Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Forget No. 1, Here's 5-Point Something on Bloggers

If laughter is good for health, then yesterday was one of the healthiest days of my life. The entire day I rolled on the floor laughing as I read one post after the other on the recent controversy over who is Chennai's (or is it India's?) no. 1 blogger. The no. 1 position apparently belongs to a certain Mr Kiruba Shankar, and there are some people who are disputing this, saying that Mr Shankar's posts are usually inane and that he uses his blog for self-promotion and so on.

But then, no. 1 is no.1, no matter who decides the ranking -- be it Technorati or Blogstreet or whatever. And to be honest, people out to attack Mr Shankar with sharpened knives are also seeking self-promotion by attacking him. They seem to be jealous of the number of hits that Mr Kiruba Shankar's blog gets every day or every month.

But believe me guys, 99 percent of amateur Indian -- or Chennai-based -- bloggers are not even aware of Mr Shankar or his blog or the controversy that is raging in blogosphere about his undisputed ranking. They write their stuff and go to sleep: they are too happy if their friends have read their blog and left a comment. And it is the amateur blogger who rules because there is nothing called professional blogger: in fact the word 'blogger' (or even 'blog') will be underlined with red the moment you type it on Microsoft Word. I am not aware if the dictionaries have incorporated the word(s) yet, but the spellchecker certainly hasn't.

But I do see the point the detractors of Mr Shankar are trying to make. Probably what they mean to say is, the quality of the posts is one thing, and the quantity of traffic it attracts is quite another. In other words, how can someone writing crap be the no. 1 blogger? Personally speaking, I have hardly read Mr Shankar's blog to be able to comment on the quality of his posts, but considering the number of hits he gets, there must be something about the posts.

Something. Now that something has always baffled me -- someone who is not even a year into blogging. What is that something? Alas, I am still trying to figure that out. Had I figured that early enough, I guess I would have been at the centre of the debate, and not Mr Kiruba Shankar. Ok, I am not going to take names anymore. Unethical, you see. Instead, I would offer you my honest opinion about blogging and bloggers. Take it or leave it (better still, link it. I want traffic, you see). So here I am, listing my opinion -- in points:

1. No self-respecting blogger ever starts a blog thinking about the traffic. The instant publication/uploading of a post is satisfactory enough. If someone strays into the blog and leaves a comment, that's a bonus.

2. Human beings are greedy: they are not happy with just the bonus. Just like workers in a textile mill, they want more. So they go to other blogs, leave 'intelligent' comments, and come back to write 'intelligent' posts. But I respect them. I respect their labour.

3. Some human beings behave as if they are the owners of the textile mill: throw a bone to the workers, and they will hungrily pounce on it. But since these mill owners don't have brains, they borrow the brains from elsewhere. So cut-and-paste from newspapers, from websites, from New York Times (not to mention Guardian!). And there you have a pompous post, as if the words sprouted from their brains! Good show, pals.

4. Sad fact of life: these textile mill owners happen to be some of the most popular 'bloggers'.

5. The mill workers, meanwhile, toil on, guided by the principle of Bhagwad Gita: "You do your job, the reward is not for you to seek." So every evening they activate their grey cells and fork 500 words out of them. The reward occasionally comes in the form of a comment or two. Even if it doesn't, they keep writing. That's the real blogger for you.

16 comments:

Zeppelin said...

WOW !! is all i have to say ! I'd say mostly true.. atleast as far as I have seen.. (which is may be around 10-15 or slightly more..:D)

if i may, i'd like to add another class of bloggers : who say they have attained "blog nirvana".. a guy actually said that to me when i asked him why he is not writing anymore.. Well not writing is his/her own choice, but coming up with something like "Blog Nirvana" is too much to take ! :)

yet another good one !
-arun

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Arun: Thanks a lot -- for noticing, and reading, the post :)

Atul Sabnis said...

i kinda agree with arun - but blog nirvana is not only abt giving up blogging - i guess its also abt the blogger who has experienced 'maya' and escaped it and now can blog for blog's sake :)

dazedandconfused said...

For me the best part of blogging is also to be able to interact with people whom I would not have the opportunity to in the normal course.

For eg. I don't think I know anybody who's a full time journo, so visiting your blog kinda fulfils that...

Paresh Palicha said...

What you'll call a blogger, who keeps typing on Word to Post on the blog but rarely does it because somehow he sees that there are people who express things in a better way than he would? A blogger with severe infiriority complex. Right? So please write more about RD & Gulzar, Yoga, Sex & (moaning) fidelity. There're people crawling on your blog 24/7 to read your new post (before you delete it forever).

Mons said...

Hi, I just spent the whole day reading your blog (at the workplace) with a promise from colleagues who caught me at it to not tell on me :| Am smitten - with your posts, I mean.

Arvi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hawkeye said...

hi,

i have been following your posts for a while and respect you enough to reply.

take a look at this

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=kiruba

look at the # of references of "indian #1 blogger" etc. i was more sickened by the political party'ish habit of giving honorary doctorates and unbelievable taglines for people. "king" etc are all so primitive.

i have followed many people who have critisised kiruba for sometime. they aren't all hit-seekers. some of them were very sane people.

i dont mind kiruba's self-promotion. he has the right do it. but its like the whole jayalalitha/sachin thing. there is so much hype and sycophancy that you really dont know what abuse to disabuse.

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Atul: I too kinda agree with you and Arun. I wish we all blogged for blog's sake :)

Dazedandconfused: Thanks a lot for your comments.

Paresh: I would call such a blogger conscientious. And please don't be so kind to me :) And why would I delete my stuff? By the way, do you know what I'm listening to this very moment? Phir Wohi Raat Hai -- a Kishore-RD-Gulzar combo. Cheers!

Mons: My blog is blushing!

Hawkeye: Many thanks for your comment. But if you had understood the spirit of my post (maybe you should give it a second, careful read), you wouldn't have said: "I have followed many people who have critisised kiruba for sometime. they aren't all hit-seekers. some of them were very sane people." I sincerely hope you get my point -- at least now. :)

Hawkeye said...

bishwanath,

my fault really. i sort of knew this when i was leaving the comment :-) but the first para about hit-seekers made me leave this rather impulsive comment.

i agree about item #5 very strongly. infact if i put some effort and write a well-thuught out post, people automatically notice, link etc and the hits increase. i have toiled with 70 hits a day, in my initial 6 months and just wrote what i felt like, unmindful of comments and over time the hits grew 10 time that number. truth be said - more hits is a distraction. i felt much happier when i was 70/day.

Tanushree said...

Wow, that was pretty insightful. If you've read my blog (and I know you have, coz I followed your comment here) you will know that I mostly post inanity, because like Paresh, I feel that about serious things that matter, someone else has written much more eloquently than I would ever manage. So I just use my blog to publicise my love for chocolates and sometimes post about things that are going on around me. As for hits, I get abt 10 a day on average :D and this after having had a mention on desipundit.com!

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Tanushree: That's what blogs are for! -- to write about the loves of your life. Lucky if they get publicised :) Thanks and cheers.

in2mind said...

@BG

You sure you never deleted a post? :)

Elizabeth Bennett said...

Well said! When other people read your blog, it means additional responsibility. If I write about myself, I've to keep it interesting. And getting thousands of hits doesn't justify the self-important tone of writing.

Rubic_Cube said...

Brilliant. I hope I can enshrine those five laws somewhere and say, these were the foundations on which blogging community was founded. I was discussing this very topic, probably a day or two back, and my friend (who has been blogging for about 3 years now) gave me this gyaan that commenting is always a bonus. You have mentioned the same. I am a newbie in the blogging world and these laws speed me up to blogging nirvana! :-)

Anonymous said...

The latest edition of "oxford's advance learner's Dictionary has the word "blog" in it .
Vandy.