My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.



Thai English-language newspaper The Nation recently published the following article about blogging in Thailand:

It's work, and serious, for some, and a hobby and fun for many others, but the idea of an online diary is a rage the world over
Today, almost one in five Internet users in Thailand reads and writes blogs, or Web logs.

"It's an easy, fast and personal way [to communicate]," says Duangruthai Asanasatang, who runs

"WeBlog - some read We Blog while others may read Web Log — or blog for short, is a digital personal journal posted on websites [for the general public to read, make comments or criticise], covering all kinds of topics from music and the arts to politics," says Katika Saisenee of

According to a Microsoft survey, the country has 8.4 million surfers, of whom 1.76 million are bloggers.

And their reasons for keeping an online diary or using the many other functions run the spectrum, from personal to professional.

"It's like talking face-to-face to your friends. I also use it to chat with interesting girls," admits Montri Boonsat of

Salinee Achavananthakul of, said maintaining a blog helps improve her writing in Thai.  She spent eight years studying abroad.

"I enjoy practising my Thai-language skills [by posting articles on the Web] as I wish to write some good business books in Thai," said Salinee, who used to work in banking.

Professor Vijarn Panich, director of the Knowledge Management Institute and special adviser to the Thailand Research Fund, also writes a blog as a medium to discuss complex issues with colleagues and academics.

"I also use it to practise writing, to publish my ideas and make personal statements as well as to try to create an online community.

"So far so good, as I've learned a lot from my cyber friends. I can also discuss with upcountry researchers in real time.  This saves a lot of time and resources," he said.

Vijarn updates his blog everyday.  His poor typing doesn't present a problem as he jots his ideas down on a piece of paper for a secretary to type into his blog.

Duangruthai, an editor at "Between the line" Publishing House, reads and writes her blog for both work and fun.

"I read blogs to find interesting books written on the Web for my publishing house.  For leisure, I like to write about my favourite music, films, travel, and so on.  I also help readers and writers to exchange books," she said.

Her blog was voted by the best in "content" last year.  Earlier, she won the best "book" blog of the year.

"I didn't expect such popularity, but it felt great.  We're like a community of friends and family members online.  We occasionally see our cyber friends in the real world for dinner, drinks or concerts and films, as we share the same tastes," she added.

Vijarn, a medical doctor, says blogging can be good for enthusiasts in other ways.

"I believe by reading or writing positive messages, we can make a positive chemical change in our body.  Research has confirmed this hypothesis."

According to Microsoft's Windows Lives Report, six out of 10 bloggers here are women.  About 57 per cent of bloggers are under 25, while 24 per cent are 25-34 and the remainder are over 35.

Family and friends are the two main incentives for Thais to become bloggers.  They also use it as a channel to communicate and send large photos to friends and family members.

Half of the bloggers also use their blogs for entertainment.

The four most popular topics are technology, travel, education and news.

However, the Microsoft report also found that 49 per cent of blogs are not updated regularly, while 36 per cent have boring content and 46 per cent are badly written.

"Quality of content is a problem, while many bloggers don't write themselves but put other people's stories into their blogs.  Good blogs should reflect the characteristics of the blog owner," Salinee said, describing herself as "a 30-something woman who's in between the Thai and Western cultures".

Duangruthai says blogs can be revealing, depending on the writer.

"You can choose the level of your self-exposure, telling everything about yourself or just part of it, but sincerity is the most important thing in cyber relationships."

Cyber relationships can also make money.

"More and more businesses have turned to using blogs as a PR and marketing tool, as some bloggers are paid to introduce new products or give positive comments," she said.

"Some customers believe that information from bloggers is more trustworthy than what comes directly from companies."

She also uses blogs to introduce her favourite books, including those from her publishing house.

Globally, an average of 175,000 new blogs are created everyday so the total number — about 1.6 billion updated blogs around the world today — will double every six months, Katika said.

Salinee says she's worried about the flood of junk blogs and the lack of maturity of blog visitors.

"More junk blogs are expected and all readers must be told that not all online information is reliable.  We need skills to screen out bad ones.  I hope this will be done by better software that would be able to screen junk blogs.

"Like other tools, blogs are a double-edged sword.  Now, you still sort of embrace blogs at your own risk.  The maturity of our society determines how best we can benefit from blogs," she said.

For Wuttichai Kritsanaprakornkij of, reading and writing his blog is a hobby.

"It's boring to spend most of my free time at the movies, in shopping malls or pubs so I turned to blogs, which also helps me to discover my new capabilities in the real world."

Kamol Sukin
The Nation