Lao opinions: Creating a Lao voice in blogging

As the Lao American community continues to build our voice in the world, a key part is developing an effective blogging community. It's a form of writing that falls between keeping an online diary and an amateur newspaper.

Blogs are a necessity in rebuilding our voice because it trains Lao Americans to become comfortable with our own opinions. Blogs help us to develop our own personal and community standards for editing and writing. A robust network of Lao American blogs will allow us to have a constructive exchange of our opinions with one another. This is so important as we make the transition from previous forms of Lao government into a democracy. We'll see how many different ideas we can embrace while growing and staying true to our own culture and principles.

When our communities develop blogs, it helps to create a network of fellow Lao Americans building expertise and exchanging knowledge on issues for which there are often challenging and interesting questions. A good blog will help your readers get a handle on what can be known, and where there are gaps in our knowledge. What’s coming up, and what we can improve upon regarding recent or even ancient events.

A good Lao American blog will try to have a balance of posts interesting to our community at a national and local level. A Lao American blog can help the community by posting everything from Wat Lao festival dates and details to local workshops for college preparation and scholarships or job training.

A Lao American blog can keep their local community informed with funeral notices, wedding announcements, or back-to-school resources. It can profile new Lao stores and businesses starting up. It can even be focused on something like Lao cooking recipes or explaining Lao traditions that the youth and adults might not be familiar with. There’s no shortage of things you can do to help your community with your blog.

For beginning bloggers, it may be helpful to understand that you're not expected to post every day. In fact, we would suggest trying to commit to once a month, or once a week. A good blog post can be done in less than 250 words, and going over 500 words is often overkill. We aren't asking you to write a book, just to share your perspective.

If you’re just starting to blog but don’t know what to blog on, set up a regular schedule for yourself where you commit to a day you know you can take thirty minutes to write something and share with everyone. The second sunday of the month works for many people, for example.

If you keep consistent at it, each year you will have said at least 12 things for the community. That can go by fast, and that’s still something that matters for us. We’d like to see you say much more, of course, but little steps, right?

Perhaps you want to be the blogger who helps us to cover the Lao Pop movement or the Lao B-Boy scene. Maybe you want a blog that covers Lao motorcycling or the Lao soccer scene, or how to build up Sepaktakraw leagues across the country. There’s a need for good blogs on Lao fashion and Lao dance, tips for Lao traveling not just to Laos but to other countries. Who knows where the best pho restaurant in Paris is, for example?

Ultimately, find your passion and tell us about it!

Maybe you always wanted to start a library or school in Laos. What are some of stories your family told you about your old village you don’t want to forget? Share it with the world. Maybe you’ll hear from one of your parent’s old classmates. Maybe you’ll meet someone who’s looking for a long-lost relative.

When you blog, our community benefits!

Bryan Thao Worra