On blogging hiatus

Until further notice. I have to attend to several important personal matters. Will tell why. If I get to be back online, that is.

Till then. Wish me luck.

If you need to contact me, look for me in Facebook.


Blogging as an action for a cause

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.


Let there be change in this country, and let it begin with me

I was only 7 years old when EDSA People Power 1 happened. I was old enough to remember, but I wasn’t there. I couldn’t remember seeing it on TV. I couldn’t remember reading the news, or hearing from radio. What I knew I had read from other people’s accounts, so I cannot share anything at all. I do remember one of those coup attempts afterwards. I can vividly remember those planes they called tora tora encircling Manila. I was about to go to school when a neighbor sent me back home due to the coup.

Twenty two years later, and six years after EDSA 2 and 3, we keep on asking ourselves, where did we go wrong?

Some people call people power as a revolution. Was it? If it was, then that is where we went wrong. It was an incomplete revolution.

Many keep on harping about change. Some of them tells us to start within ourselves. I agree. And I think the next revolution should start within ourselves.

During the heyday of Hello Garci (back in 2005), when Black and White Movement was born, many people smirked and argued that it is not simply black and white – there is always the shades of gray. This thinking may be realistic, but it has brought us to where we are right now. Jun Lozada‘s expose brought home this point, using a line that will probably symbolize this regime forever: moderate their greed.

Life’s ambiguity can lead to confusion. Subscribing to shades of gray thinking has brought about the confusion that we are in now. We refuse to tag evil as evil, hence evil has persisted. We accept that corruption is a way of life, and we tolerate it to a degree. And what has that brought us? Confusion. Darkness.

For me, there are times when we have to end ambiguity and call evil as evil. Only then things can be clear, and by that time, perhaps we as a people can come into a consensus and agree on what to do. Until then, we are just enjoying our days in the mud.

So, where do I begin? I don’t know about you, but I know where I shall begin. I will begin with small steps.

1. I shall obey traffic rules. Since I don’t drive (and I don’t have a car anyway), I shall follow all pedestrian rules. I will cross the road at the designated places. I shall use the pedestrian lanes and overpasses and underpasses. I shall wait for the green signal before I cross the street where traffic lights are present.

2. I shall throw my garbage at the proper places. I shall keep my bus tickets, water bottles, and candy wrappers, and put them for recycling. I shall never pee at the wrong places.

3. I shall vote on every elections, whenever I can. I shall vote for those who are capable and willing to do things the right way. I shall listen to candidates’ takes on issues, and I shall refuse to be entertained nor to be paid to vote. I shall not sell my vote.

4. I shall do my best to be a good citizen by following the rules and convincing others to do the same. I shall continue to blog about issues, and try to convince my readers to talk about ideas and issues. I shall engage my blog readers into a meaningful exchange of ideas.

5. I shall exercise my freedoms responsibly. I shall respect each other’s right to express their opinions. I shall agree to disagree with you.

And I may translate this inward change outwards.

This is now my challenge to you: what can you do to enable change in this country?


The Twitter Challenge

This is a note to self:

Twitter Challenge is simple: answering a question within a single twit (140 characters). The challenge is inherent in (1) the question for the day and (2) the 140-character limit. These constraints force a Twitterer to condense his answer. It is also a good mental exercise.

Of course, the challenge is open to all Twitterers. And the Twitterer can expand his/her reply through a blog post. Then, someone (possibly the one who issued the question) can collate the twit and/or blog post URLs and post them somewhere.

The main idea is not original (think blog carnivals). This challenge is just a variation – a twist, if you will.

Question can be posted via Twitter and/or a blog post.

Hosting the Twitter Challenge can be rotated.

Once a week or once a month?


Technical problems

I am aware that this site has been out of the radar from time-to-time since Saturday. Actually, there were intermittent outages last week, lasting from 30 minutes to an hour. But what had happened last weekend and yesterday was troublesome.

At home, I use Smart 3G as my Internet connection. This past weekend, I wasn’t able to access this site at all. As in, all I got from Firefox was “page reset” yada yada. I had confirmed with a friend that the site was inaccessible, but another friend had no problems viewing the site. Weird.

Then, yesterday. I was maintaining a deathwatch for Jose de Venecia’s speakership when I couldn’t access this site at 3PM (I was not using Smart 3G). Another friend sent me text message telling me that my site was goners. I went out of the office at quarter to six in the evening, and I still couldn’t access it. At the bus, via YM on mobile, I asked another friend to check it out. It was around 6:30 PM, and the site was still inaccessible.

At 8PM, at home, I couldn’t access the site using Smart 3G, but two of my friends using PLDT myDSL reported that they could access it.

Now, I can access it here at work. But we’ll see at around 3PM.

Now, may I ask for your help? When you attempt to access this site and seen nothing, please send an email to awb[at]awbholdings.com, detailing the time and day when you attempted to access this site. Please send an email for every failed attempt. I will document this situation and hopefully forward them to my Web host. I will appreciate it very much.

Yes, I had opened a support ticket last Sunday; as of this moment (9:24 AM, 2/5/2008), the ticket is unacted upon.

PS: Please visit my LiveJournal in case this site is goners.