Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Update: Diplomat blog

The news about croatian diplomat in Washington, who wrote web diary , is becoming world news. Reuters picked up this story today, and it reveals blogging emergent impact here in Croatia only 6 months after the first blogging service opened its doors.

UPDATE , media reports about the sad story:
Blog Herald, Digital Media Europe, Washington DC blog, Online Journalism Review, Toronto Pulse 24 , MemeFirst,

I already wrote about Vibbi web diary when the story broke in croatian blogosphere, but then, it was mainly speculations that under "vibbi blog " could be croatian diplomat ( Vibor Kalogjera ) in Washington and son of a well known croatian journalists who by accident covered US presidential elections for croatian television from Washington. And now, it seems that they are both out of office ( her mother was recalled as a correspondent from Washington )

Author called Vibbi wrote his web diary at WWW.BLOG.HR blogging service ( the first croatian blogging service), and after one of the bloggers wrote a blog article where she speculated who could be author of this blog, vibbi blog was terminated, apparently by its author.

Later on, croatian media Vecernji List and some other online media covered unfolding story as well. Seriouse questions were raised going up all the way to the Foreign Ministry who launched offical investigation into the case and our ambassador in Washigton was alerted because diplomat blogger wrote very openly about his meethings with World Bank officials, and other sensitive taughts like for example " Americans are stupid'' , harsh words indeed, possible case for the diplomatic scandal in the making )) , Reuters:

he described most meetings as boring and predictable and also said there was "no difference at all" between President Bush and his rival John Kerry in the U.S. presidential elections earlier this month.

Although this blog had been deleted , some bloggers set up mirror site with the content of this blog and it's still available here ( croatia language ).

As I already wrote, blogging mini revolution is spreading trough out croatian web space. For those who are unfamilar with the advent of blogosphere in Croatia, just to remind, the first blogging service called WWW.BLOG.HR started in May this year and after only 6 months become a place for more than 11.000 blog authors.

It's spreading very fast and the main reason for strong media impact at its infany is that bloggers voice and writing work can be very widely distributed over Monitor.hr ( the sisters site of blog.hr ) , one of the most visited news portals here in Croatia.
It's a true beggining of citizens reporting in the making.

I had a privilage and opportunity to work from the start as the adviser for BLOG.HR project with a person who cofounded www.blog.hr, a young croatian Dario Markus, editor for the online version of croatian daily Vecernji List who started working for online media with only 15 years old.

He's now 19, and he wrote all this years for numerouse croatian web portals and news sites and was the IT editor for Monitor.hr news site. ( We started project blog.hr from August last year )
I 'll use this opportunity to ask him few questions on the croatian blogosphere and context for case about diplomat blog affair.

Dario, what was your first reaction when you heard that other media covered blogging issue about Vibbi blog?
Well, I haven't expected that BLOG.HR can have so much influence. The news spread very fast. BLOG.HR has an interesting feature not very much known to foreign blogosphere, namely, every blogger has a button for sending his blog post from blogging editor to the editors and impressum of BLOG.HR, who can then publish news on the main page.
And what's more, almost immediatly, the same news could be published as news on the MONITOR.HR news portal , which is sister's site by BLOG.HR ?
BLOG.HR was started in partnership with MONITOR.HR news portal, which is one of the most visited news portals here in Croatia. In that case, if we pick up valuable story of one of the bloggers from BLOG.HR , we have this ability to spread the news to potentially 100.000 people every day.
I think, it's a strong case for citizen reporting, and mainstream media are starting to wake up to this possibility and as many say, BLOG.HR is apsolutelly hit this year on croatian internet . What was first aim in building BLOG.HR project, simplicity of use ?
Yes, the simplicity was our voiding star, blogging should be easy, and it is with the simple registration procedure for a new user and has a clear interface, and seems that every web user in Croatia can participate with only basic understanding of internet and become publisher of its thoughts, opinions, etc. At the same time, we made easy-to-use web publishing tool and strong media voice for the authors.
You are not schooled journalist but I know you have ambitions, you write online for years. Currently, you write for online edition of Vecernji list and you are part of their editorial stuff .What's your dream for the future ?
I have a great wish to work and live in New York , actually. The New York has a magnetic infuence on me, and I think that in the future only US market and the life overthere can bring me opportunity to make all my projects and ambitions for real. One day I'll make it ! I am sure.
But, first, there's so much still to do about blogging here in Croatia ;))
Thanks for this too officialy small talk :)) We must make self-congratulations from time to time :))

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