During the meeting, members of the Metamorphosis team presented two applications: the platform for topical blogs Kauza.mk and the aggregator for local e-content from Macedonia Ping.mk, as well as the activities within the project Social Media for Democracy.
Kauza.mk is a platform on which citizen activists can open or join existing group blogs for advocacy, aimed at resolving certain societal issues.
Ping.mk offers a range of opportunities for increasing the number of visits to the alternative sources of information, as well as opportunities for increased interaction and citizens’ participation regarding all Macedonia-related content.
The meeting was attended by bloggers Nenad Joldeski, Igor Gjuroski and Vegetarianism; Ivan Mihajlovic, administrator of the Micro-blogger platform, and several other activists – as well as a part of the team of Metamorphosis.
In the discussion that followed, the method of functioning of both applications was reviewed, and the participants highlighted the importance of avoiding any forms of censorship. The representatives of the Metamorphosis Foundation explained that a part of the Ping aggregator is using the software of the website with a worldwide influence Reddit, and also applies the relevant experiences based on promotion of the freedom of expression.
Thus, in addition to voting on the links that are automatically aggregated through the feeds, the users of Ping.mk can also manually submit links in the appropriate groups without any limitations. Removal of links is to be performed only in extreme cases when criminal content prohibited by law is published, because the basic goal of Ping is to enable users themselves to distinguish the most useful content through their activity on the website – submitting links, voting and commenting.
In order to protect the users from spam, the automatic sources – feeds are subject to approval by the administrators, who are actively trying to include all the alternative and non-profit sources of information related to Macedonia, especially blogs and NGO websites. This opportunity is also available for commercial websites, as long as they are contributing to the development of the Ping community.
Saso Karapanchev, a representative of the NGO for environment and youth – Bovium, running the website Alarm for Nature, stressed that one of the basic social needs towards which the efforts of the bloggers should be directed is the disclosure of media manipulation, particularly through collecting and presenting relevant statistical data.