13
Jul
08

R-R-R-R-Romania

Have you heard of Global Voices Online?  Probably not.  Why?  Because if you’re like me, you’re already suffering from some MAJOR Internet-related information overload.  It seems like everyday I come across a new blog I want to read, a new online shopping site I want to browse, or another slice of the long tail that I want to explore.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone did all that work for us? You know, like if there were editors whose job it would be to digest all the “stuff” that’s out there and just throw us the good parts of the Interents?  Well, that’s exactly what Global Voices Online does. Major bonus: they do it for a good cause.  Check it:

Global Voices seeks to aggregate, curate, and amplify the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore. We work to develop tools, institutions and relationships that will help all voices, everywhere, to be heard…

At a time when the international English-language media ignores many things that are important to large numbers of the world’s citizens, Global Voices aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens’ media.

Oooooo!  Sorta reminds me of something. Oh yeah, that book I read a few weeks ago called “We the Media.” How bout that.  Anyway, I digress.  Maybe I’m just trying to change the subject because Global Voices is making me feel guilty for ignoring parts of the world.  Let’s try and fix that.  Let’s take a look at Romania.

With a few clicks here and there on GVO I’ve learned enough about that nation’s political landscape to keep an informed conversation going at a cocktail party in Bucharest.  Here’s what perusing Romania’s blogosphere showed me:

  • The Romanian political system is starting to embrace new media.  According to this editor, blogs are now fashionable to have if you’re a politician in Romania.  In fact, some candidates pay big money to have blogs, and the nation’s Social-Democrats are banking big time on blogs to help revive their image after four years of being in the minority. Interesting
  • This blogger-journalist from the Economist draws attention to a major problem in Romania: corruption.  The blogger posted this article by a fellow journalist regarding a stifled EU report that found that the nation is moving the wrong way on fighting corruption. Corruption seems to be a big topic in the Romanian political blogosphere.  This blogger writes about it also.
  • The third catagory of content I’ve found in the Romanian blogosphere is random stuff.  Posts about traffic during a NATO summit in Bucharest, reviews of travel articles about visiting the Balkans, etc.

Well, this journey through the Romanian blogosphere has been fun.  Some final thoughts: Overall, it seems to me that Romania’s blogging environment is in many ways similar to ours.  Just like in the U.S., citizen journalists and people who care about important issues are taking matters into their own hands and publishing their thoughts online. They’re hoping to make change through sharing and distributing information.  While there were interesting items on the Romanian portion of the GVO, it seemed like it needed to be updated more frequently.

Global Voices Online should be commended as a public service.  I’m pleased the site’s founders have committed themselves to raising awareness of what’s happening in some of the most ignored regions of the world.

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