Blogs Vs.Facebook

There were exiting news of blossoming of blogging in Ethiopia but new statistics show that the big bang of blogging activity that began in Ethiopia around 2005 is in the stage of dying away.

Thanks to Afrigator, a South African based blogging aggregator; it is now possible to measure the concentration of blogging in Ethiopia though all blogs are required to be registered on the aggregator.

The total number of Ethiopian blogs linking to Afrigator this time around (January 1 2011) is only 16. Except a blog of myself and few others almost all of them are- blogs from outside Ethiopia. Comparatively during this period more than four thousand blogs linked to Afrigator — with more than 99% being from the rest of Africa. This suggests that, while the rest of Africa mainly South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are frontrunners in blogging Ethiopia lags far behind in the number of blogs. Beside this there are indications that access to these few blogs is far more limited to Diasporas living in Europe and the United States. Though I found it difficult to substantiate it with statistics it quite evident that Ethiopian blogs recorded less page views in 2010, compared with the rest of Africa. Given that Ethiopia represent only two percent of the blogs the fact that it represents less traffic is a clear pointer to the much-debated digital divide between Ethiopia and the rest of the continent.

During 2005 seemingly from nowhere, in the middle of the year, the number of blogs and media attention around those blogs exploded into the mainstream consciousness. It was all so sudden; it naturally carried all the lightweight baggage of a new fashion. A snapshot of this blossoming of Ethiopian blogosphere neatly captured in a BBC News article entitled African bloggers finds their voice.

At beginning the majority of Ethiopian blogs seem to stay clear of tackling hard-hitting issues of politics, but other kinds of blogs like travel and adoption blogs start to converse nowadays. During 2005 election it was not surprising to see one major overriding theme in Ethiopian blogs. But slowly, slowly Ethiopian bloggers come to terminate their enterprise in blogging. What could be the reason? I suspect facebook

Though facebook dominated by plethora of personal information is growingly become the favorite online forum for most Ethiopians. The November-December tipping point for facebook in Ethiopia, chronicled in this blog, also appeared to be the period during which facebook began to gain grip in the urban society of Ethiopia. Of course facebook does not offer a broadened option to write but it is growing very fast It is rather dominated by posting information on oneself on facebook in the form of selected photographs and textual descriptions of likes and dislikes regarding movies, clothes, cosmetics, friends, food, books and more. There are no as such serious issues on facebook for the time being at least. I am sure they will appear in their multitude forms: party, ethnic and other forms of politics. Of course there are some already.

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