My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bloggers have a long way to go!

A bit like the Indian population, the blogosphere substantially multiplies in size with each passing day. In India, in particular, a recent and interim ban on blogs meant that bloggers were able to garner more attention than the ban itself and were thus able to get their virtual voices heard in the real world of newspapers and television. The question that we now seek to answer is this — Can India ever achieve superpower status in the blogosphere?

Author of the blog,, ex-IITian Amit Agarwal gave up his regular day job with Infosys to become a professional blogger. He says, "There are various factors that currently prevent India from being a blogging superpower. We do not have enough people blogging and more importantly, there aren't enough people reading blogs. To add to this, the majority of Indian blogs are personal diaries that would only be interesting to the family and friends of the blog's author."

Still to achieve critical mass
Agarwal is of the opinion that unlike other countries, many bloggers in India have not realised that blogs can be a good mechanism to generate revenue. He says, "Advertising apart, there is a lot else that you can do to make money from your blog. But this requires a desire to take on great risks and one also needs to dedicate a lot of time to ensure that one's blog is easily locatable on varied search engines. And there aren't enough people doing that." For India to break through the seams of the blogosphere, feels Agarwal, Indian bloggers need to do a lot more than just write good content.
Amit Varma's blog,, won the Best Indiblog award in 2005 and his is arguably the most popular Indian voice in the blogosphere. Varma believes that the term 'superpower', in the context of the world or the blogosphere, can prove to be very misleading. And like Agarwal, he believes that Indian blogging and bloggers have a long way to go. He says, "If we are to look at the state of blogging in the States, we would find that there are many political blogs, which are influential and help mobilise election campaigns. India is different because blogs don't have such a high readership here and Internet access isn't high enough to influence voting patterns." Varma does go on to add that the advent of vernacular blogging, however, might change this status quo as it would make blogs more ubiquitous and eventually, politically influential.

A collective private history
Delhi-based Nikhil Pahwa of believes that any connection made between a nation's blog and its superpower status, can well be logically fatal. He argues, "When the Americans started bombing Iraq, an Iraqi national found a computer in a still-functional cyber-café and blogged away. His blog went on to become one of the most powerful and popular blogs on the Internet and thanks to the blog, he was able to get a job with The Guardian. But his achievement obviously does not reflect or sediment Iraq's reputation as a superpower of any kind."

If we take Pahwa's argument a little further and conclude that blogs are personal voices that are fashioned by a larger national one, we should also be able to say that the collective of Indian blogs will eventually prove to be a useful lens through which we can view the country's transition from what it dreams to be to what it becomes. Chandrahas Choudhury, who blogs at, says, "Blogs record the changes that occur and since blogs are personal voices that seek to make sense of complex issues, they collectively become the private history of a country."
•As of July 2006, there were 40,128 bloggers on, who identified themselves as Indians

•Of these, 80 per cent were male and 13 per cent female. This is a serious deviation from the global blogging gender scenario, where 45 per cent are men and 38 per cent women

•Fifty one per cent of Indian bloggers fall under the 21-30 age group
(Shreevatsa NevatiaNew Delhi, October 20, 2006,00160138.htm )



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