The Maltese Blogosphere – August Shrink or The Hyperlink Misers?
Ever since its integration into the MaltaMedia Online Network blogs (as far as I know there are three plus the cartoon), Wired Temples seems to have taken on a policy of not commenting further on Maltese Blogs and concentrating on those kitsch Blogs about Malta by the occasional tourist from Upper Westphalia. Cross-referencing among Blogs keeps the blogosphere alive. The latest example of suppressed referencing is found in Tabellina (Think Journalism). A good article by Rebecca Cefai refers to Blogs being quoted by journalists (like with our anonymous friend Bocca 🙂 ) and to Blogs getting reactions from irked columnists (read Lorna reacting to J’Accuse). Either Rebecca or the Tabellina editors chose not to refer to my blog as the example in question. Now my blog was not the only one to be mentioned in mainstream media so that is understandable however Lorna’s answer to J’Accuse was the first documented reply to a blog so the omission of the reference in that case is less explicable.I do not have statistics at hand but this reticence on hyperlinking other blogs has come at the same time as a general slowdown in posting in August to give the impression that the Maltese blogosphere is shrinking for the time being after the first big-bang. While that sans-pareil of opinion columnists J.G. Vassallo has also acknowledged the power of blogging, the Maltese blogosphere slowdown seems to be caused mainly by a realignment away from the original position of active and open engagement the original agora seemed to have. Which would be a pity.
Having said this, the page hits on J’Accuse have not witnessed any change in frequency since this slowdown has happened. Which might also mean that the hyperlinks were not effective in that sense. But that is not my point. My point is that the engagement and discussion was and is necessary for the development of the community. Navel gazing does not help. Otherwise we could all end up writing Prosy Points.
Mr Thank-You-Government gives us a new article today. What is a decision? notwithstanding all my slagging I do think that Mr Frank Salt is doing us a service by simplifying what politics is all about. In the twisted world of Maltese politics, a column like Frank Salt’s ends up inadvertently sounding like Utopia. Carry on Frank! But no more thank-yous… pretty please.
The Editorial starts off with that Saltish comment that the agreement between the two parties on the electoral changes marks a change in the political climate. While anyone in their right mind would smell the stink of agreement a mile away the Times expresses satisfaction. Had the Times known of Andreotti’s historic kiss with Signor Riina the headline would probably have been “Progress Made between Government and Mafia”. The huff over Gozo continues. As I said in a comment I made in one of Fausto’s posts I am not concerned about the breakup of Gozo (which I tried to argue is actually a good thing for the island) but for the farce of MLPN when reaching this kind of agreements. More like buddies in agreement they are buddies in crime.
The concluding three paragraphs of the editorial however do deserve a mention (although no direct reference to a fair threshold is made therein):
“The objective should therefore be to make the electoral boundaries irrelevant for the strength of the parties in the House and necessary only for the delineation of constituencies.
Other issues also need to be settled, such as guaranteeing the right to vote to the growing number of Maltese who are working or studying abroad.
The agreement reached within the Electoral Commission on the electoral boundaries was clearly a step in the right direction. But it must only be seen as a first step towards the realisation of the ultimate goal of an electoral system which everyone can have confidence in.”
And by everyone we mean EVERYONE!