Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Monday, May 7, 2012

How many Pakistani Blogs are there?

Mahathir Mohammad blogs and so does the former President of Korea Roh, Moo-hyun and there are numerous examples of how blogs and blogging have challanged the monoply of the few and now changed the way things used work.

Numerous research projects have worked on the topic of how bloggers are acting as a catalyst for furtherance of democracy and democratic movement. NYT mentioned in one of its article that bloggers are becoming a Fifth Estate, challenging the government’s monopoly on information in Singapore, evading censors in Vietnam, and influencing events in places like Thailand, Cambodia and China. The Internet has become the main battleground against censorship in Malaysia, where a system of self-censorship in an atmosphere of government pressure and intimidation has produced a constricted press.

A researcher on Malaysian blogs, Julian Hopkins, says that he wanted accurate statistics on the overall Malaysian blogosphere, but eventually came to the conclusion that it is very difficult, if not impossible to get them. In a nutshell, these are the problems:

"• Most Malaysian bloggers use platforms such as Blogger, and Wordpress. These are hosted in the US (I think, but not in Malaysia anyway). Most Malaysian bloggers in my experience do state their location in their profile, but not all. So, a crawl of these sites that picked up profile information would capture many of the Malaysian bloggers, but not all. I suspect this is what Sysomos did recently.
• The more serious bloggers usually have their own domain. Hosting is a lot cheaper with American or European companies. Hence the core of Malaysian dedicated bloggers will have their blog hosted outside of Malaysia. And their blogs will not be picked up in crawls of .blogspot blogs, etc.
• Many bloggers have more than one blog. Some will have many blogs. Many of these will be inactive. Any survey of blogs needs to have some measure of how active they are – for example by deciding that one post in the last three months means the blog is active.
• Private blogs (with password protection) cannot be crawled (thanks to Tim Highfield for this point).
• A proper survey of Malaysian blogs needs to look for blogs in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil (this is probably the easiest problem to overcome). "

It is indeed a very difficult task to come up with the correct statistics on how many people are blogging in a country X but I think that to have a rough estimate of the number of bloggers from Pakistan would definitely be an interesting one and much more complicated than Malaysia because Malaysia still has a sytem in place whereas in Pakistan - statistics can always be misleading on just about everything. I wonder if we exactly know the population of Pakistan? I am sure it is more than 200 million but officially the numbers is somewhere between 180 million. If I only look at the residents of my street the number of people in 9 households was 38 but now it is 90 in a matter of 10 years. It has more than doubled.