April 4, 2006 · Posted in: General

PCIJ blog turns one year old

TODAY, the PCIJ marks its first year in the blogosphere.

A year ago, prefaced by months of internal discussion and debate, we launched Inside PCIJ, the Center’s institutional blog, to serve as a window through which readers can look into how we work. Back then, we barely had an inkling of the fate that awaited us in the brave new online world of blogging. All we knew was that by embracing this new medium as a latest addition to the journalism toolkit, we were trying to make ourselves more accountable to our readers and to sustain a lively conversation by exchanging information and insights with them in an age that has become truly highly technology-mediated.

Early on, we worried a lot how we would be able to keep up with the activity given the pace of our journalistic work, not to mention the multitasking arrangements we have to deal with every day that are inherent in small, independent media ventures like the PCIJ.

But a year later, with 688 posts generating 18,200 comments (not to mention a steady stream of spam — the hallmark of an extremely popular blog, they say — that, thankfully, our reliable anti-spam plugin is able to take care of), we realize that it has been a journey worth taking.

As we’ve often attested to in bloggers and journalists’ gatherings, as well as interviews by students and researchers who ask us about the blogging phenomenon among journalists in the country, the PCIJ’s own experience with having a blog has allowed the Center to go beyond the pace of its investigative reporting projects to conduct day-to-day reportage — at least of the important issues that, in the Center’s view, matter to citizens.

In the past 12 months, toe-to-toe with the well financed and organized mainstream media, we were able to cover with the same zeal and rigor that we put to our investigative reports the developments in the political and social spheres, notably the “Hello, Garci” recordings, the charges of massive electoral fraud and the use of public funds for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s campaign, her botched and much tainted impeachment process, the spirited proposals for charter change, the Venable and other secret lobby contracts, 20 years of Edsa 1, Arroyo’s declaration of a state of national emergency, and other tragedies like the “Wowowee” stampede and the Southern Leyte mudslides.

We basked in this aspect of agenda-setting in the news and have tried to keep the blog as a journalism resource to help colleagues move away from the present practice largely influenced by spin doctors and public relations practitioners.

A blog has also meant space to further enhance PCIJ’s reporting and at the same time expand the frontiers of information access. With the blog, not only has the PCIJ been able to provide readers with the mere text of stories, but also downloadable copies of primary documents and other materials — more often in multimedia fashion — to provide background and context commonly absent in most stories.

To date, the PCIJ blog has generated close to a million audio (mp3 and wav) file downloads of the Garci recordings and ringtones, and half a million PDF downloads, with the transcript of the “Hello, Garci” tapes, the Abueva paper on federalism, amended impeachment complaint, and the Con-Com’s proposed revisions to the 1987 Constitution taking the bulk of readers’ download requests.

Spurred largely by the political crisis that rocked Arroyo’s four-year-old presidency, the Filipino blogging community, erstwhile limited to personal online journals, has branched out to political discussion and social commentary. Today’s bloggers now count, among others, mainstream journalists, reporters and editors, some of whom are blogging outside of Metro Manila — a development we’d like to believe the PCIJ blog (and our colleagues who came here before us) has helped catalyze. We gladly take credit for making bloggers out of Ellen Tordesillas and Carol Arguillas.

All this has made the PCIJ blog the top political and media blog in the country. (Depending on the political climate, we’re hovering at No. 2, 3 or 4 on Pinoy Top Blogs.) In a span of a year, we have amassed 2.5 million regular visitors (including the US government and military), 12 million pageviews, 38 million hits and two terabytes of data transfer — a far cry from the days when we would content ourselves with a daily average of just over 1,000 visitors, 3,000 pageviews and 16,000 hits to our institutional website. So much so that the PCIJ’s online presence is now defined by the blog, the main traffic coming via Inside PCIJ.

Technorati also ranks us No. 8 among highly linked blogs in the Philippines.

Indeed, a year’s existence has been historic in more ways than one. As the first institutional journalism/media blog in the country, ours also was the first to be charged with a libel case, and subsequently the first to be issued a TRO by a trial court judge in relation to a post on Jonathan Tiongco, Michael Defensor’s self-styled audio forensics expert. It would eventually become the “best dressed” blog too with Tiongco, displaying a rare gift of litigiousness, filing six more cases against us.

And then there’s the justice secretary threatening to arrest five of our writers for “seditious” materials posted on the blog.

On a less menacing note, an entry, Yung dagdag, yung dagdag,” generated 337 comments and trackbacks that we’d like to believe is a record of sorts in the local blogging scene. We also count about 30 entries getting at least a hundred comments.

We surely had our slips and misses, our share of lapses. To top it all, the blog was hacked not once, not twice, but thrice. Still, last year surely has been one awesome ride. And we are more than grateful to all our readers for the experience.

So, hackneyed as it may sound, what else can we say but here’s to another year and let’s continue the conversation.

22 Responses to PCIJ blog turns one year old

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penpenpen88

April 4th, 2006 at 9:49 am

keep up the good work… let the truth be known…

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scud_1975

April 4th, 2006 at 10:10 am

Mabuhay PCIJ !!! Hindi ba kami imbitado sa party? Ka Alecks, baka pwede mag -request..yung category ng Technology baka pwede gawing Science and Technology. Pinadaan ko yan sa signature campaign kaya lang naubusan ng tinta.

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lokalokang matino

April 4th, 2006 at 10:37 am

CONGRATULATION!!!

Thank you for the forum, this is the peoples’ sounding board!!!

Good Luck

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blog @ AWBHoldings.com » Inside PCIJ: One Year Old

April 4th, 2006 at 10:40 am

[…] Congratulations to PCIJ on the first anniversary of Inside PCIJ. Bravo! Tags […]

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jester-in-exile

April 4th, 2006 at 11:45 am

pcij folks,

congratulations on:

10. for surviving the fact that you are news and current events blog with the most number of spammers
9. for surviving the fact that you are the news and current events blog with the most number of hacks and hacking attempts
8. for surviving the fact that you are the first blog attacked by the blots on the escutcheon of justice in the philippines (the TRO)
7. for surviving the fact that you are the “best dressed” blog in the country (most number of libel suits haha)
6. for surviving the fact that you are the first blog in the philippines declared seditious by a Justice Secretary, no less
5. for being the among the most visited blogs in the philippines
4. for being the among the most linked blogs in the philippines
3. for being one of the most reliable sources of in-depth information (and downloads!) about current events in the philippines
2. for being the inspiration for journalists and concerned citizens of the country to maximize cyberspace and the blogosphere as a means of free exchange of truth, ideas and opinion, without censure or favor

and finally:

1. for being stalwarts in the pursuit of truth and sharing it with all of us, despite the efforts to the contrary of those who would want us deaf, dumb, and blind

i count myself among those who are thankful for your efforts… i for one believe we visitors deserve your thanks less than you deserve ours.

thanks for helping to keep truth alive in this country!

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Alecks Pabico

April 4th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Thanks scud. As to your request, consider it done.

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Alecks Pabico

April 4th, 2006 at 12:53 pm

Thanks penpen, lokaloka, AWB, jester. We’re touched by the gesture.

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Partisanong Lagalag

April 4th, 2006 at 1:20 pm

Happy Birthday PCIJ Blog!

Your presence in the blogosphere makes a lot of difference. You provide more indepth information about pressing issues than what the mainstream media can give. You provide more enlightening insights on issues than what some bloggers tries very hard but miserably fails to do. Only one year old yet your blog is now one of the most read blog in the pinoy blogging scene. Your blog’s rise to prominence and popularity has earned the ire and envy of some pinoy bloggers who thinks they hold the franchise on blogging and considers the blogosphere as their little kingdom and journalist-bloggers has no right to lord over their realm. Don’t mind them. They’re only into blogging to boost their egos and of course to earn, while you blog for a cause to inform and enlighten. Keep up with the tradition and ideals of progressive and alternative journalism.

Congratulations and may you have more blogging years to come.

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jr_lad

April 4th, 2006 at 2:05 pm

jester said it all. congrats and thanks PCIJ for this forum.

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lbrto

April 4th, 2006 at 6:14 pm

Kongratsuleysyons po…. 😀

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mlq3

April 4th, 2006 at 6:39 pm

hoorah!!!

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baycas

April 4th, 2006 at 8:10 pm

kudos and thanks, pcij! really a worthwhile read…

though i was reading pcij blog since june of last year, i only made my first comment here http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=268 . alecks, thanks for your suggestion.

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freewheel

April 4th, 2006 at 9:13 pm

pcij, thanks for making the phil. blogging scene cool, fiery and informative.

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hbmacale

April 4th, 2006 at 9:25 pm

congrats, pcij. keep up the good work.

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nats

April 4th, 2006 at 10:37 pm

PCIJ is the only thing I believe in this country aside from the Filipinos’ belief in Jesus Christ. I won’t tell you to keep up because you are always on top of the situation. Please dont stop bashing the Filipino eggheads. Parang hindi na natin kayang magising ah! Naku taga-PCIJ buhusan nyo nga ng tubig ang mga kababayan natin para magising. Well can’t say enough but thank you. You’re the David of the journalism world.

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primo

April 4th, 2006 at 10:45 pm

maraming salamat! maligayang kaarawan! pcij blog! :)

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primo

April 4th, 2006 at 10:46 pm

SC chief justice: ‘CPR is out of place in our society’

yeppperrrsss!!!

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blackboard

April 5th, 2006 at 3:43 am

Here’s to another year! Mabuhay kayo!

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concerned citizen

April 5th, 2006 at 9:30 am

Congrats pcij! True blood journalists! Keep it up! MABUHAY! More! More! …!

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johnmarzan

April 5th, 2006 at 3:01 pm

congrats!

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vonjobi

April 5th, 2006 at 9:43 pm

congrats from singapore!

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vonjobi

April 5th, 2006 at 9:49 pm

congrats from singapore! nagpa-ice cream ba kayo? magpapa-lunch ako when i get back =)

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