I want to tell you about a free handbook on blogging which, in my opinion, all bloggers should read at least once. It is the ‘Handbook for Bloggers And Cyber-Dissidents’
In one of my earlier posts (Don’t be too personal in your blog), I had promised to write in detail about those bloggers who are living in authoritarian countries where freedom of expression of highly restricted. This Blogger handbook is a living account of all such bloggers who are providing true account of all the happening in their countries despite all odds.
If we ignore the recent craze of making money from blogging, which has resulted into millions of useless blogs, the blogging itself was not started as a means to earn money. It was (and still is ) the expression platform of individuals who put their hearts into it to tell the truth at all cost. It was the harbinger of a citizen journalism where citizen plays the role of a reporter and tell the real version of truth. This becomes more important in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only the bloggers provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.
The Blogger Handbook is written by keeping those citizen journalists in mind. It is a free offering from Reporters sans frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) which is a non-profit organization of journalist that fights for the freedom of expression in all parts of the world. Their website is an excellent source of learning about latest in ‘Press Freedoms’ and other relevant topics.
This handbook on blogging is an excellent source for learning everything about Blogging. In plain simple English, it covers all that is necessary to start a Blog. If you are a newbie to blogging, I strongly recommend you to read this book.
Apart from providing general info about Blogging, this handbook also gives personal accounts of some real bloggers from around the world which includes Bloggers from Germany, Bahrain, USA, Hongkong (China) Iran and Nepal. You will be shocked to know that a Blogger from Iran was jailed for 14 years for Blogging !
You may also be surprised to know that the Internet access in Cuba is the privilege of a tiny few who have to get express permission from the ruling Communist Party ! That means there is no Cuban Blogger on earth !
You will also be surprised to know that : China is the world champion in censoring Internet Content and has world’s most sophisticated Internet filtering and surveillance equipment thanks to big American Companies like Cisco. These companies have closed their eyes to how their technology is being used in China for the lure of getting a slice of the enormous Chinese market of more than 100 million people online.
One of the most important feature of this Blogger Handbook is a detailed description of things like : ‘How to Blog Anonymously’ and ‘Technical way to get around Censorship’. This is an excellent information for all those who live in a restricted environment and want to be ‘whistle blowers’ anonymously.
Download this book and keep a copy in your hard disk always. The world is changing fast. who knows one day we may need this book 🙂
You can download this book (in pdf format) here : Handbook for Bloggers