We are here in a hotel which is said to be
The conference itself seems to be rather Mediterranean/Balkanic in the sense that the time plan is only a general suggestion. All people (there are mainly Serbs, extremely few Croats and several Macedonians) are very nice and interested in discussing differences, time lags of the development here (there is hardly not much DSL or Wifi). Bloggers are rather influential, Croatia had a blogger explosion (500.000) because a TV station bought http://blog.hr and promoted it. The blogosphere seems to be dominated by teachers (even a principal), freelancerd and academics. Serbia has roughly 20.000 bloggers (pls correct me if I got this wrong.)
Mobbing seems to be common in the Blogosphere in Macedonia, where critical and modernistic bloggers come in conflict with the more nationalistic circles.
Ebusiness is only developing (people buy little online) and online marketing is on the rise. There are no (well known) business blogs in the region. Of course freelancers blog about their business and do that rather professionally. Pseudonyms are common both for legal and conceptual reasons (cyberidentity). Even if in smaller blogospheres like in Macedonia you might also encounter comments on your doorstep because everybody knows everybody
The conference has an extremely high attendance by women, subjectively they are even the larger number.
The topics are: a little book that collects blog essays from the region (= former Yugoslavia), an initiative for bone marrow donation (blog action), a local community system, Basic Wordpress, blog literature, state interference with the cyberspace.
Robert Basic and I have been asked to talk about Blog Monetization and have also talked about possible organization and ethics of the international blogosphere.
Aggressiveness and the wish to be distant is rather to be localized in those parts of former Yugoslavia that have separated from Serbia. Language issues are complex between the different groups that also use different alphabets to sometimes transcribe extremely similar variants.
As a summary: Blogs are surprising political and relevant for the society and ebusiness is on the rise on the Balkan.
I'll be back.
A blogroll of some of the present bloggers (moszt blog in Serbocroatic, Macedonian etc..):
Sasvim obična priča
Basic Thinking blog
Škola bez zidova