Earth Hour

Monday, April 4, 2011

My thoughts on the national bloggers association

The Pinoy blogosphere is currently abuzz with the proposal for a national organization of Filipino bloggers.  A friend pointed me to an online version of the manifesto which was prepared by the proponents of the said organization.  I perused it several times before deciding to dive into the widening ocean of approving and dissenting voices.

The manifesto contains six objectives of the organization, mostly aimed at promoting the welfare of Filipino bloggers here and abroad.  It also stated what it wants to be as an organization, which is to be a democratic, voluntary and non-profit organization. 

I have come up with the following comments and questions regarding the objectives:
  • Promote and defend the right to free speech and to free expression Isn't the Internet the bastion of free speech and expression?  Besides, these are supposed to be protected by the Constitution, unless there is a curtailment of these rights of which I do not know. 
  •  Promote and develop blogging, vlogging, photoblogging, microblogging and other online creative and expressive forms in all their diverse categories, topics and types Okay, this one I like but then again, how many blogs are already out there?  I'd say 100 million or more.  Obviously blogging has developed a life of its own and it is growing still.  But why should we promote it in the first place? As an alternative livelihood?  As a hobby?
  • Gather and share 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.  My mind went blank on this one.  
  •  Draft and adopt a code of ethics that underscore the members’ and organization’s sense of responsibility and maturity.  In my opinion, this one raises a lot of questions about the very nature of this organization.  When you come up with a code of ethics, naturally someone will have to monitor for compliance of members. Then any breach of this code will have consequences. Who or what will enforce this code?  Will this organization be regulatory like the KBP before?  Will it regulate what we can post on our blogs and then punish those who violate such regulations? Also, what if my view does not jibe with that of the organization, will I still be able to blog about it or do I really need to toe the line?
  • Discuss issues and concerns that confront our members. This of course is expected from an organization.  But what do we do after discussing the issues? Do we make representation to concerned authorities to bring to their attention these concerns?
  • Campaign and work for more affordable, reliable and better internet access in the country  It's about time that someone should stand up and demand for this.  Hopefully, the telcos would sit and listen if the consumers of their services have banded together and speak in a collective voice.  
But we still haven't answered the basic question whether there is really a need for a national organization for Filipino bloggers.

There are already local and regional organization of bloggers in the country.  Here in Bulacan, I know one that is based in Baliwag although I am not yet a member.  Will the national organization act as an umbrella organization. a federation of all these groups?  Instead of dealing with individual members, they will just deal with the leaders of these smaller organizations.  If not, what will happen to these local groups?

Naturally, there are some resistance to this proposal but the proponents have opened venues for discussion of all these issues.  Hopefully they would be able to clear all the issues and let everyone understand what the national organization is really all about.  Begin by answering the question: Why?

Personally, I am not yet convinced we need one because I still believe that blogging is a personal experience and activity.  It should not be encumbered by everyday rules which may defeat its purpose.

1 comment:

  1. i don't approve... :( they should leave the internet alone. hehehe...