The last few days have been interesting. Learned a lot (this is a relative term: from knowing absolutely nothing, to something, no matter how little, is "a lot") about the Malaysian blogging community, mostly from emails i've received from bloggers who have been around a lot longer than i have.
To one and all, please allow me to extend my heartiest "Thank you" for being patient with me and showing me the ropes.
Everything i've learned so far has confirmed one of my initial beliefs: the Malaysian blogging community is thriving and well.
The BolehBlogs web-ring is where i began my education. I was pointed in the right direction by Hani (thanks!), got a chance to exchange a couple of emails with Strizzt (thanks!) and she was kind enough to help me get the Great Malaysian Blog List off the ground.
Received some feedback from the forums in the RiceBowlJournal (RBJ) that the GMBL was not "great" because there were still so few listings. Yes, that's a valid point and i fully agree. Had a chat with Chris (thanks!) today and he tells me that there are approx. (in his estimation) 2000 blogs out there created by Malaysians, many of whom are living outside of Malaysia. Maybe, some day, there will be a way to find a common home for them all, and i hope that the GMBL will act not only as that "home" but also as a showcase to feature the very best of Malaysian-blogging talent over the web.
Also received feedback from adi (thanks!) and a few others that GengJurnal.net has been around for some time and it is a directory of 280 Malaysian blogs, of "mostly malay-language content". As Bahasa Malaysian is our national language, it is something that we should be proud of and its a great thing to know that we have so many blogs in our own national language. I congratulate the efforts made by the webmaster (well done!) of GengJurnal in showcasing this fact.
The GMBL is obviously taking a road that has been travelled before by some of the pioneers listed above (and others too i'm sure whom i've not yet had the privilege of being introduced to). But i believe that there is still an inherent value in pursuing this path.
Again, through my chat with Chris, i sincerely believe that the Malaysian blogging community is still fairly fragmented. BolehBlogs has nearly 200 + blogs on it. GengJurnal, at latest count has around 280 +. The list maintained by Chris has 100 +. What happened to the other 1500 + blogs? I'm am utterly CONVINCED that among these blogs there are some real, maybe many gems that will serve to reinforce the belief i have that Malaysian bloggers are just as good, if not far better than anything else we can find out there on the Net.
My vision is that, when articles like the one that appeared yesterday in InTech (The Star technology supplement), the writers will be talking about MALAYSIAN-made blogs and not just raving about how great the worldwide blogging community is. Articles like that will be showcasing Malaysian-made blogs rather than having to look elsewhere for examples. For that to happen, an organized effort has to be made to build up the solidarity of the blogging community, and i believe the GMBL is just a stepping stone to achieve that solidarity.
I don't pretend to be the be-all and end-all of Malaysian blogging. I just hope to be a tool for others to use to achieve a common goal; i don't think i'm anything more than a simple cog in the works, and i'm happy with that role i've started with the GMBL. There will be other initiatives, i promise you, including ideas for the Malaysian Bloggies.
But as a very wise person reminded me today: "Small steps first; don't rush". Baby steps, it is.