Review of Spider April 2007

Citizen journalism is a misleading term, aimed at giving traditional journalists some serious creeps and undermining the authenticity of common man’s freedom of speech.

A common person hasn’t got any control over the media conglomerates. He hasn’t much say in the policies and propensities of TV/Radio channels, newspapers or magazines. Blogging, POD-casting and other form of user-generated content (UGC) is in vogue in the west, but in almost 11 million internet users in Pakistan, very few are aware of this phenomenon, and very very few take part in UGC. Also the existing paper/electronic media including Spider, doesn’t throw that much spotlight on this new Oracle, but they can’t ignore it altogether.

April 2007 issue of Spider throws a dim light on so-called “Citizen Journalism.” They tried to encompass a broad topic in just 4 to 5 articles in vain. Lets see what they have done this time.

Title: Titles have always remained the Achilles heal for Spider. This time it was as bad as before.

Until the page 38 from the total of some 121 or so pages of Spider, there is nothing to write home about. Then starts the cover story.

Cover Story: Faras Ghani’s DIY citizen journalism (CJ) was good but the concluding paragraph was terrible. Khawer Amir Khan’s smart article with a smart title surfaced some salient and thought-provoking points. Especially the high-lighted point that “Blogs have gotten so popular that even major prit and broadcast journalists have their own blogs.” Now Spider isn’t a major outfit or its journalists aren’t that major to have some popular and active blogs. Mohsin Siddiqui’s Amateur Hour tried to draw line between journalism and Citizen’s freedom of speech.

Software Review: If you want to have a look at only one Office 2007 review, then read Faras Ghanis this piece.

How-To: Ali Fareed, has lucidly and plainly described the confusing process of DVD ripping.

E-Security: At last after so many futile and scratching attempts Nizar Diamond Ali has produced something of a moderate value. His discussion about open or closed security issues has got some valuable insights, though they are not that much unique.

Tech Review: The intro to Trakker (pvt.) Ltd’s new service, the GPS based car navigation system is a very welcome puff.

Feature: I presumable suspect, she selected “Digital Organization” for her feature, because Humna Ishtiaq hadn’t anything better to write upon.

Music: If you are a music buff and always wanted to have your own little studio, please don’t, I repeat, don’t read this article by Madeeha Syed. You wont go far.

Website Review: Zaheer Alam Kidwai has done a very constructive review of a well-thought site.

Humor: I still mourn, why I ever wasted some precious 5 or 6 minutes reading the garbage written by David Ford. Very pathetic piece.

Hard Talk: Humza Mudassir, will you ever disappoint and allow me a leer?

Kidzone: Like a kid, I pulled a face, and went to next article without reading this section.

Gadget and Gizmos: Some cool nifty tools to play with.

Entertainment: Now, when a site like “Google Fight” is mentioned here, the section becomes “cant-be-so-bad”.

Others: Graffiti and Geekspeak also warmed the feelings.

Last Byte: The last and the least was a strangely useless piece by Mohsin Siddiqui. Only the cartoons were up to the mark.

Lets wait for the next issue of our beloved Spider.

Review of Spider March 2007

Review of Spider Feburary 2007

Review of Spider Janurary 2007

13 thoughts on “Review of Spider April 2007”

  1. David Ford’s articles are lush. Disagree totally about them with the reviewer.

    P.S: Fahd you broke my heart with your criticism and I left Spider 😐 No, really! 😛

  2. David Ford, now I can understand why you are nowhere in this month of Spider.

    Keep the reviews flowing, and please make them fast, as I would like to read the reviews just few days after reading the mag, not after 1 month.

    Great Job.

  3. Hello Fahd,

    Thanks for the critical raping. Your assessment that I am a foreigner preying on the insecurities of the local populace is a bit harsh, but it is a knee-jerk reaction that I have become accustomed to over the past three years.

    I suppose the correct reaction to such criticism would be silence, but I figure, what the hell, why not explain my position. I am a writer, and as such, you are correct, I am not proud of the articles I have written for Spider. The fact is that good writing takes time, and that has never been a luxury afforded me by Spider. Usually I get a call from them a couple days before their printing deadline. Perhaps they realize they are short a couple pages, I don’t know. The topics are assigned to me, and generally quite bland. Then I am told to try to make it humorous. Not an easy task. I am tech-savvy, but not a tech-writer, however, they have always asked for “light” articles along a technological theme, which I’ve tried to provide within these constraints.

    Sorry about those 5 or 6 minutes. If you want to waste a substantial amount of time, you can check out my blog at containing almost two years worth of a Canadian musing about living in the Land of the Pure. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do some archival work, as I have been administering a school this year and have not had time to continue blogging in recent months.

    Keep up the good work. A critical voice is an essential aspect of improvement.



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