The Caribbean blogosphere

Names to look out for in the Caribbean blogosphere

The Caribbean Beat blog

Caribbean Beat first addressed the "blogging" phenomenon back in 2003, and posted a short update the following year. Since then, many have followed in the footsteps of early adopters like Damien Smith (no longer blogging at IndiaWest), Mad Bull (madbull4.net/wordpress), Taran Rampersad (knowprose.com), and Titilayo (gallimaufry.ws). The Caribbean "blogosphere" has grown into a conversation space populated by hundreds of would-be Pepyses and pundits, with a level of activity sufficient for Global Voices (globalvoicesonline.org), a Harvard Law School-affiliated web site aggregating material from blogs throughout the world, to give the Caribbean (which was formerly lumped with Latin America) a separate regional category.

While "blog" is yet to become a household word in the Caribbean, the mainstream media has gradually been making note of the trend, and in January 2005 the Caribbean Tourism Organisation invited bloggers to attend one of their press events in New York. And meanwhile, certain of the region’s bloggers (both at home and in the diaspora) have been making their presence felt beyond the pages of their web sites.

Guyana (sapodilla.blogspot.com): Guyana-gyal’s simple, evocative vignettes about Guyanese daily life, written in "creolese", the Guyanese national dialect, have gained her a global audience – and a nomination for a Bloggie award (2006.bloggies.com).

Living Guyana (livingguyana.blogspot.com): MediaCritic, the pseudonymous figure behind Living Guyana, is a thorn in the side of Guyana’s Fourth Estate, skewering everything from the style of dress of newsreaders and politicians to poor grammar, and drawing attention to breaches of journalistic ethics.

Caribbean Cricket Blog (www.caribbeancricket.com/weblog): At the time of writing he hasn’t posted an entry since February 24, but we’re seriously hoping that Guyana-born, New York-based Ryan Naraine hasn’t removed his eagle eye from the West Indies cricket scene. Tony Cozier included Naraine’s dynamic listing of press snippets and other commentary on a "who’s who in West Indies cricket" list published in Caribbean Beat back in 2004.

Chookooloonks (chookooloonks.com): Trinidadian Karen Walrond had no idea that the blog she started to keep family members abreast of the progress of her adopted daughter would gain a huge following among the parenting set. The success of Chookooloonks landed Karen a related gig at Blogging Baby (bloggingbaby.com) and she was recently appointed the Caribbean editor for BlogHer (blogher.org), which aggregates content from blogs by women throughout the world.

Cayman Cop (caymancop.blogspot.com): At the time of writing, the Cayman Cop blog has zero entries (after its archives were deleted), but the member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service known simply as "Cayman Bobby" will go down in history as the first Caribbean-based blogger forced to make the choice between blogging and potential dismissal from his job.

Caribbean Free Radio (www.caribbeanfreeradio.com/blog): The region’s first "podcast" (or audio blog) launched in February 2005, and is still one of only a handful in the Caribbean. Music, interviews, "soundseeing" tours, and arbitrary musings on Caribbean life are the mainstay of this site, whose host/producer also happens to be Caribbean Beat’s music editor, Georgia Popplewell. On the strength of her work at CFR, Popplewell was appointed Caribbean editor of Global Voices (globalvoicesonline.org) in January 2005.

Nicholas Laughlin’s Blog (nicholaslaughlin.blogspot.com): Caribbean Beat editor Nicholas Laughlin’s blog posts often evolve into longer pieces for print publication.

The Caribbean Beat Weblog (meppublishers.com/blog): Oh, and the magazine you’re reading also has a blog – and is probably the first publication in the Anglophone Caribbean to do so.