I first heard of The Philippine Blogging Summit or iBlog last year when I am still new in the online community. I didn’t pay much attention with it because I have other schedule that time, and I don’t really know much Bloggers during those time.
But this year, I got persuaded by my blogger friend, Rod Magaru, to attend because he will be hosting the event (for the first time). Initially, I said yes, but I also checked who will be the speakers as I want to make sure I have other reasons aside from supporting my friend.
Out of the 12 hosts, 8 of them I know personally, or at least have met already. But like what happened to its past blogging summit, and from what I heard from last year’s iBlog7, there is controversies from the chosen speakers. And this I got to prove as I’ll be witnessing this for the first time. I already have doubts with some of the names I saw but maybe, they aren’t that bad at all. And I was wrong.
In preparation to iBlog8, I asked a good friend from Fersal Hotel if we (Ruth Floresca, Rod Magaru) could get a discount in one of their branch in Quezon City. iBlog8 will be held at the Malcolm Hall in UP Diliman and the best place to check in is at Fersal Hotel Malakas Branch (there’s one more branch too, along Kalayaan Avenue). Thanks to Ms. Nica Serrano for arranging the discount in our hotel accommodation. It sure is a big help because from someone like me and Ruth who lives in Muntinlupa City, going to iBlog8 at 8:00 AM is quite too early and hassle to travel.
We checked in a day before the event so we could still have time to pack our things and rest. We had a very neat room at Fersal Hotel and we all enjoyed staying here just like my first stay at Fersal Hotel in Makati City.
Going back to iBlog8, we arrived at the venue around 8:00 AM. We came a little early but that’s okay as we can get the best seat in the room. We were supposed to seat at the center but there’s this super loud guy talking non-stop so we ended up seating at the back seat instead. Not a bad view as the room isn’t that big and we can still see the speakers from our end.
The event started at 9:00 AM, and sharing the hosting duties with Rod Magaru is Flow Galindez who have hosted the iBlog event for 3-straight years already.
Here are the event program and short description of the speaker’s topic (as posted at iBlog website):
1. Unboxing the true potential of your blog (Carlo Ople)
How to get direct advertisers and investors in your blog. How to turn it into a full fledged online publishing business.
2. Creating a Blog Activation Campaign (Mark Joseph Delgado)
Today, blogs and social media networks in the Philippines are not just mere online marketing tools – they already evolved towards becoming effective platforms or springboards in creating activation campaigns for brands. Brand Activation, in the point of view of marketing practitioners, is simply about bringing brands to come to life. Today, blogs (like brands) can come to life too – in both online and offline world. This is achieved through contests, events, promos and other experiential marketing activities.
3. SEO and Social Media Marketing Panel
- On Site Optimization 101 (Sean Patrick Si)
- Inbound Marketing – Merging SEO, Social, Content Marketing, Conversion Optimization and Online Branding (Jason Acidre)
- Utilizing Blog Networks for SEO and Social Media Traffic (Kim Tyrone Agapito)
4. Blogging, social media and journalism: The use, misuse and abuse of freedom of expression (Danilo Arao)
- Responsibility vs anarchy: Is there such a thing as “borderless” freedom?
- Limited freedom amid absolute control of social media and blogging accounts.
- Dos, don’ts and maybes in blogging and social media.
- Yes-yes and no-nos in blogging and online journalism.
5. Social Media and Social Change (Tonyo Cruz)
Social media, especially blogging, play a role in propelling advocacies and causes, whether by individuals or organizations. What the trends and tools in the arsenal of social media that have been and could be used for social change. The age of social also brings about new causes — like #betterinternet, bridging the worsening digital divide and making governments and business more accountable to the public.
6. Unwritten Blogging Etiquettes (Gellie Anne Abogado)
Unlike journalism, blogging doesn’t have its own specific code of ethics that is why there would be times when some companies think that bloggers have been becoming abusive of their title as a blogger. Internet is a free space and owning a blog is as simple as 1,2,3. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the fancy buttons and banners in your blog because once you post a controversial write-up, it will definitely create a stir. Will discuss the importance of researching a topic first before blogging about it, thinking twice before posting that blog post, attending events and why we should blog about it, and what is expected from bloggers.
7. Youth and Blogging: The Next Generation Bloggers Are Here (Lloyd Salac)
Fresh perspectives about the youth and their impact on the blogging community and social media. What’s next for the blogging community and social media with youth bloggers.
8. Kasali Kayo: Reaching Out to Overseas Filipinos for the 2013 Elections via Social Media (James Jimenez)
This session aims to provide insight on how the COMELEC aims to use social media to prepare overseas voters for the 2013 elections. Furthermore, how can bloggers participate, help out, and monitor election developments.
9. Bloggers the new PR community (Boris Joaquin)
Marketers and PR peeps nowadays spend a lot of time, money, energy and creativity to actually put together a plausible and meaningful PR campaign to track bloggers top post and promote. Bloggers did not fall off a turnip truck. If they don’t see the value in the pitch, they won’t post. If they fancy that you’re just asking them to post because you want to vampire bat on their Google juice, then you’re likely to be in a whole lot of #fail and possibly a whole lot of pain. The white-hat link-farm organic SEO pwn effect is only secondary if you are, the entire way along, a total Mensch and have amazing assets, viral-quality video, a great pitch, an accurate target, and a gentle, kind and generous follow-through.
10. Financial Planning for Bloggers (Garry Zaldy De Castro)
Each blogger should be equipped with financial education as early as possible. Bloggers can also help spread financial literacy even more.
Now, here are some of my opinion about the 1st day of iBlog8:
Although I appreciate events like this, as this is helpful to Bloggers especially to the newbies, I wish the organizer consider selecting well their speaker line up. As I see it, some of Day 1′s speakers are not yet ready to be speakers. I’m not saying I am a know-all blogger, but for some who is already doing this kind of profession for almost 2 years, I personally expect to hear more interesting topics that will help improve my blog/website or at least share new interesting ideas. As far as I know, I should be informed, educated, and/or be enlightened with the speaker’s topics/talks.
From the list of speakers I heard, the only ones who stand out are Carlo Ople, Sean Patrick Si, Danilo Arao, Boris Joaquin, and Garry Zaldy De Castro. I am not saying the rest are bad, but I personally disagree with the talks of Mark Joseph Delgado and Lloyd Salac. Gellie Anne Abogado’s topic is also something Bloggers should already know but as I experienced it with some Bloggers, I guess common sense is not that common to some. My issue with Mark Joseph and Lloyd’s topics is that I got confused more with what they are trying to say. Lloyd for example, gave us examples of “top bloggers” that he only based thru “Tumblr”. He introduces this bunch of “famous” bloggers that I personally haven’t heard of. But I don’t think I need to know this people as I am not a fan or does not own a Tumblr account. He sounded like an ambassador of Tumblr promoting his Tumblr friends. I didn’t see the “fresh ideas” at all.
And since there were too many speakers that day, and with only 15-20 minutes allotted time for each speaker, some didn’t get the chance to ask questions. That is bad, even if the organizer said we can ask our questions directly to the speaker after his talk. But what if someone’s question is something that will also interest the whole audience? How will we know the answer if the Q&A is raised one-on-one? I wished they have given enough time to ask more questions especially to one of the most interesting topic that day — Danilo Arao’s ‘Blogging, Social Media, and Journalism’ topic.
I also don’t like speakers who promotes himself too much. If I am interested with someone, I will definitely search for more info about the person. Also, I feel I have wasted my time listening to some of them (I literally fell asleep in some of the talks) as it obviously shows that some of them are just using iBlog8 to add more value or prestige to their resume for becoming a speaker. I heard some of the speakers are even late, and some of them didn’t even bothered to stay longer to listen to the other speakers. Well, some of the speakers are bloggers too, so I guess it doesn’t hurt if they listen as well to the other speakers, right?
Sorry if I sounded judgmental with this post. I just wish that next time, a better speaker will be selected. I strongly suggest that this will be divided into 2 categories: a blogging 101 for the newbies, and an advance blogging seminar for the others who are no l0nger interested to hear about the ‘rules and regulations’ on blogging. Just like what happened in the SEO segment, it could have been more interesting if the talk was extended to further explain it. The speaker keeps on saying his topic is advance already and some of us had problems understanding what he is saying. And the other blogger (not SEO related) says he is not an expert yet, so why are we even listening to them then? Hopefully, there will be lesser speakers and more time for discussion. This is a forum/conference after all.
Sorry, I have to cut this short because I need to sleep now because it’s late and I will still be attending the 2nd Day of iBlog8 later. I don’t know majority of the speakers, so hopefully, this will be a better blogging conference. Will try to update this again (photos included).