iBlog5 Notes

1:31 am PHT

Wow! The Philippine Blogging Summit, popularly known as iBlog, is now on its fifth year. This is a wonderful milestone and I would like to congratulate Ms. Janette Toral and the UP College of Law through its Internet and Society Program. I have been attending since iBlog3 and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I consider the Philippine Blogging Summit is the mother of all blog events in the country and iBlog has become a national event with the attendance of Davao (Mindanao) bloggers in iBlog4 and the Cebu bloggers this year. So if you’re a Pinoy blogger and you’ve never been to one, then you should go next year to iBlog6!

Like last year, iBlog5 was held at the Malcolm Theater in UP Diliman and was similarly a whole day affair that occurred last May 9, Saturday. And like last year, I arrived late, but this time I managed to arrive before lunch.  :-P I basically barged into the middle of Ka Edong’s talk on mobile blogging.

The most interesting talks for me this year were all the presentations regarding blogging vis-a-vis next year’s elections and that of Anton Diaz’ idea of blogger evolution. 2010 is an election year and it’s quite certain that the Internet and the Web, and blogs in particular, will get a larger piece of the action come campaign season. Thus, two presentations were about the upcoming elections. The first was by James Jimenez, director of the Education and Information Department of COMELEC. He shared their experiences with using a blog for educating the Filipino voting population. The second talk was by Janette (standing in for Blogie). Some issues that were discussed will be the nature of political ad spending online and the possibility of politicians buying influential bloggers to promote them.

As for Anton Diaz’ talk about how bloggers tend to evolve from being an artist, to an advocate, to an entrepreneur, until finally reaching maven status, I found it to be pretty sensible. Most bloggers start out writing on blogs to express themselves (i.e., being an “artist”) before advocating for their blogs, then earning a living from several of them, and finally making blogging a life passion by giving back to the community. After all of the recent brouhaha regarding classifying bloggers and answering the question, “what kind of blogger are you?”, Anton tries to transcend the discussion by asking, “are you evolving as a blogger?”

While Anton’s talk resonated with me, I don’t think the evolution talk completely avoids the controversy regarding pigeon-holing bloggers. For one thing, it seems to say that bloggers should evolve when I think that most bloggers don’t give a damn. As Juned mentions a few times in his blog (e.g., this one and that one), trying to categorize bloggers into distinct types or even levels is simply an imperfect way of looking at the vast spectrum that is the blogosphere. It’s like trying to define where red ends and orange begins in a rainbow. I don’t think classifying blogs and bloggers is wrong per se (after all, there’s nothing wrong with saying that an apple is red), but anyone doing the classifying and anyone looking at the classification needs to remember that there are limitations.

Anyway, here are some choice pictures taken using a crappy cellphone camera.  :-) The rest can be found on Flickr.

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