To blog or not to blog? My feelings about the 2010 Romanian blogosphere

Gotta tell you this, guys.

I've been spending a few weeks studying in parallel the occidental blogosphere and the Romanian one. In the first case, there were the Blogger blogs of note (January, February and March 2010); in the other, the ZeList Top 50 – a.k.a. the most prominent 50 Romanian blogs. In case you were wondering where all my recent - and ironic - references to the Romanian blogosphere came from, you have a part of the explanation.

So, this is what I discovered, and what I can tell you with the right hand juxtaposed to my heart: unfortunately, the Romanian blogosphere sucks. But I am afraid that word is not strong enough. The Romanian blogosphere, as it presents itself at this very moment throughout its most visible blogs, sucks big time. On the other hand, you can find excellent Romanian blogs - and you can find those that I like and recommend in the Romanian bloglandia chapter. Unfortunately, these are quite few.

Among the 50 most prominent Romanian blogs, there was one only I could like enough in order to add to the blogroll: www.bookblog.ro. It was added already years ago. The others were all very similar, because they all spoke about politics, media and can-can. Very few were actually blogs, and not sites (considering their content and lack of personalization). And that, even if the authors themselves were clever and well-educated people.

Most Romanian blogs date from 2008 and 2009. So, ok, there was a technical delay with the West, and most of the Romanians got to have internet access in 2006 and 2007, but to see that beginning date on almost all the blogs I wondered through made me think that most of the Romanian bloggers chose this activity out of mere opportunism. It was a fashion to have a blog in 2007 and 2008 in Romania, and those who gained success kept it out of inertia. While, you know, there are, for instance, Romanian bloggers who started posting in 2003, never made the mainstream and had writing skills. One of them was linked on this blog until recently, and it was the oldest Romanian blog that I know of. Most unfortunate, she quit blogging. It is a decision I fully understand. I cannot blame her.

Another thing is that Romanian bloggers, blogging in Romanian, don't like using Romanian diacritics, so there are moments when you have to literally guess what they meant to say in the first place. And this is a matter of basic respect towards the readers. Afterward, I did not like the strong/indecent language – which seems to be a sort of standard - and the grammar problems many of the blog authors do have.

But I guess the most disturbing and unpleasant thing is that most of the Romanian blogs I wandered through are boring, boring, and… boring. You have usually the same political or media subject, presented in the very same way, and that is it. So I say it again: blogging is civic, blogging is citizen journalism, so it has to speak about civic matters, but at the same time blogging should not be a copy of the classical mass-media.

Are there any rays of hope for the Romanian blogosphere as a whole? I think so: there are some civic and humanitarian initiatives and campaigns who really add value to it, lately. But I do not know if that is quite enough.

Sad conclusion: I find myself in the funny situation of being unable – with some exceptions - to relate to the blogosphere of my own country.

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