Okay, so I said I don't like talking about serious stuff in my blog because it just invites controversy. But ever since that Big Bad Blogger issue a few weeks back, some people have been asking and asking and asking me about how I, a blogger, can resist becoming a big bad blogger myself.
And I always say, "That's because I'm a journalist first and I'm guided by journalism ethics and principles. It's a very slippery slide to corruption, especially with all the power I can wield with words. But I can resist it. It can be done."
What is corrupt behavior?
1. Blackmailing people (i.e. "If you don't do this, I'll blog about you!")
2. Demanding payment (in cash or in kind) for a story
3. Acting high and mighty (i.e. "Why did I get an invite late? Do you know WHO I AM?")
I started blogging in 2005, when nobody cared about bloggers. Back then, blogging was untainted by corruption. Blogging used to be a beautiful thing. It was an arena of people just writing for the sake of expressing oneself, for entertainment, for the love of writing and art and truth. But now that it's been invaded by advertising and PR, unscrupulous people have realized that they can use blogs as a weapon, as a tool for getting what they want.
I'm glad I was a writer first before I became a blogger. I used to correct people when they say, "You're a blogger?" with "Actually, I'm a writer with an online presence." But yeah, sure, I'm a blogger! But let me tell you why I wanted to be known as a writer first. A writer's loyalty is only towards the truth and to the readers. When I blog, I think about YOU. I don't think about me. Will this post entertain you? Will this make you happy? Will this make you laugh? Will this make you think? Will this help you shop/cook/dress/look better?
Even though I write about my life, I choose the parts of my life that I think YOU will like. That's why some of you think I live in a fairy tale. I don't. But I don't write about my shit because I assume you already have enough stress in your life. Do you really want to know mine?
Now, because the blogosphere has been infiltrated by people who write for money alone, bloggers are viewed with suspicion. People now think bloggers are out to get money, invites to events, and loads of free stuff. This really makes me sad.
I admit I earn from my blog and that I've gotten free stuff but I am always gracious and grateful for the things I get--from little lip balms to an all-expense-paid trip to Singapore, it's all the same to me. I am grateful. I never demand and I never complain. I also do sponsored posts (thanks, Nuffnang!) but even Nuffnang knows I don't always accept their many proposals. That's because I weigh the cost of doing a sponsored post first. Again, is this something I really use and is this something you'll find useful? Bonus na lang that I get paid to write about it! And, like I said in my FAQs, a sponsored post is properly labeled for transparency. But most of the product features I write about are really stuff I own or purchased or want (but can't afford yet!), some are "pakiusap" lang. Walang bayad yun.
So I blog because I love to write. I blog because I love to share what I love. I blog because I love my readers. I blog because my readers love me. It's all about love, baby. It's never about the money or the freebies. You can count on that.