December 30, 2011

baketitude

A new but buzzing food blog by Shalini. Its simple design, detailed instructions and a personal touch add worth to the content.


baketitude
baketitude.blogspot.com/
A food blog by Shalini

Every dish has a story behind it.This blog is about my life with my husband, son and dog...not to mention neighbours and friends and their kids.

I am also trying to catalogue lesser known North Indian Recipes, focusing on Dogri and Punjabi Cuisine. 

Lots of dishes are Indian Dinner Party dishes adapted from the world over and needless to say, much loved.

December 26, 2011

Let’s promote blogs that promote a social cause!

Today, we are taking another humble step towards promoting quality websites and blogs, especially Indian blogs.

On Indian Top Blogs, we are offering the following support to organisations, websites and blogs that promote social cause.

We believe that the work of a good Samaritan generates positivity which, if supported by people, generates a momentum in favour of the underlying cause. Our contribution may not matter significantly to big websites, blogs and organizations; it will nevertheless be a sincere appreciation for their good work. To not-so-big ones in this arena, it might act as a much needed - and much deserved - honour. It is our way of saying, we stand by you and your cause.

Here goes our offer:

1. We have reserved a space in the sidebar for free display of a website or blog supporting a social cause. It is under ITB supports this cause: bar. As of now, we are rotating social ‘advertisements’ among themselves and with stand-alone social messages. We’ll not restrict this space to only Indian websites / blogs / organizations. [If you want your social ad to come here, do send an image of 250 pixel width and up to 260 pixel height.]

our first list of Indian blogs
promoting social cause
2. Among the websites mentioned above, bloggers will be invited to send matter for showcasing their blogs on Indian Top Blogs.

3. We have identified some Indian blogs that promote social cause on a regular basis. We’ve listed them in the Directory of the Best Indian Blogs as a category and also specially highlighted them in the alphabetical list of best Indian blogs.We'll keep adding more such blogs as they come to our notice.

We have also created a badge for blogs that feature in the 'social advertisement' space or blog directory or blog showcase. Bloggers may copy the following code and paste it in html widget of their blogs.
<a href="http://www.indiantopblogs.com/2011/12/blogging-websites-blogs-for-social.html"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N86eLmjjgTM/Tvgk--nDe8I/AAAAAAAAAtA/j6AmKMDB2ms/s200/social-cause-indian-website.png" style="border: 0;" /></a> 

Do support our initiative if you like it. Do write a line if you’ve any suggestion to offer, either by commenting below or writing to kp.nd.2008@gmail.com. Do suggest Indian blogs that promote a social cause, for directory listing.

December 25, 2011

anish-whatalife

'What a life!' by Anish is the Indian blog on showcase today. This blog has thought-provoking articles, travelogues with personal touch, and much more. 


What a life! Opinions, ideas, thoughts and more...

A blog about anything and everything that I feel is appropriate to write about, though I  usually tend to stick to genres like travel, marketing, employment, politics & society and relationships.
I don't not claim to be an authority in any of these areas. When I visit different countries, I write experiential accounts of my trips. Mine is a rather atypical Indian take on local social situations I had to deal with and other topics that get me going.
I believe that frankly expressed opinions lead to debate and discussion, and their outcome quite often is change, both personal and professional. We are able to at least understand, if not deal with situations that life throws up. After all, there is only one life... What a life!

December 20, 2011

Favicon: the cute image for your blog or website

Seen the cute little letter on the browser’s address bar just before the URL of a website or a blog? Like the tri-colour kite next to the Indian Top Blogs URL or the blue birdie next to Twitter URL? These are examples of favicon [short form of ‘favourite icon’].  Though old browsers are not able to display a favicon, all updated browsers can display it well.

Alexa favicon,
zoomed to show pixels


Favicon is an important, and often ignored, design element of websites and blogs. It acts as an unobtrusive logo for your website or blog. People relate it immediately to your web-product, much like they relate a logo to a product in the physical world. 

Typically, favicon is a 16x16 pixel image file with .ico extension. Its small size does not allow for elaborate design or play of shades. By seeing the zoomed Alexa favicon on the right, you'll appreciate the limitations of favicon.  

Favicon can either have a single picture or an animation made out of a set of pictures [as in Indian Top Blogs site]. Animations allow display of more than one identitities associated with the blog or website. 

What looks best in a favicon?

Favicons look the best when they are simple and clear. Favicons displaying a single alphabet or simple geometrical shapes come up very clear. Single or at most 2-3 strong colours with high contrast lead to strong favicons while grading colours – only if applied with care - lead to smooth, graceful favicons.  

Some companies and institutions have beautifully captured their logo in the favicon. Others have used only one or two letters or a shape that express their organization well, without trying to stuff every part of their logo into the favicon.

Look at the following strip of favicons. [Just in case you don't know some of them, they are: Alexa, Apple, Chrome, Doordarshan, Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, Unilever, Firefox, IndianTopBlogs, United Nations, Bing, Yahoo and Blogger.] Notice the number of colours and simplicity of design. Also note that when a complex design or more than one letter are used, due care has been taken to use contrasting colours.


Now look at the following strip of favicons of DD News, FAO, UNICEF and US government.


See the DD News favicon? The favicon could have looked much better if they retained the clear, iconic Doordarshan one and coloured it in their own shades.

See the FAO and UNICEF favicons? In trying to copy their logos in full, they have messed up the favicon while their big brother, the UN, has done a great job by just using its initials.

How do I create a favicon and put it on the blog?

You can make a favicon using any of the dozens of free online favicon creators, using an image editor or with the facility provided in the blogging platforms. If you create a favicon using a favicon creator or image editor, you will need to place it in the header of the html file of the website. Though not a big deal, but if you are not comfortable with this, use the method given below.

A quicker and easier way to create a favicon – if you use Blogger - is to use the favicon-making widget of the blogging platform itself. [Go to layout; it is on top of the header menu] In the case of Wordpress, there is no widget available right now but there are plugins to do this job.

We have seen often during detailed review of Indian blogs that many bloggers use a high-quality portrait or a scenery or photo of a product to create  favicon. It usually results in a favicon trying to imitate the details of the original photo. Obviously, a photo of a million pixels cannot be replicated in an image of 256 pixels [i.e. 16x16]. The blogger, used to seeing the original photo, feels that others would also relate the icon with the photo, but the reality is that others see it as a blob of coloured points. 

You need to process the photo before creating a favicon out of it. The first thing to do is to reduce the size of the photo as much as you can, in terms of pixels. Crop the image and select a rectangular piece out of it. Next, do save the rectangular photo as a new photo and work on it.  Remove unnecessary background. Also remove elements that have muted shades, if you can. After that, adjust light and contrast as much as you can do without harming the image quality too much. Now try to reduce colour depth to 256 or even 16 colours. If the results are OK, move forward; if not, go one or two steps back and re-try changing light / contrast / depth. The resultant picture should have clear outlines and strong colours. Now your picture is ready for making favicon using either the online favicon maker or your image editor or Blogger widget / Wordpress plugin.

Happy blogging!

anirbansaha

Seen this nice blog by Anirban? It scores on simplicity of design and passion for blogging. 



Anirban Saha's abhibyakti
 http://www.anirbansaha.com/
a blog by Anirban Saha

The blog features my photographs, writeups, experiences, poems and reviews.
I have tried a simple design to put more focus on photographs.

December 15, 2011

aalayamkanden



Aalayam Kanden

Aalayam Kanden is a journey through the rare, unique and lesser known temples of India as experienced by me.

It is a showcase of Indian heritage and mythology.


December 12, 2011

Indian blog directory, rankings, showcase: FAQs

We have received a number of queries on the Directory of Best Indian Blogs that we updated on 30th November 2011. We are not able to respond to each email, and we feel that some visitors might have similar queries to ask and so we’ve imagined some questions ourselves! We’ve included related FAQs on blog ranking and blog showcase also.

Will you include my blog in the Directory even now if it meets your terms?
Why not? We are open to inclusion of high quality blogs in the Directory whenever we spot them. However, updating the Directory on a daily basis is not possible. We intend to include new finds on the last day of every month starting January 2012.

Why have you mentioned blog rankings along with Directory entries? You have included many more blogs that might be very good but were not seen by you during your last ranking?
Blog ranking mentioned along with an entry is for June 2011 ranking; we’ll mention 2012 ranking when we rank blogs in the middle of 2012.

I have applied for blog review / blog showcase. Do I need to submit the blog also for inclusion in the Directory?
No. Your blog has already been seen by us and we’ll automatically consider it for inclusion in the Directory.

My blog was there in the July edition of the Directory but is not there now, while I find many other blogs in the new Directory. Why?
Do have a look at this post on selection criteria for the blog directory. Does your blog meet these criteria? For blogs already in July 2011 edition of the Directory, the main point for consideration was regularity of updation. 

My blog is there in the Directory and yet in your review of the blog you have listed out many problems. Do you apply different standards for blog review?
As mentioned in this post on blog directory compilation, we tend to be very uncharitable when making a detailed review. We hope, that helps bloggers much more than just praising the blog or making off-the-cuff remarks.

My blog has been showcased on ITB website but is not in the Directory. Why?
Blog Showcase is meant to display good blogs and let their owners talk about their best features. We showcase even very new blogs, blogs in other languages, foreign blogs and websites maintained blog-like. We are stricter in the case of Directory and even more strict for blog ranks.

Though my blog is not listed in the Directory, the blog of a blogger friend is there. I consider my blog much better in design and content than hers. How come?  
We have tried to be as fair as is humanly possible. Have you checked all the blog selection criteria mentioned in this post? If you think, we have made an error of judgment in your case, do write to us at kp.nd.2008@gmail.com.

Can you help improve the layout of my blog? Can you guide how I can improve a photo? Should I go for Wordpress or Blogger? Can you do this for a fee? Can you suggest a web designer who’d help me with designing my blog professionally?
We are not in a position to guarantee that we’d respond to each specific request, though we try to respond to emails with specific requests when time permits.
No, friends, we don’t charge fee for the work that we do. We can’t recommend a web designer too; that is beyond our ethical boundary.

Can I see reviews of some blogs for my guidance?
No, that’s private. However, if a blogger passes on our review to you or places it on his / her blog, you are free to use that.

Do you mind sharing the raw data captured by you during compilation of the Directory?
No way. We also request marketing firms not to ask us for this.

You have written in the disclaimer about someone wanting to get his blog removed from the Directory. Does anyone really do that?
Till now, no one has asked us to remove his / her blog from the Directory.
We have made this offer for three reasons:
One, some people might really not need publicity to their blog so that they are not disturbed by too many visitors.
Two, a blogger might have the feeling that his / her blog is too important for the Directory. Someone may feel slighted that his blog is placed next to a blog of much lower standing. If the blogger does not want his blog in the Directory for any reason, we feel that the Directory as well as the blogger are losers. We are here for a win-win game, not the other way round.
Three, we offer this to bloggers who suspect our intentions. When we published the July 2011 edition of the Directory, some bloggers did write on the web that we should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some even took offence to our sending them an email to announce inclusion of their blogs in the Directory. [We understand their cynicism. We are happy to share that some of them wrote very flattering emails to us and a few even have ITB badge on their blogs! We’re humbled by their kindness.] 

Why didn’t you send an email or make a comment on blogs to announce that my blog is in the updated Directory? You did that the last time.
As mentioned above, when we did this last time – in good faith – some bloggers took it amiss. We are doing our job with sincerity and are happy about it. Let good bloggers get a surprise when they discover their blog in the Directory.  

My blog is listed only once in the category-wise listing of blogs while a similar blog has been mentined twice. Why?
Could be that your blog had only a few posts or most of your posts belonged to a focus area or you write on too many topics. We have tried our best to accommodate blogs in their proper place(s) in the category-wise listing of blogs. If you want your case to be reviewed, do write an email to us; just give reasons why you feel otherwise. Before sending the email, do see this detailed post on blog categories in the Directory.

December 10, 2011

binsinuation



Bloggers Park

A blog where books are reviewed my way, society is described my way, politics is simplified my way, sports is explained my way

I am not a rebel and my way is not the highway!! I am what most of Indians are - simple and straightforward, and will call a spade a spade!!

December 7, 2011

'Dynamic views' on Blogger platform: does it suit your blog?

This is a hurried post on the dynamic views by Blogger. We were provoked to write it because when we started reviewing individual blogs today [after a long time-gap during which we were busy compiling the Directory], we found many blogs on Blogger platform having shifted to dynamic views. This is a rather new feature of Blogger, allowing the blog to be seen in any one of the 7 templates that the dynamic views function offers.

We liked the many excellent features of the dynamic views: its aesthetic appeal, clean presentation of content, smooth scrolling of posts and their listings in many ways, and so on. Earlier Blogger did not allow any personalisation in dynamic views but now you can change the header image and background colour. You can even fix a particular view, if you fall in love with that.

Why we've written this post is not to share our joy with the great stuff that dynamic views is, but to give you a caveat.

The dynamic views feature is excellent but the superb personalisation that you have carried out and all the widgets of the old blog will not be there for others to see. Though they all remain in the background, your viewers will not be able to see your cute label cloud or month-wise archives or followers or blogroll or advertisements or ... That is a big big loss for a gain in appearance of content. Don't you agree?

Well, if you have only content pane to show, without frills, you may consider switching to dynamic views altogether. Otherwise think twice.

If you have already changed your blog into dynamic views, you can revert back to the old view.

If you have changed to dynamic views but want to stay with it, do at least leave a link on the blog to allow for the old, traditional, view too. People used to the old view may like to see your blog in that shape.

Blogger team informs that it would soon come up with widgets re-written for dynamic views. When that happens, the Indian Top Blogs would perhaps shift to the dynamic views, not before that.

;)

What Kapil Sibal has done is right!


Btw, we’re not saying he’s right, we’re only saying, what he has done is right.

Kapil Sibal is doing the right thing for himself, and blogging and other social media, on three counts.

One, because when his boss, Mme Sonia, is attacked even slightly [We hear, she was lampooned, her image was morphed and there were even nasty remarks about her. Very bad, indeed.], do you think he should keep mum? So, what he did was just right for him.

Two, he is Kapil Sibal. True to his name, he must botch up things as much as he can, and create controversies where there are better ways to deal with a situation. Remember his dealing with Baba Ramdev and Anna? The final result almost always is that the government turns defensive and apologetic.

Three, what he did in the case of social media will be highly counter-productive. This indiscreet act of his serves the purpose of social media more than anyone else. So, he couldn’t have done better. The service that Indian politicians like Tharoor, Omar, Sushma and Advani could not do to social media, the savvy Kapil has done in one stroke.

Thanks #Kapil!

December 5, 2011

Google Chrome emerges as the top internet browser in India


As per data released by Statcounter, Google Chrome is fast becoming the browser of choice and has toppled Firefox to become the second most used browser after Internet Explorer. In India, it has surpassed even IE!

In India, where the usage of net has risen fast only in the last couple of years and most net users are of younger age, the percentage of users of Google Chrome has gone up to 34.75% as compared to Firefox 34.29% and IE 26.9%.   

Though we have been Firefox fans for many years, we welcome this development as it will lead to (i) more commitment from Google for improving Chrome, and (ii) more competition to other browsers, in turn improving them.

Good news for bloggers using Chrome

Chrome browser, like the open source Firefox, gains in functionality with use of add-ons. For bloggers, Chrome has many add-ons in its ‘Chrome Web Store’. With its popularity rising, we hope that more add-ons will be available on this browser as they are in Firefox. We do not use add-ons for writing blogs, but a number of bloggers use them to find topic ideas, monitoring traffic, uploading photos, commenting, etc. They range from quite functional to weird, by some are worth trying.


reacharcs



Rashmi's Blog....Footprints of Past and Future
This blog is a mirror of my feelings and contains my latest collections and also showcases the pieces I wrote in the past. 

Whatever poems and prose I have written and published are based on emotions that have actually delighted me, enthralled me and also have made me shed tears quite a few times.

December 2, 2011

Category-wise listing of best blogs is out!

We have uploaded the category-wise listing of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs.
We have given details of category-wise blog listings in the post on variety of Indian blogs. As mentioned there, a good number of blogs have figured in more than one category. We have done it for blogs that are well-maintained over a long period of time. Blogs of general nature with a bit of eveything have gone ot personal and comments categories.
Do read the disclaimer given at the end of the Directory listings. We intend to issue an FAQ on blog directory listings in a few days, to clarify some additional points.
Do put a badge on your blog if your blog happens to be in the Directory. The html code for the badge is at the end of the Directory.

You can see our posts on the process of compilation of the Directory and what the Directory contains in these posts:

 

November 30, 2011

The Best Blogs Directory is out!

 

We have uploaded the Directory of Best Indian Blogs.

If your blog is there in this directory, be ready for surprises. You – with PR 6 Google ranking, 1000 followers, 1000 Face Book fans -  could be sitting next to  a newbie but promising blogger. You could be a columnist, analysing heavy political or economic stuff and your blog might have the company of a blog sharing a jilted lover’s heart's pains. You could be a grandpa sharing your life’s experiences and you might find a neighbour blog talking of gadgets and blogging hacks. Maybe, you believe in using only the most respectful language; we give you the opportunity to sit close to a highly irreverent teenager’s blog. 

Do read the disclaimer given at the end of the Directory listings.
Do put a badge on your blog if your blog happens to be in the Directory. The html code for the badge is at the end of the Directory post.

You can see our posts on the process of compilation of the Directory and what the Directory contains in these posts:

 

Indian blog directory: an effort to list the best blogs

This is fourth post in the series on compilation of Indian blogs directory 2011. Today we share with you the results we have been able to achieve in compiling the Directory of Best Indian Blogs.

Believe us, we worked really hard in our effort to include as many good quality blogs as possible in the second edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs. At the end of the exercise, which we call Indian blogosphere survey, we scanned 30,000 blogs and ended up with about 650 blogs. As happened last time when we issued the first edition of the blog directory, we will be criticized for omitting some high quality blogs and including some ‘poor’ blogs. We sincerely apologize to the bloggers whose excellent blogs we could not reach, but we insist that each entry in the directory is a valuable blog.

See, what makes the task so voluminous
and why the 650 blogs are indeed so valuable

We admit that we have only been able to browse a small portion of Indian blogs – but we’re
sure of having seen a significant proportion of active Indian blogs. We have not come across any other such exercise in India. 


We had to leave out the majority of blogs that we browsed, for valid reasons. We also had to drop about a quarter of the blogs from the first edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs. Being irregular in posting was the biggest single reason for rejection, followed by major issues relating to loading, advertisements, navigation and readability. Some blogs had inappropriate content, some had turned totally into static websites, some had become private. 


We’ve accommodated blogs looking like web-magazines or non-blog sites when we found that they were regularly updated and had some element of interactivity.

Part of our data-sheet [blurred]
most blogs got rejected
on 1/more parameters

On quality, we need to concede that we couldn’t be too strict. We used a software and some statistical tools last time, but we realized that measuring quality in quantitative terms was fraught with strange inconsistencies. This time, our approach was more traditional. Bloggers whose blogs we’ve reviewed so far would vouch for it that we are very demanding when it comes to quality, especially of design and language. But if we applied those parameters in compiling a blog directory, we’d be left with only a dozen blogs. We didn’t want our exercise to be self-defeating. Hope, we make sense.


Some will question our calling the directory as Directory of Best Indian Blogs. We must make our stand clear as we do believe that the 650 blogs we have included in the directory are indeed among the best Indian blogs. These blogs meet a minimum standard of quality. They are regularly updated. They don’t have issues relating to readability. They do not have inappropriate content. Their design is not weird. They have at least some level of interactivity. Finally, the only site that manually checks so many Indian blogs has found them the best among the 30,000 that it scanned.  Hope, you don’t mind giving the ITB team a small bit of credit for their common sense, fairness and hard work. 


PS: In later years, the number of blogs in the Directory has come down to about 300 or less as we have applied stricter standards in scrutiny of blogs.

bedazzledeternally



Bedazzled
 http://bedazzledeternally.blogspot.com/
A blog by Bhargavi

Funny posts, personal rants, book reviews, art-related posts... the blog has evolved over the last three years I've been writing here.

Like me, the blog has many alter-egos and even I don't know who'll come out to blog next. Right now, the sarcastic one, Zulu is out on a rampage...


November 28, 2011

The vast variety of Indian blogs

This is the third post in the series on Indian blogs. Today we share with you the variety of Indian blogs and their categorisation in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs coming out on the 30th November.

Based on our experience while compiling the Directory of Best Indian Blogs in July 2011 and its updation now, we have tried to categorise the blogs according to their main theme(s).

This time, we have put blogs in more than one category when they have a good number of posts on a particular theme and will add value to that category if included there.

The categories are: art – audio-visual media - comments - culture - current affairs - economics – environment – expatriates - fashion - finance - food - health - improvia - information technology - personal - photo - social issues - sports - technical subjects and niche areas - travel
  • Blogs of general nature come under personal blogs category if they talk about 'me', 'my kids', 'my house', 'my life' and so on. The ones with posts that talk of 'you' and 'they' rather than 'me' tend to be categorised as comments blogs. Such blogs have opinions on anything on the earth – so this category is ‘free for all’. When personal blogs talk less of physical matter and mundane thoughts and more on self-improvement, life's aim and spirituality, they come under the category improvia. When personal blogs have comments on topical matters more than others, they get clubbed with more newsy blogs and make the category of current affairs blogs. Blogs that discuss social problems or promote social cause come under social issues category.
  • Art includes design and décor, drawings and cartoons. Culture  includes heritage and history.  Environment includes wildlife. 
  • A blog has been categorised as photo blog only when it either deals with the subject of photography or photography as an art form, or its primarily  content is photography. A blog using photos for supplementing travelogues, recipes etc is not included in this category.
  • Literary blogs include authors’ blogs, blogs with a large number of posts on fiction and poetry, and blogs with book reviews.
  • Economics category also includes blogs on business and finance, advertising, marketing and management.
  • Information technology blogs deal with software, hardware, gadgets and web. Highly technical IT blogs come under technical subjects category.
  • Technical subjects and niche areas is the category that includes blogs of highly technical nature and those with very narrow subject area.
 Beyond the Directory of blogs,

  • We have listed Indian blog platforms, blog aggregating sites and forums of good quality.
  • In addition, we have compiled a list of blogs on (i) jobs and exams related information and (ii) stock-market analysis. These blogs serve a useful purpose, are updated very frequently and need a good deal of effort on the part of blogger, but it is difficult to analyse their content for quality as they have a set language repeated over and over. Ignoring these blogs altogether seemed unfair, so we have listed them separately.
Many bloggers have not archived their blogs in a way that allows a reader to see the complete listing of their posts. Though we went back and forth inside multifaceted blogs to get a sense of content – and we also made site search - we might have missed a major topic in some cases. 
We had started with some more categories such as product reviews, management, poems, hobbies and religion, but had to give up mid-way when we faced too much overlap among categories. Personal and comments categories too could not be dissected beyond a point.
If your blog happens to be in the Directory and you feel that it has not been given proper category listing, do write to us by sending an email to kp.nd.2008@gmail.com.

The next post in this series will be on how much of the Indian blogosphere we could cover in our latest survey.

November 27, 2011

Trends in the Indian blogging scene

This is second post in the series on Indian blogs. Today we share with you the blogging trends we noticed while doing survey of the Indian blogosphere for updating the Directory of Best Indian Blogs.

  • There do not seem to be even a lakh [a hundred-thousand] blogs run by Indians and on India which are over a year old and are updated at least once a month in most part of their life.
  • A large number of bloggers have more than one blog. 
  • Most of the bloggers lose steam midway [details in this post on blogging habits]. 
  • Young adults – who have to deal with major turning points such as leaving school / college, getting / losing job, marriage, conception, birth of the first child, break-up - often give a pause to blogging and when they re-start it, they tend to shift the main theme of their blog.
  • Of all blogs, personal blogs seem to have the highest longevity.
  • Among niche segments, tech, travel and cookery bloggers flourish well. A large number of blogs on these subjects are well maintained and have supporting photos and large archives. They have high search rankings and get a good stream of visitors.
  • Indian bloggers have a strong presence in the global information technology blogosphere.
  • A good number of celebrities / public personalities stop blogging after a while or - if they become popular -  pose restrictions on interactivity by making the blog private or login-only.
  •  In most Indian blogs, the language quality is no issue. In sophistication, the language ranges from just passable to literary and academic.
  • Indian bloggers tend to be serious writers. They have opinion on any conceivable matter on the earth, especially India’s problems, social issues, human nature and life.
  • In personal blogs, young mommies like to write a lot about their growing kid(s) and their discovery of a new relationship.
  • Overall, money does not seem to be the prime motive behind blogging by Indians.
  • Only a few Indian blog have Google Page Rank more than 5 and respectable ranks in other search engines, Technorati and Alexa. Only a few get comments in hundreds.
  • In blog search, a few blogs appear again and again on the first page [or in the top 10-20]. As not many new blogs maintain high quality and regularity, established blogs face very little competition for popular search terms.
  • Most Indian bloggers are on Blogger platform [*.blogspot.com]. Wordpress is the second most-popular blogging platform. A small number of bloggers shift from Blogger to Wordpress platform; some of them come back. [The movement from Wordpress to Blogger is very rare.]  A few blogs on these platforms graduate to websites and/or website-like  independent URL. 
  • Bloggers from India usually forget to make their blog a part of their overall web presence; they rather shift to new formats such as Facebook and Twitter, and reduce or stop blogging. On the other end of the spectrum, some bloggers seem to get too pleased with their presence in 'modern' platforms and they over-burden their blogs with social media widgets.
  • The distinction between blogs, websites and blogzines is further diminishing as more blogs and websites have similar look and feel.
  • Most bloggers either do not care for design and search optimisation or do them excessively. A good number of blogs have too many widgets and animations. Some bloggers over-indulge in widgets and hurt the blog’s functionality.
  • Teens are the most experimental of all bloggers, in all aspect: technology, variety of topics, use of language and embellishment.
  •  A large number of bloggers make their own small communities and tend to visit only the blogs that belong to their 'kitty party'. Going by their commenting habits, it appears that they often play 'You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours'. Many bloggers reciprocate badges.
  •  A number of competition sites operate in the Indian blogosphere. Some established as well as many new bloggers contribute to these sites on regular basis. In return, they get noticed and get to add badges on their blogs.
  • Some Indian portals offer blog pages. Bloggers on such portals become part of big blogging communities and tend to interact regularly with blogs within their community.
  • Blogs by newspaper and magazine columnists are usually well-composed and regular. In many cases, their blogs are replicas of their columns. These blogs have a big following.
 The next post in this series will be on the vast variety of Indian blogs that we noticed.

November 25, 2011

wherehopelives



Life Unlimited
A blog by Shreya

When the world seemed to come to a standstill, an old blog was shut, and with it an old life. This blog holds onto the tiny bit of hope inside me, and pulls it out to ensure I strive each day to live a new life, unlimited. 


Raves and rants about the everyday life, of a 20-something girl from Delhi, trying to make it in this roller-coaster of a city called Mumbai.

November 23, 2011

Where do Indian bloggers stand?

The countdown to the November 2011 edition of Directory of Best Indian Blogs has begun. From today till about 5th of the next month, we plan to share in a series of posts our experience during the blogosphere survey for the directory.

In the first article in the series, we share with you our joys and frustration with Indian blogging habits

Blogging regularity


We shared some trends that we'd noticed in our surveys, in these posts: Who does not blog in IndiaFebruary blogosphere surveyJune blog rankings and the July 2011 directory compilation.

How many Indian blogs followed which pattern 
over a year? [data of 30,000 blogs]
In our earlier post on the November 2011 directory,  we had indicated that this time, we’d do most of screening work manually. In doing so, we have had time for going in detail into the blogging habits of Indian bloggers. Our findings only confirm, statistically, our earlier observations.  The majority of Indian bloggers start a personal blog with a lot of enthusiasm and then leave it to die. Some carry it forward, but their quality and quantity pale over time. Some seem to get blogging fits now and then. Many bloggers believe in commenting more than creating posts. A good number of bloggers join blogging to test waters in their professional field or hobby. After giving out their best in some posts, they give up. Some join blogging just for money-making. They write less and advertise more. Soon they get frustrated and either give up or botch up the blog further.

Well, there are some who persevere. Some of them have become expert bloggers [especially in IT field]; some have made a huge collection of quality analyses, photos, travelogues, and recipes; some have branched out to consultancy; some – we hear – earn quite handsomely from affiliate marketing, advertisements and professional activities started through their blog(s). A few established Indian bloggers have huge following, and they synergise it superbly with their other social media accounts. 

Regularity is related to the effort needed. Some blogs, e.g. on news updates,  have numerous posts, but unless the blogger adds his own analysis, such posts need only a little effort. On the other hand, a well-rounded economic analysis, a passionate travelogue, a moving short story and an elaborate  recipe take time to create and cannot be as frequent. 

We had announced that we’d reject outright the blogs that do not have at least one post each in August, September and October 2011. However, we relaxed this criterion when we saw that long-established and quality-rich blogs too miss postings in some months. So, wherever we found that the blogger had been otherwise very regular and missed posting in only one of these months, we brought back such a blog though rejected earlier.   

Quality and design of blogs


We had, in our earlier post on the present survey for the blog directory, mentioned what quality criteria we’d keep in mind while short-listing blogs. We have observed that in quality, Indian blogs generally score over non-Indian blogs. English may be an issue, but can we be too finicky about that as long as there is spirit and substance in the content? As for design, we ignored minor flaws, except when design considerably hampered a blog’s navigability, loading time and readability. 

Let's share another observation – mostly from our detailed review of individual blogs - about Indian blogging habits. [We stand by what we said in the para above, generally speaking.

A large number of Indian bloggers tend to preach, even on intimate type of topics. When they do not preach, they tend to analyse their life’s failings, human values, human sufferings and such other serious matters. While taking life a bit too seriously, they ignore to care for their blog - the place where they pour out their heart. They ignore design. They also stuff the blog with quirky widgets. They comment 'sweet nothings' on other's posts probably to get compliments for their hurriedly composed posts. 
To many bloggers, language doesn't matter. Not that they don’t know good [Indian-] English, they either don’t want to re-edit their posts or introduce alien colloquialism and jargon for effect. 

If Indian bloggers just observe the way good bloggers conduct themselves, blogging will evolve further in quality. But in the age of SMS and Twitter, when even Facebook and Google+ look too demanding, asking bloggers to take blogging a bit more seriously is asking for the moon, isn't it?


Our next post will be on the trends we discovered during the present Indian blogosphere survey.

November 20, 2011

capturedalive



Throo Da Looking Glass
https://capturedalive.wordpress.com/
A photo blog by Pheno Menon



This is a photoblog with the tagline 'I came I saw and I shot' and describes my way of looking at life.. through my camera of course !!

I am running a project 365 whereby I will post one picture everyday about anything I have taken for the rest of my life (wishful thinking that is).

November 15, 2011

bemoneyaware


Be Money Aware Blog 
Awareness empowers

We would not allow one to drive a car without getting a driving license, yet we allow people to enter the financial complex world without any financial education. An uneducated individual armed with a credit card and access to a mortgage can be just as dangerous to themselves and their community as a person with no training who is given a car to drive.

BeMoneyAware Blog empowers people by making them aware of money-related stuff in simple terms. We cover the basics  in a way that readers find it interesting and are excited by it.

November 11, 2011

Why showcase your blog on Indian Top Blogs?


You have a beautiful blog on India, things Indian, your child or your pet subject. You write well. You also write regularly. You have many visitors. What more you need to grow as a successful blogger is regular hand-holding and support.

While the Indian Top Blog does the hand-holding, its blog showcase is a powerful platform for improving your blog’s popularity and reputation. 

How?

  • The blog showcase gives you at least 3 backlinks, one of them of high quality! This means, your Google pagerank improves.
a collage of some blogs showcased recently
  •  The showcase URL and photo tag have your blog’s signature. It means, if you post the link on your blog and tell it to your friends in the real world and on Facebook, your popularity grows by leaps and bounds. It is like a third-party certificate to your blog, at your own terms.
  • You have been recognized by a site that is growing fast in reputation and authority on blogging in general and Indian blogosphere in particular.
  • The best in you comes out when you write the punchline for the showcase. It acts like a blurb on the jacket of your own book.
  • It is free! You are charged $’s for getting a link from a website with Google page rank 3 or above. We not only give the link free, we do not remove it, like the charging companies do when you stop paying them. 
  • When we receive a blog for showcase, we have already noticed that blog for the next blog ranking and blog directory.

Look, how the Indian Tiop Blogs is growing. When you link with it, you also grow.
  •  Has Google Pagre Rank of 3. It is likely to grow significantly in the future.
  • Has Alexa page rank of 6.9 lakh. It was 105 lakh when we started the site 3 months back. It is coming down faster than we imagined. By the time you read this post, it might already be much lower.
  • Is on the top pages already, when you search on Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista and Bing for the best Indian blogs.

Why does ITB not charge for blog showcase?

By the way, it also does not charge for rankings, inclusion in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs and blog review.

Well, the ITB team work with a passion. They also get some good words that seem to come from people’s hearts. ITB also grows while you grow, because many bloggers write about us and our genuine effort. Many bloggers whose blogs we review keep a small badge about this on their blogs, voluntarily. Our commitment grows as we find ITB growing.

Well, if you insist on knowing our monetary rewards, let’s share our secret with you that we also have a few AdSense advertisements on the website. A very small number of people do click on them but that comes to almost nothing. We, however, tend to think that it will pay us in the long run.

You can see here our earlier posts about guidelines on showcasing your [Indian] blog and how to submit the blog for showcase.