Questions on Blogs, and Do They Represent the Voice of the Common People?

A reader ‘Wonderer’ asks:
Q.Why does your blog  attract so few comments?
A.Thank you for your questions.  I’m quite pleased with the number and quality of comments although I’d like to see more on the main issues.  Many people prefer to make short, quickly written comment on the “juicy” stories. More considered comments take time to write.

Q. Is it because you receive less visitors than the anti-Frank blogs? 
A. I have less than one-fifth of the readers of Coup 4.5 but I’m reasonably happy with 35,585  visits last month.
Q. Is it because visitors agree with what you say and see no need to comment, or do they disagree and refuse to waste their breath?
A. There’s no way of knowing but I think people read the blogs that are closest to their way of thinking. Traffic sources shown that many people read Fiji Today (a usually balanced anti-Government blog) and my blog. I think many of my readers also read Fiji Today. None of my visitors visit directly from Coup4.5 which is probably the most unbalanced and unreliable anti- blog.
Q. What percentage of comments do you delete?
A. Between 5-10%, for  the obvious reasons.
Q. Do most people who visit blogs live overseas?
A. For my blog, comparing  the World with Fiji, yes, but Fiji leads individual countries.  Last month’s figures were: Fiji 9,587 , Australia 8,349, NZ 5,352, USA 3,970, UK 1,296 with smaller figures from other countries.  I think many overseas readers are Fiji emigrants or people with close links to Fiji.
Q. Does this mean the voice of the common person in Fiji has not been heard in the blogs, and if so how can the anti-Frank camp or you say what is happening?  
A. We can’t know what the common person thinks, and we are likely to be informed by those who share our opinions. It is very difficult to determine the value of information and present what one hopes is overall balance in a blog.
Q. People in Fiji know their views will be censored. They can't say anything against the current powers-that-be. How then can we trust what people there tell us, particularly when we Fijians have a tendency to tell you what we think you want to hear? 
A. This is a  very good question with no simple answer but if the ‘common people’  tell no one what they really think, there’s little point in asking  that their voices be heard.  Historically, ethnic Fijian society has been conditioned to allow others to speak for the common people. Hopefully, this is now changing. because if it’s not, even voting is a sham.  
You did not mention the other ethnic groups that represent over 40% of the population. For many of them, individualism is more evidence and they are more likely to say what they are thinking, censorship apart, of course.  But I think most ‘common people,’ irrespective of ethnicity, are concerned mainly about their everyday lives and are not too worried about politics or censorship.  These are the concerns of the ‘middle classes.’   
* I have slightly compacted the questions to save space.  Your opinions are important. Please comment on this posting.


The Common People said…
Since no Fiji government past or present has made sure that each village , settlement , town , post office and public library have been afforded online facilities (which they undoubtedly should have in toast twenty years), it is obvious that most comment comes from the 'technologically privileged'. Not an ideal basis for a full and functioning democracy? This must be immediately addressed. But if a basic component of 21 st century life such as a passport is lacking - what then? Yes, we are THINKING OF FIJI FiRST! Fiji is us...........!
Mal said…
Whats the old saying about empty vessels making the most noise?

Keep up the good work Croz.

Some of the "silent majority" are quite happy with what you are trying to achieve.
pasifika said…
For every contribution to a blog site others in the community would surely have similar views but what the silent majority thinks has to be verified by other tools and by deduction and analysis of the action of Government and anti-Government representatives.A distortion is that Ratu Tevita's comments are being overrated by the NZ media in particular with their simplistic view of the situation in Fiji. Uncensored blog site comments need to be considered together with censored views in letters to the editor and opinions in local radio and television talkback programmes bearing in mind that it appears some on sites such as coup 4.5 and Fiji Today are most likely dedicated to ongoing anti government comments and thereby distorting the real picture on the ground. As far as the indigenous population living in villages is concerned it's best to interview the leaders of the 14 provinces.
fiji first said…
i think you will find that its easier to complain than to say something positive. The anti gov blog site might look like it has a lot of commnets but its the same people saying the same thing, and they are not really comments most are just personal attacks. At least on here we get to read good thought out comments instead of the racial hatred.

Also with regards to internet access, rural areas have had internet access for years, the problems is mostly the cost of computers, but you will find that access is there (however not in all villages)
Stephen said…
My view: Croz does a great job, bringing a wealth of knowledge and understanding to a situation where many just thrive on totally wild and unsubstantited material; as an aside I have just had a friend and his family return from a visit to Fiji for business and knowing my interest rang to let me know that just about every person they spoke to in all walks of life were very supportive of what the present government is trying to do - its not perfect but it is accomplishing a lot and is seen as having a genuine interest to achieve prosperity for the nation and fairness for the people as a whole
Anonymous said…
No, they represent the voice of the dispossessed elite who are missing the ability to cream off the privileges of a race and class based system which misused affirmative action to entrench their own power. Of course the loss of power means the loss of money, lucrative government contracts and deals. So they are very very angry people and use race as an easy way to attack the people who they see as dispossessing them. How many of them there are we don't know. Could be a handful just repeating the same old refrain.

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