Launch of IndiMail

Our Christmas update is here – albeit a few days late!

Our last two Christmas updates were blogger meets in 2007 and the forum in 2008. Considering how successful both these features became, we sure did have a lot of pressure to come up with something really useful. Thankfully, as always, there were bloggers who came to the rescue and told us what they needed. The discussion evolved into a plan, and the plan evolved into our latest feature, IndiMail.

If you’re thinking “who needs another email service?”, allow us to clarify. IndiMail is not a wannabe replacement for Gmail, nor does it provide you with an email address. It’s a simple, private, 1-to1 messaging system that bloggers can use to communicate with each other, similar to the messaging on Facebook . IndiMail can only be sent between bloggers who are on each other’s networks, giving the networking feature a greater purpose than before.

Here’s a screen capture of my inbox with a couple of messages from Anwin, our team’s tattooed bug-finder.

But wait, there’s more!

  • We’ve revamped our homepage.
  • We’ve made an all-new dashboard. You can use it as a starting place for all your IndiBlogger activity.
  • The ETA of the next IndiRank update is now shown on the dashboard.
  • Mutual connections are now shown separately on the network as well as directory pages.
  • A little email icon now sits beside the mutual connection icon; allowing bloggers to easily send messages to people in their network.
  • Notifications are now sent when a post on IndiVine gets a vote.
  • An updated settings page allows you to control the alerts you receive from IndiBlogger.
  • Fixed an error on the IndiRank stats page: if a new user who doesn’t have a rank as yet tries to access the stats, it used to say that there was an error with the blog’s feed.

We owe a big thank you to Sudama and all the others on the forum who gave us their support and made IndiMail possible. IndiBlogger would be nothing but a simple directory if it wasn’t for all of you.

We hope you all had a great Christmas, and we wish you an awesome year ahead.

Keep blogging!

Renie & The IndiBlogger Team

Statistics from the Indian Blogosphere

IndiBlogger.in has come a long way since we launched in August 2007, thanks to our growing loyal community, several unique features for Indian bloggers, blogger meets all over India, awards for blogs in different fields, media coverage, and of course  – our badges!

Considering our position as the largest directory of Indian blogs and most active community of Indian bloggers, we recently released the “State of the Indian Blogosphere” report, which included the following statistics of the Indian Blogosphere:

How many Indians blog in Indian (Indic) languages?

Indian bogs in English

What are the most popular Indian Languages?

Blogs in Indian Languages

Geographical distribution of Indian Bloggers

Where are the Indian Bloggers

How often are Indian blogs updated?

Indian Blogosphere Activity

Google Pagerank of Indian blogs

Pagerank of the Indian Blogosphere

Alexa Rank of Indian Blogs

Alexa raning of Indian blogs

Age groups of Indian Bloggers

Age groups of Indian Bloggers

These stats were covered by Gauravonomics, WATblogWebyantra, Global Voices, and The Indian Express. Our thanks to everyone for helping us spread the word!

Here are the stats on Slideshare, courtesy Gaurav Mishra:

Bangalore IndiBlogger Meet 2009 – a report

And what a meet that was! Anoop and Karthik started their day getting printouts of the guest list and sorting out the seating at the venue (Microsoft office) while myself and Anwin went for the Google SearchMaster Conference. We met quite a few IndiBlogger members who followed us to the meet leaving Google behind (thanks guys!). Our highlight of the morning was meeting Amit Agarwal of labnol fame who unfortunately could not make it to the meet as he had a flight to catch.

Come 2:30PM and we had our first few bloggers turning up already – Geo was there from the beginning till the end, and there was a point where people thought he was a part of our team! The meet kick-started with Anoop giving a quick run through on IndiBlogger, our long term association with Microsoft and our future plans, and a look at the agenda that was to follow.

The “1 minute of fame” was great fun as usual – what with food-loving bloggers, SEO specialists, technology bloggers, Indic bloggers, Microsoft enthusiasts, Bollywood enthusiasts and blogs yet to be discovered by man. (We’ll explain that bit offline) Not only did we laugh at ourselves, our blogs and our blog posts – we also applauded them. Every one of the bloggers who arrived had a bit of blogging spirit in them, aside from a great sense of humour!

We at IndiBlogger believe that there’s an entrepreneur in every blogger, and a blogger in every entrepreneur. (Yes, we do sound corny at times.) Girish, one of the spearheads of Microsoft BizSpark (who is fun to be with, as per his LinkedIn profile!) gave a brief and inspiring session on how Microsoft fosters the entrepreneur movement in India. Prior to the official launch of Microsoft BizSpark in India, the IndiBlogger team had the privilege of attending a special session where we learned that this programme provides start-ups with free software and no strings attached.

Along came the highlight of the evening, the blogger discussion on blogging rights. The IndiBlogger team unanimously agrees that we could not have picked anyone better than Sandil from Mutiny.in to moderate this session on blogging rights. He really knows his stuff, both from a community perspective as well as legal one. Sandil, a big thank you from IndiBlogger , and congratulations on your wedding. I’m sure you made your wife proud!

In this discussion, the bloggers had a lot of relevant questions to ask and pretty soon we had members of the press joining in the discussion as well. One of the conclusions arrived at was that we need an umbrella organization to represent and defend Indian bloggers. If anyone out there decides to start this up, you have our support.

dsc_0141

Next came the “How well do you know your readers?” from the IndiBlogger team, and apparently we didn’t know our bloggers too well… so let’s move on, shall we?

We must confess that we are writing this post on a Windows Vista machine and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on a copy of Windows 7. Some of the stuff shown to us were truly refreshing, especially the option of arranging window panes on your desktop with mouse gestures. Vic and Vijay, both Technology Evangelists displayed their prowess in Windows 7 with aplomb. Vic, we’re sorry we had to cut your session short, but the pizzas were getting cold!

We do not know if this was because of the recession, but the pizzas were demolished in no time at all. After a long and loud chit chat amongst the bloggers everyone soon settled down in their seats in anticipation of the IndiBlogger forum – an open, free for all discussion on everything about blogging.

As Deep Purple once said, “This may seem like a devilish ploy but it’s one way to bring the proceedings to an end”. The offline forum turned out to be as good as the one we have online. We were bombarded by a barrage of “key words” like deep linking, adwords, adsense, overture, domain registration, nameservers, problogger.net, mind mapping, widget bucks, Tyroo, hostgator, bluehost, dreamhost and every other host. A good part of this was led by a self proclaimed Malayalee who gets 4-5 cheques from Google every month via adsense. Dude, not only are you sly enough to figure out how to make money online but you’re also pretty funny! Sriharsha, it was great to finally meet you. In fact we’ve spoken so much on the forum that it felt like we knew you for years! Aarif spent a few minutes demonstrating the freeware PMW (Process Manager for Windows) he has developed. His only lament is that most of the people who had downloaded his freeware are from outside India!

Debashish, the founder of the IndiBloggies blogging awards, had this short message for everyone at the meet where he tells you what the IndiBloggies is all about (mp3 link):

Debashish on the IndiBloggies

You’ll find links to what other bloggers have had to say about this meet on the official Bangalore IndiBlogger Meet 2009 page. The pictures of the meet are up on Flickr.

A big thank goes out to Microsoft who sponsored this event. More importantly, a heartfelt thank you to all the Bangalore bloggers who reaffirmed our faith in the Indian blogger community, and gave us a great start to the IndiBlogger road show 2009. All you bloggers from the rest of the country, we’ve heard your requests and rest assured, we’ll be there soon!

dsc_0200

New logo, interface and blogging widgets

It’s been a little more than a month since we launched the forum, which has really spurred the IndiBlogger team on. We’ve just completed an update:

  • We finally have a logo!
  • The site has undergone a major facelift in terms of design and usability.
  • We’ve launched widgets, which show the latest topics from the forum.

We can’t wait to hear your feedback!

IndiBlogger.in now in 3 flavours!

Friends, bloggers and ice cream lovers! IndiBlogger.in now comes to you in three flavors.

Use this button at the top of any page to select your theme:

thisbutton

We have the original blue, the new Indi-Red, and a theme for those days when you feel… well, a bit dark.

flavours

Send us your feedback, and let us know which theme you like the best on the forum.

http://www.indiblogger.in

Indian Blogger Forum launched!

Our Christmas update is here again!

Last Christmas, we announced the launch of blogger meets on IndiBlogger, aside from a number of bug fixes. This time around, we’ve just launched our discussion forum for all of you Indian Bloggers in the IndiBlogger community. We think it’s the perfect place for bloggers to:

  • Help out and inspire new bloggers
  • Connect with other bloggers over shared interests and social causes
  • Discuss ethical issues such as plagiarism
  • Get feedback from the community on your blog’s design, content and strategy
  • Promote yourself as a blogger within the community
  • Exchange tips on monetization and SEO

Also, since only registered bloggers can post topics or replies – no spam! (Fingers crossed)

Besides the forum, we’ve replaced the old Tag, Name, City and Google search boxes with a single search box that achieves the purpose of all four. Internally, this somehow became known as the “4 in 1 update”!

As always, please do send us any bugs you may encounter, or any ideas you may have which would help IndiBlogger.in do it’s thing a little better.

The big difference between this year and the last – we’re going to refrain from the usual Xmas wishes. We have not forgotten Mumbai.

Start a new topic at the discussion forum now >

A father’s point of view

Naveen Bachwani, one of the bloggers on the IndiBlogger network has published a book on fatherhood which contains many of his blog posts as well:

It’s a little 50-page adventure called “Bundle of Joy” and its jacket describes it thus:
This book reproduces many of my blog posts on the subject of “fatherhood”, in a book-friendly format. It traces the journey of my experience as a parent, from my first child’s birth to the time she reached about three years of age.
Naveen, best of luck to you from The IndiBlogger Team – and keep blogging!

Indian bloggers unite against terror

Calling all IndiBloggers!

As a blogger of this great nation, we know you have joined thousands of others in expressing your anger, and calling for action to be taken in order to prevent another attack on our national integrity.

We know this for a fact thanks to this collection of blog posts from Mumbai bloggers, who blogged during the attack, are still blogging today, and will surely be angry enough to be blogging about it tomorrow.

With requests from several bloggers asking us to lead an initiative, the IndiBlogger team realized that we had a moral responsibility and a unique advantage where we could bring a vastly influential community of bloggers together to make a difference. Thankfully, we found that there already was an initiative, an initiative that does not talk about signatures or candles. This is a mission with an agenda, timeline and an end result that this country desperately needs.

The “Rebuild India” Mission

We ask that you all get involved with this mission and help us spread the word by blogging about it. The world needs to know that Indian Bloggers come together when their country needs them.

Below, we have a personal invitation to the members of the IndiBlogger network from Ashutosh Didwania, on behalf of the “Rebuild India” mission.

————————————————————————

Late in the evening on the 26th of November, things seemed normal and peaceful. We all were busy with our night duty (read blogging) when all off a sudden the nation landed in dire straits. Some unknown intruders had penetrated our national territory with a motive of causing mass destruction. By the beginning of the next day, they had managed to do that and much more. Indians worldwide were left with only one thought – “enough is enough”. In the aftermath, the nation was left shattered, wounded and demoralized. We knew we had to build it all up again. We knew we had to initiate the ‘Rebuild India’ Mission – and that’s how it all started.

Step 1

Armed with a very small group of bloggers but ones with huge levels of motivation, we initiated a movement to publicize the voice of the citizen. Bloggers simply wanted to scream out their frustrations. We said we would provide them with a punching bag. Some were up with suggestions based on where things were going wrong and wanting their ideas to be heard. We said we would provide them the stage and the microphone. Gradually everyone starting from key business personalities to socialists were raising their voice. The gap between the elite and the ‘Aam Aadmi’ was erased and that’s how the ‘Rebuild India’ Article Repository was formed.

Step 2

With a huge content base in hand, we were contemplating our options when suddenly it occurred to us that these were the suggestions of bloggers. We needed the general citizens to approve these suggestions, for even a master plan fails without consensus. We got back to the drawing board and came up with a plan to separate the grain out of the chaff for public approval/disapproval.

That’s how the ‘Rebuild India’ Online Survey got going and this is where we are at the moment. At the end, we expect a full-proof case of stats and figures on how we rebuild the nation.

Step 3

This is where the game begins, as this is where everyone gets involved. We alone won’t decide what to do next, it’s the bloggers of the IndiBlogger network who need to guide and support us. In fact, you guys need to carry forward the rebuilding process, and we assure you that it’s not a small responsibility. It’s a responsibility of providing hope to over a billion Indians citizens and many more residing across shores. Tell us what to do and we would be all ears. Raise your hands in support and join us.

Let’s get together and make a difference! Let’s get together and rebuild the nation!

Regards,

Ashutosh Didwania
(On behalf of the ‘Rebuild India’ Mission)

—————————–

The “Rebuild India” Mission >

Updated submission guidelines

We used to have 3 simple rules for getting your blog on IndiBlogger.in. Unfortunately, things don’t get simpler over time. So now, we have 8 not-so-simple rules for getting your blog on IndiBlogger.in.

The most significant addition to our submission guidelines is that blogs which copy their content  without giving due credit and lacking any personal views/opinions will not be allowed into the directory.

Point #5:

If we suspect that a blog contains duplicate or unoriginal content without giving due credit to the original source, we check it with Copyscape or Google. Blogs found with plagiarized content will not be approved.

Have a look at the rest of the guidelines here.

IndiBlogger.in Student Initiative kickstarts at KCG College of Technology

IndiBlogger.in, as a part of the IndiBlogger.in Student Initiative Program conducted its first workshop on blogging at the KCG College of Technology, Chennai on the 16th of October 2008.

Students, Lecturers and Professors from various departments attended this workshop. The workshop was initiated by the students of KCG Tech and the program was organised by Sriram, a final year student of Hindustan University, along with his colleague Ferdin of KCG Tech.

These enthusiasts wanted the students to understand the potential of blogging as an influential medium. We were more than glad to conduct this workshop for the students’ community and are looking forward to more workshops in colleges this year. The students at KCG were focused, attentive and interested to know more about ‘blogging’ and were all ready to experience it.

IndiBlogger.in Blogging Workshop at KCG Tech, Chennai

I gave the welcome note and it was surprising to see the interest shown by all these students on a nice cloudy afternoon with the smell of rain in the air, when we assumed they would rather be outdoors!

Manoj, a first year student of KCG was the most outspoken of the lot and now has his own blog at http://manojbhamidipati.blogspot.com/. This blog was created for him by the IndiBlogger team during the session.

Sandhya, a well-known face with many bloggers and seen at almost all IndiBlogger meets, too joined us to make this workshop a success by taking a session on how to create a blog. (She was the one who created the blog for Manoj.)

Renie‘s session in this workshop was ‘all about blogging’. His session covered an introduction as blogging, the various terms uses, what it takes to blog and why blogging is important to everyone.

Sriram conducted a session on promoting your blog and maximizing readership.

One instance from the workshop which made us proud – Vikraman, another student stood up to make a bold and honest statement that “I always thought that learning to speak in front of a large audience was the only way to make myself heard. I thank the IndiBlogger team for showing us this new medium where we can express, open up, share our views, opinions and suggest our ideas about anything to the rest of the world” . This truth was reciprocated by a hall filled with applause for himself, the IndiBlogger team, the students of KCG, the workshop and the experience of blogging.

I was eagerly waiting for the launch of the ‘IndiStudent Badge‘ at the workshop. This badge is dedicated to the students in our community.

To conclude:

We thank the management of KCG tech in providing us all the possible support for this workshop.

Special thanks to Professor Ravi, Ferdin and Sriram  – Computer Science Dept.

Pictures of the event are available at the IndiBlogger collection on Flickr.

We are on tour! So please do reach us if you want to have a workshop conducted in your school or college.

- Balaganesh & The rest of the IndiBlogger Team