IT’S been almost a month now since I started blogging, and everyday brings with it a new set of surprises. Looking back now, I should have started sharing my thoughts with you earlier, but my work, with no small amount of irony, kept getting in the way. Here are some points I’ve learned along the way:
- Having a catchy title is important to generate more readers. Being a journalist, I probably should know this by now, but the blogosphere is different. Since you’re competing with so many blogs
and websites out there, the more direct and simple the title you use, preferably with the subject’s name in it, the better. I forgot about this little big thing called the search engine.
- Topics about show biz and politics have built-in readership, but these two areas are not sure-fire formulas. I realized how hot Anne Curtis was, for instance, when I got the third most number of hits on a blog entry devoted to her. But, sorry, Anne, my feelings for you remain unchanged. You’re still one of the most overexposed stars out there.
- There’s no substitute to “raging” issues. Entries containing reissued stories that were, in my mind, popular during their time, are no match to original pieces reflecting the life and times we live in.
- The late Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, through his family, particularly eldest daughter Aika, has generated such a tremendous amount of sympathy and goodwill from Filipinos based on the hits I got—the second most visited entry so far in my blog. Never mind that Aika had to share the story with how three supposedly professional broadcasters seemed to have mishandled the interview, the hits still keep on coming in trickles nearly three weeks after the entry debuted. Now, this entry has legs!
- If Aika is a hit, the entry on Sen. Tito Sotto and his attempts to pass off other people’s ideas as his own is a major, major blockbuster. Reactions first came in trickles, but when I checked later at the end of the day, I was almost thrown off my chair to see the bar graph hit the roof. Six-hundred forty plus hits (and counting) in a single day may seem like peanuts to not a few celebrity bloggers out there, but it was a record for me.
- More than anything else, I get a sense that, as far as a good number of Filipinos are concerned, what Sotto did this time was no laughing matter. That he’s way out of his league on such a sensitive and divisive issue as the RH BILL is evident. What he and his supporters and critics didn’t expect was the tremendous backlash his reactions generated after being shown the facts.
- As in all things worth doing, you will attract all sorts of characters and reactions, both good and bad. Thankfully, all of the reactions, except for one, have so far been positive and constructive.
- Because of the anonymity afforded by cyberspace, there will always be nitpickers out there. How foolish of me to have forgotten. The fact that they’re not obliged to reveal themselves has further emboldened them to twist and turn your words to suit their respective agendas. In the spirit of democracy and freedom of expression, I let them be. You end up learning from them, too.
- My friend Chita has a positive spin to it: “Ayaw mo yun, sikat ka na? (Hasn’t it occurred to you that you’re now famous?) If you have a heckler, it only means that even people who are not your friends think you are worth reading!” You’re so right, Chita. As a whole, though, I’m happy that people, especially the young, are still involved and attuned with the times. My faith in the Filipino has been strengthened. Thanks, guys!
- Speaking of faith, blogging is a lot like propagating faith, (sorry, did someone say this in the Bible?): to those who believe [and agree with you], no amount of explanation is necessary, to those who don’t, no amount of explanation will ever do. Amen? Amen!