December 30, 2013

Indian blogophere is alive: Now Kapil Sibal on Modi!

Only a few days back, we featured Narendra Modi's blog for its content: He had expressed pain at the Gujarat riots. Coming from a man who has been accused for siding with the rioters, and from a Chief Minister, it was significant.

Now comes a retort in a blog post by his bete noir [in fact, one of many] Kapil Sibal. Sibal, a senior Congress leader and present Minister for IT etc, says, the pain felt by Modi is too little, too late and politically motivated. 

Blogs are being put to good use by Indian politicians! It makes ITB happy ;) 

December 28, 2013

A blog post of significance: from Narendra Modi

In our series of blogs posts of significance, we bring to you the latest post by Narendra Modi, arguably the most talked about political leader in India today. Narendra Modi's blog is a blog with high web reputation, where he puts his thoughts on various governance and political matters. In the latest post, he has emotionally responded to the court verdict in 2002 Gujarat communal riots case. Just to recall, Modi was accused by his legal and political opponents for having acted on the rioters' side, and the court has not found him guilty.

As of now, the blog post has received about 60 comments, all salutary. There would be many of his critics who must have commented uncharitably and with sincerity; and his opponents must have also bombarded their tirade and abuses on the blog itself [Remember Congress's recent threat to unleash a 'cyber army' on Modi?], but as we had earlier observed in this post on Indian politicians' web presence, politicians are known to sanitise their web properties well and Modi cannot be an exception. 

December 25, 2013

Best Indian Blog Directory: mid-way updation

As promised, we are doing mid-year additions to the Directory of Best Indian Blogs for 2012-13. We have spotted 33 more fine blogs from the Indian blogosphere. The next edition of the Directory will come in May-June 2014. 

While quickly reviewing the existing entries in the Directory, we found that some blogs have gone to sleep, have been removed or have deteriorated in quality. We'll miss some blogs that have been there in the Directory since its first edition in February 2011 and a few blogs with very serious discussion, but we had to remove them and we are sad about it. We are committed to live by the name we have given to this Directory.

The new entrants are: 
adventureanytime Huchchara Santhe
allthingsnice-shalinipereira all things nice!
amarnaik Outreach
bhavikkshah Bhavikk Shah's Blog
designdecoranddisha Design Décor and Disha
elixirofknowledge Elixir of Knowledge
foodydelight Tasty Bud Delight
godoffinethings chimes of a forgotten melody
humor-satireworldin Humor- Satire
jahidakhtar Flashbacks
janakinair My Diary
jigar-doshi Jigar Doshi
ltd-licencetodrive Ltd-licence to drive
magalic Life etc.
merrytogoaround Merry to Go Around
mybutterhalf my butter half
nabanita-blacknwhite Random Thoughts---Naba
over2shailaja Shailaja Chandra's Blog
paneerandpulao Of paneer, Pulao and Pune
preciousglories Precious Glories
rajniranjandas Tales Of A Nomad...!!
sakshinanda Between Write and Wrong
sayantini-bhattacharya Another Part of Me
shadowdancingwithmind Shadow Dancing with Mind
shreshar Asha's musings & ramblings
socialscribblers Social Scribblers
thereaderscosmos The Readers Cosmos
thetalesofatraveler The Tales of a Traveler
travellingslacker The Travelling Slacker
volatilespirits Volatile Spirits
--------------
Bloggers whose blogs have been added to the Directory may like to add this small badge on their blog. This, however, is purely voluntary and does not impact their listing now or in future.
The code for the badge is given below. You need to copy it and paste it on an html widget on your blog.

<a href="http://www.indiantopblogs.com/p/directory-of-best-indian-blogs.html"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K6xlaLVmFfQ/UaXlhrV0xfI/AAAAAAAABkU/I-sKCUNBM-s/w506-h281-o/itb12-13.png" style="border: 0;" /></a> 

The badge will look like this on your blog: 

December 22, 2013

Two updates on SEO and Google’s search capabilities

1. Well, if you as a blogger, have regularly been watching the growth of your Google PageRank, you might have noticed that it remained constant or even dipped by a notch [in case it had 3 or higher PR] in the last 9-10 months. We have seen this happening with many blogs in our database. So, reports that Google has started giving PR a lesser importance in search results seem to be true. A report recently appeared that Google has updated the PR in December. Chances are that if your posting and linking habits have remained constant, your blog might have shown a lower ranking.

But, isn’t that a piece of good news for bloggers who concentrate on sharing good content rather than on link-building and excessive SEO?

December 20, 2013

sayantini-bhattacharya

Another Part of Me
http://sayantini-bhattacharya.blogspot.in

blog-by-sayantini-India

"Another Part of Me is all about, as the title says, unearthing the hidden qualities in me. This blog unravels my love for poetry, propagandizes my life and comprises my perspective on different matters." -Sayantini

December 17, 2013

More free photos - passing through a jungle and by a river

This week, we post two photos taken in a jungle during rainy season. These photos are free for use by bloggers. For terms of using images offered by ITB, do check the first post linked here. You can see all the images offered so far at this link: free images for bloggers.

jungle-road-photo



small-river-through-a-jungle



December 14, 2013

Fashion Blogging: Look at 7 hard realities before you jump

In this post, we won’t talk about the need for great content, style etc. We also won’t go to the specifics of fashion blogging as we are bloggers, not beauty and fashion experts. So, we'd limit this discussion to the aspects on which prospective fashion bloggers must assess themselves so that they do not end up in frustration. 

One basic premise to this discussion is that you want to earn money and fame from your fashion blog. If so, we must emphasise beforehand that all blogging requires hard work, passion and perseverance... and fashion blogging requires a lot of it all... and earning money in this crowded field requires it even more.

1.      You'll need to update yourself on new fashion and lifestyle trends, new products, changing consumer preferences… For that, you'll need to regularly visit fashion events and product launches, browse the web, read fashion magazines…  

December 11, 2013

Sharad Pawar on election results: a blog post of significance

ITB brings to your notice a political blog-post this time, a very powerful post considering its writer and its implications in Indian politics.

One of India’s tallest political leaders and the present Agriculture Minister of India, Sharad Pawar, has analysed the rout of Congress and emergence of Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the recently held assembly elections. 

sharad-pawar-blog


In a clear reference to the weak governance style of Manmohan Singh and the faltering image of Rahul Gandhi, Pawar says: “People need strong, decisive and result oriented leaders. They do not want weak rulers.” He also finds AAP leaders short of vision and substance.


Sharad Pawar also happens to be a key ally of the coalition government at New Delhi. His comments also seem to give message to Congress to either pull up socks or forget about alliance with me in the next general elections.

December 9, 2013

Creating, reading and modifiying PDF files

In our series on sharing web utilities and computer tips with bloggers and other visitors, we bring you free programs to handle PDF related jobs. The utilities we recommend here are free.

Before coming to the tips, let's spend a para on PDF itself. PDF [=portable document format] files are a special category of files that are intended to be viewed across platforms in the same format in which these were created. So, this is a preferred file type when you want to share a final presentation, report etc with others. Though a PDF document is like a printed copy of the the document, and behaves like an image, its content can be extracted and a number of edits can be done on the document itself. More complex PDF documents are interactive [e.g. forms, buttons, links] in different ways. PDFs are superbly scalable and have very high fidelity, and so are used by designers and printers.


READING A PDF FILE

There are a number of programs that can read a PDF file. In many cases, the Adobe PDF Reader comes bundled with the computer / laptop but is quite resource heavy. This and many other such programs take a lot of  RAM and slow down the computer. After testing numerous such programs, we find that the free version of Foxit Reader (as of 2013 end) is one of the most handy and light-weight PDF opening program. In addition, it allows you to make some edits, highlight text, put markings and so on. 

We suggest that you configure your web-browser not to read a PDF file when you click on it. Instead, download the file and open it with Foxit or whichever program you like to use.


WORKING ON A PDF FILE

If you need to often put a bit of text [=annotation] on a PDF file or put some markings / highlights  etc on it, PDF Exchange Viewer is an excellent program, better than Foxit in some ways. But we'd rather prefer Foxit for just opening files because that is lighter on computer memory. 


EXTRACTING TEXT FROM A PDF FILE

Almost all PDF readers now have an option to extract text from PDF files [only if the text appearing on the PDF had been saved as text and not image]. A number of PDF-to-DOC converters are available on the web. But we found that Zamzaar's online PDF to DOC conversion gives you the best results [Btw, this website has facility for file conversion in many other formats]. 

CREATING A PDF FILE

New versions of major document processors including MS Office and OpenOffice come with the option to save document files in PDF format. There are a number of standalone PDF writers that use the print command to create a PDF file, and we find Primo PDF among the best. When you install it on your computer, it sits there as a printer. You can print any document or almost any other type of file into a PDF file by selecting Primo PDF from the print menu of any program.

ITB has no commercial dealings with the creators or distributors of the programs recommended here. We also advise that you do not download extra programs that sometimes come bundled with the main program, unless you are sure that you need them. There are a few free programs with greater functionalities, such as splitting and merging PDF files, OCR etc but we found them with malicious content or untested bundled programs and so are not recommending them.

December 5, 2013

Should I submit to blog directories?

We got an email this week, reading like this: I have a blog where I am putting everything that I like, mostly music, children and travel, to different places within my state. Can you advise if I should submit my blog to directories. My friend suggested four good ones and I checked them and they are fine. Are Indian directories OK?

We replied to the lady by email, and then thought we need to expand the subject and write a post on ITB.


WHY SHOULD I SUBMIT MY BLOG TO DIRECTORIES?

  • Of course you want to be discovered by others. This is more significant (i) if your blog is on a particular subject and (ii) if you want to make money out of it. For example, a blog on a research topic, photography, cooking...
  • You want traffic. All bloggers want traffic unless someone wants to keep the blog hidden for a purpose.


PLACES ON THE WEB, WHICH TAKE SUBMISSIONS

December 3, 2013

.BLOG domain coming, wanna go for it?

A new set of domain suffixes are being made available  by the international body for this purpose (ICANN). .blog is one such domain name extension. Called gTLDs or generic top level domains (common examples: .com, .net, .org),  these represent the broad category to which a website belongs.

A large number of registrars have started pre-registering .blog domain names. Pre-registration is free and non-binding; but it does not guarantee availability of that name. If you are interested in a specific domain name and that name is not available with.com or such other popular extension, you can consider going for .blog. Or, you might like to have an additional extension. If you are new to this subject, you might like to see our earlier post on why you should have your own domain name

It is not that once with a a .blog URL, your blog will get a great boost in terms of popularity and authority. It may happen or it may not, depending on factors such as whether searchers look for your type of content among blogs. But it will definitely help in people easily recalling your blog if you choose the URL with some thought. It will also help you if you feel that .com and other currently available extensions do not represent the type of blogging website you maintain.

December 1, 2013

Found a nice blog-post: 'Novels, Screen and Reality'

As we said earlier, we have decided to share here good blog posts that we chance upon on the Indian blogosphere. We shared two earlier: one was an excellent discussion on governments' use of social media. and the other was the blog post that exposed sexual impropriety by a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.

antiblurbs-blog-by-sipahimalani



The present post is one we discovered on 'Antiblurbs', a book review blog by Sanjay Sipahimalani. Lovely, effortless take on digital invasion into our social, family and personal spaces.

November 29, 2013

#Cobrapost, #Kapilsibal, #SheilaDikshit and other social media updates

Some interesting updates on the Indian social media today.

One, Cobrapost, a website claiming to clean India by exposing scandals, and run by Aniruddha Bahal of #Tehelka fame, has published an expose, Operation Blue Virus. 

According to it, many companies are running ‘reputation management’ business, which means offering to boost social media popularity and destroy an opponent’s reputation. According to Cobrapost, it uncovered two dozen such companies by posing to be a politician’s agent. Among the offers made by these shady companies were for generating fake followings on Facebook and Twitter accounts, stopping negative comments, making YouTube video go viral and doing negative publicity against somebody – all with utmost anonymity.  

What makes this expose a bit suspect is that all those exposed (for such unethical and illegal activities for politicians) work for Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the country’s opposition party, the BJP. Consider how politicians of all hues have been indulging in undesirable social media conduct (check this ITP post: web presence of Indian politicians) and you see the bias. Beyond that, this expose does bring into highlight the rot in politics and social media, once again.

el3ction-photo-india
Ready to vote: photo from eci.gov.in 

November 27, 2013

Free photos for bloggers: India's urban-rural divide

These two photos contrast the way India and Bharat are living.
The first one is from Gurgaon, next to Delhi, where high-rise buildings cover the landscape. More and more high-rise residential and commercial buildings are coming up in every part of Gurgaon.
construction-photo

The photo below is a photo from a city called Dhar in Maharashtra. Just one kilometre from a busy crossing in the district headquarters, you can find villagers carrying their stuff to the city and carrying back household purchases on bullock carts.

bullock-cart-photo


November 26, 2013

allthingsnice-shalinipereira

All Things Nice - Design, Food & More
http://allthingsnice-shalinipereira.blogspot.in/



blog-photo-shalini-pereira
"I'm an Interior Design and Architectural Consultant by profession, but besides design, I love cooking and in my spare time.
I'm usually cooking up a storm! 

All Things Nice is a blog about design, my experiences as a designer and my experiments in the kitchen. 

I believe this blog is different from other Indian design and decor blogs as it gives you a designer's perspective on contemporary design and decor choices as well as insight into the journey of a designer."

-Shalini Pereira

November 22, 2013

Beware of comment spam

Bloggers love comments and we need not tell the reasons. And all bloggers hate comment spam: comments sent by people for the sake of advertising or link building or with some other motive.

Unfortunately, many bloggers welcome all types of comments either without realizing that many of the genuine looking comments are not really genuine, or in the hope that a large number of comments is a mark of their blog's high popularity. On the other hand, may bloggers get so pissed off with unwanted comments that they make it difficult for a genuine commenter to give his feedback.


What do they get by making irrelevant, irritating comments?


Unscrupulous spammers comment on blogs with the misplaced hope that people will buy the product they shamelessly promote. At times, they are not the real sellers but an agency on their behalf; this agency convinces the seller about the usefulness of this type of commenting. 


In some cases, these commenters seem to get results too. For example, till Google got smarter than them, these commenters used to get improved Google PageRank by commenting on good sites. Sometimes the blogger takes the comments as genuine and starts engaging with the comment maker. In all cases, till the comment is there, everybody sees it and the commenter gets visibility to that extent; some visibility is better than no visibility.

Such commenters have also become smarter. Now in their comments they do not put rubbish or matter that would be automatically removed as spam by web filters. They write biggish comments and also place links as part of the comment. Smarter ones even put some text that makes it relevant to the content of the blog.

In the image here, we give examples of some real comments that we got on ITB. Look how sincere they look in the first glance!


What is the right way to handle comments?


You have many options:



  • Stop accepting comments.
  • Accept comments from people who register with you.
  • Accept comments only from people with proven identities such as Google / Wordpress ID.
  • Moderate comments. That is, comments are visible only when you approve them.
  • Put a tough captcha - e.g. text mixed up with images - which the commenter must put before he can publish the comment.
  • Use a mix of the above.

We have learnt with experience that moderating blogs is the best way to ward off spammers and not irritate commenters. 

You may like to complicate things for the commenter by making him to solve a captcha before he comments. Captchas are especially useful when you good great many comments and you find it cumbersome to manually authenticate them. But captchas are notorious for becoming too irritable at times. If you are keen on using a captcha, don't put other limitations on commenting. In any case, captcha does not stop a spammer from manually commenting on your blog.

Allowing comments only from those with proven identities is like telling others that you care a hoot for them. If you insist on allowing only the people with Google ID etc, make the identity-list wide: stop only anonymous comments AND allow a wide range of identities including Disqus, OpenID, FB or Twitter apps and so on. 


Asking the commenter to register with you is tolerable if yours is a highly reputed website [e.g. a magazine, a newspaper, a reputed company].

November 18, 2013

Top Indian forums: ITB's popular forum listing

We have updated our listing of the most active forums of India. 
We have not checked the technical or content quality of these forums / fora except for generally browsing them for their currency and appropriateness of content. 
Since forums are not the web properties to be maintained by individuals, unlike blogs, we have included fora maintained by corporates also.  
We have rejected a popular forum that is supposed to be distributing malware.

bcmtouring travel
broadbandforum broadband
caclubincia taxation, accounts
commonfloor  real estate
consumercourt  consumer related
digitalbhoomi  multi-topic
echarcha  multi-topic
erodov.com e-biz / buy-sell
filmitown  entertainment  
freshershome  jobs
fropki  entertainment
funonthenet  multi-topic
hifivision  mobile tech etc
indiabook  multi-topic
indiabroadband broadband
india-forum  multi-topic
india-forums  entertainment
indiamike travel
indian-citizen-forum  multi-topic
indianjobtalks  jobs
indianrealestateforum  real estate
indiastudychannel  multi-topic
indiblogger  multi-topic
indusladies  women's forum
jjmehta.com e-biz / buy-sell
mygsmindia mobile tech 
rimweb mobile tech  
rtiindia  right to information
santabanta  entertainment
techarena technology
techjobs  jobs
theautomotiveindia automobiles
thinkdigit technology
tripadvisor travel

(updated in November 2013)

  

November 15, 2013

Blog helps Stella expose wrongdoing

Seen the post by Stella James about sexual assault on her by a recently retired judge of India's top court, the Supreme Court? She has exposed the wrongdoing by narrating her experience in a post on the blog of JILS

JILS blog is run by the student body of the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India.

Stella says, the incident occurred a year back but she chose to expose it only now. 'The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the crux of my unease lay in my inability to find a frame in which to talk, or even think, about my experience,' she writes. She shared her trauma with friends and colleagues, wrote the post, shared it again with them and finally posted it on the blog. Had she told the experience to a TV channel, it would have made a spicy 24x7 news-programme out of it, embarrassing her and many more, and editing her version to suit its own agenda.


The blogger pours her heart out in the post and says, she feels liberated after 'allowing myself to feel more than just anger at a man who violated me'. We feel, she must also have felt liberated after having pressed the 'publish' button on the blog's post-editor. On the blog, she has got many responses, some  outright insensitive. The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the matter and have set up a committee to go into the matter. As we publish this post, the committee has asked her to appear before it.

ITB is not pre-judging the case. We just brought this to the notice of bloggers and social media thinkers as an example of how blogs offer a platform to people who would not otherwise be able to share their experiences with the people, the way they want.

November 14, 2013

guleri

blog-by-guleri
उसने कहा था...
http://guleri.blogspot.in 


'सैर कर दुनिया की ग़ाफ़िल, ज़िंदगानी फिर कहां!' घुमक्कड़ी जीवन का मूल-मंत्र। कला में अभिरुचि। इससे इतर विश्व सिनेमा, साहित्य और फ़ोटोग्राफी में मन रमता है। ब्लॉग के ज़रिए हमख़याल लोगों से राब्ता कायम करने की कोशिश है। यह ब्लॉग पूजनीय परदादा पंडित चन्द्रधर शर्मा गुलेरी जी को समर्पित है। लेखन शौक है और कोशिश जारी..."
- Madhavi Sharma Guleri

[This blog is in Hindi. English rough translation of the blogger's statement about the blog: 



  ]

November 11, 2013

Best offline dictionary and thesaurus

There are many dictionaries available free on the web. Some are available online and some can be installed on the computer and can be used offline.

wordweb-screen
Of course, word processing programs come loaded with a dictionary. For example, Microsoft Office has an in-built dictionary which you can access by right-clicking on a word in Word, Power Point etc. New versions of MS Office are quite intuitive when it comes to suggesting corrections. MS Word also supplies a list of synonyms through right click. 


November 8, 2013

Blogs and websites of popular Indian politicians

A study of the blogging and web habits of top Indian politicians makes interesting reading. We have some general observations to make before we discuss individual websites / blogs:

First, on social media as a whole. 


Indian politicians are a confused lot when it comes to their understanding of social media. Most of them have heard that front-running social media giants such as Modi, Digvijaya and Tharoor are on Twitter etc and are good at it, but they don’t know what social media really is. They know that the young generation is tech savvy but are confused about what they themselves are required to do to engage with the youth. They are also not sure how much influence it can make to their political prospects. For some, it is something to be handled by back-end techies; bigger politicians of this ilk think, it is something to be handled by either back-room boys or their party or government staff. Most of the politicians seem to think, web media is just Facebook and Twitter or a website which they can boast of. Left parties don't allow [as of now] their politicians to open their personal social media accounts.

Second, on why they hate blogging. 


Politicians want quick return on the time spent on social media. So, Twitter is the best, followed by Facebook. Serious discussions that a good blog demands, in any case, is not in most politicians’ priority.
On Twitter, they mostly react instantly to witty comments made by one they are in competition with. Look at this Twitter 'dialogue':
A: Visited constituency today. Went through heat and dust.
B: People borne with silver spoon in mouth melt in one day’s heat.
A: Only he knows about dust and heat of village who goes there. Others make comments sitting in AC rooms.
B: Heat and dust picnic zindabad!!

November 4, 2013

Use of social media by governments

We had last week announced two new initiatives: first, to offer free images to bloggers, and second, to showcase on ITB, good articles / discussions found on other blogs. We have posted first two free images in this post followed by one more three days back, and are now showcasing an excellent article we discovered through our Facebook network. We hope, besides adding value to the list of showcased blogs, this article enriches our own discussions on the social media. Of particular relevance to this topic will be out post on how world leaders use social media.

This article, by Manoj Pandey, a government officer himself, discusses how governments are using social media. He analyses whether governments are using this potent new tool for citizen engagement and socio-economic development. 

The article has been published in the Indian Journal of Public Administration.

We reproduce the summary of the article below. On this link, you can find the full article: Governments and Social Media



article-on-social-media-discussions

November 1, 2013

Free photograph for bloggers' use

Another copyright-free photograph is here. It is free for use by bloggers. Terms and conditions for using this image are given in this link [first offer of free images to bloggers].

guava-royalty-free-image



image: ripe guava [background removed with elementary editing]
size: 640x390 pixels

October 30, 2013

wholesomemamma

Wholesome Mamma
http://www.wholesomemamma.in
 

wholesome-mamma-blog-Indian

"A health and fitness blog by a Mumbai mom following an alternative lifestyle called the paleo or evolutionary lifestyle. Find out how to have a fit pregnancy and raise kids healthier, fitter, stronger by defying the rules, questioning wisdom, and living life by following your instincts the way we were meant to. This mom sprints, does bootcamp and yoga, and provides her family with real food.
A lifestyle change for the better for mom, for baby and for the family."

- Aloka Gambhir

October 27, 2013

5 habits for success in blogging

People start blogging under a variety of influences and with a variety of goals. Whatever the initial provocation, majority of bloggers either quit blogging altogether or reduce it  significantly. Some do so in six months, some in a year. Only about twenty percent of bloggers persist with blogging beyond a year.

Yet at any given time, the number of bloggers and blogs is quite large: it includes a large number of those who are waiting to fall into low or no activity.

There are two main reasons for frustration or boredom with blogging: One is that most of us bloggers take up this activity as a hobby; so when its initial charm recedes, we find it dull. Another big reason is that we expect too much from blogging in terms of popularity and/or money. When it does not happen, we take it as a waste of time.

As we elaborated in this post on the love of blogging, one can gain a lot by way of professional reputation, expertise, personal growth, self-realisation, promotion of one's products, money, and so on, if we take up blogging seriously and systematically. Here we give a check-list for bloggers, which they should refer once in a while to ensure that they are in the right path.
Have you defined a goal for your blogs? 


Just 5 blogging habits that will give your blog a long, purposeful, life


October 25, 2013

Free photographs-images for bloggers

As mentioned in this post about Indian Top Blogs, we had announced that we'd offer photographs for free use by bloggers. This is being done so that bloggers have some common-use images for which they do not have to seek permission before use. Only bloggers can use photos and other images offered by ITB; others  need permission. These images can be published in a blogger's personal (not commercial) blogs.

Usually the photos and other images offered here will be in small sizes and quite light-weight files. These will not be good for printing or in large displays.

Bloggers may or may not give credit to ITB - that's their sweet will.

All images offered by ITB are either its own creation OR photographs taken in public places and where photography is not prohibited. If people are captured in a photograph, they are shown in their natural setting. Therefore, a photo with people must not be used in such context or modified in such a way that it might hurt anybody's feelings or expose anybody in an inappropriate manner. The responsibility of using the image appropriately lies squarely on the user.

The first two images in this series are given below. You need to right click on the image, save to your computer and then take it to your blog. Some sites allow direct copy-paste too.


Indian Top Blogs photo

Women learning to read, in a classroom created for them, after a busy day's work. 
Scene is from a village in Uttarakhand, India.
Image size: 740x490 pixels



Hiding real feelings behind a happy face. 
This graphic was used on ITB site sometime back.
Image size: 222x185 pixels

October 22, 2013

Indian Top Blogs. Talking about ourselves.

Once in a year or so, we indulge in self-talk. Bear with us, friends, as we need to tell about our changed priorities. Hope, we are able to serve you and the blog-world better.

Now that we have some comparatively free time, we will furiously clear the backlog of detailed review of blogs. Hope, we are able to resume this highly appreciated activity next year.

We have been publishing blog-showcase for some time now. We need to clean the list by looking at old entries. We intend to remove blogs that have not maintained good standards of blogging in the last one year. In future, we are going to be more choosy about which blogs to showcase. We are also going to showcase good discussions and blog-posts more than blogs per se.

A friend has asked whether we intend to upgrade ITB to a higher level. Another well-wisher wants us to monetise it aggressively and offer paid reviews. At present, we are happy with the little way we are able to contribute to the blogosphere. In fact, we'd like a low-profile, high-content lifestyle for ITB with the exception that we'd allow our teammate, Prabhakar, to contribute more on social media by way of discussions and comments - of course, depending on the time he can spare.

We have published some posts on free software and tools. We will keep doing so. We also intend to offer some stock photographs and other types of images for free use by bloggers.


October 20, 2013

October 17, 2013

Facebook friends: fake smiles?

A survey conducted in the United Kingdom reveals that one out of three Facebook account holders don't feel too friendly in real life about their virtual friends! Yet, guys who admit not liking their Facebook friends won't delete them from their 'friends list' because they want to keep updated about such people or they are scared to unfriend them.

October 14, 2013

Why bloggers must have a Facebook or Google Plus account?

Let your blog and social network complement each other

We would advise active bloggers to necessarily have a Facebook / Google Plus account.  Conversely, active Facebook / Google Plus account holders must have a blog.
Why, you might ask.

Well, serious bloggers should legitimately expect that more and more people look at their content. It is more so, in the case of bloggers who want to promote their personal products [e.g. book, research papers]  or monetize the blog by carrying others’ advertisements. For them, just having a blog will not get good amount of traffic unless they are seen by more people. Though SEO and having an offline community helps, there is no substitute for traffic coming from social networks.

People who are active on social networks such as Facebook, Orkut, Google Plus and Twitter need a strong knowledge and resource base so that their visitors take them and their content seriously. Nothing beats a well maintained blog. No social network site matches blogs in this respect, though some platforms have tried to mingle the two [e.g. Tumblr].

Manually carry info across web platforms


October 11, 2013

Common design issues in Hindi blogs हिंदी ब्लॉग डिज़ाइन

Compilation of Hindi blog directory has its thrills and travails. We have talked about the positives of the Hindi blogosphere earlier and in the present post, we'd share some very common design and readability problems we found on Hindi blogs.

We feel bad when we find that many Hindi bloggers ignore some very elementary design aspects and it makes their blogs shabby, unprofessional, kiddish, unreadable... sometimes even ugly and irritating. It is even more pitiable considering that most Hindi bloggers do not spoil their blogs in trying to monetise them, an irritating tendency we see in many English blogs.

Let us show some common design and readability issues by real examples. We have, however, masked the blogs' identity by smudging, blurring or shading some parts. We have given links to posts on ITB on related aspects.

A. The first image has screen shots of two blogs. The main shot shows a large number of elements all around with hardly much real content. The inset is a blog in which the opening screen has nothing but a huge photo.

October 9, 2013

mytalentissowasted

Indian-blog-niraliAwesome Since '92
http://mytalentissowasted.blogspot.in/


'Awesome Since '92' is mostly a personal blog started as a hobby and has grown into a passion. 


The blog is about anything and everything that touches my life. From current issues to fiction, poetry, short stories to photoblogs I do it all. 

A chartered accountant to be by profession but a blogger by choice :)

-Nirali Naik

October 6, 2013

10 tips for high blog authority

If you are a university student, which book would you read – the one recommended by a learned professor or the one you can get cheap from a second-hand book seller? Whose advice would you take for buying a sophisticated gadget – a gadget-guru or a grandpa? 

The short point we are trying to make here is that you seek advice from those with authority on the subject in question. You respect opinion of those you trust.

This applies also to website / blog visitors. If you have a blog with a high perceived authority on a subject, say, ‘water purification’, your blog will be listed high on major search engines and more people will discover it while searching for this subject. And if your content is authoritative and useful, they will visit your blog again and again and recommend it to others. The blog’s authority is likely to rise over time not only because you will continue to enrich it but also because more people will promote it on the web and perhaps in the real world too.

Now don’t tell us, you don’t care for your blog’s reputation. If that were the case, you would not be blogging at all or keeping your blog private to yourself. You might not be blogging to make money out of it, but you still need appreciation, audience, social engagement and feedback. No? And if money making is your primary aim for blogging, you cannot live without high authority.

What we are discussing here is NOT how to add a thousand visitors a day or get the top place in search pages. We are advising that you make your blog valuable; number of visitors will go up without asking for that. In any case, if you are after numbers, we have a question to you: do you want a crowd of casual visitors or people who care for what you say? What type of visitors will give you correct feedback and [if you keep the blog for business] buy your product?

What adds value and authority to a blog?


September 30, 2013

Hindi best blogs directory is out!

We present the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs to you. It has nearly 300 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 Directory of Hindi blogs, we have listed blog aggregators, blogging platforms, and blogs about blogs. We have tried to list only the platforms that do justice with the work they claim to be doing.

हिन्दी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डाइरैक्टरी अब आपके सामने है। इसमें करीब 300 ब्लॉग हैं जिन्हें इंग्लिश की वर्णाक्षरी के क्रम में दिया गया है क्योंकि हिन्दी के वर्ण-क्रम के हिसाब से ब्लॉगों को ढूँढने में अभी काफी परेशानी होती है। पिछली पोस्ट में हमने इस डाइरैक्टरी  में क्या है और क्या नहीं, इस पर अपनी बात रखी थी।  

इस डाइरैक्टरी के अंत में ब्लॉग समूहक आदि की लिस्ट है। इनको भी हमने ध्यान से चुना है आपके लिए।

Since the Directory is quite long, instead of putting it here, we are updating the last year's page, which can be visited at this link: 
Directory of Best Hindi Blogs हिन्दी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डाइरैक्टरी