By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net PARAÃAQUE City, Philippines -- Blogs are also business tools, according to some Filipino bloggers. Apart from being personal diaries, blogs are increasingly becoming sources of i ncome for some bloggers. Janette Toral, blogg er and author of DigitalFilipino.com E-Commerce Workshop E-Book, says some Filipino bloggers have turned their blogs to effective tools for advertis ing. Combining e-commerce and blogging, for instance, allows people to earn some inc ome while doing what they are passionate about: blogging. But before turning a blog into something income-generating, she says it is impo rtant to maintain a consistent following. Content remains king in blogs. âThere was a time I did not update my blog for a month but still tra ffic is consistent, I think it really boils down to good content and good keywo rds for each entry,â blogger Jehzeel Laurente of Jehzlau Concepts adds. The 22-year old blogger from Davao says he earns enough income from blogging to support his stay in Manila. Laurente said he is able to maintain traffic growth in his blog through good co ntent and search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, a means to increase a bl ogs or a websites so-called page ranking in search engines like Google or Yahoo ! SEO involves combining good blog design and content using keywords to increase the chances of blogs of landing on top of, say, a Google search. âBased on the top 100 list, bloggers need to create good content, use of SEO to ols like keywords to help define the blog,â Toral concurs. During a blogger awarding cum eyeball at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Co rp. in ParaÃ±aque City, Filipino bloggers who were attracting a large traffic o f viewers were a colorful mix of personalities, age, niche topics, location and gender. One of them is Filipino overseas worker and blogger Rheynz who is behind ReynaElena.com. This blogger thi nks her blog appeals to a niche market of OFWs. Based in Philadelphia, she says 80 percent of the blogâs readers are Filipinos based abroad and in the country . Also based on the traffic Filipino travel, food, parenting, photography and gen der blogs, such as baklaako.com, are getting, Filipino readers have varying tas tes. Which only means that during this period of economic crunch, bloggers need not look far to find ways to earn some income and feed people's thirst for informat ion and good content.
October 2008 Archives
Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net "Maligayang pagdating sa Tagalog na Facebook." The extremely popular social networking site Facebook has switched on its Tagal og version catering to the site's growing Filipino user base. The Tagalog version effectively expands Facebook's language options to 34 (seve n are still in beta phase). Most of the services and options in the Tagalog version of Facebook are transla ted into the vernacular, with only a few exceptions. The Home, Inbox and Profil e tabs remain in English and all English messages and posts sent by users' frie nds' list will not be translated. Many Filipino uses have already started using the Tagalog version of Facebook, sending messages to other users in Tagalog, as well as posting on Walls and Pok es. One example: "Ano ginagawa mo ngayon? roughly translates "What are you doing?" -- a question posed by Facebook which users can fill in with short messages. Facebook is also encouraging Filipino users to invite others to use the Tagalog version. Facebook is one of the fastest growing social networking sites worldwide. It cu rrently has over 110 million users who are utilizing about 24,000 applications, many of which are developed and contributed by users.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net There are over 10 million blogs, podcasts, and videocasts worldwide and many of these are created to talk about a person's ideas. Some are about like-minded g roups who talk about basically anything under the sun, from technology, finance , gaming, politics, lifestyle, entertainment, among other things. What if "neti zens", at least for one day, talk about one thing only, one subject that could perpetrate one idea that may change the world? To encourage bloggers to be part of that change, a small group of them have ded icated October 15 of every year to Blog Action Day. This year's main theme will be on poverty, a p erpetual issue that affects more than half the world's population. So far, there are 9,887 blogs, podcasts and webcasts joining, with an estimated 10,800,000 audiences, the website says. Blog Action Day's goal is to talk about one topic, particularly a global issue. It also intends to create a venue for people to share their ideas that can be u sed to spur change. They will only talk of one topic every year. The group inte nds to show the world that the Internet is a viable platform for change. There are dozens of Philippine-based blogs that are also participati ng in this year's Blog Action Day. Among these are Knowread-Knowrite, Geekothon, Ang Sa Wari Ko, Blogger's Kapihan, Manilenyo in Davao , among others. Bloggers Kapihan is particularly active in encouraging Filipino bloggers to par ticipate in Blog Action Day. Some members of this group are journalist Anthony Ian Cruz, UP debater Benjamin Espina, and Philippine Science High School Instructor Martin Perez. The group has even put up a separate site, where other Filipino bloggers can post their own comments about the activity. These actions are important especially s ince it also reflects on the country's own experiences with poverty. Last year's theme was the environment with 20,603 blogs that participated. Blog Action Day is started by web startup Envato CEO Collin Ta'eed, and his rel atives Fuad Ta'eed, and Cyan Ta'eed. Other members of the Blog Action Day Team are Easton Ellsworth, Leo Babauta, Na ysan Naraqi, and John Barton. The group is supported by other private institutions including the British Fore ign and Commonwealth Office, BlogTV Inc., MercyCorps, Global Citizen Corps, amo ng others. During this year's Blog Action Day, there will be a 12-hour online radio show, as well as video casts from participants. There will also be donation drives to support some institutions who are involved in health support and poverty allev iation, including The Global Fund and Kiva.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net SAN JUAN City, Manila â They start late at night, with bags of junk food and pi zzas. They sit on floors covered with mattresses and small tables and put their footwear on the cold cement. Around them are paintings and sculptures from fin e arts students and their mentors. It's a scene typical of an art gala but peop le here are not talking just about art -- they're hoping to share in national c hange through their blogs. And at the last small and intimate gathering at the My Little Art Place in San Juan City, the group of amateur and professional bloggers talks about how blogg ing is changing information dissemination. The event is simply called Philippine Bloggers' Night. Essentially, the event i s a workshop on creating a blog and how individuals and other institutions are using it. Some bloggers gave insights about how they built their blogs and what they focus on. Others shared how media companies are adapting to the changes b rought about by the Internet. The realization is that media is not the gatekeep er of information anymore. The power to disseminate has also been given to the ordinary individual. Of course, being in an art place, the event also has some creative essence to i t. Percussionist Paul Zialcita showed some of his instruments, such as a daiko- like drum that is actually made out of a garbage can and a drum made out of a h alf-filled water gallon placed on top of the opening of a hand-made baby walker . There is also a performance by "spokenword" artist Miko Pepito and recording artist Nityalila. The event is organized by a group of bloggers calling themselves Flippyknows, whose name is a p lay of the word "Filipino." Just as their tagline says, "Because the Filipino K nows," the group focuses on encouraging Filipinos to develop their creativity a nd also on technology. For this particular night, the group also partnered with Team RP, who is advocating change in the so ciety for the sake of truth, accountability and reform. After a successful night, both groups are hoping to continue holding such event s to encourage people to get involved in social issues while enjoying creativit y at its simplest.
Editor's Note: We're reposting this article with permission from Filipino blogger Juned Sun ido. Catch him as he blogs at B aratillo @ Cubao. +++ By Juned Sonido WITHIN a span of two years a lot of things have changed. It would seem that the blogger has entered mainstream. First, blogging is slowly being recognized as an Internet medium: Another source of news, information and opinion available t hrough the Web. Second, a lot of marketing, public relations and companies seem to be recognizing this thus the increase engagement with the bloggers through contests, events and product launches. Third, bloggers are often stereotyped or miscast as ranters or in it for the money. There is nothing wrong with ranting via blogging and nothing wrong with making money from blogging. For me its not the end all, be all and sole reason why I b log. It is more complex than that and the blogs are not a thing one can conveni ently pigeon-hole. And sure enough a lot of opportunities are opening up to bloggers. A lot are no w treated like media as they are invited to press launches and a greater number are tapped to spread the word about a certain product or bit of information. T hese are done via press launches and events. The question comes up: should a blogger avoid going to press launches and event s? It is an option that the blogger might take. Then again the blogger might also take to attending press launches and events. There are reasons why the blogger opt to go. First, in order to get fresh information or news about something--pr oduct, service and bits of news. Second, it is always a nice to develop contact s and make friends. At its most brutal, it is a way of developing a network of sources and information. At its best, one gets to meet true and genuine friends . Third, press launches and events provide the blogger the means to sample a ne w product, try a new service or preview/review a gadget. All of these contribut e or add things that we can post. The food provided, the entertainment, the raffles and the freebies p rovided are incidental to what one sees or learns from these events. Such thing s are provided to encourage people to attend these events and press launches. A ll are devices that are used to give a receptive and hopefully effective way of introducing the news or the product to the writer or blogger. Herein lies the problem of the blogger. What does one make of this? Such entertainment and hospitality displayed during such activities can be over whelming. Again it's true that one can simply not go to such events. However, i f the blogger does go to such event, what to do? Now, I can speak only for myself in this matter. And for me this courtship ritu al happening at press launches and events should not deflect the blogger from t he purpose he went there and that is to get a story. One should not feel behold en or obliged to return the favor. In the end, it is the blogger who decides: 1. Whether or not to blog about it. 2. What to blog about. If there is any person or group of persons a blogger is beholden to, that would be the readers. And this brings us to disclosure. Often times one sees disclos ure policies adopted by bloggers and their blogs and this is good. It may be be tter though if disclosures were done every time one posted. It need not be a gr andiose statement. Just a note within the post stating were you got the story o r how you came by it or how were you able to test the product or service. So will I go to events and press launches? Only if there is a story for my blog and it fits my work schedule.
Must admit, since I started micro-blogging the urge to blog has waned. Why?
- Micro-blogs offer more interactivity.
- Micro-blogs are easy to write. You only need 140 characters to put your message across.
- Instant feedback. Pl urk! Nuf said.
- Micro-blogs like Twitter, Plurk are increasingly attracting more people (growing community) .
- Blogs are getting spammed. Micro-blogs not yet (or not as prevalen t as blogs).
The majority of my social interactions are online & Iâve gotten to know people quite well thru Twitter. It is well worth my time. But I also n eed to be blogging. Investing in both is valuable for me & each offers uniq ue paybacks.What about you? What are your thoughts?
By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net THE proliferation of weblog tool and publishing platforms, such as Blogspot, Wordpress and its evolution to include multimedi a content such as art sketches, photographs, music and video drove a shift in p aradigm of publishing and sharing information. Everyone has power to become an author and publisher. In the corporate space, executives use blogs to deliver opinion on the industry and information on their products and offerings. Then thereâs the personal blo g. For most of us, the blog has become the extension of dairies, chronicling pe rsonal events and a sentimental log of personal statements on almost anything. For some, it becomes a therapy to deal with pain or loss. Still, others try to provide entertainment by dishing out entries of a fictional, intelligent house help. Sharing anecdotes, opinions or thoughts is inherent to us Filipinos. Given this and the blog, it is all but possible to turn the Filipino blogosphere as socia l catalyst for positive change. The act of blogging in itself is a form of stru ggle to express opinion. The written (or typed for online) word is mightier than the sword. T he word stares back at readers, compelling them to react and argue with the str ing of letters. And with the comments box even more accessible now than ever, o pinions are poured upon -- making a collective output from the thoughts of blog gers and readers. Blogs pave way for more open, wider discussion of critical to pics. Everyone has liberty to voice and fight for their ideas on an equal platf orm. Yes, it paves way for us to agree to disagree. Blog technology and good English are assets Filipinos can use to unite words in to stories and demand change. I believe it is high time most Filipino blogs mov e beyond being online diaries. Wear a different lens to discover blogging in a new perspective: a platform to contribute to positive change. Type a satire, a fictional story or a funny anecdote of social issues relevant to Filipinos. We have a thousand topics to write on news we see, hear or read. Awareness without action is not enough -- react, disagree and discuss the Filip ino social reality.