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On Being a blogger

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written for the APC blog

Nothing drives home the fact that you are a geek more than realizing you feel more comfortable talking to the intellectual property lawyer than to all these perfectly normal human journalists.

Yeah I got stuck in this media conference and it's like it's designed to intimidate me, from the selfish people who won't give you a ride from the airport to the formal functions.

But the worst part is explaining why you are here: "Erm, you see, I'm a blogger!".

What the hell does that mean? it's not a job, it's not an identity, and it shouldn't be treated as something soooo exciting.

I do have a blog (a much overrated one at that). It has become an important part of my life, but so is email. I don't walk around calling myself an emailer do I? And I don't get invited to conferences just because I send a lot of emails.

And it's not even true, I'm not here because I'm a blogger as such, I'm here to tell a story of activism (but hey, saying I'm an activist is even worse. It makes you sound like part of a chemical process or something).

So I'm here because I happen to use technology while participating in political activities, fascinating.

And since this is a new kind of media I'm supposed to fit in a media conference (but the fact that was most comfortable talking to the lawyer should be a good indicator of how fitting I was eh).

But if I'm media why are journalists interviewing me, I mean, why are bloggers the news, if we are making the news why are we news? Do print journalists write articles about radio journalists and vice versa? Maybe they did, back in Marconi's days or something (they do tend to write about Al Jazeera a lot).

And the worst part is these interviews always start with "why did you start blogging?" which is really a stupid question. And they never ask "why did you continue blogging?" which is the real question they should be asking (at the moment at least, since it will become a stupid question soon).

People need to get over their tech fetish. I'm very excited about the possibilities brought by new decentralized technologies like blogging, wikis, mobile phones, I'm happy using the buzz word de jour (WEB 2.0 and all that jazz). but the story isn't about the techs themselves, it's about how people are using them (actually mobile phones are a great example, I don't think the people behind the initial technology or business models had any idea how they'll be used now. Mobile phone cameras are an extremely stupid idea until you realize that photos of torture from Egyptian police stations and Abu ghareeb would never have leaked otherwise.)

These conferences sometimes feel like that scene in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. What use is the answer if we don't understand the question?

So next time someone asks me why I'm here, I'll just say 42.

Comments

7elwa 7ettet an e-mailer dee ya Alaa.

Completely agree with you, nowadays is quite difficult to explain someone that you write a blog and this is an important part of your life. Maybe in a few years they will understand what does this mean.

that was so funny man.ha..ha.ha........by the way why did you argue with the police officers last monday....

he refused to let me go home that's why.

I think the reason they still ask that question is that they're not as familiar with blogs as you and other bloggers are. You've already gotten over the fact that blogs exist and that they're fscinating bla bla. But to most people who don't blog or read blogs that much, it's still a fairly new thing.

This kind of thing probably falls into the new media category but i think soon enough people will get over it and start asking quetions about the content of blogs as opposed to just the existence of the blog.

Eh ya 3am Alaa dah? an emailer marra wa7da

your blog is not overrated by any means

it's got it all, politics, fun posts, personal posts, music.

it's the only place where i managed to find the aneekak.com stuff after they shut it down

thanks man, and good to see the fame didn't get to your head

K

He alian :) a very intelligent text

Until about a year ago I had no idea what blogging is! My son started his own blog and called me to tell me to log on and see his blog.... I said "what?" I thought he was using a curse word or something like that. Gradually I got to know what a blog is--in the simplest form--but still could not understand its meaning, impact, power, etc.... I logged on and created a blog site, but did not do anything with it for a long while.

This June, I was inspired to begin blogging but had no idea where it would take me! Gradually this became an enormous task--enjoyable though--and finally arrived at understanding what blogging is all about.

All what I had said above points to one conclusion: one cannot know what blogging is until one does it...obviously, this is also true for everything we do...you cannot become a swimmer by reading about how to swim...you need to get into the water and learn....

Cheers to all!

nice article!

Great article!, Thanks

Hello !! Thanks a lot for the article. Where can I find more info of this ?

Agains Thanks..Bye

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