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Session 3: What makes a successful blogosphere? (Part 2) December 10, 2005

Posted by Angelo Embuldeniya in GV05, Session 3.

Ethan: Another community I’ve bene really impresed by and wat to talk about: jordanian blog community. I want to ask roba two things; [what’s going on today with blogging], and what happened after the bombings.

Roba: I blog on jordan now; and haitham, etc are also blogging there; we discuss all kinds of tihngs. we discuss wikipedia, we discuss what we can do around jordan; for instance — [mentions initiative to allow students in high school and college to blog] including methods of how to blog, what not to blog, and tips and stuff.

Ethan: the blogosphere reacted in an interesting way to [the recent bombings in amman]. maybe you can comment on this…

Roba: all the media is gov’t-controlled, except for two channels that came out ecently, in september of this year. So everyone was very upset with how the media is covering the bombing events; all bloggers took it to heart to take pictures of demonstrations; to get uncensored civilian view. It was amazing…everything was completely unedited. People were able to say whztever they felt, pro-islamists or whatever.

Ethan: two responses that interested me… one was that a number of bloggers put together a virtual newsroom. For instance haitham put together screenshots of tv coverage, with translated captions and it was an example of how bloggers can respond to a real public event; j to mobilize and become a force of reporters.

Roba – I was impressed by the reactions of bloggers; I got news from them before I got it from tv stations, which was amazing on a different level. One must not forget that 50% of jordanian bloggers don’t live in jordan. I found out about the bombings from lebanon, not jordan… it’s amazin ghow linked each country is.

Ethan: asking tha rum to talk about the cmbodian blogosphere.. which has been a huge surprise to many of us; and really exciting to discover. Maybe you can tell us how blogging has come about, how bloggers are finding out about it, and what’s worked to create that community?

tha rum: I think blogging in camb is starting to grow or be popular, when local media write about it. There are 3 articles as far as I know about blogging…then I found out more people create their own blogs, and provide their own ? in cambodia… the country is low-internet penetration. But young college students, with access to computers and the internet, can create their own blog. and they — it’s beocme bigger and bigger. We had a blogger meeting, but not many cambodians… mostly for any bloggers… they try to organize meetings and few cambodians ttended this meeting.

Ethan: do camb bloggers interact much with one another? do the ycomment on each other’s blogs?

tha rum: I know some cambodian bloggers living in oc, and starting to comment to one another…for the time eing, mostly people blog in english. b ut there are some in khmer…input also, the unicode, the standard form [is just now becoming available] recently there were many problems wiht khmer charcters…

Ethan: on india : a lot of people took to livejournal and other community sites a while back most of the indians are on blogspot .com

Neha: People who hadn’t heard of blogging became part of the blogging scheme (neha speaking) and eventually started out on their own individual blogs. I find that the indian blogosphere is a bit inward-looking. it’s not as linked up to the int’l blogosphere as it probably should be. There is a wonderful site, called theysaypundits?.com, not a reblogger, but links to a lot of indian blogs much like gv. it focuses on other issues, like humor and movies and music; and there are a huge number ofNRI (non-resident) blogs. The level of interaciton [ /there/ ] is prtty high. For instance, when a blogger qut his job; the mainstream media took note of thta. And every time there’s a major controversy on the indian blog scene, the # of blogs goes up 5-10%.

Ethan: background; a blogger accused an indian uni of givin gout more or less useuless degrees; and the uni went very aggressively after him that some might argueended up costing him his job. And theysaypundit started to focus on this. In support of this blogger, all the other ones started putting up individual posts; there was a meta-post with 200 or so links to other bllogs coming out in support of this blogger; people who never had a blog, and wanted to speak up about this issue, sarted a blog with this one post; support gauram[sp]!
There is a blog called everymancity? a group of bloggers that want to help out an ngo in na education endeavour. So I see lots of collaboration with issues, including education happening on blogs.

Neha: wikis haven’t caught on yet in india, but there is huge potential for that as the regional editor for se asia, I feel there is sometimes a competiton b/t the indian and pakisatani blogosphere; recently there was a huge issue, with an open lestter written to th epakistanis, which was probably responded to by an open letter to the indians; it wasn’t a pretty scene. people were taking sides. and on the one hand, some people were saying about ‘this is what blogs are about, [baad!]’ and other saying, If you want somehting to argue about, go take on bush… but there are all kinds of things going on, music, movies, etc; but whenever there’s a big issue, people really wake up.

Ethan: it sounds like if we really want to encourage the indian blogosphere, we need a really big lawsuit. But the people who came online about iipm, have they continued? was it a one-time thing for them

Neha: it’s interesting; there were a lot of journalists who became bloggers after this. They came online, there was a lot of nasty google-bombing that was going on. Istarted a thread, just asking anyone who started a blog on blogger to leave a comment; about 40 of them left a message.

Ethan – what hasn’t worked well in india? are there things you’re hearing in kenya, jordan, other parts of the world, that haven’t worked in india?

Neha: I can tell you what works in india; popularity contenst. there’s a lot of contest about gtting the highest technorati ranking; I’m sure this is in every blogopspherre. For that reason, collab-blogging hsan’t really taken off. there are som ewho are really into it, but you’ll find the same group of 10 bloggers on /every/ collab blog, an thee others aren’t taking to it. [similar to wiki growth –Ed]. The other thing is exclusion form the indian blogosphere; they konw about the 10-15 ibiggest blogs; but they’re not attending to the smallest blogs who are really international. This worries me a bit…

[Ethan is trying to pull up indiablogstteet… url?]

Neha: this worries me a bit b/c it’s becoming really inward-looking. We seem to have more for ranking than for links now in india that’s incredible, b/c there’s a lot of ‘you scrtach my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of thing. About a year and a half back, there were a lot of people who were outside of india pointing into india…

comment : I wish there were a technorati contst about who has the most /outbound/ links, not the most inbound links… (scoble, from the techno to p 100) there are 200k? people on the ‘net in singapore. in indonesia, it’s 5 times bigger. but this is still a small % of the whole population.

(Tagged: gv2005, globalvoices)



1. imparare - April 15, 2007

Interesting comments.. 😀

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