Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Arab blogging on the rise

Over the past few weeks, I've been studying the Arab blogging movement, and the situation proves the fact that the transfer time of new concepts in Internet communities and technologies has become very short.

I wouldn't be surprised if a new trend in the US Internet scene showed up in the Arab World within days, not even weeks.

Even here in Jordan, blogging is growing. In fact, Jordanians are active bloggers. To get a good idea on what's happening locally, visit; a site maintained by Issam Bayazidi, a pioneering Jordanian blogger and Linux enthusiast.

The blog offers links to a number of Jordanian blogs, including mine, and is an example of a vibrant interactive community.

Jordanians from inside and outside Jordan are posting news, opinions and any topic of interest.

The main difference, of course, between a 'blog post' and a news piece on a news site or portal is that readers can comment on it, then the situation becomes more like a forum.

People interested in getting a complete view of the Arab blogging movement should visit, which lists and categorizes Arab blogs by country and topic.

It's quite impressive to see the number of blogs, but more interesting to see how regularly they are updated. They are as frequently updated as the news sites of media organizations, and sometimes even report news before!

Arablogger is maintained by two very experienced, and long-term bloggers; Haitham Sabbah, a Jordanian, and Mahoumd Al Yousif, a Bahraini, both of whom live in Bahrain. They are taking on a pioneering role in cultivating this regional movement.

But the movement is self-propagating as new blogs pop-up everyday and the enthusiasm for this new form of Internet community snow-balls.

Blogs are unique because they have fused the concepts of personal web pages, with forums, with specialized portals. The result is an Internet revolution that is being closely watched by the media and marketing industries.

After all, if consumers create their own media and networks why would they want to read or view the 'official' or 'big' media like daily newspapers and TV stations?
Marketers of products and services should consider the implications of these changing media habits, in addition to the opportunities blogs create.

For example, in the US,one of the technology blogs is now a more trusted source of product reviews than the websites of computer magazines.

Surely, if such an example becomes the norm in other fields, advertisers must consider blogs as viable websites to promote their products.

We will be discussing Arab and Jordanian bloggers much more in the future, as this category of sites grows.

If you're not part of the blogging revolution yet don't worry. It's very easy to get into, but difficult to get out of! Be warned, you will be a blogger for life.


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