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.