Sunday column: “The Magical World of Blogs”

Wikipedia on “blogging” :The term blog is a blend of the terms web and log, leading to web log, weblog, and finally blog. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called blogging. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts”, “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a blogger.

For some weeks now, I have been agog about blogs. A what? Yes, blogs, not logs. In fact, I say with a great deal of pride in my heart that I am now a certified, dyed-in-the-wool, blogger. No, not bladder – blogger. And no, this column is not about what to write in a police blotter. It is about the magical world of blogs.

Blogging can be a lot of things to different people. For me, it is a way to express myself in a manner that is so open to all that it can be quite scary. A blog is your private corner of cyberspace, like a journal or notebook of sorts, that you can fill in with your own writings, ideas, favorite photos, quotations, or if you wish, your general ponderings. The blogosphere refers to the universe of blogs, considering that there are so many such blogs that one can have access to, across the globe. My blog has a name. You can find it in the web by entering this URL address: www.susanople.com. You will find my previous columns in my blog and other essays and poems as well. From time to time, I also fill my blog with job announcements and news relevant to Filipino overseas. Feel free to visit my blog anytime.

You, too, can have your own blog. The Internet offers several free blogging services to choose from. Log on to Blogger (www.blogger.com) or IBlogs (www.iblogs.com) or WordPress (www.WordPress.com), which I use or LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com, a clear favorite of young bloggers. Follow the simple instructions, decide on what kind of blog you wish to create (private, audience-oriented, business-like, community-based, etc), and post an entry. That entry signifies your first step on the blogosphere.

The Philippines has a vibrant blogging community. I was fortunate enough to attend the 2nd Philipping Blogging Summit otherwise known as IBlog2 where professional and amateur bloggers got the chance to meet and mingle. Popular names in the Philippine blogosphere such as Manolo Quezon (www.quezon.ph/blog) and Dean Alfar (www.deanalfar.blogspot.com) shared their thoughts about blogging. In his presentation, Manolo pointed out that in free world of blogs, “there are no superior blogs, all blogs are created equal.” Writer Dean Alfar, who has an entire cache of Palanca Awards to his name, encouraged his audience to look at blogging as a daily exercise to improve one’s writing. Davao City Councilor Peter Lavina (www.funchain.com/~peterlavina) spoke on blogging as a tool for participatory governance.

There is space for everyone in the blogosphere. Timid bloggers have the freedom to blog in anonymity, using an alias of choice. Some blogs are freak shows, highlighting the insane, the ridiculous, if not the lurid details of life. Others are plain punditry. A blog is like having one’s own Opinion Page, with you as sole columnist, editor, and layout artist. Of course, you may also turn out to be an audience of one, unless you can cajole your relatives, friends and neighbors to drop by so your site meter can register an increase in unique visits.

A serious blogger also has a chance to earn from blogging. Professional Filipino bloggers are known to earn from P20,000 to easily about P80,000 and more from Internet ads and blog-writing stints. If your blog is a telenovela of heartaches and expired suicide notes, then please don’t get your hopes up about earning a million pesos a month from angst. To know more about Netrepreneurship and professional blogging, pay a visit to the acknowledged Guru of the Philippine Blogosphere, a nice man known as Yuga. His real name is Abe Olandres. Connect with him through his blog, www.yugatech.com/blog.

For a fairly new mommy blogger like me, it was a personal triumph of sorts to set foot inside the Pinoy blogging community. The Iblog2 Summit held recently at the University of the Philippines College of Law at Malcolm Hall afforded me the chance to sit in a classroom with a crowd of mostly young people who bring to the blogosphere the many pieces of their sun-drenched lives. There were parents, too, teachers, and professionals who have established a digital home in the vast parallel universe. This is what blogging is all about: freedom to write, to react, to unleash your ideas upon the world, and be accepted for who you are.

It may not be for the faint-hearted though. If you blog, don’t be surprised to receive candid feedback from friends, foes, and strangers. The magical world of blog is a democracy with its share of monsters, villains, and mobs. However, if your blog strikes a chord in a specific audience, you may just find yourself with a solid, unexpected, global fan base.

If you disagree with an opinion writer or would like to shatter the claims of publicity hounds, don’t get mad. Just blog, and let the chips fall where they may.

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • KJ

    I read this article this morning. 😀

  • Great piece.
    You are becoming a serious blog preacher.
    Padayon!

  • I can envision Philippine blogging growing even bigger, but of course, bloggers can -and must- live without all the “emo”.

  • ludovico nayve

    thank you sa article mong ito,blogging naman ako pagkatapos kong matotong mag email.
    not yet recieve your book about OFW.I’m waiting

    melo

  • Hey, thanks for including me in your blogroll. 🙂

  • girlie

    blog! hmmm… at first i thought ’twas just on onomatopoeic word. after reading your column last sunday, i was like – aaah! so this is what blog is all about. thanks, i was enlightened, really. i was born yesterday that’s why;o)

  • girlie

    ugh! i should have said – an onomatopoeic word and not “on”.

  • Hi Susan. Thank you for spreading the word about blogging through your column. May you help in increasing the awareness for this medium. Just a note, bloggers and individual website owners who started by writing articles and opinions in their website or blogs can earn beyond the traditional advertising. You can start building various products and services (including ex-deals) on top of it. 85k is not the max monthly range for Filipinos who have succeeded on the personal web, I assure you. You can cite up to 200k per month.

  • hi! i have read this article in panorama and it is very informative indeed! hope you’ll write more about blogging especially on how to increase traffic to a particular site and business opportunities in blogging. thanks and more power!

  • Congrats and more power !!