Weekly#11: Mada…What?

Primary reason: first three letters in Madagaskar are actually the first letters in my name, which are “MAD.”  Lovely, huh?

Secondary reason: Madagaskar is my kid’s favorite cartoon.  When you have a kid, you learn by heart many cartoons, because you literally watch  them over and over for 40 times!  I love this part from Madagaskar-2:

If I, King Julien… that’s my name…
…only had two days left to live,
I would do all the things
– I’ve ever dreamed of doing.
– Like what?
I’d love to become
a professional whistler.
I’m pretty amazing at it now,
but I want to get even better,
make my living out of it.
You know what else I would do?
I would invade a neighboring country
and impose my own ideology,
even if they didn’t want it!

At this point I start giggling and my kid gives me “Shut-up-or-live-the-movie-room” look.  These cartoons are not really for kids, are they?

Being skeptical about Madagaskar’s actually using Internet I started my search.  Really, who would actually spend time writing blogs there when you live in the country packed with beaches and other cool travelling stuff?  And I was partially rigtht: public Internet access in Madagaskar exists in large cities; there is one cybercafé in Antananarivo.  There were around 110,000 internet users by September 2007.

Most of the blogs in this country used to be personal blogs till 2008, when country’s political situation started to change in not a good way.  As it is known, blogosphere usually has a tendency of rapid development when nation’s goes through something extraordinary, commonly tragic, such as 9/11.  BBC reported that after Madagascar’s government was overthrown in a 2009, the political crisis has inspired a generation of cyber-savvy Malagasies to take to cyberspace.

Majority of blogs on Internet on Madagaskar are around the news that the country approved new charter two weeks ago.  Allegedly, the new constitution is favorable to President Andry Rajoelina, 36, who took power in 2009 and currently is the youngest African President.  An attempted coup d’etat in Madagascar on 17 November ended after three days on 20 November, with no bloodshed.

An interesting overview on GlobalVoicesOnline called Madagascar: A Chronology of the Failed Coup According to Tweets, again confirms how Twitter is an important tool for citizens’ reporting during political events just like it happened in Iran.

#malagasy (which is the language of Madagaskar) and #madagascar you may read wide range of tweets about Madagaskar.  Suprisingly, Madagaskar on Facebook is less active.  Besides for Madagaskar cartoon, especially on Facebook, and political blogging, most of the blogging about Madagaskar is about travelling.  There are even posts running for the weblogtravels.com world bloggers contest, under the “sports and leisure” category for Madagascar destination.

Madagaskar community on Flickr has 670 members with more than 11,000 photos.

And btw, there are 569 cables on Madagaskar in the #wikileak ‘s diplomatic cable release.

This YouTube video tells how Madagascar’s political instability over the last two years has severely damaged the country’s once flourishing tourism industry, which is a main economic source for the tropical island.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly#11: Mada…What?”

  1. Thanks a lot for this interesting post about our lovely island, Madina

    I’m Avylavitra, the author of the “Madagascar: A Chronology of the Failed Coup According to Tweets”

    Once again, thank you

  2. Thank you, Avylavitra, for your chronology. As a student and a person interested in social media progress in difficult periods, my post was an attempt to overview development of blogs in your country.

    I think what you have been doing is courageous and vital for your society. Keep it up.

    Thank you again.

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