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Lasha Kavtaradze

occupy social media

04.02.2012 13:57
მინისტრი გოგა ხაჩიძე და ბლოგერები, ფოტო -

It’s a fact that Georgian “political elite” gradually realizes the power of social media.  This can be clearly seen for example by the right side of your Facebook page where smiling faces of different politicians appear from time to time. 

On one hand it is good that we not have just the “castrated mainstream media” as information source, but on the other hand it is getting harder and harder to get out of propaganda clutches. 

Of course the most active users of social media are journalists and bloggers.  They are the ones trying to be the first to circulate information and make it available for many. 

Politicians understand the best how important the benevolence of media to them is.  They are in fact the products of media, especially inGeorgiawhere even in case of elementary relationships the essence of subordination doubles. 

Considering all the above mentioned it is very profitable to create a conflict of interests for many bloggers, journalists and active users of online environment.  This is especially important when you are not a very popular population and your name appears in any media outlets mainly when you do your “side-activities” (writing presidential songs, playing musical instruments, evaluating music talent of the son of a political opponent and etc.) 

Anyway, it was a very smart technology to organize a meeting of the Environmental Protection Minister with bloggers, which actually was supposed to become a reason for information exchange and circulation; and information consumers had to be the ones benefiting from it.  Instead of that happened something that was pleasant for the Minister’s heart and PR. 

It seems there is no problem in this at all, as meeting with bloggers is a practiced in many countries.  For example, Barack Obama has hosted bloggers many times.  Still, if you listen to the recording of the 2010 of such a meeting you will realize that in theUSAsuch meetings really have sense.  During the meeting that continued for several hours so many questions were asked and comments were made to so many important comments were made that one has to be a complete amateur to question effectiveness of this type of meetings.  President Obama answered questions starting from about human rights,USforeign policy and finishing with Latin Americans’ problems.  Despite that part of American bloggers still keep saying that Obama calls meetings with social media representatives when his rating is in trouble. 

Compared to the above mentioned, Georgian Minister’s meeting with bloggers looks even more comical and misunderstood. 

Anyway, one can say that so what that the Environmental Protection Minister invited other bloggers to Borjomi with help from his former Deputy and friendly social media bloggers.  But such meetings are organized just for playing in the snow, eating and drinking and demonstrating the “incomparable sense of humor and humanity” of the Minister, to tell you the truth, I just cannot understand how can it be evaluated other than an aggressive PR hidden behind food and entertainment. 

I did not understand what actually happened in Borjomi because all I could read was just posts by a couple of pleasantly tired bloggers admiring perfect jokes by the Minister saying – “Goga is a cool guy!”.   Nobody has written anything about what questions have been asked by bloggers and what answers the Minister gave.  I really doubt there are no ecological and environmental protection problems inGeorgiathat they could have asked the Minister about.  If we admit that blogging is not just posts about depressive boy/girl relations and it is also about circulating information than I want to ask – what information have the bloggers given us after this meeting? I think nothing at all… To tell the truth, it can be clearly seen that Minister made a good promotion of himself. 

It is indisputable that the essence of social media is in its freedom.  Everyone is free to go, or not to go to such meetings; everyone is free to write, or not to write about such meetings, although being a “blogger” is a little more responsibility.  It will seem as didactics and even inconvenient didactics for me to start explaining what civil journalism means; anyone can find information on what blogging actually means. 

P.S. It does matter either who will be an organizer of the meeting; be it Goga Khachidze, Mikheil Saakashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili or even Teo Tlashadze.  Appraising any “host”, I believe, is embarrassing and tasteless.  It would be better for us to share the experience of world civil journalism and dedicate our blogposts to actualizing problems and not to Soviet-type appraisals which sometimes be satisfactory to our egoistic and original “ourselves”, but may not seem so original if looked at objectively.  

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