A wider way for bloggers
How do Lithuanian writers of internet diaries live? A few weeks ago they met at the second Lithuanian bloggers conference BLOGin 2008 in Vilnius. The communication about the event was planned effectively - the tickets, worth a sell-out play, were all bought. Approximately 400 participants attended.
This professionally organized meeting of webloggers reflected the current situation in the Lithuanian blogosphere.
The beginning of the beginning
I read many blogs in order to find the information about the BLOGin 2008 conference. Plenty of reviews and subjective opinions, but insights, trends and objective analyses were almost impossible to find. Many bloggers here perceive a blog as the sketchbook of their own minds, write for themselves and this is it. It is a diary, definitely, but here, in Lithuania, the opportunities of web log are not revealed yet. The importance of this tool is measured by the volume of readers, rss feeds, clicks, etc.? It is true, that it is important how many readers you have, how do they read your blog, who is you audience and how you can earn money by writing. Much attention was paid to the commercial side of web logs at this conference - advertising in the blog, a private held company blog etc. To my mind, those are the very important details, but without a strong background this is only an empty waste of time - writing not for the audience, writing just for the writing process.
High standing opinion leaders in the world use blogs for expedient communication. To form the opinion of the audience does mean a lot to them: to raise the demand of the readers for the quality of the content, to deal with topical issues, supply the news, to stimulate valuable discussion and international involvement. No less important are clear objectives when writing a blog - what, why and how you want to say to your readers, what is the result you expect.
In my oppinion, it is crucial for a weblogger to understand his important role in present day communications, to feel responsible, while informing his readers and creating the content together with them. At the very least, the objectives have to be noble. Currently the race for high ratings is more important than the shaping of opinions, directional and high-grade informing. I envisage the aspect of the winning recognition optimistically - it is only a beginning of the beginning.
New sounds of media makers
Vital communities - the brightest reflection of a socially responsible civic society. It is true to say, that the community of webloggers is active, we can see it manifest in the comments of blogs, informal meetings, it was seen at this conference as well. The organization, alliance, association of Lithuanian bloggers - sounds tasty. Presently, only few initiatives emerge to form a community of bloggers here. Organizational behavior and official status gives wider possibilities and conditions to generate a quality of the blog contents, solve problems, represent the interests of bloggers, better and faster. This is why it is so important to grow the conditions for a solid community to coordinate actions.
It was complicated to understand Vanessa's Witkowski (the secretary general at European youth press) presentation for the native audience, and the reviews in local blogs were quite controversial.
The European Youth Press representative outlined the project in a very general way without answering the direct questions of the moderator or other participants, e.g.: what is the precise model of your activities? Everything was hidden behind the slogans of multicultural and multinational Europe that might be interesting for statesmen. The audience did not understand the speaker, and she - what we wanted.
- a girl speaks na inastranam jazyke (from russian:in foreign tongues). Tells about what are the blogs and blog farms. impossibly boring.
European Youth Press, Cafe Babel, Transloo. European Union tries to lay the bridges between youth from different countries, but while they are still ripen away in their national space, international sites are still the subject of introduction in the conferences. It is true, there is an active Cafe Babel project with Lithuanians participating in it - it was also presented. In the same direction of ruining the language barriers was pointed the idea of Tadas about the text translation service Transloo.
Vanessa Witkowski from Belgium, European Youth Press, talks. Despite few trivialities, all the content of the presentation is really very good. She told, that this organization likes young bloggers. Me? :)
It seems, that Vanessa Witkowski has hit a country that is a little too small... This lady calls to participate in civic media and to join the free European journalists. You see, there are a few problems to join the active groups
* We write only in Lithuanian, and there are very few writers in English.
* We write for our own pleasure.
* Most of us are not journalists and do not want to be. :)
* We are Lithuanians and we do not care about anything beyond our borders. Unless a neighbors' roof is on fire...
* There are too few of us...
I guess 5-10 years more are needed for us to wish to go to Europe with our blogs, solve European problems and change European political direction. Until then I will dwell on Lithuania. :)
Bloggers and journalists differ, but both perform a very important function for the society - first of all they inform. Feel responsible while writing for your own pleasure, talk in many languages, open your insights for a wider audience and remember, that our country is small, but the importance of it can be crucial. Therefore vilnius(at)cafebabel.com team is open for initiatives, questions, discussions, articles and translations.
Most of the official BLOGin pictures you can review here.
Photographer Kęstutis Kurienius
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