Monday, May 13, 2013

Blog in the time of cholera

Source: @ritakml

Rita Kamel put it best in the tweet above: "There was a time when bloggers used to RT/comment each others' posts..remember? Now that competition kicked in,we're not even reading".
I am a bit saddened. I don't know what happened to us. By "us" I mean the blogging community or what is left of it. As we say in Arabic "kellna farkou7ayn w noss" (put together, we're just two and a half men - and the term originated way before the TV show).
Why did I use the term "what is left" of the blogging community? OK, check this: Liliane behind Funkyozzi said a while back she was stopping or at least reconsidering her blogging because things changed, Mustafa from BeirutSpring also said that he was decreasing his blogging input regarding Lebanese politics, Beirut Drive By Shooting is off the airways for personal reasons, Samer's Blogging Beirut is becoming a hit and miss affair (more miss than hit as the frequency of posting declined drastically), Maya Zankoul who promises to update her blog every week last published on August 7th 2012 (that must be a week by Jupiter's standards, not earthly ones), Hala from "Je Suis Un Cri" made it only for those invited... And so on and so forth (please note that I made my best to track back my words in order for me not to be labelled as defamatory or whatever else - these were actual things present on the net and archived). 
So why am saying this? Because something quite bad happened to the blogging community - we became Lebanese. We are now on each other's throats, waiting for whatever reason to barge into an attack. Case in point, the last storm which was about Brofessional Review not liking Maya Zankoul's work and the major backlash which ensued that was very very alarming. 
I am NOT siding with anyone against anyone else - I have known Maya for ages and whereas I follow Brofessional Review (BR) I have no clue who they are in real life - but, what happened to everyone being entitled to their opinion? Or does that only apply when we all agree on the same thing a la "I am unanimous in this"?
Last March Najib from Blog Baladi got slaughtered for his take on the no-alcohol-no-pork policy of Zaatar W Zeit in Hamra, try as I might to find something offensive in his article, I couldn't. And same applies to the BR article about Maya - I never saw this as a personal attack, just some people from within the industry expressing their opinion - in a harsh way perhaps, but an opinion nonetheless. 
Maybe the reason is because I know what a personal and vicious attack looks like: Frequently, I get personal insults to my character, personal attributes and even education from people whom I bug or annoy with my criticism, but I always think that - at least within the blogging community - we should stick together and give each other margin to express ourselves (we have enough enemies as it, why add friends to the list?). Maybe we should simply....

Source: Here


Anonymous said...

it's sad. very sad.

Maya said...

Hi Tarek. Thank you for writing this. I just want to point out, I am not promising to update my blog every week, I actually stopped blogging 2 years ago :) As you can see in this post:

The additional comics that were added were shared from my Facebook page but are not a return to blogging. I find that sharing comics on my Facebook page has become easier and less time-consuming than blogging. I am now running my design studio, we're growing to be a team of 3 and blogging, as we all know, takes up quite some time – time which was not available for me anymore.

I still read and follow blogs closely though and hope you guys will keep at it :)

Tarek Chemaly said...

Maya I KNOW all of this and I understand but your website still reads and I am doing a copy/paste: "Every week, I publish a new cartoon to my comic blog. See my latest cartoon"...

Maya said...

Ah! Thanks for pointing out. That's actually a slip from the older website. I need to update it.

Anonymous said...

Lol. I liked how u said "farkou7ein w nos" cos that's what you are, a "farkou7".

Tarek Chemaly said...

Which brings us back to "with so many enemies, why add friends to the list?"...

Miled I. said...

commenting under (Anonymous) bi 2aked enak Farkou7. please learn to read till the end.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tarek,
The world evolves.

Just like ICQ, MIRC, geocities, digital pinboards, forums, MSN, digital guestbooks etc... Blogs are following the same path... It's time to understand that there are no more "cheese" in blogging.

Everyone moved to the social networks.
And as a smart person, you should read the signs: Google are stopping google reader, posterous got shot down, and everyone is talking about the possibility of google shutting down blogger in the near future.

So stop weeping man.

About the broffesional review post that grabbed about 100 comments last week. That post was horrible!

At least do some research and state facts if you are going to write about someone.

They said:

- Maya started blogging at high school, and all her fans are her high school fans. (Maya had a job when she started blogging)

- The cost for a video is 5000$. (I dunno from where they got this. the cost of videos is not listed on the website. It could be more, it could be less)

- The application “Wally” is inspired from some project a Desmeem project. (fast is wally is not produced by Maya, and for sure the app is not "inspired" from the desem project, which is not an app btw, but a simple facebook page as far as I know).

Imagine you writing a review about a campaign and stating wrong information and stats. or for example, Imagine someone writing an article and saying "Tarek Chemaly blog is a copycat and he got inspired from . That's how he started his blog"

At least state facts when writing about someone.

Finally, I do not understand your logic man. You say "at least within the blogging community - we should stick together" and you say that you don't need more hate inside the community. Then how can you accept negative posts about a follow blogger in the community?


Tarek Chemaly said...

The "stop weeping man" shows you kind of missed the point... I am not crying over how blogging evolved of didn't. I am saying a lot of bloggers - by their own admission - have decreased their blogging. Which makes those who are STILL blogging only rarer... So from those who are still there, why do we fight? Why are we on each other's throat for any comment being articulated?...
You know what? If everyone wants to articulate complex thoughts in 140 characters or less, it's their privilege, I am STILL a news maker as opposed to news consumer (you CANNOT create news on twitter and that is a fact, any news has to be linked to someone writing full sentences)...
In addition, I already emphasized that I am not taking sides, all I am saying is the dispute could have been handled way differently instead of going through the backlash that happened.
Oh and by the way, why hasn't anyone commented on the ethical considerations of defending Maya who was part of the jury of the Social Media Awards by two award winners? Wouldn't this make Maya a biased jury member who awarded her friends the top prizes? (I KNOW this is not true, but then again, everyone is throwing hypotheses left and and right about Brofessional Review being paid to write comments, so add this to the melee!).

Sareen said...

I really hope people would continue to blog and continue to express themselves. We as Lebanese have so much to give and as you stated above, I hope we don't turn on each other either. I try to make it a point never to stop posting a comic every Monday.

Keep posting Tarek!

Tarek Chemaly said...

Your ink is NEVER on the side Sareen, it is always the main dish! You are a gem! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tarek,

I don't know what the future of blogging will be. Is it something like twitter? I have no idea. Time will tell.

To answer your last question. The answer is NO. The article was posted after the SMA, and what you are supposing couldn't happen unless time travel is possible.

Fact is, BR, a bunch of students with no professional experience wrote an article full of wrong "facts" attacking a fellow blogger. Why they did it? out of Jealousy, and SMA of course.

You did not answer my question. I wrote

"Finally, I do not understand your logic man. You say "at least within the blogging community - we should stick together" and you say that you don't need more hate inside the community. Then how can you accept negative posts about a follow blogger in the community?"

Tarek Chemaly said...

Please read my newer post.

Anonymous said...

"hate" and "negative posts" are different things.

Community Manager said...

Communities killed the community !

There was once a time where the online blogging community, twitter community all knew each other. As community "groups" emerged, the core was split, the spirit was killed and the community dissappeared.