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Monday, April 28, 2014

my iBlog 10 slide presentation about “Building communities through blogging”

Here’s my talk and presentation from the last iBlog10: Philippine Blogging Summit, I was there as a panel speaker for the topic – “Building communities through blogging”. Thanks to Janette Toral and the organizing team of iBlog10, happy 10th year to you and to all of us, I like to thank also the bloggers and the audience of iBlog10 for participating in our annual blogging summit, thanks for tweeting, Instagramming, Facebook and blog mention about our talk.

Hope to see you all again in iBlog11 next year 2015.
For more details and how to sponsor the next iBlog or mini iBlog, just visit their official site at

Hi everyone, welcome to my short presentation about building communities through blogging.

Congratulations to iblog : Philippine blogging summit for its 10th year of blogging education and awareness here in the Philippines. I remember that I was a 2nd year old blogger when I first attended the 1st ever iBlog here at the 2nd level of UP College of Law. From this summit, I learned that I am not alone and from this summit, I learned on how to be a blogger with lots of passion. Thank you iBlog for the inspiration.

About me… My name is Azrael Coladilla, a 36 year old guy from Cavite, a graduate of BS MATH in FEU, a blogger for 10 years, 6 years as a social media specialist, and 11 years as an events organizer for pop culture events and sometimes blog events.

Our topic is about how I manage these communities, there are many challenges and problems that I encountered during my 1st early years of community management, I started organizing my community via a Yahoo! Groups mailing list back in 2000, and then I learned that there are many ways to herd community members using social networking sites and also with your own blog.

In this photo, is a sample of the first time I attempted to organize the Manila Bloggers Network, that I founded in the year 2010, the birth of this community is a result of the success of two blogging summit – Bloggers Fest and Blogger Fiesta, that I organized in the same year, but because of my busy schedule, I didn’t got an extra time to manage the community of bloggers, but the community is still there, waiting for one Facebook PM or email from me.

Here’s a list of communities that I founded through the years:

Omake Omake News Philippines is the first community I formed using a Yahoo! Groups mailing list, that’s the first platform I used in writing anime and pop culture news in the Philippines and also its a way to talk to my community members, I have 700+ members and they are still active in the mailing group.

Transformers Philippines is the next community that I co-founded with an old friend, its about robots and toys that transforms into another toy, we started the group via online forums and then into a group blog. TFPH was the most controversial group within the circle of toy clubs. I left the group after 2010.

Next is the Philippine Toycon community, As soon as I started co-organizing the 2nd year of Toycon, I took over the online community management and it serves as a news channel and collaboration network with other toy clubs, anime clubs and cosplay clubs. This 2014, the community continues to grow and giving birth to more toy and pop culture community.

After TFPH, I also co-founded the unofficial LEGO club in the Philippines, the Philippine Bricksters, it was a good community and 1st ever community of LEGO fans and builders back in 2007, I left the group after a member took over the admin control without my knowledge and deleted me as admin and demoted as a member. The community is still here and it LIVE on its own during the departure of its co-founders.

Next is Manila Bloggers Network. I mentioned it earlier about its birth, the Manila Bloggers Network got its members via blogging and social media. Members just found out the blog site by their own via Google or referrals from their friends. The recruitment of members is a success, because I provided a membership registration for FREE online. Early members of this community receives first dibs from me whenever I have blogging events for them. I freeze the community management for the moment at the time when I got married and become a dad.

And then….. Just for fun and because I love to eat and ogle the yummy foods of our local restaurants, I created the OMF! Oh My Food in Facebook group, it’s a community of food bloggers, foodies, chefs, resto owners, the birth of this community started after I freeze the blog updates of my food blog – Food

And my latest and new community… the PB Network PH, or PB means Philippine Bloggers, its another attempt to co-found a new community organized by my new blogger friends – Digital Spidey, Wahpinas, Raffy Pekson, Geeky Girl, Gadget Pilipinas, Kitchen Goddess, Buhay Kuneho and etc. We have 13 core members and total of 27+ members. Its not just a blog community, it’s a new community of professional digital publishers and digital marketers. We use the community to collaborate and also do projects –in a professional way.

Here’s the PB Network – as of now, its us 13 bloggers who are members, but for community members – we have the PB Network Plus – the one with 27+ members

soon.. we will add more members to the core team, as of now we are planning to add two more members who sent their interest to be part of the group.

It sounded that its too easy to set up an online community, but I like to inform you that organizing is very easy, but maintaining and monitoring is very difficult, lots of hassle will come to your way, especially if you have around 30,000+ members and they talk all together.

here are some DIY online community

- Start an introduction by blogging it --- mention it in your own blog, or you can create a new blog, but I suggest its better to post it in your own blog, to let know your readers that you have a new community.

- State your purpose why you create that community
– Many people will ask you what’s your purpose or your agenda in creating the community, its better you explain it right away and let them know what benefit they can get from it if they join.

- Set up a logo, website, forum, Facebook, Twitter, and mention it together with your blog post
- logo is for your branding, having your own logo or mascot will spark the fun in your community, make it cute, formal or professional. You can also put up its own website, FB or Twitter – one channel, one branding, one community space.

- Invite first your family and friends
- they are your first ever FB contact or reader

- Ask your online friends to help you promote your community
– ask nicely and some favor to help you for the promotion.

- If possible, set up some house rules
- if your community is under a forum or groups or a group blog. – house rules will serve as guides for members to have a peaceful community

- Organize a meet up, offline event, or Google Hangout
- its fun to mingle and meet face to face

- Post photos of event meet ups
- group photos will invite more members and it will also show how your community is well organized.

- Organize contest and giveaways to loyal community members
– perks and rewards is a must! To keep the community spirit alive!

- Let the community live on its own
- if you can manage it, let someone take over it for you and observe how the community run on itself without your supervision.

HERE are some suggested platforms were you can start your own community
Its easy to build just 5 minutes you can have your own community channel or network or hub..or community house.

Here are some tips in organizing communities

For challenges that I encountered.

- No time to manage – there are times that my hands are full and no time to manage the community, before you leave, let them know that you will be gone for awhile.
- Lack of budget
– I do need budget for the giveaways or meet events

- Community revolution -
there are times that some members will revolt, they will leave and form their own community, poor community management is always the reason why members leave and form their own group.

- Members or community clashes
– its community Tribe Wako wako vs. Tribu Uga uga, this is the hardest part when 2 community clashes. My tip here is to listen and have a proper channel of discussions with other community leader. Make it a – boss to boss relationship.

- Infiltrations of trolls
- they are everywhere, and we can avoid them or ban them if you monitor your community regularly.

- A mix of Opinions -
When opinions are different, we have to accept and respect the opinions of people, if argument is dragged inside your community, talk to them in private and let them settle it outside the forum if ever the bash of opinions never stop.

That’s my short presentation.. oks ba?

btw, Janette Toral sent this question to me –
“Share your point of view on how do you see blogging moving forward “
- More influential - for me, blogging will be more influential in the future, because people have the proper knowledge already on how to post good information on the net, and not just puro selfie lang.

- Be a profession
– I heard that some institutions will include blogging as one of their subjects, and maybe soon, blogging or being a blogger is a pro career.

- More mainstream blogs organized by pinoy bloggers or media network
– I’ve seen this before after the rebranding of a former food site into a lifestyle and entertainment blog. More mainstream blogs will come out and it will replace more printed magazine and newspaper in the future.
Video blogging will be more active! In the past few months, I noticed that we no longer watch TV at night, because we are hooked on watching original video content in Youtube.
and then for my final point of view….

- The next President of the Philippines will try blogging

For my last slide… Janette asked me again

How do you want iBlog to become in the future?
- iblog Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – let our blogger friends from other parts of the region co-organize more iblogs

- Bigger venue – A big venue will invite more attendees. I love UP College of Law auditorium, but I suggest for next year , it is a good time to move out in a bigger venue.

- More iBlog Mini events – I miss these mini iBlogs last 2007, because I missed it and failed to attend it, I hope there will be more mini blogging summits after the main iblog.

So that’s all folks!
thank you for listening to my short presentation… Thank you iBlog and happy 10th year!

to my fellow bloggers..newbie or old bloggers, Don’t stop blogging, pls continue to listen, write what you see, what you felt and what is right….

the learning never stops even if umabot pa ng iblog 20.

Thanks again.. and pls..visit my blog ha.

Again.. thank you.

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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