The Online Diaries
With technology’s arrival also came lightened work and activities for us. Most of the mundane things that we do have been easier, as compared to what we did before. We can now pay our bills online, play tennis at the comfort of our living rooms or see someone halfway around the world in just one click. A lot of us have succumbed to this lifestyle that the personal stuff we do have also incorporated technology into it, no matter how simple it is.
One good example is the meteoric rise in popularity of the weblogs, or what we call blogs, simply. The author is guilty of indulging himself in to this trend. Blogging (yes, there is a verb for it), or creating online diaries, is one pastime that has caught a lot of buzz in recent years.
It is very easy to set one up, even network sites offer this option when signing up. The most popular ones nowadays include livejournal, blogspot and Friendster. Templates that suit personalities and moods are available, adding up to the aesthetics of the page. Bloggers (people who blog) can also upload pictures and music, that show a lot about the person.
Visiting one’s blog will make the reader feel closer to the one who posts because not only day-to-day activities are written in, but thoughts and opinions about anything and everything under the sun too. One day, the blogger may write about her sick cat, and then the next day rant about the rice crisis in the Philippines.
Blogging is one good exercise for budding writers who have no other outlet but the internet. When not able to write for a daily or a magazine, bloggers can freely express their feelings or other trivialities in their pages.
Some have been very popular that businesses actually advertise on these blogs. Good business for someone who just sits at home and thinks aloud through cyberspace. Hits (or visits to the page) determine how many people read and enjoy one’s online diary.
But like other things, blogs have a downside to it too. If you put too much information, then privacy will be a big problem. Stalkers may arise, and since heart and soul is expressed in these blogs, all the more for stalkers to feel close and related to the blogger.
Another is since anyone can write anything in it, misinformation and defamation can cause trouble for a lot of people.
Even so, one can not deny the surging popularity and necessity blogs make people feel. Serious matters may arise, but expression of thoughts and the fact that people hear one’s voice with just one click of a mouse are the most important things for bloggers.
Here at Spiff We encourage everyone to go on and start their blogs. We will be featuring sites that are worthy of people’s time, whether for serious stuff or just plain entertainment. Freedom of expression has never sounded this good, so go forth and blog away!!
For this week, we have two blogs that are related by location but not by blood. One is by a native, the other is by an expat. These two people are geographically close, but by heart are separated by miles.
Let’s start with http://ilovemanilamorethanny.blogspot.com. Authored by Paulo Vinluan, this site is just like any normal blog that we have. He sometimes writes anything that interests him while still struggling as an artiste living in a foreign land. Lucky for him, New York City IS the art capital of the world.
(Disclaimer: Paulo Vinluan is a graduate of the University of the Philippines-Diliman under the Certificate of Fine Arts. He has done a few solo exhibits for his paintings and even extended some of his work into fashion. He currently lives in Brooklyn.)
What’s amusing about his blog is that he puts a lot of pictures to have better understanding of what he writes about. The artist that he is, his photos are sometimes as simple as showing a tag on a kerchief that he has; while the others are creative shots that demonstrate his mad skills for capturing beauty in almost anything.
As a Pinoy wandering the busy streets of NYC, Paulo also takes readers to spots related to the art world. He often writes about the MOMA or the Museum of Modern Art, which did a run of the proudly Philippine made indie flick, Ang Kubrador. Paulo even showed the ticket that he got when he attended the film premiere. Sometimes, even streets mentioned in NYC-based TV series (e.g. the iconic Sex and the City) occasionally pop-up like Bleecker St.
Moreso, lomo lovers may quickly relate to the style that Paulo does whenever he takes pictures of his subjects, always going for that un-stylized feel of photography. Some of his latest additions are of a Cadbury Crème Egg and a donut from the Doughnut Plant.
Apparently, though immersing himself with the New Yorker lifestyle, Paulo still misses the life that he left in Manila. There’s one entry that shows a screenshot of him speaking to a family member thru webcam, with his feline friend on his arm and their Choco dog on the other end. He alludes to a lot of Filipino related trivia, like having a Love Bus token, which was one of the main means of transportation in the not-so-busy-yet streets of the Metro (Manila, that is) during the late 80’s; and implying how Pinoys would giggle when hearing a fashion brand named Peck & Peck.
His entries are filled with personal touch and; mostly about his life adjusting to a different environment and dealing with homesickness. Art enthusiasts will better relate to this page and readers will be able to feel that it is clearly targeted on the author’s circle of friends and family. There’s not much saving-the-world posts, but it’s always fun to view others’ lives and adventures as they struggle their way to the path they’ve chosen for themselves.
Another blog from a certified New Yorker is http://kennethinthe212.blogspot.com. It would be very difficult to classify what Kenneth Walsh has, because it is a hodge podge of interesting and thought-provoking entries. As he describes himself: “Writer/editor living in Manhattan (so you don't have to). My blog covers pop culture, politics, books, celebrity, music, tennis, New York City, homos, small adventures and is filled with writethrus galore ...”
The author is apparently gay, but his entries are far more wider in content than any other gay blogger people might know of.
First, of course, are the pictures of hot, hot men: clothed or not, still smoking hot. Perfect for any hot blooded female (or male, yes), he has magazine spreads readily available in his post so we could see what lies beneath the pages of glossies that don’t even reach the Philippine shores.
Secondly, he also has this apparent liking for tennis ace Andy Roddick, who, most of the time, appears shirtless and uber cute.
Like the first blog, Kenneth also includes details about himself and his family, with the occasional pics of kids and childhood memories. Aside from photos of his kindred, he also uploads pictures he may have liked just for the heck of it. On Easter this year, he posted a picture of a cute kitten and after that was a 3D image of bunnies performing pole dances for yellow walruses. Imagine.
Aside from the perky pics, Walsh also dabbles in high society tidbits. There are entries about politics, especially right now, where primaries to look for the nominees for the next leader of the free world will be held in the months to come. One might find quick notes on people from showbiz, sports and celebutantes.
Far from Gossip Girl though, the seriousness of his entries also appear from time to time. There are posts wherein his stands about some issues are apparent, like this: “Amazing Grays: I thought Barack Obama's speech yesterday was eloquent, heartfelt and moving. As a civil rights speech I give it a 10. As a political speech? The jury is still out.”
For music enthusiasts, every now and then, he includes links to new tunes and show their lyrics, too.
It will be difficult to put Kenneth in the 212 in one category because of the vast roster of things he writes about. Though some are very racy, he veers away from the “gay” stuff most of the time and inserts period-dictating bits to make everyone be in the know.