Has blogging arrived in India?

I was notified by Kamla Bhatt about a program being aired on NDTV’s “We The People”, the topic was “Should Blogs Be Regulated?” [Video]. I made sure I saw the entire program but I must admit it was a total let down :-(

At times do our TV anchors feel they can host a show on “any topic” even if they don’t have a clue? Agreed, it is not possible for a TV anchor to know about everything under the sun but this show was expected to have a lot more content. Kamla has summarized the show on her blog, so I will not go into the details.

The show was supposed to be about regulating blogs, I doubt if there was any noteworthy discussions about this topic itself. It was more what each blogger on the show was blogging about and the reasoning behind it. It is not a bad idea to know why they write what they write but that was not the intention of the show.

However I liked what Ravish Kumar [NDTV Hindi reporter] had to say, he was always reporting what others had to say and wanted a platform to air his own views. That is the “root cause” of having a blog, which Ravish conveyed very well (in his deep Hindi voice). He gave an example of how the neighborhood reacted when each one bought a refrigerator in their house and what each household stored in the refrigerator. It may sound silly but I think that is the “real” world. It is always interesting to read what happens in the real world (aam janta). And what is so special about Ravish’s blog – it is in Hindi.

The program ‘failed’ to mention to the viewers the popularity of language blogs in India. While this was not the topic there was no harm in talking about language blogs as the host Barkha Dutt anyway strayed away from the main topic. There are over 4000 active blogs in Hindi and Tamil (each). Other languages are catching up. This is a good sign because we are known more for being a ‘reading community’ and I am glad to see it is slowly but steadily converting to a ‘writing community’.

The show focussed more on ‘personal lives’ being reflected on blogs. There are consumers for every segment. When you don’t write anything interesting the number of visitors will only dwindle to levels which can be discouraging. Meenakshi Madhavan mentioned that she wanted to figure out how to make money out of her blogs as she wasn’t making any decent revenues from Google Adsense. If I recall correctly, she did mention that she had not promoted her blog (intentionally) and very few knew about her blog (until she came on the show). One of the blogs highlighted about Kamla mentioning “India has serious and good blogs too“. so what? That is what Kamla feels, nothing wrong if she likes other blogs when compared to the bloggers who were covered on the show. But then I am assuming that is what Kamla meant when she said that. The show should have involved Kamla a lot more to understand the real aspects of regulation of blogging – after all she has been blogging and interviewing/podcasting for a while now.

Anyways, should blogs be regulated. No, unless it is a national threat. But who decides what is a national threat? Hopefully not the government as they may consider ‘bashing politicians’ is a national threat (it is pure entertainment in my opinion).

We at oneindia have a directory of Indian blogs. Initially I was surprised to see few requests sent to our blogmaster – ‘Please delete my blog from your directory. I don’t want to publicize it’. These bloggers are perfectly ok in being indexed by Google and Yahoo (ok, and by live.com) but have a problem being on ‘desi’ blog directories. Sad. They should have a “noindex,nofollow” tag in their blogs header if others shouldn’t be indexing their blog.

Comments

  1. my dear friend… I dont have a problem with Kamla liking or disliking personal bloggers. I laughed at how someone older and more experienced like her let something slip and then furiously tried to cover it up. if it was truly her opinion, she should have stood by it. and if she didnt mean it, perhaps it was a freudian slip? we’re all welcome to our opinions.

  2. Blogging is often recognised when disasters happen — tsunami, the local train bombing in Mumbai and so on — but it is still seen as a marginal activity. How many CXOs of companies in India blog?

Leave a Reply