Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blogging..The New Media

Yesterday a student of Journalism from UiTM who is also a Blogger interviewed me on Blogging. I have written many times on the subject of blogging especially in the contact of the Malaysian society. This is one of such article which was first posted in this blog in November 2007. I have revised it and since it is as relevant as ever, am posting it here again.

A lad, a university student still in his teen from the generation of my grandchildren while on a holiday recently watches me on TV. He is among the millions who watch that Talk Show on TV9 that day. Most I believe just watch it as another entertainment program but some do listen to it attentively and one of the people is this lad. After watching it he wrote to me and said that my talks do open his mind toward what blogging is all about. Before that he has totally different views of what blogging is. He thanks me and says that he like what he saw and heard and he might start blogging. I replied thanking him for been so sincere and told him that he should try blogging. And guess what! He did just that. And I believe some of you have already visited his Blog and found him to be a resourceful person for his age. He is now a Medical Student at the International Islamic University at its Kuantan campus. I am indeed glad that at least another young Malaysian have start blogging and this add to the thousands that are already enjoy blogging and by doing that contributing contents to the Internet. Remember by blogging you activate your thinking cap and for the young it would open up their minds and start to think outside the box. Student would be more knowledgeable and resourcefully and this would made them easily marketable after graduation. We should remember that when we share information we also get to learn more from the feedback. Knowledge is like that, the more we talk about it the richer our knowledge would be. Interaction of knowledge between more people makes the knowledge richer and more useful.

Science and technology are changing our world very fast indeed. Television and the Computer are in the process of converging into one. Because of this blogging is going to be a very powerful tool, more powerful than the present media like the Radio, TV and the Newspaper. Together with You Tube I believe it would become an alternative if not competitive media with the old media as the means of spreading news to the masses. But some in our society has yet to come to grasp with this new media, a media where the people would be the sources of future news. Just imagine there are Newspapers or Radio station or TV station in every corner of the country where individual are the owner, the producer, the editor of the program that are accessible all over the country and the world. That is what Blogging and You Tubing are going to be in the near future. Soon Blogs would spreads all over the country. All these Blogs would be the source of firsthand news that you would get on your laptop or your Smart Phone all days long. That scenario is not an impossibility but would be a reality once the masses get to understand of what the New Media is all about. And how it could change the society and fast-forward reform to the Malaysian society, thus change the Malaysian mindset into a global thinker.

It is somewhat a reality in the west, where politician and businessman are using blogging to reach the masses and it is working well. But sad to say some of ours are still in the dark of what blogging, You tube, Facebook, Twitter are. They have not really understood the philosophy of the new tools as yet. I hope that they wake up fast to the reality of what the Internet and the New Media could do to improve the quality of the civil society in this country, where accountability and transparency would be the norms. A society that is as democratic as never before, where the power of dissemination information is in their hands rather in the few. The New Media like Blogging, You Tube, Facebook and Twitter. The future is here already.

What a coincidence that I found this book ' We're All Journalists Now' by Scott Gant' and reading through it found that my thoughts on this subject are in tune with what this author wrote. I have just gone through the book on my first reading and have to do a second reading before I could digest all the thoughts and ideas that have been put so brilliantly by this author. For now let me summarize that it is a godsend book for our time especially so for Malaysian where blogging are beginning to made it impact on the socio political scenario. Before Blogging news has always been a one sided affairs, what the Publishers want us to know and that its. And because in Malaysia you need a license to start a Newspaper, only a few got it, thus the limited number of Newspapers in the country. But with Blogging, the citizen journalists have open up the Pandora box on the flows of news. Now the information and ideas comes from the people as well. The status quo has changed. The flood gates of news has been open by blogger and there are no ways of stopping, except with the truth. It is a fair game now; the playing field is getting even day by day. Those who refused to accept these facts would surely be swept by the new waves. The new Media, Blogging or Citizen Journalism [Citizen Journalism is a term use by the author Scott Gant].

On further reading this book, although the contents are of the American socio political/cultural scene, I found that there is so much in common with our ideal. That is the need to have free flows of information and ideas especially from the ordinary folks. In the past it was not possible to do that but blogging has made the flows of information and ideas; to quote the author "a Marketplace of Ideas, which provides the best chance for uncovering truth" possible.

Another aspect that I found to be in agreement with the author is that Journalism should be part and parcel of good governance. In the past government has always been referred as the sharing of power between the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary only. The author has pointed that the role of Journalism especially Citizen Journalism could made government more accountable and transparent. So a good government in a democracy should be the sharing of power that includes Journalism, first dubbed as the Fourth Branch by another author Douglass Cater in 1959. Thus the four branches should now be The Executive, The Legislative, the Judiciary, and the Journalists. With the element of Journalism in it, it would surely create good governance for any country and in turn would be good for its citizen.

Folks the old media would still be there and as usual with things it would evolve in its own ways. Citizen Journalism would play its role and evolve as it goes. Changing the ways we get news. Quote from the book “The days of the mainstream media as the "voice of God" are over, declared Dean Wright, a vice president at Reuters". I believe it is so and I am not dreaming but just been an optimist. There are already thousand of Malaysian blogs that provide posting on various issues and soon there would be more and more. The few socio political blogs has already made an impact on the political scene of the country. I believe that in the not too distance future there would be blogs in every corners of the country; it sure going to change the way of how we get information. Even now in this country people look to the Internet/Blog/Facebook first to get the latest news of the happening, especially so on the socio political scene of the country. In such a short span of time Blogging has already made its impact. It is already a challenge to the old media and it is only a mater of time that it would supplement the old media for our source of Information and Ideas.

Have a nice day.


~CovertOperations78~ said...

Salam, Pak Idrus! You are a worthy subject for an interview, indeed. I read the article in the papers, the one that reported that blogging is on the wane now, while instant microblogging applications such as Twitter are on the rise. Well, my take is that Twitter provides no opportunity for being articulate, coherent and considerate of your readers. It's mostly self-indulgent: "I'm doing this now", "I did this today" etc. Communication is less 2-way than with blogging and there is less opportunity for sharing and for imparting knowledge. Your blog does both very well.

Unknown said...

I take notice of your choice and commitment to be a regular blogger. What with your pleasant house as setting, photography as useful aid and years of life experience and other varied interests,you've certainly carved an enviable niche in your life.

Pak Idrus said...

~Covert_Operations'78~, Ee Lynn thanks for the visit and the good words on my kind of blogging.

Well I enjoy blogging and it does kept my thinking faculty active. At the same time it is a mean of sharing my thoughts with the world.

Blog is a New Media that has changed the way folks share their thoughts. Before that there are no way we could published our thoughts other than writing a book but with blogging it is as easy as ABC and the readers are the whole wide world.

Like I have narrated in this article the way folks disseminate information has changed completely and to me it is good for democracy. As for the other social network sites like Facebook and twitter, both are not the same. In blogging like you said we get to articulate our thoughts better than we could in Facebook. And unlike Facebook, blog posting became an Internet contents and are been read all the time when one Search for information and Ideas. Facebook to me is good for discussion and it just end there. As for Twitter, it is just an extension of the SMS that we use in our cell phone.

So as you can see all these tools have difference uses and as for me Blogging give me more satisfaction than Facebook or Twitter. Personally I do not think blogging would wane but instead would continue to increase in number as we move forward.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Zaharan Razak, thanks for the visit and the good words on me and my humble abode, especially of the blogger's world aspect of my life.

Yes, I love to blog and as you know it kept our mental faculty active, thus kept us healthy as well.

Before the New Media, it was just a dream to write and now that it is there, I just took the opportunity to write and share my thoughts with the world. I am enjoying it and I believe others who visited my blog enjoyed it too.

As you most probably know that I do made friends through blogging and that includes you Sir. It was indeed great to get to know You who have a mind of you own and we seem to think alike.

I shall continue to blog and enjoy it. I have always believe that one must enjoy what one does, like you and the Bicycles. BTW how is the house coming!.

Have a nice day and take care.

louis said...

Hi Idrus,

Co'78's articulation of the differences between blogging and Twitter and Facebook and your response form an excellent discussion of those media.

I would like to add to her and your remarks about the reported "waning" of blogging. It's not so much a waning as a shaking out: the bloggers who, as Ee Lynne says, are not articulate or coherent will gravitate to the less demanding Twitter, etc and give up blogging. That would eliminate a lot of the gibberish with which such writers clog the blogosphere.

Pak Idrus said...

Louis, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting especially of Blogging.

Agreed with you that the dropping of poorly conceived or managed blog is actually good for the blogsphere. In a way it is good for its development, after all it is a totally a new media. As a new media it has to be experiment with first. Some folks took to it just to try it and found it is not that easy to keep blogging and gave up. Only those who are really interested to share their thoughts would continue to blog. To me I love to share my thoughts. It does not matter whether there are visitors to my blog or not. The mere posting of an article already made my day.

I have both Blog, Facebook and Twitter and to me one cannot compare these media. Blog is totally different from Facebook and Twitter in that one could articulate at length on any subject and once a posting is made it would be there all the time unlike Facebook and twitter, after awhile the posting would be left to lapsed and I do not think others would continue to look for that posting. In blogging if one Search for information the chance is that that article would be found even it has been posted years ago.

When I registered at Facebook and Twitter I decided to continue to blog regularly, at least two articles a week and as for Facebook I would share my thoughts whenever I felt like doing it since it does not need much preparation unlike in blogging where one have to draft and edit long article in order to satisfied oneself that the article is worth posting. Whereas in Facebook, one just post a simple thought and that might generate discussion. And most of the time the discussion is short live. As for Twitter to me it is just an extension of the SMS that we folks use in sending message using the cell phone.

Well, thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this issue. Take care.

Extreme Power said...

Very good blog indeed. Many can learn from your positive work. Well done. Syabas!

Pak Idrus said...

Extreme Power, thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting.

Have a nice day.