IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 1

Hey everyone,

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly diary on IndiBlogger!

In today’s edition we are going to take a look on the week gone by and its key events, blog posts, bloggers and more! As always, your feedback is most welcome.

In IndiSpire this week, it was Ranjit and his  ‘Love. Weave a story’ topic that got the most approvals by other IndiBlogger members and had 50+ blog posts the last time we checked. So this only clarifies something every veteran in IndiBlogger knows – that even though love fails us all during most times, topics on LOVE never fail! :-).

This was a welcome change though; with Chetan Bhagat and his enigma taking over IndiSpire for two weeks running! Having seen him play host to an IndiBlogger meet in Mumbai with Kotak Jifi and their social banking initiative, I think he is just misunderstood, but that’s just me 🙂

When we conceptualized IndiSpire, we were looking at topics that are current and newsworthy for the week. It has taken its own shape and form. If it’s for the better or for worse, that’s for you to decide! (That could itself be a topic worthy of IndiSpire, eh?) If you want your favorite topics to be blogged about, you know what to do!

Browsing through some of the posts on IndiBlogger this week, I find poetry, satire and photographs ruling the the roost and yes, some posts on love as well. Our obsession as a race towards the subject of love is quite intriguing. By the way, our latest hot topic on the subject is about pre- marital sex. We took it a couple of notches above Ranjit’s topic and you know what, it might actually be interesting since I (and am sure many others) have no idea of the general perception on the subject. Although Karthik from IndiBlogger will tell you that pre-marital sex does not exist in India.

Blog posts from bloggers on their travels always seem to generate interest and some of them made it to the  home page like Mumbai’s Elephanta Caves  by Rajesh Prabhu and Maya From Switzerland Paints Bandra Building by Firoze Shakir.

Alok Vats has been doing his best in the past week helping people find the perfect blogging platform among other things. I realize how difficult it is to start and run your own (self hosted) blog. Does it have to be as technical as it sounds? Being one of the lay-est of laymen, I concede that I do suffer from not understanding all the tech BS around. No offense to Alok though, he has done his best to explain 🙂

Bhopal – A Prayer For Rain was in theaters this week and a few IndiBloggers got a free screening with the crew of the movie! Some blog posts on it submitted to IndiBlogger are here  and here

On a more somber note, the death of Phil Hughes while playing a game of cricket was a bit of a googly for everyone. I looked through IndiBlogger knowing that DS may have written something on the subject and yup there it was. My mind also travels back to Raman Lamba who didn’t make it after he got hit on the head fielding at short leg sometime in 1998. I guess any profession including, a desk job, can kill you in some weird twisted way. Here are some more posts that pay tribute to Phillip Joel Hughes:

 

How is everyone enjoying Indi-Happy hours? I guess we just executed around 7 or 8 Indi-Happy Hour campaigns in the last month and have given out around 15 lakh worth of vouchers. We just realized that we need to make IndiBlogger just like how we do our IndiBlogger meets, gifts by the minute!

We also did a lot of good by spreading the word on cleaning up the streets, with 3 different ‘Clean India’ campaigns. We are going to clean India up so good, you can eat off the road!  Err.. maybe not yet, but we do see some pressure being applied. My fingers are crossed X.

Question of the week:

After every edition we are going to put up a debate which you can answer in the comments and we will pick a few contributors who will win a special edition IndiBlogger mug! The winners will be announced in the next week’s blog post. So keep ‘em coming!

A lot of times we see blog posts that come up and absolutely expose certain brands/companies for what they are; including malpractices and ethics. So here’s the question “From your experience, do you think writing aggressive blog posts help in resolving and creating awareness on the situation or do the perpetrators usually profit from the bad publicity?”

Over to you!

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75 Responses

  1. Nothing good has ever come out of a fiery argument. It is important to be reasonable as people need to get the facts without losing their cool. A blog is a place that should promote happiness and at the same time call a spade a spade. In my opinion, one does not needs to endorse false belief or promote a rosy picture of a wilted product; however, there is a way to state things and being rude, arrogant and overly aggressive never serves the purpose.
    As long as we can put the facts straight and stay calm, we will be doing justice to the readers. The readers are not looking to see how strongly you can resent a product and/or service and most of the times, vocalizing something too much does end up in publicity because good or bad, publicity helps in hogging the limelight. After all, we all know the pen mightier than the sword.
    So, the best thing is to expose but do it with dignity and elan.

  2. rio says:

    superb compilation. completely worth it.

  3. To some extend negative promotion also help the brand owners, as it create the air for them in market, then once the positive review start pouring in the mist is clear and consumers are able to take wiser decision

  4. Ajesh Sharma says:

    This weekly Diary is a very welcome addition. Thank you for this.

    And thank you for linking to one of my posts.

  5. rekhaa says:

    My post,”Uncertainty Of Life and Then Life Goes On”, selected for this edition came as pleasant surprise. Thanks for the motivation. :))

  6. Chriz says:

    If I am a victim of malpractice by a brand; I can definitely use the power of social media by presenting the facts and figures in a sensible way. Today everyone will form opinions if we do not present the whole truth. The latest classic example of misrepresentation of facts is done by the Rohtak sisters on a delicate topic.

    We have also seen that many malpractices done by brands have been rightly exposed by bloggers. If we are social media magnets, we do have a big role to play in building as well as breaking a brand /product

  7. Himani Agarwal says:

    As it is well known “Any publicity is good publicity.” So for the brands its definitely good if they get into lime light somehow.
    Talking about ethics I really appreciate those bloggers who write the truth but I firmly believe that voicing opinion in an aggressive manner doesn’t help, as perception differs from individual to individual.
    So, we as bloggers should write an honest opinion without being harsh and then only it will convey the right message.

  8. Perpetrators profit from bad publicity because a blogger has pointed out what their Quality Control team should have done in the first place. Honest customer feedback is important to build a great product that will sustain itself by word-of-mouth publicity, hence companies should welcome such exposure.

  9. Parul Thakur says:

    Wow! This is one great compilation of the week gone by. IndiBlogger – Glad you bounced back!

    To your question – There are two sides to any situation. So, if bloggers do not write about stuff that exposes malpractices by a brand, things would never come out in the open. At the same time, writing about it lets the brand be known by people who otherwise would have missed it. Personally, I think it’s a blogger’s social responsibility to write the truth. What is does is for people to decide.

  10. Excellent initiative by Indiblogger… keep it up!

    Writing blogposts – aggressive or otherwise – has a rather limited impact; having said that, it does help spread awareness regarding an issue. As regards aggression, that is subjective : what is benign for one person will be perceived as aggressive by another. A few groundrules that need to be followed are a) no expletives b) focus on provable facts; or clearly write the words ‘opinion based on personal experience c) justify with examples wherever possible d) Support with references to printed reports and articles wherever possible & e) no character assassination – whether of brands or of people; focus on pure facts.

  11. Nimi Vashi says:

    The fact that you blog and have a social media presence makes a difference when it comes to dealing with brands. i believe one should definitely write the truth exposing the brand when cheated. Bloggers are in the simplest terms put an honest voice. So far people have benefited from it more than the brand has. Brands are scared of such viral posts and this has made them aware to not do nonsense on a large scale. prevention is always better than cure afterall.

  12. Aggression no taking a stand works.

  13. Lata Sunile says:

    I loved this first edition. It is a good compilation and does introduce some of us to new bloggers. Looking forward to it.

    • anoop says:

      Yea we wanted to do this after none of us could remember how and what happened in the weeks/months/years gone by. it was time to things a week at a time at least 🙂

  14. This is an excellent initiative. Indiblogger is going to turn into something really addictive now.

    I like the Indi Happy Hours but I wish the contests had better submission guidelines; ones that could bring out the blogger’s personality rather than seeming like forced advertisements. Well, sometimes. Ok, don’t let me get to you, you guys are doing great.

    Coming to the discussion topic, I think negative publicity is not going to help the brand unless they stage a turnaround like what happened with Amul and the facebook post. The user had posted something about Amul’s milk being rubbery and the company (co-operative, whatever) came back with guns blazing and laid the controversy to rest (whatever is the real truth, we’ll never know) but my point is-

    If the brand is active on social media and defends it well, the controversy can result in more publicity but if it gets smacked left, right and centre and doesn’t take a stand; then it is done for.

    • anoop says:

      Addictive? Excellent! .. This will trap all those kids 🙂

      And about that “forced advertisement”, its given me an idea for segment in one of our posts. So, hold that thought, We shall discuss that in some detail in the coming weeks.

  15. Aritra says:

    Wonderful initiative, kudos Indiblogger!!!

  16. Aritra says:

    Wonderful initiative, Kudos!!! It feels great to be associated with Indiblogger!

  17. Samir says:

    It’s a nice initiative to start with this “Weekly Diary”. Glad to see a post of mine right up there 🙂

  18. Excellent beginning, I must say. Seems like an editorial of a regular magazine. Probably we are larger in that spectrum. And hence I would say that this dairy has to go a long way and must not be stopped for the sake of all bloggers family here on this platform.

    Since you mentioned Bhopal: A prayer for Rain, once submitted is it required to submit the post to indivine too?

    Now coming to your introspective thought posted at the end:
    Aggression is part of life and we always face it in us or in someone else around us, some time of the other, arising out of a situation or an experience. It is good and healthy as long as it does not turn into mental rioting and destruction. It is good if it is more towards an assertion in making your point. After all human mind is a factory of thoughts and actions only. 🙂

    Opposite of aggression is suppression. Would you like to suppress your thoughts or prefer to let them out in a flow – at the time of any pain, anguish or cheat?

    My view is such aggressive posts are building blocks in three ways – 1. If it is too harsh and insulting, it teaches other bloggers to not to write to that extent when they have to express their feelings. But even in that case if the post is not intentionally insulting, one can make out and at least create a substantial amount of awareness to investigate further against the company and product in question.
    2. The company or product against which the post is written, will definitely take a note of it and will try to understand the real pain behind it in the mind of the blogger/writer. If the reason of pain is really due to some deficiency in their service/product; it would be a building block for them too, to improve, if they wish to, and reach to a stage where no such pain/anguish comes into the life of anyone due to their service/product.
    3. It helps in improvement in writing to the blogger to – who has posted it, in terms of remarks posted by others and by revisiting to his/her post again. Usually when we are rookie/novice we are more explosive in our thoughts and less careful towards the harsh words or how others will take it. But gradually things improve and explosion or aggression starts coming in a constructive manner.

    There is a downside to this also. There are certain instances when such insulting posts are intentional with some wrong motives. But such posts do not get much attention and go to their natural early death. In such cases there is no way that the perpetrator is going to gain anything and probably would be harming him/herself.

  19. Saket says:

    It can go in any way.

    If it is something where there aren’t any clear cut ‘right or wrong’ ‘good or bad’ like things, and views entirely depend upon personal taste, then the negative blogging too helps creates awareness and publicity. Take for example, the Chetan Bhagat Indispire topic on Indiblogger. I am sure it helped Chetan Bhagat (though he doesn’t really need any more publicity), even though a lot of posts criticized his writting style. An aspiring (and lesser known writer) would love to get a chance to be bashed up in a similar Indispire topic,the way Chetan Bhagat was. I am sure of that!

    But take for example a few blog-posts containing negative reviews of a holiday-sharing company or an on-line retailer. It sure will drive away potential customers away.

    Things whose reputation depend upon ‘word of mouth’ like hotels, on-line retailer do get affected with negative publicity on blogs. However, things where personal choices and tastes come into picture like books, movies, actually net some gain from the publicity.

  20. Anoop and writing posts is a good combination, i hope that the weekly edition stays for a while and if required we bloggers can also chip in to be a part of it in the future 🙂

  21. Bloggers just share their experiences in their own style and first reason of sharing the same is not that they want to aware the others but they share because they love to write and love to share their experiences however they also feel happy to aware others with their hobby and

    Nobody do the perpetrators usually profit from the bad publicity.

  22. Bushra says:

    Reading IB’s blog after such a long time! Cool, you guys always surprise us with your vigour and charm! 😀

    Coming to the question, the aggressive blog posts are a must!! We have a voice and the least we can do is use it and hope it brings at least a tiny improvement!

    P.S: Happy hours are awesome! B-)

  23. Dr Roshan R says:

    While I don’t believe that fighting and slandering a company is the right way to go, I can’t fault some of the blog posts when they follow the ‘name and shame’ policy. If you read their stories of how they were mistreated (sometimes a group of friends at a pub, sometimes an online store that sends bricks and empty boxes), the writers have genuine concerns which they did try to resolve amicably. It is when that failed and the seller/host turned aggressive that these people chose an online forum.
    For better or worse, we all have a voice now, don’t we, thanks to blogs. How we use it to our advantage comes down to us in the end. This weekly diary edition is a cool idea. Keep it up! Looking forward to next week 🙂

  24. amar naik says:

    great initiative. reading blogpost from IB after long time.
    “i think it is a win – win situation for both. one one side consumers get aware while on the other side the company gets free publicity (can either doom it or bolster its image). But being aware and making a decision by reading such negative reviews is better than making a decision when completely in dark (not aware of negative perception).

    In addition, though some of this posts talk negatively, today we see that companies which wish to stay afloat in market either agree their mistakes or try to find out the reason on why it happened(what amul did with spoiled milk)

    as a consumer i feel much more confident researching/reviewing about a product online. if i see a negative review i will try to research more about it, get more opinions from friends and probably be more careful.

  25. Indrani says:

    I have been always wanting an update from you (IB), just like this one, it gives a great sense of belonging. 🙂 Hope this feature continues.

  26. Hey – pretty awesome!

  27. A great compilation!

    As to the answer of the question about aggressive blogpost, I kind of do believe that bloggers should share their opinion.

    First of all, it’s the easiest way to vent out. I mean of course the customer service or the company people are not always ready to hear us. The aggression has to come out in some way, then why not in the blog which is our personal space.

    I don’t think the blogposts of readers like me, with limited readers, can make huge impact, but then the chorus is formed with many weak voices. Our opinions on the blog might not make huge difference, but even if one person reads it and takes that experience into account, we have done some service to that person.

    So, I do believe that we should write our (honest) opinions, whether in favor or not, it really doesn’t matter.

  28. DS says:

    This was wonderful to read and I guess that this is a superb initiative by the Inditeam 🙂 Now, all one has to do is to read your blog to know the Indiblogger happenings of last week! I just hope that the Inditeam will not lack in motivation to carry this thing forward and hopefully this will continue for a long time to come!

    On a personal note it was motivating and gratifying indeed to see you linking to my Phil Hughes post here in this very first edition of the Weekly Diaries, I was deeply affected and hence could only write a small post. Thank you Anoop!

    Lastly coming to this weeks debate topic, I feel that if the brands or sponsors are indulging in malpractices and if we are a victim of the same then it becomes our duty as bloggers to narrate our story to the world. But I would not favor writing an aggressive post, I would prefer to just state the facts and let others decide what is right or wrong.

    Best Wishes to the Inditeam 🙂

  29. Nandini Deka says:

    This is cool…to read weekly roundup. Regarding the question – If the brand/company is at fault…it won’t forget that blogger for sure, for a long long time….that post will keep pricking their conscience. ( if they have any that is 😀 )
    Aggression or not, anything one writes specially in these kinda issues, they should have enough provable evidence and not some random blah blah written out of pure emotions.

  30. The Sorcerer says:

    Depends on whether or not the perpetrators have a good PR. But, I have observed that people usually prefer those who have a personal touch when issues come out in the open, and they give assurances that it will be fixed. I see some posts made by logical Indian, like how a guy said that the owner didn’t bang the car properly to deploy the airbags. The official company response was blank, heartless, lack of empathy, shows clear incompetence.

    There’s also a thingy where Nissan and Maruti Suzuki where their datsun GO and maruti swift failed a crash test. Datsun Go crash’s end result was that even with airbags, it wouldn’t have made a difference. I do give credit that Nissan. I remember the story in Team BHP where Skoda mechanics swapped good components with dead ones when cars come in for service, and even where they got legal notices for having a vast collection of well-detailed threads and complaints. Having the safety campaign is very appreciated, but if they’re under the impression that it would cover that story, then it’s unfortunate. Responsible companies should recall on their own rather than banking on government’s lazy attitude. Because at the end of the day, customer’s impression about a brand- irrespective of how good or bad their models can be- is what makes it sell.

    Just my 2 cents.

  31. Great beginning to something even more greater! 🙂

  32. anks says:

    So you guys run this great site, organise some suberb events, sing and play music… and then write a blog too? Is there something you guys can’t do?

  33. Anita Sahu says:

    Weekly diary is a great initiative from IB…also indi-happy hours is very exciting

  34. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    This is a great initiative Team IB..a wrap of a week’s activities on the Indiblogger platform 😀 Thanks for coming up with this …. 🙂

    Regarding the debate, I think writing an aggressive post does only makes one feel bitter. And it’s quite true that we can’t make anyone shameful or humiliated these days in that way, for what used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity. So, I think it’s better to come up with the facts and figures regarding any malpractice and the words should be spread and shared in every possible way. People will definitely be able to understand and get aware of the perpetrators.

  35. Hey Anoop! Great post on Indiblogger weekly Dairy! It’s wonderful here as lot of interaction and goodies are up for grabs with Idi Happy hours and they give a topic as well to write along with the motivation 🙂 I really enjoying being a member of Indiblogger and really hats off to you guys for making this initiative work to unite us all 🙂 The Mug thingy is awesome 😀

  36. Abhishek kumar says:

    It’s a beautiful start.I loved it and waiting for the next edition.
    Indiblogger has interesting, meaningful, engaging and worthy topics to deal with.

    ‘Writing aggressively about a product create negatives in the mind.Every product has its merits and demerits.
    While reviewing,we must look on both sides.
    We have to also keep in mind,the mindset of buyers as well as sellers’.
    I think,writing should aware buyers and awake sellers for improvements.

  37. Arti says:

    *Eyeing the special edition mug greedily* As far as the question is concerned, the answer is not definitive as in ‘this way or that way’ as there are a lot of different factors involved in different situations that have a role to play in how or in who’s favor the entire situation pans out in the end in cases like the ones cited by you…

    One, I feel, is the authenticity or the genuinity sensed in the voice of the blogger and two, the credibility of the company/brand in question itself.

    While the authenticity of the blogger decides what impact the aggression shall be having on the readers and the masses in general, the credibility and the relationship established by the company with its customers would determine whether the company would have the feet to steer clear of troubled waters or is in danger of finding itself fixed in the circle of negativity.

    The reason why I give more importance to the credibility rather the situation itself (in most cases) is because I feel, a lot of brands/bloggers in India do (well) based on the impressions they have left/are leaving on the minds of their customers. These are impressions formed based on personal experiences and authentic transactions with the people concerned. Rest, of course depends on how the relationship is carried forward.

    Mistakes happen and we all do, and we all know that, but when such things happen, I believe – Trust generally becomes the key that unlocks the outcome in the favor of either.

    By the way, this post indeed read like a page out of the IB diary. Good job there, Anoop 🙂 -> Keep Blogging!!!

  38. Oindrila De says:

    From my perspective, writing aggressively and exposing brands and companies that mislead the public will ultimately benefit the people at large. Malpractices and ethical violations by the big names hardly come to the fore through watered down articles. Only once bloggers step on the “aggression-gas” do such instances of cheating receive attention.

    This tactic, however, goes the other way for some kinds of brands. For example, sites selling adult goods and brands which portray themselves as edgy and adventurous actually gain from all of this negative publicity. This also holds true for brands in their nascent stages (especially if the violation does not affect the efficacy of their core offering).

    Without naming any brands, I would like to shed light on the recent cases of radio-taxi operators which openly flouted some government rules. I honestly did not know of many of those operators, but now we know that if the usual names fail to ply, we will contact the relatively new shared-taxi service-operators to get to our destination when we’re in a hurry.

    The public lashing (via acerbic blogposts) will no doubt go a long way in creating awareness about the level of ethics of many brands which stand on the pillar of trust and honesty. Banks (investment or corporate) will have to work doubly hard to ensure they have strong Compliance divisions and all of their employees comply with the laws.

  39. Meenal Sonal says:

    It’s lovely to read IB diary 🙂

    Coming to the question, blog posts atating views are always welcome. Expressing experience through words, is what blogging to me. If something is wrong, then it shall be expressed.

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