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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Where Do I Stand on the National Bloggers Association?


One country, one blogging community
A Manifesto of Filipino bloggers and netizens
March 1, 2011

We, Filipino bloggers and netizens from across the Philippines and those based overseas, coming from diverse backgrounds and specialties, using various new media outlets, hereby come together and call for the formation of a bloggers association of the Philippines that shall unite us around common and beneficial objectives and aspirations, mainly:


  • The promotion and defense of the right to free expression
  • The promotion and development of blogging, vlogging, photoblogging, microblogging and other online creative and expressive forms in all their diverse categories, topics and types
  • The gathering and sharing of Philippine blogging’s best practices that reflect our contributions to ourselves and our online communities, media, causes, organizations and businesses, government, the nation and the world. 
  • The drafting and adoption of a code of ethics that underscore the community’s responsibility and maturity; and
  • The discussion of issues and concerns that confront the community and members of the community
  • The promotion of more affordable, reliable and better internet access in the country  
The association we aspire to form is voluntary in character, national in scope, democratic in decision-making, and progressive in outlook.

  • We draw inspiration from and ask the participation of the city-wide, provincial, regional and island-wide associations, summits and conventions initiated by bloggers across the country.
  • We want an association that makes decisions based on democratic processes, consensus-building and mutual benefit.
A long time has passed since the first blog posts and first blogging events. We are now a bigger, stronger and influential community. Businesses, causes and government have started to organize themselves to interact and engage with us. And we also face challenges within and outside our growing community.


The Philippines, our country and people are also expecting more from us, and we bravely and fearlessly say that we want to do more and achieve more.


In view of all these and more, we declare that there’s no stopping the formation of a most awesome bloggers association for our country.


One country, one blogging community.


--------------------------------


By posting this manifesto on my blog, I express my desire to be a founding member of the association.


I also nominate the following bloggers to be founding members as well:

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Last year, I suggested the creation of a bloggers’ association to some PEBA officers. The idea came from our experiences in the Kabayan Bloggers (KaBlogs), where we have to deal with anti-OFW blog posts and bloggers. However, we brushed off the idea because we lack PEBA volunteers and the time for another huge undertaking.


I received a copy of the manifesto on the making of the National Bloggers Association and these are some of the questions I asked from Tonyo Cruz, one of the brain behind the idea:

• Are the items in themanifesto final?
• Can this be refined?
• Who were given a copy of this manifesto?
• From the line, “The association we aspire to form is voluntary in character, national in scope,” where do the OFWs fit?
• From the line, “We draw inspirations from and ask...” Can OFW bloggers be
also included in this line?
• Can we change the phrase “most awesome bloggers association”? It connotes that PEBA, or other bloggers associations, is not that awesome.

I asked him if I can reply regarding the manifesto the following day but Tonyo said he needs the suggestions pronto so he can share it with others.

After a few days, I was asked by other bloggers in Visayas and Mindanao why they were not informed about the creation of a National Bloggers Association. I asked Tonyo and he said he is going to Visayas and Mindanao to meet the group of bloggers there. I asked him to please make sure that no one will be left out.

I consulted this matter to several officers and volunteers of PEBA. Majority of them have reservations in joining. Aside from the questions above, here are some more questions from the group:

1. What is “national?” Where does PEBA fit in? What is the scope of the National Bloggers Association? PEBA represents the expats and OFWs. The title “national association” limits the reach of this group.

2. What are the guiding principles of the NBA? If it is “to unite the bloggers at a national level,” how can PEBA and other international Pinoy blogging organizations be integrated in its mission-vision?

3. Who will uphold the code of ethics that will be drafted and adapted? Who will say which is right or wrong? What will be our standards?

4. “We draw inspiration from and ask the participation of the city-wide, provincial, regional and island-wide associations, summits and conventions initiated by bloggers across the country.” Again, where is the international Filipino bloggers community here?


Our suggestions:

  1. Do not use the word “national.” It connotes a limited scope where OFWs and expats are not included.
  2. Organize regional blogs first.
  3. From these regional groups, gather representatives that will create the NBA.
  4. The group should not be used for political agenda.
  5. Consider uniting the Filipino bloggers communities in the Philippines for the NBA first. The PEBA (and other international Filipino blogging communities) can become its partner. If the NBA has already solidified their stand, mission-vision, agenda, etc., then that’s when we consider the integration of both the national and international Filipino blogging communities.

©2011 THOUGHTSKOTO