The Eventual Failure Of PPS

I’ve been blog surfing around again trying to come up with new ideas for a project I’m working on and I stumbled upon this this article here and here which writes about the “Syntagma Theory” and how the blogosphere is divided into three distinct groups that are:

  1. Primary – Consisting of blogs that talk about random everyday things in their lives. Connected and split to and from each other like how friendships and enemies are made in real life.
  2. Secondary – The comercial blogs. Blogs that aim to tell the public about a product or system that they are selling.
  3. Tertiary – The “serious” bloggers, the bloggers that talk about the system that makes the blogosphere. The bloggers that “talk endlessly about the blogsphere”. Bloggers that help build a system that makes the blogsphere.

Now it’s pretty interesting to relate this to the what I know of the blogosphere that I inhabit at my part of the blogging world. The Malaysian blogosphere by itself is pretty big, so big in fact that it’s really hard to say and keep track of just how many blogs are there out there. On one hand you got your normal ones that run on things like Blogger, WordPress and Movable Type which are easy to keep track off. Then again, the majority of blogs out there run on things like MySpace, Friendster and Multiply and that just completely…well…the scale is just too big.

Way too big.

So what you end up with in the end is a fractured blogosphere that consists of niches running all over the place. Each and everyone connected to each other by the likes and dislikes that they have for something. Each and everyone blogging for their own reason or because blogging has become a fad to them that they are trying out. So what’s my point? Simple.

Enter Project Petaling Street.

Now, to those that still don’t know Project Petaling Street also known as PPS is described as a “blog-tal aggregating content from a cross section of Malaysians being Malaysian”. Your basic metablog with the Malaysian blogosphere in mind where anyone can basically ping their blogs to the site to make their posts known to the community.

The idea here is that you can create a blogosphere community whereby no one is an island and all bloggers can congregate together. The idea is sound and when you think about how the Syntagma Theory’s Tertiary blogosphere applies here, it asks a good question.

Is PPS part of the tertiary blogosphere?

After all, it is a blog for and about blogs.

Then it might not be a little off for me to say that in that part, PPS is an eventual failure.

In the recent months in which PPS has had its boost of blogs pinging to it, it has become increasingly clear that on some certain level there is a sense disconnection from what PPS could have been. No longer was it a point in whereby blogs could be recognised for their content, but it became a place where blogs could increase their traffic with the use of certain keywords at the right point in time.

Going back to the point of failure, I’m not sure whether PPS realises its place in the blogosphere or not, but the system was already poised to be something greater than just a place where blogs can ping to it. It has become a hub in whereby blogs are recognised for their posts and as such should evolve to keep up with the changing fluidity that the blogosphere has become. But it hasn’t.

And that is its failure.

As much as people are going to say that blogs are still blogs. There at least has to be some growth qualitatively rather than just quantitatively. PPS could have been that hub in whereby the Malaysian Blogosphere, not just the niche that pings to PPS could be recognised and read by the public. It could be the focal point whereby we all learn that it isn’t hits that make up a good blog but the amount of people who return no matter what because they know you made sense.

Because there are people out there that make sense.

Now, as it is…there is no end to the amount of people in Malaysia who make up the Primary Blogosphere. But with all out amount of bloggers, let’s at least have those of us who grow and take up the responsibility of making up the Tertiary part of the blogosphere.

I don’t want to see our side of the blogging world stagnate under it’s own sense of false pretenses and oversensationalistic gossips and heresays. Let’s at least make something that can redefine our own sense of individuality as blogs that have a point. Let’s at least bring blogs that have those point to the rest of blogosphere.

It’s time to evolve and reinvent the blogosphere we know into something better than walking away because it has become what it is.

In that even failures have their purity of ideal.

Don’t lose that focus.

We’re going to need it to build that next generation.

11 thoughts on “The Eventual Failure Of PPS

  1. Gossips and hearsays have become a major theme in blog entries. People aren’t really interested in reading intellectual stuff I guess, blogs especially blogs in the primary level have to written in the same wavelength as the reader. So at the end of the day, if all you want are hits and high traffic, then post something simple and juvenile that most people can relate to, but if you want to post quality stuff, then make sure gaining hits is not your main priority, rather the content and matter you wish to share.

  2. I appreciate the points you raise.

    Blogosphere in Malaysia is in its infancy; give it more time to evolve and grow before you soundd so pessimistic to write it off so early.

    One issue I’m concerned here is that some Bloggers encourage law breaking activitie such as drug-taking, even peddling, blatantly giving PPS a bad name because such Bloggers are eregularly ping-ing to PPS. I don’t knwo what drives such ppl into putting themselves at risk — is teir brains somewhere lodged beneath their stomach level and not above the shoulders?

    PS should beware what goes via its traffic, though a disclaimerputs the onus of responsibility on te Bloggers .. nevertheless if these acts involve a hig-profile Blogger, it puts all PPS messengers-users at risk by asociation.

  3. The blogosphere in Malaysia has been around for a long while now, the explosion as we see it is the new influx of blood that has joined under recent media exposure of blogs. When that happens, what I see is that those of us who have been blogging for a while or have created a role in blogging to help steer the ship which we have now become responsible for. PPS doesn’t escape this…in fact, due to its well known influence too, it plays as much responsibility too. Same goes for all the bloggers there that have a very high readership. Sentiments may be there, but there needs to be a central hub whereby this evolution and education has to take place.

  4. Survival of the fittest rules!

    And frankly, I do not know whom PPS belongs to. That’s the problem. Is it a community where everyone is reponsible for how it develops or is it just another URL where we can ping to get traffic.

  5. Thanks for the write-up. It’s good to know my idea is being discussed in Malaysia. From what I read it seems you have an excellent blogging community there. Best of luck with the project.

    Kindly,
    John Evans

  6. Personally, I don’t think that PPS will fail. From what I’ve been seeing, the blogosphere here acts much like a clump of organisms within their environment, and there are undercurrents that drive their survival, both as indivuals and as a group.

    I believe that most blog readers and writers out there are intelligent. PPS aggregates all the blogs, but an individual reader sifts through them and picks out the ones that speak most to their own personal context, or possesses something that drives their fancy. This allows different blogs to garner their own readership, although it takes time. But this does happen, and it’s the good blogs and bloggers that prevail. The mundane ones would usually fade into obscurity over time if they have nothing better offer everyone.

    But that aside, I think all blogs have to be “commercial” to a certain extent, to keep people coming back.

    I think that PPS won’t fail, but it will evolve, because of the conflict of voices that rise up to call for change and hopefully induce change. Hopefully that change will benefit us all in the long run.

  7. PPS fail? My dear Watson, its elementary — it has already succeeded!

    PPS is a lot of things to many different people, but at the end of the day, what it was was meant to be still remains: (i quote Najah Nasseri), “PPS is like the KL Sentral for blogs”. If it is what it was supposed to be, then how can it be a failure?

    What you tried to say in your posting is what you think PPS “should be”, and if isn’t that, then its akin to failure. I disagree.

    PPS has evolved somewhat in recent months to make up for the rapid changes in the Malaysian blog ecosystem, but i’ve really, really tried my best to resist sweeping and revolutionary changes, not because i can’t, not because people haven’t suggested it — but because its been the experience of history that knee jerk changes to accomodate environmental fluxes has always ultimately led to disaster.

    I’m betting that the Malaysian blogosphere will settle down in time, to a period of stability, and that’s when changes, if any should be put in place.

    Having said that, some plans are already in place that’ll make PPS a more interesting place, so i do hope that you’ll all keep an eye out for that.

  8. Aiz: I’m all for evolving. Really I am. It’s just that I’ve heard and seen people keep saying things like change but never see it done or in place. I’m sorry if I sounded critical or even pessimistic. But the point which I was trying to make here is that things that change too slowly will in the end be taken over by other systems that are similar but contains the required change involved. As with what the article I was referring to is stating, PPS has its own form of “responsibility” to ensure the qualitative growth of the blogosphere. It’s just that in the past few months, it’s been ultimately…slow. Too slow.

    No offence Aiz, I like PPS alot for the community that it brings together. That’s why I ping it and would always ping to it. But a community has got to be more than many pings and hit whoring abuse. This post means well if PPS remains stagnant in the face of change. If you have good changes in mind, I’m all for it 100%.

  9. i think failure is a big word to use. PPS is a blog aggregator that means it ‘collects’ a bunch of blogs and that is precisely what PPS is doing albeit there are certain improvements which can be made easily thru’ available open-source software.

    In the beginning I thought the newly launched PPS blog would be something like Tomorrow.sg (TS) where good articles of the day would be highlighted and brought to the public’s notice. I understand that Malaysians do not want to ‘copy’ our neighbours but if you have been following them, it is no coincidence that the birth of TS has led to S’porean blogs gaining more recognition among the society and indirectly has some influence in the community (e.g. online petition for TT Durai’s resignation, etc)

    So, why not adopt both systems? PPS as the aggregator and PPS blog as the blog reviewer?

  10. I’ma little late in this discussion but here I am anyway.

    Your Tertiary bloggers are what I call “navelgazers” — talking all about the very medium they’re using. Sure, many bloggers blog about blogging (just listen to yourself say all that turd!) at least once in their lifetimes, but eventually the practice begins to seem just sick. The “serious” bloggers, the bloggers that talk about the system that makes the blogosphere? Yeckh.

    So where do you put topical blogs, e.g. politics, technology, music, etc? So much more important.

    I wouldn’t suggest a Quarternary category — I think Tertiary should be: “the ‘serious’ bloggers, the bloggers that talk about everything else.” Yes, navelgazing goes in here too. There’s still space for serious navelgazing, I believe, because blogs are *still* a relatively new phenomenon (I say this even as a 6-year veteran blogger).

    As for boringest’s question about PPS as a blog reviewer, I think the new baby that is blogsmalaysia.com covers that.

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