May 2008 Archives
By Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, California--The world had real-time news about China's massive e arthquake as victims dashed out "twitter" text messages while it took place, in what was being touted Tuesday as micro-blogging outshining mainstream news. As the earth shook with tragic consequences, people in the parts of China that felt the quake used their mobile telephones to send terse messages using the se rvice provided by the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. News of the deadly catastrophe reached Twitter devotees such as blogger Robert Scoble in San Francisco even before the massive temblor, which killed more than 12,000 people in Sichuan province, was reported by news organizations and the earthquake-tracking US Geological Survey. "Several people in China reported to me they felt the quake while it was going on!," Scoble wrote in his popular Scobleizer blog. Twitters are abbreviated text messages that can be instantly posted on online b ulletin boards and personal websites and sent to the mobile telephones of selec ted friends. They were at the forefront of a gush of quake pictures and video swiftly posted online via services such as Yahoo's Flickr, Google's YouTube, and French entre preneur Loic Le Meur's fledgling Seesmic, which has been called the "Twitter of video." Twitter reportedly became a source of information for major news organizations covering the China earthquake. "This event has the potential to bring mainstream media into the Twitter world, " Alec Saunders wrote in his Personal Soapbox blog. Twitter launched in March of 2006 and ignited a "micro-blogging" trend by letti ng people share their every move, mundane or dazzling, with friends every momen t of the day. Twitter users get a maximum of 140 characters a message; ironically, Twitter de signer Biz Stone envisioned its potential as a communication tool by a "tweet" warning he received about a California earthquake while about to board a train last year. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey told AFP in a 2007 interview that inspiration for t he service came from his experience writing software for courier and emergency service dispatchers that need to route people between locations. "It was an immediate pulse that sums up the zeitgeist of Twitter," Stone told A FP. Twitter's role spreading word about China's earthquake seems to have won ot hers to Stone's camp, but skeptics remain. Search Engine Land blogger Danny Sullivan called it "absurd" to suggest that Tw itter users knew of the Sichuan earthquake before the US Geological Survey, whi ch uses seismic equipment positioned around the world to record such events, an d then after a scientist's review sends out notices of the events. "Reading some of the accounts, you'd get the impression Twitter seemed to alert the USGS to the news," Sullivan said.
By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net FROM WRITING about showbiz to politics to Davao City and even the whole of Mindanao, Maria Jose has been making the virt ual rounds among Mindanao's growing blogging community. She's also become popul ar among Manila's blogging community, even representing herself during the rece ntly held iBlog4 conference at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Jose, known as Ria to her friends and the blogging community, holds the distinc tion of having such a diverse string of blogs covering politics, lifestyle, ent ertainment and even gaming. The young DavaoeÃ±a, who works as a staffer for Dav ao City councilor Louie Bonguyan, still has time to write for her various blogs and even organize events for her colleagues in the blogging community as well as her gaming group. Her blogs include Alleba Politics, Chikadora.com, Shopchicks.com, Shoppingera.ne t, and the DotA Blog , among others. Surprisingly, Jose said her motivation for blogging was to combat boredom. As a student of Environmental Science at the Ateneo De Manila University in the lat e 1990s, she had too much time on her hands. She started writing essays and pos ting them in a mailing list. Some of the her friends started commenting on her essays, so she moved to posting them on her personal website. Jose credits her knowledge in web development as well as her entry into the blogging community t o Andrew de la Serna, a search engine expert working in Davao City. In the early years of 2000 Jose wrote more about politics. She also wrote a pie ce that landed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Youngblood section sometime i n 2003. Jose's online posts got the attention of many bloggers in the Mindanao area, and even that of Davao councilor Peter LaviÃ±a, who has his own blog and is probably one of the most prolif ic politician-bloggers in the country. Jose and De la Serna, with the help of some Manila-based bloggers, organized a small gathering of bloggers in Davao. Though they expected only 20 people, the event drew about 50 other bloggers in the same area, which she said goes to sho w that there is a healthy community of bloggers in Davao. Later on, the group h eld the first Mindan ao Bloggers Summit last year to help strengthen their community in the sout h. Jose said that she's turning her eyes now towards promoting the cultural aspect s of Mindanao and Davao City. While much has been written about Mindanao, Jose emphasized that much has not been spoken about Mindanao and Davao. In fact, man y of the articles written about Mindanao are negative, pertaining to the insurg ency in the area, as well as the Abu Sayyaf. "What other people think about Mindanao and Davao is that it's a war-torn place . In reality, there are only small places in Mindanao where violence occurs and most of it remains intact. There are so many things other people don't know ab out us that I think that perception should change," Jose said. Editor's note: Video taken by INQUIRER.net community evangelist Alex Villaf ania.
By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net NOW on its fourth year, the recently held iBlog blogging forum at the Universit y of the Philippines Diliman Law Center showcased different aspects of blogging , with several bloggers serving as speakers. Charo Nuguid, who maintains The Geekette Speaketh, gave first-time bloggers an overview of b logging, as well as resources where users can get tools that will get them into the social networking scene. Controversial Australian blogger Brian Gorrell also made his presence felt in the event thr ough a video blog that welcomed the participants. Gorrell emphasized the need f or people to speak out their minds. However, he cautioned that while blogging c an be a form of communication, bloggers will almost always receive flak from th ose who do not agree with certain missives. Nevertheless, Gorrell stressed that bloggers should continue with their craft. As blogging becomes a powerful communication tool, some have taken the concept to the next level as professional bloggers. One example is computer engineering student blogger Juan Kar lo Licudine, who shared his experience as a problogger who earns an income through blogging. The young Licudine explained that he has found a niche in problogging. When que ried about how much he earns as a problogger, he said that it could reach as hi gh as $1,000. However, he said problogging also involves risks, in particular the high risk o f failure and lack of useful work experience. "It's also unpredictable and constantly changing," he added. Here's a video I took of Licudine's mom asking him after his presentation if he still needs an allowance. Podcasting and video blogging In the afternoon session, Google country consultant for the Philippines Aileen Apolo and video blogger Coy Caballes introduced podcasts and video blogs. In fact, the two didn't present and instead recorded themselves prior to the event, using a video to explain what podcasts and vide o blogs are. Apolo also spoke a bit about video blogging as a form of citizen journalism, wh erein a video blogger can serve as a journalist by submitting their videos to a n online media site. Although quite new, Apolo and Caballes said video blogging can create new concepts not normally used in traditional broadcast media. Here's Apolo responding to a question on video blogging as a form of news repor ting, and pointing out the difference between bloggers and journalists. With he r is Caballes. Blogging and 2010 elections Veteran journalist Luz Rimban and columnist and socio-political analyst Manuel L. Quezon III had their say on what the bl ogging community can contribute to the coverage of the upcoming 2010 elections. This was the main highlight of the iBlog4 summit and at some point prepared bl oggers for what they can do. Rimban and Quezon had different approaches as to the responsibilities of the bl ogger but agreed that bloggers, with their wide social network, can play a role in ensuring clean and honest elections in 2010. Rimban narrated that media outfits had limitations in coverages and so bloggers had filled up some of the gaps. Rimban said that in the 2010 elections, blogge rs can again fill the gaps that mainstream media could not cover. Bloggers can even report about stories not normally reported in broadcast or print. "Citizen journalists can help reconnect the public with the political processes , revive interest in elections, and create a sense of community among voters," Rimban said. For his part, Quezon emphasized the need to spur on voters against corruption, saying that a blogger covering the election should be a "pain-in-the-ass." On t he other hand, he noted that the low level of acceptance by voters of bloggers' reportage of the elections could go beyond 2010 when more Filipinos get access to broadband Internet connection, especially in the provinces. "It may take until 2016 for blogging to make an impact," Quezon said. In this video, Rimban answers a question about tapping bloggers for news covera ge. With her in the video is Quezon. Meanwhile, lawyer JJ Disini talked about the legal culpability of bloggers when it comes to copyright infringement and libelous statements. He cited the examp le of blogger Gorrell, who made allegations on the wayward lifestyles of member s of high society. Here's a video of Disini talking about the copyright issues that bloggers must take into account and explaining the concept of fair use. Editor's note: Videos taken by INQUIRER.net community evangelist Alex Villa fania.