Israeli blogger Nir Ofir had an excellent idea about two months ago. Squinting at his screen a little bit, he decided the number 3108 (31/08, or August 31st in almost every country but the US) looked a lot like the word “blog”. So he invited bloggers around the world to join him in an exciting project, World Blog Day:
In one long moment on August 31st, bloggers from all over the world will post a recommendation of 5 new Blogs, Preferably, Blogs different from their own culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, blog surfers will find themselves leaping and discovering new, unknown Blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.
As you might imagine, this is a project I’m a big fan of. As someone who’s spent a good chunk of my blogging career linking to world bloggers, on this blog, on Global Voices, BlogAfrica and the BridgeBlog Index, I’m at a bit of a loss to what to do for World Blog Day. Linking to great blogs from around the globe doesn’t seem like enough of a stretch if I’m trying to break my ordinary patterns.
If I want to feature perspectives you usually don’t see on this blog, should I reach out and link to Windows enthusiasts? Republicans? Yankees fans? (Okay, Stuart’s blog is in there because I admire and respect him. The Yankees and Windows blogs? Not so much…)
To make sure I’m really reaching out and including blogs I wouldn’t normally link to, I thought I’d spend the evening of August 30th looking at blogs and websites from Moldova, a country I know basically nothing about. I’ve read Tony Hawks’ very funny “Playing the Moldovans at Tennis”, where the British author, on a bet, travels to Moldova and defeats each member of the Moldovan national football team at tennis… but I can’t say the book did a great deal to enlighten me about Moldovan politics or national character.
It sounds like any investigation of Moldovan internet culture has to begin with Alexandru Culiuc. According to his profile on OurNet, a Moldovan homepage hosting site (which he evidently founded), Alexandru’s site is:
[a] personal blog covering economic development, public policy, education abroad, photography, IT and e-development. Alexander is the creator of OurNet, founder of Design.md, advanced amateur photographer, and is currently studying international economic development at Harvard.
You better believe I’ll be looking for Alexandru around Cambridge, if only so he can translate his blog for me. (It’s in Romanian. Moldovans appear to blog in Romanian, Russian and English.) But I don’t need to speak Romanian to understand his photography, which is beautiful.
The young blogger behind Area51 offers a year-long journal of his final year in high school, in a series of zipped text files. I’ve been focused on his collection of poetry – “Organized Rhyme” – in Romanian, Russian, and English. I’m very fond of “Trippin’ – To Kiev and Back”…
Stardust is a Moldovan DJ, dedicated to “developing club culture in Moldova”. I’ve not been able to download his mp3 files, but I look forward to encountering him and his DJ friends in Chisinau sometime soon.
Barishev Roman is a formidable photographer, with a surrealist touch and an excellent sense for composition. A native of Kishinev (Chisinau, I assume), his works are shown throughout the capital city.
A final site from Moldova – a collection of Murphy’s Laws in Romanian.
Happy World Blog Day, everyone!