Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Agent of The Man

Yup, the new button over there on the lower right area of this blog is for Abe Olandres's PinoyTopBlogs project. That effectively makes me a rebel, a traitor, and an agent of The Man.

Pinoy Top Blogs

That's not to say that Abe is The Man, though. In fact, he's about as far from The Man as possible. I only just met him yesterday, and it was via e-mail, too. He was remarkably straightforward regarding my questions; I would have expected The Man to be a lot more vague.

I'm probably starting to sound very confused at this point, so let me explain: It's been a loooooong day.

I try not to go through the effort of advertising this blog. I don't ask to get put on peoples' blogrolls, and I don't ask other people to link to me from their sites. I find the practice contemptuous, especially since I don't expect that everybody is going to find this blog worth reading.

In a sense, I would rather that people link to me on their own. I can assure you that getting an unsolicited referral feels even better than getting a good number of comments.

So, as you have probably guessed by now, signing myself up for a PinoyTopBlogs listing is a hugely uncharacteristic move for me. I've obviously gone nuts, wacko, and right off my rocker. Nothing, of course, is further than the truth -- which is that I was nuts, wacko and off my rocker to begin with. But that's beside the point.

Regardless of my personal beliefs, I have to give Abe Olandres some credit for spearheading this project. In the Philippines, the concept of a weblog is not quite as well-known as the concept of, say, a corporate website -- despite the fact that blogs are slowly being recognized as versatile online tools in other parts of the world. A blog can show insight into the lives of personalities, give credence to the day-to-day operations of a business, or provide both neutral and opinionated views of public and societal issues. It might even do all three.

That's where a centralized web site displaying what would literally be the most popular blogs would be helpful. It would show internet surfers exactly what people are reading and what people aren't. It would help identify and track trends in the Filipino internet environment. It would provide a scaleable venue for bloggers to meet and compare themselves to what other people are writing.

The only hitch I can think of at this time is that the popular blogs don't necessarily imply good reading. But then, I suppose that we need to drum up more user awareness more than we need to refine peoples' tastes.

That's why I've got that PinoyTopBlogs button down there. And if Abe Olandres's little experiment somehow results in more people reading my entries, then so much the better, I think. That'll mean that a lot of blogs out there are getting the increase in readership as well.

The only question, of course, is whether or not I'm continuing to be true to myself by pandering to the wishes of that great populist, The Man himself. I mean, I'm technically selling myself out, aren't I? Aren't I?

Aw, heck. Even The Man has to have his days sometimes.

Besides, his waiting room has a candy dish full of Gummi Bears. And you just can't say no to Gummi Bears. :)


mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

Sean, I have seen your comments in Yuga's blog, which lead me here.

Regarding the "hitch" that you mentioned and I quote:

"The only hitch I can think of at this time is that the popular blogs don't necessarily imply good reading. But then, I suppose that we need to drum up more user awareness more than we need to refine peoples' tastes."

I would not worry about this too much. People keep visiting blogs that are of good quality. If you note the top 10 personal blogs in pinoy top blogs each of them have been recognized for quality one way or the other. Study Sassy's blog, I am sure you will find valuable lessons there.

My humble 2 cents.

Sean said...

Yes, I agree: The top blogs on the list are the top blogs for a reason, after all -- they're of excellent quality, and they've had ample time to gather an extensive audience.

However, I must still note that popular blogs don't necessarily imply good reading material for every person. They may make good recommendations, but we can hardly assume that every person who passes by those places will automatically get hooked on them.

I think that PinoyTopBlogs serves us better with regards to showing how extensive the Filipino blogging community is. But I also think that it will be purely up to the reader to decide which blogs are worth reading and which aren't, and I believe that that is the challenge we have to face once these readers breach the awareness barrier.

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

I see your point, it might be redundant to have already popular "blogs" hogging all of the attention by being on top of the list.

Maybe there should be a list of unpopular blogs displayed on random on the first page.

Hmmm this might be a good proposal to yuga.