Friday, September 28, 2007

To blog or not to blog...and is that the question?

As I peruse my almost daily 'jousting with windmills' blog posts I wonder whether there is a method to my madness.

As human rights violations stack up and government hubris appears to know no bounds, I catch myself repeating the same phrases and sentiments. There is a limit to the lexicon one can tap to give vent to a growing disquiet at the casual indifference of so many toward the Howard Government's systematic use of fear mongering and populist xenophobia.

As I trawl through the blog-o-sphere I am amazed at how little overall attention is paid to the devaluation of civil and human rights and the ongoing flagrant violations against refugees and weaker sections of our society. The recent vote by Australia against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) is a case in point.

I set out to raise awareness of human rights violations on Howard's watch, and to provide readers with a virtual archive of ready links to primary sources to enable research and to document this sad chapter.

My blog has been listed on an international human rights blogroll, which illumines international approaches to human rights and provides online resources for human rights advocates and activists.

By any measure, however, I'm doubtful I've met my mission statement, although time might happily prove me wrong.

There are a few blogs focussed exclusively on human rights. Most of the key rights based NGOs have websites that track human rights issues and developments, but few are updated regularly. Other blogs focus primarily on political, cultural, environment and economic themes.

The discursive political blogs are favoured by virtual trawlers, with others developing a core following of repeat readers. There are also bloggers that blog about blogging, which is a little like politicians taking 'bus man holidays' online.

Self-promotion through the blog-o-sphere comes in many guises, and some of it can have genuine motivation and an upside.

The trick with blogs is knowing when the message is more than the medium...

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