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.
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.