June 4, 2013

Indian Top Blogs: Frequently asked questions about directory etc

Not many questions have been asked this time after release of the latest edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs. However, we ourselves felt the need to clear air about our listings etc by updating FAQs.

1. Are you honest when you say, you don't charge or expect something in return for a blog's inclusion in your listings?
ITB does not charge for any listing. It also does not seek any favor of any kind. If you want to see our stand on  that, you can see this post on our ethical commitments

2. Why do you mark your directory etc as 2012-13 instead of 2013?
It is because we come out with our listings around middle of the year.

3. I have applied for blog review / blog showcase. Do I need to submit the blog also for inclusion in the Directory?
No. Your blog has already been seen by us if it was submitted by 30th April. We'll keep visiting blogs submitted to us for review and showcase, and those suggested to us through comments or email.

4. Will you include my blog in the Directory even now if it meets your terms?
Why not? We are open to inclusion of high quality blogs in the Directory whenever we spot them. However, updating the Directory on a daily basis is not possible. We will be able to do a major update only after we have finished Ranks and the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs, and that might happen in November-December '13.

5. My blog was there in the last edition of the Directory but is not there now. Have you changed your selection criteria?
Do have a look at this old post on selection criteria for the blog directory. Does your blog meet these criteria? Whether your blog was there in earlier edition(s) of the Directory or not, we looked at all blogs afresh for the current Directory.

6. My blog is there in the Directory and yet in your review of the blog you have listed out many problems. Do you apply different standards for blog review?
As mentioned in this post on blog directory compilation, we tend to ignore some blemishes if the blog is good as a whole. 
We tend to be very uncharitable when making a detailed review. We hope, that helps bloggers much more than praising the blog or making off-the-cuff remarks.
One of our next posts will be on the specific shortcomings we noticed on Indian blogs. [More details in FAQ-15 below]
7. My blog has been showcased on ITB website but is not in the Directory. Why?
Blog Showcase is meant to display good blogs and let their owners talk about their best features. We showcase even very new blogs, blogs in other languages, foreign blogs and websites maintained blog-like. We are stricter in the case of Directory and even more strict for Ranks.

8. Though my blog is not listed in the Directory, the blog of a blogger friend is there. I consider my blog much better in design and content than hers. 
We have tried to be as fair as is humanly possible. Have you checked all the blog selection criteria mentioned in the post mentioned in FAQ-5 above? If you strongly feel that we have made an error of judgment in your case, do write to us at kp.nd.2008@gmail.com.

9. Can you help improve the layout of my blog? Can you guide how I can improve a photo? Should I go for Wordpress or Blogger? Can you do this for a fee? Can you suggest a web designer who’d help me with designing my blog professionally? Can you suggest an SEO expert?
We are not in a position to guarantee that we’d respond to each specific request, though we try to respond to emails with specific requests, when time permits.
We keep guiding bloggers on many aspects including improving photos. You can click at this link to see all our blogging guidelines and tips.
We don’t charge fee for the work that we do. We can’t recommend a web designer too; that is beyond our ethical boundary, as mentioned in FAQ-1.

10. Can I see reviews of some blogs for my guidance?
No, that’s private. However, if a blogger passes on our review to you or places it on his / her blog, you are free to use that.

11. Do you mind sharing the raw data captured by you during compilation of the Directory?
No way. We also request marketing firms not to ask us for this.

12. You have written in the disclaimer about what should one do if one wants to get his blog removed from the Directory. Does anyone really do that?
Till now, no one has asked us to remove his / her blog from the Directory.
We have made this offer for three reasons:
One, some people might really not need publicity to their blog so that they are not disturbed by too many visitors.
Two, a blogger might have the feeling that his / her blog is too important for the ITB Directory. Someone may feel slighted that his blog is placed next to a blog of a lower standing. If the blogger does not want his blog in the Directory for any reason, we feel that both the Directory and the blogger are losers. We are here for a win-win game, not the other way round.
Three, we offer this to bloggers who suspect our intentions. When we published the first edition of the Directory, some bloggers did write on the web that we should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some even took offence to our sending them an email to announce inclusion of their blogs in the Directory. [We understand their cynicism. We are happy to share that some of them later wrote very flattering emails to us and a few even have ITB badge on their blogs! We’re humbled by their kindness.] 

13. How do you categorise blogs for the category-wise listing of blogs?
We try our best to accommodate blogs in their proper place(s) in the category-wise listing of blogs. Since a blogs can relate to many genres, we include such a blog in more than one category. If you want your placing to be reviewed, do write an email to us; just give reasons why you feel otherwise.

14. When will you release the Platinum Rankings? What criteria do you use for selecting blogs for that?
We plan to bring out the rankings on 15th July. Please have a look at this post on selection of blogs for rankings, published last year.

15. What problems did you see in most Indian blogs? Why don't you list them out so that bloggers can benefit from them?
We already have posts on this. But this time, we will come out with a more comprehensive list of 'blemishes' that reduce the quality / usability / interactivity of blogs. Though this list will be based on our experience with Indian blogs, such short-comings are universal.
We cannot review all the blogs submitted to us, though we try our best, so do have a look at that post and try to address them in your blog.

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