Thursday, January 11, 2007

If a revolution happens in the desert, blog about it

Writing One Hump has been a great experience for me, and I plan to continue until Mohammed VI buys me off. I haven't just gotten emails from a lot of nice people, met some of you, and been invited to interesting events, but i actually feel like I'm working on something bigger than me. That's why I think you should write a blog about the Western Sahara, too!

It's easy enough to get started. If you're not sure if you want to buy a domain or software, just get a free account on Blogger or a similar website. I haven't had any problems with Blogger, and some of the most prominent blogs use it. If you're in the Western Sahara or Morocco, though, it's probably a good idea to use another website, because there are reports that Morocco's blocked Blogspot domains.

After you've made your account, it's gravy. Make some posts and get in contact with other people on the Western Sahara scene. Send me an email and I'll link to you.

Reporters without Borders has a great guide to starting and running your blog that was especially designed for people in repressive countries like Morocco or the occupied territories. I even used it for One Hump, because although no one in the U.S. government is tracing my IP and sending federal agents, it has handy advice about increasing traffic, earning a higher Google ranking, and writing better posts.

Is this just a ploy to increase my Technorati ranking? Partly. I also like reading about the Western Sahara (there isn't nearly enough opinion writing about it, and most of it is in Arabic or French). Additionally, the Western Sahara needs ideological and methodological arguments that we can continue in blogs.

I have a motive larger than the others: blogs make noise. All the hype about citizen journalism aside, a lot of people read blogs, and the more we write about the Western Sahara the more people will consider it. Additionally, it makes the Moroccan government nervous. I've heard that my blog has been emailed between officials in their government. Let's get make them nervous together.


  1. I enjoy reading your blog, but you have to realize that those of us with ties in Morocco - familiar or otherwise - have to be careful what we say. My husband's father was in jail for "treason" in the 60s (later disproved), and it's not an experience anyone would care to emulate.

  2. Damn, I meant to say "familial."

  3. First of all, thanks for reading.

    Thanks also for reminding me that Moroccans, Sahrawis, and others do not enjoy the uninhibited freedom of speech that I do. I should've mentioned that. I certainly don't want anyone or anyone's family's getting in trouble.

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