Stories about blogs

Confessions of a comment moderator at The Express Tribune’s blogs page

The first time I moderated comments, for the blogs section of The Express Tribune, I learnt a sad truth; people have unabashed hatred for one another. I couldn’t believe until I saw it myself. Perhaps I was living in a bubble, I thought we had come a long way from partition and that Pakistanis and Indians had learnt to coexist. I didn’t think that Muslims and Hindus cringed at the very mention of the other. It wasn’t long before, I started moderating comments flooding in from around the world and, my idealistic bubble burst. Our blog readers belong to the educated class. ...

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5 reasons I still support Imran Khan

At least once a day, I am asked, “You support Imran Khan? Seriously?” It is mainly because I do not fit the stereotypical image people have about PTI people. Emotional, young, immature and what we call “trolls”. I like to think I am none of these. Very few in my field of work are open about their political tilts, if any. Maybe because there is a remote chance it may interfere with journalistic objectivity. However, I have been very clear since day one. Anything I report will say the truth and nothing but the truth. Even if it goes against the ...

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Paper-is-back: Reminiscing good ol’ tech-free times with Facebook

Stories do more than just entertain, they define us. Stories give meaning and context to what would otherwise be a collection of easily forgettable facts. They say behind every brand is a story and thus Facebook just started a new chapter of their fairy tale by launching a new app Paper. Facebook, a company which has gone from a dorm room conception to a $150 billion capitalisation, outshined the social media industry by introducing the new app that focuses on the idea of stories. Source: Itunes The app is available for download on iOS devices only. As I work in a paper-free ...

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In Islamabad: “You can’t eat here because you are Pakistani”

I didn’t hear about journalist Cyril Almeida’s investigation and subsequent tweets against the restaurant ‘La Maison’ through the news or any blogs he might have written. I heard about it from my friends on Facebook, people who are otherwise active in liberal circles and rightfully vocal against the many injustices of Pakistani society. But the injustice that they were complaining about was Almeida’s outrage that a restaurant in Islamabad bans Pakistanis unless they hold a dual nationality. Read that again. They were complaining about his actions, not the restaurant’s policies. Extremely upset. Heard a rumour of a new restaurant in F-7 that only accepts reservations ...

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To Pakistani social media trolls, don’t you have any manners?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines etiquette as ‘the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave’. The history of etiquette dates back to prehistoric times when man first began interacting with others and hence started devising rules for making these interactions bearable and pleasant. Over the centuries, as societies and human interactions started falling into specific slots, etiquette was drafted for different settings. For instance, there is etiquette for behaving with elders, with neighbours, with teachers, with siblings, with parents and so forth. Similarly, as the presence of social media grew progressively pronounced in our lives, the proper etiquette of ...

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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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Can I please please please blog on ET?

Call me a wannabe or a passionate writer who wants to break into a robust blogosphere sprawling across Pakistan; either way, I am shameless and relentless to the core. I will keep on coming back again and again, no matter how many times I get this message from the moderators: “Hi, Thank you for your interest in The Express Tribune. Having read your post, we feel as though it doesn’t quite fit our section. Thus, I regret to inform you that we will not be running this particular piece. Please write to us on a different topic. Thank you for your consideration. Kind ...

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Are journalists allowed to be pampered?

In a day designed exclusively to balance work, socialising, girl-time and me-time for the modern working woman, a cosmetics manufacturing company held a day-long pampering session to launch their new range of extensive face washes for female reporters and bloggers who write about beauty and lifestyle. From an invite in a simple yet chic wooden box laden with chocolates, one knew this was going to be a day full of delightful indulgences. Soon followed a personalised travel case replete with an entire range of beauty products. And then the actual day began with a personal pick up in a chauffeur-driven ...

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I love ET blogs. Here’s why…

It is sometimes argued that blogs are inconsequential, petty accounts of peoples’ personal dilemmas which are misrepresented as national issues. In a recent piece “10 things I hate about ET blogs” the writer says that blogs demand neither skill nor experience, and offer little more than tunnel-visioned narratives. Is it ironic that I’ve decided to write a blog-like account of this matter? Society under a microscope The story of one individual, say a pesky feminist, or a bitter member of a minority group, is seemingly petty and inconsequential. In a larger scheme, these stories are anything but. A society is a ...

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PakLeaks: Did I miss the humour?

I used to believe that blogs were a great way for people to express themselves. Old school bloggers have a way with words and express themselves in an interesting manner. Unfortunately, a new generation of bloggers seems to think that the medium gives writers a license to go around making personal attacks just because it seems fun. I heard about a new blog called PakLeaks which seemed to be Pakistan’s equivalent of WikiLeaks. The blog claimed to have 35,000 leaked direct messages or “DMs” from members of Pakistan’s Twitterati. It claimed that it is being hacked because of the nature of its ...

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