March 28, 2016

Modi's social media strategy is cunning, efficient, not effective. Agree?

Narendra Modi is no stranger to people interested in how social media is being used by politicians the world over. His media strategy, of which social media is always an important component, is sometimes credited for his landslide win in 2014.
modi-madison-square
Modi at Madison Square, NY


India's current Prime Minister Modi has the second biggest Twitter following among world leaders (after Barack Obama). Unlike Obama, he has almost shunned the traditional media. Journalists have to follow his Twitter account or listen to his long speeches on television for what he says or omits to say. Media  engagement is a no-no in his media strategy, ironic isn't it?

The provocation for our analyzing Modi's social conduct this time is a study by Joyojeet Pal, which was published in the Economic and Political Weekly sometime back and summarised in a press release by Michigan university where he teaches.

Michigan University's current research on Modi

Joyojeet, after analysing 6000 tweets by Modi (from his being a provincial Chief Minister to fighting national elections and after being the Prime Minister), has come to the conclusion that thoughtful construction of messages on Twitter has helped Modi build a powerful online brand.

The study tracks the content of tweets over a five-year period and finds that Modi has emerged as a 'benevolent ruler' whose tweets are now congratulatory and meant to inspire. This has helped in overcoming his problematic past mired in controversies, and emerging as a world leader. 

True, through his carefully crafted statements over the year, with matching actions, he has been able to hide his earlier image under a new, positive, persona. The same media that painted him in black started painting him all white when he fought national elections. What happened? There are many factors that worked in his favor but let's limit this discussion to social media.

Modi's social media engagement is part of his overall branding strategy

If you thought that Modi's tweets or other expressions on the web were/ are responsible for his popularity or direct engagement with the masses, you might be mistaken. Modi is a brand that is nurtured day and night by a multi-pronged branding strategy that has many components. Twitter is just one tool, and a great tool as it is instant and reaches all his followers without any effort.

One important aspect of Modi's strategy is not to interact with media. He meets media on social occasions, allows journalists to take selfie with him, but does not engage them in discussion. If he has to give an interview to a journalist, his team makes sure that he is well prepared to answer structured questions. So, unlike Obama, he does not face the press. The only exception is joint press conferences with foreign heads of states, and there too if a stray question hurts Modi, he answers it on his own terms. 

Despite no media interaction, Modi is everywhere. If he delivers a speech somewhere, no Indian television channel misses taking him live (well, almost always); when he tweets on an important subject, his tweets are seen on newspapers the next day; during crisis on a foreign land, he is there while foreign departments of other world leaders are still juggling with their responses.

The fulcrum of the strategy is to be in control, and to use all possible tools of delivery. 

There are many ways Modi uses the tools rather effectively. Some examples:

TWITTER account: Modi tweets regularly and generally talks aspiration and hope, cooperation, peace and other positive action. He tries to pacify flames when voices in the public domain turn critical of the government or his party on social and cultural issues. Despite provocation from his adversaries, he seldom speaks out on controversial matters in his tweets.

He uses tweets also to congratulate people on festivals and special days. He sends birthday wishes to his colleagues, world leaders, even his adversaries. He tweets to congratulate even his political foes when they win an election or are blessed with a grandchild.

As mentioned earlier, Modi is often the first one to tweet when there is a natural calamity or a terrorist attack. In such times, he shows solidarity, offers help.

His tweets get significantly large number of re-tweets. Part of it might by his back-end team; part through sister accounts (PM Office, other Ministries, I&B Ministry and its organs, party); part spontaneous.

YOUTUBE channel: This is another of his most vibrant social entities. Thanks to DD News, all his videos are of high quality. Most of his speeches are webcast live on his channels as well as the YouTube channel of DD News. His videos are present on many other government channels besides his own, PMO's and DDNews's channels.

WEBSITES, BLOG and FACEBOOK page: All Modi's accounts on social media have become more sophisticated but many would miss his rather good articles on his simple blog before he became the PM. He is promoted relentlessly by various mouthpieces of the government, especially the Press Information Bureau (PR agency of Indian government) and DD News. As one would expect, his social accounts and those of these agencies are cross-promoted to get him high visibility.

TRADITIONAL MEDIA: Though Modi does not interact with traditional media, he knows how to use it well. 

He uses the official media to the hilt, especially DD News, the public-sector television channel. All his speeches and other public events in which he participates are taken live by DD News. Afraid that he might say something that they'd miss, even channels not kind to him do take his events live. 

He is a showman, and so his actions (speech delivery, wearing local dresses etc) are either exaggerated or unconventional or both. Many of his expressions are unconventional and spicy. His jibes on political foes, his claims, his comparisons, his similes - all make him a top audio-visual material that no TV news channel in India can afford to miss. Newspapers and news websites cannot ignore something that is playing the day round on television sets, can they?

When Modi has to say something serious, he gets a statement recorded on DD News. That way too, he says what he likes, with all the punch that he can give to it and without facing questions from the media.

He speaks on the state radio, All India Radio, last Sunday of every month. In this mann ki baat (heart-to-heart talk), he has been talking about topics of everyday life - exam stress, corruption, drug abuse, farming, feeding birds and so on. He encourages listeners to send him feedback and suggestions and responds to them too, creating a feeling among them of his being so near and accessible.

Yet, Modi has seen decline in his popularity, why?

Modi believes in showmanship and is deeply in love with his image. He tries to look larger than life and encourages comparisons between him and great Indian and world leaders. He remains distant while giving the impression of being near. During social functions, he mingles with the public despite great security threat. 

Yet, despite Modi throwing all his weight during some of the recent provincial elections, his party could not win or just scraped through. Opinion polls have shown his popularity declining. There is an impression all around that he is no  longer the charismatic leader that he appeared during 2014 national elections. If he still gets good social comments, there is a growing number that now does not resonate with him. 

A small reason could be performance. All through his pre-PM days, he used rhetoric and exaggeration to prove inefficiency, corruption and other vices in the previous government. He also made tall promises that are almost impossible to fulfill. He can't deliver as per his promises and meet the aspirations that he raised during poll campaigns, for many reasons including federalism, democracy, inefficient bureaucracy, India's complex social web and so on, on which he does not have much control.

But the big reason is the lack of credibility of his communication strategy. Despite all his big ideas and sincere efforts for India's fast growth, he is increasingly being seen as a man who is not sincere about what he is saying. One who is too cunning. A man who suffers from narcissism. A man who wants to be seen on television channels all the time.

Perhaps people would love him being more graceful, a bit sober, a bit human and touchable. Indians - both his fans and critics - would like to let Twitter, YouTube and other tools do their job and let him sincerely carry on his, without ostensibly claiming credit for that.

March 23, 2016

Best fonts for websites

fonts-for-blogs-websites
Many to choose from on Blogger, WP
When you created your website or blog, did it come to you that fonts are an important factor for look & feel and readability of the site? Perhaps not. Even professional web designers do not think beyond serif vs non-serif font issue - except a few.

This post is mostly for you to appreciate the importance of fonts and have general knowledge about these. For web design professionals, this could perhaps act as a reminder.

First, some theory behind using fonts on websites


We take fonts for granted, but they have a personality. With that they either enhance or reduce the overall look and feel of a webpage. The difference might look insignificant but the right font gives a psychic edge to the page; some fonts invite readers, some are indifferent, some repel. This also depends on who the readers are.

Fonts are described in different ways. For example, fonts with flare or little hooks (=serif) at the end of strokes are called serif fonts (e.g. Times Roman) while those without serif are non-serif fonts (e.g. Verdana, the font used here). 

Fonts may be condensed (=tight) or loose and may be much taller than wide. In monospace fonts, all alphabets take the same space (e.g. in Courier, 'm' takes the same space as 'i'). In geometric fonts, the elements of each font are in common geometric shapes (e.g. fully round belly of 'd').

Standard line height and letter spacing also are different in different fonts. Some fonts are intrinsically bold or big or flowing as compared to others. Some fonts have legibility issue especially when set in small sizes; their 'a' might look like 'o' and 'I' like 'l'. All fonts do not respond fine to different screen sizes. Some fonts, when scaled down on mobile phone screens, look jumbled up.

Fonts are grouped into font families. For example, This is one serif font family: Times Roman, Georgia, Rockwell. The fonts of a  family have some common features.

You can manipulate some features of almost every font with a simple code or editing tool. For example, you can make the text bold or italic, put a line across it or underline it, color it in many hues, change line space..

Among the fonts in circulation, the following are reported to be most popular on websites: Lucida Sans, Tahoma, Georgia, Verdana, Arial, Microsoft Sans Serif, Trebuchet, Times Roman, Comic Sans and Courier New. Many of these fonts are free and many more can be procured on payment. 

When you open a webpage on your computer/ device, the browser tries to display the font in which the text is given in the webpage. When it does not find a particular font, it looks for a font of that family if it has been defined in the code of that page. If that too is not available, it looks for a font on the computer that would fit the bill. It is here that you might have unwanted rendering of text if you use a rare font.

What should you keep in mind about fonts on your website/ blog?


The first consideration in choosing the main font is that it must aid readability. Of course there are other factors that aid or hurt readability, but selection of font is perhaps the most important. In general, sans serif fonts read better as they do not have the flare and are fairly uniform in thickness of strokes. For text in posts =body text), is better to go for a common non-serif font such as Verdana. If you like a serif font, go for Georgia but not Times Roman. For body text, do not go for fancy font; but if you want a change, go for Comic Sans MS and not beyond that.

Trebuchet and Helvetica are other good-looking and readable fonts for general blogs. 

Very thin fonts in geometrical type might sometimes look good but do not read well. Condensed fonts or those with less spacing are also not great to read as the alphabets seem to stick to each other. At the same time, more than optimum space between alphabets makes the text uneasy to read.

The font for headings and titles should be either bolder or bigger than the body text. You can choose a thicker font for these. Underlining, capitalizing, italicizing and coloring differently are some of the ways special expressions can be highlighted against the main text. For most bloggers, this should be enough for making all the required variations in text display

Font size is an important factor for legibility of the script as well as readability of long passages. We reckon that in most cases, 14 pixel size fits the bill for body text. 
 
If you are a blogger on a free platform such as WordPress or Blogger, these platforms have a number of fonts available for title, description, links, post headings, sub-headings and post text. On Blogger, you can choose a font through Template> Customize> Advanced and instantly see how the font renders on your blog. 

The font's personality must match your blog's or website's. For example, you should use a formal font if the blog is on a formal subject and use an informal font type (e.g. handwriting or lucid fonts) for a fun/ kid blog. Even on such blogs, limit the use of too embellished or quirky fonts to headlines, some fun words etc and not on the main copy.

Don't use fancy fonts for the reasons given above. These might look good on your computer but might look totally different on others' screens.

Don't generally use too many fonts in the blog and within a single post. Yes, it is good to change font for contrasting a small piece of information (e.g. link anchor). Unless avoidable, don't change font within a sentence, and too often.

Experimenting with fonts on your blog: are you prepared?


Well, if you are bored - as some are -  with the standard webfonts on your website or blog, there are paid as well as free options. We'd not recommend any paid options here as part of our general policy.  It is perhaps not necessary for most blogs to spend dollars on buying fonts when a good numbers are available free.
fonts-in-webdesign
Google throws up thousands of fonts in one click!

Avoid downloading and using free fonts available as '100 Free Fonts' as these might have some hidden cost that you bear by way of malicious code or something similar.

Google has an enormous collection of web fonts, spanning over 500 font families. These are not only websafe, these are easy to implement. If you go to Google Fonts, you'd find these fonts. For choosing the font of your liking (not only English/ Roman/ Latin but many other scripts), it has filters for thickness, width, serif etc. 

Once you choose a font for body text or titles or widgets on Google Fonts, there are instructions on that site on how to implement these. Again, this implementation needs a bit of comfort with tech, and so very novice or tech-fobic bloggers should implement these fonts with due care. 

One area you can experiment with fancy fonts quite a bit either directly or by embedding them in a background image is the blog title. Depending upon the subject of the blog and its readers, you can use fonts with brush strokes, fancy ligature/ flares, slants and so on. You can even copy the target text, edit it on an image editor and then embed in an image or plain background to create stunning title banners.

You may like to visit this post for other text-related aspects: Text display in blogs and websites matters a lot.

March 19, 2016

Should we use Open Live Writer in place of native blog editors?

Open Live Writer is one of the best programs for composing blog posts if we are not satisfied with the native editors of WordPress, Blogger, Typepad etc.

Open Live Writer took shape in end-2015 when the original Windows Live Writer was given away to open source community. The original WLW still exists but Microsoft does not seem to have much inclination to upgrade that.

Right now, users of Windows - versions older than Windows 8 - and Mac may have difficulty in using it. Windows 10 is fine, and Windows 7 / 8 work if it installs (or it may have some issues - if so, don't try it any further on these versions of Windows).

Excellent Features of Open Live Writer

OLW is a great writing tool. It may not be as good as Word in text editing, but it still is better than the native Blogger or WordPress post editors. Among its text tools, it has many more fonts, ease of manipulating text with ‘styles’ and text options, and spelling checker.

Other tools/ functionalities worth mentioning: easy drag and drop of images and videos; built-in image editor; automatic linking for often used links; easy insertion of tables, maps and emoticons.

The OLW is in its infancy but has support of a committed team and community, so it is likely to go past native editors on major blogging platforms who seem to be busy on many things at the same time and barely focused on post editing. OLW team has announced that they would soon come up with plugins for missing actions.

It is reported that OLW generates cleaner HTML as compared to native editors, but we did not find any difference. We’d update if we come to learn more about this from authoritative sources.

OLW not only is an authoring tool, it can send a draft to your native blog account (e.g. Blogger account) or directly publish it.

One big advantage of using OLW in place of native post editors is that OLW saves a copy on the computer itself, so it is great for working offline.

Another advantage over native editors is that you can open more than one account together.

You can download OLW from openlivewriter.org.

A final word on blog post editors

There are many more post editors. We tried some of them before writing this post, and read reports from people using and promoting these. We find that if OLW fits into your system, it is the best offline post editor.

That is its biggest limitation: fitting into your system. At present it works best on Windows 10. So, let's repeat that, users of older Windows versions or Mac cannot use it. It is also not usable on smartphones / through email – at least as of now.

We have seen notable improvements in post editors of both Blogger and WordPress in the last few years. Now they need to add only a few more functionalities to be as good as OLW.

We recommend the following:

Go for the best of both the worlds! Compose the post in OLW and edit it till it is perfect. Take it to the native editor of WordPress / Blogger and make whatever final adjustments you need to do. For example, positioning of images and putting alt tag / caption etc on these would be needed and Blogger’s native editor does that very well. If you have a self-hosted blog, the host must have given you an editor; has it some capabilities better than OLW - if yes, edit the OLW-created-draft on it to refine it to your liking.

March 14, 2016

Why did we stop receiving comments on ITB? What should a blogger really do?

comments-on-blogsTill a few years back commenting on blogs was the in thing. Why not? Blogs were the most interactive public spaces besides forums and communities. When Livejournal, Blogger and Wordpress gave away free blogging platforms, blogging spread fast; since every other person had his ore her blog, the volume of comments on blogs rose exponentially. Some newspaper columnists received many hundred comments on each of their posts.

When a good stream arrives in social media, exploiters come riding on it. So came trolls and spammers. Many with an outright ulterior intention and many with poor understanding of how the social media works.

Then came social networks riding on technologies that delivered content instantly - first text only, then images and audio, then video. These have massively dented the traditional way of commenting. Blogs do still receive valuable comments, but too few and in only some niches.

Should I remove comment box from my blog?

We wrote on this sometime back. We also experimented with Google Plus comments when they claimed it was far superior to the traditional way and it removed spam. We analysed the trend of commenting on personal, group, professional and media blogs. We tracked new social habits of some bloggers previously active on blogs as commenters. We checked blogs in different countries - mainly the US, the UK and India.

Based on our little research, we share this practical advice relating to commenting on blogs:
  • Google Plus commenting is neither here nor there; it is restrictive, it needs many setting changes to decide what is shown and what not, it auto-posts unnecessarily, it takes away control over individual comments. Say 'no' to it unless Google improves it.
  • Retain the traditional comment box at the end of blog posts if you get useful comments. I there are some trolls and spams, handle them (linked posts on comment spamming and trolls if you don't know about these).
  • Retain commenting facility if you are able to check comments and respond to them. If you do not have the inclination to take the comment-discussion forward, you are wasting serious commenters' time and being rude to all such commenters.
  • Consider that if not properly displayed / hidden, comments might add to clutter. A few mindlessly managed newspaper sites hide a major part of post but show a hundred comments, and put off readers.
  • It is even worse when you display age-old comments as 'recent comments' due to either not getting many comments of late or showing a large number of comments. Automated widgets for 'recent comments' also show up abusive comments before you remove them.
  • If you get a lot of spam, useless comments and hateful criticism and abuses, remove the comment box forthwith. If this is only a recent phenomenon, remove comment box temporarily and open it again after a fortnight to see if you are off abusers' radar.
  • Contact with visitors is of paramount importance. So if you have stopped receiving comments, encourage visitors to comment through social shares / on social networks. Show the email ID prominently.Think of a 'contact form' that allows instant emailing without need for opening one's email client. Contact forms come in a variety. Choose a simple one that does not need filling up too many details.
You may like to visit this post discussing the relevance of commenting on blogs.

March 9, 2016

Losers and gainers on social media : Oscars, Chinese baron, Sam Smith...

Leonardo

Oscar gets DiCaprio and more social shares

This year's Oscar awards night had much more social media engagement than that last year. If you think, huge expectation about Leonardo DiCaprio's  finally getting the award was the reason, you might not be totally correct. If that were the reason, television viewing should have risen too, but it was lower than last year. 

Perhaps the spurt in online engagements primarily happened due to other common-sensical factors - that social media is becoming more commonplace every year and that it is interactive and shareable as compared to TV. Yes, it always helps social sharing if there is an added element of intrigue and surprise.

When a domestic capitalist challenges Chinese Communist Party on social media

China is not the home of press freedom and so the spirit of this fighter against power in this country is worth taking notice.

On his vastly popular social account on Weibo (Chinese micro-blogging site, like Twitter), with over 37 million followers, Ren Zhiqiang, a real estate biggie, has been critical of the Communist Party - the all powerful state machinery of China. The latest trigger is the recent visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to state controlled media outfits and then his advise to the media to support party line.

Ren's sharp criticism has let the state machinery come into actions that range from shutting down Ren's social accounts to threats and guided social trolling. He has been called a western stooge, a betrayer capitalist and what not. We are not confident that state action would stop here.


Singer falls silent on Twitter... after singing a wrong tune

Sam Smith, singer, has announced a break from social media. 

Celebrities who bask in the social glory don't take a break for unwinding, spiritual rejuvenation or such other reasons. They are forced to, and Sam is no exception.

When in his acceptance speech, Sam claimed to be (perhaps) the first open gay to have received an Oscar, it generated sharp comments from fans and openly gay people who'd received Oscar before. 


Sam's Twitter page
On his Twitter account, Sam argued his point, then apologized for the slip, and then hung up, saying this: I'm logging off for a while. Some Martinis shaken not stirred are definitely in order.


Unraveling Facebook's Instant Articles

Come April and Facebook will roll out Instant Articles. It is already accepting requests for it and reviewing requests. This latest offer is directed towards brands rather than individuals.

Instant Articles, Facebook claims, would be up to ten times faster than normal webpages on smartphones. That promise is something like the AMP project, isn't it? In that respect, yes, but it is much more restricted in who can create Instant Articles and where these articles can be seen.

What Instant Articles really are: are these something like publishing posts on a blog OR rendering FB posts faster on mobiles

Instant Articles are fast loading versions of articles/ posts available elsewhere on the web. These are specially created in HTML5 and specifically for FB apps on Android devices or iPhones (as of now).

FB is acting smart. As Instant Articles will get part of the traffic that would have gone to the original webpage, it is making it easier for publishers to opt for these. It has rolled out a plugin for WordPress CMS, the most popular free software to create blogs.
 

Wildlife Trafficking using social media

Monitoring by wildlife trade monitoring network, Traffic, shows that in Malaysia, Facebook's closed groups and chats are being used to sell wildlife articles by evading law. The illegal wildlife trade mostly consists of selling wild animals as pets.  This has led to some arrests and a collaboration offer from Facebook for checking such trade. However, this appears to be tip of the iceberg in terms of both - the size of trade and the variety of platforms used. 

The report says:

Traders, especially those intending to conduct their business illegally, are therefore predisposed to seek other, non-conventional methods of sale, such as social media, which provides efficient and private communication channels. The ease and convenience the internet offers benefits traders and buyers alike, particularly because of its minimal outlay for business. They also potentially avoid taxes and the need to undergo any form of scrutiny by complying with regulations, such as  applications for permits and licences.

We keep a watch on developments in social media, and occasionally bring you a gist of major ones. If you like to be updated, do subscribe to our posts by email. You can see here our earlier posts on social media.

March 6, 2016

How we supported blogging in the last six years

Friends, this post is NOT on a blogging aspect but on the 6-year journey of IndianTopBlogs.

Four friends, employed in the fields of journalism, writing and tech, joined hands in 2010 end to support good blogging. We started with reading, experimenting and internalizing, discussing things threadbare and evolving our understanding of how the world wide web works. We wrote on all such subjects, but blogging remained our primary focus. We were also conscious of the fact that while the web was full of advice (not always genuine, of course), non-techie bloggers needed hand-holding.

The www has grown over this six-year period, yet most bloggers still do not seem comfortable with different aspects of blogging. So, we still remain relevant.

BLOGGING CAMPAIGNS AND EXPERIMENTS

ITB circa 2011
We experimented with various aspects and niches; we ran a free advertisement campaign to promote social action, also gave away a few free stock images, carried a few affiliated product ads, added a Q-A widget to answer blogging related questions, supported a campaign to promote cleanliness through blogging, surveyed the [Indian] blogosphere twice for the type of blogs it has, showcased good blogs on ITB, reviewed good free software with bloggers in mind... Most significant of all, we offered detailed review of blogs - and when we closed this offer, we had reviewed over 1200 blogs, all for free. 

We continue to bring out blog directories, review blogs (not in detail), showcase some, discuss blogging, advise on different aspects of blogging and suggest good software. But we have discontinued others.

BLOG DIRECTORIES

We started with making a database of all Indian blogs in English, which swelled to over 60 thousand blogs at one time. We checked each blog and tried to judge their quality based on simple algorithms that we could handle with a spreadsheet. That created numerous contradictions that we couldn't handle, and then removed all blogs that were not being updated at least 6 times a year, then manually checked the remaining blogs. We are able to manage this process and so it continues till date: we check regularity and quality aspects of each of the about 20k blogs in our database plus the ones we discover during the year. Checking of blogs for 2015-16 edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs that comes out on 30th May, '16 is already on.

Initially we had a number of listings, called platinum, gold, bronze and excellent. We've retained the platinum list, which is the creamy layer among the blogs in the directory.
 

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES

Ya, that takes us to social media. We had never been active on social networks but we kept on being active on one or the other platform in short bursts. This gives us a chance to understand the medium more than anything else. With experimentation, we are able to validate or disprove what we read elsewhere. We joined many communities/ forums and some forums too with the same aim, and now are hardly on any community or forum.

ENGAGING WITH FELLOW BLOGGERS

We fervently argue in favor of engagement on social media, but recently decided to remove comment form from ITB as we were being visited by fewer bloggers who engaged meaningfully but more spammers. We have opted for a contact form and are happy with the queries we receive that way.

Though we have been blogging at a steady pace, we've noticed many ups and downs in traffic, comments, social scores, offers for advertisements, etc. Spammers too love and hate us spasmodically.

Many visitors would know that we are on Blogger platform, though with an independent domain name. At times in the past we have discussed whether we should go for an overhauled website/ blog hosted independently, but have so far not found that practical. None of us is leaving the job for full-time blogging yet.

For about five years, our leaning was towards Indian blogs and so we focused on Indian blog directories, showcased Indian blogs, talked more about problems of Indian bloggers, studied Indian blog world. We started the Directory of Best Hindi blogs and had plans to bring out similar directories for blogs in other Indian languages. Now, our focus is universal and so we call ourselves TopBlogs (without Indian) in many places. We now also talk on all aspects of social media, not only blogging.

We recently saw a question on Quora (one of the platforms we are experimenting with at present, and we might persist with it because it allows us to answer questions from bloggers.) wanting to know how much we earn. Frankly, earning has never been our goal and our play with affiliation was mostly for experimentation. We do have one or two AdSense ads but they pay us hardly anything. We get offers for advertisements and other collaborations but have to politely decline as we are unable to accept such offers either due to their terms or our ethical commitment to ourselves or operational issues.

We recall the early days, when we received very bad comments, some doubting our intention and taking us as rogues wanting to dupe bloggers in the name of putting them in our directories. Humans as we are, we felt vindicated when some of the erstwhile critics put our badges on their blogs.

We had a tough time when our group broke for as two of us got busy in their offices. We got two new members, etc etc. Now too, we are four of us. Prabhakar is our oldest member, and our social media face.

We are part techies, but not in coding. When it comes to the social media we find that since technology is growing fast, all are learners. Some excel in content, some are more comfortable with tech, some can do both. We strive to belong to the 'both' category.
 

What keeps us going as bloggers

We love blogging. Since we have chosen it as the very subject of our study and experimentation, the craft associate with blogging interests us immensely. We'd keep loving that.

We can take pride in many things but if we were to choose one, it is our commitment to a very high ethical standard. We have not budged an inch on that, even if we had to forego some (not many) good commercial offers. Even if we are low on traffic, design, money making, regularity, engagement and other parameters you'd judge a blog on, we'd never be low on genuineness and good conduct. 

We have bared our heart. Any comment? 

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