Tuesday, July 11, 2006

End of Childhood

Since introduction of weblog and first Iranian weblog by Salman Jariri and the manual to write weblog in Farsi by Hussein Derakhshan. Many have chosen to write and to use weblogs as tribunes to express their thoughts and ideas, even a larger number of young and old writers have made it their personal online diaries.

While Mohammad Ali Abtahi uses his weblog to keep public posted on the inner circle of reformers and President Khatami, there are many who keep public updated on their shopping habits, dance parties and travels. Reporting one’s life daily events has become such a widespread habit, that even journalists such as Nikahang Kowasr use their weblogs to report on their moving, conversations and dinner plates. After awhile it becomes very boring to read about events that are somehow common in everybody’s life.

The truth is the demand for weblogs in Iran amplified initially by substitution factor. Followed by banning several papers and magazines, weblogs became a substitute to more traditional ways of expression. They provided former journalists with an opportunity to stay in touch with their audience. This somehow acceptable short run solution proved to be very inconvenient in the long run.

Many of bloggers went abroad to pursue their studies, careers or to have a different lifestyle. After losing touch with the realities of Iran’s domestic affairs, their writing became repetition of what they had already said on several occasions. It is interesting to notice that public preserved an interest in those who wrote about their experience within foreign societies or began to specialize on topics such as immigration or social sciences. Those who remained home have been more successful in connecting with their audience and keeping a wider circle informed of what is going in Iran according to Iranians, however one cannot help noticing that some of the topics debated by both domestic and abroad bloggers are of little significance to the public.

Today there is no doubt that weblogs have failed to substitute traditional channels such as daily papers. Their succes is elsewhere. They have opened a new way of communication and keep a larger number of people connected with each other and each other’s intellectual evolution. They also provide them by an easy and inexpensive way of communicating their ideas and experience. It would be wrong to assume that the era of blogging is over but for its childhood.

Those who continue to write out of narcissism will find themselves trapped in a small world very soon. But those who use this medium to talk and to present ideas or to offer solutions are already facing a growing audience. There is no wonder that some Iranian economists believing in sustainable development and choice have recently launched a website of their own.

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