The IndiBlogger Weekly Diary Edition 6

Welcome to another episode of our weekly diary! This week we take a look at a movie that perked a bit of interest on IndiVine, We visit the first IndiBlogger campaigns of the year, Our winners for the all new IndiBlogger fridge magnets are revealed and more!

First things first! Happy Makar Sankranti/Pongal and this festival probably marks the last of the mandatory leaves that we will get for a while :-). I couldn’t find too many posts on the subject. So this may be a festival that people are actually celebrating instead of sitting at home and talking about it. I could be wrong but below are a few.

http://aartirathodartandmore.blogspot.in/2015/01/makar-sankranti-pongal-lohri-bhogi-and.html – A write up with the seasons greetings!

http://www.assamjournal.com/2012/01/makar-sankranti-festival-in-assam.html – A post from a few years ago on the festival in assam.

http://sangaminvestments.blogspot.in/2015/01/financial-lessons-from-makar-sankranti.html – A interesting analogy of finance with an age old tradition. I want what this bloggers been having while this post was written :-D

 

Dirty Charades:

The IndiBlogger team also decided to meet up during this time and take a break. It was fun meeting everyone after a long while and as we live and work from different locations across India, we always get crazy during these meetings. For example, we decided to play dumb charades but someone wanted to introduce a twist, where you could change or add one word to the existing movie/show and act it out. I expected mild changes with words like “bread”, “Happy” etc, but people just decided to be obscene. Some of the stuff that were thrown in were, “How I met your Mother Fu**er”,  “Men Who Stare At Goats Testicles”, at this point Nanny (AKA Nandita Thomas)  who heads our finance, was finding things rather embarrassing and to her undying horror she realized that Renie was acting out “Ace Ventura: Pet Molester” , that’s when she started yelling and I quote, “Please don’t do anything to that dog , please don’t!!” :-D. So its back to work again for us, with pay cuts.

Below is a Gif of Nihal doing a movie. A few of you who can give us an interesting movie that Nihal could be depicting, will be sent an IndiBlogger merchandize. Remember, you can add or change one word and you don’t have to guess the actual one as even I don’t remember what he was doing, so you can get creative :-)

Niheee-Gif-cropped-2

 

Into The Sunset:

Vineet and Swati are taking undertaking a 2500 Km bike ride starting with this weekend. We wish them only 5 or 6 breakdowns through their journey and I am pretty sure they cant pack enough underwear on their bike to cover all the ten days, so we expect that they will change every two days if we are lucky.

 

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PK goes Bang Bang Boom!

The movie PK seems to have created a bit of a wave inside IndiBlogger. I could find many posts on the subject upon browsing through IndiVine. On our Weekly edition #3, we asked a question on the solution to world peace and most of the answers seemed to say that religion played a major role in standing in the way of this progress. This movie seemed to try and make a case towards misdirections that people employ to use religion to their benefit. Some liked it and others had other ideas.

For better or for worse, here are some links of blogposts talking about the movie!


www.lifestalker.com/2014/12/5-reason-why-you-should-watch-pk.html

http://www.rohanbhardwaj.com/2015/01/relationship-with-god-case-study-of-pk.html

http://satyendrakikavita.blogspot.in/2014/12/pk-of-amir-khan-hurts-hindu-sentiments.html

http://filmreading.blogspot.in/2015/01/pk-in-search-of-god.html

http://itjusthappenandthen.blogspot.de/2014/12/my-view-on-pk.html

www.lifestalker.com/2014/12/5-reason-why-you-should-watch-pk.html

http://unsuni.blogspot.in/2014/12/pk-review-heres-why-i-wont-see-it-again.html

https://vbothransh.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/pk-its-for-better-world/

http://somebodysaidit.com/bollywood/does-pk-really-hurt-hindu-sentiments/

http://reflectionsvvk.blogspot.in/2015/01/pk-movie-one-of-best.html

https://amritafoundation.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/pk-is-ok/

http://beeafteryou.com/pk-hai-kya.html

thewritejourney.in/why-you-wouldnt-catch-me-arguing-over-pk/


 

A prediction comes true!

So my prediction of the first happy hour being an E-commerce site came true!  Quikr came and in 4 minutes, left with around a 100 posts. That is so awesome. I had just gone to microwave some coffee and by the time I got back the posts were in the queue! Also dabur is back extending their campaign with a 100 more vouchers. So, that’s sweet. Ganga Bharani recently tweeted that she made around 10,500 through Happy Hour Vouchers. I have sent her my bank details in case she feels generous. How much have you made?

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 1.20.20 AM

 

I am also making another prediction this week.  I see an event on Horizon. I am getting pretty good at this you know.

Garnier has also launched their second campaign with IndiBlogger talking about pimples and its solution for it. Three Nexus 6 phones up for grabs! among other things. I actually started getting pimples when an idiot messed up a face scrub at a spa. It burnt my face and its never been the same again since! hmph!

A Blogger, A YouTube Channel and An Advertisement!

I was pleasantly surprised this week when I saw an Ad of Scherezade Shroff on a random YouTube video that I was watching. No, I wasn’t watching fashion or make up tips :-), I believe I was catching up on some music lists for 2014. When the Ad came on,  I kept staring at it and realized that it was Sherry! She has been quite active on IndiBlogger winning a drive with Lewis Hamilton at the vodafone IndiBlogger Speedfest event and she also gave a talk at our IndiBlogger – Big Rock conference last year! Nicely done girl! Super impressed! You will also notice that i didn’t “Skip Ad” :-D.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 6.36.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 6.28.11 PM

The winners of last weeks magnets are here!

It was interesting to read the comments on how people were effecting lives by blogging. I also had people like Renie who gave me the low down on blogging when created my first blog on Blogger and then on WordPress. I don’t think I could have started blogging without that initial know how and help. I may not have even thought about it!

So there you go, The winners!

Madhu,

Anita,

Shivam,

Sagarika Naik,

Maniparna Sengupta,

Haimanti Dutta Ray

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 1.51.36 AM Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 1.56.51 AM Shivam Sagarika Maniparna Haimani

This Week On IndiSpire:

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 10.46.12 AM

 

 

Any topic that provokes a morbid fantasy thought is probably one of my favorite topics to trip on :-D. I love the occult! I remember my grandfather’s collection of Occult books from his days of being a book merchant. I would read them over and over again, look at the details in the pictures and ponder over what could be. I also had  decent know how on certain theories of Numerology, star signs etc. I am excited to read up on the entries on the topic during the course of this week. You can submit your entries here!

The Question Of the Week:

With FaceBook taking the initiative of bringing free internet to the masses, they have successfully launched their dream in Columbia for now. We expect more to follow. The  Internet condition in India right now is not that great according to us. All the popular ISP’s seem to offer decent download speeds but dont seem to care about uploads. We feel that this hampers a lot of creative endeavors that people undertake online.

So the questions are: Are you happy with the present offerings of the popular ISP’s in India? Do you think curbing uploads is hampering our creative progress and How do you think a country such as India can benefit from FREE Internet! Tell us and you could get your self “Blog Now, Live Forever” Fridge magnets!

Thats it for another edition of the IndiBlogger Weekly Diary! We thank you for staying with us and giving us your support. Until next time, may you find what you are blogging for. Good night!

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IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 5

Our first entry for the new year is up and we are so excited! At least I am, with my fourth cup of coffee in the last hour :-)

The year gone by has been a great phase for blogging in India! The launch of our three new products – IndiHappyHours, Indispire and IndiOne – changed the dynamics of everything on IndiBlogger! Over 5000 new bloggers signed up on IndiBlogger in the last 12 months and did you know that IndiVine received over 1 lakh posts for the 2nd year running in 2014? Now that’s quite a number!

In the first post for this year, we rummage through some interesting forum topics, we introduce our new “Blog Now, Live Forever” IndiBlogger merchandise and an Indispire topic that gate-crashes a mean stereotype that has plagued women since forever!


To start off, the weekly diary just got itself an exclusive access to the new, post card sized IndiBlogger Blog Now, Live Forever fridge magnet! It’s not necessarily just for the fridges though ;) So this being the first week of the new year and all that jazz, we are giving these out to more than a few bloggers from amongst those who comment on this post and not just the question-of-the-week winners.

IndiBlogger Magnet

Blog Now Live Forever IndiBlogger Magnet

 

Know Any Good Girls?

IndiSpire

When I saw this topic on IndiSpire, I felt a bit left out. There are good guys too, you know!  Although when I saw Amrita’s post on the ‘DO NOTs’ for being a good girl, I was happy that those points applied only to women ;-D . To make matters worse, I read the ‘DOs’ all the way from A to H. I understand that with present stereotypes, life is hard for women; especially when someone tells you to stop gossiping!

I just saw an episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter and it portrayed the struggle of a 60’s woman; trying to make it big in the so-called man’s world, where no one takes her seriously but she can kick some ass though!

Karthik says that a good girl is the one who always obeys him. If you disagree with him you could win yourself something from us! You can see more opinions on ‘Good Girls’ right here on IndiSpire and if the date is not up yet, you can contribute as well!

angel-demon

The Personality of Blogging!

Talking about personal life experiences on a blog is the primary reason why blogging came into existence in the first place. A lot of people used their blog to write, rant and share experiences that they felt they needed to talk about. They never expected anything in return for their writing and thus they became the the pioneers of an amazing form of expression. What makes personal blogging close to our heart is that it is timeless. Gadgets and technology, among other things, come and go; but life’s experiences are always invaluable to most of us!

We looked through IndiBlogger to find some bloggers who still continued the tradition of writing articles that reflected their emotions and their way of life!

Saru Singhal:

Saru has always been writing stories and poems on things that affect her life. Here is one of her popular poems on IndiBlogger. We were looking forward to meeting her in New York when we hosted a blogger meet at Vikas Khanna’s flagship restaurant, Junoon, but sadly we missed her there! There’s always next time though! :-)

http://www.sarusinghal.com/2013/04/shaken-stirred.html


Debajyoti Ghosh:

Debajyoti blogs about experiences of adulthood and going by some of the comments on his posts, we see that many draw inspiration from his work. Below is one of his many inspiring posts:

http://factsandnonsense.com/flying-through-the-purple-sun/


Jahid Akhtar:

A writer very open about his feelings and emotions with a very lucid style of writing! Did you know that he has his debut novel on the way? It’s called  Story of Tublu - An amazing journey called life. The tagline suggests why he is on this list! :-). Have a look at one of his posts below:

http://jahidakhtar.blogspot.com/2013/08/gentleman-do-you-know-hindi.html


My Say:

For want of a real name, we shall just call this gentleman My Say. He takes everyday things and makes them humorous and palatable to people who read his blog. The post that we have selected is ‘Man With Long Hair’. At one point I had long hair and man was it a pain to maintain! And not to forget, I would always get weird looks wherever I went! I dont know how Nihal from indiBlogger, who swears by his long hair, pulls it off. Or maybe he doesn’t! :-) But there you go, the woes of a man with Rapunzel hair:

http://mysay.in/2013/06/27/man-with-long-hair/


Sreedev Soman:

Another gentleman true to the art of putting up life experiences in the form of short stories, poetries and sonnets! Below is one of his wonderful posts:

http://kookydom.blogspot.in/2013/07/on-rainy-evening.html#.VK9tXqYYtR0


Nabanita:

In her ‘About Me’ section, she says, and I quote, “I write when I am happy; when I am sad or when an issue touches my heart. I find inspiration to write in every aspect of life.” This is the sort of thing most people look for in an article! Here is an example of one of her posts:

http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/2013/07/knots-of-chain.html


Arumugam Easwar:

Another blogger who digs deep into his personal experiences to bring out some fantastic posts on life! Below is a blog post on one of his more sombre experiences. A great read!

http://www.miraarvind.blogspot.in/2013_07_09_archive.html


Farida Rizwan:

I have met Farida countless times at IndiBlogger meets in Bangalore. She is a true warrior and her story on being a cancer survivor is a testament to the amazing, strong woman that she is. Her honest writing and her way of dealing with her problems are an inspiration to many who seek to understand ‘normal life’ after being stricken by cancer. She has been at it tirelessly and I can see over 35 posts on the subject.

http://www.chaptersfrommylife.com/p/the-cancer-touch.html


Sangeeta:

Her blog, Life Is A Vacation, is a treat to read! Her travel tales mixed in with her emotions and comparisons to her other experiences are delightful. Thats exactly how I want my life to be.. a vacation! :-)

https://lifeisavacation.wordpress.com/


Vinitha:

A blog that revolves around her life and her daughter. She writes on varied experiences of her life and more importantly, she talks about family! :-)

http://www.ourowncorner.com/poohsden/category/family-room/


There are MANY MANY more. I always feel I don’t have enough space on a blog to write just one post on such subjects like these. I limit the number of words per post to around 1200.

The Question of The Week Winners: 

Is the blogger’s language more important or the experience shared on the blog was the hot debate. A lot of people had similar answers which correlated writing styles, language, the actual experience and emotions involved. However, I still do feel that there are a lot of people out there who swear by good language. For many, a quality of post is directly proportional to the quality of language. If I had asked my mom this question , she would say, “If you don’t know how to write, don’t!”

We had a great time going through the responses and here are the winners of the IndiMug (If you want the fridge magnet instead, send us a tweet;)

winners

Winner2

On the Forum This week!

HappyHour

The next Happy Hour prediction! My inside information dragged out of our sales guys educated guess is that the next campaign is not a tech campaign but an e-commerce one ;-)

For the Love of Gadgets!

On the forum, Arvind Passey asked people their wish list for gadgets. I believe most people have stopped experimenting too much and have chosen a few brands that they want and prefer. You can head over to the forum and comment on it to share your views!

Gadgets

I am still with Apple on this one though. I want the Apple 5K monitor. I am also looking forward to the iWatch. I have had a digital smart watch from the Italian company i’mWatch ever since its launch (it’s nothing great but I had a good time fiddling with it.)

The Question of the Week:

Our question of the week is in line with our cover story. Do you feel blogging about your life personally effected lives and/or have you been influenced by someone’s personal experiences (cite examples of blog posts or bloggers if you can)?. Do tell us how that worked out for you and you could you could find a brand new Blog Now, Live Forever magnet at a fridge near you!

We wish you a happy new year and until next time or forever, keep writing your personal experiences on your blog. We believe they help many!

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 4

Greetings of the season and welcome to the last edition of IndiBlogger Weekly Diary for 2014! This week we look at the spirit of Christmas through the posts from our fellow bloggers, how the last week’s question on world peace opens a can of whoop ass, the mystery of the Hitler video and the Top 12 IndiBlogger posts for the year 2014 (one for every month)!

We were browsing for posts related to Xmas on IndiBlogger and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few on the subject from different perspectives. There were posts on Christmas fashion, travel, history, its tradition, et all. There were also some photo-posts on Christmas trees along with delicious sweets and savories of the season. Here’s a list of a few posts that you can check out!

Krishn & Christ- An interesting theory of sorts!

Merry Christmas – Some pics of a manger and a church decorated with Xmas lights.

What will Santa gift me this Christmas? – A bit about the relationship between gifts and Santa claus

A picture is worth a thousand words – (23) – It’s Christmas time!  – Some pics on decorations on an Xmas tree

Christmas – Childhood memories - A personal experience on memories of Xmas past!

Santa Wrapped My Year In A Travel Kit  – An interesting post on Xmas and travel

Holiday Cheer – A fashion statement!

When Santa disappeared from earth! - A story that give a bit of the ol’ reality check!

What joys will your Christmas bring? - An Xmas tree made entirely books? wot? :-)

Christmas Nail Art – You can make your nails feel the Xmas too!

Christmas tree alternatives - Some great decorative ideas

Christmas Special: Make snow fall on your blog! – An interesting way to make your blog feel the Xmas spirit as well!

A Letter to Santa – A neat piece of creative writing!

Christmas Recipes – Xmas Food!

DIY – Christmas Crib - A crib is something very few people have the time to make, but if you want to heres how you can get one done!

The Christmas Angel – Another creative piece on Xmas

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year – Bow barracks during Xmas

Dear Santa, thank you so much! – A personal experience on last years Xmas

There are many many many more .. and I am afraid this blog post is not big enough to cover them all but go ahead to browse and feel the excitement of an age-old tradition with a modern spin to it.

 

What’s up on Christmas?

Last week we asked what everybody really wanted to do this Christmas and here are the winners of a brand new IndiMug for that!

IndiBlogger Weekly Image 1

 

The Big Question Last Week!

Ok, so we asked everyone what they thought of world peace! For a few, the response was, “WTF is world peace?!?”, some offered solutions such as inner peace, personal responsibility, breaking stereotypes and barriers; a majority seemed to think using religious principles was not an effective method for governance of a country. I agree to all of that!

Here’s what I think: I believe the capitalistic world that we live in is playing a major part in the slow progress that we are making towards peace. There are many people who don’t have the basic necessities in life. Money seems to be the only commodity that drives things on earth at the moment. You may have the worst personality known to man, but if you have cash, living on earth is rather easy. What if you don’t have any means and were born to a family that could not provide for you and you had to do it all on your own? You probably are susceptible to people using you for their own needs. I feel terrorism is no different, it preys on the vulnerability of a human soul, that dreams of a happy life and that one meal a day needed to survive. Religion sometimes preys on this very same need. “Come to my church/temple/mosque and I will give you rice and maybe a gun or a vest bomb if you are worthy”.

Most of the people who should be reading the thoughts that we write about on the internet don’t seem to have internet! I kinda like the Mark Zuckerberg principle of free internet for all. Freedom of being informed maybe our only hope of bridging the great divide that seems to be consuming everything in its path at the moment.

(Editor’s note: 

33992757 )

 

 

….moving on to this week’s winners of the IndiMug!

 

 

IndiBlogger Weekly Image 2

 

The mystery of the person in the purdah at the IndiBlogger Meet in Hyderabad!

OK! So a few people made guesses. Poonam made a couple. All wrong! :-). Heres the story: so the night before the IndiMeet, we got a bit sugar happy and decided that someone should be in a purdah at the event pretending to be Hitler in disguise. Before we knew it, Vineet Rajan was on his bullet, roaming the streets of Hyderabad, trying to find a purdah. The funny thing was, at the event, while he was running away when ‘spotted’, he rammed into a wall, cartoon style, because he couldn’t see through the veil! :-).

Err.. so no IndiMug on this for anyone :-(

Top posts on IndiBlogger for every month in 2014!

To compile this list, we took into consideration the popularity of the posts and the impression it made on readers.

Note: The time the post is submitted into IndiBlogger is taken into consideration and not the actual date of the post.

January 2014:

Biswas and her internal tussle with understanding where her blogging stands makes it to our top post in January. I have thought of unplugging and have done it before!

February 2014:

Saru Singhal and her intellectual post on the relationship between intelligence and knowledge takes the top spot in February.

March 2014:

Arti Shah and her ‘The Story of A Girl’ post for the British Airways contest on IndiBlogger makes it to the best post of March this year!

April 2014:

Joshi Daniel and his picture taken in the UAE is the first of two of his photo-posts that make it to this years list and it is indeed our top pick for April!

May 2014:

Bhavya Kaushik and his dark rendition of lovers is our best post for May 2014!

June 2014:

Anita and her dissection of virginity mixed in with Indian pop culture references is our top post for June this year.

July 2014:

Damayanti’s blog post recapping an experience at a writers conference is our pick for the top post in July!

August 2014:

Chaitali’s analysis on the core ideology behind writing and blogging is our best post for August this year!

September 2014:

Joshi Daniel’s powerful imagery and his ability to communicate intense feelings through a picture and a short description is an art form in itself. This one of a samosa seller seems to tell the story of a vendor anxious to sell his snack while its still hot!

October 2014:

Jahid Akhtar and his ‘See All, Tell All’ trip to Gangtok makes it to the best post of October.

November 2014:

Debajyoti Ghosh’s hysterical evaluation of the present commercialization of the Indian blogging scene makes it the best post of November.

December 2014:

Shweta Dave and her post on young love seduces its way to the top post this December

So those were what we think are the best posts for this year. I feel I wrote some good posts too but they didn’t bother to pick any! grrr…

 

The Question of the Week and the last question for the year 2014!

A lot of times I hear people say that the language is the most important thing when writing a post. There are others who say the experience or information that the post talks about matters more than the quality of the language. Let’s say a 10 year old writes a blog post on his experience in the school. We cant really expect Wren & Martin type English when they decide to pour out their feelings on their blog!

So, the question is, what matters more to you – the language or the experience? …and why? Talk to us! And you can win “Blog Now, Live Forever” IndiMugs. These mugs cannot be bought or won at any contest. You can only get them right here on our comments section! So shoot! :-)

The End is the Beginning is the End:

The title of the song from Smashing Pumpkins seems apt as life flows from one year into the other. I hope, for the most part, this year has been kind to you and your blog!

#FunFact: In the year 2014, the number of posts submitted to IndiBlogger is 1,12,109 so far! It has been an honor serving you.

We leave you with a video from the IndiVault taken at the Milaap IndiBlogger Meet last Christmas where the bloggers who attended sang The Twelve Days of Christmas. We hope you enjoy it. Until next year, keep the comments coming!

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 3

Hello everyone! Welcome to another edition of the IndiBlogger Weekly Diary! This week we talk about IndiBlogger going dark, our view on “Is Blogging Dead?”, a kid on the IndiBlock making a big splash and a tribute to an IndiBlogger team member on his birthday.

Homepage

 

Considering that the human race just stooped to a new low this week, we decided to black out the banners on the home page and focus on the issue at hand. There were tweets from bloggers referencing posts on our twitter as well.

You can read all the blog-posts about #PeshawarAttack on IndiBlogger here.

Personally, I’d like to go at least one week without something messed up happening. Well, third week running and things around the world have gotten progressively worse!

From The IndiVault:

As for our hatred towards tyrants, I dug into the IndiBlogger vault and found an old video that we edited to be a parody of Hitler wanting to get into an IndiBlogger meet, twice! :-)  Watch the first video carefully and if you NAME THE PERSON in the ‘purdah’ at the end of the film, you can win yourself a mug!

 

 

 

 

 

Rising Like A Spire!

I was really happy to see what transpired on IndiSpire this week! No it wasn’t the topic, though it gave way to many interesting blog-posts. Shahen, who posted this topic, is under 14 yrs old if I am not wrong and I believe some of us may have met him at the BigRock IndiBlogger Meet in Mumbai. Well, he beat all you oldies and Ranjit’s “Weave a story on, rubbish” ploy! :-)

 

Shahen

IndiSpire

 

It simply reminded me of the power of being a blogger! Well done Shehan! :-)

You can support him  by writing for the topic. Relive your favorite movies and submit it to IndiSpire!

For me, my go to movie is Pulp Fiction! I just love the random dynamics of that movie, the engaging dialogues like ‘With sugar on top” , “Honey Bunny”, “Say that again M*** F***R!, I dare you, I double dare you!”… heh good fun! :-)

Here are some blog posts from this week’s IndiSpire:

Relive Moments Bollywood Ishtyle.

It’s All About That Friday..!!

First Day First Show

1000 Weeks Of Falling In Love

My 10 Anytime Watch list

Death Is Only The Beginning!

To answer last week’s ‘question of the week’, we wanted to understand the state of the blogosphere from some bloggers on IndiBlogger! Here are some excerpts of their conversation with us sometime back.

Tara Sharma, who has her very own show (http://tarasharmashow.com/) in its third season had this to say: “To be honest, in my case, my blog is very much alive and the start point of my show, which is based on my blog diary!.

Heck! I guess you can do anything with a blog these days! :-)

We asked Purba Ray and she had this to say – “Like any other relationship, your blog demands your attention and love. You either chicken out or give it your all. It takes a talented, motivated individual to maintain a successful blog”.

It’s like raising a chicken!

We asked Anshul Tiwari who writes at YouthKiAwaaz.com“Social networking and blogs play two very different roles. While social networks allow us to express ourselves to our friends and followers, a blog gives you the joy of being self-published and yet connect with friends and followers. For a writer, photographer or a filmmaker, a blog is the home base and social networks are the outposts where you promote the base and your identity.

I agree to this, profusely! :-)

Anuradha Goyal, who blogs at anuradhagoyal.com and has authored the book, The Mouse Charmers, points out a more philosophical truth, “Blogging is content and it will remain there for time to come. Over a period of time, blogs will become the chronicles of our times.

For everyone who has chronicled major events of their life in blog posts, this is time for goose bumps!

Having said all this, I feel what drives most bloggers to be loyal to blogging is the fact that it is the ultimate symbol of freedom of speech. As a blogger, you are the master, you are not bound by the terms and conditions of another website/service – you make your own rules! It is undoubtedly the greatest freedom you can have on the internet.

I do understand why some may think blogging is dead or on the verge of it. Blogging can sometimes be a thankless art. One looks for a lot of information on the internet these days and most don’t stop to thank the author. The fact is that blogging is alive and makes up a huge portion of the user generated content on the internet. Well you can also make a good living out of it!

Here are the winners of this weeks mugs!

Thank you for all your comments. There are many comments that should be getting mugs but alas, not enough mugs!

Vidya Sury: “As bloggers, we have the privilege of making our voices heard to a huge audience. We have the power to support a cause and bring significant changes in peoples’ lives. (INDICHANGE?) And while we’re at it, we have so much fun, making friends, connecting with people and heck, even making money! Blogging is the best of all worlds!”

Arti: “The reason why people say this is because most blogs start lacking any vision or purpose thereby attracting miserable readership forcing them to close down something that they once apparently loved. Question is: can we then conclude blogging is dead? Of course not! It just means blogging is not easy. The efforts, hard work, quality and dedication pumped in by the blogger is what makes a blog truly alive and kicking.”

Aseem Rastogi: “News outlets quote bloggers on various topics. Bloggers are called for movie launches, book launches, food tasting sessions, social causes, mobile launches, car launches and I can go on and on till the cows come home.

It just shows that the kind of importance bloggers are gaining with their thoughts and the written word. And this is where, they have the opportunity to shape the thinking of their audience and the world in general.”

Hrishi: “I think now, more than ever, bloggers are forming communities. Bloggers gravitate towards those whose thoughts and words they can relate to, across boundaries of geography and age. THe thoughts of one can influence so many others like a chain reaction or ripple effect, and it is this connection that is being used to share and spread awareness for the greater good.”

Holidays!

Holidays are here again! What is everyone up to for Xmas and New Years Eve this time around? I know most of us would probably have something lame planned, like going to church ;-) That aside, tell us what you really want to do this festive season – like a movie night, a club party, time with an annoying bunch of friends or alone time with some porn and biscuits or like Karthik who wants to dress up in drag; post your comments and you could win ‘Blog Now Live Forever mugs!

Karthik

But wait.. That’s not the question of the week!

The Wedding Singer!

Alright, so another one of the boys fell victim to a birthday. This time it was Nihal. I dug into the IndiVault and found a video taken a while ago on Nihal doing a face melting solo performance at a mutual friend’s wedding. Happy birthday Nihal! you are a very decent person apart from your pathetic online RTS gaming skills.

I enjoyed the live performance very much. The singing came second only to the sexy tone on my Fender acoustic guitar!

Question of the Week:

The ‘Question of the Week’ is where you can win IndiBlogger merchandise for your most intellectual thoughts!

This may sound like something you would hear in a Miss World Pageant, but in light of the events around us, the question is, “As a blogger, what is your solution for world peace?”. You can respond in the comments or if you prefer, through a blog post and post the link in the comments!

Thanks to everyone for reading! Until next week, at least, let’s try not to kill anyone.

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 2

Welcome to another edition of our weekly diary! Well, this week everything was going hunky-dory on IndiBlogger and then this happened on IndiTalk.

IndiTalk

Like some chats have a ‘Buzz’ or a ‘Nudge’ that give the recipient’s computer a jolt, who knew ‘earthworms’ could serve the purpose just as well! If you haven’t sent one over to another blogger yet, you are doing it totally wrong! Head over to IndiTalk and do the deed while you talk about everything under the sun with other bloggers!

IndiSpire

 

Now that’s an apt topic on IndiSpire this week in light of the year ending. The topic was posted by Julekha Khatun. It was fun reading all the new year dump lists and by the end of it  I borrowed a few ‘things-to-dump’ from some of the blog posts and made a 5-pointer list of my own:

  • 2014 DUMPlings –  Stop procrastinating (I have already made progress on this one and hence this edition of the weekly diary has come well in time!)
  • Just Dump Them – Short temper (I don’t know if I can though .. I enjoy it too much..)
  • 10 Things I Will Dump This Year – Being Hyper (This I won’t even try .. my whole livelihood depends on me speaking before I think)
  • Dumping Decisions – The Closing-My-Home-to-Visitors Dump (I know that the IndiBlogger team really likes to do this, but don’t do it often enough. So I will give this one a shot ..everyone reading this blog is invited to my house :-) )
  • My To-Dump List – Blog design layout (This one is a big challenge for me but I guess it’s nice to change the appearance once in a while.. a fresh perspective, if you will!)

For more posts on this subject, head over to IndiSpire!

Alright! So there is an opportunity to visit Melbourne again on IndiBlogger. I saw an ad on yatra.com about their Melbourne package which cost about Rs 1,00,000 per person. That is a pretty significant investment so it might be a very worthy trip for someone.

Karthik on a plane

Oh well!

The last time folks from IndiBlogger went to Melbourne, it was Mohana and Arti who made the cut and going by their blog posts, they seemed to have had a pretty good time.

That reminds me to tell you that Arti’s blog recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary!  Big congratulations to her! Those of us who have completed 5 years or more of blogging, do give us a shout out in the comments. I guess for any endeavour, completing the first 5 years is a major landmark. At this point you are either very sure that you want to continue doing it or you would think of hanging up your boots already. The 10th year is a bigger test because so many things change in that much time. You may have the same passion for things that you did 10 years ago, but hey, you find that you are not 20 or 30 anymore! That can be a challenge at times but for those who continue to blog with perpetual passion, we salute you!

Moving on to a big discussion point of this week! I sometimes feel that we are getting too careless as a country and that the value of human lives is simply not our priority.

Here are some bloggers taking up the sword for what, at times, feels like an inevitable odd.

Delhi Retains Its Special Honour As The Rape Capital

Who is to be Blamed for Rapes in India?

Courage: Every Girl’s Hidden Power

Another Rape In The Capital City

Top 5 Cities in India with Highest Rape Crime Rate

Rape in Delhi By A Taxi Driver

Did We Learn Any Lesson From Badaun?

How Closing Down Uber Doesn’t Stop Rapes

Uber Needs to Own Up To Its Mistakes

Yet Again We Failed Nirbhaya

Uber Case – Rape Is Not A Mistake

Do add your point of view on the comments section of these blog posts. This will also encourage more people to really make something happen.

Talking about other things that bloggers did in the past week, something on Twitter recently got me into a state of an insatiable hunger and anguish.

@foodietweeter

Before this I didn’t know Biryani had layers. And this wasn’t one or two layers, it was 6 friggin of them. I tried mixing two different types of biryanis to get a semblance of peace but nothing seemed to come close to the idea that I had formed in my head of a six layered biryani. And so I write on… feeling more unsatisfied than ever.

Also, thanks everyone for saying so many nice things on the forum and Twitter about the IndiBlogger Weekly Diary. We are always keen to know your reaction to everything we do! Tweets, comments, blog posts, 6-layered biryani – you can show us your love anyway you want!

 

Now for the special edition mug winners and this week’s question!

Ok so last week we asked the readers to comment on this 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?”

One of my biggest learnings (not implemented yet) has been to state facts without the emotional wreck part. The challenge for me is to control myself from calling the perpetrator a F$##%^ and a D$^^#$ S%^$&^ publicly :-). Some comments say that blog posts that tell the factual story behind the experience are crucial to others not falling for the same fate.

Also Jaideep decided that he would go ahead and write a blog post on the topic (The clever young man that he is!). A novel idea. It becomes harder for me to reference each comment but in his case I can just add the link to his post on the subject.

All righty then, it’s time to announce the recipients of the ‘special edition’ IndiBlogger mugs!

 

  1. Vishal V Kale“focus on provable facts; or clearly write the words ‘opinion based on personal experience, justify with examples wherever possible

 

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

 

  1. Jaideep Khanduja“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

 

  1. Saket – “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.

 

  1. Shruti Fatehpuria – She was the first to comment as well. – “As long as we can put the facts straight and stay calm, we will be doing justice to the readers.

Congratulations :) Each of you has won a 2015 special edition IndiBlogger mug

 

 

 

The question for this week:

People ask us time and time again if ‘blogging is dead’. (I have no idea what rock they live under to think of something like this). So, the question is, “Is blogging alive and kicking today? What purpose do you think we, as bloggers, serve for ourselves and/or for the greater good?” Put your discussion down on the comments and we would love to hear your thoughts! And of course, more mugs up for grabs next week as well.

Thank you for reading through our weekly diary. We had a lot of fun going through your blog posts. If there is a blog post that you want us to see, submit it to IndiVine and tweet it! Until next time, it’s over to you!

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!

State of the Indian Blogosphere

For some, blogging is a job like any other. But for many, it is a way of life. And their personalities are reflected in their content. Like-minded readers find the bloggers that share the same interests by searching for them. For instance, a person looking for a week- end of adventure will find such con- tent from a person with similar inter- ests.

Most content that finds its way to the Internet owes its origins to a blog- ger. Blogs are one of the oldest forms of social communication online, hav- ing made their advent in the late 90s. Blogs are distinguished by their fre- quent posts, written in a casual man- ner, and by the way they reflect their author’s persona. The degree of inter- action between the bloggers and the readers is high, making a blog a topic- specific network.

The growth of blogging as a medi- um has encouraged many businesses to integrate blogging into their mar- keting models. Bloggers are brands in themselves. Most  have  some  core expertise that people relate to. Some feature short stories or poems while others write about domains that a large number of people are interested in,  like travel, food  or  technology. There  are  many  who  write  about their real life experiences as well. The topics range from the best home rem- edy for a common cold to more seri- ous topics such as dealing with can- cer and domestic issues among oth- ers. Some bloggers like to spread the word on new things all the time and keep their blogs updated with the lat- est trends – and this is useful to brands. For example, on a good blog, a new restaurant would benefit from a blogger’s  experience of the  food. Any hungry soul looking for food on a weekend has a good chance of find- ing this restaurant through an Internet  search based on his cuisine choice and location. This holds good for any experience like buying mobile phones to housing developments.

Evolution of blogging in India

In 2009, IndiBlogger, a blog promo- tion  and  networking  platform  that hosts   the   largest  community   of Indian  bloggers, surveyed the state of the  blogosphere in the  country, and  found  a  nascent  but  growing medium.  Since that first survey, the blogosphere has come a long way in India,  evidenced by the  growth  in registered  bloggers on  IndiBlogger itself, where membership  has seen an  increase by 450 per  cent  since 2009. In India, blogs have been the fast- est-growing medium across the web with an increase of 11.6 million read- ers (a 48I per cent increase) between March 2012 and March 2013 (com- Score), taking the total blog viewer- ship to 35.9 million readers.

Global versus Indian

Even though the world wide web is global and common to all, the blog- ging scene in each part of the world is unique.  This is because most blog- gers write about their own eco sys- tem. Blogs in different languages all over the  world cater  to  a different audience. In India  blogging in lan- guages like Hindi  is  very popular. There are some areas where bloggers compete on a global stage — technol- ogy, travel and  news in  general to name  a few. One  unique  aspect of India is the diversity, which is well reflected in all its blogs considering the languages and culture.

Comparing  presentation   styles, 79 per cent of all Indian bloggers use text compared to 74 per cent world- wide; but only 6 per cent Indian blog- gers use photography compared to 44 per cent worldwide (source: Technorati 2013 Digital Influence Report, Page 20). Couple of major differences was on the use of social networks and monetization.  Twitter is  more  popular  with  bloggers in India, while Facebook leads world- wide. 86  per  cent  Indian  bloggers compared to worldwide average of 64 per cent have tried to monetize their blogs in  some  form  or  the  other. Indian  blogs also scored higher  in driving  buying decisions at  56 per cent of readers compared to 31.1 per cent of the worldwide average. (Source: Technorati 2013 Digital Influence Report, Pages 16, 25)

The Indian Blogosphere

In a joint survey with BW Businessworld undertaken in January

2014, IndiBlogger set out to find the latest in blogging trends.   We found that it is gaining importance with more experiences and opinions being sought out every day as people look for answers to many questions that affect their  lives. With  social net- works providing a very good foil for bloggers to  promote  their  writing, their numbers are growing.

When we contrasted the findings from our 2009 survey with the 2014 results, we found that the gender ratio of bloggers had improved from 22 per cent to 25 per cent; and Bangalore still leads with the most number of blog- gers, but Mumbai has now become the second largest, beating Chennai which held the second spot in 2009. We’ve also seen a healthy growth in Indic blogs  (Blogs in  Indian  languages). From 8 per cent of the overall share then, it is now at 12 per cent. The share of Hindi in the category of Indic blogs has fallen to 43 per cent compared to 52 per cent then which has been driven by Tamil, Marathi and Telugu.

Here  are key findings from  the 2014 survey, juxtaposed  with  findings from IndiBlogger’s own surveys conducted in 2012 and 2009.

Demographics

In our survey, we found that close to 75 per cent of all bloggers were male.

This could be explained because of the skewed ratio of women using the internet in the country, which stands at  39 per  cent,  according  to  com- Score data. English continues to dominate  as the language of choice although there has been a healthy growth  of 12 per  cent  of regional Indian  languages from 2012. Hindi still forms the major chunk with 43 per cent of all Indian  blogs (5 per cent of all blogs) followed by Tamil at 23 per cent which forms 2.7 per cent of all blogs.

Indian blogs by language, regional langua blog

Blogs by language

The majority of bloggers fall in the  25-  to  35-year-old  age group followed by  18-  to  25-year  olds. This is in line with the overall inter- net subscriber age group representation, where 25- to 34-year-olds makes up for the biggest chunk at 39 per cent.

Indian bloggers by age

Bloggers by age

Going by the number of bloggers from a particular geographical location,  Bangalore leads  amongst  the cities, thanks  to a huge number  of technology  bloggers,  followed  by Mumbai which mostly attributes  to lifestyle, fashion, beauty and  enter- tainment  blogs. Amongst non-met- ros, Ahmedabad leads the pack with most registered blogs.

Indian bloggers city-wise

Bloggers by city

What are bloggers talking about?

The most blogged-about subject cat-egory has been Food and Drink fol-lowed by Travel, for the period 2008 to 2013. Technology, Personal Care, Books and  Fashion have also been seeing a steady flow of posts from the bloggers, driven primarily by the strong marketing and PR spends by various brands.

 

Most blogged about topics by Indian bloggers

Most blogged about topics by Indian bloggers

Compared  to  2012, the  fastest- growing categories have been Health, which grew at 90 per cent, Elections at 83 per cent, owing to the general elections and the run up to it involv- ing major parties and Prime Ministerial candidates. For the first time, campaigning was heavily sup- ported  on  social  media  including official blogs followed by Gadgets at a close third at 81 per cent growth over the previous year.    Family and Parenting  saw a healthy growth  of over 50 per cent, which was driven by the  growth  of  bloggers in  the  age group of 35 years and above.

Increase in blogging by category

Increase in blogging by category

 

Device used to blog by Indian bloggers

Device used to blog

 

Use of social networks

A steadily increasing number of blog- gers are using social networks to pro- mote their blog’s content, improving their networking quotient. It comes as no surprise that a whopping 44 per cent of Indian bloggers use Twitter to promote their blogs. The reason why Twitter is higher than Facebook could be because it allows bloggers to track and measure effectiveness. Secondly, Facebook is  a  closed network,  but Twitter is not which is why it gains preference, being more search-friend-ly. Facebook followed second with 28 per cent which was driven by bloggers using Fan Pages to reach their read- ers. However with the introduction of embeddable posts from Facebook, there has been an increase of 59 per cent from 2012 for Facebook which allows them  to  cross post  to  their respective blogs.

Use of social networks by Indian bloggers

Use of social networks by Indian bloggers

Change in social networks used by Indian bloggers

Change in social networks used by Indian bloggers

Adoption of Pinterest still remains low at 8 per cent, but it saw the high- est  growth  amongst  all social net- works from 2012 at a fantastic 118 per cent. Pinterest has gained immense popularity because the use of images drives home  the  content posted by many Food, Lifestyle, Travel and Fashion bloggers. The use of LinkedIn is still low at 6.4 per cent because business networking via blogs has not caught on in a major way yet.

Monetisation and revenue from blogs

  • 86 per cent bloggers monetize in some way or the other. 76 per cent blogs use some form of an ad network in an effort to gen- erate revenue. The major share still belongs to Google Ad Sense at 95 per cent because of ease of setup on  Google hosted  blogs which hold the majority market share on
  • 56 per cent  of  all  bloggers strongly believe that their blogs influence buying decisions which also means that a major- ity of bloggers blog about brands, products and services.
  • 22 per cent of the bloggers write about their professions.
  • 45 per cent approached by brands or agencies mainly because blogging is increasingly been seen as mainstream media platforms.
  • Amazon.com/amazon.in  leads the affiliate program with a 64 per   cent   share   followed  by Flipkart  at  31 per  cent  share. Only 8 per cent of all blogs use an affiliate marketing program. But we expect this to go up con- siderably with  the  increase of e-commerce and growth in reach.
Monetization of blogs in India

Monetization of blogs

Platforms, analytics and the ecosystem

Although  the  majority  of  bloggers use a desktop; the advent of smart- phones clearly made a mark with 24 per cent of the bloggers using a smartphone to publish content. Interestingly, only 3 per cent blogged from a tablet but we expect that to increase.

Chrome is the browser of choice for most bloggers with a 50 per cent of them using it. Google’s blogspot. com holds around 63 per cent Indian blogs.

Ad networks used by Indian bloggers

Ad networks used

Google Analytics continues to be the most popular tool bloggers use to study and  understand  their  readers with a share of 68 per cent. This is driven by the strong ecosystem Google has built  for  bloggers with Chrome, BlogSpot and Google Analytics.

Blogging platforms used by Indian bloggers

Blogging platforms used

 

Blogging habits, style, management and presentation The majority of bloggers continue to blog articles, but 44 per cent indicat- ed that they have used videos in their blogs.  One fifth of all bloggers use poetry, short  stories and  photos  to present their content. This could be attributed to increase in creative writ- ing  and  more  bloggers aspiring  to become  published  authors.  35  per cent have published guest blog posts on their own blog which shows how bloggers have also been actively net- working with each other. 43 per cent link to other relevant blogs from their own site to share readership.

Blog Traffic Sources by Indian bloggers

Blog Traffic Sources

60 per  cent of the  traffic to  all blogs comes from either search engines or from immediate followers. This can be attributed to the growing search traffic which grew at 28 percent over the past year at 67.5 million making India the 4th  largest in search volumes, according to comScore data.

Most blogs continue to be man- aged individually although we have been seeing a growth in multi-author blogs (MABs). We see this number going up because more bloggers are entering  the  professional  blogging space which needs higher number of contributors to present up-to-date news and information.

A quarter  of the bloggers enjoy the  anonymity  that  blogs have  to offer that  comes from only sharing non-personal information. Indian bloggers are an active lot with  59 per  cent  blogging at  least once in a month.   One third of the blogs received high  interaction  on their blogs with over 5 or more comments from readers.

State of the Blogosphere is a joint survey done by BW | Businessworld and blog promotion  and  networking  platform  IndiBlogger.in. The survey was conducted between December 2013 and  January 2014. The data has been col- lected from a sample of 35,464 human-verified blogs from the IndiBlogger.in database. 1059 bloggers on the IndiBlogger network also responded to a questionnaire of 12 queries which helped in the understanding of specific behavioral characteristics. The study also includes 318,059 blog posts submitted on IndiVine™ since 2008 to understand blogging behavior, categories, topics and writing styles.

Logistically speaking..

I had recently written a post on my personal blog about how it was to be on this side of IndiBlogger. However, it did not include anything about what I did here. (Sometimes I wonder about exactly what I do here and invariably it leads me to watching cute baby videos on Youtube so I could take my mind off it!)

When I joined this company as a PR freelancer, I was fresh out of college with zero experience. The very generous team at IndiBlogger let me work for them, travel with them, be part of team discussions; even allowed me to make mistakes and believe it or not, paid me to simply learn on the job. I got away with a lot of PR goof-ups in the early days and it was merely because the team, at that time, didn’t understand what PR is (Nihal still doesn’t). The bad thing was, at that point, I didn’t understand PR either. Working for IndiBlogger gave me the hands-on experience in the field and for that, I will always be grateful!

Then one day, Renie called me. It was a casual chat when he mentioned to me that he thought I could handle some more work (other than goofing off in the name of PR) in the company. His exact words were, “Just help us a little with responding to a few support tickets that we get sometimes.”

It obviously seemed easy!

And hence, (I would like to believe because of my ‘public relation skills’), I was also made responsible for attending to logistical issues with regards to prizes, vouchers, hampers, coupons, t shirts, pen drives, toothpaste, toothbrush, and whathaveyou.

Let me be honest. When I was growing up, I never once thought or imagined or dreamed to work as that girl who would respond to issues pertaining to a courier lost on its way to a village in Kerala, problems with redeeming a prize by a blogger who is currently in Kenya or a blogger in a little town outside Banaras who did not receive a shopping voucher!

When it dawned on me what I had gotten myself into, all I could think was, “Holy mother of god!”

In the last two years, I have had to respond to so many queries regarding loss (of couriers) that sometimes it’s hard to go to bed with a calm mind. I often imagine myself as Amy Adams’ character, Julie, in the film Julie and Julia; the part where Julie is in a job which entails that she respond to phone calls from people complaining about the government and its public development schemes.

A distraught Amy Adams in the film Julie & Julia

A distraught Amy Adams in the film Julie & Julia

 

At first it was confusing and frustrating and annoying and endless. I had no idea why WeSuck courier service would not deliver to a certain location or why WeAreThieves courier service tends to lose couriers without a trace!

With time I got better at managing these issues and then it wasn’t that ba… err someone just received a damaged shampoo bottle and I am now wondering what I can possibly do to make up for spilled shampoo!

So it doesn’t quite end. The problems are sometimes funny, sometimes manageable, sometimes out of control and mostly not-my-fault.

But bloggers have been really cooperative through all of this. And sometimes, when one of them says thank you or a word of appreciation, I am not sure how, but it all seems worth the entire ordeal.

And then there are times when I have upset some bloggers by my inability to provide a satisfactory solution to a logistical issue. Frustrated with my response, they write to Renie! I take this opportunity to clarify that those mails get forwarded to me again; and eventually it’s me who will still be your point of contact for all things logistics (Bwahahah).

Look forward to talking to you soon (hopefully not through a support ticket!)

 

We Dream Business

This is a guest post by Shilpa Dureja Puri, on the #MeetOffice365 IndiBlogger campaign.

I love to talk to people who adore what they do for a living and it’s fascinating to learn how they got there. And I get awe-struck by dreamers, who believe in putting their future in good hands – their own!

Intrigued by the varied set of dream business ideas that got churned out of a simple contest put together by Microsoft India at an event partnered with IndiBlogger, an Indian bloggers community for an Office 365 blogger meet at New Delhi, I began penning this down with a hope to have this reach out to all those dreamy eyes!

It was remarkable to find so many young bloggers with diverse interests, many technology geeks, some ‘home bloggers’ and a few celebrity bloggers! Many of them travelling from satellite towns of Mathura, Nainital, Muzafarnagar and a couple of them from Chandigarh.

In common was the drive to learn more, make their presence felt (30 seconds of fame landed well) and build connections with fellow bloggers. The event did what Office 365, your complete office in the cloud does best, makes it easier to communicate and collaborate and helps you stay connected. Completely connected!

The interactions with Microsoft team were lively, feature presentation, live demo followed by Q&A session kept the audiences engaged while Twitter feeds were running wild with tags #MeetOffice365 #Office365 #Indiblogger and others! Twitter contests and surprise gifts kept the audience buzzing with excitement. Most interesting were some of the participant bloggers conversations where they began concluding about how they’d want to use Office365 even as the event carried on.

To keep the interactions with young bloggers going, a contest inviting bloggers to use story-telling to talk about a dream business they’d like to run and how’d they use Office 365 to transform their business was announced.

In a week or so, what Microsoft received was hundreds of dream business ideas – some bizarre, many real – but most of all written with passion, filled with conviction and an absolutely remarkable description of their application of Office 365 in making their dream come true!

Every successful dream business starts with a great idea. And there were ideas galore! Online Tutoring Business to a College in the Cloud, Online book portal to Coffee Shops, Travel agency to Trading Agency, Automobile Design Studio to Architecture business, Gaming business to Movie-making, Fashion designing to HR consultancy, Blogger’s platform to co-authoring books to online publishing, Dream of a beggar-free nation to Cancer Support Facility, Build a News Channel to Building a portal to help people overcoming their personal loss…

Some focused on Office365 adding power to their ideas, making it easier to communicate and collaborate with others. Others reflected well on Office 365 operating their businesses from virtually with anywhere access to the Microsoft Office tools we’ve always used and rely on, plus business-class IT services that are easy to administer. Many built their businesses on the sole premise of Office365 capabilities of allowing teams to work in a new collaborative way.

Some spoke of sleepless nights they had deciding upon their dream businesses, many worked round the clock to complete their entries and stayed focused how Office 365 would help them build the blogosphere they live and breathe in!

Interestingly each narrative made a compelling description and why, what, when, where and how they would want their dream business to take shape with Office 365 undeniably promises a solution to fit their needs.

The power to change lies in your hands, be it small business owners to transform how they run their business or young entrepreneurs to build their dream businesses. In all, Office 365 empowers you to work ‘like a boss’! Completely boss!

Creative writings made such a convincing read that judging entries became a herculean task! Picking very best from the best wasn’t going to be easy. So, Top 7 were cherry picked for their creativity, product understanding and above all alignment of business needs with Office365. Completely synchronized!

And, understanding the difference between those who set up their own business and those who talk about it, Team Microsoft decided to support the dreamers in building their businesses and rewarded Top 25 entries with Office365 NFR License – Home Premium! Completely rewarded!

I urge to you go ahead, read some top blogs and immerse yourself in young blogger’s dream business ideas! Click here to read winning entries.

In the end, a note to all those dreamy eyes go ahead and do, whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it boss! Your boldness only needs passion, some genius, a bit of magic and power of Office 365 with it!

I would be happy to hear from you! Write to me at:

Twitter: @shilpapuri
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shilpadurejapuri

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog writing. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.

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