Hoder on 'Starting a Local Blogosphere' (via Joho the Blog)

Compare Hoder’s advice (via [VBB] BridgeBlogging, an eventblog entry by David Weinberger over at the weblog of the journal of the hyperlinked organization, aka JOHO the blog) to the things Dave Pollard has been doing right here in the Salon community at his How to Save the World blog:


You can only start a blogosphere in the local language. So, I wrote a simple step-by-step guide in Persian. I even included instructions on how to copy and paste using your mouse. A month later, we had 100 Persian weblogs, the number I thought we’d have in a year. [I’ve turned his narrative into a bulleted list.]

I made templates that were widely used.

At the same time, I was trying to keep my blogroll uptodate because at the beginning there has to be a place where people can find other blogs. Competition developed to see who had the most visitors. And it’s important to support the new bloggers; if you don’t promote them, link to them, introduce them, they’ll die in a few days.

Also, people need tech help understanding things like trackbacks and RSS.

Then get some local celebrities to blog. Keep up with technical innovation.

Encourage developers to create local language apps.

Hoder is coming to think that blogs shouldn’t be hosted in local countries if the regimes are repressive.

He says that the social ground must be ready forit to take off; the steps in another country might not work. His hypothesis is that the value change that happened among the young in Iran made it easier. Blogging is hip in Iran. It shows how self-expressive and tolerant the new generation has become. A sense of individuality is very important if blogging is going to take off.

India-Pakistan Blog (Dialog Now): The people who write there, mainly older people, don’t have their own blogs. In some cultures, some people are more comfortable in a shared social space.

Ory says that the blogging community in Kenya is very small. She’s returning in a couple of weeks and isn’t sure she can give a successful “pitch” about why Kenyans should blog. Most are not comfortable with this form of individualistic Web presence. She’s going to encourage more group blogging, like virtual insanity. The media is pretty open in Kenya, so that doesn’t provide a spark for bloggers.