If you are a new blogger or are struggling with a blogging issue, I might be able to help you.
Please send details of your problem to kp.nd.2008@gmail.com. Pl do not make generic queries (e.g. how can I start a blog or why am I not getting traffic on my blog). Please do not spam with many queries.

Big, interesting blogging news!

Donald Trump takes to blogging


This blog is devoted to helping bloggers. However, once in a while - when some interesting events happen on the blogging scene - we are unable to resist reporting them to our visitors.

The ex-US President, Donald Trump was permanently blocked from Facebook last week. Twitter has already taken similar action. So, Trump has taken to blogging!

Donald Trump blog website

You can call the latest web venture of Trump and his political teams a website or even a portal (as they are likely to make it big over time), but it is being maintained as a blog. On a section, Desk, Trump keeps posting vitriolic posts, many times on some days. The blog (or blog section of the website: Desk or 'From the desk of Donald J. Trump') is straightforward but very rudimentary by today's standards: there is no comment box (probably on purpose), no other way of interaction, no website finery. Ironically, it has buttons for posting the content to Facebook and Twitter!

Baloch/ Urdu blogging website closes down


In another development, a blogging platform in Urdu (the official language of Pakistan) has downed its shutters, unable to carry on, as "it has become impossible to run the website with limited financial and human resource". Well, one reason must have been pressure from Pakistani authorities as this platform - Haal Hawal (Current Reference: as translated by Google) was run by Baloch, an ethnicity in constant political fight with the mainstream). 

blogging platform in Urdu

"Hal Hawal was the first Urdu online blogging website from Balochistan, which was launched on May 3, 2016, the International Day of Freedom of the Press, and was named after Irshad Mastoi, the martyr of Balochistan journalism," the blogging site says in its closing statement, "More than 200 writers have contributed in these five years and a total of more than 11,000 articles have been published." 

Recordcast - a simple free screen recorder and video editor

On TopBlogs, we sometimes review software and tools that we find useful for common users (not full-time professionals). All the tools reviewed by us are free or freemium tools.

In this edition, we introduce a free online tool for screen recording and video editing: Recordcast.

What we like about Recordcast is its simplicity: it is intuitive for most of its functions. If you have used any basic software relating to image viewing, audio/ video playing and experimented with their hidden features, you will find Recordcast very simple to use. 

In addition, being web-based, the software is available to you all the time, and anywhere if internet is available. 

At the same time, the software comes with video editing facility, with some useful frills.

So, if you need to regularly record your screen for making tutorials, video presentations, etc and do some minor but repetitive video editing (e.g. removing an unwanted scene from a video or joining videos or adding audio) you will find this software handy.  

It is my duty as a reviewer to tell you in advance that this tool is NOT for advanced users. So, if you are looking for a feature-rich software tool, this is not for you. 

Why is RecordCast a good video editor?

As said before, it is very easy and intuitive. You can carry out all editing on the timeline, usually in a few clicks.

The creators of video editors have a huge dilemma on what to keep and what to exclude: keeping more features makes the app heavy and difficult to use (especially when it is offered online) while removing features reduces its usefulness. Recordcast seems to be a good compromise. 

If you sign up, which is free and a one-click affair, Recordcast stores your edited/ editable files as 'projects' and you can work on an existing project in a new session.

You can add shapes and other 'elements' such as emojis/ emoticons/ geometric figures/ arrows on top of the video. Adding text on video is very easy, and there are many choices of font type and size, placement, etc.

You can put a color background on top or behind the video and have a number of 'overlays' that animate on top of the video.

The most useful and common video editing tasks - split and copy- are there. Of course, you can overlay audio, two or more videos/ audios and join them. 

Unlike some demo versions of free versions of professional video editing software, the exported video comes without a watermark. 

You can save the video in MP4 format in three sizes.

I experimented with earlier recorded video and its own recordings, and found the resultant video OK in quality for the purpose of posting on a website/ blog and other social media accounts.

Why is Recordcast a good screen recorder?

Its recording facility is quite versatile. The screen recorder comes with options to image/ audio/ video from the full screen/ an active window / a webpage. In addition, it can record video from the webcam.

Webcam and screen can be used simultaneously. This feature can be handy for producing screen-based tutorials.

The best part of the app is that its recording and video editing functions are seamlessly integrated. I have found this on some high-end smartphone apps but editing video on a wider screen (tab/ laptop) is much easier. In addition, the app being online, one need not be bothered about the app's maintenance, updating, etc.

free screen recorder and online video editor

Other details about Recordcast

Let me repeat that this is not a professional screen recorder and video editor. But professional software is very costly and one needs to learn a lot of technical aspects to master the software.

The company behind Recordcast says, the videos/ projects created using the software or stored with it are private. However, if a video is shared 'in public mode', that can be visible to the user community of the software, search engines, etc.

As a completely free program, Recordcast cannot provide unlimited resources to a large number of users. So, it comes with some limitations. These should be OK for common users in most cases.  

  • After signing up, you can save 8 projects. Each can be up to 30 minutes.
  • You can record videos of only 30-minute duration. I wish, it was slightly, because those who make tutorials, etc need to record for more than 30 minutes.
  • After editing, you can export the video of up to 1 hour.
  • The files that you use in the video editor have to be below 1 GB in size
  • The video editor supports the following image formats: PNG, JPG, WEBP, SVG, GIF, BMP, ICO; audio formats: AAC, MP3, M4A, FLAC, OGG, WAV; video formats: MP4 (H264), MOV, WEBM, M4V.

Other screen recorders and free video editors reviewed by us

Do not forget to check the review of VSDC (a free professional-grade video editor but rather difficult to master). In the compilation of useful free software, we have a collection of software/ app reviews. You will find ScreenRec (a free desktop-based screen recorder) and some other related software mentioned there. With appreciable features, Recordcast will also find a place there soon.

Disclosure

  • We have not received any monetary or other consideration from the makers of Recordcast.
  • All TopBlogs reviews are based on our experience and for the benefit of readers; they are not influenced by any other consideration.

Updating the Directory of Best Indian Blogs 2021

Hi bloggers, this time the post is addressed specifically to Indian bloggers. 

This is the time we update the directory of top Indian English blogs. We are already on the job of checking Indian blogs in our database and those suggested to us on email after December 2020.

The next edition of the Directory will come out on 15th June, 2020.

If you want to suggest a top-quality blog by an Indian or on India, do contact us at kp.nd.2008@gmail.com with the URL of the blog.

best Indian blogs

If you are an Indian blogger, please ensure that you maintain the blog in good shape, publish good content and keep updating it. We do not charge anything nor do we want you to reciprocate the listing in any way. In listing a blog in the Directory, we are not swayed by your 'success' or how much money you make from the blog.

If you want more about our conditions for listing, please visit this link: submitting a blog to India's best blog directories.

Open link in a new tab - a good practice for websites, blogs

Users prefer to open links in a new tab

When you place a link on your website or blog, it can either open in the same tab, thus replacing the open webpage, or it opens in a new tab or a new window. 

When tabs first appeared on web browsers, they were lapped up by people though they looked annoying to some. And when tabs had become a norm on desktops, came mobile browsing in a big way. Initial mobile phone browsers did present a problem when a link opened in a new tab. 

Some diehard fans of 'single window, single tab' experience still don't like links opening in a new tab but the majority find it a better option.

The older lot also argue that tabs are being abused by many advertisers and therefore should not be there. You by chance hover the cursor over an ad or a text link and it quickly opens the ad in a different tab; not only that, the ad tab opens on top of the genuine tab. But I believe that such obtrusive ads can come in many other ways; only because some are misusing it should not make us shun them.

The main reasons why links that open a new tab are better than those opening upon the open webpage:
  • When links open on a new tab, the reader can keep reading the original article and visit the link (which is staying quietly in a new tab) later.  
  • If the link opens in the same tab, you can come back to the original page by pressing the 'back' button on the browser but that generally takes one to the beginning of the article and not the place up to where one had read the article before clicking the link. 
  • If a link opens on top of the existing webpage, and the reader keeps clicking on links in linked pages, he would forget the content of the earlier pages. This can be confusing and distracting.
  • Many readers do not come back when a new webpage replaces the original one. This diversion leads to visitors leaving the website, thus hurting SEO and monetization.
Links might work slightly differently on mobile devices. While doing research for this article I installed and checked all available browsers on different mobile phones. I found that most browsers have tabbed or single pane browsing as two options available in 'settings'. All new browsers have a small corner where the number of hidden tabs is shown. New mobile browsers are able to handle many tabs as nicely as desktops and laptops.

So, it is a good practice to make the links on your website/ blog open in a different tab. Let's see how we can do that.

Making links open in a new tab, using HTML

Opening of a link in a new tab is a standard HTML attribute to the LINK tag. If you don't know ABC of linking and are curious about what it means, let me explain:

All web pages (including blog posts) are rendered in the standard web language called HTML even if you use a different language to create web pages on the website or blog. When you want a particular word or picture to link to another web page, you insert the following tag in the HTML code of that page:

<a href "linked page URL" >text which becomes linked</a> 

[The text written in blue has to be replaced with actual expressions.]

Now, you want this link to open in a new tab. You only have to add target="_blank" within the HTML tag. 

Let me give you an example of a link that opens in a new tab:


I opened the HTML of this post on the post editor of my blogging platform (i.e. Blogger) and at the location above pasted the following expression:

<a href "https://www.indiantopblogs.com/p/blogging-for-beginners-starting-blog.html" target="_blank">Tips for beginners and new bloggers</a> 

What it has done is that it has written the words 'Tips for beginners and new bloggers' and linked them to the webpage on IndianTopBlogs website that talks about tips on starting a blog, etc. for new bloggers. When a visitor clicks on it, it opens the linked webpage in a new tab on his browser.  

Blogger and Wordpress give this option of opening a link in a new tab in the post editor and page editor. You select the words and click on the tool to provide the hyperlink. In that tool, there is an option to open the link in a new tab. You just have to check it. 

If your blogging platform or site builder software does not have this option, just add target="_blank" within the hyperlinking tag (<a></a> and there you are! 

I have given below the page source of a blog post with two hyperlink tags highlighted. Note the "target=_blank" attribute at the end of <a> tag.


open link in a new tab

For those interested in more details about opening a link in a new tab:

The target attribute can also be used with images and areas (as part of image maps).

In case of images, target is part of <a> tag itself. <img...> has to be placed within <a> and </a> to make it hyperlinked, like this:
<a... target="_blank".. >
<img...>
</a>

If you want to make parts of an image hyperlinked, the target attribute is to be within <area> as follows:
<img...>
<map>
<area 1... href...target="_blank"...>
<area 2...... target="_blank"...>
</map>

Updating the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs

 Friends,

As you'd know, Top Blogs has been bringing out the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs since 2011. Every year, we also check the Directory for some general parameters during our mid-year review and remove blogs that fail to meet our selection criteria. We also keep finding new blogs of good value and adding them to the list of top Hindi blogs during this review. 

This mid-year review of the listing this year has resulted in the addition of 4 blogs and the deletion of 18. An interesting discovery this year has been that though, in English, we found many bloggers stopping to write due to Covid19, in Hindi nearly all regular bloggers continued to contribute to their blogs. That shows the resilience of serious Hindi bloggers.

At the link, you can visit the updated directory of top Hindi blogs 

top Hindi blogs in 2021