It is with the same enthusiasm to his father Heng Soy's initial invitation many moons ago that I am now responding to Hengsoy Jr.'s invitation also to post with Jr.'s new blogspot www.Truth2Power-Media.blogspot.com.
See you here and there!Blessings,
p.s. Brief history of KI Media below. Click here to read complete post.
On 19 September 2010, KI-Media hit the TEN MILLION marker -- that's less than three years ago. On that occasion, Heng Soy wrote, on behalf of KI-Media, to thank you the readers, and in doing so, also explained the raison d'etre of this forum. (See his letter below, and also by clicking here.)
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Ten million hits later…
It seems as if it was yesterday when we, at KI-Media, started our tortuous path to deliver news to the Cambodian communities at large, as well as inside the country. In fact, it was on July 27, 2005 that we posted our first blog. At that time, we had in our hand a copy of a DVD distributed anonymously in Phnom Penh showing an interview with Chhay Vee detailing the 1997 grenade attack on SRP supporters in Phnom Penh. All that we wanted to do was to share that video with our compatriots and the world so that they understand the background behind that brutal and bloody attack on innocent bystanders. In 2005, Youtube was still in its infancy, therefore, showing a lengthy video was a very arduous task and we had to rely on “OurMedia.org” free storage space to host the video. Back then, several of our readers wrote to complain that their watching experience was not very satisfactory at all. Throughout the remainder of 2005, we languished with limited news on the Supplemental border treaty and the arrest of border activists, as well as the lawsuit against opposition leader Sam Rainsy.
Our call to action did not really take off until 31 December 2005 when Theary Seng sent out an email providing an account of the arrest of Kem Sokha for his protest against the Supplemental border treaty with Vietnam. The arrest was timed by the Hun Xen government to coincide with a weekend when news coverage would be limited. We realized then that the distribution of news information from Cambodia was quite limited. While the traditional news media, such as RFA, VOA or The Cambodia Daily, have presence over the Internet, the distribution of news was still not fast enough. What we wanted to see is a Twitter-like service dedicated to news from Cambodia, at a time when the Twitter concept did not exist yet. It was then and there that we found our calling: coming up with a blog with quick updates of news information from Cambodia.
Unlike nowadays, using a blog to distribute news in 2005 was a rather strange concept. In fact, we stumbled upon this idea mainly by necessity. As we were looking for a medium to distribute information over the Internet free of charge (we had no budget at all), we had the choice of going through the traditional road of obtaining a free hosted website with all its pitfalls and maintenance difficulties or resort to something else. When we looked at the computer technical skills of our team members, we soon realized that maintaining a full fledge website was out of our technical ability. It was then that I was tasked to find out if there would be other means to accomplish our task. Fortunately, in my quest to find a free hosting medium, I stumbled upon the concept of web log or blog which was a hot topic during that time. I then started to do some search and when I first saw a blog in action, especially, its journal-approach to display information, I knew right away that was exactly what we needed. It so happened that during my teenage years, I was obsessed with collecting newspaper clips on Cambodia that I would paste onto notebooks to help remind me of the various events that took place. It turned out that it was a fortunate obsession as it helped me realize that a blog is nothing more than an electronic version of my notebooks filled with newspaper clips. Furthermore, maintaining a blog is much more manageable for all our team members whose computer technical knowledge does not surpass much more than using word processor software. Voila, that was how we came to be!
Fast forward five years later: with the help of our various team members spread throughout the world, as well as numerous articles contributed by our readers, we have now reached a new benchmark. As of 19 September 2010, KI-Media had posted 36,133 articles, currently, we are being accessed from all the five continents in the world, from Mongolia to South America, nevertheless, our biggest surprise was to find out that the number of access by our readers in Cambodia now easily surpasses the number of our readers in North America. This discovery is quite encouraging as it means that Cambodians inside Cambodia proper now have better access to the Internet, and with this privilege, they want to learn about what is happening in their country, but not necessarily through the government-controlled source.
Ten million hits over the course of five years is nothing much to sneeze about when compared to sites such as DAP news, the pro-CPP news media, which boasts almost half a million hits per week. Nevertheless, for us, we are very grateful for every single hit we receive as they tell us that somebody out there want to know about the situation in Cambodia, our homeland.
We also take this opportunity to thank our team members who helped us time and time again, and we also very grateful to all the authors who have freely shared with our readers their articles, opinions, op-eds, cartoons, poems, announcements etc… without you all, we simply would not be here today!
Where do we go from here?
As stated above, maintaining and updating KI-Media, especially with zero budget, is a feat by itself. From personal experience, I can attest to the sleep-deprivation, fatigue, depression (when I read or translate sad stories), etc… One team member is even facing marriage breakup because of his dedication to maintaining the KI-Media website. Nevertheless, in spite of the long and arduous road we took since we started our journey in 2005, since the day when I personally thought that obtaining 1,000 hits per week was unachievable, when I now ask our team members if they would do it all over again, unanimously, they all agreed that it was worth it and that every single one of us would do it all over again if we had to. It is with this thought in mind that we hope to pursue our journey and we also hope that you would join us in our quest for the truth, as … “the truth shall set us free”.
Again, thank you all very much!
Heng Soy for KI-Media team