I personally have gotten into the habit of just skimming through the op-ed sections of the newspapers before deciding what I want to read in full. It is just so much more convenient and worthwhile to read MLQ's daily roundup of the more sensible things people are saying out there.
I understand that the conference on blogging is ongoing at UP (yesterday and today). I received an invitation to participate, but unfortunately I already had something scheduled. It would have been interesting to finally be able to put names, ideas and faces together, but maybe another time. My apologies to the organizers.
There are those who remain pessimistic about the emerging power of blogging or the internet for that matter as a marketplace of ideas. But I am currently advising a group of students (at this school in Taft) who are doing an undergrad thesis on cyberloafing (that's technical term for using company internet for personal purposes while at work) and they have came up with startling statistics on those who are accessing the net everyday - not necessarily from work, although their preliminary data seems to indicate that the average employee with company-provided access to the net spends at least 2.5 hours everyday on the net while at work. That's a lot of time!
After combing and sifting through various sources, they found that internet usage in the Philippines will increase by an average of 23% annually. The current profile of Filipinos who access the net everyday is that of someone who is 13-30 years old, and more than half of them are from the upper economic classes although there is a substantial representation from "Class D," meaning that the middle economic classes account for almost two out of three users. (Their sources are well cited, and it is an academic paper, so I have no reason to put on my doubting Thomas persona).
But as they said in Spiderman "with power comes responsibility." And sadly, there is also emerging abuse of blogs. More on this at a later date.