Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two top PNG bloggers share their secrets





I have been inundated with queries from all over the country about Blogging since I started writing on the subject last fortnight and again last week.
For the benefit of these people, I have asked two of Papua New Guinea’s esteemed Bloggers, Emmanuel Narakobi and Robert Schilt, to share their thoughts on Blogging - one of the fastest-growing means of mass communication.
Emmanuel runs the Masalai Blog (http://masalai.wordpress.com/) while Robert runs http://www.trupela.com/ out of Goroka.
“I had been hearing allot about it in the media and on the Internet throughout 2006 and after seeing the beautiful writing on one of my own friend’s Blog, http://islandbaby.blogspot.com/, I decided I’d give it a go,” Emmanuel recalls.
“The initial purpose was to provide a medium other than my company website where I could be less formal in discussing what was going on at my business.
“In a way I saw it as an alternative way of advertising.
“After getting started, like any website, I was now asking myself how I get people to see my writing and to leave comments.
“So I started visiting PNG Scape, the popular PNG forum.
“I would leave comments on there in the IT section and then I would have links back to my Blog so people could come and comment.
“After employing this trick for a while I noticed that it started to work and so my hits then began to increase.
“But then I ran in to some issues with the owners of the PNG Scape Forum, who after a while, stopped me from posting anything on the Forum because they believed that it was taking people away from the forum, especially in their IT section.
“After some discussions with them we compromised that as long as I put up their link on my Blog and if I kept most of the articles on their website then they would allow me again to post comments on their forum.”
The rest, as they say, is history and the hits began to climb, as can be verified by http://masalai.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/masalai-blog-statistics/, from 442 hits a month in December 2006 to 5,205 hits in June this year.
“I guess, after all that, the hits began to climb quickly each month,” Emmanuel continues.
“So I now average between 4,500-5,000 hits a month, which has been absolutely amazing to me.
“A lot of what I write about is ICT-related, but I try not to get too technical and to keep it fun so as to keep the attention of the readers.
“As many active bloggers like Malum Nalu can tell you, it’s wonderful how many different and like-minded people you meet through the Blog.
“I now have a growing list of contacts in my industry that actually relate to my work and it has even led to a new article in the Pacific Islands Business magazine, which is published in Fiji for the South Pacific.
“Blogging isn’t for everyone, because you have to update it frequently.
“So you have to have a passion for what you are writing about and a keen interest in it.
“Because obviously, the more you update it, the more people keep coming back to read what you have to say.
“From a business perspective, it can be one of the best ways to advertise online.
“Tourism companies in PNG would be a great example of a perfect use for a Blog to tell people about travels and places to stay when you are in PNG.
“It’s been 19 months now since I stared and I’m up to 70,837 hits, so to anyone who wants to give it go, start right now.
“It’s free and all it will cost is your time to share your thoughts with the world.”
Schilt, an expatriate IT manager at the Goroka Base Hospital, is another of the keen Bloggers in PNG.
“I have been an avid blogger since early 2005 and although I have never attracted thousands of regular readers nor created layouts to blow your mind, I have thoroughly enjoyed the process and have remained reasonably consistent as far as the frequency and the content that I publish,” he says.
“What triggered the whole blogging thing for me was when I decided to come and work as a volunteer in Papua New Guinea back in early 2005, I was seeking a means to share the adventure with the family and friends back at home.
“A so-called Blog, or Weblog, seemed like the perfect medium for achieving this need and so this is when blogging for me got off to a flying start.
“There are currently thousands of online articles, news feeds, websites, and of course blogs available for the Blogger, just ask Google! - from tips and techniques, to customisation guides and of course a myriad on the esoteric topic of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
“Blogging can be as simple or as complex, as fun or as serious, as little work or as time consuming as you want.
“In the end and if you decide to start your own Blog - you and only you can decide the what, the when and the how’s - the means, the guidance and resources to do it are generally widely available.
“Believe it or not but there are folks around that have found a way to make a comfortable living out of blogging.
“Whether it’s designing blogs for another people, writing stories, or even those that have found a way of creating an unattended blog - one that is capable of automatically ‘pinching’ stories/posts from other websites/blogs/newsfeeds and then re-publishing them as their own, these blogs normally carry adverts which of course make money for the owner.”
Robert adds: “There are times I wished that I was in a position to immerse myself into blogging full-time - then again I’m glad that I have other responsibilities in my life which drag me away from the potentially addictive nature of this cyber past-time.
“Although my basic reason for blogging remains the same as it was back in early 2005 when I started out, the interest and curiosity in the incredibly-diverse selection of tools available to bloggers has really caught my fancy.
“There are many times when I can see how caught up I have become in the periphery tasks associated with blogging such as customisation, SEO and function.
“In the end it’s the quality and content that attracts the readers plus it has always been my intention to preserve uniqueness and individuality of my web presence.
“When I reflect on this I always end up making a decision to drop the nerdy/techo stuff and refocus on my primary reason for blogging: the writing and the sharing.”

2 comments:

  1. Hi Malum,

    Thanks for another great story on blogging.

    (One small correction re the "expat" bit - I'm actually a volunteer. The difference being... expats get paid bick bucks and us vollies don't!).

    The impact you have had on the blogging
    scene in PNG over the past two weeks has been enormous. Blogging is an easy, low cost and fun way for people to...

    Share about anything with everyone and anyone from anywhere.

    As they say back at home...

    Onya mate!!

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  2. Thanks Malum Nalu that was a very motivational story of two influencial figure in the blogging industry. They have vastly impacted so many people in and around the world. JOB WELL DONE :-D B-)

    ReplyDelete