August 30, 2015

Are Indian bloggers so much worse than American and European bloggers?

In our earlier posts in this series on Indian blogosphere, we have shared our observations about Indian bloggers in English, including some comparisons with global bloggers. In the present post, let's concentrate exclusively on the weaknesses of Indian bloggers vis-a-vis bloggers of the western world. So comes the question, are Indian bloggers bad? If yes, how bad, and why so bad?

Long back, we carried an article "5 things most Indian bloggers tend to ignore" and we find that those of our observations still hold true. You may like to visit that post and come back.

7 big weaknesses of most Indian bloggers

(with lots of overlap)

A. Indian bloggers want everything for free.

Indians are known as the most active community of internet users who download free stuff while  they are least active when it comes to buying goods and services. The trend is changing, but as of now the free mentality is very predominant.

When it comes to blogging, Indians won't even buy independent domain names for themselves, not to speak of buying appealing themes, hiring expert for technological improvements or paying somebody to improve grammar of their posts.

In other words, Indian bloggers would not pay a penny but would dream to make their blog a legend; majority of bloggers of the western world start the blog with at least some investment and try to earn on that. Since it does not hurt to discard a free thing, this also explains why Indians open a number of blogs and then let them lie in coma (point F below).

B. Indian bloggers like to do everything themselves.

Multi-tasking is great, also when it comes to blogging. But it should not lead to losing on prioritisation. 

If a blogger spends a disproportionately big time on learning SEO and html, creating a new design (while better ones are available on the web), etc while ignoring core blogging, it will lead the blog nowhere, isn't it? This happens quite a lot in the Indian blogosphere. We have found many-many Indian bloggers just doing that: They would do everything themselves either because they won't invest their hard-earned money in the blog (point A above) or are they too lazy to organise themselves?

Well, if you are one who loves creativity and considers this an end in itself, we salute you but then you must not rue that your blog is not popular or it is not earning you money. 

C. If you find a blog without focus, it might by by an Indian's.

A blogger known to us opened a blog with current affairs topics... when her anger dissipated, she started writing poems and showing her craft... then she felt the urge to show off her beauty products... then she felt like starting a fashion blog... In between, she turned mom and now her blog is full of motherhood talk and photos of her baby.

By the way, Indians' neighbours in South Asia, the Pakis and Bangladeshis, too exhibit similar traits when it comes to losing focus and being chaotic.

D. Indian bloggers don't have a long-term goal, or a vision, for the blog.

Here we are talking of lack of focus of a different type: in terms of vision. Most Indian bloggers just blog, blog and blog. They do not have a goal, forget vision. So, they don't have a disciplined approach to blogging. Even popular and established bloggers suffer from this.

Part of this lack of goal-setting and working to meet those goals can be explained looking at the way Indians live their lives. Indians love their (glorious) past. Some Indian communities do believe in living the day (Punjabis, for example) but not others. They do not plan for future; when that has to be done, they make a wish at a temple or dargah or gurdwara or church or a mountain or a big tree and pay 1 rupee 25 paise to the deity for granting the wish.

Past is always glorious, and Indian past has been too glorious. Indian social media, especially after Modi's government came to power in 2014, is gaga over this past. Hindi blogosphere has been smitten badly by it, but English blogosphere is luckily spared till now. But planning for the future, with an achievable goal in mind, is missing except in a minority of English blogs.

E. Indian bloggers don't engage constructively.

Blogging is social. Unless we engage, blogging remains an archiving process: a process that over a period builds a chest of hundreds of posts written for oneself.

Indian bloggers do engage with others, including through social networks such as Facebook. However, the quality of engagement is nowhere near that seen in western blogs. Indian commenters mostly praise each other without even reading the post. On global blogging scene, engagement is deeper and bloggers share their experiences, debate topics, seek specific help, solve problems collectively.

We have been observing a spate of spam comments from Indian origin. In fact, we receive numerous spammy comments on our posts on ITB. Last year we even got five notices (not requests) from spammers to remove those comments or they would get us blacklisted on Google! (We believe that these bloggers were penalised by Google for such comments and they then approached individual bloggers to remove their spammy comments.)

There are another type of spurious comments from bloggers who want to be rich overnight on the strength of backlinks. In such comments, the commenter makes a useless remark and then puts his own URL so as to get a link back to his blog. Young Indian bloggers wanting to earn big from blogging often succumb to this tactic.

F. Open a blog only to close it: Indian bloggers excel at it.

Indians are masters at making a number of blogs, on a number of platforms, and then closing all or most of them. This is a universal trend but more prevalent in the Indian blogosphere, and the issues we've discussed above broadly explain that: It does not cost a dime as big blogging platforms are free (point A above), Indians do everything themselves and that sucks up their energy without perceptible gains and then they feel frustrated with the blog (point B), they wander aimlessly and do not grow and in turn get discouraged (points C, D), and they do not engage purposefully and consistently, which does not help in expansion of the blog's readership and authority, again leading to loss of spirit (point E).

G. When it comes to praising and promoting others, Indian bloggers are miserly.

Indian bloggers suffer from a sense of jealously. So, if they find a good content, they keep it to themselves. They don't share it with friends, or on Facebook / Twitter etc, or bookmark it through Digg / Stumble.

Well, in some instances, they could be lazy or unconcerned.

Overall, most Indian bloggers suffer from a professional approach to blogging. Do you agree?

Articles in this series:
1. How active and influential are Indian bloggers?
2. What is the future of Indian English blogging?
3. Are Indian bloggers so much worse than American and European bloggers? 
 (present one)
4. Are Indian English bloggers relevant for brands and advertisers?

August 26, 2015

What is the future of Indian English blogging?

What will Indian English blogosphere look like in 2020, 2025, 2030?

Can we really answer this? No. Because information and communication technologies (ICT) have been taking unexpected turns now and then, making almost all predictions wrong. Yes. Because what we are doing is analysing trends of the past and present, and constructing a possible scenario if no 'disruptive' developments take place.

We'd start with a bit of bragging, and you must forgive ITB team for this. We at Indiantopblogs have looked broadly at no less than 60,000 Indian blogs and a few thousand non-Indian blogs. We have also minutely seen the working of over 5,000 blogs year after year. To top it all, we have reviewed over a thousand blogs in detail and done a quick review of another 300 blogs. So, without doing a survey based on responses or that based on Alexa ranks, Google PageRank and page views, we can claim to know the pulse of Indian blogosphere more than others. Bragging ends here.------>|
A likely scenario of social media growth
over the next 10 years

Let's present our take on the future of Indian blogosphere in brief points here. You'll find logic behind these in our other posts in this series (linked at the bottom of this post).

  • Indian English blogosphere will keep growing for at least a decade, unless a new form of self-expression evolves in the meantime which is equally versatile and has long-term value (as compared to instant media and social networking platforms). This, even if we consider blogging in its narrow meaning. (Please see the next point on who is a blogger.)
  • The growth of blogging will be marginal in quantitative terms. It might be almost flat in terms of percentage growth because of availability of more instant and short-form media. Yet, many more blogs will keep taking birth than those die or lie in coma. 
  • New growth will come mostly from new young entrants, many of whom will experiment with earning money from blogging. Rising internet penetration through mobile phones will boost social networking, some blogging and a small bit English blogging.
  • The trend of opening one or more blogs and closing a few or all of them after a short period will continue as long as free blogging platforms are available.
  • The concept of who is a blogger is also changing. When the mainstream media and general public talk of bloggers these days, they include users of Facebook, personal websites and possibly collaborative and anonymous blogging platforms such as Medium, i.e. any webspace that allows you to share your long-form writing.
  • Indian blogging is becoming individualized rather than collaborative. Bloggers' engagement has not increased over the years and they feel more and more confident without clutches of forums and communities (other than those useful for getting help and advice).
  • While the trend stated in the point above strengthens, most personal blogs by Indians will continue to have lots of mutual appreciation by way of comments and blogrolls. We believe that this is not because of lack of confidence in blogging as a medium but the human hunger for approbation as Dale Carnegie discovered a century back.
  • As new bloggers will be more technology-savvy than their earlier generations, experiments with new blogging techniques will increase and that would lead to better technical quality of blogs.
  • Indians will remain 'the talkative Indian' (as described by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen), and the preponderance of personal blogs and blogs with comments on current political and social affairs will stay forever.
  • Efforts towards monetisation will grow very fast in the coming years as brands see the potential of bloggers as influencers. Young, tech-savvy, entrants will be the main drivers of this trend.
  • All these trends will go haywire if Google or were to stop their free services. Even charging a dollar (or Rs. 60) a year will decimate the Indian blogosphere while it may only marginally impact the western blogospheres.

Articles in this series:
1. How active and influential are Indian bloggers?
2. What is the future of Indian English blogging? (present one)
3. Are Indian bloggers so much worse than American and European bloggers?
4. Are Indian English bloggers relevant for brands and advertisers?