December 30, 2013

Indian blogophere is alive: Now Kapil Sibal on Modi!

Only a few days back, we featured Narendra Modi's blog for its content: He had expressed pain at the Gujarat riots. Coming from a man who has been accused for siding with the rioters, and from a Chief Minister, it was significant.

Now comes a retort in a blog post by his bete noir [in fact, one of many] Kapil Sibal. Sibal, a senior Congress leader and present Minister for IT etc, says, the pain felt by Modi is too little, too late and politically motivated. 

Blogs are being put to good use by Indian politicians! It makes ITB happy ;) 

December 28, 2013

A blog post of significance: from Narendra Modi

In our series of blogs posts of significance, we bring to you the latest post by Narendra Modi, arguably the most talked about political leader in India today. Narendra Modi's blog is a blog with high web reputation, where he puts his thoughts on various governance and political matters. In the latest post, he has emotionally responded to the court verdict in 2002 Gujarat communal riots case. Just to recall, Modi was accused by his legal and political opponents for having acted on the rioters' side, and the court has not found him guilty.

As of now, the blog post has received about 60 comments, all salutary. There would be many of his critics who must have commented uncharitably and with sincerity; and his opponents must have also bombarded their tirade and abuses on the blog itself [Remember Congress's recent threat to unleash a 'cyber army' on Modi?], but as we had earlier observed in this post on Indian politicians' web presence, politicians are known to sanitise their web properties well and Modi cannot be an exception. 

December 25, 2013

Best Indian Blog Directory: mid-way updation

As promised, we are doing mid-year additions to the Directory of Best Indian Blogs for 2012-13. We have spotted 33 more fine blogs from the Indian blogosphere. The next edition of the Directory will come in May-June 2014. 

While quickly reviewing the existing entries in the Directory, we found that some blogs have gone to sleep, have been removed or have deteriorated in quality. We'll miss some blogs that have been there in the Directory since its first edition in February 2011 and a few blogs with very serious discussion, but we had to remove them and we are sad about it. We are committed to live by the name we have given to this Directory.

The new entrants are: 
adventureanytime Huchchara Santhe
allthingsnice-shalinipereira all things nice!
amarnaik Outreach
bhavikkshah Bhavikk Shah's Blog
designdecoranddisha Design Décor and Disha
elixirofknowledge Elixir of Knowledge
foodydelight Tasty Bud Delight
godoffinethings chimes of a forgotten melody
humor-satireworldin Humor- Satire
jahidakhtar Flashbacks
janakinair My Diary
jigar-doshi Jigar Doshi
ltd-licencetodrive Ltd-licence to drive
magalic Life etc.
merrytogoaround Merry to Go Around
mybutterhalf my butter half
nabanita-blacknwhite Random Thoughts---Naba
over2shailaja Shailaja Chandra's Blog
paneerandpulao Of paneer, Pulao and Pune
preciousglories Precious Glories
rajniranjandas Tales Of A Nomad...!!
sakshinanda Between Write and Wrong
sayantini-bhattacharya Another Part of Me
shadowdancingwithmind Shadow Dancing with Mind
shreshar Asha's musings & ramblings
socialscribblers Social Scribblers
thereaderscosmos The Readers Cosmos
thetalesofatraveler The Tales of a Traveler
travellingslacker The Travelling Slacker
volatilespirits Volatile Spirits
Bloggers whose blogs have been added to the Directory may like to add this small badge on their blog. This, however, is purely voluntary and does not impact their listing now or in future.
The code for the badge is given below. You need to copy it and paste it on an html widget on your blog.

<a href=""><img src="" style="border: 0;" /></a> 

The badge will look like this on your blog: 

December 22, 2013

Two updates on SEO and Google’s search capabilities

1. Well, if you as a blogger, have regularly been watching the growth of your Google PageRank, you might have noticed that it remained constant or even dipped by a notch [in case it had 3 or higher PR] in the last 9-10 months. We have seen this happening with many blogs in our database. So, reports that Google has started giving PR a lesser importance in search results seem to be true. A report recently appeared that Google has updated the PR in December. Chances are that if your posting and linking habits have remained constant, your blog might have shown a lower ranking.

But, isn’t that a piece of good news for bloggers who concentrate on sharing good content rather than on link-building and excessive SEO?

December 20, 2013


Another Part of Me


"Another Part of Me is all about, as the title says, unearthing the hidden qualities in me. This blog unravels my love for poetry, propagandizes my life and comprises my perspective on different matters." -Sayantini

December 17, 2013

More free photos - passing through a jungle and by a river

This week, we post two photos taken in a jungle during rainy season. These photos are free for use by bloggers. For terms of using images offered by ITB, do check the first post linked here. You can see all the images offered so far at this link: free images for bloggers.



December 14, 2013

Fashion Blogging: Look at 7 hard realities before you jump

In this post, we won’t talk about the need for great content, style etc. We also won’t go to the specifics of fashion blogging as we are bloggers, not beauty and fashion experts. So, we'd limit this discussion to the aspects on which prospective fashion bloggers must assess themselves so that they do not end up in frustration. 

One basic premise to this discussion is that you want to earn money and fame from your fashion blog. If so, we must emphasise beforehand that all blogging requires hard work, passion and perseverance... and fashion blogging requires a lot of it all... and earning money in this crowded field requires it even more.

1.      You'll need to update yourself on new fashion and lifestyle trends, new products, changing consumer preferences… For that, you'll need to regularly visit fashion events and product launches, browse the web, read fashion magazines…  

December 11, 2013

Sharad Pawar on election results: a blog post of significance

ITB brings to your notice a political blog-post this time, a very powerful post considering its writer and its implications in Indian politics.

One of India’s tallest political leaders and the present Agriculture Minister of India, Sharad Pawar, has analysed the rout of Congress and emergence of Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the recently held assembly elections. 


In a clear reference to the weak governance style of Manmohan Singh and the faltering image of Rahul Gandhi, Pawar says: “People need strong, decisive and result oriented leaders. They do not want weak rulers.” He also finds AAP leaders short of vision and substance.

Sharad Pawar also happens to be a key ally of the coalition government at New Delhi. His comments also seem to give message to Congress to either pull up socks or forget about alliance with me in the next general elections.

December 9, 2013

Creating, reading and modifiying PDF files

In our series on sharing web utilities and computer tips with bloggers and other visitors, we bring you free programs to handle PDF related jobs. The utilities we recommend here are free.

Before coming to the tips, let's spend a para on PDF itself. PDF [=portable document format] files are a special category of files that are intended to be viewed across platforms in the same format in which these were created. So, this is a preferred file type when you want to share a final presentation, report etc with others. Though a PDF document is like a printed copy of the the document, and behaves like an image, its content can be extracted and a number of edits can be done on the document itself. More complex PDF documents are interactive [e.g. forms, buttons, links] in different ways. PDFs are superbly scalable and have very high fidelity, and so are used by designers and printers.


There are a number of programs that can read a PDF file. In many cases, the Adobe PDF Reader comes bundled with the computer / laptop but is quite resource heavy. This and many other such programs take a lot of  RAM and slow down the computer. After testing numerous such programs, we find that the free version of Foxit Reader (as of 2013 end) is one of the most handy and light-weight PDF opening program. In addition, it allows you to make some edits, highlight text, put markings and so on. 

We suggest that you configure your web-browser not to read a PDF file when you click on it. Instead, download the file and open it with Foxit or whichever program you like to use.


If you need to often put a bit of text [=annotation] on a PDF file or put some markings / highlights  etc on it, PDF Exchange Viewer is an excellent program, better than Foxit in some ways. But we'd rather prefer Foxit for just opening files because that is lighter on computer memory. 


Almost all PDF readers now have an option to extract text from PDF files [only if the text appearing on the PDF had been saved as text and not image]. A number of PDF-to-DOC converters are available on the web. But we found that Zamzaar's online PDF to DOC conversion gives you the best results [Btw, this website has facility for file conversion in many other formats]. 


New versions of major document processors including MS Office and OpenOffice come with the option to save document files in PDF format. There are a number of standalone PDF writers that use the print command to create a PDF file, and we find Primo PDF among the best. When you install it on your computer, it sits there as a printer. You can print any document or almost any other type of file into a PDF file by selecting Primo PDF from the print menu of any program.

ITB has no commercial dealings with the creators or distributors of the programs recommended here. We also advise that you do not download extra programs that sometimes come bundled with the main program, unless you are sure that you need them. There are a few free programs with greater functionalities, such as splitting and merging PDF files, OCR etc but we found them with malicious content or untested bundled programs and so are not recommending them.

December 5, 2013

Should I submit to blog directories?

We got an email this week, reading like this: I have a blog where I am putting everything that I like, mostly music, children and travel, to different places within my state. Can you advise if I should submit my blog to directories. My friend suggested four good ones and I checked them and they are fine. Are Indian directories OK?

We replied to the lady by email, and then thought we need to expand the subject and write a post on ITB.


  • Of course you want to be discovered by others. This is more significant (i) if your blog is on a particular subject and (ii) if you want to make money out of it. For example, a blog on a research topic, photography, cooking...
  • You want traffic. All bloggers want traffic unless someone wants to keep the blog hidden for a purpose.


December 3, 2013

.BLOG domain coming, wanna go for it?

A new set of domain suffixes are being made available  by the international body for this purpose (ICANN). .blog is one such domain name extension. Called gTLDs or generic top level domains (common examples: .com, .net, .org),  these represent the broad category to which a website belongs.

A large number of registrars have started pre-registering .blog domain names. Pre-registration is free and non-binding; but it does not guarantee availability of that name. If you are interested in a specific domain name and that name is not available or such other popular extension, you can consider going for .blog. Or, you might like to have an additional extension. If you are new to this subject, you might like to see our earlier post on why you should have your own domain name

It is not that once with a a .blog URL, your blog will get a great boost in terms of popularity and authority. It may happen or it may not, depending on factors such as whether searchers look for your type of content among blogs. But it will definitely help in people easily recalling your blog if you choose the URL with some thought. It will also help you if you feel that .com and other currently available extensions do not represent the type of blogging website you maintain.

December 1, 2013

Found a nice blog-post: 'Novels, Screen and Reality'

As we said earlier, we have decided to share here good blog posts that we chance upon on the Indian blogosphere. We shared two earlier: one was an excellent discussion on governments' use of social media. and the other was the blog post that exposed sexual impropriety by a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.


The present post is one we discovered on 'Antiblurbs', a book review blog by Sanjay Sipahimalani. Lovely, effortless take on digital invasion into our social, family and personal spaces.