Been getting a lot of inquiries as to why this blog you’re reading now exists, when there are other similar locally-made tech blogs around. Some of the questions were about who the people are behind the blog itself, but mostly what-the-hell-were-you-thinking questions about the name.

It started as a joke, really. But when I thought about it more and more, it made some sort of weird sense. So I asked some folk if they would join if I made one (oo naman! they said), so I got encouraged. One idle afternoon during the New Year break I set it up, signed some guys up, people started posting, and now it’s out of my hands and has a life of its own. It’s not just my PWiT now, it’s everyone’s ass on the line

Anyway, instead of retyping everything I’ve been trying to explain, I’ll just reprint (to save you a click and more bandwidth) a blog entry I wrote in my own personal journal a week ago:

Want to See My PWiT?

I realize some of my too-tech posts fall on deaf ears, and bore the hell out of everyone else, so I figured unless it’s palatable to the general public, I’d segregate and post them elsewhere (which is why postings here have been scarce; a lot of stuff that concerns me at the moment have been a bit technical).

As Editor-in-Chief of two monthly tech magazines Mobile Philippines and PC Magazine Philippines, being part of our online blog network at Hinge Inquirer Publications and this blog, I should have all the space I need, right? Well, there are still some things that would be too off-the-wall, too self-indulgent, too technical, or just plain boring that I want to write about that wouldn’t fit in any of them.

So, in my spare time, I figured I’d make another blog for these things, and save EJ Online for things that don’t beep, blink or light up.

It’s called Philippine Week in Tech, or PWiT.

Stop giggling. It’s an honest acronym. Besides, it works on three different levels.

One: For non-Filipino readers who don’t get the in-joke (and at the risk of making me sound like the loser who has to explain his joke), pwit sounds like the Tagalog slang word for your gluteus maximus. Heh. Two: For non-techie readers who don’t get the other in-joke, it’s a nod and homage to my idol Leo Laporte‘s TWITThis Week in Tech – network in the US, which in its own turn plays on the usually derogatory term twit. And three: I think the acronym perfectly states the personality and attitude of the blog. (Let the double-entendres and inevitable puns ensue…)

Went a step further though, and like the original TWIT, made it a group blog for my geek colleagues in the industry in the Philippines, from different worlds, who felt the same way. So we get something for everyone. Writers, editors, bloggers, industry experts, geeks extraordinaire. So far the current crop of PWiTs is an interesting crew, and we’re still building up the staff.

As of now we have U.P. professor, Editor-in-Chief of SME Insight and former PC Mag Philippines Editor-in-Chief Art Ilano. IT journalist and blogger Gary Mercado. T3 Philippines Editor-in-Chief Vince Sales. Game Magazine Editor-in-Chief Howard Paw. Philippine Star columnist, Palanca Hall-of-Famer, U.P. professor and former Vice-Chancellor Butch Dalisay. Talkin’ Tech blogger and tech journalist Bernie Janda. UAP professor, MAPALAD founder and former mPH Editor-in-Chief Jason de Villa, and more coming.

You notice the bloggers are from everywhere. It’s kind of like the UN of Philippine Tech. Hope we’ll get support from the local IT press and get more folk on board. It’s non-sectarian, non-denominational, non-corporate, and personal, which means no-holds-barred and anything goes. No commercial agenda whatsoever. The only agenda it has is the evangelical approach to the techification of the Filipino. (Yes, yes, I just made up that word, don’t look it up.) More on our raison d’etre on the very first PWiT post.

I can hear some of my crab-mentality-conscious countrymen now: ah, there goes another unoriginal, derivative, copycat Pinoy website. To you folk, I hereby give a few lemons. Go suck on them.

In PWiT we’ll discuss geek stuff, mostly, and say what we mean, so long as it’s fair, constructive and in the right place. And in a decidedly Filipino context. (And hope it’ll sate our appetite for writing for sites like Gizmodo, Engadget, Ars Technica, and other tech blogs and sites we admire.)

It’s a simple work-in-progress though. The features aren’t final, the header is still temporary. Some of the guys haven’t even posted yet. We’re just getting started. I wasn’t planning on making it public just yet, but I found out this morning that Gary and Bernie had already mentioned it on their blogs (which accounts for the spike in hits), so I might as well do the same and let the fun begin. (Not their fault; we never really talked about keeping it under wraps anyway.)

Dunno if it’ll catch on. Most likely, kami-kami lang ang magbabasa. Like scholarly journals, it just might evolve into a clannish self-indulgence only we geeks appreciate. Or, people and the industry might look to it as a tech barometer to see how things are in the country. It’ll be fun, either way.

So, if you have time and the inclination, take a look at our PWiT, remember that it is still in beta, and comment away, either here or there. It’ll be an interesting experiment, no matter how it turns out.”

When I wrote that, we had just a handful of hits, mostly our close friends. We got quite a bit more now, I think. Since then, more pwits have been added to the mix, and they’ll be posting soon (I hope).

So there. Let’s see where this goes, shall we?