As Rebecca and I work to flesh out the Global Voices catalog, we’re finding different kinds of bridgebloggers in different nations. In countries where there’s a well established blogosphere – like Kenya or Bahrain – we’re finding a wide range of indigenous bloggers, some working in the tech industry, some journalists, some expatriates.
In other countries, where blogging is less widespread, we sometimes discover that there are only one or two bloggers talking about the country. Sometimes that person is an expatriate aid worker, like Yvette Lopez in Somaliland. Other times it’s a non-resident expert, like Nathan Hamm of Registan.net. A Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan until 9/11, Nate speaks Uzbek and Russian and is able to contextualize and translate events in Central Asia for a global audience.
Interested in the recent events in Andijan, the BBC interviewed Nate on his impressions of the current political situation in the Fergana Valley. While the interview hasn’t aired yet, you can hear it on Registan as an mp3.
Nate observes that, while many young Kyrgyz are finding information on the web, few young Uzbeks are using the web. (The heavy censorship of the ‘net by the Karimov government may have something to do with this…) Until more Uzbek bloggers come online, we’ll rely on Registan and Lydon Allin’s Scraps of Moscow to help us understand what’s going on in these part of the world. Thanks, guys…