Will Philippine Public Officials ever blog?

Will Philippine Public Officials ever blog?




Dr. Meinardus asked me a similar question during our seminar evaluation last week. The same question has been asked a lot of times before and Ms. Susan Ople shed some light on this matter a few months back when we met over coffee with Manolo.

As far as I know, only Davao City Councilor Peter Lavina is actively blogging from the class of political figures. There was that news over at Inq7.net about Sen. Mar Roxas joining the blogosphere but it wasn’t really him who was blogging (ask Janette Toral).

There’s the blog of Vice Mayor Alvin Fernandez (Dagupan City) but based on the entries dating back to May 2005, looks like he’s not the one personally blogging. The site is more like a Press Release blog, a common form of evolution from the ordinary News/Updates section of a regular website.


 

So going back to question – why isn’t blogging part of a politician’s tool for communication and advocacy?

There could be a lot of reasons and Ms. Ople told me they don’t have time for it and if they do ever come up with a blog, they’ll ask someone (could be a secretary or PR officer) to blog for them instead.

I think it’s more about the fact that these people do not believe in the power/reach of the internet, and thus blogging is merely an exercise in futility. In a country where only 10% of the population is connected online, mainstream media will still rule. TV appearances and radio talks definitely generate a lot of buzz and exposure. With elections being held just every 3 years, there’s too little time to blog your way to the voting precincts.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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9 Responses

  1. jhay says:

    If GMA were to personally blog, her blog would immediately land the humber one spot in PTB, Technorati – Philippines, and maybe even Digg.

    Her most listened to Podcast would be the Hello…Garci tapes, hahahaha

    Seriously, blogging politicians are still a few years away since most of the politicians today are old and still very traditional.

  2. Aside from being traditional, there is no business model on political blogging where “monetization” is possible.

    How are they going to earn from it – the usual stuff? run ads and affiliate market? And yeah, on the Garci tape, pay-per-play?

    Ahyway, let’s wait, watch, and see if they’ll seriously take on blogging.

  3. Kates says:

    You know most of them won’t. All they’ll get are complaints.

  4. jhay says:

    The tricky thing is, most of our traditional politicians today are in the twilight years of their life. Sooner or later, each of them would drop dead like flies and younger, modern-thinking politicians (from our generation) will take their place and eventually start their own blogs.

    Even if they do get swamped by complaints tru their blogs, they’ll get exposure, and a nice PR reward from Papa Google and the other blog ranking sites.

    Aside from the tremendous PR opportunities especially for overseas voters, the blogs they will setup could become effective channels to hear directly from their constituents.

    Ayaw nyo nun, mababawasan na ang mga rally? lolz

  5. meinardus says:

    abe, thanks fot joining the debate. just about the same time as you, i published a post giving four reasons why i (and my “informants”) believe filipino politicians don’t blog. as soon as i find more reasons (age is one, of course, as jhay says) i’ll do an update. salamat!

  6. jackryan68 says:

    I posted the following comment in Mr. Meinardus’s blogsite, and I think it is worth sharing here:

    “Let me venture another explanation, without discounting the reasons you have advanced.

    “Most politicians, I think, don’t even know what blogging is, and the huge potential it represents. I think even my boss, Mayor Robredo, has yet to appreciate this exciting new medium. But give him time, as we did with the Naga City website:)

    “That’s why it is currently left to us, the unelected tech-savvy members of local think tanks, to do the missionary work at our level.”

  7. vicsine says:

    jackryan68 is right. most politicians don’t blog coz they don’t even know what blog is…lol.

    Seriously, try visiting a politician’s office, you can’t find a PC in their desks. All the PCs are there outside used by their staff.

    For most politicians, internet is a mystery word. But it is also a project. Meaning it is something one can boast to voters during elections that my office has a website, the municipal hall, city hall etc is highly computerized and connected to the internet. We have eCenters for our students free. Things like that.

    Besides, if they do blog, chances are they will only get criticisms. That’s the filipino way. Blame all your sorrows on the politicians.lol

  8. Rboy says:

    Can any1 teach me how to reach a certain politician? I can’t find any contact number regarding a certain politician.

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