Tip: create a blogging workflow

July 15, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Chris Brogan writes that keeping up a steady blogging pace is no easy task, so you need to be ready with goals, tasks, tools that can help you out when that “blog drought” comes.

See what makes the front page of Digg.com (or your industry’s most likely haunt) – learning by emulating is an important blogging skill. Don’t be a clone, but if you pick up some tricks from writers you come to admire, all the better.

The article contains lots of excellent tips for those who still haven’t quite kept up with their blogging routines. It’s useful for amateur and professional bloggers alike.

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Danny Arao: “Huwag kang mag-blog kung…”

June 30, 2010 | 1 Comment

UP MassComm professor and journalist Danilo Arao advises people not to blog if their only goal is to make money. This is an ever familiar subject for those who’ve been blogging for a while now. But it’s good to have a sound perspective from mass media and the academe.

Salamat sa kapitalismo, maraming mapanlikhang paraan para kumita sa blogosphere. Pero ang mga mapanlikhang paraang ito ay malinaw na tahasang panloloko sa mga online visitor. Dahil ang blogosphere ay bahagi ng public domain, kinakailangang maging responsable ang mga blogger sa pagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon sa publiko.

Read the follow-up post here.

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Speaking Our Native Tongue on the Web

June 17, 2010 | 1 Comment

When WordPress Philippines first launched, I left a comment saying we should try to write in our native language. We it owe it to all our heroes who died fighting for our right to be free. Language is one of the most important signs of sovereignty. And besides, if you’ll look at the sixth box of links at the footer, all those foreign WordPress sites are written in their own language!

It appears blog provider giant Blogger has translated its service to “Filipino” and this has got me thinking. Google owns Blogger. Google also provides localized versions for several other services for us Pinoys. Several other sites do, too. But what does a “local” version mean, really? Is it the Filipino language? Or is it Tagalog?

Filipino o Tagalog? Ano ba talaga, kuya?

Google Language Tools: When you select Filipino as the language of your choice in viewing Google Search, the abbreviation in the link is “tl”, which clearly stands for Tagalog.

Google Directory: When you click on the Filipino language under World Languages, it is actually linked to Tagalog.

Wikipedia: There is no Filipino language version of Wikipedia, only Tagalog, Bikolano, Cebuano, Chavacano, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Waray.

All of this is pretty ironic considering the page on the topic Filipino says:

Note: “Philippino” and “Philipino” are misspellings of this word and are not considered part of standard usage. Pilipino is used to describe the people of the Philippines. The term “Filipino” is commonly used when you are talking or writing in English or other foreign language. “Filipino” is the Philippines’ national, official and constitutional language (While the Filipino language is largely based on Tagalog, pure Tagalog has slight differences to Filipino).

This is the accepted definition of Filipino, as well as Filipino versus Tagalog, right? Then why do these websites—which are multi-million dollar companies no less—assume that in order to be a little more user-friendly to its Filipino visitors, it should create a custom language version in Tagalog instead of Filipino? What gives them the right to do so? As Filipinos, should we accept their bad judgment on something that affects no one else but ourselves?

Philippine-based wiki competitor WikiPilipinas has acknowledged this and created a Filipino language version of its wiki. But then there seems to be no Tagalog counterpart along with other provincial languages. So did they drop the Tagalog because it’s essentially Filipino anyway?

Ano ang problema?

I know I’m getting into a huge debate here, one that might never ever be resolved so long as our country remains an archipelago, so long as we have strong affinities for provincial languages, even foreign ones. After all, we are a nation of provinces and a nation of balikbayans. Our national language has never been that strong especially in the midst of the languages we’ve had to deal with.

But I am not asking you to be a little more patriotic (especially in the spirit of the EDSA Revolution, whose anniversary we commemorate on Monday) by choosing to write in our own language. I just want to underline what we may be overlooking:

On the web, is it correct to say that a Filipino speaks only Tagalog? Are these two terms interchangeable?

Should we be content that websites like Google consider Tagalog as the language of choice for Filipinos?

Should we be content that other Philippine languages from Cebuano to Waray are represented on some websites, but not the lesser known but equally Pinoy ones?

The Web is as liberating as speaking in one own’s tongue. Blogging, for example, lets you do exactly that. How lucky are we to find a new medium by which we can express ourselves as Filipinos? Other times, however, our identity as a people gets eroded just because a website assumes and restricts, despite the best of intentions. We accept it because we know technology still hasn’t found a way to seamlessly translate any language into another. Or is it because it just doesn’t matter anymore?

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50 traffic sources for your blog

May 21, 2010 | No Comments Yet

QOT has a list of 50 websites that can help drive traffic to your own blog. They’re divided into the following categories:

  1. eBook directories
  2. Blog directories
  3. Social media
  4. News and aggregation sites
  5. Podcast directories
  6. Video marketing
  7. Article directories
  8. Guest posting
  9. Document sharing
  10. RSS feed submissions
  11. Ping submissions
  12. Blog communities and forums

A lot of these are common knowledge to those who have been blogging for a long time now, but it’s great to have a list of sites compiled in one place for you. The bottom line here is to get your content out there; you can’t just create a blog and rely solely on Google search results to bring traffic in. Be creative and find your niche.

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Microsoft loves WordPress

May 12, 2010 | 2 Comments

WordPress on Microsoft at MIX Online

While the culture of WordPress and open source software are closely tied with the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP stack, that doesn’t mean the publishing platform doesn’t accommodate other development stacks like Microsoft’s. And don’t forget that one of the most popular desktop blogging software is Windows Live Writer!

So MIX Online has opened a new website called WordPress on Microsoft, which aims to provide tips on running WP-powered sites with Windows Server, SQL Server, Windows Azure, and SQL Azure and useful tools like Incarnate.

Why are they doing this? The simple answer is love:

  • Love of technology
  • Love of web developers and web designers
  • Smart business

If you’re running WordPress on a Windows Server or wondering how you can, head over to WP on MS for advice straight from experts. The Getting Started page is a great jump-off point.

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Marghil Macuha on SEO at iBlog 6

April 20, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Missed iBlog 6? You’ll be happy to know that both Carlo Ople and Marghil Macuha himself blogged about his SEO talk at the 2-day event. New Media Philippines posted a summary of basic SEO practices while Macuha.com posted links to SEO e-books you can download for free.

The first most important rule is to SEO keywords that are actually being searched for. There’s no point in going through the grueling process of link building if they keyword you’re targeting isn’t even worth the effort. Marhgil explained that a good tactic is to make posts that provide solutions and answers, something that I already tackled in a previous post.

Download Marghil’s slides here. Hope the other speakers can also post their presentations online!

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Pinoy Blogfest 1.0 on April 17

April 13, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0

Gadgets Magazine, together with several other commercial sponsors, is holding its own blogging event this weekend called Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0 at the Richmonde Hotel in Ortigas.

Should bloggers observe journalistic ethics? Can Bloggers make money from their web presence? Is there a blog copyright? These are the issues that Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0 will seek to address.

The programme is as follows:

08.00 am Registration
09.00 am Opening of Exhibits / Networking Opportunities
09.30 am Welcome Remarks / Keynote Speech “Ethical & Social Responsibility of New Media” / Light Snack
10.00 am Plenary Panel / “Optimizing the Economic Potential of your Blog” (Abe Olandres) / “Bloggers as Media Practitioners” (Ira Panganiban) / “Creating a Bloggers’ Code of Ethics” (Yvonne Chua)
12.00 nn Lunch / Luncheon Speaker (Coca-Cola CSR)
01.30 pm Breakout Session I / A. Technology & Trends / B. Photography / C. Home: Digital Living
03.00 pm COKE Break
03.30 pm Breakout Session II / D. Mobile Networking / E. Gaming / F. Food & Travel, Health & Fitness
05.00 pm Networking Opportunities
05.30 pm Cocktails / Announcement of Blog Competition Criteria & Entry Guidelines
06.30 pm Entertainment / Raffle
07.30 pm Closing

Fifty to sixty free tickets will be raffled off but the regular rate is Php2,500, inclusive of meals. Ask for a registration for by emailing gadgetsmag.events@gmail.com. Call 332-4005 for more information.

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Pampanga Blogging Workshop on April 24

March 26, 2010 | 1 Comment

Blogging 101 Hands-On Workshop will be held on April 24 at the Universe Internet Cafe, SM City Pampanga from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. This intensive workshop taught by Janette Toral is organized by the Pampanga Bloggers. Here’s an outline of the event’s proceedings:

  1. Introduction to Blogging
  2. Find and monitor blogs and topics of your interest
  3. Set up and configure your first blog
  4. Blog ethics (Yes! There is also blogging ethics)
  5. Content Development Process Explained
  6. Monitor Blog Performance
  7. Promotion and Advertisement
  8. Trends in blogging
  9. How to make money and make a living out of blogging

Registration is Php800. Register here. Great to see the northern part of the Philippines mobilizing its own blogging groups and events!

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Sharpen your commenting skills too!

March 15, 2010 | 1 Comment

So you’ve learned the ropes of blogging, both the publishing and maintenance sides to it. But how are you doing on the commenting front, or have you put no thought to the way you interact on other people’s blogs? Good thing Quick Online Tips can answer why you should be honing your commenting skills as part of your blogging regimen.

Thousands of blogs are waiting for you to read. Many excellent bloggers are posting great content every day. It is easy to subscribe to far too many blogs, skim the posts and leave nothing of value behind. It is doubtful, no it is ridiculous that you would subscribe to hundreds of paper magazines. Consider, if you had to pay for all your blog subscriptions. Would you do that? Far better to read a few, become involved and comment with purpose and quality..

The post also mentions some of the cardinal rules of commenting: add substance, don’t spam, take a deep breath before resorting to flaming. Bottom line: commenting isn’t quite as refined an art as crafting posts, but with more discussions on them that could change.

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iBlog6 schedule posted & registration open

February 19, 2010 | 1 Comment

iBlog6 has opened its doors for online registration, on this page. The 2-day event is completely free, so there’s absolutely no reason not to sign up now. The schedule has also been posted, which indicates the difference between the talks on April 16 and 17:

The first day (April 16) is targeted for businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to understand how to tap blogs as a medium to promote their products and services. The second day (April 17) is meant to everyone interested about blogging.

Edit: No word yet on there will be an afterparty this year. Keep up with all the updates at the iBlog site.

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Try CMP.ly for blogging and social media disclosure

January 20, 2010 | No Comments Yet

CMP.ly/0 No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions

CMP.ly is a new solution to promote transparency and honesty in blogging and social media. With the recently announced revised guidelines by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on endorsements and testimonials in blog posts, word of mouth campaign, and even microblogging messages, CMP.ly has created short, easy ways to indicate disclosures with their 7-way link system: Visit links CMP.ly/0 through CMP.ly/6 to find out more. For bloggers, you can download this PDF.

There are three simple ways to CMP.ly:

  1. Use our standard disclosures.
  2. Sign up for a CMP.ly account to use our unique disclosures – Add text, custom disclosures and manage your disclosures.
  3. Join an existing marketing campaign – Coming January 2010.

Although bloggers outside the U.S. won’t have to answer to the FTC for disclosing sponsored posts and similar works, transparency is one of the cornerstones of successful blogging. CMP.ly should make the process even easier, the same way Creative Commons did for sharing creative works and enforcing attribution.

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Real-time blogging through IM on WordPress.com

October 13, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com users have yet another fascinating new feature to play with that will bring blogging straight into the real-time era. Using a Jabber- and XMPP-based instant messaging (IM) client, you can post and subscribe to WordPress.com blogs, and it all happens inside chat windows. The video below explains how to get started:

At im.wordpress.com we have been experimenting with instant delivery of blog posts and comments. We started by providing a firehose for our partners but that was only the beginning. Now you can subscribe to WordPress.com blogs in your Jabber IM client and receive posts and comments the instant they are published. It is also possible to post to blogs from the chat client. In time we plan to add these real-time features to web pages. Soon the conversations on blogs will be as fast as chat rooms.

Read more about Real-Time Blogs using im.wordpress.com here.

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WordCamp Philippines 2009 program posted

September 14, 2009 | No Comments Yet

It’s one week to go before WordCamp Philippines 2009 the program is finally out:

8:00 AM – Registration

9:00 AM – Welcome Remarks
Backgrounder: Mindanao Bloggers Community by Blogie Robillo

9:30 AM – Meet the WordPress Family by Beau Lebens

10:30 AM – WordPress in the Wild by Markku Seguerra

11:15 AM – Citizen Journalism in the Context of the 2010 Elections by Danilo Arao

11:45 AM – A quick look into the Mozilla community through the lens of localization by Seth Bindernagel

12:25 PM – Lunch

1:30 PM – Vlogging Mythbusters by Coy Caballes

2:30 PM – The Editorial Voice and Taste in Writing Tech by Jeff Villafranca

3:15 PM – Advanced WP: Portfolio & Directory Sites by Gail Villanueva

4:15 PM – WP: The Ultimate Content Management System by Karla Redor

5:15 PM – Q&A with WP Experts

Emcee: Migs Hipolito

Unfortunately Matt Mullenweg won’t make it this year, but we still have an Automattic guy in the form of Beau Lebens, and interestingly, someone from Mozilla, Seth Bindernagel. As for the blogging talks, the Citizen Journalism panel is more timely than ever.

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20 bloggers turned entrepreneurs

September 11, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Income Diary lists 20 people who started out as bloggers and have come a long way since. Find out where the likes of Perez Hilton, Darren Rowse, Tim Ferris, and Michelle Malkin are today because they started blogging.

Darren’s success has earned him great fame and he was awarded the Best Web Development Weblog blog award in 2006 for ProBlogger. In 2007, he was also named in the Forbes Celebrity List. In the following year, Darren co-authored the book ‘ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income (Wiley) and founded TwiTip – a blog dedicated to Twitter Tips. Preferring to live a simple life, Darren lives in Melbourne, Australia but does frequent traveling for numerous speaking engagements.

They’re newsmakers, kingmakers, book authors, and celebrated public figures just like celebrities. These condensed success stories should inspire you to take your blogging to the next level, and maybe someday lead you to something infinitely rewarding.

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Google’s Matt Cutts praises WordPress for SEO

August 31, 2009 | 1 Comment

Take it from Matt Cutts, head of the Web Spam team at Google: WordPress is a “fantastic” choice for search engine optimization. That’s what he said at his talk at WordCamp San Francisco last May. Here’s the presentation video:

And here are the slides:

According to Matt, “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) SEO”. He goes on to explain PageRank calculation, and what you can do within WordPress to improve search engine ranking, from tweaking post permalinks (hyphens are best, followed by underscores; but no spaces are the worst) to securing your WP install (add .htaccess to your wp-admin folder and update often!).

(Via HowToMakeMyBlog)

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Philippine Blog Awards 2009 nominations extended

August 14, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Philippine Blog Awards 2009

Deadline for nominations in this year’s Philippine Blog Awards was supposedly yesterday, but that has been extended to August 21, Friday, at 11:59 pm Philippine time.

Again, you can either nominate your own blogs or recommend someone to enter the awards. You’ve got another week to go through the eligibility rules, awards categories, criteria, and process, so participate now!

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Taking things too far: blogger blackmail and false advertising

July 29, 2009 | No Comments Yet

It’s no secret that the Internet is a pretty empowering arena for those who work hard enough, but sometimes people are so drunk in their power that they cross ethical boundaries. If you’re going to blog or advertise online, make sure not to do these things:

Don’t do false advertising. Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror writes about Civony (formerly Evony), an online game that uses misleading, sexed up ads just to lure people into playing a civilization simulation game.

Don’t extort or blackmail companies for free schwag. Valleywag reports about an incident during a recently held blog conference abroad in which a blogger threatened to write negative press about Crocs if she would not get a pair that day.

How low can you go? It’s news like these that give the online media and marketing industry a bad rep! Both bloggers and advertisers should stop abusing the medium and exercise discretion when doing business.

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Desktop blogging clients you can use

July 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Sometimes the WordPress Add New Post panel lacks certain features bloggers are looking for when they’re composing their articles. Loose Wire Blog has compiled a list of desktop-based blogging clients, both free and premium, for your perusal.

A number of them are not just for WordPress, though, so if you’re looking for WordPress-specific clients, you might want to browse this list at the WordPress Codex. If you’ve used some of the listed clients before, why not contribute to the Codex and summarize their features there?

The WordPress Publisher Blog has two specific recommendations: Windows Live Writer and Marsedit.

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MTV Asia blogger contest

June 18, 2009 | No Comments Yet

MTV Asia, in cooperation with Nuffnang, invites all all bloggers to be part of their trendy blogging squad, which means taking part in lots of MTV events around the world and enjoying lots of goodies. To join:

We believe that words speak volumes, and if your writing oozes with confidence, sass and personality, don’t languish in the background, let your opinions shine! Express yourself and be the voice of MTV Asia as one of our official bloggers.

Categories for submissions include VJs & Celebrities, Lifestyle & Fashion, Gadgets & Gaming, and Music & Entertainment. Deadline is June 30, 2009. Enter here.

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WordPress.com lets you post by email

May 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Still on the WordPress.com front, there’s a new feature called Post by Email, which does just what it says: it lets you create and publish new posts straight from your email account.

All you have to do is check out the secret email address assigned to you under My Blogs, then send your blog post to it, and watch it show up on your blog. Formatted text and attached images are all detected. In fact, if you upload multiple images, a gallery is created for them!

If this hasn’t whetted your appetite, here’s a quick run-down of Post by Email features:

  • Transcoding of any video files supported by the WordPress video player (mp4, mov, wmv, avi, mpg, and m4v).
  • Automatic removal of standard signature blocks, with support for manual removal of other signatures.
  • Add your email addresses directly into your address book using downloadable vCards. (You don’t even need to remember the address!)
  • Automatic notification of a published email post.
  • Conversion of YouTube URLs into embedded videos.

Also check out the Post by Email support page for advanced features like shortcodes you can use in your email.

I can’t wait to see all of these features on self-hosted WordPress.org blogs. Although blogging by email is already supported, it’s not quite as streamlined as this.

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Keep your blog credibility amidst sponsored events (redux)

April 1, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Marcelle Fabie has written his own version of the previously featured blog credibility tips by Jayvee Fernandez, and his strategies are, shall we say, more aggressive:

  1. You are a VIP. Act like one.
  2. Don’t attend if the freebies are not worth your while.
  3. Never shell out!
  4. No matter how compelling, don’t blog about the event! You have better things to blog about!
  5. Always invite a MOB with you when attending these blogger events!

Bottom line: you’re the customer, you’re the one with the purchasing power, so it makes sense for companies, PR people, and the media to be at your beck and call, right? I’m sure the event organizers will agree as well.

(Happy April Fool’s Day!)

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iBlog5 registration is open

March 31, 2009 | No Comments Yet

IBLOG5

iBlog, the Philippines’ premier blogging conference, is back on its 5th year this May 9, 2009 at the Malcolm Hall Theater in UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Here’s the tentative schedule:

Morning session: (some can be sponsored talk)

Afternoon session:

  • 1:00 – 1:20 Legal issues in Blogging
  • 1:30 – 2:30 Preparing Bloggers for the 2010 Elections
    – COMELEC on Blogging & Bloggers
    – Citizen Journalism for the 2010 Elections (Oliver Robillo, NAMFREL Chairman – Davao City)
    – The Bloggers Election Handbook project release (Janette Toral)
  • 2:40 – 3:30 Blog Advertising Situation in the Philippines (Yehey and 2 sponsors)
  • 3:30 – 3:45 Break
  • 3:45 – 4:45 Blogging to the Next Level (Fitz Villafuerte and another speaker)
  • 4:45 – 5:00 Raffle & Group picture taking

7:00 pm onwards After-Event Party (sponsored)

Registration is open here. You can also check out other information about the event like the venue, sponsors, and promotion.

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Keep your blog credibility amidst sponsored events

March 19, 2009 | 1 Comment

Jayvee Fernandez of A Bugged Life has written a very timely article on blogger credibility and sponsored events in the Philippines. I think this paragraph is one of the most important thoughts to take away from his piece:

If you want to be known, be known for only one or two things, and make sure you do these well. To the SEO and blogging industry, having many blogs is absolutely normal. But when you start to engage marketers, you don’t say “hello, I write for twenty blogs.” They won’t see you as a brand. They’ll see you as a production house. You’ll know this when they give you a sheepish grin. Trust me, I’ve seen it before.

See also Markku Seguerra’s comment below:

Let’s just say there’s more to blogging than just blog events. I guess that’s a good reminder for everyone.

While it’s true that companies have started tapping the blogosphere for marketing their products via events and contests, you don’t have to be pressured into participating or providing 100% positive feedback all the time. Again, there’s more to blogging than marketing and PR.

Why do you blog? What do you bring to the table?

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Blogging 101, Blog Marketing & Advertising, Blogging Monetization & Business Hands-on Workshop

February 10, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Janette Toral is holding a comprehensive blogging workshop on February 18-20 at Netopia Internet Cafe, Ground Floor Greenbelt 1, Legaspi Street, Makati City.

Here’s the general schedule:

February 18: Blogging 101 Workshop
February 19: Blog Marketing & Advertising
February 20: Blog Monetization & Business

Anybody can sign up, including DigitalFilipino.com Club members. The fee for non-members is Php3000 per day. Register here.

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Looking for a blogging philosophy? Try these on for size

February 2, 2009 | No Comments Yet

One of the biggest issues traditional journalists and people who do not understand the internet have against blogging is how easy it is to publish articles with filled unverified facts, lopsided views, and that narrowmindedness one develops in middle of an uproar.

While I don’t agree that all bloggers should be held up to certain standards similar to that of journalists and other members of the media, you might have started wondering how to best approach blogging about a burning topic next time.

Let’s have a look at three philosophies on blogging and writing on the web:

  1. SpeedBlogging: The idea is to always be prepared with ideas, so you can always pick from one of them later. Now expound out by listing key points and mind-mapping. In the words of that famous sports brand (or that former Health Secretary), just do it.
  2. Slow Blogging: In the simplest sense, it’s the “rejection of immediacy”. If you can help it, don’t get swayed by the hype and choose to write when it makes most sense for you to.
  3. Blogging without Obligation: Somewhat leaning toward the Slow Blogging manifesto, BWO also rejects immediacy and every other expectation put in place by the so-called experts. On your blog, you’re the expert.

You might want to ponder on why you started blogging in the first place. If you’re an aspring new media journalist, you probably have to brush up on reporting ethics and whatnot. Try updating your “about me” blurbs to clarify objectives to your audience. Or not, if you don’t care what anybody thinks.

So how do you blog? Do you scramble to hit the publish button ASAP? Do you sleep on your post and come back to it the next day? Or do you raise your middle finger and yell, “screw the rules, I’m doing this my way!”

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ABS-CBN buys 5% of Multiply.com

November 19, 2008 | No Comments Yet

ABS-CBN purchased 2,524,488 shares of social networking site Multiply. This amounted to to $5,000,000.93 or 5% of the company. You can read the reports from the following sites:

Some people may remember a prior partnership between the two companies last year. It looks like the Kapamilya Network is taking things to the next level.

Multiply is a remarkably popular service for Filipinos as it provides an all in one package for blogging and uploading various multimedia. ABS-CBN is notable for having promoted many of its TV shows online through Multiply profiles more so than subsections of its official website.

Clearly, the media company knows where to go where the buzz is, and whether or not this deal’s pros are outweighed by the cons, it’s interesting to see how a company that built its name through traditional forms of media is slowly discovering what we now call social media.

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PinoyBlogero

October 21, 2008 | 4 Comments

PinoyBlogero

PinoyBlogero is the blog of Karlo Licudine, a twentysomething college student writing about the Philippine blogosphere and blogging in general. If you want to learn how to start blogging and become more successful at it, this is the blog to read.

Karlo has gained recognition in several different awards, from an interview in a local newspaper, to joining the ranks of the top probloggers and influential blogs in the country, to winning the best technology blog award in the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards.

Readers of PinoyBlogero will also enjoy his unique brand of comics sprinkled across the different posts (it’s even branched out to a separate blog, BlogComics.net).

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Philippine Blog Awards and blogging covered by mainstream media

October 9, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Coy Caballes has posted a partial video of an interview about blogging and the Philippine Blog Awards in Mornings @ ANC. In the video, TJ Manotoc interviews Juned Sonido, Ferdz Decena, and Karlo Licudine. Watch out for part two!

Also check the links in the post for more coverage by other stations including GMA, QTV, and TV5. Who says the “old” and “new” media can’t get along?

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WordCamp Philippines launches the Cebu Pacific Blogging Challenge

September 11, 2008 | 3 Comments

At WordCamp Philippines last Saturday, a blog contest sponsored by Cebu Pacific airlines was announced. Here’s the official announcement and mechanics of the Cebu Pacific Blogging Challenge.

All you have to do is write a blog post about the destinations of Cebu Pacific, making sure that when you mention the airline you describe it in a positive light. You must also link to them without rel="nofollow", without any other links in the entry.

The top 5 entries, picked by Cebu Pacific and the WordCamp organizers, will each win a domestic airline ticket.

This is open to all bloggers who are 18 years old and above (not just the participants of WordCamp). Contest runs from September 6 to October 31. Register here.

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Questioning WordPress user satisfaction & status as a CMS

September 9, 2008 | 1 Comment

CMS Survey Results by Steve Smith

I found this Content Management Survey Results by Steve Smith of Ordered List, with WordPress having the highest usage among the respondents (173 out of 189).

One of the more interesting features of the survey was the user satisfaction levels among CMSs. WordPress had a rate of 85% (44% “it’s OK” plus 41% “very satisfied”), though lagging behind Expression Engine, which was at 94% (30% “it’s OK” plus 64% “very satisifed”).

Enter the comments who question WordPress as a full-fledged CMS and dismiss it as a mere blogging platform. Granted, the structure of WordPress really is meant for blogging. But why deprive it of the term “Content Management System”? Is it because WordPress isn’t generic enough? Should WordPress have to aspire for the title of a “true” CMS, or are people happy with the direction it’s going?

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Blogging from Home Online Workshop launched

September 1, 2008 | No Comments Yet

With the great success of Janette Toral’s book, Blogging from Home, comes an accompanying online workshop presented in interactive text, audio, and video. It costs $10 quarterly or $30 yearly. Here’s a rundown of the topics to be discussed:

  • Blogging 101 Workshop
  • Blog Ethics Workshop
  • Blog Content Development Workshop
  • Blog Promotion Workshop
  • Blogging as a Business
  • Corporate Blogging Workshop

People who finish the online workshop will be given certificates of completion. Also, those who bought the Blogging from Home book will have a week of free access to the e-learning site. The workshop is also a collaboration with Buddy Gancenia.

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Blogging from Home book by Janette Toral launched

August 21, 2008 | 1 Comment

Blogging from Home by Janette Toral

One way to tell a professional blogger has achieved massive success is when he—in this case, she—releases a book. Yes, the digital Filipino and and influential blogger extraordinaire Janette Toral has launched her book called Blogging from Home last week at the Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit.

Blogging from Home was written for easy reading and designed for the typical Internet user who wants to learn about blogging and its various use for business or personal intent.

So how can you buy the book? You can go online or pick it up from one of the leading bookstores.

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Philippine Blog Awards 2008 date and venue announced

July 31, 2008 | 3 Comments

Update: Here’s the official announcement at the Philippine Blog Awards blog.

We’re getting closer and closers to one of the biggest Philippine blogging events of the year, and it just so happens it’s also in September, like WordCamp Philippines. Yes, the Philippine Blog Awards night will take place on September 21, 2008, at the Coral B room of One Esplanade (near SM Mall of Asia and Manila Bay).

Here’s a video announcement and tour of the venue:

A few minor notes on this event: the date was originally August 30, but because it was announced that the Eraserheads reunion concert will be held that night, PBA 2008 had to be rescheduled. Also, the website has been migrated to a new server, so you may be seeing the default WordPress theme instead of the snazzier design.

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Unofficial International WordPress Day on July 1

June 25, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Unofficial International WordPress Day July 1

WordPress fans, it’s time to toast to our love of this awesome blogging CMS on Tuesday, July 1, 2008. The Unofficial International WordPress Day is hosted by WPCandy, and it will be one whole day of showing how much people adore WordPress.

How do you participate?

If you love WordPress as much as we do, then we invite you to blog about it with us on Tuesday, July 1. It doesn’t have to be too formal or anything, just make a simple (or incredibly long) post about WordPress. Here are some topics your post could cover:

  • Why you use it and prefer it over other CMSs
  • How it’s helped your business or blog
  • A thank you letter to Automattic
  • Your top-secret tips and tricks

There will be 20 prizes given away, including themes, banner ads, plugins, and more. Complete details found here.

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The list to end all lists on How to Blog

May 26, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Look no further than Skellie’s blog for answers on all your blogging questions. Read The Pocket-sized Guide to Blogging. It’s not too long, not too short. It’s just right.

Take for example her straightforward advice about getting comments:

How to get more comments

  1. Respond.

Don’t you all agree? Skellie better provide an printer-ready version of the list; I’m sure thousands of bloggers will be asking about it!

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2.3 Million Filipino Bloggers

May 16, 2008 | 6 Comments

Here’s a list of Philippine internet and blogging usage by the numbers, according to the Wave.3 Social Media Tracker (PDF file, 25.66 MB) by Universal McCann, a New York media agency.

  • 14 million use the internet (15.4% penetration rate as of April 2007)
  • 3.7 million actively use the internet (as of March 2008)

Out of the 3.7 million active users (between 16 to 54 years old):

  • 3.6 million / 98.6% : watch videos
  • 3.3 million / 90.3% : read blogs
  • 3.1 million / 86.4% : post pictures
  • 3.0 million / 83.1% : create profiles on social networks
  • 2.3 million / 65.8% : have a blog
  • 2.2 million / 60.5% : upload videos
  • 2.2 million / 61.8% : listen to podcasts
  • 1.6 million / 45.2% : subscribe to feeds

(Note: some figures were rounded down or roughly calculated to complete the number-and-percentage pairings.)

It’s interesting to see that podcasts are actually more popular than feeds even though they’re usually powered by syndication technologies.

(Via 100% Batangueno)

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Bloggers Unite for Human Rights on May 15

May 15, 2008 | 1 Comment

Bloggers Unite

You might be familiar with past iterations of Bloggers Unite. On a certain date, bloggers come together to learn and spread the word about one important issue. Today, May 15th, it’s about Human Rights.

I recently wrote about the possibility of Philippine bloggers being put in danger because of what they write. People have suffered terrible fates because of what they write, including our country. In certain countries, bloggers already belong to that group; we could be next.

But this day is not just about the abuse of the freedom of expression, but other rights. As bloggers, we should not stop with what may put ourselves in danger, but that which concerns our families, our neighbors, our countrymen. Blogging is as much about keeping our eyes open and learning about the world around us as it is about posting updates about our mundane lives.

Take time out to discover these human rights issues presented by Amnesty International. These are just suggested topics you can write about:

  • Human Rights In China: “China has long promised to improve its human rights record for before the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. Instead, there has been a crackdown on peaceful dissent in Tibet, prominent human rights activists, and media. Today, China human rights record is worse than it was before they made their promise.”
  • Illegal Detentions at Guantanamo Bay: “Since first detainees arrived on January 11, 2002, the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay has become a global symbol of U.S. human rights violations. Infractions have included: illegal detention, denial of fundamental legal rights, and torture. The only proper recourse is to close the detention facility.”
  • Crisis in Darfur: “One of the worst atrocities and abuses of human rights in the world today is taking place in Darfur, Sudan. The conflict in this country has led to the worst human rights abuses imaginable — the systematic and widespread murder, rape, abduction, and displacement of peaceful citizens.”

Participate in today’s challenge by grabbing a badge, blogging about a human rights issue, and sharing it at the Bloggers Unite group page.

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Contests: Win Cash, Laptop Bag, Kubota Artistic Tools, Power Hits 2 CD, Web Hosting and Domain, Nokia N70, Sony Cybershot

April 25, 2008 | 5 Comments

More contests for Pinoy bloggers this month of April:

Win $50 from Makoy’s Memoirs of a Certified Blogger
Deadline: April 30, 2008

Win a Laptop Bag for Eee PC from AllAboutEeePC.com
Deadline: April 30, 2008 at 23:59:59

Win a copy of Kubota Artistic Tools v4 from Shutter Box Philippines
Deadline: May 1, 2008

Win Domain and Hosting from Pinoy Teens
Deadline: Unknown

Win a Power Hits 2 CD from Music Picks from a Music Lover Blogger
Deadline: April 30, 2008

Win Nokia N70 Music Edition, Sony Cybershot, or 15,000 Pesos from Kwentong Barbero
Deadline: April 30, 2008

If you will notice, a lot of these contests have unspecified deadlines. It’s not a very good idea to do that especially if you want to convince your audience to act on your offer.

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Blogging May Not Be Deadly, But It Has a Whole Sweatshop of Other Problems

April 7, 2008 | 4 Comments

It’s currently the hottest story at TechMeme. The New York Times reports that “In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop“. Drop dead, that is. They consider professional blogging a “digital-era sweatshop”, referring to a factory where its workers are sorely underpaid and unprotected.

Bloggers call it a really low blow. Of course it’s concluding that blogging can be the death of you is full of hype and hot air; as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you shouldn’t have a problem. You don’t even need to be a blogger, or a web worker in general, to have this problem. (I suggest you read the Top 10 Quotes Against Work to see just how wretched are lives our because of work.)

The Big But

But I have to say that NYT is going somewhere with its term, sweatshop.

I believe that unless you’re a high-profile blogger, you are suffering in a new kind of sweatshop. Since we are only beginning to lay the groundwork for web-based employment, we lack the very same labor rights older generations have fought for at the beginning of the 20th century! How very modern of the Web, isn’t it? Indeed, there are very many questions that need to be answered, but I have to wonder if anybody is asking them at all.

Fighting for online “labor” rights in a Philippine setting is harder. Isn’t cheap labor exactly why outsourcing is such a big thing in the Philippines? They allow themselves to be worth much less than their foreign counterparts so that more opportunities may arrive their way. Skellie writes that you should “never write for less than $50 for a 500+ word post — even when you’re just starting out.” If you’re a Pinoy problogger and you’re earning $50 a post, can you raise your hand? I’d love to know the name of your employer.

American bloggers will soon enjoy health benefits, which is a pretty good sign online media is starting to look a little more legit, but as I have asked before, what about Filipino bloggers? Are they not supposed to enjoy any sort of benefits compared to the office workers of Makati, Eastwood, and Ortigas just because unlike them, they can work anytime, anywhere?

Come to think of it, do Filipino web workers even sign any sort of contract when they engage in online work? (I’m not even going to ask if they pay their taxes.) Do they even care about protecting themselves, in case the company suddenly disappears or turns out to be ripping them off, especially if they are working for them full-time? Who will back them up when they complain that their creations have been plagiarized?

In the U.S., job security has become an issue lately because of the country’s plunging economy, but they’re still a first world country. Foreign employers won’t be worrying about Filipino health benefits! It’s foolish to align ourselves with them all the time just because we can communicate with them more easily over the Internet. The digital divide is still very real, and it’s constantly widening whether we like it or not.

We’ve had tons of blogging summits, conferences, parties, meetups, and all sorts of get-togethers in the past few years. I have to wonder if any of those events have actually addressed these very real and more pressing issues. To borrow a very popular phrase: kung hindi ngayon, kailan? kung hindi rito, saan? kung hindi tayo, sino?

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Events: Butch Dalisay Talk, Davao Food Appreciation Tour, BlogBank Launch, and Tons of Concerts!

March 14, 2008 | 5 Comments

Here are some notable events that are buzzing around the Philippine blogosphere this time of year:

Butch Dalisay on Creative Non-Fiction for Bloggers

Butch Dalisay by Juned

Kape @ Pandesal sa Isla Series No: 2 features a conversation with Butch Dalisay, a Palanca Hall of Fame Awardee. You can view a partial video of the talk or full audio at the Blog and Soul website. And here’s a nice narration of the event courtesy of PinoyCentric. (A podcast of the previous talk, Libel and Blogging, can also be downloaded.)

Davao Food Appreciation Tour

Davao Food Appreciation Tour image by Davao Food Trip

Davao Food Appreciation Tour (Davao FAT) is literally a food trip for over 20 bloggers throughout 8 establishments in Davao. It follows the Davao Food Trip that was held last December to January. Davao FAT begins March 14 and ends on March 16.

BlogBank Launch

BlogBank logo

Blog Bank, the first blog advertising network in the Philippines, held a launch party on March 13 at Red Box Greenbelt, Makati. Regnard Raquedan writes:

The launch was held at the spiffy Red Box Karaoke in Greenbelt 3, Makati City. The BlogBank team threw a rockin’ karaoke party for the advertisers, publishers and bloggers, with a short program to recognize the Top 3 advertisers (eLBC, Delifrance & Nokia), as well as the Top 3 earning publishers (Jehzeel, Kiven and Anton).

Concerts!

Maroon 5 Concert photo by darna33

Finally, let’s talk about concerts. You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t about all the great musicians gracing our islands in the past few weeks. But for your sake, here’s a rundown:

  • Ne-Yo (March 1)
  • Maroon 5 (March 5)
  • Incubus (March 9)
  • Colbie Caillat (March 11)
  • Earth, Wind and Fire Experience featuring Al McKay (March 11)
  • Mandy Moore (March 12)
  • Incognito (March 14)
  • Harry Connick Jr. (March 15)
  • Celine Dion (March 15)

Don’t feel so bad if you haven’t attended any of these, because even bigger artists are coming to town!

  • Joss Stone (April)
  • Toto (April 3)
  • Swing Out Sister (April 7)
  • Duran Duran (April 10)
  • Damian Marley (May)
  • Natalie Cole (May)
  • James Blunt (May 19)
  • The Click Five (May 30)
  • Steve Tyrell (May 30)
  • Madonna (July)
  • Josh Groban (July)
  • Dave Matthews Band (September)
  • Justin Timberlake (October)
  • U2 (October)
  • Usher (November)

(Info from edarevalo.net, PhilMUG, and TicketNet.)

Are you psyched yet? Woot!

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Contests: Win an iPod Touch, a Ne-Yo CD, 2 Domains, a Cellphone Game, FruitfulTime, or Cash!

February 28, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Update: Check out our very own contest here at WordPress Philippines!

Okay, here’s another round of online contests in the Pinoy blogosphere. Hurry and join these contests before they end:

Win an 8 GB iPod Touch from I Share Happiness
Deadline: March 24, 2008 at 12:00am Manila Time (GMT +08:00 Hong Kong)

Win Ne-yo’s Because of You CD from Music Picks by a Music Lover Blogger
Deadline: March 23, 2008

Win 2 Domains from Pink Glamour
Deadline: March 19, 2008

Win Php2,000 from Pinoy Money Talk
Deadline: March 5, 2008

Win a cellphone game from Cellphone9
Deadline: March 5, 2008

Win a FruitfulTime productivity software license from The J Spot
Deadline: Until the 150th comment

Win up to PhP5,000 from Reyna Elena
Deadline: February 28, 2008 12:00 Midnight Eastern Standard Time (Time in New York and Philadelphia) and that would be 12 noon on February 29, 2008 in Manila (a bit late to add here but at least you’ve got several hours left!)

It’s amazing how generous these bloggers are, no? It’s not even a month since the last post on blog contests and some of them are not even done yet, so be sure join those ones too!

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Contests for Pinoy Bloggers this February 2008

February 16, 2008 | 4 Comments

Karlo Licudine of Pinoy Blogero has written about the contests for Pinoy Bloggers for the Month of February:

I’ve mentioned how active the Philippine blogging community is, and the evidence keeps on coming in!

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Blog Event: Blog Ethics and Libel Roundtable Discussion (KAPE sa Isla Series)

February 11, 2008 | 1 Comment

The Philippine blogging scene has never been more colorful than it is now. We’ve seen how Filipino bloggers have faithfully reported and bravely expressed their views about the hottest issue in the Philippines right now. This time, we have another blogging event to add to an already long list!

The Blog and Soul Movement presents Blog Ethics and Libel, the first of the Kape sa Isla series for bloggers and would-be bloggers alike. Here’s the schedule:

Date : Saturday, February 16, 2007
Time : 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Venue: Kape Isla, Serendra, Across Market Market
Moderator : Atty. Luis (Butch) H. Dado

As of writing, 9 slots are available. Admission is free, though you are highly encouraged to bring books to support the RockEd Philippines’ BookBigayan project.

What is the Blog and Soul Movement? I wrote a blog post a while back about this Pinoy blogging initiative, and these words seem to have been quoted on their website:

“…the movement aims to transform blogging into a reputable arm of Philippine media. From the looks of it, Blog and Soul is finding ways to accommodate bloggers so they can cover events traditional media would have effortless access to.”

View Event | Via Pinoy Blogero

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