At the Aidcom conference today, I was one of the discussants for Jeff Ooi's session entitled The Cyber Platform - Does it have a space? Prof Wan Ahmad Zawawi Ibrahim was the other discussant and Zainon Ahmad, the political editor of the Sun, chaired the session.
I said yes, the Cyber platform has ample space. But how much space it will have is dependent on three players:
1/ people like Zam, who will want to regulate and stifle the blogs and on-line news;
2/ the bloggers themselves; and
3/ the hijackers, which include the mainstream media, which have the means to hijack the bloggers agenda by investing in blogs themselves.
Why are the authorities, represented by pembesar-pembesar like Zam, want to control the blogs/cyber platform and why did I say the likes of Media Prima would be keen to keep that "space" for itself? The answer, I said, is because blog offer "power" and "money" to those who know how to use it. In the US, advertising on the internet is expected to reach US$70 billion by 2010. We will see big ad money here in Malaysia, too. And as for power, just look around: there are already several people who run blogs, Jeff Ooi and RPK, who are today seen as powerful figures, sometimes more powerful than the editors of the mainstream media.
Poster Anak Dol Keropok is disappointed with me because I look at blogging as power and money. I did explain, however, that I don't get a single sen from this blog.
And the "power" of the blog is the reason why the likes of Zam want to control it and the likes of Kalimullah Hassan want to firewall and defeat it. It is not why I - like you - blog, my friend.