[12 minute read]

“The objective of the blog is to highlight entertainment news be it in local television or music and performing arts happening in and around the country of Brunei Darussalam, and occasionally posting music news from around the globe.” – BruneiBuzz

“It is a portal which will provide free in-depth information and entertainment to the wired Bruneian and the general public. There will be varying of essential and useful content ranging from Islam to Tourism to Health and Sports and many more. The website’s main function is to be the creative platform for Brunei” – 1stopbrunei

“Join me on this projek, a projek to discover and rediscover this country they call the Abode of Peace, the Heart of Borneo, this place they call the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures…through the stories of the People.” – ProjekBrunei

“The main aim of that website is to create entertainment, but now that there’s entertainment, people still don’t know about it and so then I created this website to increase awareness on all food and entertainment in Brunei.” – Brunei Entertainment

Prologue

What follows is an analysis of online culture in Brunei. It is written with the intent of reflecting on our current online practices and opening up a discussion about its direction.

What I have written also serves as an incomplete history of online culture in Brunei. It focuses on written blogs, leaving out many aspects such as web rings, mIRC and forums in order to understand platform websites. As I researched this essay I left out many things I wished to have kept in, there is plenty more that can be written about this subject.

These thoughts on online culture in Brunei emerged after the trip to Seattle on the invitation of Royal Brunei. It made me question the relation Open Brunei has with blogging and the role it could play within this space.

Introduction (back to Top)

1stopbrunei, The Amo Times, ASZBrunei, Brunei Buzz, Brunei fm, Brunei Foodies, BruneiShines, LoveFoodHateWaste (Brunei), Muzikaliti, Songket Alliance, Support Bruneian Artists, Open Brunei, ProjekBrunei, Ranoadidas, are described as: a place to highlight, a way to discover, a place to share, to raise awareness, a social blog, a portal, a platform.

These websites curate content. Online content may include poetry, drawings, comics, images, sounds, videos and so on. While some have write-ups with contextualizing information, others share content as it is. Websites such as LoveFoodHateWaste (Brunei) and Songket Alliance, also have original content for their website. But most of these websites fall to the latter, sharing content as it is, adding no more than three sentences or less of relevant information.

Platform websites have huge followings across social media. At the moment 1stopbrunei on Facebook has over 1,000 likes, BruneiTweet has close to 18,000 followers on Twitter and Brunei Foodies nearing 4,200 followers on Instagram. With 42,070 in total, Ranoadidas has around the same social media reach across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as The Brunei Times with 37,350. However, Brunei fm on Facebook eclipses them all with them with 140,000 likes. As large as their social media reach, all have websites.

Brunei Online Logos

Local content, can be found on deviantART, Facebook, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress and Blogger and to name a few. Blogging on platforms such as WordPress and Blogger are still seen as an established online presence, regardless of the length of time the website has been running. Websites are understood as official and legitimate. This sense of authority is based on having a logo and an explanation about what they are about, along with a unified look: altogether these elements serve to legitimize content.

While websites are perceived to be credible and on the pulse, by the time content reaches these websites, it has already been shared on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram commented on and analysed. Those who are interested in food, would have already found out about a promotion going on in their favourite restaurant through their Facebook page or on an advertisement and made plans with friends within a couple of minutes of viewing it.

Whatsapp LogoWith a population of less than half a million, content can spread quickly not just online but through word of mouth. Whatsapp, a messaging service, has accelerated this spread of content through group chat which makes the sharing “frictionless“. Multiple recipients receive text, images, sounds, video or links within seconds. Coupled with the rise of smartphone users and sharing capabilities on phone operating systems, sharing is effortless. The country is small and highly connected. Why would there be a need for platform websites? What relationship do platform websites have with their audience, do they satisfy a need for content? Are platform websites an alternative?

Emergence of bloggers 2000s (back to Top)

Looking back at the rise of blogging in Brunei is helpful in framing the current emergence of platform websites. The mid-2000s saw the rise of blogging in the country which followed global trends.

In 2009, Lim Sheng Ming (LSM) wrote a four part piece on bloggers in Brunei for CNET Asia. He explained from his own perspective the rise of blogging in the country and refers to it as “The Bang of 2006″. He wrote: “I’m at a loss to explain exactly what changed in the years since 2001 but somehow Brunei Blogs came of age.”

The largest compilation of Brunei websites that is still accessible, Simpur Blogging Nation, is one of the most ambitious in terms of collating Bruneian content. The scale and exhaustiveness could never continue at the rate it did when it launched early 2007, the last blog to be added was in 2011. The blogs collated reflect prevalent trends during the period, moreover a need for content to be discovered and shared.

Screenshot Simpur Blogging NationPresently many of the websites on Simpur Blogging Nation (left pic) have been deleted, moved or marked as private. Blogs during this early period of blogging were in the moment, writing about issues pertinent to the time. A notable exception is The Daily Brunei Resources which published articles relating to Brunei history. However, what I will focus on are the vast majority of blogs which were reactive, immediate and personal.

Blogs didn’t need to be searchable on search engines, such as Google or Yahoo due to features such as “pingback” or “trackback”. While blogrolls (below) helped in terms of showing a particular network of blogs, links were hardly easy to browse. Blogs listed in a blogroll aren’t distinguishable by name alone and most aren’t categorized by topic or theme. Simpur Blogging Nation helped to make sense of the sudden burst of blogs with content related to Brunei through categorization.

Blog Rolls_Open Brunei

Reflecting a population ever more confident sharing their interests and a greater ability of building communities around them online, blogs covering specific topics emerged during this period: make-up, yoga, technology, Japanese culture, painting, fishing, photography and many more.

There was also a sense of personal expression, a willingness to open up. Zul-Fadly wrote on Soul Connection – Alter Ego in 2006, “[...] when I started this blog it was a place for me to put down my thoughts and perhaps elaborate on issues and matters from my perspective, but mostly it will be topics which I am familiar with.”

Gaining a readership during this period by sharing her personal thoughts was Maurina, with her blog Turquoise and Roses. It addressed key events in blogging: the transition of bloggers into print media, the use of blogging to highlight pressing issues and blogging to promote companies. These events continue to affect the relationship between blogging and the media, as well as, expectations of online content.

What drew readers was her honesty, humour and head-on stance addressing issues. Posts were written in a frenetic pace, not only were topics engaging with current issues but also rapidly engaged by readers. Topics included sex education, cleanliness in the capital, the Tutong community and call for the introduction of a Brunei Wiki.

The rapidity of engagement was partly down to access to the Internet becoming less limited by hardware and software. Easy to pick up tools on Blogger made posting simple and straightforward, even for a computer novice. Access to computers were becoming less of an issue and started to be within financial reach for most households. Even though Internet speeds in the country were crawling at 56kb/s or 128kb/s speeds, this did not stop people from posting content online.

Emmas Brunei Online 2006

Another indication of the rude health of blogging during this early period and the numerous styles and niche interest it sparked was Emmagoodegg’s list of bloggers written in 2006 on her blog (above). It highlighted bloggers who wrote about parenting, parking, photography, studying abroad, yoga to name a few subjects. In relation to print media available during the time, these topics and interests were far more relevant. English print media was limited in content; blogging provided an alternative.

It wasn’t until 2006 when The Brunei Times emerged as a broadsheet with the motto, “Fresh Ideas, New Option, Global Vision” that another English news outlet emerged. Their relationship with bloggers was strengthened through the short-lived Blog Speak column and their willingness to address blogging seriously. This relationship not only with bloggers but with the online community continues with their sharing of articles on social media and the ability to comment on website articles.

Comparing ThicknessAs much as it was another option, it still had a lot of prove in terms of content. Nonnie King on Spiritual Garden, compared the content between print media (left pic) a few months after The Brunei Times launched, she wrote, “Ok lah… I understand that Brunei Times is still new .. But… having 12 pages of papers selling for B$1.00…. I can’t help but felt it’s so NOT worth it.”

Blog Speak

Emmagoodegg was also part of a group of bloggers in The Brunei Times column Blog Speak. LSM, wrote in part three of ‘Brunei Bloggers, a retrospective look’, “The Brunei Blogosphere was ecstatic: having been struck down by the hand of one newspaper they were now being lifted, venerated and even exonerated by the hand of another.” The other newspaper was the Borneo Bulletin, bloggers perceived the English daily to be less enthusiastic about blogging. In 2006 Borneo Bulletin carried the headline, “Bloggers beware libel lawsuits” (below) Katie-Ella noted on her blog that the article had lead to heated discussion among the blogging community.

Bloggers beware libel lawsuits

Ranoadidas, Maurina, LSM and Emmagoodegg took turns to contribute a weekly column on a range of topics for Blog Speak. Presently only Emmagoodegg continues to contribute her writing to The Brunei Times, simultaneously posting them on her blog.

Bloggers put Brunei online with debate, drawings and gossip

Only a few months into their inception The Brunei Times compiled a list of notable bloggers (above) which reflected the relationship it had with online culture and later that year profiled the writers of Blog Speak (below).

Brunei_Bloggers_2006

By the end of 2007, this period of almost boundless activity by bloggers and the seemingly endless array of blogs was waning. Post frequency per month for the blog by Jewelle Tan, Life in Lumut, Brunei (below) shows a gradual drop into 2008, as posts became less frequent. The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 attributed the decline to the failure to monetize. The report said, “[...] in more recent times, a number of these [blogs] have been abandoned or downgraded, which may indicate a realisation by many amateur bloggers that monetising output is no easy task.” Meanwhile, Maurina wrote, “I’m just wondering why everything is so quiet in the Brublogosphere lately? Even my blog stats have gone down. I hope none of us are losing our “zing”, if we actually had any in the first place.”

Life in Lumut, Brunei - Post Frequency

Blogger of the year

The Simpur Bloggies (right) masked this loss of momentum. The awards included five categories: ‘Personal’, ‘Local Scene’, ‘Speciality’, ‘Photo Blogs’ and ‘Lifestyle’. As of September 2007 there were 331 blogs on Simpur Blogging Nation, the ‘Personal’ category was the largest and had far more than other categories such as ‘Shopping & Services’, ‘Tech’ and ‘Food’.

In a 2011 interview Kamarul Dzaman Ajmain, who is also known as the Geek in White said about Simpur Blogging Nation, “It was during that time that I was working with Simpur (of DST Sdn Bhd), and I compiled as much as I could about the known blogs, and made a directory and invited people to send in their links.”

This shift that had happened in subsequent years, was already sensed by Geek in White. Reflecting on the article quoted above he wrote, “Personally, I don’t think I’m much of a blogger any more. It’s microblogging for me now and heavily into social networking. Together with my SocMed [social media] gang – @ranoadidas, @anakbrunei, @emmagoodegg @pablo_bakes & @maurina – we try to promote positive ways in using the social network platforms for awareness on current social issues locally or internationally.”

Super BloggersThanis Lim, who describes himself as a food journalist and blogger on Thanis Lim, wrote about his involvement with the Brunei blogging scene noting the importance of Geek in White and Senor Pablo. Both figures acknowledging the transition of blogging for social causes and the need for creating a sense of community online. Thanis wrote, “They are my mentors, introducing me to the Brunei blogosphere, and helping me to raise my profile. They’re really inspiring people, who organise wonderful events to help others.”

Senor Pablo in this regard was a staunch supporter of using blogging for the social causes. Arab Families quoted his speech during the first Kuala Belait Bloggers night in 2008, “As time evolves, let’s just hope blogging will not turn to be another fad or just a medium for individuals to be on the spotlight. It is imperative that we blog for genuine reasons and most importantly to inspire the younger generations. So let’s remind ourselves to blog in good faith.”

Another indication of the shifting interests in blogging was the Visit Brunei blog created in the lead up to Visit Brunei 2008. Bloggers came together to highlight Brunei as a tourist destination, Anak Brunei wrote “We will endeavour to provide as much “informal” information to those who will be interested to visit Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures.” Bloggers would post their own take on where to go around the country through photographs, creative writing and tips. Content created from a variety of sources from multiple authors.

Brunei Tweet December 2009

Projek Brunei launched in 2010 by Delwin Keasberry an extension of his Twitter account (above) BruneiTweet. He explained on Projek Brunei’s about page, “Everyone has a Story, and this blog – ‘Projek Brunei’, features the stories, music, photography and art of locals and of people who have lived or worked in Brunei Darussalam before.”

Brunei-FMDuring this period as well, Brunei fm (left pic) also saw a rise in readership, at the moment overwhelmingly wider in terms of social media reach than The Brunei Times, Ranoadidas and Projek Brunei combined. In December 22, 2010 they asked in an update, “Do you agree if the brunei police share their public info with us here at bfm? Why? State your reasons” which received 101 likes and 172 comments. This method of audience engagement follows posts on the Projek Brunei website and the BruneiTweet Twitter account asking less thorny subjects following a multiple choice format.

The emphasis was on individual stories on Projek Brunei, which are featured on the website. The format following a question and answer style with pictures and a contextualising comment from Delwin. Simpur Blogging Nation on the other hand, only added a link to their directory placed in a category, with occasional featured websites. Through the network Delwin fostered with BruneiTweet by “following back” and engagement, articles are directly accessed on Projek Brunei. He has described the site as an extension of his Twitter account, BruneiTweet.

Projek Brunei is a bridge between micro-blogging and blogging. Marul, who now describes himself part of a SocMed group, identifies himself more as a micro-blogger. In this regard, Delwin straddles micro-blogging and blogging utilising both Projek Brunei and BruneiTweet to generate content. Brunei fm on the other hand primarily uses Facebook to engage with their audience with their website taking a back seat. Each distinct in how they create content but all focusing on engagement and participation.

GlobalVoices-BruneiNo longer looking inwards, online culture shifted to encourage the audience to look outwards to see what others in the country were doing. The scope of Projek Brunei’s website, not only encompasses Brunei’s borders but also the world. He writes, “…readers (top 10, in order of highest percentage) have come from Brunei Darussalam, the United States of America, Australia, England, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore, Norway, Germany and Japan.” Projek Brunei, as much it is a shift in blogging is also an extension of the role Simpur Bloggies Awards played in highlighting content in Brunei beyond its borders. It should also be noted that issues such as tourism, government directives, the role of education, have previously been raised on Global Voices Online (right pic) to bring them to a potential global audience.

Songket-Alliance-LogoLaunched this year, Songket Alliance (left pic) an online zine for writers who identify themselves with Brunei, has the same aim as Projek Brunei of sharing stories, “We believe that everyone has a story and points of views to share.” Elsewhere Teah, Editor-in-Chief writes in a welcome post about the contributors for the zine, “They will talk about feminism or personal rebellion, religion or parking problems, shopping lists or social issues. They want you to read their thoughts and identify with them. They will show you a part of Brunei that has long been ignored.” It should be noted that blogs touching on these subjects have already been compiled in the Simpur Blogging Nation. Unfortunately, many blogs covering these very issues have been deleted, moved or marked as private, as mentioned earlier.

The reasons for blogging have shifted, awareness of the audience and the social role blogging should play are emphasised. Zul-Fadly noted its immense personal quality in 2006, Delwin in 2010 understood there is the potential for not just Bruneians but the world to read, and we find ourselves again with an emphasis on personal narrative with Songket Alliance in 2013. Individual voices which showed the reader how the author viewed the world, shifted to a broader approach of how the world should view Brunei and have now coalesced into a view of showing the rest of Brunei but also the world individual stories from the country.

Viral Content (back to Top)

Ranoadidas Cake videos went viral

Viral content is helpful in understanding the relationship between platform websites and content. Seeing how content spreads without platform websites runs counter to the claim that content isn’t appreciated in the country or it’s hard to know what is going on. In the case of videos uploaded to Youtube, ‘Brunei | “Tattered and Brainwashed”‘ or ‘Sikap anak muda brunei yg suka tunjuk gagah‘ they were spread on social media and messaging services, barely showing up on platform websites. However, Ranoadidas (right pic) referred to videos taken during His Majesty’s meet and greet in the capital in September. Only using text and an image to instigate discussion rather the video itself, discussion was only on Instagram and the videos weren’t posted on his website.

RTB News SIKAP

People in their droves poured scorn over the videos mentioned and subsequently shared their grievances on social media, primarily in heated group discussions on Whatsapp. In a video posted by RTB (Radio Televisyen Brunei) News Facebook page (left pic) on the new demerit point system, SiKAP (Sistem Keselamatan Amalan Pemandu) implemented by the Ministry of Communication, shares reached triple figures within a day but a handful comments on the publicly available video itself, showing a move towards private expressions of frustration.

Content can spread easily and quickly without platform websites. However, when it comes to spreading content, platform websites claim they aren’t known or given enough attention in print media. As the founder of the website Brunei Entertainment explains, “I created this website to increase awareness on all food and entertainment in Brunei.” Videos such ‘Brunei | “Tattered and Brainwashed”‘ has been viewed many more times than videos showcasing talent in the country. A search on Youtube for Brunei immediately shows the video on the first page of results, while local content requires going into the other pages of results.

Youtube Open Brunei

The web series by Visual Dimension Productions, (left above) ‘Break’ was posted on Youtube and their own social media presence only later to be posted on platform websites. Akinari (right above) regularly gets thousands of views for his videos through the nearly 5,000 subscriptions to his Youtube channel. In an interview with The Brunei Times for Youth Speak Akinari mentioned that he doesn’t do a lot to promote his content apart from sharing it on his Facebook account, his videos are spread virally.

The directive announced in July this year by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) banning daytime dining in Muslim-owned restaurants, adds another perspective to the role of platform websites. Jay on this blog talked about possible issues surrounding the directive and also addressed a comment on Facebook, he was inundated with responses on his blog.

The DirectiveThe initial post (right pic) was spread virally after it was posted publicly on Jay’s personal Facebook and Twitter account. Within a space of eight days, he wrote five posts considering various aspects of the directive garnering 119 notes and 30 comments. These numbers don’t fully show the reach the posts had on Whatsapp or Facebook. Content can be easily duplicated by screenshot or by copy and pasting into any text editor without any reference to the original.

The reach of this post can be compared to that of The Brunei Times Bookmarks, which are compilations of archive material on a subject, usually attracting less than ten comments and a handful of likes. These bookmarks are minimally shared on Facebook and Twitter. The most comments a Bookmark received is 135 for “Chasing after Brunei’s runaway scholars”

Recent events such as the Syariah Court Penal Code ruling which is to be introduced in phases, show the viral potential of content. The post which announced the ruling on the day itself has approximately 1,200 likes on Facebook, eventually reaching 143 comments surpassing the most liked and commented article on The Brunei Times website at that time.

MUIB Directive RanoadidasPlatform websites shy away from posting content with too controversial subject matter but are willing to do so on social media. As mentioned above, Ranoadidas has engaged followers on matters such as the MUIB directive (right pic) but only on Instagram. The photograph of the headline on front page of The Brunei Times was his highest commented post on Instagram with 159 comments and 384 likes. In comparison to previous years, content is far more willingly spread and commented on. Last year Possiblyzebra wrote a two part post on Legislative Council (LegCo) on her blog which arguably would’ve gained a greater reception if it was written this year. The difference between the posts by Ranoadidas and Possiblyzebra is the ability to search for it in the future; a week, a year or even ten years from now. Instagram doesn’t create an easy to recognize unique address for the post, also searches on Instagram are limited to username or hashtag and comments aren’t easy to find.

Beyond Platform Websites (back to Top)

What are the relevance of these platform websites which claim to be portals to Brunei? Content whether positive or negative spreads through social media and messaging services regardless of the source. The format in which the content is shared on blogs have not changed from how it was during the initial “Bang” in 2006: a write-up with some images. However, the way content spreads has changed immensely.

Now businesses primarily use platform websites to promote their products. Content on platform websites are crowded out by adverts, offering products from the same few names. The scope of platform websites have narrowed in comparison to the blogs which sprung up earlier in the decade. In 2011, The Wheat helpfully wrote advice for businesses which still applies to this day. He wrote about adverts on Bruneian websites, “I understand the need to make money, but when I see multiple and obtrusive ad spots all over your page, it really turns me off. To me, it conveys that you value the money from your advertisers more than you value my experience (as a customer / viewer) on your site.”

The “Bang” that LSM wrote about was an exciting moment, not just for the blogging community, but for the country to reflect on themselves and know more about each other. Content covered topics which represented the diversity of its inhabitants. The community on Youtube, Soundcloud and Facebook are vibrant without the reliance on platform websites. Platform websites evolved with the blogging community but when it quieted down, content reverted to businesses and their products rather than originality. There are of course few exceptions to this with podcasting and video content.

Podcasting has been taken up by a few, mostly focusing on niche topics such as films or geek culture but most are defunct. These include: Talking Aloud (who has removed his podcasts from iTunes and his website); Corner Geeks hosted by The Wheat and Firdaus Zailani (last podcast was in May 2013); Visual Dimensions Podcast hosted by Adam Groves (last podcast was in October 2012); and most recently Ranoadidas‘ podcast on movies The Popcorn Panel which was updated last week.

While vlogging or daily video updates has yet to be picked up, a handful of Youtubers from Brunei focus on short films, comedy sketches and trailers for events. Click to view a Youtube list of channels from Brunei.

Counter Attack logoLooking ahead, websites such as Counter Attack (left pic), Brunei’s online show for the Brunei Fighting Game Community! (FGC) which shares content on Youtube and streams matches on Twitch TV; fashion blogs such as Wander with Ainul (right pic); Tumblrs such as theunspokentruthofhumanity by notamisandrist and websites hosted on WordPress such as Guardians of Darussalam are examples of diverging content. Wander with AinulMultimedia on The Brunei Times stand alone website has also been pushing original Brunei content through feature stories. Even Brunei Meme Comic on Facebook shows an array of content out of the realm of platform websites with original things to say about the country. Content from websites like Counter Attack, Wander with Ainul, Guardians of Darussalam lead the way with where we can take online content with fresh approaches and more importantly originality.

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King, Nonnie. “Brunei Newspaper”,18 August 2006. Date accessed Oct 2013.  http://kisich.blogspot.com/2006/08/brunei-newspaper.html

Wheat, The. “A Message to Brunei Website Owners – Do you value money or people?”, 13 September 2011.  Date accessed Nov 2013.  http://blog.thewheatfield.org/2011/09/13/a-message-to-brunei-website-owners-do-you-value-money-or-people/

Wheat, The. “Brunei.fm”, 13 September 2011.  Date accessed Nov 2013.  http://blog.thewheatfield.org/2009/06/20/brunei-fm/

Wheat, The. “My Message to Businesses in Brunei”, 21 June 2011.  Date accessed Nov 2013.  http://blog.thewheatfield.org/2011/06/21/my-message-to-businesses-in-brunei/

 Zul-Fadly. “Thank You One thousand visitors in One Mont”, 27 August 2006. Date accessed Nov 2013.  http://soulkonekshen.blogspot.com/2006/08/thank-you-one-thousand-visitors-in-one.html

 

Share Your Thoughts (back to Top)

What happened to blogging in Brunei? Why did it slow down? 

Do you think platform websites are needed?

What other kinds of online content should we see from Brunei? 

Share your thoughts below!

[edited: November 27 11.30am]

Categories: Internet

Comments

  1. Maurina

    Hi!!!!!! During the blogging boom, I was in my university years so it was my first time to be able to relate thoughts and ideas somewhat so it was so siok!!!!! Anyway, I have moved very much to microblogging now in Instagram – nowadays my blog has too many unpublished drafts (start but never finish a post)! I should aim to finish one at least. U have inspired me!

    1. Faiq Article Author

      Hi, I think because you were able to get your thoughts and ideas out there when you were in university, the blog did as well as it did. The move into micro-blogging is great, but sometimes depending on the topic having a bit more room to write and the ability to comment properly is good as well. I am sure you have plenty more things to say!

  2. mohamednazmi

    I do wonder if blogging as personal endeavour is still relevant, especially with the different ways there are today to consume online media.

    During the blogging days, smartphones were nowhere near as functional as they are now, and tablets were virtually unheard of; the only way to access the Internet was through a computer, and there was no one platform you could subscribe to to get an aggregated view of all the blogs you follow (exception being using RSS feeds, which was not used widely). People followed specific blogs and stuck with them, and would visit those pages every so often for new content.

    Nowadays, places like Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram, where you can follow certain people and get their posts on a personalised home page, as well as their respective apps you can use one your mobile devices, makes it less convenient to follow blogs, which are often scattered all over on different websites and content management systems. These apps also allow people to quickly publish their content and get almost instant feedback. I think this is what most bloggers have realised and which has caused the few who are still active to move off their respective blogging platforms.

    What I would like to see is a mesh of information and media from places like Twitter and Instagram, which are “real-time” in the content and discussions they generate, but limited in their character restrictions and time-sensitive (and as you touched on, more difficult to keep track of), expanded into longer narrative with more information and data, which would hopefully also serve as a place to generate more in-depth discussions. It’s a selfish request borne of being unable to follow all these platforms, but I think it is a service which many would welcome.

    1. mohamednazmi

      On another note, I was one of the commenters on Maurina’s post on having a wiki, and we did eventually set up and establish a Brunei Wiki at a point in time, but due to lack of interest and resources it fell into abandon. If anyone is still interested in rebuilding it, let’s talk.

      1. Hazirah

        I remember this. Have we talked about archiving these various Brunei-related projects? Yes, I am interested in the projects themselves rather than the Brunei Wiki, though that is a great idea too!

    2. Hazirah

      I share the same sentiment with regards to microblogging and the “instant” ways in which people post and respond to content. I’d love to see a return of those longer blog posts, but am aware of this “shift” in how content is being created and shared, and it’s probably unwise to turn my back on it. I like the idea of integrating microblogging platforms with others that allow expansion of ideas and discussion. It’s probably even already in progress, somewhere out there – but just hasn’t hit mainstream usage yet. (If anyone knows any specific technologies, please do share!)

  3. Thanis Lim

    Micro blogging is more convenient and easier to digest in our fast paced smart phones era. This is not to say that blogs are becoming obsolete as people still want more detailed information especially when it comes to detailed information like choosing which phone or camera to buy, travel tips, make up tutorials and even recipes – blogs and websites still supply the masses and are more effective than microblogging.

    That said – the power of combining micro blogging with blogs is very useful. Microblogging keeps your readers has helped me inform the public on the latest food news and food adventures but also links them to my latest blog posts, as well as sharing old posts. Microblogging is more interactive in terms of communicating with your readers and followers – and I do miss the good old times when people would comment and share their thoughts on our blogs – nostalgic!

    1. Faiq Article Author

      Hi again, I think your point about commenting is interesting. It seems are though the interactions on micro-blogging is significantly different from blogs. Do you think people spend more time on blogs as opposed to micro-blogging? Spending more time on blogs could mean that comments are more considered, or do you think that micro-blogging is a better way to have conversations?

      1. Thanis Lim

        It’s definitely easier to comment and have a conversation through micro blogging. With blogs – people have to login and await moderation as well. This makes it less interactive – and blog comments are less common nowadays and this is as you say – due to the growth of micro blogging in Facebook and Instagram.

  4. Jay M. Johar (@mujahidjohar)

    One factor contributing to the ‘fall’ of blogging was the oversaturation of similar content across different blogs. The success of several prominent bloggers inspired imitations trying to emulate their success yet not delivering much in original commentary or content.

    The concept of personal blogging has become almost obsolete with the rise of Facebook, with friends being able to updates friends and family with status updates, photo albums, and videos on one single, aggregated feed.

    1. Hazirah

      For “oversaturation” as a factor, do you think it affected blog-reading or blog-writing? I feel like the oversaturation would have been something the readers felt, rather than the bloggers. It might have meant that the imitations were redundant and thus less popular to readers, or conversely the reader traffic became spread out across both the more prominent bloggers and the imitators. Then, does either of these contribute to the bloggers’ own decline in blogging activity?

      On another point, I read recently about how hashtags has also helped to aggregate content regardless of where they come from. For example using them to hashtag photos under a particular event, like #eventname2013 on Instagram, or, an earlier example but in a similar fashion, putting pictures in a group pool on Flickr for said event. I wonder if this counters the oversaturation and the desire to post your own photos. I’ve certainly noticed, over the years, how I’ve taken less and less photos at events, knowing that someone else will be doing it instead.

  5. BruneiTweet

    Blogging and micro-blogging are complimentary mediums. I do not think one detracts from the other. Blogging allows for context / proper framing whereas the latter allows for real-time engagement.

    1. Hazirah

      Hmm, I personally think that’s an idealised system of using blogging and microblogging in a complementary way – mohamednazmi touched on it as well in his comment above – but in practice it seems (my perception only) that blogging has declined as people have chosen to participate in microblogging only. What do you think?

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