Monday, March 13, 2006

Traffic, a link and www.inq7.net

It’s no secret that I take online communications seriously – in my professional, and to a certain degree also in my private life. As a result, I am concerned about the audience: Communication is about communicating with other people. Therefore, I pay attention to the traffic on websites I write for.

A little while ago, I checked the traffic of my Foundation’s website for which we have an account with opentracker. I noted an increase in referrals from www.inq7net, by far the most frequented of all Philippine websites with hundreds of thousand unique visitors daily.

This was created by a link in an article entitled “iBlog, iPopdcast: Citizen Journalism using Tech." The author, Leo Magno, had conducted an e-mail interview with me some weeks ago. Now, he was kind enough to link to our site. Here is an extract of Magno's report:

“Blogging and podcasting are still budding technologies, which makes it even more interesting why government and corporate entities want to nip them in the bud. Ronald Meinardus, resident representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in the Philippines and a commentator on Asian affairs, said there are about 24 million blogs and 20,000 podcasts out there.

Meinardus calls them “digital grassroots communicators” and that “real political power and influence is now being wielded through online communities comprising millions of people.”

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation proclaims that it is dedicated to liberalism, where key ingredients are individual freedom and active participation of citizens to become aware of their rights. With its own podcast it is encouraging individuals to join the public sphere using technology.

“As with weblogs, the great majority of podcasts are produced and hosted in North America,” said Meinardus. “This approach -- which shrinks the gap between creator and consumer -- poses a major challenge for traditional media companies, which are increasingly having a hard time attracting the young generation. Instead of reading newspapers or arranging their schedules around TV shows, more and more young people in advanced societies are flocking to so-called online communities.”

So here we see digital and personal counterparts of the print medium with blogs, and a digital and personal counterpart of TV and radio with podcasts. Whereas before, the cost of printing and publishing news was prohibitive, individual citizens are now blogging their own news and views. Whereas before, the cost of broadcasting your own radio or TV show was prohibitive or nigh-impossible, individual citizens can now podcast.

This development is changing not only the face but also the very definition of the word “media.” We are moving into personalized content produced by the end-users themselves and into newer forms of media, and some of these are becoming influential.”

If you are interested in blogging and podcasting, don’t miss Magno’s article. It is profound and gives an Asian perspective.

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2 Comments:

Blogger peterlavina said...

Hello Dr. Ronald,

Your "digital grassroots communicators" will rise to become the global Fifth Estate.
I asked Manolo during our workshop to write something about the emergence of this fifth estate vis-a-vis the three branches of democratic governments and the fourth estate comprising the mass media.
The Fifth Estate would be beyond the fangs of say PP 1017.
Daghang salamat!

Councilor Peter

9:55 AM  
Blogger magnolia said...

Dear Dr. Ronald,

This is a part of the latest entry in my blog.

...The Express Yourself Seminar is the first one that I have attended that is sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The foundation's thrust is to educate the Filipinos as to what a liberal is. I do not have any political affiliation and I don't think that I needed one. But slowly I am beginning to appreciate the tenets of liberalism. I may not be a convert just yet, but they believe in democracy, in freedom, in education and in choice and I don't see anything wrong with it...


May the Foundation continue to educate more Filipinos. All the best!

Yours,
Magnolia

2:25 PM  

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