LEBANONESQUE

Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?


When I check my old bookmarks, and links, it’s depressing. Most of the older active Lebanese blogs have turned cold silent or are blogging at a snail’s pace.

Perpetual Refugee, Ecce Libano and Vox blogged last in December 2006.

December 2006, last entry by Raja and Doha at Lebanese Bloggers who won’t bother telling us that they are OK or why they faded.

Lazarus at Letters Apart formally shut down his blog in January 2007 (new blog now Laz?).

Charles Malik at Lebanese Political Journal, one of the most prolific Lebanese bloggers, shut down his blog, came back for a couple of posts in April and since then: nothing. In fairness, Charles posted an explanation at the time.

Lebanese Abroad last posted in December 2006. Thinkingman, the blogger there, was I believe the founder of openlebanon.org, which used to be the leading portal for Lebanese blogs. That portal has gone wacko with the updates (and my mails to them have gone unanswered).

Even the Lebanese Bloggers Forum where tens of bloggers posted (with variable quality) appears to have slowed down and seems less politically focused.

Of course, some newer blogs have entered the fray (Blacksmiths, Voices on the Wind etc), and some of the old stalwarts are alive and kicking Tony of Across-the-Bay (after a lull), Mustapha at the revamped Beirut Spring, and Abu Kais at Beirut-Beltway. Beltway is where the discussion seems to be nowadays. Keep it up fellows.

I can’t say I am surprised at this drop in activity. We all have lives, and the barrage of bad news from Lebanon atop the sheer bad faith of the players over there is just overwhelming.

Here’s hoping that we hear back from most of you, or at least drop us a line here below or on your blog to let us know you’re OK.

14 Comments:

  • At 5/15/07, 7:29 PM, Blogger Mustapha said…

    lazarus is now writing in remarkz under the name m.

    but you're right. It's weird how the energy died down.

    (PS: I wouldn't mind some discussion over at my blog too ;) )

     
  • At 5/15/07, 7:31 PM, Blogger Mustapha said…

    Seriously,
    I think the level of interest has remained the same, but the level of confusion is higher.

    I am having much more readers than my old days, but people comment much less.

    Perhaps because of the acrimony or because they're afraid of being pigeonholed into a stereotype.

     
  • At 5/15/07, 9:46 PM, Blogger Solomon2 said…

    I feel the same way, JW.

    I wonder if it's because Lebanese feel less in control of their fate then they did a year ago, so they see little point in blogging at all. Contrast this with the Egyptian example, where the country seems on the brink of exploding due to labor revolts, and the government has stepped in to keep the bloggers quiet.

    However, BeirutBeltway, Voices on the Wind, and Across the Bay are all outside Lebanon. The one bright spot from inside Lebanon is Jeha's Nail. Abu Kais' site may be the place to be, but the Nail is the one to watch, especially with Jeha's wonderful caricatures.

     
  • At 5/16/07, 7:35 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thanks Mus,

    I do think though that some have given up. I know I am near that point.

    Solomon et al: no disrespect is meant to those not mentioned in the piece.

    Jeha,, if you read this how about adding me to your blogroll?

     
  • At 5/16/07, 3:17 PM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said…

    From my perspective, I've seen a deterioration of the forum-style blogs.

    Where diversity of thought has been brought together it hasn't lasted long.

    On "Blacksmiths" we had a bit of a crisis when some contributors got into vehement discords with others. I tried to mediate but y'all can see how succesful that was :P

    Either way our readership has been constantly increasing and I feel we've been able to build a nice commenting community (Josey, Jeha, Abu K, etc...) amongst ourselves and open to the general public.

     
  • At 5/17/07, 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a returning visitor and always enjoy your analysis and comments whether on your site or as a commentator on others'.

    I am glad to see that the bloggs mentioned by Mustapha are all ones I read but your wit and sarcasam are unmatched.

     
  • At 5/17/07, 10:59 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Anon,

    Thanks for visiting and for the kind words.

    Jade,

    Yes, the political forum types have had their problems.

     
  • At 5/18/07, 9:06 AM, Blogger Jeha said…

    There may also be the "security" level; it feels the blogosphere is more closely monitored than before.

    In any case, Josey, sorry about the oversight. Done

     
  • At 5/18/07, 9:35 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thx Jeha.

     
  • At 5/18/07, 9:22 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said…

    After last summer's war, the situation in Lebanon deteriorated so fast that the bloggers got depressed. At least, that what happenned to me.

     
  • At 5/19/07, 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It sucks, because many of the retired Arab bloggers have presented the Arab world's sanest face in the west: intelligent, modern in outlook, democratic in sentiment, open-minded, decent, not always agreeing with each other or us but honest and clearly outraged by greed and evil -- 100% human.

    How many other Arabs do westerners online interact with on a frequent basis?

    If dictators, terrorists, fascist officials and government-controlled news orgs are the only voices speaking from the Arab world, well, most westerners don't trust these sources any more than you guys do. And that leaves no believable or sympathetic voices from the region at all.

    Arab dictators are their own worst enemies.

    A lot of middle eastern bloggers who focus on politics have become frustrated and depressed, and instead of diversifying into non-political areas, many have simply stopped posting. :-(

    In some countries, such as Egypt, bloggers have been threatened or jailed.

     
  • At 5/20/07, 11:42 AM, Blogger Ecce Libanus said…

    Maybe the Spring will bring with it renewed vernal energy, JW.
    My own absence, prolonged as it is, is only temporary and a result of minor health issues; no despondency and no loss of hope (as Péguy put it, "ce qui m'étonne dit Dieu, c'est l'espérence, et je n'en reviens pas!" Still reading you guys, and still with a smile and a cheer to your resilience, you JW, Mustapha, AK, Tony, and others still.
    VP, I'm glad you're okay too.

     
  • At 5/20/07, 2:56 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Anon 5/19,
    Right, the sane voices were already a minority and it's getting worse.

    Vox,
    we're all close to the edge. Hope you're back soon.

    Ecce Lou,
    Good to hear that are well and look forward to reading you.

     
  • At 5/21/07, 1:44 PM, Blogger Wil said…

    Your prayers have been answered, JW...

     

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