HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013
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?
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 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