Thursday, March 3, 2011

National Blogger's Association of the Philippines

Alright. Being a good janitor, I am naturally hardworking, which is why just a few minutes after my first post, I present to you my second one. I am here to discuss one of the messiest things to come out of the local blogosphere in the past few days. Yep, that's right. I'm talking about the call for the formation of a National Blogger's Association. 

I'm just going to go right ahead and say it. The idea of a National Blogger's Association is made of stupid. It is also arrogant and pretentious. Now while I would like to hope that to a lot of people, this much is obvious, we have to accept the fact that there are those who will require an explanation as to why. I'm going to keep this short.

It's stupid because its creation can potentially generate more of the same kinds of problems that it seeks to address. For instance, while it seeks to unify bloggers, it seems rather obvious that this idea has caused much division. Ironic? Perhaps. Stupid? I would say definitely.

The manner in which it is being created is also stupid in that it is spearheaded by a small but noisy minority who chose to carry things out in subterfuge. This manifesto was made in the shadows:

One country, one blogging communityA Manifesto of Filipino bloggers and netizensX, X, 2011
We, Filipino bloggers and netizens from across the Philippines and those based overseas, coming from diverse backgrounds and specialties, using various new media outlets, hereby come together and call for the formation of a bloggers association of the Philippines that shall unite us around common and beneficial objectives and aspirations, mainly:

  • the promotion and defense of the right to free expression
  • the promotion and development of blogging, vlogging, photoblogging, microblogging and other online creative and expressive forms in all their diverse categories, topics and types
  • the gathering and sharing of Philippine blogging’s best practices that reflect our contributions to ourselves and our online communities, media, causes, organizations and businesses, government, the nation and the world
  • the drafting and adoption of a code of ethics that underscore the community’s responsibility and maturity; and
  • the discussion of issues and concerns that confront the community and members of the community
  • the promotion of more affordable, reliable and better internet access in the country
The association we aspire to form is voluntary in character, national in scope, democratic in decision-making, and progressive in outlook.
We draw inspiration from and ask the participation of the city-wide, provincial, regional and island-wide associations, summits and conventions initiated by bloggers across the country.
We want an association that makes decisions based on democratic processes, consensus-building and mutual benefit.
A long time has passed since the first blog posts and first blogging events. We are now a bigger, stronger and influential community. Businesses, causes and government have started to organize themselves to interact and engage with us.  And we also face challenges within and outside our growing community.
The Philippines, our country and people are also expecting more from us, and we bravely and fearlessly say that we want to do more and achieve more.
In view of all these and more, we declare that there’s no stopping the formation of a most awesome bloggers association for our country.
One country, one blogging community.
Given the spirit of what they seek to achieve, shouldn't this have been created using a wiki or any other openly collaborative platform?

Personally, I also find the endeavor rather pompous. No. Not ambitious. Pompous. The assumption that they can bring the millions upon millions of bloggers to band together and agree on this reeks of arrogance.

Let's look at one particular example, the notion of representation. Given the status quo, while there may be some who might seem to represent bloggers in a bad light, the lot of us can easily say, "No. Those bloggers do not in any official manner represent me or any other blogger for that matter." And in most cases, that will be the end of it. Enter now an actual "association" claiming to represent all of us bloggers. Given the ease by which most of traditional media still misunderstand the blogosphere, the danger here is that this "association" could very well be regarded by the mainstream as a de facto official representative. Who the hell gave them that right?

Well that's my two cents. I hope I managed to clean things up for you even if only a little bit. Stand by for more web mopping sweeping goodness next time!

First Post!

Hello Philippines! I am Janitor Al! Cleaning up the internet since NOW!

Watch out! More to come very very very soon!