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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why I'm a nice blogger

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.

21 comments:

  1. It's really sad that blogging is now tainted with too much PR & Advertising, which isn't actually all bad, but like you said, can easily be target for nasty people.

    Thanks for assuring us, your fellow bloggers, writer & readers, of your commitment to truth, beauty & love. Cheers, F! =)

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  2. love this entry Frances :) you're right..i miss the old blogging world (started blogging at 2003) when it wasnt tainted with corruption, intrigues and a lot more.

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  3. Very well put, Frances. I had a blog way back, too from about 2001-2003 (http://martsy.pitas.com/), which I shut down when I went into full-time ministry work for a while. Back then, I spoke my mind a lot (I was studying Journalism at the time). As a relatively new platform when Web 2.0 was still in its infancy, blogging let me express myself in ways that print couldn't.

    It wasn't until 2010 that I began blogging again. Today, as a married woman, my blog is just shy of one year old. The entries are totally different now, written from my perspective as a married woman. It's blatantly obvious that my little online space wishes to spark little crusade among work-at-home moms, and that is "to beautify the WAHM lifestyle." Maybe one day, I'll be able to earn from it, like you. But for now, the privilege to be able to enrich the lives of other women is enough.

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  4. thank you very much for your blog... i get to learn many new things and be able to read about lives outside these four walls of mine ... it really cheers me up every time i read your different entries... keep it up ... and i know you are not like that big bad blogger in any way ...

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  5. My sentiments exactly! I have more respect for bloggers who underwent training in the journalism industry over those people who just woke up one day and said, "Ooh! I think I'll blog about something cool."

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  6. what a very nice article ma'am! this will serve as a good reminder/tips for us who are just starting to blog! :)

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  7. "3. Acting high and mighty (i.e. "Why did I get an invite late? Do you know WHO I AM?")"

    This is one irritating trait of bloggers who consider themselves "influential." Just recently, may isang blogger na nagrrant ng ganyan sa FB nya. Turn-off! At ginagatungan pa siya ng mga "influential" blogger-friends niya.

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  8. this is really so sad :(

    you're right. blogging should be about love.

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  9. "Even though I write about my life, I choose the parts of my life that I think YOU will like." -That's what i like about you! :) And didn't you posted before something about you being in the entertainment industry? Anyway, even your paid posts are interesting. :)

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  10. Sometimes, the blog world is too much about the competition.

    Who's number 1? Who gots the most comments? Whose is the most visited?

    It's stupid. I mean, it's supposed to be a community.

    Them PR people is just making it worse. :-/

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  11. hi frances, i read a comment here... ako lang naman ang nagrant among my friends in FB that I hated what the PR did na late nagsent ng invite like hours before the event nila.... seriously, will you go to that event and drop everything just because they invited you?

    i'm not playing high and mighty its my facebook and its my friends reading it nobody else, i wonder who this hototay is she among my friends? i think its time to tweak the friendslist

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  12. Very well articulated! Exactly why I blog too! thanks for sharing, keep it up :)

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  13. Sigh. I knew this was going to be controversial!

    First, I have nothing against PR and advertising. I have many friends in both industries and a few bad apples don't mean the entire barrel is rotten.

    Second, some of the best blogs out there are written by people who didn't have a journalism background so I will never say that journalists are the best bloggers.

    And third, this is for Earth, let's not pull a Sharon-Hayden here. Baka naman it's not you! Wag pumatol sa blind item :)

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  14. ok baka nga naman hindi sya para sa akin :) haha... hindi na ako papatol lalo lang nagiging controversial :) peace

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  15. Earth, pero tama ka rin. Ako, dahil hindi ko rin lahat tunay na kilala yung mga FB friends ko, hindi na ako nagra-rant sa FB. Baka pag-tsismisan lang kasi ako. Marami kasi diyan nakikipag-friend pero gusto lang hanapan ka ng butas. Kaya pati FB statuses ko lately, love love love lang.

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  16. Hay, any time you take a stand on something no matter how reasonable, "tame", or neutral you try to get it across, meron at meron talaga mga negative reactions.

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  17. WendyB, I'm glad you read me! I'm so FLATTERED! =D

    Rowena, ya. My blog na nga is all vanilla pero nadadagdagan pa rin minsan ng spice! =D

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  18. last year i tried my hand in blogging but after a few weeks, i stopped. i got scared because i thought only the "famous" people blog and are followed. but last month I came back to blogging. wala lang. just want to share my life as housewife and mother from a low-middle income family. and lately I have been enjoying blogwalking to different blogs and that I learned a lot from them. My blog could be similar to others, kasi buhay ng 1 ordinary housewife but I know my blog has still stories to share to everyone... :))

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  19. These things are happening pala. Oh well. When I started blogging I didn't know anything about the blogging community.

    Does knowing these turn me off from blogging? No. :) It makes me want to blog more and be a better blogger. :P

    I just have to say, these issues happen in REAL life too. Hindi lang ito nangyayari sa blogging community. Nangyayari din ang mga ganitong chever sa neighborhood, sa opisina, sa civic organizations, maski sa church organizations... Kaya, let's support bloggers like Topaz Horizon and all other good vibe bloggers who promote positivity. Kasi there's already a lot of bashing out there :P

    Also, if you find yourself irritated with bloggers who you think are not sincere, HIT the UNSUBSCRIBE button, it solves most things :) Life is too short for total negativity.

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