September 09, 2003


Salam Pax tells how Iraq’s stupid Internet censors helped him discover blogging:

We had no access to sites offering free web mail or web space. You had to use the mail account provided by the ISP and you can bet your wireless mouse this mail was being monitored. But the beauty of the internet is that it is not static, it changes all the time. There are always new sites offering all sorts of services and the people who run the firewall were not always that clued-up. They were just as new to this as we were and it was a race. We would use a certain web mail service until the site was blocked, then start a new search. You had to be creative with your search terms and have lots of patience. And for those who were a little bit geekier, the internet offered a wealth of tunnelling software to download, little programs which allowed you to make tiny holes in the firewall through which you could access blocked sites. They knew it was happening. It was a cat and mouse game.

It was on one of these searches that I found blogs. With blogs the web started talking to me in a much more personal way. Bits of news started having texture and most amazingly, these blogs talked with each other. That hyperlink to the next blog - I just couldn't stop clicking. And the best thing about it was that Mr Site Killer had absolutely no clue.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 9, 2003 05:52 PM

Hey, and while you're up, why not check out his friend blog. It's a real eye-opener.

Posted by: Fork at September 9, 2003 at 08:48 PM

Sorry about that. I meant "his friend River's blog".

Link's still good, but html grammar is poor.

Posted by: Fork at September 9, 2003 at 08:50 PM

That is a good find, thanks for the tip. He seems to be somewhat at odds with Salam Pax on the question of the occupation. In that he doesn't see a good side ...

Posted by: Dave F at September 9, 2003 at 10:13 PM

It says its a "girl blog", so I think its "she doesn't see a good side . . ."

Posted by: Kevin Kramer at September 9, 2003 at 11:50 PM


Tim - the Telegraph in the UK has started a new column - "Beebwatch" - to keep track on examples week by week of BBC editorial bias.

Posted by: JohninLondon at September 10, 2003 at 12:47 AM

I think it's from a westernized Iraqi.

Maybe she has higher expectations because she's used to a different level of living???

Posted by: Sandy P. at September 10, 2003 at 02:04 AM