Friday, January 23, 2015

Malaysia Best Blogs

This article was, once, intended for SEO contest organized by a local blog owner. However, after years of inactivity, I decide to change the mode of this article and give a few updates for our readers as it seems like this article gained constant traffics from Google.

The update consists structure of articles, including informations here especially the blogs listing. By having doing that, the list of blogs here will keep changing time to time, depending on degree of relevance and appropriateness.

At first when I started building this blog, 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.

So let start with the first question: why SEO and SERP matters?

As far as I concerns, since 2009–during my first year in this sphere–a few bloggers are 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.

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 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 Malaysia Best Blogs

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

  1. Tun Mahathir’s Blog
  2. Sakmongkol AK47
  3. Lim Kit Siang’s blog
  4. The People’s Parliament
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 

  1. Economics Malaysia
  2. Economic Policy: The Side View
  3. CORE-Econ (International)
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 Azmannor, 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 Azmannor 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 Conclusion

Like previously noted, the lists of Malaysia Best Blogs 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!

Oh damn, it's almost 2500 words!