Representatives of the following blogs attended the meeting: Kanalizacija , Vuna , Komunikacii, Javno zdravje [Public Health]) , Strumjan, Femgerila, Patot na dushite, Volan, Kvadratura na krugot , Venera / Oksimoron, Archeological diary, Interpreter’s Blog, Global Voices in Macedonian, Džaman, and Razvigor 😉 and were accompanied by Petar Kajevski, CEO of Najdi! search engine.
Darko Buldioski raised the question of “enclosure of the users of blog.com.mk in regard to blogs hosted on other platforms,” which—according to Snežana Štrkovska is due to the limited time at the disposal of bloggers and readers, who all opt to read what’s available thanks to the “usable organisation which enhances the accessibility of the content on Blogeraj.” According to Aleksandar Dimitriević, in Macedonia “there is a need for an aggregator that would pull up content from all platforms, and use similar organisation and functionality.” Filip Stojanovski stated that such an aggregator will need to be completely inclusive, with an embedded system for collaborative filtering to promote quality posts.
Petar Kajevski pointed out the need to differentiate between readers and authors of blog content. In this context, “it is of greater importance to consider where the readers go, not the bloggers”
Vasilka Dimitrovska raised the issue of lack of awareness within the Macedonian blogging community about the ways to monitor other blogs, while Veronika Kostadinova suggested that it is “improper to impose the choice on what to read to people. Therefore RSS is the best tool, as it enables the best individual choice.”
The main topic at the meeting regarded the concern over tendencies to abuse the medium for political purposes and the issue of blogger solidarity when bloggers are threatened with overregulation of the internet. Mirjana Najčevska suggested “preparation of strategies for actions in the future cases of endangering the freedom of expression” based on the experiences of NGO networks advocating human rights. According to her, the several recent “political chivies via groups of bloggers” border on harassment sanctioned by law. On the other hand, according to some of the participants in the discussion, this should not be causing tension since according to their experience there were still no consequences for explicit dissident statements.
Darko Buldioski also indicated that “according to the law, an owner of print media has no right to possess electronic media” which is an example for the obsoleteness of the legal framework which does not take into consideration the fact that the websites are literally electronic media.
During the discussion, the need for updating the chronology of the Macedonian blogosphere was also emphasized as a means for collective memory.
The participation on the meeting was coordinated by Google group MK Blog, which is open for all enthusiasts interested in this area.
The event was supported by the three-year project for decentralized cooperation between Macedonia and the Basse Normandie region in France, aiming at increasing the active citizen participation.