Suggestions for Tonyo and Janette

Hi Tonyo and Janette,

I am in favor of what the National Bloggers Association aspires for but I don’t believe that you need a new association to do this. Here are some of my thoughts and I hope you consider them. Thanks! :)

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MAJOR ADDITION (March 7 2011): Late last night on Twitter I had suggested that it would be more convincing if Tonyo laid down more specific projects that the NBA could be involved in so that people see some sort of roadmap. It will also be less controversial if this association were turned into a volunteer movement (just like RockEd Philippines) which had specific goals and would disband after a set number of years. Gang Badoy did chime in on this mentioning that there was some sort of dictatorship in the beginning before it turned into a democracy. What is important however is that RockEd effectively gave birth to several separate projects which are independent of the organization.

Look at their manifesto. RockEd is a group that has volunteers. You can come in and out and choose the projects you want to be involved in. You can pitch projects. The Tech Tanod project headed by Juned is in partnership with RockEd Philippines.

I’m not putting the NBA side by side Rock Ed Philippines because that would be unfair. I’m just suggesting that the system of volunteerism works better because it is less controversial and you really get quality people involved with their time and ideas rather than waste so much time with the bureaucratic decision-making.

On another note, I do agree with Sonnie that people directly involved in this should not have a business interest because it will really raise eyebrows:

I am not interested for a seat or position, if it pushes thru, for conflict of interest [I am also a marketer and entrepreneur]

I hope the organizers take these insights into consideration from someone who has had a lot of experience in helping build communities in the past.

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Forming a National Blogger’s Association is like trying to form an association that promotes breathing. Everybody loves to breathe. We all need to breathe. We all know the importance of breathing, but we don’t go around building a manifesto around it. Yeah we have the Clean Air Act and the whole marathon thing that’s somewhat uso. These don’t promote breathing per se, but they do so indirectly. The act of blogging by itself is promoting blogging.

Suggestion: Why can’t you just ask individual bloggers to become members of IMMAP or PICS? We have too many organizations! The fact that we’re trying to form more of these groups makes it more apparent that IMMAP isn’t working. What about Digital Filipino? Why can’t you just open up membership to more bloggers? (Why aren’t they joining?)

The manner by which the draft was spread wasn’t advocating blogging at all. If you’re going to form an organization of bloggers to push blogging, the least you could have done was use BLOGGING as a tool to get insights on the manifesto. Janitor Al is right: a wiki would be the best way. There is no excuse. Despite the Janitor being anonymous, the points raised make it look like the organization is being founded by rookies who are more interested in lobbying and the bureaucracy.

With regards to the Professional Bloggers Association, I am also a bit iffy about this. However, to move on, you will need to clearly define what % of income a blogger should be earning from blogging to be considered “professional.” The standard is usually at least 30% of salary if I am not mistaken. Also, you need to define if “blogging” means your personal blog. Because I think it should (i.e. if I am a hired social media guy from a company like Netbooster and I do blogs, am I considered a professional blogger? Because in the strict sense, no). Also, anyone who joins this organization should be able to issue an official receipt. They should strictly follow the WOM manifesto, or something similar to it. An official receipt. Yeah, maybe that’s something the organization can help with. Some sort of blogging co-op that helps with accounting. But going back, I am not in favor of this because in the past, organizations like this don’t really make a dent in anything. Again, why not just enhance IMMAP?

Look. Guys. That’s the beauty of blogs. They are the anti-thesis of such organizations. Why are we trying to stop it? Putting up such organizations will send out a stronger statement via the people who don’t join. And from a PR standpoint, that looks juicy.

Also, and this is towards Janette: I am aware that you are pushing Effective Measure in the Philippines. Congratulations on this by the way! I hope you do not use these associations as a means to lobby the use of EM. That will put you in a relatively powerful business position which may put you in an eyebrow-raising conflict of interest. I trust you naman but I do have to point that out. It’s what people WILL think so I’m just saying it now, in the open, while it’s early. I apologized to you in the open back in ’07 so you know I come with no malice intended. EDIT: Her reply regarding EM.

To Tonyo, I know how you feel dude. Believe me. That’s because something similar happened to me in 2007, which was duly resolved and I even apologized to Janette in public.

Net of it all, I think the push for a national association for bloggers is not timely. Not timely not in the sense that it is too early, but because next thing you know, blogging isn’t the next big thing and it may just be too late.

I hope you both consider these insights to heart and hope we can engage in proper discourse. :)

Here’s what others are saying: (send your links in the comments section)

Aileen Apolo: Blogging is a mass of niches

Jonas de los Reyes asks Yahoo! Answers

Regnard Raquedan suggests to make it a professional association

Mommy Bloggers Club

Viloria.net and this one too

Caronongan.net

Mayabanana

Blogie’s take

Juned Sonido’s thoughts

Atheista

BlogWatch’s Take

  • http://ifranky.com Franky branckaute

    One weekend I am less online and look what happens. While a professional association might be an option, especially to protect those who make a real living of it, it is a far stretch in a profession mainly existing of freelancers and those working for their own profit (via own sites).

    In all honesty the thought is so anti blogging, and against the ‘everyone can publish’ idea that I’m afraid the people who advocate this manifesto don’t really understand blogging.

    If ever I were faced with a blogger who claimed to be a member of NBA and thus claimed higher fees, I would require an official BIR receipt as well.

    Rather than trying to organise a profession, based on the freedom of all and the right of all to contribute and have a published opinion, the fight to have bloggers recognised, recognised by journalistic organisations must continue. Let’s not get diverted, all around the world there are journalistic organisations which will allow bloggers, once they have published x-thousand words on registered ‘blogs’ (read: media properties) and this has to become more widespread.

    Can the NBA aid with this? Maybe, but it seems more likely that the NBA might again exclude those who enjoy it but can’t do it professionally, and thus obtains the exact opposite. “You’re not a pro, go back to your corner and be quiet”

    Blogger is not a profession!.We all are publishers and ‘blogs’ with a journalistic/commentary value are online publications. We are (professional) writers, trained, qualified or not. We are journalists, editors or columnists. We are media.

    My cat and her grandmother, or was it the other way round, have a blog.

  • http://twitoaster.com/country-ph/digitalfilipino/ digitalfilipino

    RT @Jayvee: @digitalfilipino my thoughts here =) hope you consider them http://abuggedlife.com/2011/03/05/sugges

  • http://twitoaster.com/country-ph/jayvee/ Jayvee

    @digitalfilipino my thoughts here =) hope you consider them http://abuggedlife.com/2011/03/05/sugges

  • cons44

    RT @Jayvee: @digitalfilipino my thoughts here =) hope you consider them http://abuggedlife.com/2011/03/05/sugges

  • http://www.influentialblogger.net Janette Toral

    Hi Jayvee. I updated my FAQ to include your concerns.
    http://www.influentialblogger.net/2011/03/frequently-asked-questions-national.html

    ON Effective Measure, not sure where folks got the idea but I am not connected with them. I just covered that event. Knowing that traditional media publishers are now having a common online audience measurement system, I think professional bloggers will eventually have a need to come up with its own sooner too and that can even be utilizing common tools available today.

  • http://www.abuggedlife.com Jayvee Fernandez

    well there’s always been google analytics…

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  • http://www.regnardraquedan.com Regnard Raquedan

    Wow, strong position on this Jayvee. This is definitely a must-read on this issue of a national blogging group.

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  • http://thenicelyway.com/ Nicely

    The NBA issue is very alarming it’s flooding on Plurk and other social network sites. I hope this will be resolved as early as possible. Good luck to us, bloggers.

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  • http://www.ilovehateamerica.com bingkaycoy

    As long as it does not exert strong regulation of my content and my freedom to write , I’m all for it.
    I had been a victim of libel and when I needed support, I couldn’t find any because there is none. I hope that there is a group who can protect the rights of bloggers.

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