Common web design issues in Hindi blogs हिंदी ब्लॉग डिज़ाइन में खामियां

updated in October 2018

Compilation of Hindi blog directory has its thrills and travails. We have talked about the positives of the Hindi blogging scene earlier; in the present post, we'd share some very common web design and readability problems we found on Hindi blogs. 

We feel bad when we find that many Hindi bloggers ignore some very elementary web design aspects and it makes their blogs shabby, unprofessional, kiddish, unreadable... sometimes even ugly and irritating.

Let us show some common web design and readability issues by real examples. We have, however, masked the blogs' identity by smudging, blurring or shading some parts. We have given links to posts on ITB on related aspects.

A. The first image has screen shots of two blogs. The main shot shows a large number of elements all around with hardly much real content. The inset is a blog in which the opening screen has a huge photo and the link to main blog is hidden at the bottom - and this is not a photoblog.

Web design of Hindi blogs
ITB's view: Don't clutter the blog. Give prominence to the main content. Show up the best or the most current content in the top 10 inches of the blog.
For advice on these matters, you can visit these ITB references: 

B. In the image below, the top screen shot is a post supposed to be in Hindi but when it was posted by the blogger on the blog in native font, it became abracadabra. The lower [red] text is a part of the huge label list at the bottom of a blog. The text [blue] in the right column is a portion of a massive label list in a sidebar.

Hindi blog design
ITB's view: In Hindi blogs, use Hindi in Devnagri script and in Unicode font, not Roman script or native fonts. Use labels wisely; when the label list is too big, it not only loses its utility it badly clutters the blog.

ITB detailed tips on using labels/ tags/ categories: use labels effectively   

C. Have a look at the screen shots of text as it appears on two blogs. These shots show spelling errors or matra issues, indicated with arrows.


ITB's view: Before you push the 'publish' button for a post, have a final look at grammar, punctuation [especially the usage of ending marks and indentation] and matras [especially कि/ की and bindu as in है/ हैं ].

Hindi blog designs
D. The next image is a collage of four columns taken from different Hindi blogs. Note the first one: it has a thin columns that cannot even list the month-wise archives properly. There is a widget under it [a red arrow pointing at it], which does not open as it cannot be accommodated in the column. In the second one, the sidebar is comparatively wider but is so much filled with text that you cannot comfortably read it. The third shot [dirty yellow] has a sidebar hanging beyond the main content and the blog's bottom is full of badges and an empty looking social widget. The fourth one has enormous blank space [grey] and a few links and widgets scattered here and there. 

ITB's view: We have seen very long and thin sidebars in a large number of Hindi blogs, including those listed in the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs. Sometimes the sidebar hangs down much beyond the main content. We advise that you keep a decent width to the sidebar(s) and keep only those widgets in the sidebar which add value to your blog. Do not over-stuff the sidebar(s) with text and long lists.
Many bloggers stuff long text and long lists, blogrolls, badges etc in the sidebar which makes the blog look unkempt and childish. Widgets that do not open or go beyond the sidebar also spoil the looks. Blog's bottom is not a sink or dustbin; it should be kept neat and clean, and it should be used purposefully. 
ITB reference on good use of widgets/ plugins: using widgets with impact  

good web designs for Hindi blogs
E. This collage has three parts. The top left screen shows a huge popup covering the entire page. The rectangle below it shows a post that is an image of the blogger's article published in a magazine, which is not readable. The third shot, in blue, is an example of (i) text that is unreadable due to poor contrast between the text and the background (i.e. black text on dark blue background), and (ii) long sidebar that goes on and on.   

ITB's view: Pop-ups are OK if they serve a purpose, for example, asking the visitor for some action that will help him in some ways. Even there, pop-ups should not be too big and should go away if the visitor does not take any action in 5 seconds or so. 

Use scanned images for text only when it is unavoidable. 

Web design issues in Hindi blogs
F. The collage above has four screen shots. Look at the readability of each of these portions: light blue text on green; black on blue; light text on background that has text and also nearly the same color value as that of the text; and [at the right bottom] text and background of almost similar color.

ITB's view: Text is there to be read, so do not ignore text color in relation to the color of the background. Avoid experimenting too much with text coloration. [More on this after image 'G'.]

ITB has a detailed post with tips on how to choose text color for blogs and websites: taking care of text colour  

Color on Hindi blogs
  G. This picture is even more interesting when it comes to reading and use of text colors. Look at the top pink bar and notice how the text becomes unreadable because of wrong choice of colors. In the two left columns, do you notice the use of bright green, pink, cyan, orange and yellow colors? 

Have a look at the Chrome warning. Your visitors are likely to get such warnings if you put on your blog links and widgets that have malicious code. Will a visitor getting such an alert visit your blog again?

ITB's view: Let us repeat that being playful with colors is OK, but we should not take too much liberty with TEXT colors. Whether in text or otherwise, avoid using garish colors, especially the primary colors - red, green, yellow and blue. In blogs and websites that has a large amount of text content, one should use a sober color scheme in which text is eminently readable. 

Text should also not attract attention to its looks such as curious font, variations in text size, and too bright and gaudy colors.

We have a detailed post telling us how much is too much when using colors on blogs/ websites: when a blog is too gaudy.

Well, we have talked recently about the risk of putting malicious code on the blog. This is not a design issue but we put it here to illustrate that widgets must be chosen with care. You can visit this ITB references if interested in knowing about bad code that can hurt your blog: beware of harmful code     

Other annoying issues we found on Hindi blogs: 
  • Use of too small or too big text.
  • Too big footers after each post, giving details of other blogs of the same blogger etc.
  • Use of photos of sizes that are too smaller or bigger than the width of the column in which they are put.
  • Childish use of text inside title images.

यह पोस्ट अंग्रेजी में है, लेकिन चूंकि ज़्यादातर बातें चित्रों के माध्यम से समझायी गयी हैं, हमें आशा है कि हिंदी के ब्लॉगर्स उनका लाभ उठा सकेंगे. हिंदी के बारे में पोस्ट हिंदी में नहीं लिख पाने के लिए हम क्षमा चाहते हैं.

What is in the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs हिन्दी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डायरेक्टरी में होता क्या है?

Year after year, the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs comes as a bouquet of blogs of various hues. Blogs on social topics, poems, religion and spirituality, literary history, personal musings and what not. The bouquet is as rich as the Hindi blogging world is: a blog by an 83 year old grandpa and one by a kid; a blog by a professor and one by a village boy lost in a metropolis; a police office updating people about its activities and an NGO seeking people’s cooperation… [Do look at these posts on what the Hindi blogsphere looks like.]

We’ll leave the variety aspect here, and use the present post to discuss a more touchy aspect - quality.

We must admit beforehand that the Directory has some blogs that are so good, you silently salute the blogger for his passion, wisdom, aesthetic sense  and hard work. But if we picked up only such blogs, we’d end up with a listing of not more than a dozen blogs. We did this exercise for English blogs and brought out a directory of best-of-the-best for many years but it had started shrinking and lost its purpose and so we discontinued that. We don't intend to do that in the case of Hindi blogs.

So, the question arises, where do we draw the line?  We have shared our dilemmas in the last post on the subject; let’s tell you how we resolved them.

Knowing the problem Hindi web writers face relating to typing in Indian scripts, we have been liberal regarding मात्राs. Since most Hindi bloggers never had a chance to learn design and have been living in small towns and are influenced by local use of colors and design, we have ignored minor design issues too. When the content is good, we have ignored other aspects of blogging craft too. But when there are too many such blemishes in a blog, we are forced to take the blog off the listing.

For the benefit of Hindi bloggers, we have come out with posts on design issues in Hindi that can be avoided.

In deciding the quality of content, we do not go strictly by the literary quality. We give high value to the standard of language, the quality of discussion it evokes and the social purpose of the blog. In doing so, we have to filter out blogs that promote obscurantism, hatred and personal attacks. We also feel, the Directory is better without blogs with too much self praise and in which parents write superficial stuff, posing as kids. We have also removed blogs -though good in quality - in which we found malicious content in widgets.

The Hindi world of blogging is full of collective blogging and multiple blogs by the same person. We have tried to pick up the best blog among multiple blogs by a blogger. We have no issues when a blogger has one blog but also contributes to collective blogs, but when he uses the collective blog to further himself, we have taken the collective blog as his own blog and taken only one of his blogs.

Hindi blogging is rich in literature. Though there are blogs on literary discussions, book reviews, literary history and original story-telling, poetry is the dominant genre. Please don’t blame us if you find many poetry blogs in the Directory.

Finally, our warm regards and best wishes to bloggers. Hope, in this Directory we have been able to present the best of Hindi blogging. If you, a discerning visitor, find that we have gone wrong in assessing a worthy blog, or included an undeserving blog, do guide us – and we’ll recheck our facts.

best Hindi blogs


हिन्दी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डाइरैक्टरी में क्या है और क्या नहीं

क्षमा कीजिएगा, हिन्दी में हम खुद को पूरी तरह व्यक्त नहीं कर पाये हैं; विस्तार के लिए इंग्लिश में ऊपर दिया गया विवरण देखें।

हिन्दी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डाइरैक्टरी विभिन्न आकार और रंग के फूलों के गुलदस्ते की तरह निखर कर आपके सामने आती है; इसमें होते हैं सामाजिक विषयों पर गंभीर बहस से लेकर कविता, कहानी, घर-बार, धर्म और आध्यात्म, वगैरह वगैरह विषयों पर ब्लॉग। अगर आपको एक ब्लॉग 83 वर्षीय दादाजी का मिलेगा तो शायद एक बच्चे का ब्लॉग भी मिले; एक प्रोफेसर का भी होगा, एक गांव के युवक का, एक गृहिणी का भी... [हिन्दी ब्लॉग संसार में क्या है, इस पर विस्तृत जानकारी आप यहाँ पढ़ सकते हैं।]

इस पोस्ट में हम चर्चा करेंगे गुणवत्ता पर।

हमें हिन्दी में कुछ ब्लॉग इतने अच्छे हैं कि हम ऐसे ब्लॉगर्स के उत्साहज्ञान, सौंदर्य-बोध और कड़ी मेहनत के लिए उन्हें सलाम करते हैं। लेकिन सब ब्लॉग तो ऐसे नहीं हो सकते, सो हमने  ऐसे ब्लॉगों को भी डाइरैक्टरी में शामिल किया है जिनका स्तर काफी ऊँचा है मगर कुछ कमियाँ भी हैं, जैसे रंगों का फूहड़ प्रयोग, पूंछ की तरह लंबी लिस्टें, मात्राओं का गलत प्रयोग इत्यादि। हाँ, जहां इस तरह की कमज़ोरियाँ कुछ ज़्यादा मिलीं, हमें ऐसे ब्लॉगों को छोडना पड़ा चाहे उनका लेखन कितना ही बढ़िया क्यों न हो।
लेखन की गुणवत्ता तय करने में हमने साहित्यिक गुणवत्ता के बदले विचारों की गहनता और भाषा के मानक पर ध्यान दिया है। अंधकारघृणा और व्यक्तिगत हमलों को बढ़ावा देने वाले ब्लॉग हम इस डाइरैक्टरी के लायक नहीं मानते। कुछ ब्लॉगों में विज़ेट चलाने या गाने डाऊनलोड करने पर नुकसान-देह कोड कंप्यूटर में आ जाने की शिकायत मिली; ऐसे ब्लॉगों को हमने यथासंभव डाइरैक्टरी से निकाल दिया है।

एक ही ब्लॉगर के कई ब्लॉगों में से हमने सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉग को चुनने का प्रयास किया है। जहां किसी ब्लॉगर ने सामूहिक ब्लॉग का सहारा लेकर खुद को आगे बढ़ाया है, हमने इस तरह के ब्लॉग को उसी ब्लॉगर का ब्लॉग माना है।

अगर आपको लगता है कि इस डाइरैक्टरी के संकलन में हमसे चूक हुई है, तो कृपया बताएं ताकि हम अपने तथ्यों की पुनः जाँच कर इस संकलन में उचित संशोधन कर सकें।

Hindi blog directory: how big should it be? कितनी बड़ी हो हिंदी के ब्लॉगों की डायरेक्टरी?

Dilemmas in Hindi blog directory compilation

We are at a very crucial stage of compilation of Directory of Best Hindi Blogs for 2013. Our database – now over 10,000 strong – has over 4,000 active blogs. These been scrutinized three-four times and we have shortlisted about 650 blogs that meet our selection criteria when applied loosely. We were in two minds on many alternatives that we had, and had a brain-storming session yesterday to decide on these. Some of these, we share with you.

Visit here if you wish to see the latest edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs.

a. Whether to be strict with the criteria or be liberal?

Since the publication of the first edition of the Hindi blog directory, we have received a number of emails asking us to broad-base our criteria. Some have argued that it would do the directory no harm if we overlooked design issues. Some have wanted us not to be too finicky about regularity. One learned blogger says, a blog of reputed literary figure, if updated once in six months, is no worse than a mediocre blog being updated every week.  So, we had to take a call on such issues. Our task would have been much simpler had we decided to keep all 650 odd blogs in the Directory, but we are destined to spend many hundred man-hours and slash the listing to about 200.

b. Whether to include web-magazines in the blog directory?

Among the shortlisted blogs, we have about two dozen websites that can be called web-magazines or Hindi e-newspapers or news compilers. We will take such websites if they are maintained  in blog format; we’re forced to leave others.

c. Whether to include multiple blogs from the same author?

In the last edition, we included only one out of many blogs from the same author. We intend to maintain the same this time too. A large number of bloggers have submitted their other blogs to us, perhaps thinking that those blogs had not come to our notice. Our argument is this: We’d try to project the best blog from an author, and people who find value in that blog can visit other blogs through links on the blog. Why clutter the directory?

What does the Hindi blogging scene look like?

We have one more year’s experience in minutely checking the world of blogging in Hindi. But when we wanted to jot down our observations on it, we ended up patting ourselves for the two detailed posts we had issued last year. Our observations made last year remain the same, so we give the links to those posts below for quick reference:
What is being written on Hindi blogs
Hindi blog observations: who, why, when…
And this link for a summary of past observations on the Hindi blogosphere (हिंदी में)

Greatest Indian Blogs today: Platinum Rankings by ITB

by Indian Top Blogs

Here we are, with the crème-de-la-crème of Indian blogging.

We salute these blogs, which have contributed magnificently to the Indian blogosphere, in 2012-13, with the following.
(i) great content [including thought, discussion and visual material],
(ii) great visual appeal [that includes appealing design and also viewer-friendly navigation],
(iii) a large and growing resource-base,
(iv) untiring regularity over a long period of time,
(v) excellent use of the blogging platform to enrich niche content, and
(vi) keeping the blogosphere buzzing by spirited engagement with other bloggers.

Our search for the 'diamond' blog is still on - a blog that excels in all these compartments. So we call the list Platinum Rankings, and each of the blog here is a treasure in itself. If a blog is slightly weak in one of these areas, it covers that up by being outstanding in many others.
After a great deal of discussion among ourselves, we made concessions in the case of a couple of blogs for poor or no interaction with commenters, unbalanced columns and a missing link, because their content and overall contribution towards enriching the blogosphere is so good that the listing would be poorer if we excluded them.
It is not our contention that there are no other equally great blogs in the Indian blog-world. As always, we are guilty of leaving some excellent blogs because despite their being excellent in absolute terms, we spotted even better blogs in their category and we could not accommodate many blogs of the same type. In addition, some superb blogs might not have come to our notice despite our having screened over 50,000 Indian blogs so far in the last two years.

We need to give some more explanations about the Platinum Rankings for 2012-13.

Frequently asked questions on compilation of best blogs' directory

You can see here the latest edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs. As we keep receiving queries about compilation of this (and other) listings by us, we have tried to answer them in one place. 
This post has been updated on 4th February 2018.

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. I have applied for blog review/ blog showcase. Do I need to submit the blog also for inclusion in the Directory?
No. We look at all blogs submitted to us by 30th April. We keep visiting blogs submitted to us for review and showcase, and those suggested to us through email.

3. Will you include my blog in the Directory even if it is submitted after April?
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 bring out a limited mid-way update of the Directory in December-January too.

4. 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.

5. My blog is there in the Directory and yet in your review of my blog you have listed out many problems. Do you apply different standards for blog review?
When we compile the Directory, we tend to ignore some blemishes if the blog is outstanding as a whole. 
On the other hand, we are very uncharitable when making a detailed blog review. We hope, it helps bloggers much more than praising the blog or making off-the-cuff remarks.
In our 'quick review' of blogs, we look at only the obvious blemishes and inform bloggers about them, but here too we are not forgiving.
6. 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, non-Indian blogs, and websites maintained blog-like. We are stricter in the case of Directory and even more strict for Ranks.

7. 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-4 above? 
If you strongly feel that we have made an error of judgment in your case, do write to us at

8. 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, except when we explicitly demand that. We can’t recommend a web designer too; that is beyond our ethical boundary, as mentioned in FAQ-1.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. You have written in the disclaimer about what should one do if one wants to get his blog removed from the Directory. Do bloggers 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/ her blog in the Directory for such a 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, some bloggers might suspect our intentions. In fact, 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 offense 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.] 

12. How do you categorize 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 Indian blogs. Since a blogs can relate to many genres, we put such a blog in more than one place. If you want your placing to be reviewed, do write an email to us; just give reasons why you feel we're wrong.

13. When do you release the Platinum Rankings? What criteria do you use for selecting blogs for that?
We bring out the rankings around 15th July. Please have a look at this old post on selection of blogs for rankings.

14. When will you start compiling directory of best blogs globally and those in other languages?
We tried our hand on Bangla blogs but could not go ahead. Right now, we are not planning any new Directory.

Types of blogs in the best Indian blog directory

In the last post on the process of compilation of blogs for the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, 2012-13 edition, we talked about the range of blogs in the Directory coming out on May 30. In the present one, we talk about the main types of blogs in the Directory.

The content superstar

A large number of blogs in the blog directory are going to have great content: analysis of current topics as well as academic matters; arguments from people agitated over social issues; rants against mis-governance; poems and fiction that move and make you think; good book-reviews; expert advice and guidance; great travel stories and photos; photographs and video of superb technical quality, subject and composition …

The foodie blogger

Don’t blame us for including a good number of cooking and food blogs in the Directory. We don’t have a soft corner for such blogs but what do we do when we find that a significant number of food bloggers maintain their blogs with passion? A good food blogger’s post takes no less than three-four hours to compose, we reckon. It has ingredients, recipe, photos, proper categorization and archiving, and a bit of context. After it is published, it also has comments that often need response. Food blogs, in general, have good design too.

The tech curator blog 

A large number of techies have blogs, often with good design, effort towards SEO and high frequency of blogging. Beyond that, most tend to be mediocre: commenting on new gadgets and apps, tech gossip or copy-pasting expert advice. Still, we picked blogs that had a better design, credible content and/or advice that makes sense (even if not very original).

The encyclopedia of ramblings

Well, this group makes any listing controversial but it IS the group that makes the blogosphere vibrant. It is like the ‘retail investor’ segment of stock market: small but collectively a force to reckon with. The Directory of Best Indian Blog has a large number of ‘personal’ blogs with posts on personal ups and downs, travails of parenting, poems, competition entries, hobbies, sweet nothings…

Almost all blogs in the Directory will fit into one or the other of these general types. Of course, there will be blogs that fall into very niche categories. We’d bring out the category-wise version of the Directory that will have blogs put in one or more specific categories.

Selecting blogs of different types: apples versus oranges!

What makes our task very difficult is selecting blogs of different types. It is worse than selecting the best oranges and best apples; you need to select watermelons, bananas, grapes and mangoes - fruits with different shapes, sizes, taste and aroma. 

We just give one example, that of frequency of blogging. In first glance, it would look very straight-forward. But can we compare the frequency of posts with greatly composed and detailed travelogue and many photographs with those tiny posts telling about one's daily life? Doesn't one original painting a month take as much time as thirty snippets on current affairs? It becomes even more difficult deciding on more subjective criteria such as quality of prose, use of widgets, and relevance and authenticity of advice tendered.

After selecting blogs, we are forced to reject them!

For compilation of the Directory, after we have a short-list of about a thousand blogs, we start the process of rejection rather than selection: we keep on checking blogs for problems and removing those with more problems [e.g. bleeding widgets, high loading time, images picked up from the web without attribution]. As we said in the previous post, content quality remains on our mind even during this process. 

Since we want to accommodate many more blogs in the Directory than our Platinum Rankings, we are less strict with rejection. So please bear with us if you find in the Directory a few blogs that are good in most compartments but not the top-of-the-heap in one or two respects or have a few blemishes.

Finally, we select or reject blogs based on what we find when we visit them. If a marvelous blog did some funny experiment during our selection process, it is likely to be rejected and a blog that was great when we visited it but has subsequently become private or has deteriorated, it might remain in the Directory till we re-check the Directory after a few months.

Initial observations on Indian blogosphere 2013

As we announced earlier, we will bring out the 2012-13 edition of the  Directory of Best Indian Blogs by May 30. 
In the process of surveying the blog world for good blogs and then scrutinizing individual blogs, we always get wiser about the status of the Indian blogosphere and the habits of bloggers. We plan to bring out a number of posts on what we are observing this year.

First, our journey so far. 
By the end of April, we had compiled a database of nearly 50,000 Indian blogs. We kept on adding new blogs to the list so that we didn't have to recheck blogs already checked by us. But a database with majority of entries that do not meet our criteria was proving a drag rather than a help in scrutiny of individual blogs. So, at the start of our short-listing exercise this time, we decided to drastically clean the database. After removing mirror blogs, blogs that have not been updated for over a year, blogs with automated content and blogs with obvious poor content / design, we are left with only about five thousand blogs. Good blogs suggested by our fellow bloggers and well-wishers and the blogs we spotted by surveying the blog-world added about two thousand to this list. Compliment us for a small database that has only those blogs that are live with activity.

We have checked these seven thousand blogs on a number of parameters and now on we’ll be re-re-re-checking them and ranking them so that we pick up the best blogs for the Directory.

The way we, Indian bloggers, behave

We intent to come up with a set of observations during this month. This first set talks of the overall blogger behavior. Our big sample size makes us confident that our observations hold true for majority of Indian bloggers. Bloggers outside India, we feel, would also display similar behavior.

Before that, let us refer to our detailed observations during 2011 blogosphere survey [Where do Indian bloggers stand?, Trends in the Indian blogging scene]. In these posts, we have given details of our observations, and we stand by them two years later too. Let's share some more details:

Yes, most bloggers post in spurts, including the disciplined ones. But even if they they do go up and down, their frequency of posting is not too volatile and they keep going while others take big breaks. Among those few who manage to update the blog at a constant pace and maintain the quality of content too, columnists and those on blog-communities are prominent. Stand-alone bloggers of this type are very rare; Indian Top Blogs salutes their perseverance. 

A large number of bloggers start with personal blogs and then start one or more niche blogs. However they lose interest in extra blogs soon. The ones who are able to sustain blogs with narrow themes beyond a year or so tend to stick with one blog and their popularity and authority grows fast. 
A few Indian bloggers maintain a number of blogs but the design and content of their blogs are horrible to say the least. [If there are one or two exceptions, we apologize to them for this generalized comment.]

Even those bloggers who update their blogs do seldom look at design aspects. Some of them start with a fairly good design and then concentrate only on content [e.g. bloggers/ columnists on newspaper platforms], and some start with a bad design and either leave it that way or butcher it further over time. Most others experiment with photos, title, widgets etc but not always for the better. They often clutter blogs with too many poor-value badges and useless widgets.

As many as 5% of live blogs that we've scanned have become private or want some sort of authentication to visit them. Another about 5% want the visitor to log-in before commenting.

Not many bloggers refresh their blogrolls. We found a good number of Hindi bloggers giving long lists of blogs they read; the number is less in the case of English bloggers [or they list blogs under profile rather than on home page], but nor updating the list is common among English blogs too. In a rather good blog, we found a list of 110 blogs that was compiled six years ago and 95 of these blogs have either not updated themselves for years or gone fully dead.

Most bloggers who maintain their blog rather well seem serious about their blogs, but not about blogging as a craft. They do not bother about the reader’s convenience in checking blog’s archives and commenting, readability, design and navigation aspects, linking, etc. Some blogs have great stuff but have been turned into websites, having been rid of chronological arrangement of posts, commenting facility, even updating. 

Our next post in this series is on the dynamics of Google PageRank of Indian blogs.