Once the readers turn on a blogger, advertisers are not far behind. In response to my previous columns about Kuwait blogging, a Kuwaiti businessman told me about his distasteful experience with a blogger. “We invited him to our business and afterwards he told us he would post an article for KD 400. That didn’t feel honest to us.
Curiously, many Kuwait bloggers not only hide their review policies, but their identity, too, and yet their identities are widely known. Otherwise, how would all those invitations, not to mention the yummy brownies and cash payments, mysteriously appear at their doors? Most bloggers have full-time jobs, most blog for the fun of it, and many have explained to me that they don’t want their coworkers to know who they are (understandable) and they don’t want the government to know, either (and yet, if my students know who they are, how difficult would it be for the government to know, too?). Of course, the bloggers know the bloggers because they show up together for events closed to the public. I’m in favor of that, too. It helps cultivate a blogger’s community, which in turn could help improve the credibility of blogs in Kuwait.
My life in Kuwait is more satisfying because of bloggers. For example, Mark at 248am taught me about the virtual private network (I hope the government doesn’t mind that I use VPN). I laugh every time I read a Desert Girl experience – she’s hilarious and could be a novelist. Melwyn at Expat Voices writes well and for all I know may be a journalist. His & Hers – “the bird who fell in love with a fish” – posts thoughtful observations. The Grapevine tells me what’s happening in Kuwait. 7aji Dude brings three different perspectives to the local blogosphere, sometimes with too many photos, but they often write objectively.
I met John and his very lovely wife when they first arrived to Kuwait several years ago (gosh - how many has it been??). I've enjoyed his articles ever since. I regularly receive random questions and it becomes a challenge for me to find answers. John posed one of the most interesting questions: Where can I find a piano in Kuwait? I had some ideas, but ultimately, John found his own piano. I later went to hear his wife play at a local hotel; she played out of joy, not for the return of a big paycheck. It was lovely. They are lovely. I feel blessed to know them both and for being allowed to read John's unique perspective of Kuwait - and his perspective of us as a group of bloggers. Thank you, John, for your continued friendship and for your wonderful positive energy.