Blogs around the world – from Italy where they’re feared yet revered to USA where even Time lists and ranks them

Here in Barbados, many blogs are amorphous entities who can make or break regular Bajan pastimes of politics, business, real estate and bribes or other heretofore clandestine operations that no one officially declared – if used well, then blogs allow users to bring truth to light without exposing themselves to reprisals.

The dark side of this is that those who know the few that dare to speak as they are, and wish to victimise the identifiable are also anonymous (although a tip of the hat to Barbados Underground for asking questions after a Stephen Williams’ IT column in Business Authority had a shadow site’s URL as a link to probably the most popular Barbadian blog) and have been known to be particularly vile in their intentions to those who dare stand up for what is right.

In Italy similar things can happen, as we learn from reporter/blogger Mark Mardell of the BBC

I go to Genoa to meet the man behind a blog whose aim is to clear the current political class out of power.

Beppe Grillo?s online comments were voted by Time Magazine?s readers as the world?s most interesting political blog.

Beppe Grillo is, I guess, in his fifties, a mass of wavy curls more salt than pepper and a neat beard framing his engagingly impish face.

An irrepressible performer with political clout, he?s the organiser of a rally with a very direct message to Italy?s political elite. It was called “F-Off day?. It drew a crowd of 80,000.

What amounts to political censorship cost him his job in 1987. He is a standup comic, and was perhaps the most popular comedian on Italian TV.

But then he made a joke about the then ruling party, the Socialists, being corrupt. The show?s host walked off stage, the doorman wouldn?t look him in the eye and he never appeared on TV again, barred by both the state and Berlusconi?s private empire.

Even after a massive bribery scandal brought about the collapse of the Socialist party, he didn?t get his job back.

Not that it did him any harm. We are talking in his large study and sitting room taking up the whole bottom floor of his rather wonderful villa perched on a hillside overlooking the sea, just outside Genoa.

He fills any theatre he plays to and is one of the most influential alternative political voices in Italy. He takes on big companies and says things about politicians that leave him embroiled in dozens of court cases.

The first protest, or V-Day from its Italian name, demanded that the whole political elite, but particularly politicians with criminal convictions, should leave the political stage…
That is part of what happens in the Eternal City, and it is the same Beppe’s Blog that is #1 in the USA, where blogs have a sort of outlaw reverence. One of the bastions of American journalism, Time Magazine, exalts these cyber-publications – rather than deny they exist like how the Nation and Starcom do here in Barbados – and have gone so far as to see who is popular…

Lifehacker is fourth out of the top 5, but the Italian “seditionary” (that should really be ‘democratic‘ but if Sergio Berlusconi’s reading, no need to upset the poor darling) journal is what tops the ranks across the pond.

Perhaps what all of the legitimate Barbadian blogs can do is to have a vote to see what kind of ranking pertains among us?

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