When we start blogging, we are usually motivated by our will to communicate, to share our stories and our opinions with others outside our small circle of friends and acquaintances. Then, even in blogs with a small audience like this one, as we get feedback from our readers, a strange sense of community starts to develop and we get to feel close to people whom we otherwise might never get in touch with. While this does have a negative side, as any experienced blogger will tell you, it is mostly a positive and rewarding experience.
Then, of course, there are also the occasional visitors, who come through search engines, and who, for the most part tend not to stay. For instance, my posts on Belgrade dogs and their human protectors has attracted considerable traffic. Every now and then, a person concerned with abandoned dogs contacts me to know whom to speak with in Belgrade, but for the most part this traffic is composed of people looking for a film suggestively called “Dog with two girls from Belgrade” :-))). I of course benefit from these unwanted visitors, because each visit makes my blog more visible in search engines, therefore increasing the probability of interesting people coming here. More important for me is the fact that my posts on the film “Resolution 819” are on the top of my posts, and that the English translation of Hasan Nuhanovic’s text about this film “History as Written by Other People” (thanks to Owen for the full translation) is linked on Wikipedia, not because of me, but because I think what’s at stake is important enough to get as much visibility on the internet as possible.
Then, there are the other blogs with whom we find common cause, and slowly a small network develops, as already established blogs link you and sometimes even write a post promoting your blog, like Greater Surbiton and Americans for Bosnia did for me. This is the essence of networking and the most rewarding aspect of blogging. This networking thing takes time, of course, and sometimes neophyte bloggers can’t bear the frustration of not being read or commented, because they fail to realize that blogging is not only about writing, but also, above all, about reading, thinking about what you’ve read and giving feedback in direct or indirect ways. This is what makes blogs relevant, because this is what makes ideas spread.
So, it’s now my turn to introduce two new blogs that as a reader I find very worth following:
A Slice of Serbian Politics, by Sladjana Lazic, offers a progressive perspective about Serbian politics and society. Sladjana, whom I have the pleasure of daily discussing Balkan politics, as she is my colleague at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, belongs to an uncompromising liberal perspective that, despite being a minority in Serbia, is proving to be a moral force for positive change in the country.
The other blog I would like to draw my readers’ attention to is Journey East, by Christine Bednarz. Although I don’t know Christine personally, I recognize myself in her blog. She is a Master student with a strong taste for travelling in the Balkans, exactly the same spirit that led my to create my own blog, and, like myself, she writes in the first person.
With these blogs around, kept by young researchers focusing, like myself, on issues of identity, nationalism, and justice, I feel in very good company. So, on your Journey East, do have a slice of Serbian Politics, and then, of course, a Turkish Coffee 😉