November 30, 2012

The Directory of Best Hindi Blogs is out!

We present to you our bouquet of outstanding Hindi blogs. Like flowers and foliage in an appealing bouquet, you will find in this directory blogs in a range of hues: established and new… experimental and conservative… very informal and very serious… too personal and too social-minded… by top professionals, PhDs and professors and by kids and not so educated adults… highly content-rich and still developing…

We are also conscious that we might have left out some excellent blogs. As in the case of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, we’d make amends in subsequent updations of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs if such blogs are brought to our notice.

We are a small team and our resources are rather limited. We possess only ordinary IQ and are error-prone. Yet, two things we can assure you of, and we are very proud of them: we are sincere with our job, and we are fair.

Regards
ITB team

So, here is the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs. It has nearly 200 blogs, listed alphabetically [according to the operative part of the URL. Alphabetisation is in Roman alphabets, as URLs are presently available in Roman script only]. At the end of the list of blogs, we have listed top-quality blogging platforms, aggregators and blogs about blogs. Multi-blogger blogs and community blogs are included in the main directory.

November 25, 2012

Hindi best blogs directory: what's there in it?

A short take on how we are compiling the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs

We started with collecting as many Hindi blog links as possible and in about six months ended up with around 4000 blogs in our database. We shortlisted the blogs, based on a simple algorithm that gives values to a number of parameters. We subjected these blogs to detailed filtering for content, design and regularity, and simultaneously kept looking at the links on the blogs that we were surveying: blogrolls, entries in aggregators, comment links, multiple blogs, community blogs… This exercise landed another 3000 blogs. We left it at that since it bloated our database with hardly any good blogs showing up.

Left with around 1800 blogs, we scrutinized them all for many parameters, sometimes visiting a blog twenty times over. We are now left with around 600 blogs; most of these blogs, except the top 50, suffer from many infirmities [given in the second section, below]. We have tried to find blogs that have high quality in terms of content, design, navigation, regularity and interactivity, with as few infirmities as possible. At the end of this effort, likely by 29th evening, we’d have included all such blogs about which we have a consensus in our team that they are among the best blogs in Hindi.

Forgive us, friends, for not being ruthless in this first edition of the  Directory of Best Hindi Blogs [out on 30th November, 2012] and do tell us if you find some undeserving blogs in the Directory. You can do so by making a comment on this or any subsequent post if you have a view on the Directory or its entries; but if you want to be abusive, do use this email link because on ITB we won’t be able to publish comments with too hard-hitting a language: kp.nd.2008@gmail.com. We’ll have one or two minor updations based on your feedback, before we update the directory thoroughly around May 2013.

Kindly forgive us also for being judgmental and immodest about our views on what constitutes ‘the best blog’. We feel humble looking at some top quality blogs in the Directory – blogs that do not need our certification.

We are unable to write in Hindi the detailed posts that we have published about Hindi directory compilation. We’ll feel obliged if some helpful soul translates them in Hindi. We’ll give credit and a link too if the translator maintains a good blog. Do write to kp.nd.2008@gmail.com if you are interested.
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November 19, 2012

Hindi blog observations II: who, why, when...

This is the second post in the series on what we saw in Hindi blogosphere during compilation of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs. You can see the first part here: What’s there in the Hindi blog world?


Who is the Hindi blogger?


Hindi bloggers, as bloggers in other languages, represent the population to which they belong. So, they are of different ages and backgrounds, speak different dialects, have different customs... Both the sexes are represented almost equally, and we didn’t come across even one blog on/from the third sex.

Children have their first tryst with blogging when they are in post-primary school, but not many children take up blogging; they are even less attracted towards blogging in Hindi.

By education and profession, the majority of Hindi bloggers seem to have studied humanities [as against technical or science subjects]. Similarly, while many working and retired Hindi literary teachers/ practitioners have adopted blogging, not many scientists, technical professionals, experts and medicos have got attracted to blogging in Hindi.

There are numerous housewives adorning the Hindi blog world. Indian housewives are amazing cooks and have  also mastered folk art and craft, but that too is not reflected in Hindi blogs. Besides mainstream bloggers, Hindi bloggers come in some very striking shades: a lonely lovelorn soul, a village girl trying to adjust in a metropolis, a parent passionately blogging for his /her child, a grandpa narrating his lifelong experiences, a retired professor and a judge trying to help the society by sharing their worldly wisdom, an expatriate emotionally connecting himself to his ‘maati’…

We can group majority of Hindi bloggers into these four overlapping categories: i- housewives, ii- grown up males, iii- young adults, and iv- retired and aged persons.


Why does the Hindi blogger blog?


Blogging is the universal new platform for self-expression, and Hindi blogger are no exception in lapping it up. However, unlike their English counterpart, their main muse seem to be love [real or imagined], morals, religion and  nostalgia about a life that has changed fast.

In Hindi, blogging with literary tinge gets appreciation and encouragement. Many bloggers get awarded in public functions, quite a number get kudos on other blogs, and some get mention in the print medium. This seems to encourage others to join ‘blogger associations’, write about other bloggers, participate in blogger meets and do blogging.

Thinkers, dreamers and shouters are not expected to think of money, so there is hardly any effort to write blogs as a money-earning activity. Most Hindi bloggers also do not think much of popularity beyond the word-of-mouth type, perhaps because it involves a bit of mundane technical tweaking.


Where do Hindi bloggers blog? 


A significant proportion of Hindi bloggers run their blogs on Blogger - the free platform from Google stable. Only a handful bloggers choose WordPress, and hardly anyone goes to Live Journal, Typepad, etc.

A few blogging platforms – mostly provided by newspapers – exist in Hindi. A couple of them are very popular, both in terms of the number of people blogging on them and the number of comments received by such blogs. However, not all such platforms give the blogger an identity that he / she can relate to.

Not many Hindi blogs are stand-alone websites with their independent URL.

There are a number of community blogs and multi-author blogs. Contributors to these blogs have their own blogs too; hardly anybody seems to write exclusively for community blogs.


Where do Hindi bloggers live?


Hindi bloggers come from not only the ‘Hindi belt’ but all around the world. They come from metros, even more from small places.


How do Hindi bloggers blog? How much do Hindi bloggers blog?


Most Hindi bloggers leave blogging after an initial burst [It is universal: You can see this post on Indian bloggers’ behaviour], but majority of Hindi bloggers who do not fall into this state of inaction are very disciplined. Not only that, a number of bloggers maintain a good frequency for years.

As we shared earlier, the Indian blogosphere has a large number of blog aggregators, community blogs, multi-author blogs and web-magazines. The last genre is often a mix of portal, curative and blog formats.

Many bloggers have made their own little communities of bloggers who support one another’s blogs by way of friendly follow up, links, excerpts, blogroll, etc. It sometimes goes to the extent of ugly fights, and formation of coteries and associations.

Quite a number of Hindi bloggers have many blogs. Some of them are able to maintain all or some of their blogs well, but others seem to be squandering away their energy in more blogs than they can handle. In some cases, they have linked their sleeping / dead blogs on their main blog(s). A couple of bloggers have tried to promote their multiple blogs awkwardly, by listing all of them on top of each blog and repeating the same content in different blogs.

In brief, a large number of active bloggers write [or are seen even without writing] on other web spaces in addition to their own blogs.

The Hindi blogosphere is dominated by a handful of bloggers, who have a number  of web properties such as blogs and aggregating sites. New bloggers seem to be eager to get a pat from them. Some of them also run various types of ‘associations’.


When does the average Hindi blogger start blogging?


Blogging being a new platform, almost everybody has taken to blogging almost simultaneously. As such, it is difficult to say when people start blogging in Hindi. Yet, because blogging is more serious an activity than being active on Facebook and such other social networks, people who feel settled [even if in particular phase of life, e.g. getting employed] tend to take blogging seriously. The charm of technology, seeing the published word and easy typing in Unicode make people – especially students – experiment with blogging. The charm fades away when they realize that sustaining the craft needs hard work.  This results in one obvious trend: blogging is the first casualty when the blogger gets disturbed or occupied, whether physically or emotionally. We have seen that young ones seldom pick up the thread again once they lose it, while old ones often come back.


How big is the Hindi blogosphere?

There are likely around 4 lakh Hindi blogs,  out of them, 1.5 - 2 lakh blogs with varying degrees of blogging activity in the last two years.  Both these numbers are our guess, based on a number of postulates. Or are we off the mark?

November 12, 2012

Hindi blogs: our detailed observations: I

Now that we are in the last leg of compilation of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs, we present before you our detailed observations on the Hindi blogosphere.

Like they say in journalistic parlance, we can get major details on a news event by asking 5 W’s and 1 H [what, who, why, when, where and how], we’ll try to share our findings in that manner, answering the first question here and the rest in one or two next posts.

ITB’s is perhaps the only team that has manually checked over 35,000 blogs, examined a quarter of them for specific attributes and reviewed nearly 600 blogs in fine detail. We tend to be very nasty in our comments when we review blogs. However, in these two posts, we will avoid sharp value judgments or advice.

What types of blogs are there in the Hindi blog world? What is written in Hindi blogs?


In blogging, Hindi-speaking people seem to have found a revolutionary medium of self expression. Since blogging is free, simple, unfettered and almost limit-less, the author within a guy can express himself the way he likes, without an editor looking down upon him with professional arrogance and dumping his creation in the slush-pile. This perhaps explains why a significantly large proportion of blogs in Hindi are on poetry and free-style discussions on myriad themes in one’s surroundings – the physical world, the society, the chaos, the issues of mis-governance. Out of the over 5,000 Hindi blogs in our database now, nearly 4,000 relate to creative self-expression and free-style commentary. 

There are, understandably, not many blogs on technical matters, photography, stock market and western music, but for some reason there are very few blogs on beauty and fashion, DIY & craft, food, art and culture and social cause. One another big miss is quality children blogs. We had expected many blogs helping Hindi speakers with English, but found only a few. On the other hand, there are far too many blogs on literary discussion, compilation of classic poetry and ghazals, and religion. A good number of bloggers indulge in spreading ancient and self-created wisdom on worldly as well as ethereal matters by preaching ad nauseum.

Anything special about the content in Hindi blogs? – you might ask. Yes, quite a few.

One, the ubiquitous blogroll. Nine out of ten Hindi blogs have a blogroll on the blog. Many bloggers who themselves are very regular and popular, and also write good content, have put long blogrolls with links to blogs that have not been updated for many years, have been taken off or have decayed over time. One regularly updated blog has a blogroll in which there are two blogs with no post at all! Do pick up a popular Hindi blog and check the entries of its blogroll; chances are that you will find many irrelevant and sleeping blogs in it.

Two, unattributed graphics and video. We found a large number of Hindi blogs with photographs taken straight from the web without even an attribution to the source. Even audio and video [especially ghazals and movie songs] are copy-pasted with no regard for copyright issues.

Three, great commenting culture. Hindi bloggers comment a lot. As is universal in blogging, this gets bloggers a lot of return comments. A number of blogs generate good, sometimes amazing, discussion on current topics. Many regular and popular blogs have threads of discussion that run into over a dozen responses.

Four, matra and other spelling blunders. Hindi bloggers have to grope with matras - little ligatures - which go crazy if one is not careful. Some bloggers also make grammatical and spelling mistakes, but such mistakes are fewer than those in English blogs by Indians.

Five, different shades of Hindi, and regional flavor. Hindi being the mother tongue of the majority in at least ten states in India, people write different shades of Hindi [It’s no brainer that khari boli happens to be the most prevalent]. Together with it come the local icons: Kanha in Braj, Ganga in eastern UP and Bihar, hills in Uttarakhand… Some bloggers have passionately been writing about their region, city, caste and other identities.

Six, blog-design aspects. Hindi bloggers are as good or bad in blog design, e.g. matters relating to readability, navigation, placing of widgets and page-length. When it comes to experimenting with colors, fonts etc, Hindi bloggers seem to be more passionate than their English counterparts, generally speaking.       

Seven, vulgar self-praise or self-promotion in many popular blogs. Because of their perceived expertise in, and success with, blogging, many popular Hindi bloggers tend to go overboard in promoting themselves. We mention it here as this show off often mars the content quality of their blogs. We’ll talk  about other aspects of this conduct in some later post.

You can read all ITB posts on Hindi blogging here. The second post on observations on Hindi blogosphere is here.

November 7, 2012

pristineperceptions

Pristine Perceptions
http://pristineperceptions.blogspot.in/
A blog by Anish Bhalchandra
nice-indian-humour-blog 
A blog that is most often humorous, satirical and witty, though serious at times. 
Humour in Pristine Perceptions contains a message that the readers can take from it. 
The posts in the blog relate to the current socio-economic and political scenario in India. 
"

November 3, 2012

apotpourriofvestiges


apotpourriofvestiges
http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/
a-pot-pourri-of-vestigesA blog by Murtaza Ali, a film critic, for whom cinema is a passion, even an obsession.

"
A Potpourri of Vestiges is a movie blog dedicated to cinema, in particular its Art form. 
The blog aims at acquainting viewers worldwide with the true purpose and potential 
of cinema, especially as a great source of learning and enlightenment, by trying to keep 
alive the cinematic gems that are rapidly fading into obscurity owing to commercialization. 
"