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!

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.

Blogging to build your personal brand

 

 

Blogging to build your personal brand

This article appeared in Life 365, 13th March 2013.

Write now

Hindustan Times, Mumbai, January 13, 2013

Get Published - HT Cafe, Mumbai, 13th Jan, Page 8

Be it through candid blog posts or publishing houses, the one thing every writer dreams of is to see their work being read by the rest of the world. And now, to aid this dream, HarperCollins India and blogging forum IndiBlogger are coming together, to launch a unique initiative that will give Indian bloggers a chance at getting their work published. The bloggers on the IndiBlogger.in network are being invited to share their experiences under the theme of real love stories, and the best that are shortlisted will be published by HarperCollins later this year.

Read the rest of this article here, and check out GetPublished now!

Delay in moderation

Those of you who registered with us over the past four days may face a delay before your blog gets listed in the directory. We are all out of office as Anoop (the guy who demonstrates the jig at the IndiBlogger meets) got married yesterday. Rest assured, things will be back on track by Thursday.

As for Anoop – a hearty congratulations goes out to him and Diana from the IndiBlogger team!