Manuel L Quezon III @mlq3 on Twitter is a good thing

@benign0 noticed the sudden appearance rather engagement of Manolo Quezon (@mlq3) on Twitter.

Of course, and seeing one of the first of MLQ3?s many subsequent tweets, we all know where he ultimately stands. That’s because this isn’t the MLQ3 in the 00?s form of his prime as a relatively independent communicator. This time his ability to deliver insightful commentary is encumbered by a real boss with a real political agenda.

That’s not to say he will not contribute mightily to the long overdue uplift of the quality of the national “debate” which, not to put too fine a point to it, has been getting more and more idiotic by the week. He certainly will, perhaps moving from the preferred networking platform of the ADD Generation where he is limited to just 140 characters per spiel and onto writing proper articles on his seminal blog Quezon.ph. But he will at best be a thoroughbred horse running fast but harnessed and reined.

Back in the good (bad) old Arroyo administration days, Manolo was always in twitter and in plurk. Those were the free-wheeling days when anything goes from “Majestic Ham” to current events. Then he suddenly kept quiet as the May 10 elections neared and appeared again on Twitter a day or two before the May 10 elections to greet me a “happy wedding anniversary”. While I know he needs to be prudent with his discussions in Twitter, I cannot help but miss @mlq3 as the person. I need to remind myself that he is now a high level Cabinet official.

Like @benign0, I noticed that the presidential Communication team display “an astounding clumsiness with dealing with the social media mob, which is bizarre considering MLQ3, an experienced Net jockey and a long-respected member of that community, was among their leaders.”.

Manolo is the best person to engage with the social mob.

He is easy to talk to. Understanding an issue or the message in Twitter can lose its effectiveness when the tweeter is abrasive or rude. I once talked to @dawende (Lacierda) and he just sneered at me for being judgmental. How far can a discussion go with that attitude?

Manolo’s tweet on December 13 caught me by surprise. It was an hour before midnight, a day before Chief Justice Corona would deliver his speech. Just a few hours earlier, my husband asked me if Manolo was online and if he still reads the tweets. I even said “Oh I am sure he reads them but he has to be cautious now because he is working for the President”.

Well, divine providence, Manolo suddenly tweeted.

Whatever his reasons are, a calm and level-headed engagement with Manolo is far more informative, enriching and rational than the hot-headed approach of @dawende (Presidential Spokesperson for President Aquino). I am not sure if Manolo will continue to do this or this is just a temporary engagement to lighten the agitated mood on Twitter. Even Abi Valte (@abi_valte) joined us in the discussion. This latest development makes up for the lack of social media engagement that President Aquino said he would have in his administration. It is not the answer to the lack of social media engagement.

It is a start and I am looking forward to the day when we , the bloggers and other social media users actually have coffee and just talk with President Aquino and other Cabinet members.

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BlogWatch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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