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Hindi blogging: what is happening here?

updated in October 2018

We have completed 8 rounds of surfing the Hindi blogosphere for discovering the best blogs for the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs. We have summarized below our observations of the last 8 years of directory compilation.

Hindi blogging is evolving but at a slow pace

It is not that blogging in Hindi is what it was a decade back. Yet, many things have remained the same over the years. The observations we shared in 2012 in the two linked posts still hold good: part I ... part II

Hindi bloggers still tend to be full of energy, commitment to their blogs and a feeling of community. The sense of community - and it leads to discords and groupism also - is much stronger than seen among Indian English bloggers. Hindi blogs continue to lean towards literature, nostalgia and religion. Preaching is much higher than in English. The blogging scene is dominated by only a few blogs. There are many blog aggregators and well-composed web magazines in Hindi.

But when it comes to the 'look and feel' of the blog, the taste of a few otherwise good bloggers looks extremely unrefined. When you compare the design and overall looks of other blogs and these ones, you find the same difference as you see between an advertisement by Unilever (e.g. Lux, Surf) and that by a local vendor in a village fair. 

Please don’t misunderstand us. We are not saying that Indian folk/ rural taste is inferior to the modern urban taste. What we are emphasizing is that Hindi bloggers ignore the design elements so much that their blog look too gaudy, childish, even vulgar. The following link illustrates our point: Common design issues in Hindi blogs

Making money out of blogs is seen rarely and these factors seem responsible for this: 
  • The basic purpose of the Hindi blogger is to communicate.
  • Hindi blog readers do not explore/ buy things based on recommendations on Hindi blogs.
  • Hindi bloggers hesitate to experiment in uncharted areas.
  • Most Hindi bloggers are from humanities background and do not find skills enough to optimize and monetize their blogs.
  • The competition for earning money through blogging demands either high level of skills and investment into promotion etc. But most Hindi bloggers do not want to invest in the blog. 
  • Many techno-savvy bloggers who want to earn money from Hindi blogging have either migrated to English blogging or YouTube and Instagram.

That leaves only a bunch of bloggers who have a standard blog in Hindi and are earning from it. Like Hindi newspapers, Hindi blogs can break the notion that blogging in local languages cannot succeed professionally but the slow pace of evolution in Hindi blogging has so far left Hindi bloggers far behind their English counterparts.

What ails Hindi blogging at social level

Some things have changed for the worse.

There appears a palpable sense of frustration among a large number of bloggers. Bloggers (mostly young techies) who open blogs with the sole purpose of earning money keep losing interest as there is not much money here. 

What is a bad omen is not the failing of the money-minded techie but the dormancy or closing of shop by many erstwhile trail-blazers. Even worse is the lack of interest among newspapers to support blogging. 

Are Facebook, WhatsApp and now Instagram to blame for part of this? Perhaps not. You can blame social networking platforms for people not coming to mainstream blogging in as big numbers as they were coming earlier, but not for serious and established bloggers losing interest. Part of this could be growing groupism and quarrel among Hindi bloggers. The tendency to prove superior by showing a bigger and more committed readership than others could be marring healthy blogging in Hindi. This internecine feud is accentuated by the fact that most blogging in Hindi is on literary and social-political subjects, and not in scientific and technical fields, finance and economy, hobbies, commerce etc. So, instead of devoting time on creative hobbies, social cause and professions, bloggers tend to be obsessive about their little turfs.

In the last five years, many major aggregators have also gone dead.

Silver lining in Hindi blogging: self-expression like never before.

Who said, good blogging is not happening in Hindi or the total number of bloggers is going down? Despite it not growing the way we would like it to, there is a lot of buzz happening in the Hindi blog arena. Some good bloggers stay on – and the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs is a proof of that.

It is now easier to write Hindi in Devnagri script, new language features have come up on Blogger and Wordpress platforms, and it is possible to integrate all social media accounts (blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc). Some bloggers are making good use of such new developments. 

Some blogs have matured and are much more professionally maintained. Some bloggers who were wasting their energy in berating others have started concentrating on their writing. 

Though huge tag lists and blogrolls still appear on blogs, these are less common. Irritating self promotion also has come down. 

A few blogs have grown so big, they have become full-blown websites and even blog magazines. Think what would happen to the literary expression if there were no blogging: commercialisation of newspapers and magazines has made it difficult to survive based on content. Individuals who have not established themselves or who are not prepared to write according to the whims of media owners have no chance to appear on mainstream print. Blogging has given voice to them and after establishing themselves through blogging, many are accepted on the print media and have also published books.

The barrier of not being able to write fast and well in Hindi has been broken by the visual media: YouTube and Instagram, followed by Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. If 'blogging' is taken in its broad sense as it is accepted now, Hindi blogging on YouTube and other social sharing and networking platforms is growing fast. Quality on these platforms remains a matter of concern but we hope that there would be churn among them and only the best ones would make an impact. Perhaps that would lead to a new era - more mature and quality-driven - in Hindi blogging.