Intrigued but skeptical was my first reaction. I get all sorts of invites to join this or that online network, many of them online businesses seeking to beef up their linkages. I seldom say yes. But after checking out GlobalPost and the people behind it, many of them veterans of some of the most prestigious news organizations in the world like CNN, The Washington Post, Time magazine, The Associated Press and The Boston Globe, I was convinced it was the genuine thing.
I was even more elated to learn that the correspondent for the Philippines was my friend and colleague Caloy Conde, who has reported for the likes of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.
Caloy will be part of a pool of 65 topnotch correspondents in about 46 countries. I won't be part of that pool; instead, GlobalPost has reserved space for invited bloggers from different countries to contribute to the site's content via RSS feeds.
“We are looking for enlightening, informative posts from bloggers writing (in English) in those countries,” explained John Wilpers, Global Blog Coordinator for GlobalPost, in his e-mail.
“I am pleased to extend an invitation to you to have the most recent post of 'Gibbs Cadiz' included on the Philippines page of GlobalPost.com as part of our 'Global Blogs' service. After reviewing thousands of blogs worldwide, we have found 'Gibbs Cadiz' to be one that is thought provoking and gives readers a true sense of what life is really like in Philippines.”
“The way it would work if you accept our invitation is that we would use your RSS feed to place your most recent post on your personal page on GlobalPost.com. We would point back to your actual blog for comments and for archives, hopefully driving lots of traffic to your site. Each time you write a new post, it would replace the older one so only one post would appear on GlobalPost.com.”
GlobalPost went live last January 12, in the middle of my trip. Since I couldn't go online, I had no idea how it looked, or how the invited blogs were incorporated into the site's design. But the January 13 (Tuesday) issue of the International Herald Tribune gave me cheer. One of only two English newspapers in the lobby of our hotel, the other being The Guardian, the Tribune ran a story on page 13 about the site's launching. So this is big, I thought.
My blog entries appear on the Philippines page, which carries Caloy's first-rate reportage and the latest entries from select local blogs. Right now, there are only two of us there, the other being The Unlawyer. I don't know if there have been similar invitations to other local blogs. I hope there are; the more Filipino voices on this global site, the better.
The editorial arrangement was a crucial factor in my saying yes. “Global Bloggers are not employed or directed by GlobalPost and the views expressed are the blogger's own,” says GlobalPost. Other than certain basic guidelines I already subscribe to both in my newspaper job and in the blog, “Submissions are neither edited nor reviewed before they appear on GlobalPost.”
Also, “By appearing on Global Post's exciting new international news website, your words, viewpoints, and pictures would gain worldwide exposure," wrote Mr. Wilpers. "Your posts would not only appear instantly on globalpost.com but also possibly on the sites of our partners, including the Huffington Post (7.8 million U.S. and 9.7 million global monthly unique visitors) and other news and information websites.”
Exciting, isn't it? A big honor, too. My hope is that the potentially bigger exposure for the stories I write, the people and causes and activities I'm passionate about, would bring more recognition and support for them. Join me for the ride?
Hello, world, this is Gibbs Cadiz from the Philippines!