Wednesday, August 15, 2007

'Misrepresents,' my foot.

I was looking forward to not blogging for at least two days to give PinoyCentric.com's "10 bloggers for PETA" project maximum exposure in my blog, but I just had to say something about the latest ruckus that's shaking up the so-called Philippine blogosphere, because I think it also concerns me as a blogger.

So soon after that dust-up about whether the 13-year-old CarlOcab is really responsible for his remarkably grown-up blog (about which I have my own thoughts, but they're for a later post), Jayvee Fernandez has stirred up another fracas with his accusation that someone was "misrepresenting" the "treasure" that is the Philippine blogosphere in a talk with "industry experts:"

"It is such a sad experience to have a blogger misrepresent the Philippine blogosphere for his or her own merit. Recently, a huge conference was held and some industry folk mentioned a particular blogger who gave such a compelling presentation about the Philippine blogosphere. It was so compelling because it was the first BIG time that the local industry’s eyes were opened to the spectacle that is the Philippine blogosphere."

Quite a mouthful. Because Mr. Fernandez did not bother to name names, his readers were sufficiently intrigued, a number of them demanding that he make his charges specific. That he did in a follow-up post, this time naming Jannette Toral as the culprit. Apparently, Ms. Toral was the invited speaker in a major conference where she talked about the worldwide blogging phenomenon and its local variant.

What got Mr. Fernandez's goat was this: that Ms. Toral had the temerity to cite as examples of the local blogosphere "in action" the projects she had herself initiated.

"The presentation should have used more blog examples outside the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs project, outside Rockista Craze (her daughter), and outside her own blogs," admonished Mr. Fernandez.

Then he went on to enumerate "other blogger-initiated projects that [he feels] Janette should have included in her presentation," among them the Philippine Blog Awards 2007, his own pet project, and the "Blog Parties and Regional Blog Conferences" of which, he neglected to mention, he is often an organizer or active participant.

This isn't the sort of fray I'd like to get into, as my blog hardly touches on the petty politics and puny pissing contests among the local blogging crowd. I also have not met Ms. Toral, even if a sufficient number of bloggers did vote me into her "Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs" project. But I'd like to speak up now, because Mr. Fernandez said something in his first post that literally unnerved me. His parting shot, after unloading the not-so-subtle warning that the unnamed "blogger/speaker may be just a little misguided and I hope it doesn’t happen again," [underscoring mine] was this:

"If bloggers are invited to speak in front of a crowd of industry experts (yay!!!), bear in mind that you bring forward with you the hundreds of personalities of the local blogosphere."

Now, I have a few questions for Mr. Fernandez. Where is it written, exactly, that if we do get to speak about local blogging before a crowd, we automatically become its representative, spokesperson, living embodiment, image model? Why should this be so? What canon of blogging am I violating if, say, I get invited to share my experience about blogging for theater and the arts, which is this site's niche, and I fail to mention that, oh, there are other bloggers and "blog-initiated activities" out there? In what way, for that matter, was Ms. Toral wrong in using examples close to her heart, borne out of her efforts and hard work and that she had expertise on, when talking about this activity?

Take note, Mr. Fernandez, that you yourself were careful to say that Ms. Toral had only cited "examples." In your subsequent post you dissected her Powerpoint presentation, but still you didn't say that she had generalized in any adverse way about local blogging. So what was it that really riled you up?

I have a guess: the fact that she talked about something that you thought you had a better grasp of. You're a blogging pioneer hereabouts, everybody recognizes that, so how dumb was it for the conference organizers to invite someone less knowledgeable about the subject? You simply felt you could have done a better job explaining the big picture. You had the list of examples down pat, capped with this very helpful remark: "It would actually be cool to compile a list of all of these initiations and send them to Janette to help her in the future with her presentations."

I'd like to invite you to listen to yourself for a second, Mr. Fernandez. Don't you realize how condescending that last sentence was? You're showing up Ms. Toral for the inadequate researcher that she was compared to you. Her "misguided" fault, in effect, was blabbing about the local blogosphere without first running the information by you. You could have vetted it first, given it your imprimatur, before it went before the conference and "misrepresented" the community you imagine yourself to be a stalwart caretaker of. The nerve of Ms. Toral to talk about something she hadn't officially received from On High.

Ms. Toral might have missed out on some facts. If this were truly about helping her, you could have e-mailed her your "comments and suggestions" privately. But to publicly characterize her omission as something that "misrepresents... for his or her own merit" is the height of arrogance and hasty judgment. The implication of active malice in what she did is hypocritical, to say the least. A few weeks after I started blogging in September last year a friend dragged me to this bloggers' meet-up at the National Sports Grill in Greenbelt where you, Abe Olandres and Noemi Dado discussed how to make money out of one's blog. What examples did you use? Your own blogs.

I do not particularly care whether you, Mr. Olandres and Ms. Dado talk or not talk about your respective blogs in forums. That's your right. But I do care that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Then it was alright, I suppose, because The Pioneers were the ones talking. Now that an interloper deigns to encroach on territory you think is yours by entitlement, there is only bad faith involved. But no worries, of course, it's a wrinkle that can be easily resolved with one simple gesture, if we parse your parting shot correctly. Next time, Ms. Toral or others of her stripe should be humble enough to receive guidance and tutorship from you before mouthing off.

What if she doesn't want to, Mr. Fernandez? What if she refuses to make use of the Received Wisdom promulgated by you and your clique? That will make you "sad" again that she "misrepresents... for his or her own merit," wouldn't it--enough for you to write an accusatory post that conveniently omits the names but piles on the innuendo?

Datu, a commenter in your blog, is right. This is nothing less than the Mafia, a "barkada of sorts where if you’re not part of the IN group, you get hammered for anything and everything under the sun that they can attack you with." People like us who weren't there at the Glorious Beginning are now saddled with rules promulgated by the gods of local blogging.

First, whenever we speak about blogging, we "bring forward with [us] the hundreds of personalities of the local blogosphere." Never mind that most bloggers can very well speak for themselves and do not need a mouthpiece. Why should I even presume to be a stand-in for the rest? But then, I'm not you, Mr. Fernandez. I cannot make that presumption. That mantle of Manifest Destiny? It's all yours.

Second, we cannot ever cite our blogs as an example of our blogging experience, because it would paint a "misleading" picture of how "vibrant the Philippine blogosphere is."

Or as you put it, "It is very different case when one uses the blogosphere for personal merit."

Pray, how do you use your blog? For charity? You blog about yourself, your projects, your parties, your friends, your guitar-strumming. How is that not for personal merit?

In fact, what if someone like me, speaking about the local blogosphere, deviates from the approved talking points, forgets about being a dang "spokesperson," and says something like, "Some local bloggers are high-hat bullies," citing you and your blog as a specific example, would I be "misrepresenting" there? It's my opinion. I have two of your posts to back me up.

I don't foresee it, since unlike you I don't relish speaking before crowds, but if I do find myself one day talking about my blogging experience before a throng, I'll make sure to NOT follow your advice. I've no wish to be part of the "treasure" that is the Philippine blogosphere if it means living with The Mob.

By the way, editor to editor: it's "flak," not "flack."

43 comments:

CokskiBlue said...

Woah. I'll be needing more time to digest all of that. I'm surprised that it has come to this already.

Now I know what all those intriguing twits are all about.

Very well put, Gibbs. I hope I can also gather up my views about the issue once I read Mr. Fernandez's post.

aryo said...

Hmm. No comment for now. I feel inadequate. I'd have to be careful with my pronouncements. I might misrepresent the other bloggers who like me post nothing but blogtrash, he he.

andianka said...

wow... mr. gibbs cadiz you nailed it! too much info, my head will explode. its sad that suddenly the blogosphere is filled with all these accusations and speculations.

i say it's becoming more and more political.

regarding datu's commment, i have the same view as yours. i actually regarded it as a negative comment against mr. jayvee's entry.

oh well... pioneers or not, we all have the privilege to do whatever we want that we think we know by heart. and something we've worked hard on, and for.

very well said, gibbs!

Rick said...

Very well said, gibbs.

I had a feeling this would happen sooner or later. And it did.

The "philippine blogoshpere" has become cliquish. I miss the days when blogging was simple and personal. Blogging used to be more fun.

daniel palma tayona said...

"...we all have the privilege to do whatever we want that we think we know by heart. and something we've worked hard on, and for", and i quote andianka.

i've read mr. fernandez two posts and checked on those "blog initiatives" he listed that he wished ms. toral mentioned in her presentation. all i can say is this... what is he talking about?

his pronouncements smack so much of a bruised ego. geesh! simply because he had to pay 8,500 and he forgets to attend the event and later on find out that a speaker didn't talk about or cited some of his initiatives as an example in her talk makes him all worked up?

come on... if this is the kind of politics and ego-boosting i would see in this "community"... hmm, then there'd be no point in blogging. we'll, all just end up forming into groups, colleges or gangs and beat each other up black and blue with the electronic word.

malabo chong ang hirit ni mr. fernandez. parang batang paslit na hindi nasali sa laro't ngumangawa sa sulok. sus!

and like any child na nasipa mula sa patintero, maghahanap ng kakampi't magtatayo ng sariling clique.

jayvee f. said...

gibbs, i knew this would come up. some blogger projects i mentioned were organized by me but not all.

second, i dont talk about making money with grassroots problogging as i make less than 40 dollars on ads. other bloggers make much more.

i talk about blog networks because that is my industry expertise.

IMMAP is not a blogcon or a blog party. it is an 8,500 peso conference - not cheap. syempre naman, you'd expect to have something more substantial than the top 10 emerging blog project, which by the way was not received well by a lot of bloggers.

thats my side. i see your point. in fact, i may even be wrong in bringing this up as I MYSELF give talks.

truth is, i didnt bring this up. anton diaz did and he said it was ok for me to cite him as a source.

Baldagyi Hatipoglu said...

josko, ano na naman ba eto? sana'y pag-ibig na lang ang isipin ng bawat isa sa mundo. wat da hek is "philippine blogosphere"? i feel like i don't even belong. anong kagolohan etu?

Inkblots said...

My 10 cents: Perhaps the word "misrepresentation" is just too sweeping. All the while, I thought Mr. Fernandez was talking about his initiatives being "represented" or "used" by someone other than him or without his permission, or citing his works without his express consent.

I have some other ideas about it, but I would rather keep it or I might be unnecessarily trapped into this imbroglio.

the philosphical bastard said...

If there was a misrepresentation, I certainly did not feel misrepresented.

I think someone's just being really sensitive here gibbs. of course he wont write just the events he put up, he expected what people would say. So he added some more.. but he meant the same thing "Why am I not here?!"

Now i feel offended that he did not add my own awards: The Pinoy Evil Blog Awards.. ooooh, someone nominate this blog already (best rant award)!!!

*insert evil laugh*

mitsuru said...

flak-flak-flakan gibo!

sabi ko na, these blog awards and other blog ek-eks so common among pinoy bloggers will lead into something.....

anyway, what's the fuzz all about?

--kahit saang parte ng mundo basta may mga pinoy, may awayan at inggitan. lol

btw, lahat tayo eksperto sa blogosphere. lahat tayo bida. sabi nga "kung ayaw mo, huwag mo!" lol

bottomline ng lahat, E-G-O.

Annamanila said...

I respect diversity. As long as diverse ideas are expressed/exchanged with respect.

Anonymous said...

Jayvee's blog moderates comments so I am not sure if my comment below will be approved, so I hope you wont mind Gibbs, that I'll just post my comment on one of Jayvee's posts here on your blog:

"Gibbs is right in all his arguments. There’s nothing to represent or to misrepresent as the so-called “Philippine Blogosphere” is not a formal organization. After reading Gibbs post, I thought that you are just sour-graping that you were not the one speaking there instead. Such an elitist stance. Just because you are a “pioneer”, you think you already hold every blogger accountable to you or to your own views or preferences or those of your clique?! Bahh!! Gibbs is right — misrepresents, my foot!"

Marin said...

What's with the I didn't start this Anton did, thing? Anton gave permission?

How Jayvee Filate-ish.

Anton has a blog. He can publish anytime.

If you put it in your blog, then you started it. Away with those flimsy excuses of Anton this or Anton that. You're starting to sound like that blogger who talked to other bloggers and then just posted her "own" observations.

It's not like Anton is incapable of writing online, right?

Susginoo.

Jego said...

I dont know who any of those people are, but if Mr. Fernandez were a pioneer and has some sense of 'parenthood' over the so-called Philippine Blogosphere (blek--I find that word irritating), there always comes a point in a parent's life when he or she has to let go. The baby is all grown up now and has its own life. It doesnt need its hands held all the time.

snglguy said...

Ay nako, my head is buried so deep up my you-know-what, I've missed out on the latest brouhaha in the Pinoy blogosphere... tsk tsk, I really need to bloghop more often, hehe. :-D

imroanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Superficial Whore said...

i can't say that i agree or disagree.

pero for me, it could have been sent via e-mail should there be any questions regarding slip-ups of the said speaker. Promulgating it to the whole world like impugning a flat out fallacy is somehow demeaning to the speaker-person itself. tsk tsk tsk.

i guess there'll be charlatans and hypocrites. it's not enough for my 10 fingers to count.

gosh, i'd rather shop! :P

Ederic said...

Tama si Rick. Noong mas naunang panahon, walang masyadong ganito, hehe.

Pero, asteeg, Gibbs! :)

Baklang AJ said...

Very well put-together. And I agree that the so-called "Philippine blogosphere" has become clique-ish, it's not funny anymore.

just passing through said...

Misrepresentation, ego sizes, personality clashes and cliques abound whether in the blogosphere or traditional media. Depending on their current level of maturity/securiy, some people may feel "territorial" or protective over a domain
they have (painstakingly) marked out for themselves. Sometimes it makes me wonder about the real motives behind some people's blogs. Perhaps owing to lack of self confidence, some may instinctively seek fame, glory, or credit for everything that they do.

Some of us may feel that we have a larger purpose than simply fulfilling the interests of our personal lives. While we are actively doing our part and someone else gets the chance to do what we are also called to, maybe it's best to respond with generosity. We will all get a chance to speak somehow, and talk about what's closest to our hearts. There's plenty of room for everyone. There's plenty of work to go around. As they say, when we add positive, creative energy to a movement, we become part of the larger group effort. Thus when others are successful in working toward the mutual goal, we consider this as our victory as well.

Eugene said...

Jayvee should've talked to Janette privately before airing his issues out. After all, these two did collaborate on a bunch of events before.

Also, I don't feel that Janette misrepresented the local blogging ecology.

But, Gibbs, you're jumping to conclusions about your accusations of cliquishness. I can't believe that you derived that there's a blogging mafia just from Jayvee's misgivings about Janette's presentation. I personally have seen the influential bloggers disagree with each other on important issues while remaining friends. In a real clique, people defend each other just because. I don't see such behavior here.

So I think that you yourself have seen such behavior before and Jayvee's outburst is just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I'm interested to learn more.

Kai Santorino said...

Too bad I wasn't able to attend that conference. However, I think Jayvee may have overreacted to what she said. I think that he thinks Ms. Toral has made a shamless plug of her projects but I think it's just natural to make your own work as an example to her fellow bloggers.

Hay sana they can straighten things out. This is not good for bloggers.

Anonymous said...

i love this post.

beektur said...

Sorry, I tuned off after the two paragraphs. Di ako makakonek sa isyu. Sabi nga ni Will, by way of Macky, "It is a tale … full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.” Or as Westdon Martin Abay - Don to you - more eloquently puts it, "Natatawa ako, hihihi."

After this interruption, now back to theater and healthy substance :)

arv_brotarlo_05 said...

Is there venture capital involved? Jayvee's not the best writer around, He clearly wrote words he didn't mean. Maybe he meant, if Toral wants to talk in front of industry experts, maybe she should've given equal opportunities to other blogs.

This is about level playing field.

janettetoral.com said...

Hello Gibbs. Thank you very much for this. I sincerely appreciate it.

From what I've seen, I learned that we all have to be diligent and do research before making blind blog posts, question one's competence or intelligence, make accusations, pass on judgment, and put a private individual on public trial.

@Eugene - I haven't collaborated with Jayvee before.

empress maruja said...

Inaamin kong ngayon ko palang nabasa ang blog mo, Mare, pero ngayon palang palakpak na kung palakpak akets.

*Plak plak palakpak* Apir Mare! Natumbok mo!

Sa 'yo na ang korona!

waltzang said...

vitriol! kaloka!

anyhoo, molly cliborne might offer some insights on our feelings this week:

August 22-25
Once the Sun passes by Saturn on Tuesday evening, we begin to experience the energy of the upcoming Mars Jupiter opposition more fully. Mars is high-energy, and Jupiter is optimistic, ready to gamble. In Gemini and Sag, it’s a restless, discombobulated pair, full of ideas and prone to foolhardiness. It’s important to see the glass half-full and half-empty, then decide which version holds more truth. Impatience is what gets us on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Mercury in Virgo forms a tight mutable T-square with that Mars Jupiter opposition that holds until Saturday afternoon. Mutable signs are highly creative, but they lack the focus of fixed signs. There’s changeability in the sky, made of both exuberance and irritability. So this isn’t the time to bring up a touchy subject or try to make your point. We’re all feeling overstimulated mentally, nitpicky, worried and defensive of our own ideas on Friday and Saturday.

read more at www.north-node.com

waltzang said...

ay sorry! wrong week ang nilagay ko! sensya na po. very early in the morning kasi. medyo not yet fully awake. hihihihi. *blush*

August 13-21
The Sun, Mercury and Venus touch off the Saturn-Pluto trine, one after the other. So it’s a great time for a reality check. It may be heavy, as things tend to be when Saturn meets Pluto, even in a trine. Like the bridge that collapsed in early August, it makes us aware that we need to pay attention. So that maybe we’ll finally do something about it. The trine aspect signals a window of opportunity. And there are three good ones during this 9-day period.
Monday and Tuesday, Venus conjoins hardworking Saturn, but the Sun and Mercury oppose space-cadet Neptune. Monday we’re focused but confused. Tuesday, we’re still unclear on where things are going, but the answer appears Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning as Mercury sails past Neptune and Venus trines Pluto. The ideas and energy keep flowing as Mercury conjoins retrograde Venus and trines Pluto, also retrograde. This is a signal that what you are working with is something that began a while ago, maybe in July, or maybe even when Pluto last passed this place in December 2006.
What’s noteworthy about this week is, everything is happening in the last degrees of Leo (with Pluto in Sagittarius). That means we’re in a stage of finishing up something old, tying up the loose ends, to prepare for a shift in the energy when the Sun and Mercury enter Virgo next week, and more importantly, when Saturn enters Virgo in early September. There is a lot of energy in fixed signs this week. Rigid rules and structures are challenged and tested. The results of these tests may cause us to reform in the system, down to the minute details, ruled by Virgo. Saturn in Virgo is analytic and thorough, painstakingly critical. Leo is heart energy, and Virgo is gut energy. We will feel it in our guts when something is out of balance.

bob said...

and I thought jayvee was referring to the kid-blogger. iba pa palang issue to. ano ba yan.

The way i see it lang no. So what if someone boasts about their blog-related project "as an example". Citing an example does not really mean you are generalizing, does it? There's another term for it. Shameless plug. (pardon the term but bloggers do that to promote their own blogs and get hits! hits! hits!) What's wrong with that you ask? I say, nothing.

Why the fuss, then? Maybe because the promoter didn't promote someone else. *HUGE SMILE here*

Pioneers of blogging? why? Do you own the internet? nobody has the monopoly of cyberspace. Free for all to, mga kuya at ate. Anyone and everyone can put up a blog and post about anything and everything. As for traffic, that's another story.

I always thought of a blog as something personal, more like an online diary of sort. But now, I see more and more people using blogs as tools for something else. Did I miss out on something? Pati ba naman dito may politicking na rin?

ano nga ba ang blog?

bob said...

Which flak / flack?

flak [ flak ] or flack [ flak ]


noun

Definition:

1. ground-based antiaircraft fire: antiaircraft fire directed from the ground

--- definitely not this.

2. criticism: strong adverse criticism ( informal )

- according to my other dictionary, wordweb, "flak can also be spelled as flack". Can't see the diff 'xcept for the "c".

1. A slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer

2. Intense adverse criticism

We learn by the minute. :)

jher said...

There is life (and a real world with real problems and issues) outside the blogosphere. Maybe it's about time some people start living that world rather than focusing their whole life in this one.

tutubi said...

yay!

so it's like there're really bloggers called "blog overlords" (a term i read from a local blog) that i prefer to shorten to bloglords? :)

Eugene said...

Janette, maybe collaborated is the wrong term. But you've supported the BlogCon, Blog Parteeh, and Blog Awards, all three co-organized by Jayvee, by attending these. And you (or Mr. Disini) got Jayvee as a speaker for iBlog3.

reluctant blogger said...

jher, amen to that! bob and just passing through, yeah there is room for all in cyberspace and it's virtually free! tutubi, pareho tayo. i like to call them bloglords too -- not derogatorily though...parang bagay lang hehe. pero kung may drug or jueteng lords sa totoong buhay, malamang may counterpart din sa blogosphere??? :(

Jap said...

and here I thought I invented blogging and created the Philippine blogosphere in my own image and likeness.

why would anybody claim that?

are you drugs? or god? choose.

anyway, gibbs, stay calm =) blogging is something, but beauty is everything =) don't get stressed over this.

and what's wrong with those guys anyway? spread the love people! kayo puro link-love lang spread e. tsk.

TURNED OFF said...

wow. do i want to be (mis)represented by those who caused all this? ganito pala ang philippine blogosphere? walang pinag-iba sa philippine showbiz? (or sa pilipinas per se?)

now it seems like a scary place to be. disheartening to new, hopeful bloggers; discouraging to aspiring bloggers.

hope these people can positively settle things soon, as the long term effect is exactly the opposite of what they claim as their noble personal goals and mission for the blogging industry.

alex said...

I'm surfing on u blog,look great,
well,thinks for you info
idea for money,Find

More....

Victor said...

ding, ding ding, ding ding

In this corner, weighing.....

Ding an Bato - "Darna" the musical

janettetoral.com said...

@eugene - Thanks for the clarification. I attended the Blog Parteeh. That is where I met Jayvee who expressed interest to speak at iBlog3. After receiving his e-mail proposal, I approved and included him in the program. So yes, I've been supportive. (though i wasn't able to participate in BlogCon and Philippine Blog Awards)

gibbs cadiz said...

hi FRIENDS, i'm closing this thread now. everything i have to say i've said in my piece, so hope you don't mind that i won't be answering your comments individually, at least for this time. thank a lot for sharing your thoughts as well. :)

Anonymous said...

ang taray! espesyali ang last line "editor to editor"... winnur!

hi gibbz!

Anonymous said...

well said, mr. cadiz. but then again, there's freedom of speech so let's respect mr. fernandez's right to that. at least he was just hitting on one person. i'm not gonna expound on what i think about what he said though since i somehow know the guy.

oh and by the way, at least his post wasn't as generalized and demeaning as malu's. ;D

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