Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Blog Camp In Cebu - No Campfire Horror Stories
The Sugbuanons did not fall below expectations. They delivered exactly what they promised. There was little room for drastic last minute program digressions that would have made visiting bloggers appear polite and pleasant only to leave trails of virtual discontent.
When they said they’d offer insights into photography and travel for bloggers, they did just that. By the end of the day, I was again entertaining the grand delusion that I could ride a bus into the sunset to the distress of my paranoid blood relations, discover hidden retreats where there are no Jollibee outlets, learn to ask “Where is the toilet?” in 101 dialects and add my voice into the teeming mix of Filipino travel bloggers.
I must say though that I did entertain other hopes (a.k.a. ulterior motives) when I attended the camp. Since I work for a foreign internet-based company, I needed to find out if any of the speakers would mention the words internet marketing in the same sentence.
In the various blogging events I’ve attended, the Filipino bloggers I’d met were schooled in the belief that one should blog just because of one’s passions and interests. I’ve never attended an event in Vis-Min that taught bloggers to treat blogging as a real world business. That sometimes makes me think real Filipino internet marketers prefer to stay under the woodwork where they can secretly burp to the tune of five figure dollar incomes, away from the all seeing eye of the internet’s version of Big Brother.
Is internet marketing (IM) a forbidden topic in blogging events? Is IM the equivalent of horror stories told around campfires? No one really wants to hear them and have nightmares of Big Brother taking away blog page ranks and contextual advertising accounts.
The last two speakers, Coy Caballes and Reuben Licera, social media management experts, came closest to approaching the topic that must not be named. Licera in particular was perhaps the father I never knew and would have given me the right guidance to taking baby steps in the traffic laden streets of Facebook, where crazy virtual drivers on steroids can run you over and cause death by social media, if he had more time.
By the end of the day, I could not resist the itch to ask why no one had yet said anything about future plans of teaching Pinoy bloggers IM that I made an effort to overcome my fear of men in shades and approached Philippine Blog Awards top man Juned Sonido to ask. He said plans for IM seminars might be in the works and that they have not consciously been avoiding the niche at all.
For the record, there are ethical ways of marketing online so future blog campers perhaps do not need to fear getting raided and rounded by Big Brother’s agents in ninja suites. I’m looking forward to those seminars Mr. Sonido.