Bloghard, Blogeasy

Remains of a beautiful photo square.jpgby Isolano (See PS below this essay.)

From Lisbon, With Love

Loving is an art; you do it with the heart. I think the same and do the same with blogging. Blogging is a serious thing for me, even when I’m funny. I learned to blog middle of last year, all text. And ever since I learned to download and upload an image via the Internet middle of this year, I never blog without an image, preferably a photograph, to illustrate my blogpost. Too often, the image helps me write the blogpost up. And that’s why I need Flickr.

Flickr is a word invented by them to designate the sharing of photos online, a concept popularized if not invented by Webshots. Webshots was founded in 1995; in 1997, it launched its website, offering for free the Webshots desktop, photo sharing, wallpapers and screensavers (TPI, 2004, The company that Flickr built was founded in 2002, for an online game, Neverending; Flickr was launched in 2004 (Wikipedia). When Flickr began, Neverending ended. I was attracted first to Webshots, then changed loyalties when Flickr showed up with more élan. Another way of putting that is this: Webshots vs Flickr? I am not a lover of the beautiful – I am a lover of the more beautiful.

Bloghard, Blogeasy are two words invented by me today, 28 December 2006, Holy Innocents’ Day, or Childermas. Together, the two words constitute a concept I have had since mid-2005 fleshed out if not invented. My blogging is really an advocacy via hard essays (arrived at via critical thinking) and easy essays (arrived at via creative thinking). My advocacy? I can summarize it in 7 words, being these:

Try more creative thinking. less critical thinking.

placemat.jpgLike, instead of the littlest, I now have the biggest mousepad in the world – a decorative, plastic placemat 11 x 17 inches that is easy to wipe clean. So now I have freedom from want of movement.

Today, I wanted to give a name to the concept I have been pursuing and pushing since July 2005, when I started blogging. Bloghard, Blogeasy, this piece, I thought of at 1254 hr, Manila time. Earlier, at 1230 hr, I was thinking of advocassay, which contains the words advocacy, assay (for critical thinking) and easy essay (for creative thinking). Then the words Bloghard, Blogeasy just popped into my head, and I like them more.

Thanks to Flickr, my blogs are hard, and my blogs are easy. Likewise, life with Flickr has been hard and easy. I was talking to my wife this morning or, rather, she was telling me, after I told her that I had been using Flickr images before I asked permission. Let me call that here flickring, which I shall define as using an image in Flickr without prior permission. That sounds like and is synonymous with filching. As I was saying before I interrupted myself, my wife was telling me that my moral obligation is to ask first, use later. I know that too, but if I wait for your go-signal first, I lose the creative moment. You see, for each essay-story, I start with an idea, then a draft of the message, then I search for the photograph either for visual interpretation, or impact, or both. I can’t wait to ask first, then use later. When I write, the thoughts are warm, and I don’t want them to cool down by waiting for an image to add visual representation of those thoughts, or set more thoughts free. In fact, the image helps me create the essay-story itself.

How important is blogging to me? It’s most important, nay, it’s a lifeline to me. Last year, I bragged that blogging is the revenge of the unpublished writer (visit my blogsite The Word According To Frank). In my previous life, I wanted to be a published writer, but I never got my dream fulfilled. Too much protocol, too many heads to turn to, too much time to waste. It is the Age of the Internet, for heaven’s sake; we are no longer in the 1980s, when paper was king and the most important publications were all on paper. You act fast, you react first, or you’re among those who are left behind.

Not only that. I don’t commercialize my blogsites (no counters, no ads, no hints), and I always give credit to whom credit is due; for photographs, you will always find the name or preferred alias of the photographer, even the exact caption given, and certainly the website source (in this case, With Flickr, I prefer feeling a little guilty while I give in to my creative urge: Draft, Download, Revise, Upload – that pretty much enumerates the steps I take when I blog. Flickr is so much a part of my writing now I can’t live without her.

What happens, asks my wife, when the image owner says ‘No, you can’t use my photo?’ Easy, I say: Delete. Just like that, give me 5 seconds. And then I go look for another image and when I’ve uploaded it, I write the image owner, telling him he can visit my blogsite wherever it is (I have more blogsites than I have children, which number 12).

I blog in my own unique way: Bloghard, Blogeasy, didn’t I tell you? Unlike a great many other bloggers, my blogs are not simply events of my everyday life, not even a record of my everyday thoughts. My blogs are my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations, my desires for The Good. Despite the clear and present danger of The Bad. Or rather, because of. And since I am a creative writer, substance and style come first, and I can’t be bothered by photo protocol.

If you want to know my Flickr score in the matter of flickring, out of about 100 images I have so far flickred, only one got angry, in fact he was mad after I told him. He demanded to be paid US$250 for my use of his photograph; when I politely said I wouldn’t pay even if I had the money (which I didn’t), he threatened to sue me in court. I told him, all by email, in that case he would be wasting his money on me – then I deleted that offending image. End of story. Before I did that, I told him he had to prove that I stole his photograph and that called for the corpus delicti (corpus body, delicti crime): No body, no crime. I delete your image and there goes the body of my crime. That’s the naked truth of the law.

I don’t know of anyone who has ever committed the perfect crime. Well, I know one now. When I discovered by accident the power of Delete to destroy the corpus delicti, I’m happy to report that I have committed the perfect crime. It happened before my birthday, a little more than 3 months ago. Understanding the law is vital to winning the case.

The point is not to commit the perfect crime but to commit the perfect image to your blogpost. And I almost always can’t wait to do that.

Naturally, I’ll do another flickring for this essay-story. And the image I have selected is a surprise even to me (I usually search with an eye for the unusual or the dramatic – Flickr calls it ’interestingness’): When I saw this one (the one on top), it struck at me so hard I laughed. Isolano’s image she captions ‘Flickr In Action’ – it’s so contrary and yet so right. The action is inaction. The drama is the promise of a drama. It’s funny but it’s not simply a joke; it’s a statement that an image can be what it is not. And yes, the girl is in the center of the world. And I’m in the center of my Thank You.

I posted this comment on Isolano’s flickrsite: ‘It’s the most beautiful shot I have ever seen in Flickr.’ And I clicked on top of the image to make it one of my favorite photos: as of today, I have only 4. I didn’t tell Isolano that I am going to use it here. When I’ve posted this on my blogsite, then I’ll email her. From Lisbon, with love. Surprise!

Update, 4 January: I did email Isolano and she thanked me and merely asked that I link the image to her account, which I have done. And that’s an achievement, since I’m relatively new at the game of HTML.

PS, 2007 December 30 (Manila Time) – The subject of the photograph, Matilde, protested the display of Isolano’s photo and threatened to sue both Isolano and me. I’m not intimidated by any lawsuit, but I don’t want to involve any other person, especially since Isolano was kind enough to give me her permission. That was a beautiful gesture, considering the circumstances. It was a beautiful picture – it was beautiful while it lasted. Matilde, look what you’ve done!

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2 Comments on “Bloghard, Blogeasy”

  1. Matilde B Says:

    Well, well, Surprise, surprise, after i read your blog text i have saved your page and image in a folder called bloghard-blogeasy. It really interested me. So it happens that not only you but also she broke the law. You, for displaying without making sure she had a model sign release to publish the shot. She, for giving you permission without having the signed document. So, since i am the person portrayed in that picture and none of you have permission to display it, and because i have saved your page and all files related as a proof, i can now sue you both. As a friendly sugestion please remove the photograph right away.
    Thank you,
    Matilde B.

  2. Matilde, read my PS above. I have to accept that some people think about human rights first, that is, rights first, human second.

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