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Monday, August 31, 2009

Postcript: blogging and Blogspot in Syria

Another postscript to my posts of a couple of weeks ago on blogging and Blogspot in Syria (see my last post and the postscript before it): after uploading the posts below, I received loads of emails and tweets from around the world, from Syrians asking everything from why I couldn't go to an internet cafe where it's often possible to access Blogspot (sorry, we were working 16-hour days so the only time I had to email was early morning or late at night at our hotels) to foreign and local censorship/IT experts wanting me to provide them with a list of every hotel we stayed at and the hotel's proxy info (apologies again, but one of the things we were doing in Syria was reviewing hotels, so we were moving hotels every second day, and I had enough to do as it was). Based on my recent experience ('recent', because I've never had time to blog on previous trips to Syria), my advice to you is if you're planning to travel to Syria and blog regularly, do your research first but research widely: there are plenty of experts eager to share their opinions (indeed, some rather aggressively) and there is a lot of contradictory advice around (even among the self-proclaimed "experts") about blogging and Blogspot in Syria, from people both outside and within Syria. I found that rarely did opinions align and every expert was able to cite a wealth of research on the subject. Once again, I apologise for not having time to test out your theories and suggestions, but I'm a travel writer who also blogs, rather than a travel blogger who also publishes - and that's likely to stay that way until someone pays me as much to blog as I earn writing. The paid work - which one charming "expert" referred to as "travel fluff" (rest assured, I took her as seriously as she took me) has to take priority, I'm afraid. So, back to work... or writing nonsense?


Liz Welch said...

Hi There.
Looking at the pics here ,it seems that we are still there.Fantastic place to visit.

AngelaCorrias said...

Travel fluff, what a lovely lady. What is she, a science Nobel Prize?

Kim B. said...

oh man, what a bunch of jerks. Please know there are (lots of) us out here who appreciate when you are able to get online and blog about what you're seeing and encountering in your work!

I like your reference to the 'aggressive' advice. tee hee!!

Don't take them seriously, just like the 'fluff' lady. You work long days and do amazing work. That's what keeps us all coming back!

Malaysia Asia said...

Hello Lara, your job rocks! Must be hectic moving all over the world but then again, who wants to sit in a boring office running papers.

Keep up the travels and have a load of fun!

Malaysia Asia

Melody Moser said...

Hi Lara,
Just letting you know that I (and many of your readers, I'm sure) are happy whenever you are able to post to your blog, as we enjoy your posts immensely! And when you can't post -- we'll wait patiently until you can.


Lara Dunston said...

Hi everyone

Huge thanks for all your comments - thanks especially to Angela, Kim and Melody for empathizing.

I'm sorry it took me so long to respond, but your comments were much appreciated. Really.