you can also indicate your mood, and location, as well a s the kind of music you are listening to right at the moment. This gives y our reader a background or context of you as the writer as you were writin g that particular entry.
- Protect your entries -- another perk offered by LJ is protection. You can customize your entries with its protection feature. So if you want just a handful of close friends to read your entry, you can create your own list of people that you want access to your entry/entries.
- User-friendly -- LJ is also user-friendly. If you arenât knowl edgeable with HTML, you donât have to worry, because LJ has a step-by-step guide on how to manage and customize your site. It is also very easy to n avigate, so it is also great for beginners. I have to admit though, that L J is not as easy as Blogger or Wordpress. Neverthe less, its features are easy to learn.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net A FORMER and a current Filipino journalist have created a blog countdown that a ims to gather the sentiments of Filipinos who are impatiently waiting for Presi dent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down in 2010. "It's certainly not inspired by (Antonio) Trillanes IV. I'm not a fan. But yes, the Manila Peninsula incident did just happen to bring up the point again. Whe ther you believe in coups or not, everybody agrees that 2010 is a long way away ," said Bangkok-based journalist Roby Alampay in an interview, as he introduced the Ang Tagal Naman blog. "Ang Tagal Naman" is a Filipino phrase that roughly translates to "This is taki ng too long." Unlike Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his supporters who led a siege at a hot el in Makati to ask for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's resignation, Alampa y and co-founder Data Tolentino-Canlas, a former TV journalist who now runs a m ultimedia production company with her husband, said the objective of the blog i s simple. "I just think it expresses the least common denominator of how people feel: Ang tagal. Yun lang (It's taking too long. Thatâs all). Whether that lulls people into counting sheep or its spurs them to reflect on what they could be doing un til then, is entirely up to them. But we all agree, don't we all, that 2010 is a long way away. Depending on how you look at the countdown, the very thought t hat Gloria will still be here for two and a half more years either moves you or it paralyzes you. Either way, it's exhausting. This is a just an expression of how I think a lot of us feel," he said. Alampay is also the executive director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, a non-government organiza tion based in Bangkok, Thailand. The blog countdown, hosted in Blogspot, also looks simple. It features a Flash animation countdown with a background of two bouncing pink creatures with yello w, flapping wings. Alampay said a downloadable widget of the countdown will be made available soon. "This widget can be placed by people in their own desktops and they can depress themselves even offline," the Bangkok-based journalist quipped. The blog has also been left open for comments. So far, the blog has reported more than 2,000 hits.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net WHAT if you get a famous British writer, say, Neil Gaiman, to help you propose to your girlfriend during a book-signing event. Wouldn't that be cool? A Filipino blogger tried and succeeded. The story begins with Jason Drilon, a Filipino writer for a local advertising a gency who had been blogging for close to five years. Egged on by his friends to make his proposal "creative," he decided to drop Gaiman an e-mail through his popular blog. It was, as he recalled it, suntok sa buwan, a Filipino p hrase which roughly means he had his fingers crossed when he sent a long e-mail to the famous British author. Narrating his whole experience on a Multiply blog for the world to see, Drilon (and fiancÃ©e Maui Reyes) has somehow touched Gaiman himself who in turn blog ged about it. In the blog post "So you know," Gaiman wrote, "You want to know what my favorit e bit of the trip to the Philippines was. It was this," referring to the indivi dual blog entries of Maui. "I wanted this proposal to be something a bit out-of-the-ordinary (understateme nt) and particularly relevant to Maui's and my life. We're both Neil geeks (hav ing lined up for hours at the Fully Booked event(s) last 2005) and are big, big fans of his work. That and I was under pressure from friends to make it a 'cre ative' proposal. But this wouldn't have been possible without Neil's blog and 'Ask Neil' section," Drilon said, when asked how blogging and the Internet played a part in his own love s tory. "I mean, I would have exhausted all resources to contact him if there wasn't an y Internet, and even with the Internet, I was pretty sure that Neil wouldn't ha ve answered me anyway. We have a term, "suntok sa buwan" -- ayun, that was it. I just sent the e-mail and hoped somebody on the other side would pick it up. And when his assistant replied with Neil's ans wer, well -- you can say that it put a huge smile on my face. It really showed that Neil, while a superstar, still takes time out to answer and establish good relations with his fans. Neil rocks. I can't say that enough," Drilon added. After Gaiman blogged about his extraordinary proposal, Drilon said his blog tra ffic increased (so did Maui's, which accumulated a lot of comments). "It was like a comment bomb," he added, as he didn't expect his entry to genera te overwhelming "web publicity." Asked how blogging played a role in their love story, Reyes said it helped shar e their story with other people. "It doesn't really affect much of our relation ship as a couple. My boyfriend just proposed marriage like every other husband did -- only ours was made more 'public' because of the Web," she said. A blogger since 2002, Reyes said she was overwhelmed when Gaiman wrote on her b ook, "Will you marry Jason?" "The first thing that popped into my head was, 'How do you know my boyfriend's name?' The second was just 'Omygawd Neil Gaiman is in front of me, omygawd.' Ne il had to force me to open the book in order to read and process it. "I was only looking forward to saying hi to Neil Gaiman and giving him a peck o n the cheek. The proposal was totally unexpected. I call it, 'How Jason ruined my Neil Gaiman moment.' [Only] after we left the venue did I remember that my favorite author was right in front of me, and that he only signed one book when we brought two!" she added. Reyes blogs about anything, but when asked about her thoughts about it, she rep lied: "It's a wonderful double-edged sword. Blogging was started by individuals who were not afraid to express their views and opinions, which made people turn to them for information that they believed the media pos sibly sugar-coated. Oh, and bloggers should keep in mind that whatever they pub lish online is fair game. I've had my fair share of embarrassing moments online ," she said. Drilon, for his part, blogs about his hobbies like diving and adventure racing. He also posts photos of his dives in his Multiply account. "DiveAbout was a repository for my underwater pictures, travel snaps and restau rant reviews," he said. "I use blogging as another way to exercise my writing skills. As Maui and I are both advertising writers, we're more or less confined to keeping our writing s hort and sweet. For TV commercials, we [have] to write stories that rarely go p ast 30 seconds, and for print ads, it almost always is capped off at five sente nces. So you could say blogging is our catharsis, a venue to rant, rave and sha re stuff. Anything we experience, discover and pick up," he said. Asked if they intend to blog about their wedding, and perhaps invite Gaiman to witness it, Drilon replied, "Though we're far from planning our wedding, yes, w e (at least I) plan to blog (though selectively) about it. I think it would be a good thing as well since not all our friends will be able to attend. At least they can live vicariously through our blogs. Hah! More so if Neil actually attends. But that's another s tory altogether, right?" Reyes, on the other hand, said Gaiman is definitely invited. "Although I think I'll have more luck stopping global warming than have him sho w up! Maybe if I win the lottery, I can afford his talent fee," she said.