Curated discussions on the National Bloggers’ Association (Updated)

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The Janitor Blog entry on the proposal of a National Blogger’s Association of the Philippines (the draft manifesto is here) created quite a stir in twitterverse, A snippet of which is:

It’s stupid because its creation can potentially generate more of the same kinds of problems that it seeks to address. For instance, while it seeks to unify bloggers, it seems rather obvious that this idea has caused much division. Ironic? Perhaps. Stupid? I would say definitely.

The manner in which it is being created is also stupid in that it is spearheaded by a small but noisy minority who chose to carry things out in subterfuge. This manifesto was made in the shadows:

Given the spirit of what they seek to achieve, shouldn’t this have been created using a wiki or any other openly collaborative platform?

Let’s hear out the other bloggers:

Marocharim is not for the bloggers’ association

The true strength of blogging lies not in associations, but in difference. The diversity of opinions on this whole issue should be proof enough that we care enough for our small community to defend what we believe it should be, that we are one blogging community. As individuals we’re strong, and as a community we’re stronger. We’ve gone places as a community – so many places – if only because our opinions differed as much as our styles, or names, and our blogs.

Carlo Ople is for it

More than representation and politics, I want an association that promotes development of bloggers. I will fully support, join, and speak for any group that primarily just wants to help bloggers become better bloggers or invites non-bloggers to be bloggers.

Jayvee’s concern is similar to mine since the beginning though I have changed my mind to help out in the consultation:

Net of it all, I think the push for a national association for bloggers is not timely. Not timely not in the sense that it is too early, but because next thing you know, blogging isn’t the next big thing and it may just be too late.

Aileen Apolo prefers to participate in select projects rather than join an association

So this proposal about a National Bloggers Association… I don’t know, I think I’ll stick to joining or participating in select projects/activities since any attempt in the past (this the the nth attempt) never really flourished. Besides organizations really work with just a handful of people moving (I’ve observed that with local professional orgs too), so its actually better sometimes to just have interest groups work with different projects to get more traction.

Ria Jose questions why the Visayan and Mindanao bloggers were not consulted:

If they are sincere in unifying bloggers from all over the Philippines, then why haven’t they approached and asked for the opinion and input of bloggers from Visayas and Mindanao? Bloggers who, needless to say, have been successful in forming their own groups. T

Blogie a blogger based in Mindanao is for the association to protect blogger’s rights:

One major rationale that I would like to discuss now is this: the preservation of the rights of bloggers as human beings and as citizen journalists. An association that is national in character and enjoys recognition by Filipino bloggers can have the mandate to uphold these rights. It would be able to stand by bloggers (members or otherwise) facing rights abuses such as, among other things, plagiarism, censorship and frivolous libel cases.

Juned is cautious and sees no rush in organizing the association:

In the end i like the concept of the organization as long as it is non partisan and will not serve any business interest. And it be more goal oriented and not member number focused. Furthermore, the organization should not aim to represent the community but to serve the whole community.

Regnard Raquedan believes that the association should present itself as a representative of the professional bloggers and not to pursue bloggers who are blogging as a hobby:

I believe that a group for professional bloggers can help the industry. The setting of guidelines and standards can help protect the bloggers, advertisers, and readers. In an ideal scenario, this organization will elevate the state and professionalism of bloggers who do it for pay. This body can also be the “ethical police” where maligned customers can report errant bloggers.

Sonnie Santos as a blogger is not against the association:

As a blogger, I am not against forming a formal group provided the objective is commensurate to the group it seeks to represent, there is a “pressing” need and the group they seek to represent agrees. Each blogger have diverse interests and different needs, thus, no single group can claim they represent the whole.

But as an entrepreneur, I prefer dealing with individual bloggers for practical reasons.

Sonnie adds that he is ” not interested for a seat or position, if it pushes thru, for conflict of interest [I am also a marketer and entrepreneur]”. This should hold true for all who will be convenors of this Bloggers’ association.

Earth Rullan does not want to be represented by a group because as a blogger I am an individual and I love the independence I got from blogging

I don’t want to be represented by a group or by a leader of a group. I want to represent myself personally.

Benj says an an emphatic NO to the association:

At the end of the day, this whole issue isn’t about Tonyo and Janette – it’s about whether or not we need an National Blogger Association. Those two people could’ve been other people and the result will still be the same. Perhaps the rebuke will even be stronger had it been other people, to be honest.

These are just plans to start with and nothing set in stone but there have been a lot of “violent reactions” . @nerveending thinks ” Reaction may be from blogosphere refusing to be placed into one category”. @ang_mungo sounds more positive when he says that “The value of a National Bloggers Association will depend on its members and their level of commitment.” @carloople suggests that “maybe we shouldn’t call it “national bloggers association” because it gives misconception that it represents all” to which @jesterinexile says that it is ” not exactly catchy to say “association of some bloggers in PH”.

Tonyo Cruz attempts to clarify matters Who’s afraid of a national bloggers association? and invites all those who want to be a founding member to join.

In my humble opinion, the real question before us now is this: Do you want to become a founding member of the Philippines’ first national bloggers association?

If your answer to this question is yes, then sign your name and together we will move this forward.

Sonnie in a comment to Tonyo’s post believes that at this stage ” it is pre-mature to decide whether a blogger would like to be in or out, the process is not yet completed.”

To move forward, I suggest that we define the parameters on how we want to proceed, identify ticklish issues, offer alternatives and solicit as many inputs as we can, let’s give the silent majority the opportunity to speak its mind.

From there, I think all stakeholders can have a clear perspective on the issue and can make an intelligent decision on how to proceed.

So what do I think?

My take: Challenges will surely be met with the organization. Jayvee’s concerns are similar to mine. We were there when attempts were initiated in 2007 and were met with so much opposition that the issues turned personal.

Update (March11) I am not for the association. The goals can be achieved without having to organize a formal organization.

What do you think? To understand more, there is an FAQ on the National Bloggers Association and Professional Bloggers Association.

Here are the discussions and reactions of bloggers in Twitter. Use the hashtag #nbaph