WordCamp Philippines 2009 early registration begins

July 14, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordCamp Philippines is less 2 months away and registration is now open. The earlier you pay, the less you spend.

Right now it only costs Php500 or $12 for a ticket, which includes lunch and freebies. This rate lasts only until August 8. Unfortunately they only accept PayPal, but I expect that to change pretty soon.

Also watch out for t-shirts and stickers that will be sold online. Can’t wait for the e-store to come back!

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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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