One of the leading local websites has to be Khmerbird. Cambodians with even a basic knowledge of English can easily understand the content and postings as they run in English. Articles --- as Santel Phin, the website owner calls them --- are opinion-based posts like blogs. However, professionalism in writing is not the point – more the opinion.
There is a category called The Best Post of All Time, and it is posted at the top fo the p[age and generates revenue through Google Ads. A recent post entitled ‘USD$485.80
From Google Adsense’ got more than 57 comments from readers who were keen on logging onto a website which gave them tips on how to make money? “I liked your post but my opinion does not count for much,’’ wrote one reader called Ivette Call. “Now clicking on your name to help people make money has counted a lot. A lot of money that is.”
To increase traffic, Khmerbird created a guest post section where readers can also write and publish their contributions on the website.
At the same time, topics for all the posts aim to attract more readers, including a foreign audience by having posts like “5 Tips On How Cambodians Should Treat Foreigners or Tourists”.
Surprisingly, the topic triggered and stirred stirred up many reactions from foreigners - as expected - rather than Cambodians defending their behaviour .
“After reading this and the comments, maybe one of us non-Cambodian types should write an article for Khmerbird suggesting how foreigners (workers, organised tour groups, holiday makers or independent backpacker types) should treat Cambodians,” commented an anonymous expat.
“I’m pretty sure there’s a good amount of give and take here on both sides (Khmer and foreigner), as with anywhere.”
The fact is we all like to read something more personal and opinion-based despite the criticisms which follow. Khmerbird serves well as both a refreshing place to log into a read, a platform for fostering freedom of expression in Cambodian social media.
Look forward to seeing Khmerbird become more and more popular.