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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US government cracks down on blogger giveaways

June 23, 2009 | 1 Comment

Although not applicable to the Philippines, it helps to be aware of this: The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing more stringent guidelines on the way bloggers accept certain perks, which usually equate to writing blog posts about them.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

[..]

Existing FTC rules already ban deceptive and unfair business practices. The proposed guidelines aim to clarify the law and for the first time specifically include bloggers, defined loosely as anyone writing a personal journal online.

This is not a new issue, really, except that the US government is now looking into what should be considered legal based on arbitrary ethical standards. Which, of course, is not a black and white matter especially in the blogosphere.

Bloggers complain that with FTC oversight, they’d be too worried about innocent posts getting them in trouble, and they say they might simply quit or post less frequently.

“It would always be better for bloggers to self-police,” said Robert Cox, president of Media Bloggers Association in New Rochelle, N.Y. “We have laws on the books. They apply to everybody, not just people who write blogs.”

Yuli Ziv, who writes a fashion blog from New York, is working on one such effort at self-regulation, helping craft an ethics policy for about 15 Web sites as part of the Style Coalition started in January to help bloggers become more professional.

“It’s been an issue, regardless of the FTC,” she said. “It’s about trust.”

The safest route is to practice full disclosure at all times, which a lot of the pay-per-post and similar online advertising companies require anyway.

One can only wonder how the Philippine government will deal with this once they hear about it.

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4 types of bloggers and a roundtable discussion on blog marketing

April 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

New Media Philippines author Carlo Ople has written his own take on the different types of bloggers. For him, there are 4 kinds: hobby bloggers, journal bloggers, Google bloggers, and value bloggers.

He also mentions a fifth one, the “Patay Gutom Blogger”, which brushes up against ethical issues in blogger-related events held by marketing and PR firms:

These bloggers are basically not bloggers at all. Since more and more companies are tapping bloggers for product launches, some people have realized that they just need to make a free blogger account to be qualified as a “blogger”. This serves as their free pass to events which usually has goodie bags and food.

Which leads me to cite the recently held bloggers’ roundtable discussion on Blogging & Blog Marketing at AIM’s internet marketing course Winning Internet Marketing Strategies & Tactics. Here are the key points:

  1. Bloggers are diverse: We come in all shapes & sizes, and different backgrounds, interests & motivations
  2. Despite the diversity, bloggers have one big thing in common: passion
  3. Bloggers follow a personal code of ethics (e.g. advertising, blogger events, etc.)
  4. For most bloggers, online reputation matters
  5. When working with bloggers, authenticity of the advocacy & commitment of the company/proponent is important (i.e. “one shot advocacy events,” hard sell to bloggers)
  6. Money is generally looked down upon as a reward/incentive
  7. When working with bloggers, companies should strive to make an impression and make sure the blogger has a story to tell after the event

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Revolution premium theme goes open source

October 3, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Visit Revolution Two, the new site of the free, open source themes.

Revolution, the WordPress theme by Brian Gardner that very well started the premium theme craze, is going open source. An announcement at Gardner’s blog says that by October 31, all of the Revolution themes will no longer be available.

By November 1, a new Revolution site containing GPL licensed themes will be launched. And Jason Schuller will team up with Brian Gardner on the new project.

This is Brian’s explanation for the changes being made to the Revolution theme project:

This one is really simple – more than anything, Jason and I want to develop a resource and community that is perfectly aligned with WordPress. Both he and I have been fortunate enough to leave our day jobs within the past year and have developed our own media companies. None of that would have been possible without the existence of WordPress, which is solely built and supported by the open source community.

It only seems fair that we abandon our current premium theme models, and begin a new way of doing business. I contacted Matt and Toni to see if they would be gracious enough to carve out some time to meet with us, so we could ensure that our business model was in compliance with standards set forth by the authors of the GPL license as well as with WordPress.

This sounds like great news, especially in light of the recent discussion about the ethics of premium themes.

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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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Manila Bulletin strikes back against Anton Sheker, claims fair use

July 21, 2008 | 3 Comments

Update: Anton Sheker confirms the story and shares his feelings on the matter.

What’s the latest development in this photographer-blogger lawsuit against Manila Bulletin for copyright infringement and damages? The newspaper has filed a counter lawsuit for exemplary and moral damages at 2 million pesos.

According to Abe Olandres, Manila Bulletin “claims fair use in its publication of the photos”. I’m not quite sure if Manila Bulletin or the Philippine copyright law is at fault here. I hope that our lawyer bloggers a.k.a. blawgers lend their expertise on the matter.

How does Anton Sheker feel?

Mixed emotions but the the fight for copyright and how this will affect any dealings with future copyright issues online pushes me forward…I can now scratch out this part of my bucket list!

I’m sure many Filipinos will be disappointed when it just so happens that the plagiarizing party comes out of this unscathed. Fair use or no fair use, does resorting to counter lawsuits and technicalities reflect the ethics of true journalism?

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