event: filipino book bloggers, the first meeting

so finally i met my fellow filipino book bloggers.

after a false start at the launch of MOCKINGJAY, which i quietly attended, i made plans to make sure i do get to go to the filipino book bloggers meet-up yesterday, september 24, at edsa shangri-la. and what we thought was going to be a small gathering turned into an actual get-together where things were discussed.

many things of which i am not at liberty to discuss.

nah, i just can’t remember most of it. but i will be talking about some of the important things that were brought up during the get-together. namely book blogging and what this can do for the world of local publication.

but first, meeting people!

i finally met chachic, whose blog actually made me go ahead and start my own book (slash-movie-slash-tv show) blog–and who is still surprised at the fact that i have 15 books in my to-be-read pile. i have to correct that though. apparently, i only have 13 books in my to-be-read pile, including the latest book i acquired (during the meet-up), but not counting the book i’m reading right now, which is PACIFIC RIMS.

i also met tina, who shares my fixation with zombie literature. and with whom i got into a conversation regarding television shows. do try RAISING HOPE when you get the chance, tina. and who has plans for this year’s nanowrimo.

there was aaron, who got intrigued with DOCTOR WHO because of a youtube video, and who has already seen BLINK and WATERS OF MARS. i suggest you try out LOVE AND MONSTERS next, because it’s also a doctor-lite episode. and if you want to get into the wagon, go with series 5 first. that’s the series with matt smith as the eleventh doctor.

and i finally met celina, from whom i bought two diane wynne jones books that i’ve yet to read. and who will need to rent a room soon for all her books at home.

of course they weren’t the only people i’ve met. though they were the ones i had conversations with. hopefully we could set our next meeting venue in a place more conducive to conversations and discussions. and hopefully we could set it a little earlier so we’d have more time to talk, especially those who have to be somewhere (or home) by nightfall.

now, let’s talk about book-blogging and the world of local publications.

i’m bad with names, so i can’t say who brought up the book conference and the issues raised by local publishers when it comes to book-blogging. paolo, aka rocket kapre, was one of them for sure. and i only remember his name because of the inset photo, and because he gave us business cards.

business cards are very helpful for people like me who are bad with names.

going back to topic; it was brought to everyone’s attention that local publishers think of readers as an imagined public. meaning, they don’t know who their readers really are. they are not in-touch with their market.

tina actually said that she’s jealous of how american book bloggers have an open line of communication with the publishers in their area. i say, i’m not really sure the local publishers are ready for this kind of move into the technological world.

blogging is not a new thing. i’ve known about blogging since high school, and i graduated (from high school) 2002. and before that, doogie howser had already been blogging in the 90’s. so it really isn’t a new thing. but apparently, turning bloggers into a possibly ad person, or ad placement, is too innovative for some of the local publishers.

i think the general rule is: put it out, and we’ll find it. we’ll read it. and if it’s any good, we’ll like/love it, and write about it.

now, the plan is to present the filipino book bloggers as a group local publishers can approach for online marketing. in a way. i’m not a marketing person, so i might fudge up some of the details here. and i’d rather not. but the basic premise of this plan is that local publishers can send us books (in digital format or those with physical form already) and we’ll write about it, whether we like it, love it, or hate it. something along those lines. there was mention that only those interested in the genre may choose to write about it, no one is required.

that reminds me of something; a few months ago, i attended an intimate bloggers conference for sony vaio. yes, a bloggers conference. more than half of the people sony asked to invite were, apparently, known techno-bloggers. plus the handful of us who wrote for market-specific websites.

so, yes. i think the plan to present the filipino book bloggers as a viable online marketing tool is a sound plan. except, i don’t think filipino business owners, in general, are ready for this.

sony vaio’s president is japanese. from what i understand, blogging is big in japan. and while there are as many filipinos, again from what i understand, who go online for reviews and other posts concerning might-buys; i’m not sure if there are just as many filipino business owners who do believe in the power of the written word on the internet.

having spent around three years in a new media company, it’s only just now that businesses are giving the internet a chance. though, yes, the bigger companies have been embracing it for a while now — hence the number of ads that targets filipinos online have grown exponentially — but the small industries are still wary.

they’re afraid to gamble, because they’re afraid to fail.

i wasn’t able to stay for longer during the meet-up, because i had a family dinner to attend, so i don’t know what else had transpired in the local publishers-book blogging discussion. i do think though that this topic should be again discussed when we meet again. in a venue that’s more quiet than the sixth floor of a mall.

since there were so many of us, it wasn’t a surprise that smaller groups tended to break off into discussions of their own. i’m quite guilty of that. this is why i prefer a more intimate space for meetings.

then again, none of us actually thought that the whole meet-up would be taken over by the local publishers and book blogging discussion. or rather, i didn’t think it would be mostly about that.

i mean no offense, it’s just that for a first meeting it was too serious. and it reminded me too much of the beginnings of new worlds alliance. the only difference was, groups were already formed prior to new worlds alliance, and those groups were already discussing the possibility of a portal group.

this is the first meeting of individual bloggers, and we talk about setting up a portal group.

i may sound like i’m complaining, but i’m not. i just wish that we had started off the whole thing with a getting-to-know each other thing, instead of launching right into the group’s concern. because while we’ve already “conversed” online, it’s still different when we do finally meet each other in person.

the whole meet-up was a success though. i can’t wait for the next one.

23 thoughts on “event: filipino book bloggers, the first meeting

  1. I get your slight concern. We went right ahead to business instead of, rightly, getting to know each other first. I know I’d have liked to know more about the blogs of the others, why they blog, and what they do beside reading and blogging. I was at the other end of the table with Honey, Paolo, Kenneth, Gege, and Tarie. The topic of conversation of was the future of the book and how publishers can reach out to readers. There were a lot of insider information being passed around. Chachic and I were all big eyes and ears because it was fascinating to hear about the intrigues and hard-headedness going on inside our local publishing houses affecting the consumers’ reading options.

    The best quote I heard so far was “the books will promote themselves.” A top publishing name actually believes this, which is another sign of the great divide between local publishers and readers.

    Kenneth gave very practical suggestions on how book bloggers can maximize their influence on the local publishing scene.

    The nice turnout was unexpected. Starbucks was too noisy for the group to be able to engage well. Gege suggested Fully Booked to Chachic for the next venue. The Flips Flipping Pages had a great discussion of Fairy Tales two months ago there.

    Every now and then, though, we looked towards the other mini groups. Interesting din ang mga conversations, kaso so difficult to hear and participate. Can’t shout.

    *hey, this is a long comment! dare i think it…. hindi ako tamad magsulat today!”

    • Haha, I’m no stranger to intrigues and hard-headedness. After all I do work in show business. πŸ˜‰

      “the books will promote themselves.” that was the quote that i was looking for. i remembered it being said, but while writing my recount of what happened, i couldn’t remember the actual quote. so those five words turned into a bumbling three-sentence mess. haha.

      when you mention Fully Booked, do you mean the one in Serendra? if yes, well, I’ll be one of the early people to depart again. I’m quite a ways away from the South.

      and having sat in the middle, I couldn’t fully get into any of the two ongoing discussions. So I mostly got to talk to Tina and Celina, who were my seatmates yesterday. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi, Jason! You’re right–I don’t think we got to talk to each other since we jumped on right ahead with the discussion. I take some responsibility for that. My bad. Anyways, let’s remedy that in our next meeting, as well as finding a quieter venue. Still, it was nice meeting you all in person.:)

    • Nah, it was okay. The things being said were things that needed to be said. And there is a next time for the getting-to-know-you part.

      I think the venue was to blame for the most part. Since we had to string together four small tables for the group, we never really got on to introducing ourselves to each other. Pocket discussions were quickly formed. πŸ™‚

      And yes, it was nice meeting everyone in person. πŸ˜‰ Next time, let’s get to know each other.

  3. Hey Jason, first off, thanks for dropping by! I’m glad we got to see each other in person this time since we weren’t able to meet during the Mockingjay Launch Party. I know what you mean about having a pretty serious discussion for a first meet up, I didn’t expect that either. I know I even said that when I started the site, I didn’t really have something like a portal in mind. I just wanted to bring together all Filipino book bloggers. Anyway, I think it’s a great idea and I look forward to hearing more about it. But you’re right, maybe next time we could work on getting to know each other better first. We’ll try to find a better venue! I didn’t really expect that so many people would show up. πŸ™‚

    • I don’t think anyone expected the serious discussion. Hahaha. It just happened. Came out from nowhere. πŸ˜‰

      I’m still suggesting Max’s Roces for a possible venue for next time. Or maybe we could commandeer a long table at a non-popular restaurant, so we could stay a good long while without them trying to throw us out? πŸ˜‰

      • Michelle and Honey suggested the function area in Fully Booked Fort because they had one of their Flips Flipping Pages discussions over there. They said they used the venue for free. I’ll try to inquire about it for the next meet up.

  4. Ah, sorry about that (bringing the book blogger publisher discussion up to the group as a whole). It started out with me wanting to pick through the brains of Tarie and the others who use NetGalley, and we thought it might interest the others. I thought that the other conversations swirling around the table consisted of the getting-to-know-you discussions, but I suppose not. I’m all for starting off that way next time – maybe we *should* go with that idea of having name tags with the front pages of our blogs plastered on them πŸ™‚

    • I looked NetGalley up; very interesting. [And of course I had to say that first. :D]

      And the topic in discussion was interesting, and something we all could work on. I was just surprised at how serious the conversations quickly became as soon as the get-together proper started.

      Most everyone from the other side of the table already knew each other, so the few of us who were coming in from the cold–or rather, me, who is coming from the cold, really didn’t feel familiar enough with everyone to just butt in with a thought.

      I do think name tags will be great though for next time.

  5. Hi, Jason! It was nice meeting you all as well, and I can’t say I disagree with you saying that we may have started off a bit too seriously. Then again, none of us expected it to be that big for a first ever meet-up. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one, which I hope will be a bit more organized and less compartmentalized.

    And since you wrote an excellent summary of last night’s mini-event, I shall be updating my short post about the same with a link to this post. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for saying it was an excellent summary (and for linking). You didn’t think it went off tangent too much?

      And I’m looking forward to next time too. Let’s make it a point to have getting-to-know-each-other introductions first, before going off into the discussions. πŸ™‚

  6. Pingback: First Ever FBB Meet Up « Chachic's Book Nook

  7. Pingback: First Meet Up « Filipino Book Bloggers

  8. Hi! Yeah, we skipped that introduce yourself part and jumped right to the serious stuff. The venue was a major reason for that. I think that could still be fixed. Well, atleast now we have more reasons to set up the second one. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the Doctor Who recommendations. Now I know I don’t have to start on the 60s series which is a huge relief for me.

  9. Pingback: start of something big by the filipino book bloggers « ArtSeblis

  10. Hi Jason! It was great to meet you and talk to you and everyone else. I had to laugh about your comment that I will need to rent a room for my books soon.:)

    The first thing I asked Chachic when I arrived was, “Why is everyone so serious?” I didn’t really get to hear much about their discussion though, although of course it is a topic that needs to be addressed.

    Anyway, I’m glad to have met everyone…hopefully there will be more meet ups in the future.:)

    • Did everyone really look serious? That might probably be the reason why the mall security kept glancing towards our direction. Haha.

      And yes to more meet-ups in the future! πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: Filipino Book Bloggers First Meet-up | Guy Gone Geek

  12. Hi Jason! Same with everyone, glad to finally meet you! πŸ™‚ And like you said, we should’ve done some introductions first, but I guess everyone got a bit too excited with how to make our blogging lives better, at least regarding local stuff? πŸ˜› Haha.

    Do let me know if Married with Zombies is okay, before I pick it up. I’m on a self-imposed book ban again on October because of the sheer amount of books I bought this month. ^^ There are so many zombie books calling out to me though but I. Must. Resist!

    I will try to look for a copy of Raising Hope, as you suggested. I may have to contact our resident office pirate for that. πŸ˜›

    Hope to see you again soon! πŸ™‚

    • I’m actually thinking of reading Married with Zombies now, and just put Pacific Rims on hold for the day. =)

      And yes, do give Raising Hope a try. It’s a very funny (and uplifting) series. Well, the first episode was very funny and uplifting. Episode 2 airs in a few hours. =)

  13. Hey, I just got here. Have not been blogging, nor reading other people’s blogs for some time.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hello to you, Filipino bloggers. I was rather useless during that meet-up. I was having an out-of-my-element afternoon. Arrived late and had to leave early. Though it turned out that I spent a lot of time waiting for my husband in the bookstore, so sayang, I could have stayed longer.

    So, I hope that we do get the chance to get to know each other the next time we meet.

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