Raise Your Voice, Have a Blog!


I only started blogging last summer, at first I published blog posts of “poetry” I wrote, as I got good feedback I continued to post more! Feedback included notes that I should post more about society related issues; this is when I started a series on the blog named “Stories of a Lebanese Living” where I write about things that I experience.

I got to know about blogging from social media networks (facebook, twitter, trumbler…) where bloggers usually trend their new blog-posts by tweeting them, or sharing them on facebook, later on I started to get a grip of social media myself, and used the same methods to share my posts.

A blog is a type of websites that is meant to share a personal point of view, campaign for a cause, or trend a certain subject. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual, or a group of people, depending on the theme, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

The word “blog” is a blend of the term web log. The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger, while the short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com and so it continued!

There are many domains that offer people start their own blogs, most common are “wordpress” and “blogspot”. A blog can be free, or hosted. The difference lies in the quality of the service and the options within the blogging administration panel and the tools it offers. While hosted blogs is a paid service and includes personalizing the domain name of the blog, free blogs appear on subdomains; but hosted wordpress the links are free of the .wordpress.com links. A hosted blog can cost up to $ 400 per year.

Blogs fall under so many categories, and they are recently categorized into two main categories, CyberActivism blogs (Those who blog for activism and a cause) and the General blogs which is more broad spectrum covering a wide variety of issues that are not related to activism, lobbying, or advocacy, General bloggers usually blog about technology, arts, music, poetry and other stuff. Whereas cyber activists mainly blog about politics, society, and human rights. They blog for change and reform in their countries or seek to trend or highlight a certain issue, there is something common between all blogs, it is less formal (even in company blogs) and it is manifested by people sharing their own point of view.

In Lebanon, while General Bloggers face almost no problem at all (except poor internet connection) as they do not come into a confrontation with the system, they do not tackle sensitive issues whether economic, social, or political; Cyber activists suffered and are still suffering from the lack of freedom in speech in Lebanon, and from other security issues in times where crackdown on liberties by the authorities comes to a peak, which pushes them to go on protests and even hunger strikes (as reported by the international campaigning organization Cyberdissidents.org). The latest hunger strike related to blogging and freedom of expression in Lebanon was when 4 Lebanese activists closed down their blogs for 3 days replacing their main pages with a plain blank page titled “Mourning Liberties in Lebanon”. The Lebanese Anti racism movement is another example of using a blog to campaign for a cause, in their case it is fighting racism and highlighting human rights violations in Lebanon against domestic workers.

Blogging is also considered a way to comment on hot topics on the Lebanese political scene, bloggers mainly blog about what they face and interact with in their daily life. It’s a way to express one’s self and share their point of view. Yet the main reason is that blogs and bloggers grew to become a form of Citizen Journalism, providing feeds from a citizen to a citizen, creating a peer connection away from the biased traditional media coverage, passionate bloggers go as far as investigating and digging into stories.

A recent project by the League of Lebanese bloggers was “Lebbloggers.org” the aim of the project was to provide coverage of the recent municipal elections using new media and social networks to provide an alternative source of information for fellow citizens. Bloggers had their cameras, their computers, and mobiles, and went to voting ballots and took photos and videos of what was going on to publish them for all people to see.

CyberActivist bloggers now know that they are a “task force” and community mobilizers, they use their resources, skills, internet and the latest in technology to bring about change, reform, and publicize values of respecting diversity in the Lebanese pluralistic society, involving everybody in the process of change towards interactive citizenship. As the revolutions in Egypt (Jan25) and in Tunisia (sidibouzid) and other countries succeeded because they were activated, motivated, covered, and controlled by activists worldwide via blogs and social media, Lebanese activists now try to do campaigns like: “No for Sectarianism”, “No for Sexual Harassment”; and lately, LBC Group and Impact BBDO set the initiative “Cheyef 7alak?” online to shed light on the corruption of Lebanese citizens, which is having so much success.

So raise your voice, and have a blog.




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