The blockage of this blog in Ethiopia has chipped away close to 7% of its readers. On a normal day, readers in Ethiopia constitute 11% of the total readership of the blog. It means only 45.5% of readers in Ethiopia use proxy servers to access Ethio-Zagol Post. Yet I am actually unconcerned. These are my reasons:
1. Slightly more than 100 thousand people use the internet in Ethiopia. It is one of the lowest in even in Africa. When I set out to start this blog and later on turn it into community blog, I have had no illusion that it would have immediate impact inside the country. My plan has always been for incremental impact. If projection is made based on the expansion of internet in Ethiopia in the last two years, almost 300 thousand people will be using the internet within five years. That isn't much. I, however, expect the growth to be even bigger despite the incredibly hopeless government policies. What does that mean? This may be refuted in a more formal and rigorous research; but I anticipate two consequences. Roughly...
-More people will read political blogs
-More people will know how to use proxy servers
Even with the population growth taking into account, this and other political blogs(with the current trend of bloggers quitting in droves, only few may exist) will have more readership and; therefore, influence.
2. As computer use and access becomes more and more prevalent in schools and colleges, most of the new users will be young people. It may be late; but I have no doubt that within some years Ethiopia will have its own YouTube generation. As election 2005 results have shown , EPRDF has big, big, big generational problem. This new generation is more open, more free and more outward-looking(dazzled by the political and economic systems and achievements of other societies). That is where this blog meets the new generation.
Ethio-Zagol Post is for bloggers and readers who believe in building democracy bottom-up. Empowering people and building democracy needs patience and resilience. Those two values are in abundance here.
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- ▼ March (43)