Gone are the days when journals were kept from prying eyes. With the advent of blogs, thoughts of an individual -- whether just plain ranting or take on national issues -- can now be read in full and accessed by anyone around the Internet.
Notwithstanding the issues the popularity it may have stirred, blogs have provided a venue where one can show off his creativity and writing prowess in a wide range of topics.
In the Philippines, Filipino bloggers are also making their niche in the fast-growing blogging industry, especially with the opening of this avenue of non-traditional media.
"… normally these (bloggers) are individuals who wouldn’t find themselves, for example, in traditional media. They wouldn’t have the time to [do the] real job of a writer but [if] they have free time, they would devote [their time], for example, blogging," blogger Juned Sonido said at [email protected]
Sonido pointed out that blogging is not limited to written words. It can also involve videos, podcasts and photographs. The style of writing itself is also not restricted to descriptive type only. Poetry is one way to put across a blogger’s thoughts.
Sonido was one of the organizers of the Philippine Blog Awards (PBA) 2008 held last month. The event is held yearly to recognize Filipino blogger talents and "help give Filipinos a louder voice in cyberspace."
The PBA, now on its second year, basically showcases what the Philippine blogging community can and has achieved, according to Sonido.
In last month’s contest, more than 20 bloggers in at least 30 categories were named winners. By 2009, more categories are expected to be added to the current list.
The growing number of categories shows diversity in the blogging community.
"It's not limited to moneymaking and ranting. I mean they’re not bad, kung baga there's many colors in the rainbow… when you do this (blogging), one of the many benefits you develop [is] your writing and presentation skills," Sonido said.
A big percentage of blogs are personal, Sonido admitted, and the biggest challenge for the blogging community is to go beyond this "stereotype."
For instance, blogger Ferdz Decena, who started his blog five years ago, chronicles his adventures and experiences as he travels to different places.
Decena’s blog was named the 2008 best travel blog by PBA. He updates his blog thrice a week at least and he said it would take him four hours to finish one entry.
"It's like a magazine. The discipline of creating a magazine also applies in the Web as well," he said.
Aside from travel blogs, Sonido said bloggers also dwell on subjects such as yoga and their restaurant-hopping experiences.
Juan Karlo Licudine, whose blog was declared the best technology blog, said that the hardest part of keeping a blog is sustaining and increasing the readership.
For Sonido, being consistent in writing is also one of the things that a blogger should be aware of in order to entice the readers to keep coming back to his blog.