Emerson and I were chatting on the blog summit eve, and I told him, “Ok, let’s see if bloggers are not all ugly.” He reminded me of this when we were at the venue already the next day, (he was a student assistant of the group organizing the event), that my theory hasn’t been proven yet. So far.
iblog, the First Philippine Blog Summit, was a sorry excuse for me to take in free, non-mall air conditioning for an entire Saturday. It was also the main task for my day’s side tasks, which consists of going to a photography exhibit at the nearby Vargas Museum, and taking pictures of the sunflowers along University Ave.
During the lull of tweaking out the wireless internet connection for the initial speakers’ laptops, the audience was asked to introduce themselves. Based on that, I’ll give an approximate that about 50-60% of the participants were newbies and novices, mostly sporting Blogspot-hosted sites. As to how I plugged the blog, I went for the Lomo camera, photography bit, which came off pretty uninteresting, I suppose. I could’ve instead impressively mentioned, say, I have a WordPress-powered blog, and I was a beta tester for Movable Type 3.0 and TypePad 😆
L-R: Gail dela Cruz, JJ Disini, and Abe Olandres
The morning part of the summit entailed the basic, more technical stuff. There was Abe, my webhost admin/owner, giving a primer on making a Blogger and WordPress-powered blog, and there was Gail dela Cruz, a designer who was big on Flash sites (I’d leave it out on the open: I don’t advocate Flash sites, but it does have its audience, its applications) . Pretty informative and concise, though terms like PHP, CMS, CSS, XML, RSS, and probably half a dozen more acronyms were lashed out, which I guess alienated a good number of the audience. If this was a local WordPress meetup -where I’d imagine people swapping copies of plugins using each one’s USB flash drives- deep-tech talk would be more than appropriate, but this wasn’t anything that close.
Speakers for the afternoon were more focused on the creation fo relevant, creative content. CICT Commissioner Dondi Mapa discussed the promise of utilizing weblogs in the dissemination of information for his sector in government, while Palanca Awardee Dean Alfar animatedly presented advice on how blogs can be a writer’s, or possibly just any literati’s, alternative medium for expression. Third in line was about the PCIJ group tackling Blogging and Journalism, which I was intent on giving all-ears, since I do long for a heightened relevance-level in weblogs, and was curious to see how this much commended, independent media entity would go about it.
Connie Veneracion aka SassyLawyer/Pinoycook
Lastly, we had a good serving of Connie Veneracion aka SassyLawyer/Pinoycook, who was a lot more spunkier than I expected. She was to discuss How to Build a Bookmark-Worthy Blog, though I’d assume the audience was a little more enamored by her stories, and frankness. This was actually the only period where I was tempted to stand up and ask a question (about blog advertising, which was just mentioned in passing by the earlier speakers). It was past 5 already though, and questions from then audience had to be cut short.
Frankly, I’m a little more motivated to improving content on the blog after the event. Finding ways to generate traffic wouldn’t be too bad, either.
I did get a headache afterwards. Blame it on the heat, blame it on the information overdose. As for my theory, I don’t know if it was proven or not. Emerson, maybe you should invite the celebrity bloggers we chatted about the next time you hold something like this. Oh, did you have XXL iblog shirts? I didn’t bother to ask kasi.
UPDATE: Atty. JJ Disini posted notable images of the event here (taken by John Lao, who I assume was that dude with the Nikon DSLR). Minus the group pics, my bald-self was recognizable in 9 photos 😎 Iba na talaga ang strategically located 😉