Blogging is increasingly used in many countries around the world. In many Arab countries, blogs and other forms of new media provide a new public sphere where citizens can obtain information they are interested in and exchange their personal opinion about different topics such as culture, economics, politics and many others.
Compared to other media, the internet gives its users direct access to many news source they are interested in and enables people to make their views public. The introduction of Web 2.0 in recent years allowed users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community and made the revolution of blogging possible.
The first country in the Arab world with internet access was Tunisia in 1992. All other Arab countries followed suit in the next years until 2000. Initially a few bloggers, who wrote predominantly in English initiated the Arab blogosphere.
Within a short time, many people followed the blog entries and noted the advantages of blogging. Blogging enables people to spread their opinions faster. Thereby citizens can obtain information that are usually not discussed in public and exchange their opinion concerning several themes. Arab bloggers are not necessarily journalists. Each citizen with internet access has the possibility to produce blog entries.
In 2003 the war in Iraq caused many bloggers to write about the local situation. The Iraqi architect Salam Pax, who daily wrote about the war horror is the most prominent of these pioneers. Salam Pax and other pioneers inspired an explosion of bloggers who expressed their opinions on themes that were usually not discussed in public.
Blogs became increasingly an alternative to newspapers and television.
Many bloggers started to blog in Arabic after the technology for Arabic language writing improved and became more available. Since then, blogging is increasingly used in the Arab world. In 2006 approximately 40.000 blogs exist in the Arabic blogosphere and the number is still growing.
The Arab uprisings in 2011 have shown that bloggers can act as agents of change. Bloggers were effective in spreading information, mobilising citizens and circulating audio-visual materials.