I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

The New Plaza Miranda

Let’s talk about blogs, shall we?

Now I know that blogs have evolved from its origins as online diaries to be just about any website that consists of entries posted in reverse chronological order, that readers can post comments on. Wunnerful.

But that’s getting all technical. On a gut level, there are a lot of people who feel that a blog should be about what the author thinks or feels, or where she stands on particular issues. Used in this way, a blog is an invaluable tool for going beyond the official press release and the gospel according to the media.

In a society where mass media already dominates public discussion and exerts more influence on public opinion than public intellectuals ever did, blogs can be a re-invigorating whiff of true free expression. And the raw honesty bloggers can be capable off is probably the single most important incentive for readers to add their comments; comments that  – for the most part – foment disagreement, argument, and hopefully consensus. The conversation is thus enriched immeasurably.

In more ways than one, the blogosphere is the new Plaza Miranda. It’s where you can trot out your ideas and your policies and get instant feedback from the people who will be affected. It’s where your stupid notions can get booed to extinction before they do damage; it where your good ideas can start generating the popular support it needs to become reality.

But what use is a blog when all it does is reprint news that you can get from mass media?  I mean, a blog that really does nothing more than just lift news articles and posts them verbatim? As a research tool, perhaps, that sort of thing might be helpful. But for myself – and there are others like me – who looks to blogs to get a feel for the real person behind the words, it’s pretty fucking useless.

Remember what i said about honesty encouraging comments? The reverse is true. When readers sense that the post is artificial (for lack of a better word) or affected or propagandistic, they mostly stay away. They leave the post unacknowledged and the ideas in that post remain as they are: un-enriched by disagreement or even mere discussion. Now, if that happens to blogs with original (albeit ‘artificial) posts, what can you expect from a blog that is basically just a scrapbook? Worse yet, what the fuck do you do with a blog that calls itself Richard Gordon’s blog, but in reality is nothing more than an exercise in narcissistic, masturbatory, scrapbooking?

Whoever is behind that blog sure doesn’t know what the crap he is doing. I imagine it’s an attempt to make Gordon look hip and with-it, but it fails miserably. The only thing more cynical than having a blog and then having someone ghost write posts for you, is to have a blog and do nothing more with it than re-publish positive press. This blog doesn’t make Gordon look hip. It makes him look arrogant; like he’s presuming people don’t know any better; that people will accept this crap and somehow chalk up a point for Gordon. I don’t know when exactly this blog jumped the shark. I mean it started out pretty sincere, and while I can’t exactly vouch for authorship, alot of the early entries read like Gordon. Not anymore tho. The latest entries going back months have been mostly cut-and-paste from newspapers, with the occasional media-bureau captioned photo-op.

If I were Gordon, I wouldn’t let this blog continue like this. If it’s not his, then it’s ruining his image as a dyed in the wool cool techno – a guy whose favorite catch-phrase is “it’s not rocket science.” If it is, then it’s indicating that he has lost touch with the public image he cultivated for a long time. In either case, it’s not helping people understand him better.

A blog is a great way of reaching out to voters. Especially since Gordon isn’t shy about admitting  that he has a moist eye on the presidency, he needs that. More importantly – for me anyway – if he is sincere in what he says that he isn’t a traditional politician, he could use this blog of his to attract votes the right way: by showing off his presidential caliber; by elucidating a comprehensible roadmap for the Philippines out of our doldrums; by showing himself not afraid to submit his thinking to the critical minds of the new Plaza Miranda.


Filed under: blogging, musings, politics, , , ,

6 Responses

  1. cvj says:

    How do you compare Gordon’s blog with Ping Lacson’s blog?

  2. rom says:

    cvj:seems cut from the same cloth, uncle. except that, while the posts are written in the third person, the comment replies at least are in the first. That’s not enough reason, of course, for me to conclude that ping’s blog is anything more than just a p.r. tool. The third person style, however, certainly makes it feel like that.

  3. tonyFL says:

    What is more significant (to me) is that the only comments shown in the pinglacson website are from overseas (e.g. Riyadh, US-of-A). And I suppose the Senator is thin-skinned as I did not see any “that’s a moronic move, Senator” comment or such unfriendly stuff.

  4. cvj says:

    I agree. None of the politicians’ blogs, (except for Martin Bautista’s) have that bloggy-feel to it.

  5. tonio says:

    that’s cause staffers write ’em. 😛

  6. Jeg says:

    A blog is a great way of reaching out to voters.

    Yeah. Both of them who’re online.

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