LAST week, I witnessed something interesting on Facebook. A young blogger was bashing a columnist for a write-up that was perceived to be an attack on or insult to bloggers who get invited by marketing and public relation professionals to Cebu events.

Because of the blogger’s reactions, another write-up was published where the columnist explained his experience and opinions, gave suggestions and encouraging words to the blogger. This fueled the Facebook discussion further as the name of the school where the blogger is currently a student was also mentioned.

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Some were concerned with what transpired and I got asked on what should be done.

Respect is something that each and every one of us has to earn continuously. In the online field, especially the blogosphere, there is no age barrier. A young blogger can be more popular or influential than another person who may have a track record but no active online following.

Because on the Internet, it is not just about who you are but also how engaged you are in the community and the importance or respect given by readers.

You can’t dish out an attack, especially on bloggers, without regard to their capability to respond either through their blogs or social network. Some might take it lightly and just ignore it but those who felt hurt may end up responding heatedly.

Ignoring the issue can be viewed two ways. One may ignore it because one sees it as not worth the time or one can simply accept it as an opinion that we are entitled to.

However, as a columnist, what we have is a prestigious position that we are accountable for.

Columns can be used to inspire people by sharing our experiences, knowledge or citing examples that can provide readers value.

It can also be used as a medium to take a position on issues and to stand by what we believe in, although we are compelled to be fair.

I believe that blogging today should be celebrated as it gives rise to entrepreneurship, citizen journalism, and democratic share of voice in the online world. A lot of bloggers, especially in Cebu, are very young and still learning.

Instead of seeing them as competition, look at them as allies for content and ideas collaboration. There are a lot of opportunities to explore. Welcome to new citizen media.

(http://twitter.com/digitalfilipino)