Friday, August 12, 2005
speaking my peace
Browsing through Petaling Street the other day, I spotted a ping entitled 'My Cock'. Nothing unusual, I thought. Lots of people title their articles with so called interesting titles to attract free clicks. Labels: blogs
Right in front of me, a dick was staring back at my face. Complete with pubes and veins. There wasn't a story to it or anything, just a picture of the dick and a one line caption below it. That's it. Not a piece of literature, or an expression of his feelings....just a dick, nothing less.
According to the website, Project Petaling Street's first objective is to :
"Create and sustain an interest and awareness in blogging among Malaysians of all ages and races."
I would say that they excelled in creating an interest and awareness. They triumphed, and as a Malaysian blog portal, they are peerless. With all the publicity in the press on blogs, suddenly everybody wants to be a blogger. Suddenly everybody reads blogs, because that is the IN thing to do.
When that happens, when people start doing things to follow the herd, things get messed up. That's because when you doing something without having a passion for it, it ultimately leads to a badly done job. And that is what we are left with these days - heaps and heaps of junk floating around in cyberspace passing themselves off as a member of the 'elite' blogging community.
Now, I am not one to tell you what you should or should not blog about. That's up for you to decide whether or not you, as the blogger are doing it because you have a passion for writting, or because you are doing it because all your friends are doing it. So you choose. You can put a picture of a dick on your blog, or write nonsensical movie reviews....I don't really care. Its your blog, you make the rules.
My beef lies elsewhere.
We are frequently told, especially those femes people, that with power (and fame) comes great responsibility. And if that is true, then I believe PPS now has a new responsibility. With all its publicity, it has become a hub for Malaysian blogs in the eyes of the Malaysian public, and indeed, the rest of the world. Because of that, like it or not, it mirrors the quality of Malaysian blogs.
But having a free-ping system, where users can post nonsensical ramblings and utterly ridiculous blogs for the sole purpose of starting flame wars, is clearly not the way to go. I can't speak for other people, but can't help to notice that a lot of good bloggers have stopped pinging PPS for a while now. Doesn't take much to figure out why, but whatever is left is sometimes so mediocre that it paints a sad and sorry picture of Malaysian blogs - a picture that is inaccurate to every extent.
The number of quality of Malaysian blogs has been stagnant. It has been as it was last year. As per the objective of PPS, we have already created an interest and awareness of blogs in the public's eyes. Time to sustain that interest then. With the current sorry state of affairs, that is not going to be possible.
This is why we need to identify good and quality posts and showcase those posts to the public. Only an elitist system would work. Keep the free pings system, if you please. But there has to be some moderation required. We need a group of people to moderate great articles, and post them for everybody to read. We need to have a portal with great articles which EVERYBODY can appreciate and aim to emulate.
You want people to read your blog but its not good enough to be showcased? Too damn bad.
Improve your writting first.
Then we all have to improve. Everybody wins.
swifty : Er, yes, I believe I was aware of that.
I was like 'What the-!"
kenny : Its been bugging me for ages already.
metal : Addiction is good, no?
Vincent: Ah, thanks, I'm honoured.
PPS can almost be viewed as the antithesis of the all-so-familiar Malaysian way of life, the 'censor-and-hide-what-we-don't-like' practice. If it does start to moderate pings, wouldn't this be a contradiction in itself?
Perhaps PPS could choose a selected few who are worthy enough and 'upgrade' them to a special section, inviting visitors to view these instead of the trashy nonsense that seems to flood PPS nowadays..