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My friend Ali Ebrahim has set up a  site called PlanetBohra.org.

Planet Bohra uses the Planet technology, which downloads RSS news feeds and aggregates them together into a single combined page, with the latest first.

In simple language, what Planet Bohra does, is aggregate all the blogs of Dawoodi Bohras worldwide that Ali knows about, and displays them combined on its main page.

I’ve already gotten a few hits from the site, which is how I know it exists.

My reactions are mixed.

As the observer, its interesting to see the variety of blogs worldwide.  This concept of syndication and combination is amazing, to bring them together in one place.  The variety of blogs from geopolitical to personal is intriguing.

As a writer, who appears on that front page I’m more reluctant. My blog is personal. In fact its unavoidably personal. I’m not entirely comfortable with that being syndicated so  that many people can view it. As I’ve said before my writing is not blogging.

By that distinction I mean I don’t blog about issues like Aziz Poonawala exploring Islam in the west on City of Brass. I don’t blog all things technical with the sure wizardry of Yusuf Goolamabbas  and his Random Thoughts

For the moment, I think I’ll sit tight and see how it goes. My current uneasiness is just that, uneasiness. Perhaps when there are hundreds of blogs there, I won’t mind it when I’m lost in the chatter.

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9 Comments

    • A Friend
    • Posted April 21, 2008 at 9:33 am
    • Permalink

    Stand up and be counted my friend, there are people waiting to read and learn from what you have to say. Since you like speaking through writing….. speak and you’ll soon see that the hall is full

    Take the chance you might be pleasantly surprised.

  1. If you’d like me to remove your feed from the Planet Bohra site, let me know and I’ll do so immediately.

    Actually I’ve set the site up more as an experiment and I’m trying to figure out of this sort of aggregation is interesting to other Bohras and even non-Bohras to get a feel of a “Bohra pulse”, whatever that could entail.

    One thing I will say is that by publishing your personal thoughts on wordpress.com, you’re making them unavoidably public. Long after this site ceases to exist there will be an archive somewhere that anybody can read 50 years later.

  2. and yet, if not for Planet Bohra, I’d never have known your blog existed, and spent 30 min reading old entries, rapt.

    I respect writing for yourself, not others. But your writing is good.

    • murtaza ali ezzy
    • Posted April 21, 2008 at 4:52 pm
    • Permalink

    i would appriciate, if possitive thoughts are shared.
    regards
    murtaza ali ezzy

  3. Your blog is public if you have not some how restricted access to it. Your thoughts may be personal.

    My concern (actually discomfort) with Planet Bohra is this. Each blogger has his/her own style and theme – politics, sports, humour, religeous, etc. When people read a series of posts in that blog they are aware of the context. However, when a post appears at random in the middle of other posts in Planet Bohra that context is lost and it could some times create an awkward situation. For example, my post
    http://zahid110.blogspot.com/2006/12/103-percent.html
    right after any of Saifee Surka’s post will appear odd and out of place to a casual reader.

    I am not suggesting to undo Ali’s excellent work. The challenge is to mitigate the risk. Knowing Ali, I am sure he will rise up to the challenge.

    • mtalib
    • Posted April 24, 2008 at 7:32 am
    • Permalink

    I know that by putting it on WordPress, everything I write becomes instantly public. However there are two types of public in this world. One, the public that is lost amongst the millions of similar instances, like pedestrians walking in a crowded street, and the second in contrast is the public and known, which is akin to Tom Cruise walking down a street. I don’t mind my blog being the first type of public. I don’t want it to be the second kind.

    I do like this idea of getting a feel on the bohra pulse, and it has been fascinating seeing the variety of blogs and voices that mumineen out there have.

    I think Zahid has articulated one of my main concerns better than I could ever have done so. When someone is reading my blog there is a margin of appreciation that comes from the context which is more forgiving of straying off the line of propriety. When that same post appears besides akhbar of Maulana or hudat kiram, there is a much greater chance of it appearing inappropriate.

    Aziz, thank you for the kind words. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog tremendously over the last few months, and it’s been a great eye opener.

  4. I agree with a lot of your concerns and I think that Zahid has quite effectively nailed the problem down. Things are pretty much out of context and this is a tricky problem to solve.

    Most Planets out there are kept on topic because the bloggers are grouped by interest, not by religion. My intent here was to group by religion so that people could appreciate what a wide variety of interests Bohras have and read about things that other Bohras are doing halfway across the world. So diversity was really the goal here. Limiting by topic was specifically *not* the intent here. Think of this as a Bohra twitter feed.

    Having said this, I accept that there needs to be some way of organising the chaos into something more, for lack of a better word, palatable. But at the moment I don’t know how and need to think about this (suggestions definitely welcome). Having blogs grouped by topic is a possibility but then the diversity aspect is lost.

    Regarding inappropriateness of posts that could appear on the site, it basically boils down to me removing a blog feed when that blogger does something that I think is wrong. That doesn’t mean saying something I don’t agree with, but more along the lines of purposely manipulating their blog or feed to mess up Planet or keep their blog at the top of the page always.

    There are a lot of pros and cons related to doing this and I think if we find the right balance, it can be a pretty neat thing.

  5. to be honest, I think the experiment would work better if it were to exclude the religious aspects and focus only on the voices of Bohra bloggers. My suggestion would be to remove the Akhbar and Bilad feeds and keep it focused solely on individuals.

    It should be noted that the religious and news-y content can already be seen in one place – just follow the twitter feed for mumineen.org, twitter.com/mumineen. that feed, and the “individuals” feed, might be physically separated on PB. then, you’d have a clear division of context.

  6. ALI k nam se Tufan bhi kap jate he,
    Jo nahi jante wo dub jate he,
    Kuch nahi puchte firishte kabr me,
    NAAM E ALI sunke hi Laut jate he.
    Dua ma yaad


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] it can be a useful resource and invite any comments or suggestions. On my friend’s blog, some comments regarding the setup have already been made, and I do agree with the general sentiment that it’s too disorganised. […]

  2. By Planet Bohra: A 2nd Visit « A Disorganised Mind on 21 Sep 2009 at 11:52 pm

    […] it first launched, I blogged about Planet Bohra – how there was something unique in the way it brought together people by […]

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