Is Blogging A First-World Activity?

Filed as News on May 21, 2007 10:43 pm

Jennifer Jacquet over at Science Blogs recently spent some time in the Galapagos, and as a relatively new blogger began to wonder: Is blogging an activity that can only be found in first-world countries?

Is it lack of access?  Not so, she mentions, as net cafe’s exist (although the access is s-l-o-w).

But it does raise some interesting issues, as to whether or not cultural mores have prevented the proliferation of blogging, or whether it lacks a champion for this kind of medium in developing areas, or whether the part of youth culture that may have adopted it has moved past it and glommed onto — or are ‘blogging’ — within social networks.

While citizens of first world countries, as a whole, have the benefit of better educations, one would think that in areas of the world with conflict, poverty, or oppression, having a powerful tool to find and express that voice might be attractive.

Or it might not.

What do you think?


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  1. By Luis Cruz posted on May 22, 2007 at 9:00 am
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    I beg to differ. Take the Philippines. It is definitely NOT First World, but the blogging scene is pretty active.

  2. By Tony Hung posted on May 22, 2007 at 10:21 am
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    Hey Luis,

    Here’s a question for you (since I’m well aware of Philipino bloggers, and indeed the asst. editor here is a Philipino blogger): do you think the Philippines is an anomaly in this regard?

  3. By Tanner Godarzi posted on May 22, 2007 at 2:13 pm
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    I think Blogging all comes to down to motivation and not having limited access to an internet connection or computer. If you are truly motivated you’ll overcome this obstacle and just Blog your heart out.

  4. By Rob O. posted on May 22, 2007 at 4:51 pm
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    I’m not so sure it’s even a correct assumption that first-world citizens are better educated. Sure, there may be a greater opportunity or potential, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being applied.

    And it could be a mistake to equate technological advancement with social or educational potential. As I believe we’ll come to see with MIT’s OLPC pipe dream, technology doesn’t magically create a more efficient learning environment for children — in fact, it could pose a barrier to kids learning to think creatively & solve problems.

    All that said, I wonder if third-world blogging is more prolific than we might think, but we’re unaware or unexposed to it due to language barriers?

  5. By Tony Hung posted on May 22, 2007 at 5:06 pm
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    All great points Rob O — re: education, which is why I waffled with the phrase “as a whole”, but perhaps you could quantify it with literacy rates

    I also thought about your point about educational potential before I wrote the article, but as in the MIT laptop project, technology can get people talking and interested, which, while its not a complete solution, is a big step in the right direction.

    And as for language issues — you’re right, it might also play into things, but then again, so might social networks that incorporate blogging elements into it. Technorati says that Japanese is a more common language than English in the blogs it tracks — but then again, if Japan isn’t a first world country, what is?

    The point of the post was to stir up some conversation, so glad you’re taking part, Rob. ;)