What Are The Issues That Jordanians Really Care About?

Nearly two months since I discussed this topic, I’ve been thinking lately that while there are many reasons that there is so little “issue-blogging” being done in Jordan, there is one reason that is often overlooked. Are we, as bloggers, blogging about the issues that people really care about? That seems to be the question for me lately. Because it isn’t just about the number of bloggers who choose to blog about issues, but also about their readership and the engagement they receieve, which in itself is an encouraging factor for others to pick up issue blogging.

To speak strictly for myself, any issue I post on the Black Iris is an issue I personally find to be relevant or personally care about. And so I’ve noticed a trend where readers and even bloggers will react to a certain post enthusiastically, while other posts and the issues that they pose go unnoticed to an extent.

Crime. People love a good crime story. Any time a post involves honor crimes or some sort of bloody massacre, a bit of a reading and commenting frenzy is generated.

Palestine. Palestine doesn’t do well these days. Neither does Iraq or Lebanon for that matter. Unless a new and fresh massacre has taken place, people generally react rather blase about these places.

Controversy. People love it. If it’s something that’s new and hasn’t been said or talked about, or involves a bit of a personal-story touch, then it will be read and commented on.

Religion sells more than politics these days. That’s another conclusion I seem to have drawn lately. While most might be under the assumption that both should do rather well, religion has the ability to maintain its controversial veracity since saying almost anything about religion or involving religion some how, some way, will almost always offend someone.

Ethnicity and Identities live by the same rules. Jordanians seem to really care about issues of origin, roots, grappling with identity and racism. Whether in the guise of, sexual identity, the pandora’s box of Jordanian vs. Palestinian, or other outlets.

Stupidity. An issue that bears some sort of perspective which the mass majority can agree is stupid or ridiculous or should be generally condemned; an issue that has a perspective we can all generally, pretty much get on board with. An issue where readers can agree with each other, and thus feel a bit united; momentarily.

At a glance, these seem to be some of the major issues Jordanian readers care about, more so that others. You’ll find common ground amongst other bloggers who have approached the same topic.

But this is just an opinion; a single perspective, and I could be wrong. I tend to judge by the level of reader interaction and reaction to certain topics, and that’s primarily what I’ve based these conclusions on.

The issues readers don’t care about – and by readers I’m generally referring to 20-something year old Jordanians who seem to make up the bulk of the blogosphere’s demographics – these issues are just as interesting to dissect, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Some day.

8 thoughts on “What Are The Issues That Jordanians Really Care About?

  1. Nas, this is an interesting blogging market analysis! though kicks me out of the market , i tend to agree with it to a certain extent! LOL! I mean sometimes the post is good… and the comments are even better!! you just enjoy reading through the comments and different opinions even more than the post itslef… and that’s what makes a good post… the kind of interseting and valuable discussion that comes out of it…

  2. Crime, stupidity and controversies seem to be universally popular topics. (Sometimes, to the great joy of Korean bloggers who like to write about crime, stupidity and controversies.. there are huge debates/controversies over stupid crimes – triple the fun!)

    Right now it seems my entire country is raving over one thing. Mad cow.

    Moooooo, anyone?

    Btw, 1-0!!! Need I say more? *grins*

  3. So Nas, I totally have an issue for you,

    Cockroaches. Bloody cockroaches. The municipality came by last week to treat the outside, and they gave us poison to put down our drains. Dozens of them ended up dead, but it seems they are back again. Yesterday, one actually crawled on me.

    I can’t believe I just typed this sentence. One CRAWLED on me.

    Do you know any exterminators who work inside the home (no one seems to have this essential information in my household)? Alternatively, do you know where I can buy a gecko or two?

  4. Nas, what an interesting observation. I’m anxiously awaiting the next post on what people don’t care about. I like that you clarified also whom you are defining as the average reader. Obviously I fall WAY outside of this. But, I also find it interesting that your average reader is far less likely to be concerned with topics that concern me (like the ridiculous hikes in prices for things that go beyond gasoline). Given that most young folks live at home until they marry, it doesn’t really surprise me that the actual increase in prices has less impact on them than the hike in gas as I suspect that’s what most of them are paying for anyway…

  5. Natalia,

    Check out المركز العربي لمكافحة الحشرات والقوارض, in english if you are not an arab “Arab Center for Pest Control” -more or less- look for it in the yellow pages. I tried them once, 7 years now and all is well.

    Naseem,

    As a blogger in your capacity, what do you think of invoking a dialogue to prospect future such as, gathering opinion about developing health, education, agriculture, industrial, commerce sectors in Jordan.. I do intend to turn into a surveying outlet, but to gather opinions more directly and asking more direct questions to capture the public feel of major issues in the country. You know of course how many people read your posts and what an outlet it is to express and reflect.

  6. Natalia, Mazan Al Zoubi is THE Bug Man. His office is on Wadi Saqra nearly to old Safeway in the building next to the FedEx building. He kills em dead, and also rides a mean motorcycle.

    I’m wondering what issues really get Jordanians going too. IT seems none of the mag editors I write for think what interests me interests their readers. Can that many people really only get excited about fluff and fashion?

    Nas, a bunch of us want to start a new mag. Wanna join us?

  7. I guess sometimes there isn’t much that can be said… and/or you say it all … like with regard to Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, or the danish cartoon controversy …. I don’t think it means the issues are irrelevant to your readers (or at least they are important to me), but I don’t usually comment on these because, well, there is very little left to say…
    maybe its a form of anger-management lol. or maybe its just emotional fatigue.

  8. Are you serious? I have yet to read a single post that addresses our social structure as Jordanians or our collective identity, let alone the subgroups you have referred to. The closest bloggers have come to culture is documenting an annual visit to downtown (you know, because it’s so “west Ammani” and “cool”).

    Another thing, this blogging “community” is strictly a bubble. The closest level of actual interaction is occasional meetings. Most of the bloggers are so out of touch with society, and that is clearly evident, because what concerns the average Jordanian citizen is the fluctuation in prices and living standards, and few blogs offered actual solutions to the rise in prices on both macro and micro levels; BamBam wrote something interesting regarding inflation on a macroeconomic level, but that’s just about it.

    Finally, as usual, i think this post is more of a projection of what YOU are interested in, rather than what the rest of the bloggers are interested in. It seems these bloggers are interested in fastfood, shoes and exchanging recipes, with the occasional odd rant on [insert purely emotional superficial takes on current affairs here]. At other times, they’re obsessed with blabbering about how powerful blogging is a tool, using sketchy metaphors, like how it is a “journey” that “transcends” self and societal censorship. You say transcend, i say wanking.

    Anyway, you asked for feedback so i thought ranting is the best form of feedback.

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