A disappointing trip to Galle

Saturday was a much anticipated day. It marked the session on blogging at the Galle Literary Festival and was something I was looking forward to as it was probably the first time blogging has been addressed as a topic in Sri Lanka.

Having left Colombo at the crack of dawn (which was delayed to around 9.00 am just for us), we made our leisurely way down the coast. Things started off pretty good with the traffic being not too irritating and a stop at Hikkaduwa to sample the famous ‘rotis’.

Having reached Galle with some time to spare before the session, we walked about a bit and then decided to grab a seat. The location for the the event was the Maritime Museum which is in the process of being restored to its former glory. Quite a nice choice of location I felt. Of course, the stage could have done a bit more to blend in with the venue instead of looking rather like a political rally stage. But hey, it wasn’t too bad.

The session began with the panel members being introduced to us and it was nice to finally be able to put a face to the names of some of the most famous local bloggers. It was even nicer to see the inclusion of a ‘VBlogger’ from Mahavilachchiya on the stage. From then on however I felt the session sort of lost direction. The subject was meant to be ‘can bloggers be taken seriously?’, but the discussion as a whole hardly touched on this subject. It meandered around the reasons each of them actually blogged or maintained a blog and also the role certain blogs (Groundviews for example) play in Sri Lanka’s present situation. The session ended with an informal question and answer section.

All in all, I left the session feeling disappointed. Having posed a question in the title, the session itself failed to provide a sufficient answer. I felt the moderator should have played a much bigger role in concentrating the discussion to the specific topic. While I discovered why certain people blogged, I didn’t find out why they should be taken seriously.

I also felt the time allocated to this sort of discussion was way too short. It wasn’t enough to even scratch the surface of the topic, let alone arrive at a proper conclusion. Maybe the organisers should relook at how they allocate time for each session after discussing it with the respective panel members.

So, while it was nice to have bloggers being recognised at a literary festival, it didn’t come close to being a satisfying experience.

I’m sure there were many more bloggers at the session and I would love to know what they felt about it, so comments are very welcome.

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4 Responses to “A disappointing trip to Galle”

  1. robin Says:

    I think your feelings are shared by many of us who made our way to the hall that day. It was rather like a gathering of buddies (other than the lady from Mahavilachiya) all of whom amiably agreed to agree with each other. (I hear more spirited debates and verbal duels when my own buddies meet on Fridays!) There was no controversy, no opposing views, nothing really new in the opinions we heard. The only common enemy seemed to be the mainstream media, but there was no representative of that species to lend some spice to the proceedings. Just dreary, dull, boring, zzzzzz….

  2. Gutterflower Says:

    Came for the first half of the discussion and then left.
    I like Nury, but the fact that he took almost half an hour to get the panel introduced and warm the discussion up was a little too slow for my liking so I snuck into the session at the Halle de Galle instead.

  3. indi.ca » Can Blogs Be Taken Seriously Says:

    […] a post critical of the blogging panel in Galle and I’d have to say, in many ways, that I agree. The panel was […]

  4. Global Voices Online » Sri Lanka: Blogging and a Literary Festival Says:

    […] TheKillRomeoProject expresses disappointment after attending a panel discussion on blogging at the Galle Literary Festival. Share This […]

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