Wednesday, March 09, 2011

We Want A National Bloggers Association! Well, Who's "We?"

.:“We Want A National Bloggers Association!” Well, Who’s “We?”:.

Nation, the Philippine Blogosphere has grown by leaps and bounds to a level that I still cannot fathom to this very moment. With this growth comes great power, and with this great power comes great responsibility, as a certain deceased uncle of a certain friendly neighbourhood superhero often said. We’ve seen this power rise and fall, get used and get abused, and we’ve also seen the “us versus them” stance employed against bloggers in general by most people who are involved in journalism.

A part of us wants to look at all this cacophony, this endless sea of voices and faces, and bring some semblance of order to the chaos. Surely, there must be more to this online world than just this seemingly indistinguishable morass of ideas. There has to be a way to bring out the best in the hoi poloi and make it rise to the top. Bloggers have so much power, have so much responsibility, that indeed, we need to come together. And now, believes certain people, we have that opportunity. We have an opportunity to establish a National Blogger’s Association: a group that will uphold the best and the brightest of blogging because heaven knows that annual Emerging Influential Blog ceremonies, Philippine Blog Awards, Web Awards, Asian Blog Awards, and Pinoy Exchange forum polls aren’t enough measure. Indeed, we want an NBA in the Philippines. Quinito Henson must be shaking in his boots right now.

But who is this “we” in the first place? Is this anything like the “They” storyline fledgling wrestling company TNA ran a couple of times in hopes of recapturing some of the magic the original NWO had in the 90’s? Who are these mysterious overlords who will dictate everything about how we must think or act as bloggers in order for us to become progressive? Who are these watchmen? And who watches these watchmen?

Why do we want this, in the first place? We want this because we want to uplift the Philippine Blogosphere, and to have the capacity to stand united under one banner, one nation. That’s amazing! Yours truly is certain that with aims as lofty as that, there’s just no way whatsoever that we could miss out on consulting everyone not just from Luzon, but from Visayas and Mindanao as well. Surely we won’t miss out on that, nation!

We have lofty goals, and we will aspire to follow the example of our great president PNoy: we will have lofty goals without the faintest idea how to execute them. We will tell people it’s for everyone, except we’re not telling everyone. We will tell people it will make things better for everyone, except we have no idea how it will. And most of all, we will ignore the nature of semantics and call what is supposed to be a volunteer association a “National” association, thereby giving the mainstream a target to set their sights on. Yes. This will be the association they will talk to on all matters about blogging, sort of like how every news outfit will talk to Filemon Barbasa first before Gerry Alanguilan when they need a “resource person” for the comics industry.

We will ignore that the status quo suits us because we will only be represented and represent those whom we want to represent and be represented by. We will ignore the fact that a less presumptuous organization name akin to “RockEd” would actually smoothen over any of these issues now hurled at us because maybe, just maybe, we could drown out the dissenting voices with the truthiness of our arguments. We will stand strong and we will be unanimous in this, no matter how many bloggers don’t see eye to eye with us. And once we do it this way, we will realize that this was exactly what the Blog And Soul Movement has been doing already. Ahh, redundancy. What would we ever do without thee?

We believe in one blogging nation under one banner. This is exactly why we are now proposing an idea that has caused so much division of opinion among bloggers, the likes of which were last seen over the whole “Patay-Gutom Bloggers” brouhaha. We will codify what it means to be a blogger, and heaven help you if you fall out of those boundaries. We will unify the bloggers, and if they are not with us, then they are against us.

We believe in one blogging nation under one united front. This is exactly why we are ironically unaware of the very way that we undermine what it means to be a blogger in a post-modern world filled with deconstruction but bereft of any meaningful reconstruction: we will still shoehorn this entirely new medium with the techniques that worked questionably at best under the old media available to us. We will ignore the very root of blogging that started long before any of this talk happened: that a lot of the people who blog, yours truly included, consider it an online diary. Isn’t it stupid that all the people who used to keep diaries back in the day never decided to get together and form their own association? What a bunch of maroons!

Or maybe they didn’t form an organization because there was no need to: a community can be every bit as organized without having to be codified. A community can and will police itself without need for an overarching authority other than what is typically considered decent human behaviour in any community, online or offline. This here town needs cleaning up, and the NBA will play sheriff.

And not only that, we will make sure that this is a thoroughly democratic process. We will make sure everyone has a say because... ahh, who are we kidding? All of you are peons under the unquestionable will of the NBA, and there are two things you can do: nothing or like it. We want this to happen because we see so many things that can be improved in the Philippine Blogosphere, and it will allows us to, oh, “limit” certain undesirables if they refuse to tow the line that is consistent with our aims and aspirations. We represent them, and if they don’t want to be represented by us, well tough. It’s a free country, they can always start their own groups, such as the Kapisanan ng mga Umaagapay sa Pilipinong Alyansa ng Livejournal, or Journalers And Copywriters Organized Legion.

Everyone is asking but one question: why do we need this? Do we need a reason? Is a reason enough to galvanize us to realize the importance of having an organization? Do we want to find the truth?

Nation, we live in a digital world with firewalls, and these firewalls need to be guarded by men with guts. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Marocharim? We have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Jayvee and you curse Tonyo. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know. That the manifesto, divisive as it may be, probably unifies us. And that the existence of the NBA, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, unifies us.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about in blogger events, you want the NBA. You need the NBA. We use words like progress, democracy, INTEGRITY. We use these words as the backbone of a digital life spent defending something. You use these words as a punchline. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to some journaler who rises and sleeps under the blanket of expression we provide and then questions the manner in which we provide it. We would rather that you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, we suggest you pick up your own domain and write your posts there.

Either way, we don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.

Author’s Note: For the past two years, I’ve mostly kept my head down in the middle of any big storm brewing within the blogging community. As an employee of a blog advertising company, I think it goes without saying that it’s always been in my best interests, as well as the company’s, to tow the company line whenever any conflicts within the blogosphere erupts. Hades, it was the first lesson I ever learned on my very first day of work here, and it has served me well to keep to that.

The thing is, none of that prevents me from having an opinion. None of that prevents me from looking at something and having my say on it, especially when at present, there is no company line to tow with regards to the latest brouhaha in the Philippine blogosphere. As such, what I have to say at the moment cannot possibly represent my company, since as of today, there is no official stance on this matter whatsoever. Good. It means I can shoot from the hip.

I bear no personal ill will towards any personalities I may have lampooned in this post. It is what I do. It is how I roll. And I deliberately leave my post open to interpretation, as a Patriotic Filipino is wont to do.


Trixie said...

I wonder why you spelled integrity on ALL CAPS.

benj said...

You are treading a very thin line here. Haha

Prudence said...

I understand a lot of bloggers are against having NBA. But I feel so much negativity in the air. Why?

Marcelle said...

@Trixie: Because Patriotic Filipinos do it FOR GREATER JUSTICE.

@Benj: Why would supporting the most brilliant, most well-thought out proposition of all time (of all time!) be treading a very thin line?

@Prudence: It boggles the mind, too. Why be so negative about an all-inclusive organization that started things off by excluding people from the discussion? Why be so negative about an association you had no stake in suddenly seeking to represent you?

Prudence said...

@Marcelle I'm looking at it this way. Will being a non-member render me a non-credible blogger? It won't. They cannot "own" blogging. I'll blog the same way that I do. If they can find bloggers who share the same perspective as theirs, then good for them and their association. But it will not make any difference to me. And after all, if there are so few bloggers supporting the institution of a NBA, then the proposition will remain just that...a proposition. No need to be so angry about it, in my opinion.

Marcelle said...

@Prudence: Of course it won't. But it's great to know that a group that purports to want to represent us is willing to do it without even consulting us. Such politeness is admirable and laudable.

It's also great to know that even if the group in reality can't represent all of us, the mainstream won't care and will assume it to be the case anyways, thanks to the words "National" and "Association".