Armenia Experiencing a Renaissance in Blogs and Blogging

Gegham Vardanyan

Physicist by education, journalist by occupation

I heard some good news yesterday: my colleague, ArmNews TV Executive Director Artak Aleksanyan, decided to continue his blog [AM].

This is the second such news about blogs in Armenia I received this week. The first was that Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educomplex Principal Ashot Bleyan maintains a blog [AM] and has set a quota for himself to write a blog post once a day. 

I rejoice when prominent, successful people in Armenia who have something to say keep a blog. There are many people on Facebook who are prominent, experienced, and successful, but keeping a blog fell out of fashion in recent years. 

There are fewer people now who maintain a blog than until 2011–2012, when the mass exodus to Facebook began.  One of the reasons for bloggers’ growing preference for Facebook that maintaining a blog is more laborious than posting in Facebook.

To substantiate my claim, let me cite figures from the Caucasus Research Resource Centers‘ Caucasus Barometer 2013 survey. Only 1% of internet users said they write or read others’ blogs. Compare this with 35% of respondents who said they use Facebook at least once a week.

Based on my personal observations, prior to “Facebook-ization,” the number of those who opted for a blog as a space for their own online presence was greater. But a blog requires care and constant original content, while “living” in Facebook is much easier. 

I’m not opposed to Facebook. I am in favor of using as many online platforms as possible: Facebook for discussion and sharing content; Twitter for spreading information quickly, getting information about emerging news; Tumblr for animated gifs; Instagram for photos; and Flickr for saving and sharing photos. And the list goes on.

A blog is suitable when the issue is about creating content that is searchable, organized by date, archived, and has a versatile and suitable design.

And of course an important component of blogs is the community or steady audience that is shaped around the blog’s author — when a reader reads your blog not by seeing on a link on Facebook but by regularly visiting your blog or subscribing to your blog through email or a RSS feed. 

For this last component — that is, the community — influential, experienced, leading people in a sector are very important. I am noticing a renaissance shift in blogs in Armenia this year. Examples at the start of the article are manifestations of this shift.

And finally, let me include a list of those Armenian blogs that I read (in no particular order and only active blogs are included):

Tert.am/blog [AM]
Armblog.net [AM]
Samvel Martirosyan’s personal space [AM]
Mark Grigorian’s blog [RU]
Mikael Yalanuzyan’s blog [AM]

Gegham Vardanyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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