Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tapping social media influencers to inform or mis-inform?

My blog post article on Gina Lopez and Senator Chiz Escudero got me in an interesting conversation with a few friends this past 2 days. Bottom line, I was asked, what do I intend to achieve in writing them?

1. On Gina Lopez and EDC
When she spoke at the Visayas Blogging Summit, she went onstage with an appeal asking bloggers to take a stand on mining and support her petition signing campaign. We were given copies of her presentation that got us introduced to Gerry Ortega in the process.

When word about former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes being spared by the Court of Appeals from having a case being filed to, I can't help but wonder, how will he put his life back to normal (since he went into hiding ala Sen. Panfilo Lacson when he was being hunted for a criminal case being filed against him)?

Will Joel Reyes even get an apology from all those who accused him for being the mastermind of a crime? If Gina Lopez also accused him, will she apologize and take accountability for what she said?

When EDC got into environmental problems, shouldn't leadership be exercise as well by Gina Lopez since that entity belongs to their family and she has been vocal pointing out damages caused by other entities?

I think her being quiet heavily affects the relationship she has built with those of us who took her seriously and believe in her at the Visayas Blogging Summit. Especially for those who took the time to spread her presentation, online petition, and videos. At least on my end, I know that I took her very seriously.

If she will remain quiet and not say anything, it will heavily affect my confidence for whatever she will ask bloggers to take action on in the near future.

If I have become misinformed in the process, I will also feel betrayed.

2. On Senator Chiz Escudero

My writings about Senator Chiz Escudero were heavily influenced by my exposure to his first online chat (when he first ran as a Senator) and observing his insane popularity.

Just yesterday, I saw this taxi advertisement that had him as endorser for a paint brand. If I'm not mistaken, he has quite a number of, if not the most, product endorsements in the past 6 months. You hardly see anyone complaining about it. But yet, you see social media users ranting when ads of two Senator candidates sharing their advocacy went on air too.

Although a friend has informed me that his popularity already dipped because of recent controversies surrounding him and Heart's parents.

But as I said in my previous blog, without a doubt, he will definitely win this coming election.

Mass persuasion

I think what Gina Lopez and Senator Chiz Escudero have in common is that they are excellent communicators, commands a high level of trust, and have a gift of mass persuasion.



BUT.....
But then again, each one of us is a social media influencer. Their popularity is also magnified by people like you and me who spread the word about them.

If we have helped in the past in spreading the word about them and their advocacies - and having doubts at the moment, I think it is important for that to be articulated and let those who interacted with us then and now help process our thoughts on this subject.

When I also read of bloggers arguing with each other on various issues, attacking other people, among others, it makes me think as well on what kind of social media influencers do we want to be?

Handling your influence with responsibility
I think each one of us should be responsible and accountable to what we say online, especially if it involves other people. We also need to think on when do we tackle concerns privately and when do we drag other people who may be clueless to an issue.

Furthermore, decide when prominent personalities reach out to us, do we just let ourselves get carried away with their big statements or should we investigate things further?

How do I make sure that I don't get blinded by whatever perceived influence I may have and cause harm to others?