Tuesday, January 01, 2013

In the flesh: Blogging into 2013 (Part 1)


For many years, after 2008, we've refused to write on the subject of blogging. It feels like being too full of oneself to talk of a subject in which one is a "player" (or that is what we like to believe we are).

Never mind the fact that people outside the blogging community, meaning the community of serious bloggers and not casual ones, usually come out with the wrong perspective based on wrong information.

As we celebrate the leaving of 2012 and the coming of 2013, it is also a celebration of our 7th year writing in this blog, Another Brick in the Wall, a name conceived at a makeshift weekend rock joint, D'Attap.

2013 will be our 8th year as blogger.

Another Brick in the Wall

This blog started "In the flesh" on December 10th, 2005.

Would you believe that the first posting was just moi venting out about decades old resolution to an old relationship that never took off?

It was only in the next three posting that we defined our blog theme. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1) was about an unresolved child abuse and custody battle. Part 2 was a critical view of educational uniformity that promote conformity. And, Part 3 was about spiritual freedom.

Yes, and that was what the first year of blogging about. Venting out personal thoughts from deep within. Some reminiscing like that of our first sportscar, the Pontiac Firebird 1972 in Highway Star.

That was December 2005 and the first year of 2006. Using rock song lyrics, we expressed our inner feeling. There was no You Tube then or at least, there was no embed sharing capability yet.

Wish You Were Here was a posting in February 2006 where we begin to express opinion on current issues. We wrote of our participation in a demonstration at News Straits Times office at Jalan Riong, Bangsar.

That begin the slow transformation of this blog to express concern on socio-political issues, corporate abuses, policies, etc.

There was a long hiatus from May 2006. Most of our cyberbattle was at MyKMU portal.   Kelab Maya UMNO site had been our regular read since the days of reformasi  together with old brand names like malaysia.soc.culture, Sang Kancil, Mahafiraun, Maha Zalim, FAC, Harakah Daily, etc.

Freedom of Expression

It was the  posting, Freedom: The Chicken That Suppress Story on January 14, 2007 to join the voices of Blogger United that got us seriously to comment on current socio-political issues.

The issue that steered us to be a serious bloggers was the fight against attempt to suppress  bloggers by NST and the then government of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Ironically, the first posting with a tinge of seriousness was also against NST.

It was sparked the rebellion against Pak Lah that late intensified with the cancellation of the Scenic Bridge to replace the causeway of Johor Baru.

Basically, all our present position on various issues started with the defense for freedom to blog without legal suppression and law curtailing freedom of expression.

Despite being affected by the reformasi era usage of webstes, portals, and discussion groups, the government of the time was still grasping with the ability of Internet to bypass the curb on media freedom and enable unbridled information flow.

Just browse through the voluminous amount of past postings to see how much we have spent talking about blogging as a subject. Sometimes we only smiled when we read of newbie bloggers (post 2008) writing and claiming authority on blogging and selling themselves t Ministers and UMNO leaders as cyberwar expert.

Blogging today

Blogging flourished after the 2008 general election.

 Many Johnny Come Lately established new socio-political blogsites (SOPO). Team of bloggers and blogs were established by many concerns. There must be thousands of SOPO today and new blogging stars emerged. New style and approach to blogging also emerged.

There was also the emergence of the more popular social media formats like Facebook and micro-blogging like Twitter. They were more effective mean to disseminate information and prpaganda and also competed with blogging for traffic.

The three format had it's own strength and eventually there was convergence.

Many of the trend in blogging was anticipated and suggested in 2009 [read us here] and most have are realised. Today ne can find localised blogs, special interest blogs, special purpose blogs, blog aggregators, etc.

Interestingly, other than established SOPO portals like Tranung Kite and MyKMU, portals made a comeback in the form of news portal. Many bloggers join forces to get int the fray. One notable ne from the pro-UMNO side was KLPOS.

Typical of reactive rather then preemptive UMNO, it was partly a reaction to the popularty and effectiveness of Malaysakini, The Malaysain Insider, Malaysia Today, Free Malaysia Today, Harakah, Roketkini, Keadilandaily, etc. Most pro-Pakatan bloggers serves to disseminate or do commentary on hese news sources.

While pro-UMNO bloggers prefer t develop own materials as commentary and newsbreaker. These made them look uncoordinated and dilute their effectiveness. Some attempt have been done to streamliine the party's cyber campaign and propaganda.


As more bloggers come on stream, they competed for attention and place in the Alexa ranking. At the same time, ethics start to waver.

Readers can only read a few blogs a day. That is in addition to reading their e-mail, news, their facebook and keeping track of their twitters.

Not there was any established code of ethics accepted by all parties or political interest groups, but the sort of perceived minimal ethics practised by member bloggers of All Blogs or bloggers that congregate at National Press Club.

Much of it was based on understanding and common sense. There was much interaction between bloggers of differing political and partisan affiliations. Thus there was a common respect for each other and a common consensus "to agree to disagree."

Bloggers being bloggers (and commentators too) cannot contain their critical views. The newfound freedom was more critical on curbing of freedom to express ones view than determining what is acceptable and what is not acceptable for public discussion.

Eventually, there was an agreed practise to respect anonimity, differentiate between public and private matters, between an opinion piece and factual piece, and a common courtesy to respect ownership of work, confidentiality, and basically common etiquette.

However, all this begin to be foresaken after 2008. The SOPO newbies after 2008 refused to abide by any established practices. Since they are bigger in numbers and strong partisan in clination, nothing can be done.

It made the blogosphere more exciting and attracted a lot of attention.  

To be continued to Part 2 later


Anonymous said...

Your Dissertation on Blogging could in fact have been summed up in a few words!

Those UMNO Bloggers (Including Yourself) is either wasting your time or is fervently doing so due to financial reasons (paymaster's call)

It is a fact that the mainstream media is doing a better job promoting the government than the UMNO bloggers who comprises disparate dropout journos.

The public are visitng blogs to find out information hidden away by the mainstream media which affects the country. They do not need to get the same mainstream spin from UMNO bloggers. Hence the criticism from UMNO masters that their bloggers are not doing enough. They are doing enough but the same as the mainstteam media hence their failure to attract genuine interest from the public.

The support they are getting are from the 'diehard UMNO supporters who roam the blogs to hit out at the public who expresses concern about the governmen's behaviour.

Joe Black

A Voice said...

Extracting from Wikipedia:

A dissertation or thesis[1] is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings.[2] In some countries/universities, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used as part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in others, the reverse is true.[3]

The word dissertation can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree. The term thesis is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work.

Kah kah kah ... Wonder what would you call when I actually write a proper thesis and dissertation.

BTW ... Joe Black ... you are commenting like an outsiders with the wrong information.

Bloggers who get paid to do so can be found in certain parties of BN and in ALL THREE parties of PR. We know who are all the paymasters from both sides.

For you to comment us as doing for financial reasons, it shows myopic observation. We started out in 2005 and went serious in 2006/07. How could money possibly be the motivation?

The money politicians give hardly pays for Unifi and other home utilities. There are other avenue to use your fame in blogging to earn a living if we wish to do it.

That is for me to know. And you'll never find out cause the level of your intelligence tells when you could be believe the lies by Anwar.

Anonymous said...

It is a HOME RUN to you bro and a KO for you Joe Black.. please use your brain not your knee Joe Black

Anonymous said...

Your blogging has gone out of sync with the current younger educated readers. Bet most of your articles cater mostly to Pakcik and Makcik in their twilight years. It ain't working anymore? Wakakaka

Singh Is Kinng said...

Certainly joe black is a newcomer in blogosphere. The was a phase of time that this blog was hitting hard on Dollah's administration, and it is still. I guess at that particular time joe was still wearing diapers.

Another Brick in the Wall, among other pioneers inspired many of us to speak our mind. It was the school of 2007.

Anonymous said...

Lari topik sikit.


Ketua Pemuda UMNO Malaysia yang juga anggota Parlimen Rembau, Khairy Jamaluddin mungkin tidak akan dicalonkan untuk bertanding semula dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke13 berikutan dengan pendedahan bahawa beliau telah berhutang berjuta ringgit dari Bank Pertanian yang pembayaran semulanya menjadi persoalan.

Pinjaman itu dikatakan diperolehinya sebelum Datuk Seri Najib mengambil alih jawatan Perdana Menteri.

Pekara ini telah diketahui umum termasuk kalangan UMNO dan hari ini (30 Disember 2012), Suara Parti Keadilan,Keadilandaily yang Anwar Ibrahim adalah Ketua Umumnya telah menimbulkan beberapa pertanyaan dan kritikan berhubung dengan pinjaman itu.

Khairy adalah simpatisan Anwar Ibrahim yang terbukti apabila Anwar dibebaskan, beliau sendiri telah menghantar pasport antarabangsa untuk Anwar mendapat rawatan tengkok patah di luar negara.
You can read the rest here

Anonymous said...

If it's true that UMNO politicians pays 'peanuts' to their bloggers then you are more foolish than I think!

Joe Black

Anonymous said...

Stop the Lies. Read Financial Times London. Gillian Tett.'Chinese lessons for America'.Saturday 4th January 2013.
She proposes the melding of the Chinese meritocratic and the American democratic systems of governance for better governance.

The BN as led by the UMNO has been practising precisely since 1957 what she proposes now.

The BN as led by the UMNO does not need PR's proposal to ape Lee Kuan Yew's governance with his failed policies and failed Singapore.

What Malaysia needs is for DAP, PAS and PKR to join the BN as led by the UMNO to create a spirit of compassion, tolerance and accommodation to resonate across the World even to the benefit of the embattled Palestinians, Syrians and the Israelis.

Then, the BUMIPUTRAS and all Malaysians will stand proud, tall and strong in history on our return to normality.

There is nothing Lee Kuan Yew and the DAP can teach us. What is more important is what our beloved parents taught us.

My Say