Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is it TechCrunch-ed?

The TechCrunch founder and currently employed-or-not Editor-in-Chief, Michael Arrington, reminds me of Stephen Glass. Swisher observed ‘his obvious need to be the center of attention’.  This evokes Glass’ failed struggle for fame.

His  “almost comically over the line” arrangement of investing in the same tech companies his site covers is now in red highlight when the $20 dollar VC fund—CrunchFund—was launched. This formalized his deal that has been going on since the start of his tech blog, thus, awakening Swisher’s, Carr’s, and all others’ joint wrath.

I read David Carr’s probing article. It buzzed his being blathered unethical which is the first subject on my hit list for integrity’s sake. If Carr’s documentation of the several instances of TechCrunch writing favorable pieces on companies in which Arrington had invested’ is accurate, then, where is ethics written down? No reader would want to get an access to sanitized information. No reader would want to be a part of a greedy news trade serving their businesses’ remote advantage.

Where is ethics in journalism if there's the fear for editorial retribution [competitors] invoked by this kind of arrangement?

I read the Guardian’s ill-commented story [sets another concern for the use of profanity]. Arrington said,  I am TechCrunch and TechCrunch is me. Then, Huffington would say in defense, It is very, very clear that they are distinct entities and Michael will have no influence on coverage. Ironic, isn’t it? This leads me to my second ethical issue of trickery. Or is it just ineffective PR of AOL owning TechCrunch? Arrington stressed that he is not a journalist [yet, the editor-in-chief] so as to justify the arrangement and so he would have the liberty to be engaged in whatever investment there is to feed his gain. Despite Huffington’s hopeful resistance, here’s Arrington found guilty by his defensive statements. Not pointing out his ultimatum, yet—in addition to Huffington’s statement that she would be recruiting a new editor in replace of Arrington. Finally, she’s under submission now, afraid to be undercut by the old media.

Did I mention that AOL invested about $10 million in his fund? Who scratches whose back, now?

I read MG Siegler’s emotionally charged article.  Siegler got Arrington’s back strengthened by his words, If Mike tried to get me to write some unreasonable post about a company he had invested in, I would laugh at him. But he would never do that. This shouts out my last perceived ethical issue of the writers’ autonomy over what they would cover. If Arrington has real selfish intentions, as verified by writers like David Carr regardless if they’re driven by the so-called old media jealousy, then the writers’ trust for him goes nowhere. Writers like Siegler would be a slave of this unethical trade. This is an issue of journalists being held back of their principles.

Paul Carr, a TechCrunch writer, forfeited TechCrunch’s editorial credibility, and said he was worried that “investors will gain influence over how CrunchFund-backed companies are covered on TechCrunch.”

 Then, I read Swisher’s verbose rage. And I read the neutral version of Nieman Journalism Lab in Coddington’s words to sum it all up.

We have the words of all the writers like Carr and Swisher who are up against the giant wall of Arrington. Nevertheless, heaven knows the truth about his real intentions. With all the truths or untruths in all appearances placed in front of us, we can only investigate on our own. At this point, we can only wait for the decision their principles will lead them to. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who says UP students are the- boring-book-bound geeks?  With no uniform flavor, we show up in our classes wearing our own styles.  

Within the isko  boundaries, no one would dare to take account of  your taste. You can come in cultured by your own recipe art.

Here are some of the fashion dishes of UP Diliman students served just the way you want it.  You’re most welcome to appreciate their recipes, but dare not to nit-pick their styles. Just create your own fashion dish and you can share your recipe with us.

Serving our first Fashion Dish from the College of Arts and Letters , take a peek of my free nibbles with this Candy Correspondent from the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts:

DAY-to-DAY STYLE: Sophisticute, laidback, school-appropriate

CHAT BITES with Clei:

  •        What do you usually wear during school days?

           Jeans/Leggings, dainty top (usually loose), sandals, cardigan (I just bring it)


  •        Do you wear any specific outfit during rainy/sunny days?

I always try to incorporate my outfit with the weather. I don’t really have any specific items for rainy/sunny days because the weather is very unpredictable [bipolar], so what I try to do is wear flexible outfits that can be fit for both rainy/sunny days (e.g., jeans, sandals/slippers)

  •    What kind of articles do you typically wear?

Earrings (permanent), solid-colored bracelets depending on my outfit, belt (which I think I can hype up with any outfit), vintage necklace or rings, colorful head pieces/hair accessories (ribbons)

  •    Are you brand-specific?
NO. I’m not brand conscious. I can wear anything as long as I like it and it feels comfortable. What I usually wear are basic pieces readily available in my closet, but I try to find ways to hype it up and make it my own style.

Clei’s recipe for her fashion dish includes simple garments that make up a sophisticute get-up as she calls it. Her style certainly comes into fashion and her way of hyping things up won’t definitely cramp her trend.

“My boundless enthusiasm for life will freak you out and I will take a turn somewhere down the road and color the planet with quirkiness and mayhem. I’m forever in love with positivity, writing, stars, books, dancing and everything weird science. I’ll be traveling outer space years from now.” – Clei Salvador

Stirred by this sassy girl?  You, too, should sashay your style. Strut around the university with your own proud definition of Fashion.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Misuse, Abuse, Lack of Maintenance

I recall the warranty agreement for vehicles.  If your car died on you due to MISUSE, ABUSE, and LACK of MAINTENANCE, you’re going to offset your warranty. The Service Manager at the dealership won’t grant you any goodwill for your own mistake. You can only regret. So, you better take care of it –religiously and immaculately.

This echoes the wretched story of the journalist Stephen Glass. The artless rule of thumb of car dealers and manufacturers: Misuse, Abuse, Lack of Maintenance, mirrors the three ethical issues in his attempt-for-easy-fame story.

He misused his expertise in writing by fabricating stories in his articles for the New Republic magazine. All the more, he aimlessly tried to cover all his lies by another lie when he was caught off hand by Chuck Lane. Storytelling a lie, indeed. Pity was brooding over me upon watching the movie. Thank you to Christensen’s good portrayal, and for a few minutes I forgot about the heinous crime Stephen Glass committed.  

Nevertheless, this ethical issue of fabrication of information is something that we have to be careful and critical about. We have to be Chuck Lane of our own rights. I remember an activist telling me how we should investigate upon truth. He reminded me that not everything that we see or hear as fed on to us by the media is accurate.

In addition, he abused his colleagues and superiors by running out his great deceiving stories and ultimate goodie-two-shoes image so he could win their trust. What a creative storywriter he could be! Because he’s trusted by everyone, his works outdone the fact-checking department.

The weakness of the said department leads to the third issue of lack of maintenance. They weren’t able to preserve their authority over fact validation by letting his fabricated facts be published. It was such an ethical flop for the magazine company by allowing his partially/completely fabricated [27 out of 41] articles out in the ignorant eyes of the readers. Credibility—this is all but life for the company. And he washed it all out.

I commend the right judgment of my at-first unloved Chuck Lane [for replacing the good old Michael Kelly]. He just did what was expected of him. As the Service Manager of his company, he should really not grant any more goodwill for the vicious mistake of a fraudulent and abusive Stephen Glass.

Be like him?  Shattered, out of law’s warranty?            
 No way. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Lovely Clutter

She just won’t give them up!

I told my mom many times to donate the book piles which are now of no use to me and my sister. Surrendering them for a good cause doesn’t make sense to her at all. Heaven knows why.

All the text books that my sister and I have had since we started schooling are still resting in our two bookshelves and bodega. Yes, I know you can imagine the cobwebs all over them. We wipe them off, but they come back after a while. Nasty ghosts, right?

For goodness’ sake, tell me what to do about our nursery books. How about the penmanship books, Spoken English books and all others that we are making room for? Even more, my sister and I attended the same school way back the age-old kindergarten days. And so we have the same collection of text books! Sure, we are keeping them all in our little shelter.

Years have gone by and the pile continues to build up until now. My sister has already graduated after five years in college, and I’m now on my third year. No, I don’t want to picture out the loads of books that we have collected so far.

If you would see my late lola’s bedroom which turned into a bodega a few months after she passed away, you would be startled with how the double-decker bed became a bookshelf.  Can you take a guess what’s beside the bed? Ta-da! Boxes and paper bags of more books!

What’s more to that is the whole set of Britannica Encyclopedia occupying almost the whole space in the shelf. And what with all the books she bought from Reader’s Digest? Well, I’m not including the magazines and other general reference books.

Books are all over the place! I grew up with them. And I love them.  

Oh yeah, I love them so much that sometimes I don’t eat in school so I can spend my school allowance for books. I started from cheap wonderful reads.  Book sales sweep me off my feet. When I have more than enough of resources, I buy the hardbound prints. I haven’t read them all yet but they’re endlessly stacking up. And I’m constantly dreaming of becoming a filthy rich person so I can add more wonderful books in my messy collection and gather them all in a brilliantly constructed extra-large bookshelf. I can only imagine. Happiness!

Books will be books. I don’t care about the 2011 Britannica Concise Encyclopedia available in your iTouch, iPad, Android, or what have you. Nor I care about the virtual bookshelf and the e-books in whatever multimedia gadgets you have. I will stick to my dream. Oooh La la la-ibrary!

[Wee! I’m reading Bulalo Soup for the Sole by Jew. Pleasure much!]

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Blooey Singson is the author of Bookmarked!, a blog that accounts her reading adventures and where her book fascination has taken her so far.

I like checking out fashion and news blogs, too. However, this was the first blog that I have ever ‘bookmarked’, a book blog.

With lots of books that she’s reading, I’m sure as hell that content-wise she will really make it on top. Indeed, you can’t write if you don’t read. And the author has what it takes to gear book readers and blog followers into a new level of passion for reading.

[25 August] Below is the viewing statistics of the site: 

What made this on my list of favorite blogs is the satisfaction I get from its content.  I love reading books but it’s seemingly incomparable with the passion for books that Blooey has. It is too much heightened that her blog readers [just like me] would feel inspired whenever they browse through her blog. She is sharing all the adventures her book mania is taking her through. It’s not all about book reviews that one would normally see in a book blog. She included even the interview opportunities she had with some book authors. She’s sharing the good reads and where you can buy them best. The biggest book sales, you would know them if you’re updated with her blog posts. 

Wanna know about the events where you can have your books signed? Or you wanna be updated about the books that turned movies or even books that turned plays? How about advices for Pottermore entry? Visit her site and you will feel at home with all the exciting information you will be fed on, locally and internationally. She simply shares anything-book-related that she knows about.

The blog content is relevant that every reader will be cultivated with much of information and encouragement to read constantly. This is a good site for the Filipino youth. Instead of spending my money buying unproductive stuff, her passion for books as suggested in the blog stirs me to save money for a better cause, reading and learning.

The design and layout are both simplified. There’s a good space for the main blog posts and the advertisements. The ads don’t look cramped on the side. Integrating multimedia is an added value. It spices it up that the pictures featured in the site were originally taken. In terms of discoverability, community and social media, the blog ranking would not be interpreted as such if not with the site’s credibility and audience traffic. Being the 3rd top book blog says a lot about the site.

She is also active on Flips Flipping Pages, Filipino Book Bloggers BookMooch, and BookMoochers Pilipinas. Her membership in these communities supplements the site’s discoverability. Like in her blog, at the sidebar you’ll find the Regular Reads, Filipino Book blogs, and Book blogs across the seas sections. This shows that she supports other book bloggers like her as much as she would also receive support from them. By her blog being featured and mentioned in other blogs, she’s gaining traffic and market at the same time.

Truly, her blog’s success is what a newbie like me would aspire for.


So far, I’m not done reading Carl Hiaasen’s Double Whammy, and yet I can’t help myself but to eye on more books on sale. I’m shrinking with all my to-read books and here I am adding more weight to the pile.

Milflores Publishing set up their booth at the CAL basement. Arranged in the long table are the ‘rejects [due to seemingly unnoticed nicks] from the bookstores, i.e. National Book Store and Powerbooks. There are lots of good reads in heaps. With more or less Php200 left in my wallet, I burnt half of it over 3 book delights written by wonderful Filipino authors.

    1.    And the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth – Carljoe Javier                                                                                     Originally Php 220, but I bought it at Php 30 ONLY!


       2.)    Brusko Pink Kingkong Barbies & Other Queer Files – Louie Cano
                                    Originally Php 320, but I bought it at Php 40 ONLY!

                3.)    Wala Lang Files [Funny&Serious] on Youthful Being and 
                                                  Nothingness – Bud Tomas
Originally Php 370, but I bought it at Php 45 ONLY!

Good thing I was able to keep ahold of myself, and I stopped at the 3rd book. It’s lunch time and I got less than a hundred to keep myself from starving. Uh-oh! How can I go home?!
(As much as I hate burning my savings for accidental expenses like this, oh yes, I call it ‘accidental’, tsk, I can’t help it!] Oh well, I got another receipt of explaining to tell mom about.

Hush, still…

Tomorrow, I’m coming back  for their last day! [25 August, Thursday]. There are more wonderful reads that I should not miss at such low prices!  See you there! J


Tuesday, August 16.

             [1st class] During our exam…

I was trying real hard to read and understand each question. My answers were not well-thought. Good thing there are ‘True or False’ and ‘Multiple Choice’ sections. I was not able to count the number of my erasures. But, I know my paper looks confused. And yes I was confused. My head was in a hazy clutter. It did hurt and I could not think straight at all. And I could not even write in a straight line no matter how hard I tried to control my right hand. My handwriting was in abstract scribble. It’s a terrible font invented, I admit. Epic fail.

For a 10-point essay question, two sentences were all I could write down. What a mess.

[2nd class] During our report…

All the more, it was twice during our group report that I almost passed out. That’s why I needed to go out of the room once in a while every time I felt like I was about to lose my consciousness. What a shame if I passed out during the report. No way!
The night before this day, my mom told me not to attend my classes anymore. I could only wish.
How can I be absent when I’m ought to take an exam and deliver a report?

           [3rd  class –last class] I missed it.

I asked my professor in my second class if I could stay for her next class because I don’t think I can walk without passing out. And so, she let me sit-in. After the class, I struggled my way to exit the building and rode a cab back home.

The next day, I was confined. My blood platelet count dropped.The day when I took my exam and when I delivered my report was actually my 5th day of being sicked with Dengue Fever Syndrome. The doctor was startled that I was able to endure 5 days of Dengue without seeking medical help.

I was just one of the hundreds of Filipinos who were and are being distressed by Dengue strains. The casualties are doubling up compared to last year’s number of dengue cases. There’s no cure for it, the doctor told me. It only goes out of your system on its own. The best remedy would be water therapy.

No one is excused from Dengue possibilities. Not even me.

We should all be warned. 
Be careful, my friend.