Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Pursuit for Better Blogging

IN 2003, WHEN I moved to Sta. Rosa for my first job, I only brought three things with me: a set of clothes for five days, the allowance I borrowed from my mother and a book.
Yesterday, when I looked upon my belongings in my space in a house shared with other office friends, it's surprising to see how big the number of collected books, magazines and newspapers I'd read, have increased.
This is one habit I am graciously proud of.
We feed our stomach with the food we eat. We do the same thing to our mind if we read, because reading is one way of inducing bits of information into our brain.
That's why, when I read about a book entitled "Blog This: How Blogs Empower Every Internet User" that can be acquired freely if I follow a certain set of requirements, I was more than excited for three reasons.

1. It will definitely help in my pursuit for better blogging.
2. Another addition to my precious book collection.
3. They're giving away 100 copies for free, if:

-- I blog about the project, create a hypertext link to the site and follow the other requirements indicated in the post.

The book was authored by Janette Toral, the same person who organized the successful iBlog3: the 3rdPhilippine Blogging Summit. Below is the details of project

Get a free copy of Blog This: How Blogs Empower Every Internet User

Last September 2, 2006 we released the Blogging 101 Workshop Online (blogging101workshop) and have been improving it since.

We'll be publishing 1000 copies of the book "Blog This: How Blogs Empower Every Internet User" and release it by May 2007. Whether it is going to be a face-to-face or online book launching is something that shall be decided upon soon. From its original version, the e-book is expanded to 8 lessons so that schools who wishes to use it can plan their programs for a whole semester term.

* Lesson 1: Introduction to blogging (Exercise: Blog critic and setting up a personal blog)
* Lesson 2: Blog copyright and ethics (Exercise: Identifying blog violations)
* Lesson 3: Generating revenue through blogs (Exercise: Identify revenue generating schemes for blogs)
* Lesson 4: Getting started in blogging (Exercise: Theme planning and Setting up your blog for business)
* Lesson 5: Marketing your blog (Exercise: Metrics set-up, trend tracking, and blog promotion techniques)
* Lesson 6: Introduction to podcasting (Exercise: Creating a podcast)
* Lesson 7: Becoming a professional blogger (Exercise: Identify professional blogging opportunities)
* Lesson 8: Setting up your own blog network (Exercise: Creating a blog network)
* The 100-Days Blogging Challenge
* Club Member Directory (Individual member blogs, SME and Corporate Members website)
* Sponsor text ads

All Club members are entitled to a free copy of the book. SME members will get 2 copies while Corporate members shall get 3 copies. Individual members will get 1 copy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Defining Success

TWO DAYS AGO, a good friend has asked me to write an essay on the “standard/s of success”. I wasn’t able to quickly respond to her because I was quite busy at the time she requested me. I guess it was an urgent matter for her considering that she has a personal mission in dire of being accomplished, and that is something related to being ‘successful’.
My guessing further carried me into imagining that she’ll be submitting the essay as part of the requirements for another job application, that I can only suspect. (and I suppose that’s a story for a future post).
The moment I came back to my senses and took the work load off my back, I immediately turned into her one line request which was transmitted through the channels of a Yahoo messenger. The instinct in me wanted to help her, but I was more adamant of doing so while making up for an appropriate and friendly response. Being an advocate in promoting reading, writing and appreciation of conversational and written language, I decided that I would turn his request down and ultimately disappoint her.
The reason is simple. I wanted her to feel the way chickens do when they lay their eggs, hatch them and turn them into beautiful and radiant chicks. I would like it if she personally wield her mind’s thoughts into an essay that she will be proud of.
So what I did instead was give her cent-worth of pointers on how she’ll be able to come up with her own article.
How does one define success?
Is it something that can be seen, touch, hear or feel?
Can success be measured?
What kind of metrics?
Is it even measureable?
Is owning a car, a house on a hillside premiere subdivision an indicator of success?
Is winning a position in the government equates to being an achiever.
Define success in its own terms, the way you would explain how to prepare a fruit salad to a five year old child.
Suddenly, I remember a conversation a couple of years ago. Similarly, it occurred in a group chat session of several friends in the office. One of them, who resigned a couple of years already, expressed his emotions when he attended a reunion party with his school batch. His experience was a mixture of varying impulses because he was able to see again his old friends he probably haven't seen in a long time. Sadly (and unwillingly, I supposed), it has been made as an occasion where he would compare his accomplishments as opposed to his 'successful' classmates, when one of them sported a Ford Explorer (I can't remember the other details) coupled with stories of success.
During the group chat, he posed a question that touches on being successful. He even blasted and presumed that society only looks up to you as successful if you dress up the way millionaires do.
Eventually, I wasn't able to withstand his opinion and offered bits of friendly notes saying that I don't see it his way. It really all depends on how a person define successful.
Rearing a child inside a womb for 9 months and letting him/her out into the world is already a success for a woman.
For some, doing community service or voluntary work may already mean successful.
Seeing a child prosper in school work, in the eyes of a father is already a big achievement.
So, how do you define success?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Picturing iBlog3

I WAS IN U.P. last Friday.
I was there not because I was inquiring how to enroll in the state's premiere university but to grace the iBlog3 summit event for the first time this year. I was already a blogger for quite sometime now, but I guess I was just blogging for myself! Only in this chance I was able to learn such gathering exists where bloggers go offline to convene.
To my amazement, I raised my hand (well, only virtually) when they asked for volunteers. I was one of the shutter bugs (albeit, a novice one) roaming around the School of Economics Auditorium, inside and out.
And it was a terrific learning experience having to listen to a set of speakers who drew inspiration or two, such as Dean Alfar asking "Hey Mr. Writer! Where's Your Blog?". He was very witty with his speech and I'm sure that all writers (and I presumed all those who were there to listen are writers!) in the audience was inspired to write even more and be not afraid! And the best part is, I laughed a countless times listening.
Bloggers are Journalist! Roby Alampay's speech was an eye opener. Inside a comfy auditorium, we were fed with an intellectual's insight on the conditions of neighboring South East Asian nations with regards to blogging and freedom of expression.
Marcelle Fabie also had me gripping the chair while I attentively snapped away pictures with his wonderful act. I particularly find his suggestion very convincing that by writing the first thoughts that come to mind when waking up will eventually aide in unlocking ones creative potential.
These and the rest of the speakers for day 1, I was able to capture in digital photos. It's just too bad, that going home all the way to Sta. Rosa in 5 rides late in the day, coupled with a running nose and headache, took a toll on me and made me ill that night. Aside from failing to see sir Edong, I eventually paid the price of missing Manuel L. Quezon III, Yugatech, Jayvee Fernandez and the rest of day 2's set of speakers, which I've been looking forward to see, ever since the iBlog3 invitation.
Anyway, I'm posting here some of the photos I took:

The Auditorium at UP School of Economics


Marcelle Fabie doing his fork trick

Arelle Valla for the Business minded bloggers

Blogsharing at Lunchtime

Dean Alfar in the works

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Do you blog?

IT IS A simple question with a lot of premises.
Some say that blogging is only for the elite. For one, the masses (with no doubt) would rather tend to hungry stomachs than hook up for a broadband internet connection.
So this question is probably best answered by those who exist in the virtual internet world. Try googling your name and find out if you are part of the infinite world of the worldwide web.
If writing is your forte and been doing it effortlessly, you may want to publish your works online. You may end up with stories similar to how Abraham Olandres managed to become Philippines' Most Read Blogger.
If writing is not your field and public speaking twists your tongue, but you are at best expressing yourself with a-thousand-word thoughts on a 2D digital image files, you may share the passion of most photographers just like what Anton does with Our Awesome Planet.
If you love reading Philippine history books, still believe in the terms, nationalism and patriotism, or simply very active and always have a cent worth of opinion in politics (for democracy sake) you may want to chance on how political pundit Manuel sparkles with wit in his spot in the blogosphere.

Fact is most bloggers will be dealing with things they like to write about. Unlike a monotonous day job, you have 100% control over what topics you'll be tackling in your web spot.

Do you have a passion for artworks, comics and Wolverine? Or you are a struggling comic artists and poured a lot of your time doodling your comic genius but still, these remain unpublished. The new media is just right for you, see Jonas Diego and how he made his ideas of a collection of pinoy comic book creators.
Fact is most bloggers will be dealing with things they like to write about. Unlike a monotonous day job, you have 100% control over what topics you'll be tackling in your web spot. Aside from the enjoyment you will reward yourself from blogging about the things you love, you can earn money through your blog/s just like pro-blogger Jayvee who sports a Canon 350D that his blogging bought.
Whether you blog, or just recently learn its definition and now hyped enough to creating your own blog, iBlog 3 is the right event and gathering for you. Now on its third year, the Philippine Blogging Summit will be held on April 13 and 14, 2007 at the School of Economics Auditorium in UP Diliman.
The event is a collection of blogger-speakers, each are fine tune to their own expertise and will probably share their insight on a wide array of topics such as:
Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Blogging (Lauren Dado
Unlocking your creative blogging potential (Marcelle Fabie)
What every business person should know about blogging (Arelle Valla)
Blogging and Investigative Journalism (Alecks Pabico of PCIJ)
Blogging for advancing one’s career (Marc Hil Macalua)
Increasing blog popularity (Gail Dela Cruz -Villanueva)
and a lot more.
What makes this event more inviting than any other musical concert or business conference is that it is free. Free as in free food, free seats, free beer and free speech. And the only thing that will require you to shell out some cash is getting there. The organizers are also generous enough to provide a map for those who might get lost on their way.

I hope to see you all there! Tara lets mga bagets!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Black Saturday Bus

SINCE MY SHIFT to another section in my company, one of the things that immediately affected my usual schedule is to work on a holiday. I am now part of a team required to stay behind when all the rest of the workers have already fled the factory. So this year, I missed for the first time spending holy week in my hometown in Angeles City.
In the past, I always see to it that I make it at home come Maundy Thursday, and stay there until the rest of the week. I have never engaged in any activity before that would conflict my homecoming.
At this time of the year, I don't find it as an opportunity to go into the beach or someplace else for a summer getaway just like what most people nowadays do.
Nonetheless, I consider it as moment for reflection of the soul.
A halo-halo in a street corner is already enough to quench the thirst and heat of the body.
More time with the family, a rare chance to relax at home and temporarily forget the stress brought by the office.
In Pampanga, it is a normal sight in the streets to witness penitents of varying forms: mamusan-krus(cross-bearers), kukusad qeng gabun(ground crawlers), mamalaspas(flagellants), etc. These face-covered faithfuls find their way into the next kapilla(chapel) wherein a Pabasa is being staged. They will be subjected to further physical pain, normally, by lashing their limbs with bounded banana twigs. These acts constitute an old tradition of the Kapampangan Catholics.
These and among others I already missed, since boarding probably one of the last bus for the evening in Cubao terminal, I did only on Black Saturday. And because the majority of the people living or working in Manila has been siphoned into the provinces and in other parts of the country, there is no traffic to impede my journey.
Thank God, I was home safe several hours before Easter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Another Chance for the American Dream

IF YOU'RE A nurse, planning to be, or on your way to being one of the white-wearing wingmen/women of doctors, I would most likely picture you with a cloud hanging above your head. Just like in the scenes of the well read comic strips of Pol Medina Jr., a closer look on the cloud would most likely present a collage of images depicting the american dream: star spangled banner, the white house, an american airplane, snow, greenbacks, and anything that would remind me of the good life waiting in the land of the promise.

Recently, I just happen to know more about my relatives in the father side, particularly the generation that were born during the late 80s and early 90s. The power of texting is really enormous and it can breakdown the barrier of being miles apart. I was able to accomplish this by obtaining callouses in my right thumb.

Almost all of them who are still in school have plunged in the popular bandwagon. They are hoping that in four years of squeezing their parents resources, they would have a crack at the elusive American dream. They are few of the many nursing students who share the same dream of being successful. However, the success is define as being able to graduate, hurdle a barrage of requisite exams including the CGFNS, NCLEX and many other tests that would qualify them to have a ticket abroad and earn the kind of living that no ordinary Filipino working in the Philippines would ever achieve.

While most of them are aware of their own perspective and realities, they are somehow unaware of the bigger reality behind this 'exodus of nurses'. There are far too many reasons why there is a great demand for nursing and domestic help in first world countries such as the US, we can't be too blinded not to know that they are incapable of taking care of their elders and themselves. They are simply (ab)using our weakness.

And to further this (ab)use, today is the last day of registration for the Special Nursing Board Exam Review for all nurses who passed the leakage-prone June 2006 licensure exams. In the website, a list of all participating schools, schedules and those who already confirmed registration since March 21 can be found.