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Blogging takes a backseat in tweeting times

DNPUN37669 | 4/3/2011 | Author : Divya Mangwani | WC :602 | Media & Marketing

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Many people are switching to microblogging sites like Twitter and Facebook due to real-time response, reports Divya Mangwani

Blogosphere is abuzz with a new question these days. With the advent of microblogging sites like Twitter and Facebook and specialised photo sharing sites, are serious blogs being relegated to the bottom of the online social scale?
The Indian blog boom began in 2003-2004 and aspiring writers kept an online diary detailing their thought process and activities or writing about subjects they were interested in.
But when the popular Desi Pundit decided to shut down first in 2006 then in 2010, it caused a mass outpouring of commiseration, followed by confusion from bloggers all over the country. They were asking themselves if it was a sign that blogging was about to become obsolete.
It was the same with Indibloggies, the desi blog awards that rated exceptional blogs in terms of quality and readership. Founder Debashish Chakrabarty decided to shut it down last year but explained the decline in the number of blogs was the least of his worries. “There were so many blogs cropping up that it became difficult to monitor them,” he said.
Chakrabarty, who wrote blogs in English as well as Hindi, has given up blogging in favour of Facebook and Twitter. He lists better feedback, real-time response and availability as his reasons.
“For the average blogger, Twitter is the best thing that could have happened,” said blogger Sahil Khan, who organised the Pune Twestival last month in association with BlogAdda to raise money for a worthy cause. The freelance designer personally believes that blogging has declined with the introduction of Twitter and the real-time element.
But Vibhuti Bhandarkar, who has a personal, creative and fashion blog, disagrees as the social networking sites have helped increase traffic on her blogs. The freelance copywriter is a passionate blogger and is a member of BlogAdda, Blogjunta, IndiBlogger, among others.
IndiBlogger, started by Renie Ravin, has a team of dedicated bloggers behind him, which he said is the reason why the site is growing rapidly at about 500 bloggers a month. “IndiBlogger has helped play a major part in promoting blogging as we also organise meet-ups of bloggers in different cities.”
He also claimed that any blogger with hard work and good content can make money by blogging. For example, Amit Agarwal, touted as India’s first professional blogger, has also opened his own blogging school. His technology blog, Digital Inspiration, still has a huge following since its inception in 2004.
Aggarwal may be one of the few that can make a livelihood through blogging but most people think it’s not enough to sustain on be it in terms of their creative urges or professional careers. Chakrabarty jointly launched a Hindi magazine Nirantar with a group of regional bloggers while his friend Nitin Pai, a well-known national interest blogger, also started his own magazine Pragati as well as Takshashila Institution, an independent think tank.
Other bloggers have become established authors like Amit Varma, Sonia Faleiro and Arnab Ray. Chakrabarty, who has rated and awarded these bloggers, said, “The online medium, especially blogging, has a limited reach. So writers also strive to receive recognition in other mediums.”
Sahil is a published author, thanks to his blog. Vibhuti is about to release her debut novel and said, “It’s all due to the appreciation and feedback from my blog that I developed confidence in my writing.”
With passionate and dedicated bloggers and community blog sites, the online presence of blogs will still be celebrated, irrespective of new microblogging sites.

Photo Caption: Vibhuti Bhandarkar, a freelance copywriter and a passionate blogger, is about to release her debut novel. She said blogging has increased her confidence in writing.- Divya Mangwani.DNA

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