Over the past three years blogging has become one of the Kuwaiti youth’s biggest spheres of influence. Kuwait is a small country, and trends become popular in small amounts of time. Once a few blogs became relatively popular, blogging became the thing to do, and the Kuwaiti public was being introduced to local Arabic and English blogs on a daily basis. And although the blogging frenzy has died down a bit (i.e., the bloggers that still blog are primarily the ones who kicked off the trend to begin with), it is still very much a strong influencer among Kuwaiti youth, especially if used in the correct way. Here are three tips to running a successful blog in Kuwait.
- Kuwait is a tradition-based culture, and people value religion and family above all else. To avoid offending anyone, you should try as hard as you can to avoid getting involved in religious matters, especially if your point of view isn’t the public’s point of view. The Kuwaiti public is sensitive towards religion, and considering the blogs’ audience, youth, you wouldn’t want to discuss religious matters period regardless of if it’s in a positive or negative light, because even though they respect it they also don’t want to hear about it all the time. Kuwaitis also value family highly, but again considering that most of the Kuwaiti blog readers are young, you don’t want to necessarily aim your blogs at families or include a lot of family-oriented material. Just be aware that you shouldn’t insult family culture and that values of individualism don’t mean as much in that part of the world as they do elsewhere.
- In Kuwait, blogs are anything but media for activism. Blogs and social media have become some of the go-to places for activists worldwide; however, this is not the case in Kuwait. Kuwait is such a small country that the government will notice any blogs that criticize the government or the ruling family, especially if it has people talking. Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that it has a ruling family, who constantly need to keep a check on their citizens to make sure no one is getting out of line, and blog censorship is one of the ways they do that. In fact, a few bloggers have already been arrested for speaking against the royal family on their blogs.
- You are writing to a consumer-based audience. So far I’ve written about everything you shouldn’t write about, but here is what I think you should write about. Judging by the context of the more successful blogs in Kuwait, the Kuwaiti blog reader is mainly interested in consumer-related news, like openings of restaurants and shops. It has become a norm for new smaller businesses (e.g., restaurants, hair saloons and specialty stores) opening in Kuwait to contact some of the popular blog writers so that they could write a short post on that business in their blogs. Kuwaiti blog readers are also interested in local anecdotal stories (i.e., not the news per say, more like the silly news), especially if there is footage of that story online, and they’re generally interested in the kinds of videos you’d see on Tosh.O.