Mostly Everything

Schmoozing and Related Arts

The conversation between Chris Pirillo and Dave Newton sure hits a vein. In his post about a KOMO TV invite which he declined, Dave Newton, talks about how “I come from a conventional old-time broadcaster background, so I’m not available for schmoozing.” This was with regard to Chris’ comment about bloggers and journalists (oh no here we go again) and how big companies are slowly holding “get to know you” blogger meets.

I’m flattered that I made a list of Seattle area bloggers, but not starry-eyed enough to accept the invitation to come and be cooed over by the TV people, no matter how sincere they may seem about recognizing my significance. See, I have been, and plan to continue, commenting upon and sometimes criticizing KOMO-TV, and many other media organizations. So, I prefer not to drink their booze and eat their hors d’oeuvres, thanks all the same. I guess I can’t help thinking I’d have a harder time blogging about them afterward, and that they–KOMO-TV and Mr. Pirillo, the self-styled self-promoter–would like that very much. [Dave Newton]

There are similar incidences in the Philippines. Globe Innove sponsored a blogger meet up late last year. SM Hypermarket sponsored a similar type of event a few weeks ago, and next month, a rebranded Mrs. Fields will be doing something too. Why do big companies do this? Three reasons, off the top of my head:

  1. A sincere wanting to know more about the “new media” industry. Writing about them is a bonus.
  2. Old school marketing ideas are so saturated. Events here, events there. They’re willing to try something different.
  3. A misconception about bloggers as sellouts. Bad.

There are distinct differences between bloggers and journalists. The latter rule mass media as we know it while the former, like it or not, make up the bread and butter of new media. PR agencies are slowly starting to include “new media” as part of their full circle + 1 campaigns which include TV, radio, print, and the Internet. Blogs happen to be the middle of the iceberg that commands a following so great that it can be used to influence.

This brings me to reflect about my stand on PR events and media. I was once a full time editor and have now remained a contributor and “supplier” to various publications in the Philippines. Ever since I joined b5media in 2005, I slowly graduated to new media efforts because I found blogs to be a “productive use of wasting time over the Internet” and it just hit me one day — that damn, I’m in the industry. And I never looked back.

I can understand the scrutiny that some bloggers and people in mainstream media put with bloggers and their independent media adventure. But I believe that scrutiny can only go so far. Several bloggers in the Philippines disclose their self-made PR policies, and who can blame them – they aren’t journalists – they’re regular people who like to write about things they are passionate about.

I will say now that I’m Pro Industry, where “industry” refers to technology and new media in the Philippines. But please take it to mean very differently from the term “sell out.” I like writing about the positive things in the industry (most of the time) because I want to help foster growth. I believe in free speech and all that, but I am also attuned to helping spread the word about achievements and intelligently criticizing the “mistakes.” At the end of the day, everyone wins. That was one of the philosophies behind the Blog and Soul Movement.

I understand well where Dave is coming from and its well respected. It’s what keeps him THERE. He’s been in the industry for quite a while, and I only for only three years in this little “publishing” industry where everyone knows each other from editor to talent to photographer to stylist to the printer.

Besides, I don’t think I carry the title of “journalist” on my sleeve anymore. I’m a new media guy with publishing industry roots. Even if these roots were just grown for three years.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

5 replies on “Schmoozing and Related Arts”

You have as much of a point as Dave Newton. You see, Jayvee, you belong to what I like to call “intelligent bloggers”—those who have a background in journalism. You’ve learned the fundamentals of writing and editing, thanks to your former jobs in print and broadcast journalism. You know how to edit your own works for grammatical and spelling errors. You avoid run-on sentences. I doubt the other side of the spectrum—the ones I like to refer to as “non-journalist bloggers”—even know what run-on sentences are. These bloggers, I admit, are witty and interesting—so witty that the audience overlooks the fact that he/she can’t spell correctly. Heck, most of these bloggers write so many grammatically incorrect sentences with non-credible sources that one wonders if they actually passed high school English. Unfortunately, they outnumber the intelligent bloggers. Sadly, they make more hits than you. They make more money by writing about their sexcapades and their social-climbing feats to feed the escapism needs of their readers. Perhaps this side of the blogging scale is what Dave Newton was referring to.

I’ve always been anti-blog, you know that. I have respect for only a very few bloggers—and you are one of them. The rest, to me, are in the same level as this generation’s emo teenagers who think that having a popular MySpace or Facebook site is the coolest thing in the world.

Nice post. Me? I am just a 21st Century pamphleteer. Whose favourite toast comes from Scotland and it goes some

Here’s to you as good as your are
And here’s to me as bad as I am
But as good as you are as bad as I am
I am as good as you are as bad as I am 🙂

Sorry. What I meant to say was: “Whose favourite toast comes from Scotland and it goes something like this.

Here’s to you as good as your are
And here’s to me as bad as I am
But as good as you are as bad as I am
I am as good as you are as bad as I am :)”

Blogging is a big world…maybe bigger than the planet. And it’s messy, like freedom, which is why I love it. I just believe in paying attention to the “man behind the curtain,” and pointing him out.

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