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.