Dis 16, 2001

PUBLIC WEBLOGS AND SITEMETERS

I have been deliberating. Should I add my own sitemeter in this spot? It's all there, HTML and password. Lingering, an unhumming machine in my inbox.

It's a good addition, to start with. Mechajol wanted one for his Volks site. But he's into Dreamweaver and HTML scripts are just not his cup of tea. I'm just too low tech. To be sure, his site deserves it. So do all those exemplary sites of our Pinoy brethren overseas. Also, I must mention those very insightful homegrown sites I know. (Yup, I will list all of them here someday. They also deserve separate articles!) They rake in readers by the dozen! Or if they don't, they deserve to.

Some sites I've been to already have sitemeters in them. Some of them have an icon. Most, I know, are invisible. Alvin Toffler rambled on and on about this phenomenon when information about clients, potential consumers, demographics and all that will matter so much to the sellers that struggles will be fought between the possessors of that information and the entities who want it.

Much money will be gained and lost over this. It's already happening. This is no conspiracy theory, just economic truths that aren't all that apparent. The bar code in all those groceries and publications, what i like to call the tattoo of our contemporary consumerist age, for example. Scanning that enters valuable information about the consumer. Taken one by one, these figures don't matter. But a critical mass may be reached. Then the possessor of the data may process it all into valuable information.

When do clients buy? What drives them to buy what they do, when they do, where they do? Then they act accordingly. They adjust marketing strategies to attract the right people and ensure product loyalty. A lot of processing to do, really, before all that amassed data will actually mean something. Then after that, a lot interpretation. There are companies and firms doing just that. A lot of examples on the web too. Sitemeter and all those statistical implements are just one thing. Just a knit in the whole loosely-pieced-together tapestry that is the Zeitgeist, the spirit of our times.

Owners of personal sites use this for more, well, personal reasons. How many read me? How many care (or dare) to come back? What are my site's peak hours? Or peak weeks, peak months? What age-brackets, maybe? From what time zones?

Then we interpret. More questions that we want answered. How many are interested? How many stay interested? How interesting am I? What makes them come back for more? What turns them off? Am I worth reading? Am I of any worth altogether?

For me, however, what good will it do? Additional information? Yeah right! As if I need to know how often I visit my own site! :)

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INTERNET CAFE AT PRIBADONG WEBLOG

Kamakailan, dinala ko ang bespren ko sa isang internet cafe para ipakita ang mga pinaggagagawa ko sa WWWeb. Wala siyang modem pero may access naman siya sa isang rentahan ng kompyuter sa may kanto nila. Kaso, hindi siya talaga makalikot sa mga ganoong bagay kaya ako na ang nagpakita sa kanya kung paano magwala sa net.

Syempre, nagmamarunong na naman ako. Sa totoo lang, parang bulag na umaakay sa kapwa bulag! Pero oks lang kasi masaya naman kaming nagsasayang ng de-metrong minuto sa internet cafe.

Ipinakita ko sa kanya ang website ng organisasyon namin dati. At sa pamantasan na rin namin na online din. Ipinasyal ko rin siya sa mga blogspot ko at ng mga ibang kakilala ko.

Sabi niya, parang trip rin niyang magka-blogspot. Natuwa naman ako, presyemps! Ika ko e, "sige! Kung saan ka masaya, suportahan taka! Kapag OK na yaon, maari kitang i-link sa spot ko!"

Ngunit ayaw niya. Pribado raw. Di nga niya sasabihin kahit sa akin ang path ng spot niya kung magkakataon!

Hindi ko ito maintindihan. Bakit ka gagawa ng webblog kung ikukubli mo rin? Pupunta ka pa sa internet cafe siguro kada linggo kung sakali hindi ba? Bakit hindi ka na lamang magkwaderno sa bahay?

May ideya ako kumbakit. Hindi lang ako sigurado kung tama ako sapagkat kahit na pinakamatatalik na kaibigan ay lingid sa atin.

Ganito lang, minsan, lalo na para sa ibang tao, mas taimtim ang dasal kung talagang dinayo pa ang simbahan.

Kahit ganito sa web, na pinapairal ng makabagong lohikang kapitalista (ang sistemang kapwa tuwa at takot sa pag-unlad ng internet), hindi ko maiaalis ang posibilidad nito na maging "lugar" para sa matinding introspeksyon. Maari pa nga sigurong maging isang espiritwal na situs para sa ilan sa atin.

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SA MGA KAPATID NA KATOLIKO

Simbang gabi na naman! "Misa de Gallo" ang minana nating termino. Ngunit ating-atin ang praktis! Sa totoo lang, pinakamaganda ang simbang gabi na kasabay talaga ng tilaok ng manok, yaong tipong alas kwatro.

Dito sa amin sa Makati, alas kwatro ang simba. Masarap talagang kumpletuhin iyan. Sa aking palagay, mas malungkot ng kaunti ang Paskong Pinoy ngayong taon. Ngunit ang Paskong Pinoy ay Paskong Pinoy. Ibang-iba, hayag na hayag, at kahit paano, anuman ang mangyari, maligaya...

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FOR BRETHREN IN THE MUSLIM FAITH

Ramadan ends on Monday. I'm not versed in the Islam traditions. I've always just equated that day with Catholic Easter or Christmas. As if Ramadan where their Lent. Ignorance, really, is a bother. This is a cultural translation. And in any translation, there is a treachery.

Personally, I find it very inconvenient that Pres. GMA made Monday, December 17, a national holiday. For one, I'll have to postpone a meeting that might earn for my staff their much deserved bonus. So I'll have to compress my timetable.

And the other, more important personal reason, is that this holiday delayed my grandmother's bone operation. I gave my blood in the bank as early as I could so that she'll not linger in that depressed state one more day in the Philippine General Hospital. For our revered elders, as you know, every day counts much, much more than it does for us young ones.

But still, I think these considerations are way overdue. I can only imagine how much more inconvenienced generations of Filipino Muslims have been. I will not be surprised if my own experience pales in comparison! Doing it just right now, considering our situation, makes the whole thing just another one ugly tactic.

And, maybe, if I were a Muslim, I would have found that much more demeaning. Really, just adding insult to decades of cultural injury.

But, I'm also glad we're beginning to realize this. For a more positive take on the subject, maybe we can also ignore that tactic angle. I'm also grateful that we are starting. I just hope the next year's follow through will not be as tainted.

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Happy Holidays, if I forget to post a more timely entry later. Maligayang Pasko at Maligo Tayo sa Bagong Taon! =)