Kucing Gatal Speaks

Monday, July 11, 2005

Why do so many blogs focus on food?

Malaysian bloggers are obsessed about two things: themselves and food. The majority of blogs here focus either on the blogger's personal life or on food. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this, it's just an observation I've made.

Is our love affair with food so passionate that we see fit to come back and write a review about the fantastic dinner we've just had? Are we so proud of a simple achievement like making nasi goreng that we just HAVE to take a picture and share it with the rest of the blogging world? Me, I can cook up some pretty decent fare, and am proud of my culinary efforts, but I'm not going to painstakingly type out the recipe for sotong sambal, snap some pics, and post it up for you guys to marvel at.

Now, before you get your hackles up, let me reiterate, if the rest of you want to do it, fine. Sometimes I do enjoy reading food-related posts, but most of the time, I'm really not interested in knowing if the garlic bread at Pizza Hut is garlicky enough, or how many chocolate chips should go into each cookie to make it perfect.

Then there are the navel-gazing bloggers, who think others would be interested in knowing the exact number of nose hairs they have, or that the strap of their watch broke and they had to go to Petaling Street to get a new watch, and on the way, their taxi stopped to pick up a pregnant woman who turned out to be a robber and robbed all of them at knife point, and so they had no money left to buy a watch, or pay the taxi driver, who abandoned them in some lonely place somewhere and they had to trudge all the way back home in the rain, and now not only do they need a new watch, they need new shoes too.

Me, I'm in the second category of course. After all, I am an average Malaysian, and I'm as stereotypical as they get. Although sometimes I do break out of the mould and surprise people.

Which brings me to the point of this whole post: why are there so few different blogs? Why can we not focus on something besides ourselves and food? Why are there no blogs focusing on DIY plumbing, for example, or gardening, or even the art of dating, Malaysian-style? Maybe there are, I haven't explored every Malaysian blog yet, so please tell me if I am wrong. I know there are some focusing on IT, politics and religion, but don't know of any other popular topic.

I guess because we are so passionate about food, it's only natural that this is a favourite to blog about. But surely there are talented craftspeople out there who can share their knowledge with us? "Yes, Kucing," I hear you say, "Their knowledge is readily available in what is known as a website, and you can find it by using something called a search engine." True, but I want a personal touch to it, for example someone tried to fix a leaking toilet and ended up bursting a major pipe, resulting in their whole house being flooded and having to call in a plumber to fix the damage. At least if someone blogged about this, we'd have a good laugh, offer our sympathies, then make a mental note of which major pipe to avoid. Amusing AND educational, a great combination. You may be able to point me to a number of blogs that highlight these kinds of things, but I'm willing to bet it will be part of someone's blog, something that happened one day in their lives, and not the general theme of the blog itself.

"Kucing, you're missing the whole point of blogging. A blog is like an online journal, where a person can share details of his/her personal life," you may argue. No, this is limiting the definition of a blog. You can do anything you want, make your blog stand out. It can be your personal diary, but it can also be a powerful tool to make companies and governments sit up and take notice, for example, Jeff Ooi's Screenshots.

"If you don't like it, don't read it," you may huff. True, but like I said, I'm not attacking any blog individually, I'm just making general observations, and giving my unsolicited opinion.

"So Kucing, you hypocrite, what are you doing to improve the Malaysian blogosphere?" you may ask. Well, I am trying to turn my blog into an agony aunt column, hoping to help others with their relationship/general problems, despite not being a psychologist/ psychiatrist (so please take my advice with a pinch of salt, and if you're really in a pickle, see a doctor/therapist). Apart from that, I am just another average Malaysian blogger, sharing details of my life with the rest of the world. I have no plumbing/gardening/ sewing/movie-making skills whatsoever so I really have nothing specific to awe you with. I have excellent movie-watching skills though, and that I can readily share with you, but then, you've probably already read a hundred posts about Batman Begins and War of the Worlds so I have nothing new to add.

If I have been totally off the mark, and there are some outstanding Malaysian blogs you know of (besides those focusing on politics/religion/IT), please let me know.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a Monday-morning Meow.

14 Comments:

  • Incoherent cat! :-) Apa pusing pusing ini? Chasing your own tail ah?

    By Blogger MahaguruSia, at July 11, 2005 9:40 AM  

  • agony aunt??? that's great.

    but boleh your CV?!!! :p

    By Blogger Pantani's 2nd Cousin, at July 11, 2005 9:44 AM  

  • hahahaha!! mahagurusia....so funny! ;)

    but seriously kucing, cant help it if ppl are interested in the same things. maybe i should start 'specializing' as well...but that would mean that i would have to open another blog right?? haiyoo....any idea how i can 'sub-divide' my blog into sections...like maybe eg. 'food', 'personal views', movie reviews'...know what i mean?

    By Blogger mistyeiz, at July 11, 2005 9:45 AM  

  • Mahagurusia: Susah nak faham ke? Early Monday morning, maybe that's why it seems incoherent ;)

    TheRoadie: Like I said, I'm not a professional. Just doing this for fun. So my CV is a bit thin at the moment. Once I pad it up with redundant adjectives and exaggerated skills, then I will post it up ok? By the way I think your basikal is very pretty.

    Mistyeiz: I would just like to see bloggers breaking away from the norm, you know? As for sub-dividing your blog, I think a few blog providers have a built-in categorisation feature, like LiveJournal and Blogsome.

    By Blogger Kucing Gatal, at July 11, 2005 9:58 AM  

  • Yeah..whats the big deal.

    Reading food blogs is a nice way to salivate over foods that we have or have not tasted yet.

    After all, Malaysia is a culinary heaven, isn't it?

    By Anonymous Jemey, at July 11, 2005 10:39 AM  

  • I write about lots of things..

    Food being one of them, people tend to love my food posts, what can I do, I eat well and I cook well..

    I don't type out recipes though I just take secksi pics.

    I also blog about gaming, SCUBA diving, religion, dating, politics, IT, information security...yadda yadda yadda

    By Anonymous ShaolinTiger, at July 11, 2005 10:54 AM  

  • LOL.. Sometimes I'm prone to talking like Dr-Phil's disciple on my own blog... thankfully it's not a general theme..

    Cheers!

    By Anonymous Solbi-wan Kenobi, at July 11, 2005 11:07 AM  

  • i think http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/ is one of the specialised Malaysian blogs.

    By Blogger Adriene, at July 11, 2005 11:21 AM  

  • Kucing Gatal...I read and double read your entry just to be sure of the crap you are talking about.

    You make some comments like "why do so many blogs focus on food?" and you go on to reply what a number of us are thinking about your blog "If you don't like it, don't read it". In the end, you are not making any sense to the "topic" which bring to another point...you are not sure what you are talking about

    I am not sure about others but for me I started the blog for personal reasons. I wanted an avenue to express my self and improve on my presentations.

    The last thing I want is for some Kucing to come along to say that "it is common", "it is has been blogged before", etc

    If someone is blogging on something that some other 500 people have blogged before, let it be. You just read, once done, close the windows and move on. If you don't like what you are reading, then click on the close windows faster...

    By Anonymous Balajoe, at July 11, 2005 2:31 PM  

  • Jemey: Indeed, it IS a culinary heaven. But can't we also find something else to talk about? I'm just as guilty as the next blogger ;)

    ShaolinTiger: I like your blog, it has variety and you talk sense most of the time :P

    Solbi-wan: What's the address of your site?

    Adriene: Thanks, I'll check it out.

    Balajoe: You've missed the entire point of my ironic post. I've already anticipated the comments to this post and answered them. Like I mentioned to Jemey above, I'm just as guilty as the next blogger when it comes to having a unique blog, so it's a dig at myself as well.

    I see nothing wrong in someone making an observation about the general theme of Malaysian blogs. I have not criticised any blog individually, I don't know why you are getting so defensive. Like I mentioned on mistyeiz's blog (in response to your comment in which you brought up my Google ads for no good reason), I've been to your blog, and I quite enjoy reading it. You are free to observe and comment on Indians watching a Tamil movie in a cinema, or lorries taking up 3 parking spaces, and I am free to observe and comment on Malaysian blogs.

    Perhaps I should add a line at the top of my post: Warning! Not for people who do not have a sense of humour or open mind.

    By Blogger Kucing Gatal, at July 11, 2005 3:11 PM  

  • Point noted and sorry about the Google Ad thing

    By Anonymous Balajoe, at July 11, 2005 3:34 PM  

  • Since you asked:

    http://solb1kenobi.blogspot.com/

    LOL

    Sorry I didn't post it earlier.. personal policy: don't advertise blogsite needlessly! haha

    Cheers!

    By Anonymous Solbi-wan Kenobi, at July 12, 2005 3:59 PM  

  • It's kind of hard to specialize on shit and kerandut. Then again like the toilet phrase goes, "If you aim to please. Please aim."

    Fuck, I'm so incoherent now.

    By Blogger Vlad, at July 13, 2005 8:51 AM  

  • Hey, are you from Kuching? OR just a Japalank? (I hope I got this locallingoistic term right). I have a few blogger frnes from that town, bt they are no nigh you catty!
    Ne'er mind, as who sings: To Each His/Her Own. I also like the Commies line: What is yours is Mine, what's mine is also Mine. Did I digress?! Blame it on thy own example. And I hope there's no l've lost between you and the TigerJ -- you belong to the same felinelee wat!

    By Blogger desiderata, at July 14, 2005 9:27 PM  

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