Siege Malvar asked me several questions about blogging in the context of social causes.
1. Can you tell me about the whole psychology of blogging as an “action” for a cause?
Every blogger has his own reason for blogging. For some, they just want to vent out their strong feelings, you know, ranting. For some, they blog to share information, like when a blogger finishes a PS2 game and shares his experience and tips. Some bloggers want to express their thoughts on matters that are important for them. And there are bloggers who blog to influence others. Some bloggers may be motivated by some or all of these reasons.
Your question fits nicely with the profile of a blogger whose aim is to influence. To influence in this case is to convince the reader that the blogger’s idea/opinion is correct, and to goad the reader into action. So there are two operative phrases: to convince, and to translate that into action. It’s like being a salesman or marketer.
A blogger may not know if he has successfully influenced a reader, enough for the reader to take action.
2. Do you really think it works to “just blog” about stuff? Is it enough to blog?
We can never tell. Again, it depends on why you blog, on what you want to achieve from blogging. We Filipinos are inherently indolent. We also have a keen sense of conscience. The two don’t mix. We all know we have social responsibilities, but not all of us want to exercise that. So we have half-hearted activism. We have armchair analysts. For some, it is enough to just express their thoughts. If that is the case, with some many people wanting Arroyo impeached, how come it doesn’t happen?
No, I don’t think it is enough just to blog about it, but for some of us, that’s the least we could do.
3. Do you think blogging is an effective way to solve the country’s problems, and why?
Blogging is effective if (1) we can convince people that our solution to the country’s problems are correct and (2) we can convince people to act on our solution. Otherwise, blogging is just an academic exercise and not much else.
For example, what if you want to foment a revolution? You need strategists, tacticians, officers, soldiers, and propagandists. The strategist defines the goals of the revolution, the tactician designs missions to reach those goals, officers execute these missions, and soldiers implement them. However, as in any war, the support of non-combatants is necessary, for logistics and military buildup. Here comes the propagandist. His job is to convince the people that the war is a necessary evil, and that volunteers are needed.
Blogging as it is will never be a solution – that idea is simplistic. There should always be action after much deliberation. Blogging is a great tool for presenting information and analysis, and exchanging ideas and opinions. In any problem solving, this interaction, this exchange, is essential, since from this exchange, we can draft plans. The hardest part is always in execution.