The state of the Indian blogosphere vs. the western blogosphere :
I wanted to start this blog post with a comparison between two potentially A-List bloggers who started blogging recently – one American and one Indian. These were: Marc Andreesen (at http://blog.pmarca.com) and Sanjeev Bikhchandani (at http://bikhchandani.blogspot.com/).
Unfortunately, Sanjeev has practically stopped blogging. He wrote 4 posts in May followed by 1 in June and that’s that – (all of which made for great reading by the way). Marc on the other hand started with a bang: he wrote some absolutely amazing posts on a variety of topics ranging from Entrpreneurship, Technology, Science Fiction and Current Affairs. But now, he has largely limited himself to pulling out passages or quotes from various sources and adding a one-liner to it as his take.
Nevertheless, the question I wanted to ask was, Where are all the Indian blogs?
There could be two reasons why I don’t have the answer to the question. a) I am a newbie to blogs and don’t know which are the most read Indian blogs even though they exist. b) Since I don’t hear about or stumble upon very many Indian blogs (Unlike say you would on all kinds of American blogs), it equally possible that they don’t exist. [I am not counting blogs like GigaOm, which, though run or written by people of Indian origin, touch upon India-related topics very rarely.]
There are definitely some well known Indian bloggers. There’s Amit Agarwal who is a full time blogger, there are some internet/tech blogs like Contentsutra, Alootechie, Webyantra (this one is dying by the way) and some others like Youth Curry (amazingly insightful) and Great Bong (hilarious).
The point I am trying to make when I ask that question is that while bloggers exist and some of them are fairly popular, blogging isn’t a conversational medium at all.
Look at the US. Someone writes about a topic, someone else takes it up and so on so forth – creating a coherent and involving discussion around all kinds of things. This has also spawned sites like TechMeme which keep a track of such ‘conversations’.
Here, there have been some such discussions around specific issues in the past: IIPM, reservations and Jessica Lal come to mind – but do they create any impact? Why don’t they happen more often?
I think most Indian blogs are about the author and his/her musings – a personal diary on a variety of topics (this one included :)). [Even those make for amazing reading, but then we need more industry veterans like Sanjeev Bikhchandani blogging (and also hope that they blog more often)].
Also, in the USA, blogging is big business. Besides the success stories of Weblogs Inc. (which was purchased by AOL for $25m) there are other big blog networks such as Nick Denton’s Gawker Media, Techcrunch, GigaOM etc. There are others that exist on a variety of topics(link). Why doesn’t something like this exist in India, or why isn’t anyone trying to create a blog network? [A Google search got me this – on Instablogs – but it doesn’t seem to have any flagship blogs (for e.g. Engadget for Weblogs), just syndicated stories from a lot of ‘channels’.]
It’s unfortunate that the such a medium hasn’t found sufficient consumers or creators in India (yet?).
I think [Aside: I was almost going to say ‘I personally believe’, when I was reminded of this video] that proliferation of Internet media via blogs and the like, would be the real catalyst of internet usage in India.