Two Years of Blogdai
Well, we made it. We've been teasing, infuriating, commenting and pontificating on all things political and Nepali for two full years now. It's been a challenge.
A few blogdai facts on this our anniversary:
1. We've received around 172,000 hits of which, in this past year, roughly 30% are newbies.
2. We've had browsers and commentary from Maoists, anarchists, political gurus, famous journalists, the Royal Palace, the U.S. State Department, various intelligence agencies and the diplomatic community.
3. We've been quoted in the media as being "insightful," "well-written," "leftist," "rightist," "populist," "royalist," "..probably the best blog about Nepal," and "..a complete farce."
4. blogdai has been nominated as person of the year at Sahja.com; considered a positive force for 2006 by nepalmonitor.com; had multiple-copycat blogs spring up as well as more than a few "anti-blogdai" sites; and have seen one of our targets of vitriol tragically pass away.
I've sent out a few anniversary announcements. The tributes (but mostly scorn) are pouring in. Here's a few from some of our favorites:
Why is the discussion that goes on over the net so important? Any stratgeic process today has three dimensions: conceputal, geographic, and virtual. Thus armed politics, as presently being played out in Nepal -- there certainly is no peace! -- takes place in different spaces. First, there is the world of categories -- violence versus nonviolence, the mass line versus the united front, and so on. Second, there is geographic space, such as comparing what is happening in the Kathmandu Valley versus the situation in Nepalgunj. Finally, the dominance of the media means that everything that goesw on tangibly also occurs in virtual space. Creating the impression that a state is not worth fighting for, to use the Nepal case, is the sort of campaign the internet has proved adept at facilitating. Even as we speak, the Maoists have fellow travellers acting on their behalf in the U.S., taking advantage of our political freedoms to push their agenda over the net. Only through continuing the campaign of which Blogdai has been such an important part -- illuminating truth and reality (the first a concept, the second a virtual as much as an actual category) -- can Nepalis desiring a decent future hope to triumph over the forces of chaos and terror.
-Dr. Thomas A. Marks
Always a relevant comment from Dr. Marks.
It is indeed my pleasure to see Blogdai celebrating the second anniversary of his successful presence in Nepali blogging world. I have always quietly admired Blogdai's blog for his ideas on various posts. [The only thing I hate about Blogdai is the terribly long front page of the site which makes it almost impossible for me to see his page from my home connection.] I might not agree with some of his posts but I appreciate his way of putting forward the opinion. Important thing is that all kinds of opinions are necessary for a democracy to be vibrant. There are always differences in perspectives but we are in the same side: the blog side. Blogging is a true form of democracy via which you can voice your opinion. We saw the importance of blogs when democracy was suspended in Nepal. This is what a BBC web site column wrote about the role of blogs in Nepal: "And with Google News, which doesn't generally carry weblogs, including reports from United We Blog!, the stakes are a lot higher. In places like Nepal and Iran , the big questions about weblogs are questions about the future of a free press." ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4111330.stm )
Blogging as a medium of expression is becoming popular in Nepali internet users, especially among Nepali journalists, in the past two years. When I started blogging in Wagle Street Journal (www.wagle.com.np/dinwag) [or latter in United We Blog (www.blog.com.np)] nearly two and half years ago, I could see no blogs about Nepal or from Nepal. If I am not mistaken there were no Nepalis blogging at that time. When I wanted to talk about blogs with my friends in newspaper, they would give strange look to my face as if they were silently telling 'what the hell are you talking about?' The situation has changed. Now I see many young people in Kathmandu and other Nepali students using blogging as a medium of expression. The localized words like Blogdai were so popular that we saw words like Blogbahini, Bloghabadur and Blogmandu in Nepali blogosphere. Nepali blogs are talking about bloggers daily lives, politics, society and what not. Voices are necessary in democracy. They are more important in a transitional situation like in today's Nepal. With blogs, we have got the freedom to express ourselves and we should never forget to use that freedom responsibly. Happy birthday, Blogdai! Keep talking, keep blogging!!
-Dinesh Wagle (United We Blog)
So if any of you screaming little revolutionary boys wants to know about freedom of speech and democracy, consider this last comment. Dinesh dai and I are often, no, religiously on the opposite end of the political spectrum yet we both see the need and importance of expressing good ideas and frommenting discussion. Democracy? You better believe it. It is an honor to have the thoughts of my more-than-my-match adversary presented here. Oh, hell, yes, I'll even let him plug his other sites as well, ha!
Congratulations on your important milestone! While everyone seems to be going gong-ho about the realpolitiks in Nepal, you preserve the virtue of doubt which has become so scarce these days in our country. You remind everyone that there is an important other side in our national consciousness. The mindlessly agitated folks could have learned from you how to use reason with passion, and not just passion without reason. Many happy returns!
Dharma's nepalmonitor.com is the single most informative clearing house for world news regarding Nepal. His commentary is unsurpassed. If you are not reading it daily like blogdai, you are not getting the whole story on Nepal. He is the best at what he does: no one else even comes close.
So, thanks to all our regulars and anon's, keep up the good thoughts and ideas. We will have some surprises this year so hang in there and keep posting. We only have one rule here at blogdai:
It's not who you are, it's what you say.