Caesar… you’ve been pretty cool. You wrote an awesome article just for Kuwait Blogs Suck! talking about the blogging scene in Kuwait. I liked you… I really did.
But plagiarism is uncool. And what really irks me is when someone removes a watermark off an image.
Kuwait-Music recently published an article called “3 arguments about music and what they really mean!” on their blog:
This text seemed really familiar to an anonymous Kuwait Blogs Suck! reader. They said that he saw the same article on Cracked.
That is a direct copy paste of text without a source. I tried to look for a link on the page, or some text saying it was from cracked.com, but I found nothing. That is plagiarism. Here’s another screenshot of the plagiarism from the same article:
Naughty naughty Kuwait-Music.
And you know what else Kuwait-Music does? They remove watermarks off of photos. On Cracked, there was an article about album covers and Kuwait-Music not only posted the same exact post, but also removed the water marks on the photos:
Kuwait-Music does this plagiarism thing pretty often. Here’s an article they copy pasted from Cracked.com about artists that sell out.
Tsk tsk tsk. What do you have to say for yourself Kuwait-Music? A simple link to the article would’ve been enough, but instead you tried to pass them off as your own. The funny thing is you do it pretty often.
Caesar you are so damn hypocritical. After calling out other blogs that do this type of behavior you’re caught red handed doing the same!
Seems like Kuwait-Music is finally putting “From cracked.com” on their articles. They just did it for the 3 articles I posted about here. Hey, that was easy wasn’t it Kuwait-Music? There’s nothing wrong with aggregating content every once in a while, since you do post some quality original material based on the Kuwait music scene most of the time.
THE MONEY TRAIL THICKENS!!!
A commenter on the Blogger in Kuwait = Big Money post, called Jake-The-Snake, claims to work for a media company in Kuwait and is sharing which bloggers get paid and what for. Their comments are as follows:
Here is the list of bloggers who are paid to post/tweet/instagram. They are listed in alphabetical order:
248am – No paid posts accepted, no paid tweets, no paid instagram
Aboflan – Paid post, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
Ansam – Works for MMC (LeNotre etc..) hence why she was advertising them every single day during Ramadan
Frankom – Post included with banner, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
iLsultana – Paid post, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
Khaleejesque – No paid posts accepted, no paid tweets, no paid instagram
Meenakon – Paid post, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
Omarker – Paid post, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
p0ach – No paid posts accepted, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
Pink Girl Q8 – Paid post, Paid Tweet, Paid Instagram
Paid to tweet and to post shitty filtered photos on instagram? Wow… just… wow.
You want some criticism of Kuwait Blogs Suck? owlolive just wrote a healthy post about the blog and you should check it out:
Caesar from Kuwait-Music submitted this article to be postd here on Kuwait Blogs Suck! It is an excellent and interesting article about the history, degradation, and possible solution for blogs in Kuwait. If you have an avid interest in Kuwait blogs or have your own blog then this is a must read.
The wretched state of bloggers and their corporate chums, in Kuwait.
Back in 2004-6 , blogs in Kuwait were far and few but they were quality. The likes of Chillnite and 248am.com ruled the roost and posts were relevant to lifestyle, opinion and topics were discussed rather than vomited out from the wrong end of the conscious. The web industry was still at a very premature stage in Kuwait (not that it is firing on all cylinders now!), and being a blogger back then was like having that second fancy phone that you carried around to look good.
Times have obviously changed, but not for the better.
Back in 2004, wordpress and blogspot weren’t as popular as they are today. This meant that options for setting up, customizing and publishing your blog weren’t as many. So statistically, most bloggers were typically designers or developers who understood a bit of code and had some constituents of design backgrounds in them. This scarcity actually boded well for the industry because bloggers focused on quality and not quantity. Over the years the transformation of wordpress in particular, from a purely blogging platform into a full blown CMS (content management system) allowed seamless integration with other mediums, got a lot of non-technical folk onto the bandwagon. Mind you, this is not a bad thing. Look at Smitten Kitchen in the US for example, where bloggers with zero technical knowledge can earn tremendous success simply by having vision, purpose and a clear directional strategy for the blog.
But like the automotive and fashion industries in Kuwait, when they have a new toy, most people here don’t know what to do with it. 99.9% Youtube code, 1000 pictures per post, ad – infested sidebars, animated gifs that look like they belong on a 6 year old’s playscreen, and pitiable English flung into the mix; is what ends up happening. The quality and purpose of running an “opinionated web log (blog)” has been defeated.
Can you blame them? Yes you can.
Kuwait is not a touristic destination and art is not encouraged here. So writer’s block is quite common. But this is no excuse to buttonhole the Kuwaiti blogosphere with dull, besotted , drivel that is both irrelevant and insubstantial. Kuwait has a lot more to offer than just food, Youtube videos and, errrm, food.
Here are some classifications of the “sad-osphere” we live in:
- 1. The Youtube hog
- Standard: Post Title | 3 words | Embed code.
- 2. The ad-infested lagoon. So sad it should have its own freshwater stream.
- When the ad size dimensions in the sidebar are larger than the images and videos in the posts themselves.
- 3. The food connoisseurs
- Out of 1000 posts, 999 are about food. Yet they are a “blog”. If I need food reviews, I have epicurious and don’t need your sad excuse to tell me how much you enjoyed the apple tart or the hummus with laham.
- 4. The newspaper cut outs
- Blogs that purely exist to copy and paste text from news portals like Kuna, Arab times and Al Rai.
- 5. The status quo regiment
- Bloggers that start blogs for namesake and event gatherings. A domain name and a “Hello world” post are all they need to deck up and attend some event sponsored by naïve corporates who actually believe these bloggers will make a difference in their publicity stunts.
- 6. The engrabic gurus
- Those that post in English and Arabic at the same time, in the same post. They probably sing that way in the shower too.
- 7. The review extraordinaire
- Those that believe it’s their birthright to review the world and actually believe their reviews will benefit people. Reviews are done by trained and certified professionals who understand dissection, weight-age, and opinion meters among other factorials, not some part time blogger who’s being incentivized by a corporate.
- 8. The list goes on…
Oh, you think that is bad?
It gets worse. To top it all, you’ll find these bloggers with media kits that boast exaggerated prices for advertising. From KD 200 upward to KD 600/month! KD 600 is approximately 1,950 USD. With that money you can run a highly targeted small size Google adwords campaign and receive tons of relevant hits that will boost your conversion rates. On these blogs, you won’t even get a third of that traffic with the useless “passerby”. Yet, naïve corporates buy advertising for the sake of visibility and errrm “status”. The icing on the cake? Most of these blogs don’t provide you with real time statistics for your ads!
There are a handful of exceptions though like 248am.com and others that are transparent and provide real time access and bang for your buck, but the vast majority are running on a ruthless existence based on “offline relationships”.
So what can be done to improve the standard of blogging in Kuwait?
I have been building web based businesses internationally since 1995 and in my humble opinion, standardization and monitoring has always been key on the web. A union or a platform such as Technorati needs to be established locally and managed with goals, strategic initiatives and a mission. Technorati is the world’s biggest blog rating platform. It rates blogs based on content scores, SEO performance, niche value, design, style, identity, technical quality and others. Once this happens in Kuwait, a lot of the current bloggers here will start to disappear because advertisers will only invest in the ones doing well in the “real” ratings. None of that Alexa and fake media kit crap.
But until then, its back to the Youtube madness!
This long post has been brought to you by a Youtube-less, picture-stripped, thought-infested, opinionated mindset.
By Caesar Fernandes
Caesar is founder and Chief Ideas Officer of Kuwait Music, Kuwait’s largest and most influential music network. Kuwait Music has been featured on the BBC world report, arab times, Bazaar magazine, EMI Capitol records and has transformed the way the world looks at Kuwait’s music industry. The rest as they say, is history.
I just got an email from an anonymous English teacher who wants to criticize one of Crazy Yet Wise’s posts. This is what Crazy wrote on her blog:
He finds this post to be a case of “the pot calling the kettle black.” This is the email he sent in:
Yikes. I had a look see at Crazy Yet Wise’s blog and right when you open the page you see this gem:
Well that’s all cute! But I know you can do it Crazy Yet Wise! Here, I’ll even help you since I’m so nice! You see in that sentence you mixed present and past tense. Try this sentence out instead:
- “I’m a crazy Gemini wife but wise when I want to be.”
I have to hand it to Ansam518 because I’d say shes within the top of blog design when it comes to Kuwait blogs. I’m impressed by the design of the blog and neatness. She didn’t do it herself, she hired a company called Pink Coffee, but at least she cares enough to make her blog look decent.
But my new Twitter friend bumo_J has distaste with the content on her blog. All style but no substance? This is what he has to say:
[S]he takes photos like a 4 year old and has the vocabulary of a dog, mainly barking only 10 different sounds. -bumo_J http://is.gd/pYQwQu
Yikes. He’s also pissed at her because she blocked him from commenting on her blog which really gets on my nerves. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than restricting someone’s freedom of speech!
But is it true? Do her photo taking skills and vocabulary need improvement? Let’s find out.
Here’s some photos that Ansam518 took and posted on her blog:
She has “photo tilt syndrome,” the implied sense of being artsy by tilting your camera for photos you take. Please stop it. There are no famous or well known photos that were taken with the camera tilted. The only thing Ansam is accomplishing is making me break my neck by tilting my head every time just to see what she took a photo of.
And her vocab? Well its pretty simple to say the least:
Ugh… cute, but I can’t take anymore.
Classy people hold the camera straight and have vocabulary skills Ansam518.
<– This is Mark from 248am.
Okay.. not really, but it would be pretty hot if he did look like that. I’d stand him out in the sun, take his shirt off, and throw a stick of butter on his shoulders to see how long it would take to melt down to his rock hard filet mignon like abs.
But some people don’t share my sentiment. It’s true that with great power comes great responsibility, but in Kuwait with great blogging fame comes great criticism. The Wizard emailed me with his thoughts about Mark. Turns out Mark has been deleting The Wizard’s comment too often and that has got his panties all in a bunch. Now he’s got a thing or two to say about the ol’ chap over at the two forty eight.
This is what The Wizard sent me:
I kept posting comments on his website, but he would delete them within seconds. I just wanted to call him out for what he actually is!That closeted poof! Just ‘cause you’re married does not mean you are straight. A guy who worries that much about his weight and his physical appearance is a salad tossing, falafel munching queer in my opinion. Just come out of your Glee-ful closet.Mark, please make up your mind about what sort of blog you’re running. Is it food? Electronics? Toys? Cars? Travel destinations? Government sector recommendations? I remember this one time, he posted something about the government and how they should run their sector. Who on God’s green earth do you think you are? Stick to stuffing your face with fries and burgers and leave bigger matters to the respective authorities. Do you think you can change this country through your blog posts? I’m afraid not.Mark is not a blogger, he is merely a commercial call-girl like all the other bloggers you have previously mentioned. Mark’s favorite line: “They gave me a product to review.” What sort of expertise do you have in any field for any dumb schmuck to listen to or go by your reviews and recommendations? I mean here’s a mid thirties “GUY” (I’m assuming he’s in his mid thirties and also assuming he’s a guy lol) ranting and raving about a “Grendizer” figurine from Amazon!About Mark’s move to Lebanon… why the hell should we care about where he lives? What sort of FREE furniture he was given from posting those “reviews”? How he spent the night on a blow up mattress? I am kind of surprised that he still hasn’t posted anything about soiling himself at work? Mark-ing his territory all over his mattress?Rant over.