Tuesday, April 04, 2006

blogosphere, sri lankan?

sri lankan blogosphere was in a bit of a flutter last week because of some nutter, who after distorting and embellishing few scraps of information found some relief from his own frustrations by publishing the same as rather entertaining blog posts about fair number of sri lankan bloggers, myself included. lots of people (again including myself) commentated, bloged, threatened, and speculated. this week everybody including the nutter seem to have got bored.

it may be pertinent to ask why sri lankan blogosphere got so excited about what in the end was nothing more than silly gossip about fellow bloggers. are we really so limited? maybe we had a clue in the fact that almost all the male bloggers and half the females ones resident in sri lanka were at the royal thomian few weeks back and most had posts about it, in some cases old recycled ones. how removed from sri lankan reality can the average blogger be?

a similarly narrow range is evident in those who blog about films, plays, or books. they deal almost exclusively about western films, sri lankan productions of western plays, and novels written in english by sri lankans. we had several posts about american idol and hardly any about the sri lankan version. i have yet to see a post about any sinhala teledrama. most likely nobody in blogosphere watches them, i definitely do not, but these teledramas are the most popular cultural product here.

now let us consider all those who write about current issues. take moju, an excellent blog for 'members of sri lankan civil society', but does anybody who post or comment there have any understanding about how sri lankans actually live? have they ever dealt with corruption on a day to day basis? have they ever gone canvasing from house to house on behalf of a real politician? how many of them have gone to a police station and tried to enter a complaint through the constable on duty? isn't their knowledge of sri lankan experience filtered through other sources such as newspapers and ngo reports? i don't know. i myself have no claim to be an average sri lankan in tune with ordinary people and most sri lankan politicians will laugh at me if i were to expound libertarianism to them. grassroots politicians will laugh louder no doubt. its rather ironic that i hardly ever blog about things about which i can actually claim some first hand experience such as how i make my living. then again nobody currently in blogosphere will understand if i blogged about those things.

then there are the tech bloggers. as far as i can tell most of those who blog on such subjects ranging from .net to linux are recycling material taken from other industry sites several hours or even months late. i know that some people in sri lanka are engaged in really innovative software projects but most of those who blog seem to get even their jargon confused. i am just a hobbyist and don't make a living from such work myself so i may be wrong but i doubt it.

of course most of the posts concern purely personal matters and at least in the context of an audience similarly limited in scope they seem to resonate with others when honestly expressed. which is why it is rather sad that authors lives are not broader.

another blogger wrote 'if you are a blogger, you owe absolutely no one, no one, an explanation or justification of your blog or its existence.' quite true. this post is in no way a criticism of blogs that make up the sri lankan blogesphere. they are for the most part highly original and enjoyable to read, imo. bloggers themselves (again for the most part) seem to be decent, intelligent, talented, and articulate. very fact that the nutter was accommodated in kottu shows how tolerant and gracious it is. in fact if rest of sri lanka acts and thinks like the blogosphere it may even be a much 'better' place. however it isn't and it won't be, ever.

sri lankan reality is very different. should that matter? should we even ponder that last question?

(this post was not intended to offend anyone. anyway my apologies if anyone was offended by it.)

11 comments:

~CC~ said...

Many SL bloggers hail from the society Colombo, this is reflected in their thinking, places they go to, their politics, their everything.

As with any new thing, be it computers, internet and things to do with internet like email, mailing lists or blogging, it will start from this sort background.

it will obviously take some time before blogging be some sort of a known phenomenon to the 'common man'

so should we care? no. like you quote electra.

"if you are a blogger, you owe absolutely no one, no one, an explanation or justification of your blog or its existence."

[ great sound bite btw, kudos to electra :) ]


eventually all of this will catch up to the masses, until that time everyone should do their thing, and not bother.

Attitude said...

http://aselaw.wordpress.com/

Electra said...

i think we took padashow way too seriously.

~cc~ : I tied to leave a comment on your blog regadring the beyond borders festival, but failed as it doesn't allow comments being left by us bloggers not using blogger. :) anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the wonderfully informative post. it was useful as i am covering the festival for some parts of the local media.

~CC~ said...

electra :

thanks.. i donno how ethical discussin something that's totall irrelevent here..i hope the local libertarian wont mind.. afterall he's libertarian..

bt i think blogspot do allow non-blogspotters to comment [for eg. this site], must have been some problem at that time.

you are covering it? hmm.. intresting.. what newspaper may i ask? i'd write a biased review my self in a couple of days.. so stay tuned :P

sittingnut said...

~cc~:
nice to see you here again.:-)

i agree with you that everyone should do their thing, and not bother... until that time

i am not sure however whether current blogosphere even reflect the sri lankans already online. we now have tens of thousands of ppl online according to statistics. i am not seeing that reflected there. :-)

anyway lets see how it goes :-)
-
you are right about electra's 'sound bite'. i have seen it quoted elsewhere as well.

how ethical discussin something that's totall irrelevent here..i hope the local libertarian wont mind.
ethical? :-) you are free to discuss anything, local libertarian don't mind.

btw 'non-blogspotters' in fact cannot post in your blog unlike here. you have to change the preferences.
see here.
--
electra:
nice to see you here too. :-)
you are right, we took the nutter way too seriously.
--
àŧŧĭţűđę:
i don't think you are going to do yourself any good by posting your blog address all over the place. it is called spam. so unless you have a real comment don't do this again. :-)

Keshi said...

hey I still didnt go to this site...I will now...goshh seems like a lot of drama is going on there lol!


Keshi.

Keshi said...

I went to one site u mentioned here..that person had some great advice for all of u who r giving that loser attention.

I dunno much abt what happened with the mentioned person but yeah stop feeding him attention. U know Sittingnut that I did the same mistake with one abusive net lunatic and then I realised I was only entertaining him..so I stopped even replying back to anything he said and after 2yrs he has finally given up...he's still ard but dun crap as much as he used to..only cos I dun give him the attention anymore and Im sure he's bored with himself.

Sittingnut ur a very smart guy..u should not even reply to this loser whoever it is.

Be sensible ppl...there is a sinhalese quote which says 'Modayata bana kivvuta therenne ne...' :) So dun even bother.

Keshi.

Fazli said...

Take a trip through F's Place at
http://kermeey.blogspot.com

and Royal People at
http://rcpeople.blogspot.com

and Lanka Personalities at
http://lankaperson.blogspot.com

ashanthi said...

All I can say is Thank God for Keshi - hey great to see you are still keeping s/nut company.

It's so irritating that Sophist has been crapping on about this on indi's blog (another ning-nong) & of course crapping on about me being Padashow.

Fact is they are playing one of their stupid games coz they know damn well who Padashow is.

Looks like he's had the last laugh anyway.

sittingnut said...

ashathi :
don't worry they know you are not padashow. and yes sophist is a fool just ignore him

Yaaro said...

Padashow=Indi
He is just having fun guys- let him.