When I started my first blog in late 2005, I was a loner in the blogosphere. Back then, I was in the sixth grade, had a lowly dial-up connection (“screech screech neenok-neenok, blippity bloppity — you are now connected to the Internet”, in case you’ve already forgotten), and didn’t know much about blog promotion. All I did was pour my thoughts into my little corner of the Interwebs and hope people would take notice (which they didn’t, LOL).
After creating countless blogs in WordPress.com, Blogger, i.ph, and a bunch of other blog hosts, I eventually stopped writing online when my parents decided to cut off our telephone subscription (along with our Internet connection). However, when in the summer of 2008 we finally got an Internet connection again, I decided to restart my blogging life. This time, with the explosion of such tools as Twitter, Facebook, Plurk and other social networking sites, it didn’t take me very long to connect with other bloggers from across the country and across the world.
I stumbled across an online community of Filipino bloggers—aptly called the Pinoy Blogosphere—and quickly subscribed to its mailing list. I found it an easy way to seek advise and help from other Pinoys who were much more experienced in blogging than me. Much more than that, many members of PBS became my online friends. We networked and socialized online (if spending hours on end in front of a computer screen can be called socialization).
This kind of camaraderie is also being shared among members of other blogging networks. Take, for example, the Mindanao Bloggers, who I would argue are the most voracious bloggers in the country. They organized WordCamp Philippines 2008, the first ever WordCamp in Southeast Asia, and they’re getting ready to organize WordCamp Pinas 2009. Mindanao Bloggers also has several “satellite communities”—groups of bloggers in different cities who are active in the blogosphere and enjoy one another’s company IRL too. Off the top of my head, I can name a few satellite communities of MB: General Santos (the General of the generals is Avel Manansala of Bariles Republic), Davao (with Blogie Robillo leading the pack) and Cagayan de Oro (led by Chiq Montes, WordPress theme designer).
Which brings me to the main point of this blog post: it would be great if my fellow Butuanons got together and created an online community of sorts of our own. It would be, as Kuya Blogie put it, an additional satellite community of Mindanao Bloggers. We could offer help, advise and support to one another, both on- and offline. We could organize meetups (Margie’s Kitchen! Pan de Pugon! True Brew!) so we can get together IRL. And who knows, the Mindanao Blogging Summit, iBlog, or even WordCamp, might one day grace the Timber City of the South.
So, here’s the deal: if you are or know a Butuanon blogger, please get in touch with me through my contact page. Include your blog’s URL and links to your accounts on social media sites. For easy sorting, please make the first line of your message “BUTUANON BLOGGER”. Let’s begin networking online—add me up on Twitter, Plurk, Multiply, LinkedIn and FriendFeed. I’m also on Facebook—just search for Dean Lozarie, and should you decide to add me up, please include a personal message indicating that you are a Butuanon blogger and would like to friend up.
Meanwhile, I will be spending much of my Internet time looking up and hunting down my fellow Butuanon bloggers. Wish me luck!
[Photo credits: Anne Jimenez on Flickr]