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Svetlana Bolotnikova Wins Georgian Bloggers Over

07.07.2010 21:02

"На Черном море вербуют блоггеров" (bloggers won over at the Black Sea) - scandalously titled article published last week in a trilingual online edition Georgia Times (http://www.georgiatimes.info). Don't mix it up with the Georgian weekly the Georgian Times. "Radio, TV and print media are almost fully subordinated to the authorities. Internet is yet an unconquered space though everything has already been planned. Seemingly that's the reason the meeting of the selected of the global society is being held every two months. The youth are served tasty food and drinks and taught how to fight on the informational front," writes journalist Svetlana Bolotnikova. The article was initially written in the Russian language, afterwards the Georgian version of the same web site posted the article with the following title: Bloggers Assembled at the Black Sea (http://www.georgiatimes.info/ge/articles/37396.html).

Seemingly the translator spared Georgian bloggers and provided the translation of the scandalous title into the Georgian language in a harmless way. The correct translation would sound as follows Georgian Bloggers being Won Over at the Black Sea. There is no exact equivalent for the Russian verb "вербовать" but the idea is recruiting, bribing, winning over.

The start of the story is as follows:

On June 24-26 under the initiative of the Ministry of Economy of Georgia and with the backing of Sakaeronavigatsia Ltd (Georgian Air Navigation) the Days of Georgian Blogging 2010 were held in Kvariati, Black Sea. According to the official web site of the event a three-day seminar covered the following topics:

-Creation of electronic manual for the beginner bloggers;

-Marketing and branding strategies for private companies;

-Organizing an action to promote Batumi through blogging and collecting relevant material;

-Elaboration of recommendations for the authorities to activate actions in new media (GOV 2.0) and etc.

Georgian bloggers whose absolute majority is my friends took part in the event. I was invited to Kvariati too. Due to the overloaded schedule unfortunately I failed to go there.

That's the official Georgian description of the event. Let's get back to Svetlana Bolotnikova's imagination. According to her the days of blogging were held in a secret atmosphere so that the Russian special services couldn't find out its location. The events of the kind, she wrote, are being held twice per month, free thinking of Georgian bloggers has been brought to an end, etc...

Please once again force yourself and imagine: let's say the Georgian authorities bribed 30 bloggers. There are around 700 active bloggers remaining in Georgia. Let's say the "bribed" bloggers hit upon a kind of protest, what do you think which of them would face difficulty in creating an anonymous blog under the severe censorship? That would never be a problem, I promise.

Now let's see how dangerous the "bribed" Georgian bloggers are and why the Ministry of Economy of Georgia urgently decided to "silence" them.

The "bribed" #1: Mariam Talakhadze, alias sweet.ge - the author of a pink blot, writes about personal life, talks about private aspirations, the TV series Sex and City, friends, provides recommendations for the beginner bloggers and most importantly, no word about politics, social problems, etc.

The "bribed" #2: Dodka, Dodo Khorkheli, blog dodka.ge - hasn't been posting on her blog for a few months now. Currently she is heading different activities in the social media, conducts trainings and runs the Nichieri TV show online campaign.

The "bribed" #3: Nodar (Rocko) Davituri, blog rocko.ge - he gave up writing on his blog few months ago. He is the director of O Media company. He conducts trainings on new media.

The list of the "bribed" is endless but it is not gonna change anything, they don't write about politics, they have no interest in it, therefore I don't think anyone would waste time, money and energy on, citing Svetlana Bolotnikova, winning the harmless bloggers over.

We should understand Svetlana Bolotnikova too, she doesn't seem to be speaking Georgia, naturally she would be unaware of the content of Georgian-language blogs. Instead she must be reading the posts of the Georgian bloggers writing in Russian, a part of them were taking part in the aforementioned meeting.

The bloggers writing in Russian have created their accounts on livejournal.com. They write a lot about politics, Abkhazia, Russia, recent wars in Georgia, etc. No wonder...A part of bloggers writing in the Georgian and Russian languages are the youth made into IDPs from Abkhazia and Ossetia whose interest is quite comprehensible. They write about the city they were born in, the house they were brought up in and they were driven out from. There is no need for these people to be ordered to write anti-Russian and pro-Georgian posts and their bribing in this regard makes no sense. They fight against an enormous machine of disinformation, frankly and ardently the way they understand and can. Most likely they are to further do it, without dictation "from above". The blogger Sukhumi is its clear evidence. We learnt about his existence when his blog was blocked by Russian special services.

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