I Respectfully Request For: Yet Another Blogger's Manifesto
Hey, a call for a manifesto! Sounds like fun; I think I’ll do one!
The Malaysian blogging community is, while not very large, very active and quite diverse. You get all sorts of people, from generally one walk of life—the well-educated English-speaking people who can afford semi-regular access to the Internet1.
Anyway, as a Malaysian blogger and well-known small fish, here’s my manifesto. Feel free to steal and modify it; I’m releasing it to the public domain.
I Respectfully Request For…
The Freedom of Speech and Consequence.
Anyone and everyone has something important to say, at the very least in his eyes. While being allowed to speak whatever and whenever is one facet for this, so is the right for other people to slap you in the face for being an ass.
The Right To Control Our Medium.
What about those bastards in those comments, then? Should we just empower them to spew their hate-filled vitriol, or worse still, their advertisements for Viagra and casinos?
No. Emphatically so. While the space you own on your blog may be free, it doesn’t give others the right to come in and shit on your lawn. If we want to screen comments, let us screen comments. If we want to use CAPTCHAs in our comments system, inconveniencing others and spammers, well, I guess we’ll have them whether you like it or not. If we want to have no comments in our blogs, then no comments it is. Stop whining.
The Right To Perspective And Humility.
We aren’t new newest and greatest experiment in journalism and democracy. We’re not even real journalists. Big Media is not, despite all appearances, all-evil and should be replaced by a cadre of a bloggers.
Don’t be stupid. We’re poorer, less accountable and not at all edited. EPIC 2014 will never happen, because there is a market for reputable, vetted news. There will always be a market for somewhat trustworthy bastards. And no, we’re not even near trustworthy. If that pisses you off, at least know that we're quite good at being bastards.
We’d like to be judged at this standard, please. Please stop looking at us like we’re the new Nanyang Siang Pau. The people in Nanyang Siang Pau get paid to do more shit than we’d ever bother doing3.
The Freedom of Diversity.
No, I don’t mean diversity of opinion, or language, or culture. We’re very diverse, opinion, language or culture-wise. That’s not the problem.
Diversity in medium is our problem.
Face it. When you’re a blogger, you tend to be:
- A journoblog, scavenging news link and providing commentary, or not.
- A personal blog, all ranting and opinion and precious little else.
- A mix of all three.
It’s the size of “Other” that’s so bothersome. Funny enough, a lot of it can be pretty brilliant.
Shame there’s so little of it.
1 Yes, I think so. Name me one who isn’t well-educated, rich enough to afford Internet access or fairly proficient English2
2 Well, okay, maybe not the last one.
3 Unless you’re Jeff Ooi. Come to think of it, where does he get all that free time anyway?
Addendum (2:33 PM KL Time): After a string of rather suspect comments, have decided to test that whole CAPTCHA system. I wonder how well it works. Apologies for those inconvenienced!