Saturday, May 28, 2005

Royal Bloggers of Cambodia

cambodia king and queen home page Posted by Hello

Check out the King and Queen of Cambodia's blog.


Okay. I know I just posted about how blogs need to enable readers to comment.

Now here I go telling you about a "blog" that has no comments, but there is an email address, and the bloggers do post personal articles, so I guess you can call it a "blog", or better: a "home page".

The image above is from the main page of the site.

I learned about this from a Gmail Google Alert, which directed me to:

News-Journal Online

Here are a few statements from that site about the Royal Bloggers of Cambodia:


[headline] Cambodia's ex-king has computer, will blog

Associated Press

Last update: May 28, 2005

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- "I thank you for insulting me."

Thus blogged former King Norodom Sihanouk to a critic of his support of gay marriage.

He didn't share any of the insulting e-mails with his readers, but noted: "My country, Cambodia, has chosen to be a liberal democracy since 1993. Every Cambodian ... including the King has the right to express freely their view."

It was one of thousands of commentaries that fill the Web site of the world's most colorful and pugnacious royal blogger, offering Sihanouk's views on anything from environmental rape through Hollywood stars and killer spouses to the rough-and-tumble of Cambodian politics.

Sihanouk has been a giant on the Asian political scene for 50 years. He took on the French empire to win Cambodia's independence. During the Vietnam War he was such a nuisance to Washington that he was ousted in a U.S.-supported coup. He backed the Khmer Rouge until its murderous regime turned on him and put him under house arrest.

Today at 82, he is Cambodia's lion in winter, cancer-stricken and undergoing treatment in China, his former place of exile where he still has a home. Yet he's as sharp-tongued and loquacious as ever. The man who grew up on cowboy movies has taken to the World Wide Web with equal gusto.

For at least three years he has been posting his opinions, historical documents and exchanges with diplomats or Cambodian politicians. He abdicated in favor of his son Sihamoni last fall, and is in and out of the hospital, but the Internet keeps him in the public eye in a style that may be unique on the world stage.


Sihanouk's site doesn't have all the technical bells and whistles that fit the purist definition of a Web log.

But that caveat aside, says David L. Sifry, whose company Technorati tracks blogs, Sihanouk is making "incredibly innovative use of the Internet to be able to communicate directly with the people of Cambodia and the people of the world."


The postings aren't all so benign. He has angered Prime Minister Hun Sen with caustic critiques of Cambodian society and politics penned by one Ruom Ritt, a supposed childhood pen pal.


Sihanouk often lets fly with his own views on Cambodia's social ills -- illegal logging that threatens to turn the country into a "tiny Sahara without oil," the trafficking of Cambodian women for prostitution in other Asian countries where they "suffer, are humiliated," their impoverished parents helpless to intervene.


He recently blogged that his cancer has re-emerged from remission, but upon learning that a magazine was preparing his obituary, he told his readers: "Even today, Friday the 13th, I am not yet aware of my death. Maybe I am already dead. But I will continue to believe that I am alive.

Sihanouk's Web site, part English but mostly French:


So, what do YOU think?

Is this a blog?

Is this interesting to see--royalty speaking candidly to the public?

Don't business people and CEOs seem kind of ignorant when they still wonder "why blog?" and "what would I do with a blog?"

Here are Cambodian royals blogging away, opening their hearts, displaying medical records, telling us what they think about a variety of issues!

There is a post entitled "Results of Laboratory Examination of His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk" that contains information on everything from his serum immunoglobulins and blood urea nitrogen to his cancer antigens 199 and 125 and his urobilinogen levels.

I suppose he's trying to prove that he's still alive.



I applaud them for putting themselves out there on the internet, for all to see.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka The Leper Guru of Blog Core Values

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