Friday, April 08, 2005

Blog News, Anyone?

Hear ye’ all Bloggers, we’ve turned another milestone. In the Periscope section of the March 21, 2005 issue of Newsweek, there is this item on blogging titled “BLOGS: Now It’s Literature”. It reported actually how certain web logs in Japan were not only successful online but had found their way into the bestseller list among the bookstands there. Primarily, the blog “Train Man” sold approximately half a million copies when it was turned into a book. “Train Man” started on the Internet just about when its Japanese author went online to ask for advises and suggestions from surfers on how to woo a girl he had recently met on a train. Thousands logged into his blog and gave him numerous dating tips and encouragement and two months later, he got the girl. This modern day fairy tale set within the subways of Tokyo caught the fancy of many that it apparently prodded a publisher to transforms it into a book and make money on it, complete with all the comments and emoticons, even including the usual grammatical and typographical errors we often see in every web log’s comment box.

The success of the “Train Man” has led other Japanese bloggers to take their spin on book publishing and found similar success. Notable was the blog “My Devilish Wife Journal: A True Story”, where a young man laments continually about his self-centered wife. Another weblog in the bookstands there is “This Week My Wife Is having An Affair” which sold about 43,000 copies as a book. Not bad, huh.

I couldn’t find the link to the above-mentioned blogs, even when I had to google them a thousand and one times. The thing is “Train Man” would have been titled in Japanese and I haven’t got a clue what the words “train” and “man” in Nippongo.

So I guess, we bloggers should keep at it and blog all the more and who knows that perhaps one day, some book publisher would take notice and transform some of us into the net counterpart of John Grisham or Tom Wolfe. It may not be as easy as we would like to think it is, where it is obvious that those Japanese web logs that I had mentioned above have gained popularity mainly because of their sordid subject matters like infidelity and deceit. Yet “Train Man”, the most successful of the lot, certainly spoke of an uplifting thing called “love”, and that tells us that it ain’t such a longshot for any of us to expect to get published someday and that we do not have to write anything capricious in order to get noticed.

Am I encouraging commercialism here? No, but by aiming to get our blogs published as a book, we may be suspected of selling out; that is, blogging just for money’s sake and not for the things we truly believe in. But hey, money ain’t that bad at all---and Bob Dylan got to speak his mind and still made money for it.

So what Filipino blog or blogs do you think can get published at this time and sell well on National Bookstore?
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