Read on for this week's welcome letter from a dynamite blogger, Cheekay Cinco of APC Women's Support Networking Programme!
Hello, Fantastic Women and Welcome to Week Three!
I am Cheekay Cinco. I'm based in the Philippines, but I work for an international network called the Association for Progressive Communications, specifically in the Strategic Technologies and Network Development Programme (STaND). We are so excited to partner with World Pulse to bring you this program.
I have participated in Internet and technology-based initiatives in various ways throughout my life. The topic you will be covering this week, blogging, is one that I feel very strongly about.
To be honest, the first time I ever heard the concept of "blogging" (back in 2000), I was skeptical. Why would anyone want to publish their journals online? Aren't journals supposed to be private and confidential? Surely, this 'blogging' hype won't work!
But like all nerds, who just have to prove themselves right by testing the very thing that they just knew would not work, I set up my first blog.
And I fell in love.
With the fact that it was such a personal tool that would allow users to have a personal relationship with the Internet. With it's potential to allow women (in particular) to represent ourselves.
With how it has made online publishing so simple, changing the power dynamics between those that know technology and those that don't. No longer will anyone who wants to write have to rely on someone else who knows how to manipulate HTML to get their content online.
It also has to be said that there are limitations to blogging’s potential. For one thing, blogging exposes one to online threats: hacking, spamming, and all sorts of online security risks. The more you put yourself out there, and especially if you are blogging about controversial feminist issues, the more you gain recognition and lose your anonymity. Thinking about secure online communications is critical to continue the great work that you are doing online.
Another barrier to the potential of blogging is simply that not everyone is 'natural' blogger. It's a unique writing style, quite different from that of a journalist. I find that the most effective blogs (or at least the ones that I love to read) are those that are very personal with very clear points of view. For me, the trick has always been to trust my perspective and experience. And to write as if I were talking to myself and my friends.
And the third challenge, I believe, is blog fatigue. It's so hard to keep blogging consistently and continuously (I should know, I've yet to update my personal blog in a really, really, really long time). For this, I am still finding the answers (so I'm hoping some of you would share your thoughts with me) but it's also good to remember to approach your blogs as a 'discipline,' plan your updates (what you're writing about, when you'll do it).
Good luck to you all this week! I hope you learn lots -- and discover creative ways of appropriating blogging for women's rights.