Hindi best blogs directory: what's there in it? हिंदी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डायरेक्टरी में है क्या?

A short take on how we are compiling the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs


We started with collecting as many Hindi blog links as possible and in about six months ended up with around 4000 blogs in our database. We shortlisted the blogs, based on a simple algorithm that gives values to a number of parameters. We subjected these blogs to detailed filtering for content, design and regularity, and simultaneously kept looking at the links on the blogs that we were surveying: blogrolls, entries in aggregators, comment links, multiple blogs, community blogs… This exercise landed another 3000 blogs. We left it at that since it bloated our database with hardly any good blogs showing up.

Left with around 1800 blogs, we scrutinized them all for many parameters, sometimes visiting a blog twenty times over. We are now left with around 600 blogs; most of these blogs, except the top 50, suffer from many infirmities [given in the second section, below]. We have tried to find blogs that have high quality in terms of content, design, navigation, regularity and interactivity, with as few infirmities as possible. At the end of this effort, likely by 29th evening, we’d have included all such blogs about which we have a consensus in our team that they are among the best blogs in Hindi.

Forgive us, friends, for not being ruthless in this first edition of the  Directory of Best Hindi Blogs [out on 30th November, 2012] and do tell us if you find some undeserving blogs in the Directory. You can do so by making a comment on this or any subsequent post if you have a view on the Directory or its entries; but if you want to be abusive, do use this email link because on ITB we won’t be able to publish comments with too hard-hitting a language: kp.nd.2008@gmail.com. We’ll have one or two minor updations based on your feedback, before we update the directory thoroughly around May 2013.

Kindly forgive us also for being judgmental and immodest about our views on what constitutes ‘the best blog’. We feel humble looking at some top quality blogs in the Directory – blogs that do not need our certification. 




What we included and what not, in compiling the Hindi blog directory

 

  • We have not included blogs that have not been updated since 15th August 2012. Blogs that have no updates in any 3 months out of the first 10 months of 2012 have also been rejected.
  • Blogs with obviously poor content, inappropriate content and abusive language have not been taken.
  • Blogs with amateurish experimentation with design, too many pop-ups, too many widgets that don’t open, and no consideration for blog’s length and width have been demoted.
  • The number of comments on a post has not been considered for the purpose of inclusion in the Directory.
  • We must admit that we tend to overlook other issues when we spot a blog with high quality of content. Examples of what types of blogs we have taken because we found that these blogs excel despite these issues: one top blog has a label list of over 500, another one has home page with only one small post but a hundred links in the sidebar, a blog has font in myriad hard-hitting colors. A blog analyzing current social issues with elan has a few matra problems. Some otherwise good blogs have too much of ‘I’ and ‘me’ content.This being the first edition, we have ignored all such issues.
  • Blogs have not been demoted for very long blogrolls and blogrolls with sleeping / dead entries unless this badly affects the blog’s overall appeal.
  • We have ignored non-attribution of graphic and audio-material, but we had to reject blogs in which copied matter constituted the core content and the matter seemed to be used without permission.
  • Blogs in which others’ matter has been copy-pasted for the purpose of review/ critique are not rejected.
  • We have also compared individual blogs against standards expected within a particular category, so that we don’t end up comparing apples with oranges. Due to this, many poetry-alone blogs have lost to blogs of the same genre that had superior design, navigation, variety, regularity, etc.
  • When a blogger has many excellent blogs, we have accommodated more than one blog. In future, we intend to include only one blog of a blogger.
  • We have taken blogs on Hindi blogging platforms [e.g. jagranjunction] only when individual blogs have been given a sensible name and not a numerical ID. In the case of blogs on such platforms, we have not judged individual blogs for design and navigation.
  • We have taken multiple-author-blogs [ marked in the directory as community blogs], but not e-magazines. Blog aggregating websites, blogging platforms and blogs that primarily discuss other blogs’ content have been categorized separately.

This article has been retained as it gives historical perspective on blogging in Hindi, and how the compilation of the directory of top Hindi blogs was started by TopBlogs. For the latest listing of best Hindi blogs, kindly visit the link.

The world of Hindi blogging: our detailed observations हिंदी ब्लॉगिंग के संसार में हमने क्या पाया?

This post has been updated in 2018 end. The historical perspective and facts of 2011 are retained while links and obsolete information has been updated.
 
Now that we are in the last leg of compilation of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs, we present before you our detailed observations on the world of Hindi blogging.

Like they say in journalistic parlance, we can get major details on a news event by asking 5 W’s and 1 H [what, who, why, when, where and how], we’ll try to share our findings in that manner, answering the first question here and the rest in one or two next posts.

ITB’s is perhaps the only team that has manually checked over 35,000 blogs, examined a quarter of them for specific attributes and reviewed nearly 600 blogs in fine detail. We tend to be very nasty in our comments when we review blogs. However, in these two posts, we will avoid sharp value judgments or advice.

What types of blogs are there in the Hindi blog world? What is written on Hindi blogs?


In blogging, Hindi-speaking people seem to have found a revolutionary medium of self expression. Since blogging is free, simple, unfettered and almost limit-less, the author within a guy can express himself the way he likes, without an editor looking down upon him with professional arrogance and dumping his creation in the slush-pile. This perhaps explains why a significantly large proportion of blogs in Hindi are on poetry and free-style discussions on myriad themes in one’s surroundings – the physical world, the society, the chaos, the issues of mis-governance. Out of the over 5,000 Hindi blogs in our database now, nearly 4,000 relate to creative self-expression and free-style commentary. 

There are, understandably, not many blogs on technical matters, photography, stock market and western music, but for some reason there are very few blogs on beauty and fashion, DIY & craft, food, art and culture and social cause. One another big miss is quality children blogs. We had expected many blogs helping Hindi speakers with English, but found only a few. On the other hand, there are far too many blogs on literary discussion, compilation of classic poetry and ghazals, and religion. A good number of bloggers indulge in spreading ancient wisdom - and self-righteously add to it their own - and preach ad nauseum on worldly as well as ethereal matters.

Anything special about the content in Hindi blogs? – you might ask. Yes, quite a few.

One, the ubiquitous blogroll. Nine out of ten Hindi blogs have a blogroll on the blog. Many bloggers who themselves are very regular and popular, and also write good content, have put long blogrolls with links to blogs that have not been updated for many years, have been taken off or have died over time. One regularly updated blog has a blogroll in which there are two blogs with no post at all! Do pick up a popular Hindi blog and check the entries of its blogroll; chances are that you will find many irrelevant and sleeping blogs in it.

Two, unattributed graphics and video. We found a large number of Hindi blogs with photographs taken straight from the web without even an attribution to the source. Even audio and video [especially ghazals and movie songs] are copy-pasted with no regard for copyright issues.

Three, great commenting culture. Hindi bloggers comment a lot. As is universal in blogging, this gets bloggers a lot of return comments. A number of blogs generate good, sometimes amazing, discussion on current topics. Many regular and popular blogs have threads of discussion that run into over a dozen responses.

Four, matra and other spelling blunders. Hindi bloggers have to grope with matras - little ligatures - which go crazy if one is not careful. Some bloggers also make grammatical and spelling mistakes, but such mistakes are fewer than those in English blogs by Indians.

Five, different shades of Hindi, and regional flavor. Hindi being the mother tongue of the majority in at least ten states in India, people write different shades of Hindi [It’s no brainer that khari boli happens to be the most prevalent]. Together with it come the local icons: Kanha in Braj, Ganga in eastern UP and Bihar, hills in Uttarakhand… Some bloggers have passionately been writing about their region, city, caste and other identities.

Six, blog-design aspects. Hindi bloggers are as good or bad in blog design as their English counterparts, e.g. matters relating to readability, navigation, placing of widgets and page-length. When it comes to experimenting with colors, fonts etc, Hindi bloggers seem to be more passionate than their English counterparts, generally speaking. Many Hindi bloggers use very intense colors.       

Seven, vulgar self-praise or self-promotion in many popular blogs. Because of their perceived expertise in, and success with, blogging, many popular Hindi bloggers tend to go overboard in promoting themselves. We mention it here as this show off often reduces the overall quality of their blogs. We’ll talk  about other aspects of this conduct in some later post.

You can read all ITB posts on Hindi blogging here. The second post on observations on Hindi blogging is here.

India's best celebrity blogs


A large number of bloggers with a sound grounding in polity and politics, business and economy, justice and security systems and the society do enrich the Indian blogosphere. It is heartening that many of their posts generate a good debate around various topics. Some important media organizations have their own blogging platforms, and their editors / reporters / columnists / experts contribute regularly on these blogs. Add to these other serious blogging platforms / aggregators and their bloggers.

Another category of bloggers who drive good traffic to their blogs and generate good level of discussion are celebrities in various fields, e.g. politics, television and cinema. Among celebrities, we noticed that many  start blogging but either stop it altogether or do so infrequently. It could be a coincidence, but we have found that usually the celebrities who are serious about their profession are usually serious bloggers too – it is a different matter that some of them might be engaging ghost-writers.

Now, we have had a problem in ranking this class of bloggers. After eliminating the non-serious ones, it was difficult to select the best 5. For example, how do you compare between the top columnists of a leading newspaper who use their newspaper’s blogging platform – there is absolutely no difference in their designs, and they all write good prose, are experts in their own areas, write regularly and get a good number of comments.

Another, and opposite, problem relates to comparing these blogs with other blogs. The columnist / political celebrity bloggers usually choose a very functional platform and do not have to bother about design, visual appeal, linking, sprucing up with relevant display elements and so on. Yet, their content is so compelling that these blogs can’t just be neglected.

With these constraints in hand, we had to devise a balanced approach – to select up to 5 blogs in these sub-categories: blogs by columnists / journalists on media platforms, blogs by columnists / experts on other platforms, blogs by celebrities. We are tooth-combing each of the selected blogs for many more parameters such as engagement with commenters, selection of topics and writing style.      

We also had problem with blogs whose posts were a replica of a columnist’s column elsewhere. Yet, we had to let such blogs in as these arguments outweighed other considerations. Look at this one: Good columnists write syndicated columns and once you let them in, how can you eliminate columnists who post the same content in their print column and their blog?  In addition, the content is their own, not copied from others’ writings, and the blog is just an extension of their regular writing, and it also allows for reader response.

We had to reject good blogs belonging to one popular organisation as its platform didn’t have good way to  categorize content and proper archives. Moreover, the blogs opened with a promotional audio. A big media-house does not give a proper identity to its bloggers and the posts become part of the platform itself – we were forced to filter out such blogs, though sometimes with great content.

So, here we are: a select few blogs from clelbrieites and colunists in the Indian Blog Ranks. Rich picking!

PS: It is the job of columnists and journalists to weigh others in their balance and it is the rare privilege of celebrities to say whatever they like and get away with it. Ranking them was, indeed, helluva job.

The best Indian IT blogs


 By now, we have thoroughly examined blogs on a number of niche areas such as food and cooking, finance and economy, travel, photography, movies and music, and current affairs. One important category of blogs happens to be those on Information Technology. This is special because most of IT bloggers are much more familiar with technology than other bloggers. They know not only coding, they have also often got education and training on other web matters. Leaving aside a few, all IT related blogs score high on design and navigation aspects. This has made our task quite difficult in selecting the best five blogs.

Too much familiarity with tools and technology can be a drag too. The adage ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ seems to apply to many IT blogs and websites. Their focus on web-design and content – and the hurry to monetize the content – often leaves the reader out of focus. Ironically, in the long run, this has started telling on the quality of content and design in some erstwhile excellent IT blogs. We were constrained to keep out many blogs that have overdone this from the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, leave alone the Platinum Ranks.

Well, you have been bearing with us for so long; so let us keep the final list of IT Rankers to ourselves till June 30th, when the Indian Blog Rankings for 2011-12 are published.

The Best Indian Food Blogs

The Indian Blog Ranking exercise is on for the last 45 days. After screening blogs on a number of paprameters, we are now examining blogs in different categories in detail. We started with food blogs, going by  the small number of such blogs. We’d thought that it would be the easiest section to finish. 

food-picture
We are thoroughly stumped by the richness of these blogs, and the dedication of these bloggers to not only the craft of cooking but blogging too. A large number of food bloggers have taken care to keep their blogs regularly updated and to reply to readers’ comments, categorise recipes, give detailed cooking instructions, illustrate them with a series of photographs, and also keep their passion largely non-monetised. 
While we are deeply satisfied that the five food blogs that we have finally selected are the best-est-est of the food blogs available on the Indian blogosphere, we are also sad that we had to leave out some great blogs – with some aspects even better than some of the selected ones. The last stage competition – among the top dozen blogs – was so hard that we had to dissect each blog for no fewer than 30 attributes. The only things we didn’t check were the culinary skills of the blogger and the taste of the food presented. Well, none of us is a foodie or a chef or a grandma.

Allow us to keep the final list to ourselves till June 30th, when we’d come out with the Indian Blog Rankings for 2011-12.