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Blogosphere

A Unique Dimension of ‘Social Networking’ and Political Communication Blogging is now an avenue that allows for unfettered self-expression and also puts the mostly urban youth in touch with the world. It has broken the geographical and ideological barriers as well.

We are living in the age of information technology (IT) which has made today’s human being really a technological animal. The rising trend of social networking in youth in developing countries like ours’ where youth comprises 60% of population’ certainly matters for the political immobilizers.

In the amidst of the political revolutions a workshop on Political Communication in the New age of IT was held in Hyderabad. In fact, it was termed by the participants to be the first hammer blow in ice-breaking among the Youth regarding their cluster-formations at least in Sindh from now on.

The Two-Days Training workshop was organized by the Freedom Gate Pakistan (FGP) with sponsorship of German Civil Society Organization Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Foundation (FNF), conducted at Centre for Peace & Civil Society (CPCS) Hyderabad. There were bloggers, Face book addicts, Twitter users, and other social media mavens as much as twenty candidates including the writer.

A blog, as Wikipedia explains, is a blend of the term web log. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments, this interactivity distinguishes blog from static website.

Moreover, a typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photo blog), videos (video blogging or vlogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Micro blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

Keeping in view the rising power of Media and Internet, the Workshop Moderators tried to explore the young minds regarding power of social networking and its usage for political communication.

Moderator Mr. Ross Mahtani, recipient of National Youth Award 2010 from Government of Pakistan, said that from the senior writers to young students, blogging is now an avenue that allows for unfettered self-expression and also puts the mostly urban youth in touch with the world. Most importantly, blogging has broken the geographical and ideological barriers with other countries. The talent, imagination, commitment of the young bloggers will help to realize the vast potential for political communication in mainstream politics.

Participants shared their view with the Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) that by amplifying the diversity of voices, social media is making life a richer experience for us; and this is possible because Pakistanis are using their freedom of expression every day online. In fact, blogging is reinforcing the backbone of democracy ‘freedom of speech ‘a freedom that is enshrined in the Constitution.

Miss Mahajabeen Baloch, a cheerful participant said ‘In Pakistan, the freedom of the press was earned over time, through the sacrifices of its people, especially the sacrifices of those in the media community. Journalists and bloggers now play a central role in the effort to institutionalize these hard won freedoms.’

The presentation about impact of Face book & Social Networking presented by Miss Nadia Rania, Mr. Saeed Memon, Mr. Aamir Mugheri and Mr. Raja Niaz revealed that Pakistan has one of the fastest-growing Social networking populations in the world, with over four million Face book users. Remarkably, the per capita internet access in Pakistan is between 10-15% of the total population which is more than double from our neighbor country India. Using even the most conservative estimates, 20 million Pakistanis are regularly online or the equivalent of the population of four Singapores.

Alongside the growth of blogging, Face book has captured the imagination of the young Pakistanis. In a country where mixing of opposite genders is still not widely approved, social networking allows for interaction so, in many ways internet is largely egalitarian. In addition, outside the confines of elitist clubs, schools and segregated formal world, internet dilutes class and status barriers, the presenters told.

Co-Moderator Miss Nosheen delivered a presentation about the role of Color-Psychology in the formation of a Blog. For instance: Red means energy, passion, excitement, power; also implies aggression, danger. Blue: Coolness, Spirituality, Freedom, Patience, Loyalty, Peace, Trustworthiness; can also imply Sadness, Depression. While, green express life, naturalness, restfulness, health, wealth, prosperity, in certain contexts.

Miss Aqsa Memon another participant said, ‘Internet usage is on rise and a dynamic social media will be the major agents of socio-political transformation.’

The pace of change in Pakistan’s crackling society is rapid enough to confound any observer. Thus, the growing bloggism and social network addiction in youth will certainly pave the way for a change in socio-political spheres with a much hastening momentum.

By: Saeed Memon

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