Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just all honesty.

I had my first blog in 2006 to join the bandwagon of my blogger blocmates. I could literally count by fingers the number of people in our class who aren’t into blogging. The other reason why I decided to have a blog is because it’s more convenient to type how my day went than pushing my pen. Aside from blogspot, I also had my livejournal account because of the “mood” option which was totally cool for me that time. When I created a multiply account, my random thoughts and stories were all kept there as well.

In the middle of 2009, I lost interest in blogging as evidenced by the sudden drop of entries I posted in weeks and eventually the months that followed. The nature of my work that time somehow affected my “productivity” as a blogger. No, it’s not because I’m too busy but because my ability to write long sentences or paragraphs is nowhere to be found that time since I’m too used to write five sentences at the most. I know this is a crazy excuse but believe me, during those times that I want to “resurrect” the blogger in me, I’m simply lost for words.

Fast forward to 2010, I started blogging again and honestly, I felt that a part of me became alive again. Drama much, but it’s the crazy truth. And until now, everytime I click the publish button, I always feel a sense of achievement.
It’s like finishing one random entry made you a better writer… at least you can pretend to be one right? It’s like one random entry can change my entire view about life.
It’s like giving birth to a bouncing baby boy....after all the struggles, you’re just too relieved that finally he came out just like the way you want him to.

And finally, blogging and writing is simply an orgasmic experience for me. Hahaha such a strong word, but it really is for me. You know, that “feeling” when after doing it (I’m referring to writing and blogging of course, what are you thinking?:p), there’s like fireworks or an unexplainable kind of extreme happiness, satisfaction, and contentment all happening at once inside your body. Am I still making sense here? Haha!

Blogging and writing became my security blanket, my comfort zone. When I’m depressed, I penned my thoughts until I come up with a poem. When I’m disgusted or overly annoyed with someone, I turn on my computer and started typing like a maniac. When I’m excited to share a happy or special experience in my life, I log on to  Blogging is the best thing that I discovered in cyberspace because in here, I can express my truest self, voice out my honest opinions, and share even the most random thing that will cross my mind. It’s all in here in this blog---my experiences, my views, and the story of my life.

It is me speaking. It is I doing the talking. Me, myself, and I and this blog are ONE

As much as I enjoy blogging, I also love reading other people’s blogs or what others call bloghopping/walking even during my kolehiya blogger days. It’s fun, informative, and of course entertaining to know what other people are up to.  It’s like you’re given the privilege to be part of their lives or gain access to their minds. Cool huh? Well, sometimes it can also be dangerous.
Back in college days when everybody in the class is into blogging and were still immature bloggers, many would post, including me, “hate entries” against other people that even cost them their friendships. Looking back, it’s really crazy, stupid, and saddening because instead of confronting each other, many chose to attack other people by calling them names in their blogs. But that’s over now, I guess. I’m sure many already learned their lesson that not because it’s their blog they’re entitled to badmouth other people, especially a blocmate or a friend. Hello, every household now has an internet connection so it’s only a matter of time before it gets discovered…especially by an extremely outspoken biatch whom you call friend. Good luck to that ^_^
All the while, I thought that bloggers are well, just bloggers. You know, they see blogging as a hobby and nothing else. It’s like your modern dear diary kind of thing that you used to do back in your highschool days. 

But everything is all different now when it comes to blogging. While majority are into personal blogging, the blogosphere has now different niches- food, fashion, technology, sports, travel, family and parenting, and health and wellness. I say it’s totally cool! I mean, you have people out there in the cyberworld sharing their “expertise” on a certain field through their blogs. I love travel bloggers! They’re so informative and entertaining to read. Aside from sharing their travel experiences there, they would also include beautiful snapshots of the place, the what and where-tos, and even travel expenses. They would even recommend bangkeros in their blog which is really sweet because they help these people with their livelihoods. AND THEY ARE GIVING THIS FORM OF PROMOTION/ADVERTISEMENT FOR FREE.

Now let me go to my point.

The company I’m working for recently participated in a blogging event which is said to invite the “influential bloggers.” I see. So weeks prior to the event, I checked out the participating bloggers, hoping to find people who are easy and fun to read. While going through their blogs, a handful of them were happy, excited, and proud to be part of the “150 influential bloggers.” Oh, okay. The questions that still linger in my head are HOW and WHY?

Why are they influential and how they became influential? While it’s not my intention to question the organizers’ decision or these bloggers’ inclusion in this “prestigious event,” I just can’t help but feel…..awful with the organizers’ decision. I mean, how did they arrive with these 150 “influential bloggers” list? Yes, I have my reservations on the attendees.

First, there’s really nothing special on their blog. Except that they have a niche and they “seemed” to really be an expert on that niche. Like if you’re a “fashion/beauty” blogger, IT IS A MUST to post pictures of your “highly fashionable” wardrobe that day, and then name the brands of your clothing pieces as caption. Then in your entry, describe why are you wearing that outfit or mention you just stop by at a certain coffee shop to grab a quick drink that’s why you’re wearing that cutesy outfit. Soooooo damn creative, right? ^_^ Oh, and don’t forget to post pictures of your killer high heels in four different angles! Yehey!

Second, it looks like they’re trying hard to be cool since they are “influential.” I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but reading their entries every single day of the week (it’s part of my job until next month) makes me….waaaaaaaah! Okay, so you attended this major event by a popular company, met with some blogger friends during the occasion, this person hosted the event, and then somebody performed, and the event was a resounding success, end of entry. Wait, that’s it? SERIOUSLY, THAT’S ALL YOU CAN SAY? That the event was superb, the food was great, there were too many people, you can’t believe you were invited in that exclusive event blah, blah, blah. Believe me, I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF THE BLOGS THAT I FOLLOW! I LOVE THESE FEW BLOGGERS I FOLLOW AND I WILL NEVER EVER GET TIRED OF READING THEM. I SWEAR!

Lastly, they are corrupted. I admit that my view on blogging is very traditional meaning I write to express my ideas, my thoughts, my emotions. I also understand that there are some people who make money online, google adsense I think is the usual advertiser but I am not really sure about this thing because I was never really interested to commercialize my blog. As I’ve said, this is my personal space so there’s no way that I’m going to resort to those things albeit my need for extra income. Yes, I’d like to think that I am a writer by profession and for pleasure. Maybe that’s the reason why I won’t ever jump to this bandwagon. For me, blogging is very personal and very sacred. If I wanted to earn extra money, there are plenty of writing gigs out there. Sadly, their offers aren’t high enough but you see, I’d still prefer that rather than turning my blog into some kind of business. There are magazines also who pay decently for contributors.

I am very surprised, disappointed, and disgusted with bloggers who were corrupted and blinded with the PR system. Companies would willingly pay media outfits to secure a space for an important news or announcement that they will be releasing. These articles beautify, praise, promote, or even extol the company.  PR writers, whether in-house or through agency, always write to the advantage of their masters without being too blatant about it or else it would end up in the editor’s trash bin while their goodies (in kind or in cash) will go to where it should go.  It’s a little bit crazy job since you need to appear as objective as possible without using words that are sure proofs of you being an employee of that company like the best, most responsible, very generous, etc. It’s a hopeless article, unless you’re going to pass it to your English teacher, who knows he or she might give some considerations for effort.

“Influential” bloggers are today’s modern hao-siaos or pseudo-journalists. Like journalists, companies invite them to their events, have their nametag stickers for identification purposes during events,  receive press kits, and  enjoy free lunch at Edsa Shangri-la and dinner at Manila Peninsula. I’m not sure though if Samsung gives free DVD players or if a P500 worth of SM GCs accidentally found its way on their press kits as well. Anyway, after all that’s been said and done, these influential bloggers will post several photos of them during the event and few details on what they just attended. I also wonder what they do to press releases. But my biggest question is, did they ask the right questions during the event? Did they even ask in the first place? I doubt since getting the most important details and proper angling of the event are the jobs of a journalist. That’s what separates them. Bloggers are just there to attend and blog what the event was all about…or how much they had a blast! Journalists need to come up with a well written piece because it is their bread and butter.  But the thing is, they just don’t write what it obvious. They dig deeper. Their minds are full of malice. They ask courageous and stupid questions. They record conversations. They listen to it over and over again. Then they write…according to their chosen angle.  To compare how journalists and bloggers write and think during events is pointless since it’s like comparing a red apple to a ripe mango--- they’re exactly different kinds of fruits so I’ll stop from here.  I know that the former are pros while the latter are mostly stay-at-home kind of people. So I’ll just shut up and move on.

Going back, these bloggers whom I recently discovered and met (some of them) personally during the event were corrupt. Why? They charge for product reviews, company announcements, and press releases! And this scene plays vividly in my mind during the event. Bloggers opening right there and then their loot bags like it’s their first time to receive a gift. Worse, they ran to each other to “trade” stuff. My initial reaction: #$@^!

What an e-m-b-a-r-r-a-s-s-i-n-g site! Sorry, but I’m not really accustomed seeing people in such events act like this. Even attending that Samsung event before where they gave free DVD players, I didn’t see reporters opening the boxes right there and then! Even if they knew that our press kit will have an “add-on” GC after attending the 3rd quarter financial report of two big real estate companies owned by the richest man in the Philippines and the richest lawmaker in the land, the reporters I am with waited before we left the place before checking the “press kit.”   

Come on! Why would they charge? They don’t even give good reviews unless the company-sponsored event they attended is holding a contest or something. Why? Why? Why? It just saddens me that “popularity” gets into the head of some of these bloggers but still that doesn’t permit them to charge. I really don’t understand why they can’t just do it for free rather than for a fee.

My only sentiment is that, they are enjoying all these freebies and yet they still charge companies who want some promotional space in their blog. It’s totally unfair! Journalists and media outfits don’t do those things. They’ll publish a story if they see the news worthiness in it. They only accept favors if the company is really in dire need of media exposure to promote itself in the market otherwise, all’s fair in the battlefield. While these “influential bloggers” enjoy privileges which I think they don’t deserve at all.

Oh, they have a disclaimer though. It goes something like, I accept paid advertisements/products reviews but there’s no way it will affect my honest opinion on the product.

Ang taray di ba! I find it funny because no matter how they say it, they are still overpaid for the “service” they provided to the company. Quality, enough said! But I have to admit they are “smart” people who successfully outwitted companies to give in to their demands after threatening them that they won’t be blogging a very honest and objective 500 word (if lucky enough to reach that word count) “substantive” entry regarding their product or service if they wouldn’t pay or give them something. Now I want to disagree with one blogger who claimed that bloggers are mababaw ang kaligayahan because they are not and they will never be since they keep on demanding freebies everytime companies approach them. If I will describe them, they are corrupt but in a mababaw ang kaligayahan kind of way because if they truly are, a simple thank you from the company would do. If they are really mababaw, they’ll leave it to the company’s discretion whether or not they will give them a token or not. Sadly, it’s the mababaw ang kaligayahan bloggers who demand they’d be given something. But they have the last say. Deal or no deal.  Taray!

And I can’t believe that some companies fell into their kind of crap…errr… trap…errr crap…errr trap.


  1. Dear Madie, I love your post!

    "For me, blogging is very personal and very sacred." -- particularly this line.

    I understand the need of some bloggers to earn, but I cannot see why they should be acting "journalist-like" when they cannot write like one.

    I cannot say that I'm a good writer. But one thing's for sure. Each of my blog posts is a labor of love.

  2. To pose as "pseudo-journalist" or mediamen is quite tolerable since these people are rampant. Think of vehicles with stickers/sign of media do not delay or those who wear supposed media ids haha. What disgusts me with these bloggers are they're imitating the corrupt system e. Yun nga e, they would demand this and that but their writings are....alam na!hahaha

    Basta ako, I enjoy blogs that I follow. Informative,simple, and entertaining. Talagang labor of love nga ang bawat post ^_^

  3. Corrupt system, yes, I agree with you.

    I think that if they want to earn from blogging, they should do their part in learning how to write, how to take photos correctly, etc.

  4. hi Madie,

    about the influential blog award thingy, i heard it's like a popularity contest. you must convince other people to blog you daw. parang ganyan, tama ba? hehe ayun na pala ang definition ng influential.. kebs! ;)

    and like you, im passionate about blogging. i discourage anyone who'll start blogging only to earn. ang panget na reason!!

    -- im very flattered. thanks! ^_^

  5. OMG Ms. Chyng *faints* haha I'm a big fan haha ang lupet naman kasi ng travel adventures/experiences mo....unexpected naman na makita ko ang comment mo dito, kinikilig tuloy ako in a non-lesbo way ha ;p

    What I don't like about these influential bloggers lang talaga e yun nga corrupt sila. Cmon who are they to demand for gifts etc?e yung mga media nga they don't demand na e haha. kala mo naman kasi mga kagalingan haha

    I meant that phrase :) And if you noticed din, I was referring to you as the travel blogger who's informative and entertaining to read hehe. thanks for dropping by

  6. hey madie,
    see, i may not seem to reply in my blog but i'll repay your visit by reading your blog in return. (saw a traffic from this site so i followed it)

    will try to join in the contest you mentioned! thanks! =)