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Kazakhstan: Prime-Minister Launched Blog

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Humor, Politics, Technology

On January 9 the Press Office of the Government informed that Karim Massimov, the Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan, started his private, yet official blog [1].

Last December the Prime –Minister visited Russian capital, where he gave the interview to Echo of Moscow radio station. There he was asked a series of uneasy questions, including the one about LiveJournal, the popular blogging platform, being blocked in Kazakhstan. Then Karim Massimov has said that he blogs himself, regularly spends his time in the internet and has no problems with accessing LiveJournal. He has promised to sort this problem out on his return to Kazakhstan. So far, LiveJournal is still blocked, though the Prime-Minister has started his private blog … on the Cabinet of Ministers’ web-site.

Adam-Kesher ironically says:

If it’s gone this way, then everyone, whose LJ – accounts are inaccessible in Kazakhstan, should receive an account on the governmental portal!

Meanwhile, the first visitors of the “Premiere-blog” are complaining about low speed of comments posting option:

I have “Saving the comment” notice hanging in Massimov’s blog already for 30 minutes… nashingyou complains [2] [ru]. Adam assumes [3] that all the time the comment is being moderated; and alim-atenbek is joking [4] that it is not only the comment being checked, but also the identity of the commenter [ru].

While addressing to the visitors of his blog, Massimov noted that the main purpose of the project was “presentation of the high-quality, interesting and helpful information to the users in the user-friendly form”. Also, the Prime-Minister mentioned that “in future the blog would be filled with almost all information, which is necessary for the site visitors”. Frankly, it is not quite clear what is the reason for keeping the web-sties of the Government, ministries and agencies…

In the meantime, Askhat is wondering [5] about two things [kaz]:

“Why the blog is in Russian only?”, and “When the access to LiveJournal will be open?”

Shortly after the PM’s blog has been presented, he ordered that all public officers (first of all, governors and mayors) started their own blogs, and also replied to one of the comments in his blog – the one about service in Astana City Bath House.

Here is what pycm writes [6]in this regard [ru]:

Today there are slightly over 160 comments to the Greeting post in the PM’s blog. There’s merely everything, including the desperate cry about the service in the capital's Bath House! The only one thing missing there is the feedback. It does not look like a man of flesh and blood – having emotions, knowledge, skills and (more importantly) power – is sitting there. So far there is a persistent feeling that the blog is run by a robot or by four-five small clerks having no idea of the results they want to get… During difficult times of crisis there is a splendid job opportunity opened, e.g. a blog-secretary, Prime-Minister’s internet friend. But it is still an open issue of having mutual friends and any use of this venture …

In fact, the urge of the authorities to establish a two-way communication with the people is more than welcomed. But, likely, there is no understanding what is the use of blogs in principle. The order to start blogging is amusing, since it will not result in anything, except for a dozen of “dead born blogs”. Additionally, the “Book of Complaints” is already implemented on every governor's and mayor's web-site, where questions can be addressed directly to them.

The Prime-Minister's order, in fact, admits that the state program of e-Government development has failed. As for the question about the Bath House, which quickly became a popular mem, it is far from what the Prime-Minister should care about. Nevertheless, this also demonstrates the level of the society, where people think that they must go only to the Master to seek justice in such a minor issue.

I am not sure all of our public officers are skilled internet users, but it is not the problem. The problem is that the Prime-Minister ordered them to start blogs at their web-sites. I think it would be more efficient if all of them were gathered on one platform, say, LiveJournal, so that we could add them as “friends” and easily read their posts along with other entries of other “friends”,

nashingyou says [7] [ru].

It is true, since not many users in Kazakhstan know how to use RSS, preferring to browse pages instead. The problem that remains unsolved though – LiveJournal is still blocked in Kazakhstan. Nevertheless, the new and the first high-ranking blogger has already received some recommendations.

It would be interesting to see PM’s direct speech in the blog entries, where he would talk about specific state policies and quality of their implementation, about status of various economy sectors, about world politics, or provide feedback to criticism in the mass-media. As for the technical aspect, the negative point is that there is no option for threaded comments. Another important point is regular updating. The greeting entry was published on December 31, then no new entries have been posted for more than two weeks.