Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A plug for Riverbend

Many dedicated cyber-travelers will be familiar with Riverbend’s blog, Baghdad Burning ("Girl Blog from Iraq... let's talk war, politics and occupation"). In case you’re not, go read. Trawl the archives at great length, it’s worth it.

(Why am I doing this? Well, firstly because I always feel a little dirty inside after posting an anti-PR rant, and so feel the need to atone. Secondly, because I’m soon going to have a fortnightly column with blog reviews, and Baghdad Burning will be among the first sites to feature in it. The first column appears in one of our paper’s supplements on July 11, I think. Blog reviews - phew, that means some serious online reading. As if there isn't enough to do offline.)


  1. hi jai,

    i’m new to blogging, but am already impressed by the potential of blogs.

    especially when the mainstream media is either disinterested to take up issues, or the conditions are just not conducive – say, the tsunami or the nepal emergency…

    i think amit verma’s blogs on the tsunami were among the best of the genre -- which prove that they do serve a social cause.
    so was the case, i think, with, by far the best avb commentary on the state of affairs in the media world.

    the net being the most democratic medium yet, blogs probably wd be one the most powerful media in the days to come, and it’s only a matter of time before you have advertisers vying with each other to team up with bloggers.

    so far so good.

    what, however, frightens me is that in not too distant future, interpersonal interactions may be replaced by interactions in the cyberia. just imagine a father getting to know abt his children's’s shenanigans thru the latter’s bolg….

    reading a report on the alva brothers the other day – in ur paper? – i got really scared: they communicate with each other on creativity et al …thru sms…and they work in the same office!

    what r we coming to !? imagine all human instincts being prisoners of technology… in fact, toffler had prophesied this long back – the "third wave of communications", but mate, human beings would surely no longer be human beings, right?

    when the cyberia brims with blogs, wd “love at first sight” be a phenomenon known to belong to the archaic times?

    wd the grandmothers still sing lullabies to tiny tots?

    wd children still go out and dance in the rains …?

  2. Hi,
    yes, Amit's Tsunami sub-blog is on my list of to-be-reviewed sites.

    Regarding your concerns: well, those have been voiced ever since the advent of the Internet, haven't they? And before that, the advent of cable TV, and before that home video and before that television. (Before that, I know not: I wasn't around!) It's the old argument - technology making things simpler for human beings, and in the process also making it simpler not to be human.

    I know of family members SMS-ing each other from different rooms in the same house! Guess we are prisoners in our own Cyberias to an extent - I often feel that way, even though I try to meet blog-pals in the real world whenever possible.

  3. The amount of technology at our disposal to communicate is simply mind-boggling these days. I don't know what to think about this whole breakdown-of-communication argument -- it seems to me sometimes that we communicate a bit too much. We have to know each minute of each day what our friends/family are doing -- through phone calls, sms, blogs, e-mails... why on earth do we need to know all this and what did we do in the era when we couldn't?

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  5. hi TMM,

    i'm the first anonyms here.

    point taken...but, despite all this, there's something call the "lonely-crowd-phenomenon".

    u have all this at ur disposal...yet u have few ppl around to fall back upon...

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  8. Tsk tsk tsk. Comments that are completely unrelated to the post shall be deleted (especially when the same comment has already been posted with the relevant post anyway).

  9. Baghdad Burning is most certainly a blog people should know about and read. I'm glad that you are writing about it!