Jul 8, 2008

Of Blogs, Blogging, Bloggers, Bloggees, Blookers and Such (Updated with Blogger's Code of Conduct)

Internet blog or weblog gain popularity in the early 2000 and was than mostly of private logs or journals and diaries and had eventually taken on and covers over many topics of general and social interest today.

The interactive element with the ability for readers to add commentary to the subject topics has generated wide attention especially so of political blogs and in less democratic nations (like here although now beginning to slowly open up a bit) where the authoritarian regimes had control over all spectrum of the media.

Political Blogs have sprung out in dissent against state controlled media and provided an explosion of journalistic information and opinions coupled with the participatory contributions from it’s’ readers. Blogs unlike print and broadcast media are much more difficult to control and provides a platform for civil societies to reach out.

Blogs unlike print media also had the internet speed of information or news dissemination and without censorship and is up in an instance into Blogosphere. Blogosphere is the virtual community through the internet of an intertwined network of bloggers and is now a proven formidable political force. (don’t prlay prlay). The interactive elements of blogging have created a social networking of intimacy, of camaraderie. With more and more experts blogging and social organizations, institutions and political bodies using it to gauge opinions and research approaches and acceptance, blogging is now mainstream and must be of impending acceptance from governments and corporate bodies.

The owner and or authors of the blogs site are the bloggers and certain blogs site with wide appeal due to their popularity will have fans and supporters as well as detractors. Blogosphere comprises a blend of differing contributors with differing responses and there are the avid readers the “bloggees” who are passionate of their favorite sites and are great participants in their comments, opinions and ideas towards the subject matter and will march at the call in an exuberance show of their support (wonder whether my bloggee old friend will feel slighted at this remark but anyhow some good malt will easily appease haha) and there are the detractors that grew out of a love and hate relationship and are the “splogger” who is angry with the blogger and will spam their site with uncivil comments and messages and continuously stalk the site (could be some jilted lover ) with their hate messages.

Trolls (Internet Trolls) are the ones you have to watch out for and as the saying goes “Do Not Feed The Trolls” feed them at your peril as these are twisted and some are professionals from your oppositions (especially on political blogs) and are out to lure and incite emotional outburst or incite hatred and anger and especially so on the subject of politics, race and religion and I have seen quite a few on some sites recently. They are flamers and delights in inspiring discord and result in a flaming war. Trolls comes in various degrees some are just by characteristics and their nature is in cooking up some excitement and this type are generally not so damaging but they still could accidentally hit a bomb and some have been stalking the same site looking for excitement. But recently I suspected a few pro going around trying to discredit the sites or the blogging community. Beware!

(To Be Continued…….)

Part 2 (Continuation)(Updated 9th July 2008)

In one of zorro's posting i came across a blogee's comment that he said "I am compiling all the blogs/letters/etc in the web to make a book for my next generation to know the wrong doings of UMNO. And let them decide who to vote for after i die. All will be kept in a softcopy. My name is Aziz Dahalan." And i agree with zorro that it is a great idea and that the compilation will be called a "Blook" which is a book written from blogs. A popular American blogger by the name of Tucker Max who publish his blook titled "I Hope They Served Better Beer In Hell" made the New York Times best seller list for 3 years in a row from 2006 to 2008. In the year 2005 a prize for the best blog based book was initiated called the "Lulu Blooker Prize".

There are many personalities that contribute to the force of the blogs and not forgetting the shy readers that just go through all his favourite blogs everyday for the latest in news and information but he does not participate in the commentaries and these are the "blooker" but their contribution to the hits of the blog site is significant that gives the site it's muscle.

Let's now look at the pitfalls and risk of blogging; In January 2007, two prominent Malaysian political bloggers, Jeff Ooi and Ahiruddin Attan were sued by pro-government newspaper, The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, Kalimullah bin Masheerul Hassan, Hishamuddin bin Aun and Brenden John a/l John Pereira over an alleged defamation. The plaintiff was supported by the Malaysian government. Following the suit, the Malaysian government proposed to "register" all bloggers in Malaysia in order to better control parties against their interest. This is the first such legal case against bloggers in the country. The case is still pending in court.

Blogging has brought about a range of legal liabilities and defamation suits before the courts with mixed verdicts. In the USA blogger Aaron Wall was sued by Traffic Power (an internet search engine company) for defamation, the case was closely watched by the blogging community because it addressed the question of liability for comments posted on the blogs and the case was dismissed by the court for lack of personal jurisdiction.

There are political risks in authoritarian regimes who constantly seek to suppress and intimidate the political bloggers. In Singapore, two ethnic Chinese were imprisoned under the country’s anti-sedition law for posting anti-Muslim remarks in their blogs.

However, albeit the risk and pitfalls, blogging promotes civility and social interaction and creativity in the approach towards the subject in question and its growth and credibility in the fast paced world of internet technology is inevitable.

I find blogging to be quite a learning and therapeutic experience and there is a certain amount of gratification in being able to expound on a topic and to share experiences and in interacting on current events affecting the nation and people whereby a sense of being able to contribute towards the building of a civil society is attained. And most of all, I had the opportunity to share the camaraderie of the local blogging community and where malt fishing down at the wharf becomes an immeasurable pleasure of intellectual intercourse.(haha).

Finally, I would like to state the proposed “Blogger’s Code of Conduct” from Tim O’Riley as follows:

We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation. But frankness does not have to mean lack of civility. We present this Blogger Code of Conduct in hopes that it helps create a culture that encourages both personal expression and constructive conversation.
1. We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.

We are committed to the "Civility Enforced" standard: we will not post unacceptable content, and we'll delete comments that contain it.

We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that:
- is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
- is libelous, knowingly false, ad-hominem, or misrepresents another person,
- infringes upon a copyright or trademark
- violates an obligation of confidentiality
- violates the privacy of others

We define and determine what is "unacceptable content" on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to this list. If we delete a comment or link, we will say so and explain why. [We reserve the right to change these standards at any time with no notice.]

2. We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person.

3. We connect privately before we respond publicly.

When we encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in the blogosphere, we make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved--or find an intermediary who can do so--before we publish any posts or comments about the issue.

4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

When someone who is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive, we'll tell them so (privately, if possible--see above) and ask them to publicly make amends.
If those published comments could be construed as a threat, and the perpetrator doesn't withdraw them and apologize, we will cooperate with law enforcement to protect the target of the threat.

5. We do not allow anonymous comments.

We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.

6. We ignore the trolls.

We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don't veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them--"Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it." Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them.

We also decided we needed an "anything goes" badge for sites that want to warn possible commenters that they are entering a free-for-all zone. The text to accompany that badge might go something like this:

This is an open, uncensored forum. We are not responsible for the comments of any poster, and when discussions get heated, crude language, insults and other "off color" comments may be encountered. Participate in this site at your own risk.


Anonymous said...

Good definitions of blogging

Gus Gan said...

looking forward for your second part

Gus Gan said...

Hawkeye....a welcome revelation. Will get others to link to your blog.All-Blogs could consider "Code" as an invaluable guide.

Gus Gan said...

The above comments are Zorro's. He was using my computer when he commented. Hackeye great posting, now Old Ben will be known as the blooker.

Anonymous said...

This is just what we need for the bloggers.