Friday, January 23, 2015

Malaysia Best Blog 2015

For almost 4 years, this blog never participates in any online contests, be it SEO contest or giveaways.

The chief reason is I don’t really interested and having fun on joining this kind of competition, plus my self-blindness on its significance towards the advancement of the blog in the search engine results page (SERP).

It might because my intention is more on writing freely without putting much thought into SEO stuff. It is the reason; eventually, I moved back from self-hosting Wordpress to Blogger. For the latter, I got no regret.

However, I realise this way of blogging doesn't have the impact as much as I hope for. Yes, I do write consistently in some news portal; however, it's never been had any direct affiliation with this blog.

By saying that, I keen to look upon the new way of increasing the effectiveness of my blog to spread the whole message I tried to convey, as part it would be functioning well to provide another perspective to the readers on certain issues arose especially of politics and of socio-economics well-being.

For that sole purpose, I decide to join this contest, namely as SEO Contest: Malaysia Best Blog 2015 coordinated by, the focus-niche blog on making money online and dealing with all the online businesses stuff including eBays.

So let start with the first question: why SEO contest?

As far as I concerns, since 2009 – during my first year in this sphere – some of the bloggers very familiar with this stuff, the thing we called SEO. Just named it, start from Ariff Shah to Kujie, DenaiHati to Encik Titan, they are the who’s who in Malaysia in SEO and its acquaintances.

Ask them, back 2010 for almost every week they wrote something about SEO. I learned a lot nonetheless. For that very reason too, I jump from Blogger to Wordpress, from free hosting to self-hosting, from a platform to another, then finally return back to my locus – Blogger.

All of them happens for the sake of the learning process. Albeit, I admit to the very date, I did not really understand what SEO is about. For this contest, I hope it is not a paradox to pledge myself to improve the understanding of this topic, at least, I could handle it a little if not very much.

I believe the initiative made by to organise the SEO keyword-focusing the contest by using the ‘Malaysia Best Blog 2015’ as the ranked keywords are deserving appreciation, plus the good thing is I have a feeling this contest could be a good start over.

From here, after 5 years in the blogosphere, I would be able to reevaluate my blog’s performance and improving it little by little, learn something new, thus get more understanding of how the Internet working and how the Google algorithms working for SERP actually are. Sound overstates right?

Yet before I proceed, I have a little story to share.

The Melancholic

I don’t think it is content-wise to write a piece about this – the melancholic – since in the end, this is the SEO contest, not the “pujangga-lara” purposes.

However, after reading the sentiment raised by HarianPost, also one of the participators of this contest about the blogosphere nowadays rapidly changing and not vibrant as it used to a couple years ago, inevitably it reminisce myself the year I start this blog.

I share the same sentiments, the feeling with the author and some commentators on that article. The fast-growing social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and recently, the Whatsapp, my postulation is it happens at the expense of the blogosphere that is less able to capture the rapid-paced society.

Back 2010, I still remember how most bloggers vying and competing for each other; some organising meet-ups, here and there happy with monthly giveaways, another group having some kind of blog segments.

Here and there are sessions of blog walking and say hi to each other in the comment section, and competitions by competitions, and the “show-off” bloggers proudly displaying their Nuffnang cheques.

Those memories are unforgettable. I am not the one who actively joining the scene, nevertheless, I, too, am not entirely passive.

I acceded to some of them and hope it would be acceptable. By the time I write down this, several bloggers whose I constantly read their blog disappears. Some of them, like the famous Ben Ashaari and supermom Yan Mie, stay still.

To date, I occasionally visit their blogs aside from the serious niche. Sometimes quite frustrating after realising they never update the blogs for months. I still miss HentakBelipat, Mrs Jamal and her son Irsyad, to name a few.

Many of them getting married, getting busier, study abroad, start businesses, with a simple explanation: they have another thing to do, and the blog is not their thing anymore. A few still consistent, even more, advance and their blog growing bigger and bigger.

The obvious example is DenaiHati.

Is it melancholic enough? I am not sure.

The Critiques

Firstly, I am in a dilemma — an article in English or Bahasa. The title, nonetheless, is English. The content, my writing principle says it should be in English accordingly. I think most people pre-empted the English titles should have an English content too.

It’s never been a rule, anywhere. However, I’m not used to that kind of writing. If I tend to write in Bahasa, the title supposed to be like ‘Pertandingan SEO: Blog Terbaik Malaysia 2015’ and this sounds much alike and appropriate. Nonetheless, that kind of title is out of range of the contest intention.

Secondly, the criterion of what make the blogs is best or good is too broad, vast and very subjective. Presumably, this might entail what the organisational intent to do.

He gives to each participant the freedom to decide what makes the blog best to them, without having certain obligatory, such using the usual paraphernalia, be it Page Ranking, Alexa, page views or backlinks.

If it were any mandatory needed, then I supposed my blog never got a chance to participate. Having said that, my pick for Best Blogs is total ranks based on my reading frequency, niches preferring and critical views, therefore, the lists would so contradict with the others as well.

The Malaysia Best Blog 2015

I am an avid reader. I love to read books, as well as good online contents published by several good bloggers around. Mostly my reading is in politics and socio-economics niches. I do enjoy reading blogs on entertainment, but honestly, it is seldom to do so.

Blog on Politics

In politics, I do follow several blogs which are the best among the best. I pick 4 of them, although I actually follow consistently more than that. Why those 4 blogs? They are the sharpest, the important and very articulate, in their opinions, ideas and critics. Others, yes, I do read them occasionally, but theirs is the most enchanting in the political sphere.

The first is a Tun Mahathir’s Blog. The blog goes popularly with his nickname ‘Chedet’ ranks first on my list. He’s as we all known, the former Prime Minister who never settles, every day he would say something without sitting around playing with his grandchild’s.

Even though I abhor a lot with his stances in politics, he is undeniably one of the greatest 20th century’s politician. His anti-Western stance and outspokenness deserve a round of applause.

The second on politics is Sakmongkol AK47, written restlessly by Dato' Mohd Ariff Sabri. He’s also a politician, a DAP Member of Parliament for Raub, Pahang. Go read Sakmongkol AK47, then you will know why I choose his blog as one of the best in Malaysia.

His wittiness and eloquent contemplation of political issues made him differ from his colleagues. Indubitably, his blog is a must-read if you keen to look upon political matters.

The third goes to Lim Kit Siang’s blog. He is the veteran politician. Everyone knows him, even the primary school kids, thanks to TV3 propaganda. I put him because of his writing, his consistencies and principles are tangible.

He is the exemplar for the young politicians, on how to be consistent and responsive. According to his assistant, he never asks assistances to write a media statement on behalf of himself; instead, he writes himself for the entire career as a politician.

Tell me other politicians nowadays who did what Kit Siang did?

The last resort in political blogs, going to The People’s Parliament. The writer is Haris Ibrahim, the maestro behind the campaign of “Anything But UMNO (ABU)” or locally popular with “Asalkan Bukan UMNO” chanting.

He is everything about the people (rakyat). His political intention never crosses that fine line, as far as I read his statements and following his campaigns. I might have a bit disagreement with his views; however, his firmness on the struggle for betterment is something deserving respect.

Blog on Economy 

In economics sphere, I pick 2 blogs among the best. Sadly enough, I hope this argument still valid, is we can say almost all the economics blogs exist mainly in English.

I don’t have any specific to against with; however, I think if there any good economics blog in Bahasa, it would be much helpful in blossoming the discussions among Malays especially on economics matter.

The first is, of course, Economics Malaysia wrote and contributes by the young economist, Mr Hisham.

I don’t know him at a personal level, however, I read and follows his blog for years, and I could say almost every day I did some visit and read his articulations on economics, policies, and the related matters.

He is not the regular economic commentaries, he is the one who writes a blog with packs of data, statistical analysis, full of empirical arguments and high deliberations.

If you read his blog and see how the responses in each article, you would be amazed. The real discussion on economics, at least, to me as an engineering student who interested in economics stuff, happening there. This blog is a must-read if you keen to economics and its related issues in Malaysia.

The second is the blog written by anonymously under the title of Economic Policy: The Side View.

Why anonymous?

Because I never knew who is behind the blog anyway. He or she never revealed the real identity, yet the writing is so superb, ethical, professional and advance. By saying that, the blog’s commentaries and views on economic issues, especially in Malaysia are highly recommended to bookmark and reads.

Like the Economics Malaysia, I suspect Mr Anonymous’ intention is equivalent. Both are honest and professional, have unambiguous visions, full of ethics in pointing their views and directing the discussions on the matter concerned.

I always look them up and try to learn something from their writing and propositions. I believe if more Malaysians writing and expressing like them, the world could be much better.

Miscellaneous and Stuff

The next sphere will be miscellaneous niches. The word ‘miscellaneous’ I used here sounded as if bringing such wrong nuance.

No, I don’t mean that.

It is because the next blogs appear on my list for Malaysia Best Blog 2015 are composed various niches, be they a personal blog, travelogue and business.

My next choice is SaifulIslam, manage and written by Ustaz Hazrizal Abd Jamil.

I thought I didn’t need to describe him excessively since he is one of the best bloggers in Bahasa ever existed in our country, the author of several best-seller books and once ago, he was called as the versatile motivational expert.

His writing, as usual, capable of switching on the reasoning faculty to think further. May ALLAH always bless Ustaz Hasrizal.

The second goes to my UKM’s colleague, Azman Nor with his blog Pikir dan Lukis, the blog which focusing on watercolour paintings. This blog demonstrating lucidly how passionate he was in the arts, especially in the area expert, the water colour painting.

I am witnessing with my very own eyes, of how gifted he is on drawing and painting. Several notable figures had his painting in their collection, like celebrity Siti Nurhaliza, the royal Tuanku Muhriz of Negri Sembilan, the politician Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, to name a few.

Anyone who interested to learn some tricks in watercolour painting and get noticed for upcoming events related to that subject, his Pikir Dan Lukis blog are highly recommended to follow its updates.

The third blog is a travelogue written by a girl named Zarah Naumul, or among the bloggers she is famous with her blog’s name, Jard.

Her blog is Jardness, one of the avid solo traveller who never afraid to stumble at foreign land accompanied with just her little pink backpack. This self-proclaimed ignorant brat is not the regular traveller you found on roadsides. She is awesome, and this is not an overstatement.

I just think right now, to this date how much she owes me postcards. Sorry!

The last but not least, as it were obligated to me to participate in this contest is, the blog owned by Khirol Hazwan. What actually OhDuit is about, I could say it is everything about making money online.

As the owner described, the blog focusing on sharing his own experiences in online businesses, especially eBay. In all honesty, I never read this blog before therefore I couldn’t be really able to write a lot about it.

The article from which attracting my attention so far is the article on getting free traffics using Jingling software. Even though I still not sure how to install the Windows VPS as indicated by Khirol, I think this kind of trick is nonetheless useful in future.

The Conclusion

Like previously noted, the lists of Malaysia Best Blog 2015 entirely based on my personal assessment, well it might too narrow and too judgemental, and convinced that a lot of readers might disagree with my choices.

I am open to any contradictions; also, I would say the blog which I never mentioned here never meant I never read it. I read a lot of stuff online, if it were not a book, be it anything you could name.

Day to day, the blogosphere seems gloomy, ominously cheerless and showing the dismal capability to compete with other rapid-growth social media networks. I believe by having such initiative like this, the blogosphere would be fitted again, recovers and once more, be vibrant as it used to be.

After all, I never trust other social networks to function meticulously splendidly like the blogs, especially in providing an inclusive platform for everyone to have a voice and offers diversity in perspectives with a great discursive environment that capable of turning into such subversive blasphemy to the orthodox regime.

Coining the answer given by Nikhil Garg to the question “Why should someone blog?” on Quora, blogs is the solid corner for self-introspection, besides it would be a perfect time-machine, for us to go back in time reading old posts and re-living past experiences.

Long live blogosphere!

To not forget the reminder from Khirol to promote the contest to my own readers, I put here with a little adjustment:

“Jom sertai contest SEO Malaysia Best Blog 2015 dan anda berpeluang memenangi hadiah utama, wang tunai bernilai ribuan ringgit! Contest SEO ini dianjurkan oleh!”

Oh damn, it's almost 2500 words!