I AM A LATE COMER to blogging but a frenetic early-bird at signing up for services.
It wasn’t until I had the chance to explore the various functions of the blog hosts and saw how blogs affect the internet users (those who are either targeted or spend time to read, that is) did I get more serious about utilizing blogs for, well, whatever, really.
It takes time and attention to get to know the different blog hosts. I am currently down to two, WordPress being one of them (e.g. this site). I have other blogs here at WordPress and is the blog host of choice when my friend and I finally seized the opportunity to take our volunteer workshop activity further by tutoring a youth group organizer and his members up in the mountains of Ifugao the wonders of blogging. Thus his online presence came to life with PrYSociety in June.
Back to blogging. Developers have made blog tools very easy to use and navigate so much so that the users often take the technology for granted; moreso the fact that there are people behind these tools who actually make things roll for the user as fast and pain-free as possible. (That’s not counting providing a beautiful experience, which, of course, is an understatement.)
When I heard that WordCamp Philippines was finally going to happen, I thought, “How cool is that?”, but backtracked a bit. I was afraid this was to be one gathering of nerds and geeks that would either freak out the regular MMPORG ‘net cafe habitué or alienate the rest of the basic-MS Word-user community. (I am neither a geek/ette, nor an MMPORG-er and am a very basic MS Word user, so.)
Yet I was excited about this. Totally. How often do we host a tech-related gathering since the Philippines went online back in, what, the early 1990s? Yeah, that was when the computer penetration rate was in the 3-digit thousands, but even then, we had, I believe, the most number of active ISPs anywhere in Southeast Asia and including South Korea.
(Courtesy of bloggingpro.com)
So, since the time that BB and DOS-powered chats and the IBM vs. IBM-compatible groupies evolved into tech gurus of today, we have hosted open-source conferences and established active groups that are still around (Bluepoint as an example), a technology-cum-design conference with no other than Joshua Davis rocking the house, plus other several important conferences.
However, most of these gatherings were selective and group-specific (i.e. telecommunications, network servers and engineers, open-source educational developers, hardware and gadget gawkers and tweakers, etc.) In spite of this, though, we, the erstwhile ‘texting capital’ of the world, became sidelined, often skipped or sometimes almost forgotten in favor of our neighbors who started to catch up and made use of the internet to full/er advantage and, really, had the money to lay down infrastructure while every wired Filipino was crawling, surviving IRC via the expensive dial-up service for some time.
So, what else makes this conference exciting? For me, it’s the fact that the kernel of WordCamp originated not in Manila but in Mindanao, ironically that part of the archipelago where computer-to-user ratio is lowest and electrified communities sparse. Another is the visit by Matt Mullenweg, no less, discussing issues and ways and means by which blogging and WP can be more of a proactive tool every internet user can make use of. (That’s him in a WP shirt, above, by the way. Image: http://www.bloggingpro.com/).
So, not only will there be a convergence of Pinoy bloggers from the three main islands regardless of category, belief and social strata telling their stories through blogs, but the guy himself huddling with everyone else on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008 at the CSB in Taft Avenue in Manila. And, of course, there’s the fact that the preceding camp was in San Francisco, USA, and, hopefully that this year’s will roll out vintage WP t-shirts and cool mugs to the attendees like in last year’s (not sure about the vintage shirt design, but they did have shirts alright).
Attendance is free. Again, coolness! So much in keeping with the spirit of open-source and openness. WordCamp 2008 is made possible by the blog believers below whose staff and members the attendees would likely meet as well:
- i.PH: the Domain for Individuals
- Free Online Flash Games
- Wazzup Manila Philippines
- Real Estate CRM
- Real Estate Website Designers
- Orange County Real Estate
- Auto Insurance Quotes
- Lane Systems Inc.
- Orange County Business Lawyer
- Cebu Pacific Air
- Buddy Gancenia Reality TV
- SmartBro Wireless Broadband
- Make Money with Performancing Ads
23 July 2008 UPDATE:
If you want the maroon shirt above (or its royal blue version), click on the image or register.
13 August 2008 UPDATE 2:
The final Schedule can be viewed here.