May 24, 2013

Types of blogs in the best Indian blog directory

In the last post on the process of compilation of blogs for the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, 2012-13 edition, we talked about the range of blogs in the Directory coming out on May 30. In the present one, we talk about the main types of blogs in the Directory.

The content superstar

A large number of blogs in the blog directory are going to have great content: analysis of current topics as well as academic matters; arguments from people agitated over social issues; rants against mis-governance; poems and fiction that move and make you think; good book-reviews; expert advice and guidance; great travel stories and photos; photographs and video of superb technical quality, subject and composition …

The foodie blogger

Don’t blame us for including a good number of cooking and food blogs in the Directory. We don’t have a soft corner for such blogs but what do we do when we find that a significant number of food bloggers maintain their blogs with passion? A good food blogger’s post takes no less than three-four hours to compose, we reckon. It has ingredients, recipe, photos, proper categorization and archiving, and a bit of context. After it is published, it also has comments that often need response. Food blogs, in general, have good design too.

The tech curator blog 

A large number of techies have blogs, often with good design, effort towards SEO and high frequency of blogging. Beyond that, most tend to be mediocre: commenting on new gadgets and apps, tech gossip or copy-pasting expert advice. Still, we picked blogs that had a better design, credible content and/or advice that makes sense (even if not very original).

The encyclopedia of ramblings

Well, this group makes any listing controversial but it IS the group that makes the blogosphere vibrant. It is like the ‘retail investor’ segment of stock market: small but collectively a force to reckon with. The Directory of Best Indian Blog has a large number of ‘personal’ blogs with posts on personal ups and downs, travails of parenting, poems, competition entries, hobbies, sweet nothings…

Almost all blogs in the Directory will fit into one or the other of these general types. Of course, there will be blogs that fall into very niche categories. We’d bring out the category-wise version of the Directory that will have blogs put in one or more specific categories.

Selecting blogs of different types: apples versus oranges!

What makes our task very difficult is selecting blogs of different types. It is worse than selecting the best oranges and best apples; you need to select watermelons, bananas, grapes and mangoes - fruits with different shapes, sizes, taste and aroma. 

We just give one example, that of frequency of blogging. In first glance, it would look very straight-forward. But can we compare the frequency of posts with greatly composed and detailed travelogue and many photographs with those tiny posts telling about one's daily life? Doesn't one original painting a month take as much time as thirty snippets on current affairs? It becomes even more difficult deciding on more subjective criteria such as quality of prose, use of widgets, and relevance and authenticity of advice tendered.

After selecting blogs, we are forced to reject them!

For compilation of the Directory, after we have a short-list of about a thousand blogs, we start the process of rejection rather than selection: we keep on checking blogs for problems and removing those with more problems [e.g. bleeding widgets, high loading time, images picked up from the web without attribution]. As we said in the previous post, content quality remains on our mind even during this process. 

Since we want to accommodate many more blogs in the Directory than our Platinum Rankings, we are less strict with rejection. So please bear with us if you find in the Directory a few blogs that are good in most compartments but not the top-of-the-heap in one or two respects or have a few blemishes.

Finally, we select or reject blogs based on what we find when we visit them. If a marvelous blog did some funny experiment during our selection process, it is likely to be rejected and a blog that was great when we visited it but has subsequently become private or has deteriorated, it might remain in the Directory till we re-check the Directory after a few months.