Handbook For Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents

in «Blogging & Personal» by mostafa

Warning! This post is very old and may contain information or opinions that are no longer valid or embarrassing.

I have just finished reading the Handbook For Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents released today by Reporters Without Borders. The 86 pages PDF is easy to read, although written by several authors, most of the authors did a good job in this area.

Before I started reading it, I expected it to introduce people to blogging, lead the reader to start a blog easily and help him/her connect to the blogosphere.

The handbook was more than that. It starts with an introduction about blogs as a new media that stands between a means of self-expression and journalism. A good and simple introduction to what is a blog. A chapter about terminology. Insufficient and short review of blogging services. Then a good article about journalism compared to blogging and ethics of both. Very clear explanation to technical matters like getting picked up by search engines. Some nice tips and ideas about how to increase the readership of your blog.

Then comes the best part; First hand accounts by several important bloggers from Germany, Bahrain, USA, Hong Kong, Iran, Nepal. I will not mention who wrote each of those accounts so as not to spoil the best part.

Then back to technical articles, but more advanced and very critical to the cyber-dissident. An incredibly excellent step by step guide to blogging anonymously using proxies and complicated routing programs like Tor. It also introduces a way, that I didn't know before using GPG and email messages to post to a service called Invisiblog. Another guide about how to circumvent censorship complete with a censorship hall of shame.

Surely this incredibly useful handbook needs an Arabic translation.

UPDATE: It seems they translated parts of it.

A more in-depth review by Rebecca MacKinnon at global voices.