There are bloggers who are satisfied in re-publishing articles written by other persons. This is not my style. As much as possible, I post original articles which I want to share to the world.
In this blog, there are few url links in the content page. Usually, I include url links at the beginning or end of an article. Too many url links disturb the flow of reading. I want readers to finish reading the whole article first before encouraging them to read related topics. In the preface of the bestseller Revolt of the Masses, Teodoro Agoncillo explained that he preferred endnotes over footnotes so that readers will not be distracted while reading the book. Somehow, I am guided by this thinking.
In this blog, there are few links, widgets in the sidebar. When I was a newbie blogger, I was always looking for something to “decorate” my blog with numerous widgets and blog applications. Later, I realized this was very trivial. Content is more important. If your articles are interesting, original or relevant, people will notice your blog (“If you build it, they will come,” hehe).
I am satisfied with the traffic generated by my blog. Although in 2004 and 2005, I was anxious to increase the number of readers of my blog. I was always bloghopping to encourage bloggers to visit my blog. I was posting blog articles in friendster bulletin.
Now I am no longer much interested in promoting my blog in social networking sites, message boards and e-groups. This blog generates modest hits but most of my readers have read my articles in other popular sites: Yehey (a leading Philippine-based web portal), Global Voices (one of the most visited blogs in the world) and UPI-Asia.
In this blog, there are few pictures. I maintain a separate online photo album. I know readers today are more visual; they need pictures so that they will understand the issues better. But this is not my priority. I want to emphasize again: content is more important. I want my readers to spend some time in this blog to learn new topics and to be familiar with my insights. My goal is not to entertain.
I am not a liveblogging practitioner. I admire livebloggers. We need these disciplined, innovative, and fast bloggers. These bloggers improve citizen journalism. But I am an advocate of slow blogging. I am a slow blogger. I do not often discuss headline-grabbing events or scandals. I wait for some days or weeks before I tackle these issues. I wait in order to gather more facts and to ascertain the arguments of different writers.
Besides, reacting to current national issues is not simply limited to blogging. Direct political intervention should be prioritized. And this is my primary concern. First and last, I am an activist.
I have also learned to recognize that others are more competent and comfortable in writing instant commentaries and sort of press release statements. My preferred task then is to highlight the issues which were overlooked and which I believe should be further discussed in public. My interest is to write about topics which are often ignored by mainstream media.
For example, everybody was commenting about the active student support for Jun Lozada. My tack was to explain why students are suddenly mobilizing support for Lozada and why the latter was perceived as the ideal witness by the middle class. Instead of echoing the press statements of mass organizations, I decided to write about the history of the rice shortage in the country.
Slow blogging has numerous benefits. There is no pressure to write about hot topics. There is no demand to immediately upload government documents, transcripts and interviews. And it gives me the time to research about topics which I really want to highlight.
I have a list of topics which I intend to tackle one by one in my blog. This list is updated continuously. Right now, there are more than 20 issues which are yet to be written and uploaded in my blog. Sometimes it takes a few months before I am able to discuss a listed topic in this blog. For example, I thought of writing my blog habits as early as October of last year.
I rarely reply in the comment section of this blog. Usually, I answer my readers through email. I started moderating comments because of spam. There is another reason why I am not too keen to answer my readers in the blog. I cannot make everybody agree with my opinion. I cannot succeed all the time in making everybody understand my viewpoint, or call it worldview. There is always a counter-argument for every argument. I cannot impose my version of truth on others. And sometimes I do not want to engage sillyheads and arrogant commentators in cyberspace.
Let me quote some writers to illustrate further the problematic. Asked to comment about people reading him as disguised Marxist, anti-Marxist, new conservative, nihilist, anarchist, etc., Michel Foucault replied in this way:
“I’m amused by the diversity of the ways I’ve been judged and classified. Something tells me that by now a more or less approximate place should have been found for me, after so many efforts in such various directions; and since I obviously can’t suspect the competence of the people who are getting muddled up in their divergent judgments, since it isn’t possible to challenge their inattention or their prejudices, I have to be convinced that their inability to situate me has something to do with me.”
Or as David Harvey interepreted Derrida:
“Writers create texts or use words on the basis of all other texts and words they have encountered, while readers deal with them in the same way. Cultural life is then viewed as a series of texts intersecting with other texts, producing more texts. This intertextual weaving has a life of its own. Whatever we write conveys meanings we do not or could not possibly intend, and our words cannot say what we mean.”
Writer Michael Luntley adds some points:
“No matter how much evidence we amass in support of a claim, no matter how convincing the reasons to which we appeal, there is still a gap between all that and a demonstration of the truth of the knowledge claimed…Let’s capture this sense of the lack of foundations for knowledge by saying: there is no mechanical recipe for knowledge.”
Philosopher Slavoj Zizer offers an advice:
“In ordinary language, the truth is never fully established; there is ‘another side’ to every point; every statement can be negated; undecidability is all-encompassing – this eternal vacillation is interpreted only by the intervention of some quilting point. According to Lacan, psychoanalytic discourse aims at breaking this vicious cycle of all-pervasive argumentation…”
PS: Gee, I sounded too postmodernish in the latter part of this article. Well, it’s the weekend. And I’m bored. I want to indulge in some language games and postmodernist claptrap. Let me assure you that I remain (to borrow some words from Dodong) an unrepentant mongista, este maoista.
By the way, I’m using dial-up for my internet connection. And one reason why I decided to write about my blog habits is because I will soon ditch the dial-up in favor of a broadband connection. Since April 1, I started assuming a bigger role in the Global Voices network. I need a fast internet connection.