After just one year online, SARocks stands to win the top honour at this month’s SA Blog Awards. But whether he wins or not, editor Nic Haralambous is in this for the long haul. He talks to us about the blog boom, thinking positively and, um, camels.
Please explain to the technophobes out there what a blog is.
The official definition is: "a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order". Basically, it's an online journal or diary. I diarise South Africa and my positive vibe towards my life here.
Do you think people take blogs more seriously now?
Now compared to when, exactly? Yes, I think that they do and if they don't they are in for a wake-up call. And by the way, who is they and those people that we speak of? I want to meet them!
How many visitors do you get to your site each month?
The stats are growing every day. At the moment I am getting about 15 000 unique visits per month, which puts me somewhere near (a barge-pole’s length) to the summit of the top SA blogs.
You say you decide to set up SA Rocks as a statement against the "upsetting anti-SA blogs" out there. Which was the straw that broke the camel's back? (I'm not calling you a camel, you understand).
I think could be a camel - I smoke Camel Lights, does that count? In hindsight, the straw was actually my own life, the catalyst was some stupid site about why SA sucks. These racist twits were spewing the most foul and offensive tripe that I'd ever read or heard in my life. And I was offended. I tried to argue but it was futile so I put my thoughts and views in to action. A year on and SA Rocks is possibly the best thing to happen to my mindset. I am excited, aware and interested in the success of my country, our country. That keeps me going every day.
Things like the electricity crisis make a lot of people doubt that SA does in fact rock. What would you say to the panic-stricken?
People aren't going to like what I have to say. My thoughts are if you panic that easily, maybe you aren't meant to live in a third world country. In the same breath, if you can't afford to leave maybe you should start acting instead of reacting. SA Rocks has recently taken on a motto: "Positive Action". That's what I want to tell people. Become positive in your doings every day, try to solve instead of bitch and rant.
If you were President for a day, what would you do?
Wow that's a tough one. I firmly believe that one of the greatest threats to our democracy is government’s infringements on media freedom. I would restrict, constitutionally, any involvement from any political party in the ownership or running of any media house or media organisation in the country. 65% majority or not, I think it is ridiculous that an affiliated politician or businessman can gain control of any media house, however small the percentage. So protection of media freedom would be my single move of the day. Then maybe I'd take the Presidents jet and fly to South America for a "work function" or something. Can anyone say Travelgate?
How big a deal are the SA Blog Awards?
I think that they are more important than people like to admit. The awards allow us to spread the message of success and expansion of blogs and bloggers around SA and SA bloggers around the world. If I win I will proudly display the winners badge on my blog for all to see. I'm stoked to be nominated in two categories and hope that I nab at least one award.
Where do you want to take SA Rocks?
In one word: Offline. I want to take it to the streets. I believe there is a lot that someone like myself can do from a grassroots level. I can make a difference, however small, and let that grow.
What's the biggest obstacle in your way?
Capital (moolah, dosh, cash, change, malini). Concept. Work Force. Faith.
Chicken or Beef?
Beef. Nice, fat, juicy steak. That's me, done
To visit SA Rocks, click here: http://sarocks.co.za/