June 29, 2011

More details on the June Blogosphere Survey of Indian Blogs

...continued from the previous post on June Blogosphere Survey of Indian Blogs...

Well, the task of ranking blogs for quality was enormous. Consider four of us giving marks to each blog on each of the many criteria, mixing marks given by each member, filtering blogs based on these criteria, examining the remaining blogs again and screening them for more stringent criteria. Then, after the moderator had examined the blogs to correct obvious mistakes in filtering, all of us sitting together evening after evening for discussing each of the selected blogs and ranking them. In fact, screening of blogs from over five thousand to two hundred was much easier than the detailed examination later on.

Even after this big exercise, we are sure that many will not agree with our ranking. During our discussion itself, we found that individual members sometimes ranked a blog differently when they re-examined it after a month: partly due to changes in the blog itself and partly due to a change in perception of the examiner. So subjective is human nature!

Coming to rejections, let us first tell you that many good, even great, blogs got filtered out due to various factors. For example, offshoots of commercial sites and forums had to be rejected. [We still have a few such blogs in our lists that have some commercial content, but as we explained sometime earlier, making money from blogging does not exclude them from the list, only being primarily commercial does.] Some blogs that were ranked higher in Feb 2011 lost their position or were rejected due to low level of activity in these blogs of late. Blogs that had major connectivity issues had also to be rejected.

We also made comparisons among blogs of a particular category as we realised that we could not use the same criteria for blogs on music, a teen’s ramblings, technology, current affairs etc. Some good blogs might have been left out due to tough intra-category competition. We hope to resolve this in our next blogosphere survey.

Despite all the labour and the realisation that we are nowhere near perfect, we are deeply satisfied with our work. We can claim that we were fair to the core and spent a lot of time and energy in ranking the blogs. It also gives us pleasure [and allow us to share that with you] that this blog ranking exercise generated two by-products of value: one, a directory of quality Indian blogs. Many of entrants in this directory may not be in our platinum, gold and excellent blog categories due to various factors explained above, but they are indeed good blogs. The other by-product is our collective understanding of the blogosphere. This experience, we believe, will keep improving blog ranking in future and will also enable us to generate more tips for composing quality blogs. Our tips, anyway, are not cut-and-paste tips, and our discussions on blogging matters for over six months now have given us more insight into blogging.

Too much blah-blah from our side, isn’t it? So we stop. Amen!