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PPS founders - Part 2

Just an addition to the previous post, What happened to the founding members of PPS? After finishing it, I came across this Wiki page that describes the foundation of Project Petaling Street.
"The document that will track this evolution is the very same one you are reading RIGHT NOW. It is intended to be a dynamic document that will be updated as PPS evolves."

It seems like the Wiki died a quick death though, as it has not been updated since July 13, 2003, about a month after PPS started.
Project Petaling Street wiki screenshot

Based on the Wiki, I left out two founders, who were no longer on the sidebar by the time the site was archived by the Wayback Machine. Or maybe they were never on it, I dunno.

• Ditesh Kumar of A Tech/Personal blog. It's no longer online, but there's an archived version from June 19, 2003. It mentions PPS on June 12.
• Mohan Raj of Codeworks. A very short lived tech blog - only seven posts in all, and it has not been updated since July 16, 2003.

An interesting thing for me is the clear 'Open Source' format of the Wiki. A lot of the literature on "Internet culture" seems to take Free/Libre Open Source Software (aka FLOSS) as a model of online interaction. For example, Raymond's classic The Cathedral and the Bazaar, or Ghosh's Cooking pot markets... - these have been very effectively critiqued by the anthropologist Kelty in Hau to Do Things with Words.

Although they are not directly comparable, blogs and FLOSS do share a few things though, I think: the importance of attributing sources, and the open and shared nature of the final product. A key difference, though, is that a blog belongs to one person only, whereas OS software belongs to everyone (or no one). PPS seemed to sit in the middle a bit - conceived of as a 'community' resource, it also was a website owned and run by one person. Perhaps because of this, later on, there were disagreements in 2004 and in 2005 about 'Who owns PPS?'

This debate seems to owe something to the FLOSS ethos, and there seemed to be three stances:

1. Aizuddin pays for and runs the site, so he can do what he wants with it ultimately.
2. Aizuddin may want to run it the way he wants, but why do some get their RSS feeds permanently in the sidebar?
3. It's a community service, and should be run for all bloggers, by some sort of collective process.

Finally, the founders in the sidebar lost their space, but Aizuddin has kept sole control over it. Basically, he owns it. It reminds me of another point that Kelty made (same source as mentioned above): that the guarantee of the open software is done by, in the last instance, using the (offline) regime of private property to uphold the ability to prevent anyone from appropriating the software and excluding others - "Free Software is protected intellectual property that anyone can use." (2002:12); this point has recently been tested legally in the US and "Advocates of open source software have hailed a court ruling protecting its use even though it is given away free" (BBC)

What happened to the founding members of PPS?

Project Petaling Street sidebar in 2003
From what I've been told, the founding of PPS was an important milestone for blogging in Malaysia. There were ten original founders, and part of the agreement was that they should have a permanent feed with their latest posts on the sidebar ( AlphaBlogger told me this). So, thanks to the internet time travelling machine - the Wayback Machine , I found a screenshot of PPS on July 24, 2003 (the sidebar is what you can see on the left of this post) and had a look at who were these founding members.

Screenshots...: the seminal SoPo blog, still around and going strong. Jeff Ooi is now a sitting YB (Yang Behormat - i.e. Member of Parliament, in case any non-Malaysians read this). a tech-blog I think. Is not around anymore - here's one post called 'They messed with the wrong girl' (courtesy of the Wayback Machine).

technoLAHgy v0.15c : a tech-blog too. Still online, but hasn't been updated since June 2007.

Volume of Interactions: a SoPo blog I'd say. Still online and running - this is the blog of the person who runs PPS, Aizuddin Danian. PPS has not been all sun and light apparently, and he discusses a Can of Worms here back in 2005; it was launched on June 12, 2003.

Narratives not quite sure how to classify this one - probably 'Personal blog', but it has SoPo in it too (these categories will always be somewhat blunt). Still going, since December 27, 2002.

tv smith's dua sen: hmmm... he calls it a 'blogzine' - it's sort of like a photoblog with a social conscience... (damn these categories!). Still going strong: here's a wonderful post on monkeys . a personal blog. Still going strong, after a enforced pause resulting from 'certain activities' that were well documented on his controversial blog.

The following four were classified under 'Gambar2' - so I suppose they are 'Photo blogs'.

Still Life : no longer active.

VOI Visuals: it's Aizuddin again! I suppose this was a part of his blog devoted to pictures, but there's nothing there now.

Narratives : hmm, it's her again! I assume it's the same situation as Aizuddin, as now the link takes us to her main blog instead of a 'gallery'.

Odds & Ends: still going strong with impressive photos.

So, conclusions... umm... Well, most of them are still around - that could either be testimony to their inherent 'blogginess', or as a result of increased publicity via PPS, or both. SoPo were in a minority, as usual. Photoblogs were quite significant. Apart from that, I can't think of anything useful to say... Any comments? All information on blogging history in Malaysia is welcomed, as that's the next chapter of my thesis that I have to write!

Being regular...

I keep telling myself that I need to post more often, and then don't do it. I went to the AMBP Smashin' Gathering last Saturday (report coming up) and, after talking to various people, I realised that maybe one way I can blog, do research, and be of some use to the Malaysian blogosphere as a whole, is to use my blog as a 'chronicle' of the Malaysian blogosphere. Not a vastly original idea, but it may work.

The basic principles should be:
1. Blog something every day, or at least every two days.
2. Talk about my observations and thoughts on the goings-on in the blogosphere. Give an alternative view, but don't be too academic.
3. It doesn't have to be a long post.


One thing I learnt on Saturday, from the talk by the founder of Project Petaling Street (aka PPS), Aizuddin Danian , is that there is a search function for the archives of PPS! As he said, this can be very useful for researchers, being five years worth of blog posts. But it's not that great a search machine - seeing as you can't seem to be able to specify much - for example, see the screenshot below for what happens when I search for "good morning" (in "quotes"):
Project Petaling Street search screenshot

Anyway, it's good to know, and Happy Birthday PPS :-)

The next task is to work out how to do an automatic ping to it when I post...