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Blogs as Tools for Nation Building

Although the term is widely used, I must give credit to Joey Climaco for lobbying the term nation building whenever we dialogue about advocacy campaigns.

Back in June, I volunteered my time with the Coca Cola Foundation for a project that made use of blogs as tools for documenting effective ways to help save the environment. This project is currently running as part of a contest for Coke Barkada, which involves the participation of 100+ college organizations across Metro Manila. Meaningful blogging is but one of the measures for this contest outcome as the students have to undergo tasks ala Amazing Race to determine the winners. Here is one of the examples of the blog of the UP Sandigan Organization maintained by Efriel Hazel Leynes:

8th Step: Ang cute ng baunan ko! (my lunchbox is cute!)

CAN you still remember how it felt when you first acquired your lunchbox? That particular lunchbox that you have been eyeing on the mall… wishing that mommy will buy that barbie/ spiderman baunan?

yes, it really felt exciting, exhilarating even, to finally get something that you have actually wanted….

the feeling is so surreal….

what’s more endearing is that you get to sit at the canteen with your favorite friends, comparing who’s baunan is better and more cute… plus you are able to share your favorite mom’s specialty baon with your friends…

imagine? life at that age was really simple, hassle-free and enjoyable…

right now? we are already comfortable with easy and convenient meals packed in the ever-popular styro… [source | the permalink system needs some work so you may actually have to look for the entry manually from the blog itself]

The judging for the winners is happening in the next two weeks. Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet is participating as one of the judges to help determine relevance of content.

Observation: Why does there seem to be a bigger fascination with bloggers talking about making money through blogs vs. using blogs as tools for building the nation?

More importantly, and I always ask Joey Climaco and Gang Badoy this question, how exactly do you build a nation? Joey says that nation building has to do with communication and dialogue. How do you define nation building?

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, 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.

4 replies on “Blogs as Tools for Nation Building”

Wow! I saw your site featured in technorati this morning. Pretty cool! On the question on why are the money-making blogs more popular than nation building. Because my dear, we all need to pay the bills. We want to be able to make some money somehow. Let’s face it, on the Internet, here are the different things that make alot of money –> pornography, tabloid talk and making money online. Pornography is like a drug to alot of people. I’ve seen engineers to executives from companies I’ve worked for accessing porn in the middle of the day through our firewall proxy(yep, we log them). The scope of porn in the Internet is HUGE. Tabloid talk, people like to see the rich and famous stars in their less glamorous selves. Last but not the least, making money. Everyone wants to have a piece of the advertisement pie. So for me, I would rather chose to talk about making money and help others to do so too than get involved with the first two subjects. Nation building, it’s a very noble idea and we should blog more about it but it’s in the back burner because people need to pay the bills. We have only a finite amount of time in the day and we want to use it in such a way that we are being productive.

i learned in college that what makes a nation great is determined by the amount of free time / leisure time citizens have for themselves. the more free time they enjoy, the more comfortable their lives are.

i just feel that after some point, talking about blogs and money making can get passe. when we’re all earning significantly from blogging, maybe we can talk about nation building next 🙂

Exactly! Less time but more value at work means more time spent doing something for the community. I have been active for my community during my teens and then it had to go on-hold when I went to work(pretty much my life, I even sleep at the office already) and now that I’m a mom, I am getting more active again for the community. The very first blog I started was an information blog about an 11 year old girl who was involved in a serious accident. The blog helped keep the loved ones informed because they can’t call the shock-trauma unit at the same time the mom didn’t have to call all the people to inform them. That’s how I came to really appreciate blogging. Blogging is a tool and it can be used to help a nation.

jayvee, nation building is addictive. and it’s weird because most of us cant find the right words to describe it. maybe thats the reason why most people dont talk about it. i think all of us are doing our share, but most of us are not aware of it. the upsurge of travel blogs is a good sign.

when we make a collective voice, we can make things happen.

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