I hope this is short. Longer reads are for more important things, other than worrying about the little fiefdoms of social influence in Philippine cyberspace. Certainly, a national association of social media users doesn’t deserve as much attention as… say… the situation of nuclear reactors in Fukushima, or of nuclear energy as a whole.
So, here’s the short of it.
I’ve given some thought to joining a nascent group of bloggers based in the Philippines, the idea of which was again brought to my attention when the online equivalent of fisticuffs erupted over a certain manifesto that went around via email. The manifesto can be seen at the websites of Janette Toral at digitalfilipino.com and of Tonyo Cruz at tonyocruz.com. (No hyperlinks necessary; they should already be on your RSS feed).
While I have some reservations about some of the specific ideas in the draft, such as creating and enforcing a unified code of ethics (a can of worms too lengthy to discuss for the purposes of this post), or a claim of representation on behalf of all social media users (who died and made Me king?), there can be no doubt that the authors of the manifesto only had the best interest of the anonymous poster in mind when drafting those articles. Good is supposed to come out of it, and only insofar as the intentions of those joining this nascent group are as pure as their manifesto purports to be.
I understand that there were attempts several years ago to create something similar, but the project fell apart at the end when things became a little too personal between key personalities within the group. I figure that if we advocate for stronger institutions that veer away from personality cults in our day to day lives, we would be hypocrites if we let strong personalities put color in social institutions of our own making – one that web writers, social media users, and other similar stakeholders are trying to create.
The manifesto isn’t, by any means, precise. Not by a long shot. However, as the intentions are pure, I figure they’re going to need help along the way. Maybe I can be of some assistance. After all, I do make my living out of making words fit the idea in a precise, tailored manner, out of making the ideas march in single file, ready to attack and destory the contrary meme.
So, at this very moment, I hereby declare I am part of what may be known as the National Bloggers’ Association of the Philippines.I am part of it now so that later I do not complain that it does not represent me. I am part of it because now I have the opportunity to do so. Some things just cannot be done from the outside.
As with all things in social media, it’s a work in progress. The going may be slow for a few months, but that’s okay. One must have patience in building social institutions, especially after the institutional wreckage of the past few years.
God (or whatever deity you believe in) help us.