August 26, 2015

What is the future of Indian English blogging?

What will Indian English blogosphere look like in 2020, 2025, 2030?

Can we really answer this? No. Because information and communication technologies (ICT) have been taking unexpected turns now and then, making almost all predictions wrong. Yes. Because what we are doing is analysing trends of the past and present, and constructing a possible scenario if no 'disruptive' developments take place.

We'd start with a bit of bragging, and you must forgive ITB team for this. We at Indiantopblogs have looked broadly at no less than 60,000 Indian blogs and a few thousand non-Indian blogs. We have also minutely seen the working of over 5,000 blogs year after year. To top it all, we have reviewed over a thousand blogs in detail and done a quick review of another 300 blogs. So, without doing a survey based on responses or that based on Alexa ranks, Google PageRank and page views, we can claim to know the pulse of Indian blogosphere more than others. Bragging ends here.------>|
A likely scenario of social media growth
over the next 10 years

Let's present our take on the future of Indian blogosphere in brief points here. You'll find logic behind these in our other posts in this series (linked at the bottom of this post).

  • Indian English blogosphere will keep growing for at least a decade, unless a new form of self-expression evolves in the meantime which is equally versatile and has long-term value (as compared to instant media and social networking platforms). This, even if we consider blogging in its narrow meaning. (Please see the next point on who is a blogger.)
  • The growth of blogging will be marginal in quantitative terms. It might be almost flat in terms of percentage growth because of availability of more instant and short-form media. Yet, many more blogs will keep taking birth than those die or lie in coma. 
  • New growth will come mostly from new young entrants, many of whom will experiment with earning money from blogging. Rising internet penetration through mobile phones will boost social networking, some blogging and a small bit English blogging.
  • The trend of opening one or more blogs and closing a few or all of them after a short period will continue as long as free blogging platforms are available.
  • The concept of who is a blogger is also changing. When the mainstream media and general public talk of bloggers these days, they include users of Facebook, personal websites and possibly collaborative and anonymous blogging platforms such as Medium, i.e. any webspace that allows you to share your long-form writing.
  • Indian blogging is becoming individualized rather than collaborative. Bloggers' engagement has not increased over the years and they feel more and more confident without clutches of forums and communities (other than those useful for getting help and advice).
  • While the trend stated in the point above strengthens, most personal blogs by Indians will continue to have lots of mutual appreciation by way of comments and blogrolls. We believe that this is not because of lack of confidence in blogging as a medium but the human hunger for approbation as Dale Carnegie discovered a century back.
  • As new bloggers will be more technology-savvy than their earlier generations, experiments with new blogging techniques will increase and that would lead to better technical quality of blogs.
  • Indians will remain 'the talkative Indian' (as described by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen), and the preponderance of personal blogs and blogs with comments on current political and social affairs will stay forever.
  • Efforts towards monetisation will grow very fast in the coming years as brands see the potential of bloggers as influencers. Young, tech-savvy, entrants will be the main drivers of this trend.
  • All these trends will go haywire if Google or Wordpress.com were to stop their free services. Even charging a dollar (or Rs. 60) a year will decimate the Indian blogosphere while it may only marginally impact the western blogospheres.

Articles in this series:
1. How active and influential are Indian bloggers?
2. What is the future of Indian English blogging? (present one)
3. Are Indian bloggers so much worse than American and European bloggers?
4. Are Indian English bloggers relevant for brands and advertisers?
5. Indian bloggers don't want money; brands say, small blogs of no significance