Observer’s Top Ten List of Most Active Armenian Blogs

As you may already know, I read a lot of Armenian blogs – in order to compile the Armenian Blog Roundups that are published on this blog every week. In fact, at the moment I “observer” 126 blogs, and looking at the statistics of the past 30 days, here’s what I came up with – Onnik Krikoryan was the most active blogger in Armenia in the course of past month! …and the rest of the boys and girls incuded in this list are very active and interesting too!

# Title Number of posts per day
1 The Caucasus Knot 3.5
2 mk.am 2,6
3 Йцукен 2,1
4 tzitzernak 1,9
5 ArmenianHouse.org 1,8
6 ARMPRESS.COM 1,7
7 nazarian 1,6
8 Unzipped 1,3
9,10 Антилибер и Антитолер 1,2
9,10

The uncharted zone

1,2

9,10 And nothing else matters…. 1,2

So this list is just for the readers of my blog to know, where else they can find active, interesting and useful blogs about Armenia.

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16 thoughts on “Observer’s Top Ten List of Most Active Armenian Blogs

  1. If you are listing active bloggers in Armenia then Unzipped (U.K.) and Nazarian (U.S.A.) dont qualify.

    Also Armpress.com is not really a blog but a digest. Of course this gets us into the debate about what is really a blog.

  2. I think it was Armenian blogs that Observer is talking about and not blogs in Armenia. As for what constitutes a blog, I think that’s subjective. However, Armpress is an exception here as there is no commentary at all. Moreover, it is also breaking copyright as using the material of others even in quotes comes under the legal restriction of “fair use” which does apply to blogs albeit in the U.S.

    If that’s the case, there is no provision for “fair use” under Armenian law and national and international copyright law still stands. Basically, the copyright holder can demand its removal and take legal action.

    1. What is Fair Use?

    In essence, fair use is a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders. The Copyright Act gives copyright holders the exclusive right to reproduce works for a limited time period. Fair use is a limitation on this right. A use which is considered “fair” does not infringe copyright, even if it involves one of the exclusive rights of copyright holders. Fair use allows consumers to make a copy of part or all of a copyrighted work, even where the copyright holder has not given permission or objects to your use of the work.

    […]

    3. How Do You Know If It’s Fair Use?

    There are no clear-cut rules for deciding what’s fair use and there are no “automatic” classes of fair uses. Fair use is decided by a judge, on a case by case basis, after balancing the four factors listed in section 107 of the Copyright statute. The factors to be considered include:

    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes — Courts are more likely to find fair use where the use is for noncommercial purposes.

    2. The nature of the copyrighted work — A particular use is more likely to be fair where the copied work is factual rather than creative.

    3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole — A court will balance this factor toward a finding of fair use where the amount taken is small or insignificant in proportion to the overall work.

    4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work — If the court finds the newly created work is not a substitute product for the copyrighted work, it will be more likely to weigh this factor in favor of fair use.

    However, nobody is complying with any national or international copyright laws here although one day that will have to change. Talking of which, I am encouraged by news that the Caucasus Resource Research Centers are going to fund projects aimed at encouraging recognition, support and use of Creative Commons licensing in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

    Request for Proposals
    05/29/08

    Grant Competition to Support the Adoption of Creative Commons Licensing Framework in the Countries of the South Caucasus

    Eurasia Partnership Foundation announces a grant competition to support the adoption of Creative Commons licensing framework in the countries of the South Caucasus. The initiative seeks to enable and popularize the legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works in the countries of the South Caucasus through offering free and easy-to-use Creative Commons (CC) licensing framework to creators, artists, and educators, as well as other internet-based communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. These goals will be achieved through exploring possibilities for implementing a consistent, robust and internationally accepted framework for intellectual property rights for web-based materials in the South Caucasus, adapting Creative Commons framework to conditions in the South Caucasus, and ensuring extensive stakeholder involvement and broad public awareness of the CC framework in each of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

    I’d leave some links for all of the above, but if I did it’s hit or miss whether it gets lost among other stuff in the spam folder or not. Anyway, you can all search for more information on any or all of the above. Nevertheless, sooner or later, blogs and news outlets in Armenia will have to realize they have no right to reproduce entire articles or use other people’s photographs without permission and can be subject to legal action.

    Ironically, I’ve licensed my photos on Flickr under Creative Commons allowing their free use according to my terms. Nevertheless, ArmenPress, A1 Plus and a whole load of others have broken those terms. When I raise the issue their response is that they didn’t know the images were mine. However, they miss the point. They shouldn’t be violating the copyright of others anyway. Ignorance is not a valid excuse for a media outlet. It’s simply theft.

    Anyway, although going slightly off the point of the ArmPress site although perhaps not, it’s about time that Armenian bloggers AND media outlets respected copyright. Actually, Armpress is a really bad example because they can’t even argue that it’s “fair use” i.e. quoting some of an article and linking to the original source. They’ve taken it all and effectively published it in whole I assume without permission to make money from Adsense and advertising.

    It’s different if this is all done with the newspapers’ permission, but even then, why not link through to the original article? Anyway, of all the blogs listed, I agree that it can hardly be considered one.

  3. Another problem with blogs here is that they have reflected the problems associated with the print media. That is, they usually do not distinguish between what is fact and personal opinion or even what is genuine information or not. This has already led to a lack of trues in the print media and blogs look set to go the same way.

    That is, they will be read only by those people who share the same opinion rather than those who want information and opinion combined but clearly distinguished as such. The abuse of comments sections which have generally led to a barrage of threats, intimidation and hostility is another issue.

    Theoretically, blogs don’t really need a code of ethics because ultimately they are subject to laws on libel and harassment. Besides, the media in Armenia has a code of ethics but few actually adhere to it. However, a code of ethics can be taken as guidelines which will make the amount of trust in blogs as a medium would be important. Sample blogging code of ethics are all over the net. For example:

    http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/000215.php
    http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/04/draft-bloggers-code-of-conduct.html

    There are also some blogs set up just to deal with this issue:

    http://blogethics2004.blogspot.com/

    Along with issues such as copyright infringement and open-source licensing, the question of adhering to certain standards is vital if blogs are now to develop and evolve into a valid medium of discussion.

  4. Artur, I enjoy reading this blog but I don’t understand the reason for publishing all these top 10 blog lists. You are giving huge importance to some bloggers over and over again while ignoring others. Makes no sense. I would suggest you suspend posting these lists for some time. Quite honestly, I could care less if you promote my blog, it’s the hundreds of overlooked bloggers who I am concerned about. Certain bloggers on this list especially are promoted over and over again, and are made out to be gods or something. We understand there are great blogs out there. But tone it down. Thanks.

  5. Well – I kinda hoped, that promoting active blogs will serve as an incentive for more passive bloggers to write more often. But then – maybe you’re right – active bloggers will remain active, and passive ones will stay passive, and no amount of promotion seems to help. And after all – it’s not activity that matters, but quality.

    I hadn’t posted one of these lists for two months now, and thought it might be interesting, as there are a number of new readers on this blog, and I thought they might find it useful. Still, there is a thin line between being interesting and boring.

  6. Christian, since when did you give exposure to even one “overlooked blogger” let alone hundreds? I also don’t particularly welcome such lists although I note that Observer does ask others to do the same. So, why not create your own and also give some exposure if you think that others worth reading have been omitted?

    Incidentally, this list isn’t one of what blogs are the most popular, it is a list of the ones that are most active. That is clearly indicated in the title, the worth of which is of course questionable as numerous posts don’t necessarily equate to quality. Perhaps Observer should post his list of favorite blogs.

    Perhaps we all should.

    Meanwhile, from where I’m sitting, it seems as though Observer and I are the only ones who CONSTANTLY give exposure to new and established bloggers alike. We have also been responsible for pushing many others to start up their own. Indeed, I remember that it was I who pushed you to open up Notes from Hairenik and recently gave you tips on how to improve its exposure.

    This even went so far as to not only suggest SEO practices such as improved titles and keyword phrases, but also to RECOMMEND you link to other blogs which you said you had no interest in doing. I disagreed. Therefore kudos to Observer for continuing what he is doing although to be honest, I really would like to see newer and better blogs emerge.

    In essence, however, that is what Observer and I are trying to do with our blogs.

  7. Yeah, Onnik, and it was I who pushed you to start your own blog. So what? Your tips never worked, by the way. But I managed to figure it all out on my own. I also don’t appreciate your unfounded accusations about not promoting or wanting to promote other bloggers, which is clearly not the case. But whatever. My comment was directed to Artur, not you.

    In any case, like I said, I don’t have a problem with promoting bloggers, obviously, but not the same ones over and over again. And there’s no need to keep going back and forth on this, I made my point, Artur made his.

    Thanks.

  8. Christian, by the way you have just advertised your blog ;-) . I didn’t know about it and now I do. A lot of wonderful churches in there. I have always been amazed by how different Armenian interpretation of the Christian religion is from the rest when it comes to building churches. It is just very unique. Anyway.

    I just wanted to say something about Onnik’s blog. I don’t know if it is the most popular or not, but there is one unique way that it is different from the rest of not just blogs (that I know, obviously I don’t know all) but also news agencies. Basically, Onnik’s blog is the only one that treats Armenia as part of the whole world and not just a tiny spot on it. Of course, he restricts it to Caucasus, but that is good enough for a blog. I appreciate this a lot, and would only wish if others especially news agencies with a bigger budget talked about the whole world instead of just Armenia. A lot of the problems that Armenia is facing today are not “Armenian” problems. Some of them (gas, dolor, etc) are world problems some are regional (corruption etc) and perhaps some are typical to Armenia only. But understanding those problems globally will make it easier to solve them.

    Also, misinformation is just so widespread in Armenia because of this lack of foreign news. Like for instance someone recently told Armenianow that basically he doesn’t feel human anymore because he cannot take taxi because the price went up. Yeah what a nice definition of being human. Anyway, I think this is just a result of misinformation, believing that others have a much better life while the reality is just not that way. People take taxis only in Hollywood movies simply because in reality it is just expansive and it has nothing to do with having a human life. At any rate, the point is that Armenia is part of the world and it should be viewed as part of the world, and so far among all the news outlets I know, Onnik’s seems to be the only one where you get a somewhat global view of Armenia.

    I recently was trying to find an Armenian site that talked about the earthquake in China and all I found was the message that Serj sent them. Right, that is the most important thing.

  9. Actually, Christian, this was precisely the case so they are well and truly founded. Your response was quite hostile as I remember.

    Also, you DID NOT push me to start blogging. In fact, it was first Matt Malcomson, but I refused. Then Emil Danielyan and Transitions Online and I started on Blogrel before setting up my own. You did, however, add to suggestions to place Adsense on my blog after Nazarian first made the suggestion in order to make it self-sustainable.

    However, you prefer to remain isolated from the general blogging community which is your right, but for sure don’t start slamming lists because you’re not on them on the pre-text of promoting unknown bloggers. You’ve never done that while Artur and I have made a specific point of doing so.

  10. Grigor, you make some good points about Armenia and how it fits in with the global perspective. I also thought today about the earthquake and how silent things were among a country who experienced a devastating earthquake in 1988 when the whole world rushed to its assistance. I agree that we should also cover those issues from time to time. Another example which would be interesting is Armenian perspectives on the US presidential election, or looking at food price increases in the context of elsewhere. Or as there is an Armenian community in Lebanon, reaction to that. I suppose the matter is also one of time and many people are still preoccupied by the recent election and later unrest. However, I think that Armenia needs to find its place in the global community and many times I think it just doesn’t realize there’s a larger world out there.

    Anyway, specifically I consider that there is a lot to learn from this region and development is all interlinked. I don’t think we should view it as some kind of competition, but I do believe there are successes and failures we can all learn from each other. Besides, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia… we’re all linked.

  11. Onnik, you have just managed to scorn perhaps the last longtime friend you have in this country who actually cares about you as a human being and who loves you. But you sow the seeds of your own discord.

    Artur, if you didn’t get my hint, I will be more clear–you are giving way too much importance to this guy. This blog is actually starting to read like it is his own with all the lengthly, temperamental comments he leaves. But it is your blog, the Internet is a free realm, and you can do whatever you want.

    Once more, for the third time, I have of course no problem with promoting bloggers, just not the same ones over and over. Then again, it is only my opinion, and at the end of the day it shouldn’t really matter. I keep making the mistake of occasionally leaving comments on these blogs.

    Good luck,
    Christian

  12. Garo, very melodramatic, but I won’t directly respond to your emotional outburst on something that has no place on this blog and is anyway not relevant and shouldn’t spill over. However, your last two paragraphs indicate clearly why you have commented now and why you take exception to Observer’s list.

    Yet, even so, I agree with the idea that others should be promoted. As I’ve pointed out constantly, and as Observer and I have done our damndest to do, new and upcoming bloggers should be supported. Indeed, we’ve actually been RESPONSIBLE for some new people blogging. Anyway, as I’ve said, others have resisted this yet throw this criticism back at others when it suits them.

    Observer and my track record on nurturing new bloggers and constantly linking to them speaks for itself. As an example, recently Observer rang me up and said he wanted to interview me for the Internews blog radio programme/podcast as representative of a) a foreign blogger in the country and b) someone who uses a blog for other purposes i.e. promotion of photography.

    My response was that Myrthe from Armenian Odar should be interviewed instead as a foreigner because she tackles other issues, especially non-political, and is always an interesting read. Observer then mentioned Anush from The Armenian Patchwork for photos and I added my opinion saying I thought it was a great idea. Personally, I think Unzipped should also be interviewed as an example of an emigre posting from afar on key issues at home.

    So, not only are your comments indirectly personal and aimed at me, they are also wrong. Indeed, Observer and I continue to draw people’s attention to other blogs whereas you haven’t yet raise this very issue now. I don’t need exposure whereas you are very obviously desperate to get some. My suggestion to achieve this remains the same. Link to others, cross-link and post more often.

    Anyway, it’s very simple. Don’t like Observer’s list of the most ACTIVE? Want your blog to be on there? Simple. Post more. Want to give other bloggers exposure? Even simpler. Do what Observer and I do — LINK TO OTHER BLOG POSTS!!!

    Hell, even produce your own lists rather than complain at others, although I once again stress that frequency of posting is not a sign of quality. That is subjective and also, very obviously, personal. Main issue, though, is it doesn’t take much work to browse this blog, mine and yours to see who is linking to and quoting others and who is not.

    The blogs themselves stand as evidence of that and your last comment reveals the purpose of your comment and who is scorning who. I advised you on how to get your blog more popular. You didn’t listen and constantly refused to acknowledge key practices common on the Internet which are not disputed by anyone — except you.

    Back on topic, however, I think two things are identified here in this thread. Firstly, the promotion of new bloggers and blogs and indirectly the question of blogging good practices such as linking to others, becoming part of a “wider” discussion and referencing posts that influence or are responsible for your own. These are key to creating a good blog.

    I adhere to those ideas and I’d like to see more do the same. I’d like to see Notes from Hairenik do the same and wait eagerly for that day. The same goes for others too. There’s a wealth of reaction out there to key events or subject matters that can improve our own posts. Let’s use them.

  13. To be honest I’ve became angry, reading this discussion.
    Dear Observer and Onnik. I deeply appreciate your efforts to promote armenian blogosphere. I deeply appreciate your time and efforts to create places where discussion is free, honest and active. You are doing great thing, and I want to re-state my gratefulness.

    I still do not understand what’s wrong with promotion of other bloggers?
    Is it the statistics that makes people upset?
    Or perhaps it’s just a jealousy, that creates that buzz?
    ;)
    Dear fellow bloggers write more, and you will be in Observer’s list.
    Write better, and more than Onnik, and you will be more popular.

  14. Well, can I just say something? I am not a blogger, but as a reader I would never click on a link of a blog from any list I see. That is just how my psychology works. I see ten links one below the other I run away as fast as I can. So for me Observer’s list is pretty useless. I am just saying this as a reader. The way I learn about other blogs is when they link posts or when they come here or some other blog that I frequent and make a comment that looks interesting. So my advice based on how my own psychology works is simply refrain from such lists and encourage others to link posts and actively contribute to comment sections. But this is just me. I also have no ethical or any other kind of problems with what Observer has done. It just doesn’t work for me. If it works for other readers then it is a worthy thing.

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