12 April 2007

Neither death nor dearth of blogging

The Age has recently run some interesting reports about blogging.

At the weekend Dan Silkstone's piece "The blogs that ate cyberspace" went into some detail to pooh-pooh the notion that blogging is dying or declining. This is worth reading in full, not necessarily because I agree with everything he says but because it touches upon some important questions, eg why do people blog? and, closer to the bone, "are many bloggers deluded when they think their lives are interesting or worthy of recording?" I'll take both these questions on notice for now, even though I'm tempted to reply "so what" to the second.

Silkstone's piece draws upon another
report published on Friday which claims that at latest count there are 72 million blogs (not all of which are active of course) . Japanese (37% of all blogs) has overtaken English (36%) as the most popular blogging language, with Chinese (8%) in third place but expected to close the gap.

Other reports mention an alliance formed by Malaysian bloggers to resist what they see as suggestions by their government that bloggers should be required to register or otherwise subjected to limitations on their freedom of expression.

And yesterday once again Dan Silkstone is in print. This time he discusses proposals for a blogger code of conduct. "Sanctimonious nonsense or good idea?" asks the paper, inviting comments.

For more about Tim O'Reilly's proposals see here.

I'm not necessarily averse to a code of conduct, provided it's voluntary and that some of the terms (eg "abuse, harass, stalk or threaten") are defined so that they can't be used by individuals, organisations and governments to stifle dissent. Rather than sign up immediately (and the current proposal is only a draft for discussion) I'll wait and see what unfolds.

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