lundi, août 01, 2005

Have you heard the News Today?

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.

EU Commission examining Maltese Departure Tax

No comment

Nuttles Simplified Dictionary

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.

Times Editorial - Electoral Disquisitions

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!

9 commentaires:

Kenneth a dit…

You are right about Wired Temples (after a year I still call it "Wired Templates" for some unknown reason.)

But there seems to be something in the pipeline...

*takes off detective hat*


Athena a dit…

Hmmm glad to note I'm not the only one who thought WT had gone all funny. I'm quite bored of all the touristy accounts.

PS Kenneth it's the little green men that make you say templates.

Toni Sant a dit…

I can assure you that the MaltaMedia Online Network has not imposed any policy on Robert Micallef regarding the contents of Wired Temples. So, I'll let Robert say why he has been presenting what you've been seeing on WT in the last few weeks.

As for your claim that "Lorna's answer to J'Accuse was the first documented reply to a blog" on mainstream media in Malta, perhaps you missed the Curia's reply to my blog via WT.

I believe every lawyer bone in your body loves the tone of these few words I've left on your blog today. Right? Just kidding, of course!

Jacques René Zammit a dit…


Robert does not need to do any explaining. It is just weird.

Yes. I missed the Curia reply. I only started blogging a month later. In any case the Tabellina article did not mention your situation either. So the point still stands.

Lawyerish answer? I do my best not to :)

Robert Micallef a dit…

As Toni says, my move to MaltaMedia is not linked to any restrictions regarding the contents of my blog.

Although I keep to the daily commitment of posting on WT, it is natural that some days/weeks are more active than others. The last few weeks have been unusually busy with Eurobarometer work so my blog surfing time was severely compromised. But J'Accuse is one of the blogs I never miss. And my July top ten blog is coming up very soon!

WT's spirit and raison d'aitre remain unchanged. Linking to other Maltese blogs is one important feature. I usually link to those which are recently created and there have been fewer of those lately. I agree that it would be good to have more links and interaction with regular and active blogs such as yours. Blogging is more fun if we can engage more effectively with news items and with each other's posts. That is what I had in mind when I started the Weekly News Digest on wednesdays.

One other important feature of WT is the regular link to bloggers who visit Malta and write about their travel experiences. Some of these accounts may lack in depth when viewed by expert anthropologists like Athena but the idea is to create a kind of compendium/archive of Malta references from the blogosphere. The same goes for Malta related items from international websites that are also featured on WT.

Those who are interested in reading more on this subject, I refer you to a fascinating book published by Encounters books in 2000 edited by Peter Serracino Inglott and Petra Bianchi with an intro by Guido De Marco. The book, titled 'Encounters with Malta' is a collection of accounts of Malta as seen by the eyes of visitors throughout Malta's history. I strongly recommend it.

As Kenneth has discovered, I will soon start a more personal blog which I will use as a platform for my opinions and comments about a wide range of subjects. Wired Temples will stay as it is but my more personal and political notes will be channeled via - but first i need to update my website. More on that later.

Fausto Majistral a dit…

I am not concerned about the breakup of Gozo (which I tried to argue is actually a good thing for the island)

Yeah, it's a case of the Maltese having to throw off the Gozitan yoke!


but for the farce of MLPN when reaching this kind of agreements.

You seem to find an agreement between the Nationalist Party and Labour to be farcical in and of itself. Unless you plan to do some explaining ...

Athena a dit…

If I may reply to Robert here... Robert, everyone understands that people get busy [points to pile of work on own desk], I was just wondering if WT had changed in concept. One reason I am so fond of WT is that it connected me to the Maltese blogosphere, so I was getting a bit tired of reading *just* touristy contributions (which I also enjoy btw). More homegrown stuff is always appreciated:)

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Robert: thanks for the detailed explanation. You did not really need to justify yourself but it is really appreciated. Keep up the good work... and now you know what we look out for in WT ;)

Fausto: fausto fausto fausto... one day the Gozitans will reign supreme :) Meanwhile I think it is only naive to imagine that in the current state of affairs any agreement between MLP and PN is not Macchiavellian and in the interest of the two parties retaining the bipartisan stronghold over politics. A third party is a lose situation for either one of them... one they both can ill-afford.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

An agreement between PN and MLP IS farcical in itself. The situation in Maltese Politics is such that the only time the two will "agree" it is not done for the "common good" (of the people) but for the "common good" of MLPN. The only agreements they find are on electoral changes (funnily enough).

Hence a farce.

Meanwhile whenever attacked with this conundrum some junior MP on one of the sides pens an article about how 75% of the laws which are passed in Parliament are due to agreemnt. Which is a load of circum tauri. They just calculate those sections of the laws which are not debated. Why are they not debated? A) They have no time to analyse them; b) they are non-controversial laws.

In the meantime the constant lack of real argument/agreement has led to a watering down of the two parties' projects for Malta... prosy points indeed.