General

My Comments and Suggestions for Janette Toral’s IMMAP Presentation Slides

MAJOR EDIT: To those who still wonder, Janette and I have put this in the past. We are both on speaking terms and talk when we see each other in events. After all, this we are OK. The Internet is not meant to destroy relationships but to build and enhance them. I’ve apologized to Janette online — in public, and I have told her personally too. To the people who are affected by this, I’d like to firmly say that we should let the past be what it is — the past.

We should move on now to geekier things 🙂

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Several weeks ago, Google Country Consultant Aileen Apolo led me to the details of the now recently concluded IMMAP held last week. I had put it in the “to do list” to try to find a sponsor to attend this event as I did see that Janette Toral and Aileen Apolo were going to be part of the conference’s list of speakers / panelists. I wasn’t able to make it, as it really slipped my mind – and later found out from Erwin Oliva of INQUIRER.net that the event was just concluded. Bummer. I met up with Erwin at the Morph company launch at M Cafe. Aileen was not around as she was out of town so in the end, I missed the opportunity to see and hear Janette’s presentation which I really wanted to witness.

Luckily, I was able to grab a copy of the presentation from the press CD which I am making available for download here, for those who would have wanted to attend the talk. Janette’s talk was about Blog Marketing and touched on worldwide trends in blogging, the definition of blog marketing, the viral phenomenon, and also talked about the Philippine blogosphere.

Deconstructing the presentation Janette talked about:

  • worldwide trends in blogging
  • some numbers on the Philippine blogosphere (Manila Blogosphere Report 2006 | slide number 6)
  • what is blog marketing? (promoting products online through blogs, etc)
  • bloggers as influencers
  • cite examples of Philippine blogosphere “in action” namely the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs Project
  • nota bene: I must point out also that blog marketing also has a lot to do with the transformation of your company’s culture as blogs can work externally as well as internally – companies use blogs as internal communication tools too as a more effective means to communicate. If you wish to read more about Blog Marketing, you can pick up the book of the same title.

    Now last Friday, I also met up with Anton DIaz of Our Awesome Planet in that same Morph company launch. After some small talk, watching the Wii parteh, and drinks, Anton made mention of how he was able to witness Janette’s talk. His general sentiment was that the presentation was generally OK but felt that it was lacking in terms of giving a better look at the Philippine blogosphere. I listened to his position, made some comments, and decided to have a look at the presentation to give my own opinions.

    My observations were the following based on the slides (note – I was not there at the talk):

  • well researched bit on the blogging trends / statistics as this is really Janette’s strongest area
  • the presentation should have used more blog examples outside the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs project, outside Rockista Craze (her daughter), and outside her own blogs
  • the Blog Marketing part could have been deconstructed more but then I realized that this was a marketing conference, and not a business development or Human Resource conference so the focus on marketing blogs externally is good
  • Here are some other blogger-initiated projects that I feel Janette should have included in her presentation:

    The Bayanihan Blog Network – the first local blog network which works so much like a publishing company when it comes to marketing and advertising.

    Pinoy Top Blogs Project
    – a quantitative measure of site traffic of a significant number of local (or Filipino-written) blogs

    Ratified.Org – another quantitative measure of site traffic based on linkbacks, technorati, etc

    Blog Parties and Regional Blog Conferences – these are the “meet and greet” community parties organized by bloggers around the Philippines. Manila, Davao and Cebu are very active.

    Pinoy Moms’ Network – the network of blogs run and owned by Pinoy mothers

    Pinoy Pets Network – local pet lovers and owners

    The “Blogger Under Your Wing” Project – a group of unnamed bloggers who tutor other bloggers on SEO, design, blogging, etc and wish to not belong to an “A-list”

    iBlog Summit – the way I see it, iBlog is a conference for “accomplished” bloggers to help non-bloggers start up their blogging habit

    Philippine Blog Awards 2007 – the Philippine Blog Awards

    This list is not complete. There are many other blogger initiated projects. It would actually be cool to compile a list of all of these initiations and send them to Janette to help her in the future with her presentations 🙂 I believe that by mentioning this list of projects in talks and other third party gatherings of advertisers and marketers, it will be a good way to show how vibrant the Philippine blogosphere is.

    UPDATE:

    If you browse through the early part of the comments from this post, Blogie says that Janette may not have had enough time to fit all of these into the presentation. True, I said. But this is an IMMAP conference, and not an iBlog or a Blog Party. People pay P8,500.00 to attend this conference so I guess I was a little disappointed too with the caliber, given that Janette’s core competence has to do with research. Dear Janette, I really feel that you could have done so much better and if you do need community help I’m sure that the others bloggers would be willing to volunteer their time to help you prepare for such a big presentation.

    Honestly, the one who can truly confirm this is Anton DIaz, because it was he who first brought it up with me. I’m just the messenger and wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. I don’t think Anton ever reacted this way about a presentation before as he’s usually very reserved. Something must have ticked him. By the way, Anton gave me permission to cite his observations which is why I am involving him in this post. I agreed with Anton and thus, the post.

    Gibbs Cadiz wrote a very thought provoking post on the matter too. I was afraid of this actually, as he says that there may be a bit of selfishness on my part as some of the blogging efforts I mentioned do involve me in some way or another as a speaker or co-organizer. (I don’t make any money off these events by the way). There is no way to further prove that my efforts were selfless or selfish but I respect Gibbs’ insights and for what it’s worth, a humbling experience too.

    UPDATE 2:

    Janette and I are meeting up to talk soon moving forward. I apologized for the harsh words as well as had a little friendly exchange with Gibbs too. There are still some issues at hand but those matters are between Janette and myself. Closing comments now as the matter is over.

    About the author

    Jayvee Fernandez

    Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

    46 Comments

    • Hi Jayvee. I wasn’t there at the IMMAP event either, and I’ve only now seen Janette’s slides, courtesy of your download link. Your suggestion that Janette would have done well to have widened her scope is valid (and I’m sure Janette herself would also agree). However, there must have been factors in play that prevented her from doing so: time constraints; topic constraints; her own intimate knowledge of other blogs, or lack thereof. Plus: when doing a presentation, as I know you know well, is best if you work with your own experiences and background, right?

      70 million blogs, and a significant chunk could come from the Philippines. Numerous blog-related activities going around in the Philippines… which ones to choose? where to start?

      In her defense, Janette was the one who pushed me (it could’ve been literally if she were in Davao) to be serious with my blogging. And it was thanks to her that I and my colleagues were able to organize bloggers’ events in Davao. If she didn’t mention us during her IMMAP talk, it didn’t mean that she was excluding us.

      You know, Jayvee, I admire you for the work you’ve done for blogging in general, especially through blogandsoul.net. It is certainly not surprising that you are part of b5media. Your ideas and Janette’s ideas might not seem to sync 100%, but individually you have very powerful voices.

      Happy Kadayawan from Davao City! 🙂

    • the Philippine blogosphere is indeed vibrant, it’s wide, it’s diverse.

      now this ends speculations as to who is who? it is transparent and gives a suggestion in the end, rather than a question.

      great Jayvee!

      as has been the battle cry for the day: Let’s bring the positivity back!

    • Even if Janet didn’t know much of the other blogs,I believe she is strong in research. Using her strong research skills would have pointed her out to other blog niches. It’s not that difficult to find as there are many list of Philippine blogs like ratified.org , pinoytopblogs.con and technorati,

    • teka, para malinaw lang, so si Janette yung tinutukoy mong nag misrepresent sa pinoy blogsphere?

      pasensya na ha, makulimlim kasi, nagbabadya ang kalangitan, eh solar-powered ang utak ko eh.

    • My impression of Janette, even if based just on a couple chance encounters years, is that she does not take to counterarguments well at the best of times.

      Her latest post takes a non-factual approach: http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&partner=fb&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalfilipino.blogspot.com%2F2007%2F08%2Fdealing-with-hurting-people-that-hurt.html&title=Dealing+with+hurting+people+%28that+hurt+people%29

      That to me says that she’s not willing to engage you an academic/factual level.

      If you really want to be objective, it could be viewed as a thinly veiled ad hominem. You weren’t hurt, right?

      My two cents’worth.

    • @blogie, you have a good point about the time issue involved.

      but dude! this is IMMAP. this is not the typical iblog3 or blog party presentation. i have to pay eight thousand five hundred pesos to attend this conference. wouldnt you feel ripped off in this case?

    • @noemi — Again, why are you splitting hairs? What you’re saying isn’t all that I’ve covered. You have to take all that I’ve said into account as a whole, not piecemeal. Para busog diba? 😉

      @Marianne — It’s not fair to conclude things like that about a person, after just a couple of chance encounters, as you say. IMHO, you read what you wanted to read from her post. OK I’ll tell you what I think Janette’s post means: she forgives Jayvee for this slipup. I thought it was pretty clear, actually.

      When I first met her, Janette seemed so intimidating (because of her background, etc). But when I got to know her better, we had the grandest time arguing with each other, on an academic level in fact. And we never lost respect for each other, because we had become friends, and because we always kept in mind each other’s strengths and values.

      @Jayvee — Wow, it was that much to attend the conference? My my, I should organize stuff like that too! 🙂 Seriously, I don’t know how to answer that, Jayvs.

    • Blogie,

      I think that to respond with a call to using “The Eighth Habit” instead of engaging Jayvee on his arguments is taking this off neutral ground.

      If one’s confident of what one is saying, one can and should engage and defend – and do it by the book. If the other person sees your side, they should concede. If not, the other person is at fault. This should be stance adopted by both sides. But it did not happen.

      I will not inflame this any further, so I’ll end here.

    • Gail: I think Jayvee did say he’s basing his opinions on the slides he saw. I also don’t think what was said in the actual presentation would deviate significantly than what’s on the PowerPoint file.

      Marianne: I find your first comment a bit misleading. Why did you post the digg submit URL, instead of the post itself?

    • Gibbs is right in all his arguments. There’s nothing to represent or to misrepresent as the so-called “Philippine Blogosphere” is not a formal organization. After reading Gibbs post, I thought that you are just sour-graping that you were not the one speaking there instead. Such an elitist stance. Just because you are a “pioneer”, you already hold every blogger accountable to you or to your own views or preferences or those of your clique! Gibbs right — misrepresents, my foot!

    • Jayvee, I personally think that it was not a misrepresentation. It was after all, an example, and she’s just citing a writing project that she was involved with recently. The fact that she didn’t cite iBlog3, of which she is an organizer speaks a lot. Did the slides even explicitly promote Digital Filipino, her club?

      On the other hand, Gibbs Cadiz’ assertion of a mafia/clique is stretching it too far. Sure, the BoB seems to be an elite group of influential bloggers, but I never felt that its “members” are quick to defend each other on every little thing the way real cliques do. In fact, I’ve seen them disagree on various topics.

    • batista, i am not jealous of janette.

      eugene: i have had my differences with abe, mike abundo and migs who are considered to be members of this BoB.

    • brader Jayvee,

      since i can’t comment on your “misrepresenting post” anymore, please allow me to put my comment here.

      I hope those who are reading this are also reading or at least have read a blog from Visayas and Mindanao.

      If not, I encourage everyone to do so..

      They are also part of the Philippine “blogsphere”

    • Correct me if I’m wrong but this really happens in all industries and not just in the Philippines, hehe. I’m not siding with anyone pero I really believe that stuff like this is something that a growing industry experiences (birth pains?). Mag aaway away din ang mga tao, and they’ll end up having various groups and factions. Welcome to the real world XD

    • @Rico: Oh, you mean the bullet points and screenshots? Sorry, but at first glance I really cannot see what brought about such a passionate attack, aside from the fact that somebody else said something about that someone. Jayvee himself said that he saw the powerpoint after he talked to Anton. If, and only if (but I certainly hope not), Jayvs wrote the first post before even seeing the powerpoint, it would just be based on mere “kwentuhan” wouldn’t it?

      @Jayvs: I am very surprised that you weren’t actually there, because I honestly thought you were. The way I read your post, you really sounded pissed, so pissed I even had this mental picture of you fuming while listening to Janet.

      Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t think that powerpoint slides and “kwento” make it fair to judge someone the way you did on that post. You weren’t there nor seen a video of it (well, sorry to assume this, but you only said you based it on the powerpoint slides and what Anton said). It was Anton’s interpretation of Janet’s actual presentation, not yours. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t believe Anton, but I think Janet deserved the benefit of the doubt before getting attacked that way. A video or audio recording of her speech would probably suffice.

      I’ll be honest. The first time I saw the slides I didn’t think it spoke of misrepresentation. I saw the screenshots as mere supplements to her main points. I thought that she used her projects as examples because she probably knows them. When you’re dealing with decision-makers, it’s imperative that you know the subject and not just know of the subject. She probably gave her own blogs as examples because those are the ones she’s confident enough to explain, really explain. Janet may be a good researcher, but research can’t get you everything. Wouldn’t you say that no one knows your blog better than you do? If you’re just basing your opinions on the powerpoint, what I just wrote is another way of looking at it. But then again, who am I to say anything? I wasn’t there, nor am I Janet so I can’t really say for sure.

      I’m glad that you and Janet would be meeting to settle this issue. Maybe she even has a copy of her speech’s video or audio recording (if there was any)? I dunno, but that’s the only thing I could suggest. Maybe if we (yeah, including you hehehehe) heard what she actually said instead of just assuming about what she “probably” said based on hearsay and powerpoint slides (that are composed of nothing but bullet points and screenshots), we’d be able to discern for ourselves if she really did misrepresent us.

    • All’s well that ends well. Good to know that this is settled. There’s still some positivity left in the blogosphere. 🙂

    • Politics and the Pinoy Blogosphere…

      Whew. I just came back from a very long hiatus and this is what I’m greeted with: issues, issues, issues.
       
      It seems that no matter where I go I’m met with the politics of the “organization.” Well, to be politically corre…

    • it’s nice to know that we can all tolerate some healthy bantering and exchange of ideas, civil or otherwise. i’ve attended some of janet torral’s talks before there was a price tag to her every word and advice, and she really does know her stuff. i just don’t like the idea of having to pay for it when other people and groups offer the same for free. the food-blogging class was informative and free (may pakain pa!), as are the other events. a few more such collaborations that are not so centered on selling to bloggers but rather on helping bloggers sell, would be more acceptable to most of us. many bloggers cannot even afford to pay for hosting and have to content ourselves with free hosting services. we don’t have coin receptacles on our tv sets, yet so much money is made by tv networks. i believe that information, like everything else on the net, should be free. that’s why we have sponsorships, di ba?

    • […] Posted by maying If it were not for the email I got for a blog network email group, I wouldn’t have learned about the recent issues that rocked the Philippine blogging scene. I got curious about the sudden exit from the blogging network, but I didn’t think much about it until I received another reply followed by a flurry of responses from other members. Curiosity killed the cat, so I followed the link to the blog of one of the email senders and I ended up not reading just one or two blogs, but a maze of blogs which led me to read up on the issues of blogging ethics, disclosure, and misrepresentation. […]

    • While you were whining and ranting one of our compatriots abroad sold his blog for more than $1M. Discuss amongst yourselves.

    • So si Anton pala ang… joke! It’s good to know that Jayvee and Janet will be talking FACE TO FACE finally to settle this issue. And I’m sure everything will end well. Yey! So there’s no need for “mafias” anymore since peace and order will soon be restored over the Philippine Blogosphere wonderland.

      Let’s make love, not war. See you all at the Bloggers’ Party!!