Archive for November 19, 2010

Blogging about WebSurvey Master…am I a Slave to Blogging?

I have met some very nice people because of this blog about Kazakhstan. I’ve written almost every day and especially after three years of being consistent in Kazakhstan, I have an audience more than just my Mom.  As my dear husband knows only too well, sometimes I feel as compulsive as the blogger in the movie “Julie and Julia.”  I’m not obsessing over a person like Julia Childs. I guess I’m trying to digest what this country of Kazakhstan is all about. Maybe I AM a slave to blogging…

In a very round about way I read some Kazakh person’s blog who was writing from London and wondering why Kazakh people don’t blog.  After I wrote to him telling him I appreciated his thoughts on this very subject because I’ve been wondering about this same problem for several years. In response, he gave me a link from a blogger from India who had, in turn, responded to HIS blog thinking aloud about why Kazakhs don’t like to write. You see how this social networking through blogs can pick up steam?  As a writing teacher, it is sometimes difficult to get anyone to write, not just Kazakhs or Ukrainians. But perhaps with Kazakhs there are even more tantalizing reasons to ferret out this information so that they WOULD blog more about their amazing country and culture.

Is it that Kazakhs want to remain mysterious to the rest of the world?  I am convinced there are many talented Kazakhs who have the ability to write but they just don’t feel compelled to do so.  This person I just recently got in contact with said that Kazakhs are too lazy.  Now, he can get away with writing that because he is Kazakh.  I, as an American, would not be able to write that so easily without offending Kazakhs.  Okay, so it is OUT there in the blogosphere and I didn’t say it. I suppose I should put the link on my blog right this very minute so you know that I’m writing truthfully.  However, I would have to get his permission first, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

I would like to do another questionnaire like I did with Survey Monkey and thankfully a new commenter yesterday brought to my attention about another swell on-line survey that I could use with my students.  Yes!!! I’m open to anything NEW and I’m seeing that this latest website that I showed to my students is a fun one for them.  First, I’ll have to try out this link which may even be better than SurveyMonkey.  We’ll see.  But this was just another person I will possibly meet soon, I believe he lives in Astana.  Without blogging and being OUT THERE, how would I know these people even exist with common interests to my own?

Next, I want to survey our student body about movies. What kind do they like (comedy, drama, history, horror, etc.), what values do they see in American movies and other questions. I hope to get to the core of what we do every Sunday afternoon by showing good and wholesome movies with English subtitles to these university students. We want to open this service up to the general public of Astana so that other university students can profit from our handouts and discussion in English afterwards.

Finally, my husband will hopefully meet a commenter to my blog while he is visiting Almaty this weekend.  I think this person started commenting on my blog entries about a year ago.  He shares some of the same economic interests as my husband does so that might be helpful to finally meet the person behind the pseudonym. I’ve met over the phone or in person some of my other commenters and that is always fun.

For now, my students who are blogging are excited about getting outside commenters besides just me, their teacher.  The adventure is finding out what you write and think matters to someone else.  That is why I want to survey more about blogging to get to the bottom of this problem of why Kazakh students don’t feel a need to write to the general globalized public about who they are and where they have come from. A great land of Kazakhstan which I can hardly understand, not knowing the language beyond four words, would be better served to explain it by actual Kazakhs blogging MORE!!!

I’ll keep you posted about what my students have written about the problems they see exist with blogging from Kazakhstan. It’s not like there is a law against it, or IS there an unwritten code that I, as the unsuspecting American, don’t know about??? Stay tuned!

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