Let the blog rolling...

From spring water back to the source.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about Flavien, a French friend of mine who decided to cycle from Paris to Jerusalem, in order to take a break in his career as spring water sales rep. His ambition was to size this opportunity to go back to the source, the source of civilization though. So beyond the physical adventure there was also a human adventure, the need and will to meet the various peoples that constitute the wealth of the Mediterranean region.

He is now reaching his final destination after having crossed several borders, discovered so many cultures, witnessed the evolution from western to eastern lifestyle...

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A few pictures fom Flavien's journey on the Mediterranean shores

Reading his lines allows to capture the cross-cultural influences between the various countries of the zone. It also allows to realise that the Internet is a fantastic mean of communication which lowers the barriers and minimises the distance. As a matter of fact, Flavien managed to maintain a constant flow of information which was certainly a relief for his family and friends.

But his experience made me realise one more thing: the power of blogs.

The fifth power.

I recently read an article from French newspaper La Tribune which was acknowledging that Blogs could well be the long-expected fifth power: the communication channel that can destabilise or at least counter-balance political powers. The journalist was comparing blogs with the other communication means which were monitored and "influenced" in dictatorial regimes to misinform the public. Chinese officials are for instance said to censor blogs as they do with other information channels like TV or press. However it is way more difficult to control a proteic form of information than a vertical information flow managed by a few journalists... You can certainly use this Internet for the sake of your own propaganda, but your opponents have the same channels at reach and can fight the fire with fire.

The thing is that with the constant flow of information coming through your TV set, you tend to create a distance with the events occurring in other countries. Iraq bomb attacks, Lebanon explosions, Israel raids... All this becomes more and more abstract as the information becomes redundant. Casualties become statistical figures and although you are informed of the reality you are no longer in touch with it.

Unless the information becomes more personal. When I read Flavien description of his tour in central Beirut, I suddenly realised what could be the daily life of the locals. Thanks to blogs the information becomes personal, real, impactful. Blogs encourage responses and provoke thoughts. Blogs are good for your sanity. Unless if, like me, you spend too much time on the Internet instead of having a well-deserved rest :-)

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