Stories about blogosphere

Don’t tell me to ‘stop being negative’ about Pakistani affairs

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been mocked for raging on the blogosphere about Pakistani matters. And many like myself have been repeatedly prescribed a ‘positive attitude’. These patronising suggestions need to stop. One of the leading complaints against liberal writers and media outlets is that they allegedly ‘focus on the negativity’ and fail to provide sufficient coverage to the saccharine, more palatable details of our country. Such ‘positivity’ is the staple diet of nationalists who are easily irked by information of our national imperfection and the blessed opium of the ignoramuses who cannot conceive the astronomical depths to ...

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Diary of a frequent Indian ET blogs commenter

Dear Readers, The regulars here know me by my pseudonym ‘Nandita’. The head of the blogs desk has asked me to write a piece about my experiences of commenting on this page for the last couple of years. This is an attempt to enumerate the multiple reasons that compel me to visit The Express Tribune blogs on a regular basis. I started frequenting this site sometime in 2010. I had moved to a new city (yet again!) and I found myself in an unfamiliar environment with little to keep me engaged after office hours. I’d spend the evenings reading books or articles/blogs on the internet while ...

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Who is @FarrukhSiddiqui ?

An event manager, with over 28,000 followers, Farrukh Siddiqui is not new to the Twittersphere. He is one of a few Pakistanis who command such a huge following in this form of social media, and is often seen making use of it to further causes deserving attention as well as to patriotism. It may not mean a lot to some people but his immense following grants him power to propagate ideas, and discourse far beyond a normal social media user. Here are his answers to the questions we asked him. 1) Why did you join Twitter? I really joined twitter accidentally; one of ...

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Who is @Tazeen Javed?

Tazeen Javed is what you call an experiment junkie. She is game for everything which she has not done before; she has worked at a gay bar and tinkered with a grenade (with its pin out!) because she had to get it under her belt. However along the way, she has managed to get some expertise in the field of communications and that’s how she earns her living. She also writes for various newspapers and news weeklies. Why did you join Twitter? Because you asked me to. Really, you said that I should join twitter to spread the word about my blog ...

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The effects of the social media

The ongoing debate regarding the impact of social media is part of a greater construct in relation to the progression of democratic systems across the world. It cannot be denied that social media has played a unique role in gathering people to topple dictators and tyrants but the question remains whether this is necessarily healthy for the public sphere in which a functioning democracy runs. So when we talk about the ‘Arab Spring’, it is a unique set of events that have been launched through what many analysts call “the political awakening of Arab youth.” To start out, the new Muslim ...

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Dear liberals, speak up!

In my two and a half years in the US, I haven’t met a single Republican. An overwhelming majority of the Americans I have spoken to are apologetic about the drone attacks in Pakistan, were appalled by the “Ground Zero” mosque crisis, despise the Tea Party movement and don’t understand Republicans’ repeated attacks against health care reform. This category of opinion is in large part echoed by liberal columnists and pundits that we even follow back home. I, therefore, find it interesting to reconcile what I witnessed in the November 2 elections with what I know of my personal experience ...

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Pak Tea House vs Let Us Build Pakistan: Just another talk show?

A debate recently ensued between Pak Tea House (PTH) and Let Us Rebuild Pakistan (LUBP), two eminent blogzines of the Pakistani blogosphere. It started when the former criticised Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) over its handling of the disciplinary violation of party regulations by Sherry Rehman. LUBP accused PTH authors of wrongly exaggerating the facts and giving PPP a bad name without a valid reason. Hot words were exchanged and name-calling was indulged in from both sides, making it quite a spectacle for the readers. Eventually, after a number of fierce posts, from both ends, the matter came to end ...

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10 things Pakistani blog readers should know

Blogs can be casual, formal or anything in between. So while writing, the blogger can interrupt the readers with an “akhhh thoo” if he wants to, without having to suffer tons of meaningless comments. It’s a blog, not a featured article in Foreign Policy magazine. Blogs are opinion-oriented. They may or may not be backed by hard facts. A blog or ‘web log’ does not necessarily have in-depth analysis that will ...

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The keyboard mafia

Over the past few months I have been paying close attention to the comment mafia. Mind you, they do not attack regular newspaper reports, but the pistols come roaring out for blogs and op-ed pieces. In blogs there is a bit of professional rivalry. If a certain popular blogger has received a high number of comments then others bloggers will start commenting tearing his/her piece apart. One would find something like this: Frustrated201: What crap! KhiGurl: I agree with Frustrated! [email protected]: I concur…with Frustrated and KhiGurl. They are so right. These hate commenter’s travel in packs. They will leave derogatory (but not abusive) comments on each ...

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The more opinion the better: A blogger’s defence

Blogging is a good democratic avenue for self expression. Some find a blogger’s desire to write offensive, and that is fine. I’d like to turn their attention to their computer’s ‘Shutdown’ setting. If one doesn’t like what my blog or any particular message board they stumble across says, then by all means, don’t participate. Because it is the ability to participate in the debate that makes the blogosphere democratic and unique. Blogging, is a right. If I or any other member of the blogosphere decides to express an opinion then that should be lauded (I laud myself all the time!). It is ...

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