The World of Blogging


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A presentation given by Debashish at a symposium on blogging organized by the Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Pune. Report on the symposium at

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The World of Blogging

  1. 1. Debashish Chakrabarty [email_address] The World of Blogging
  2. 2. Conversations Circa 1995 Usenet, Forums
  3. 3. Conversations, Circa 2007 Blogs
  4. 4. So what’s this fuss about? <ul><li>A Blog (short for &quot;Web log&quot;) is a Web site, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>usually maintained by an individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having regular entries of commentary with photos, graphics, video, links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entries commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order (Wikipedia) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogosphere = ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation* </li></ul><ul><li>Lines between blogs & mainstream media site are blurring. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both are assuming characteristics, styles and formats from each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most Newspapers opting for online presence and showcase reporter blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why do companies care? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% Bloggers post about Brands, Music, Movies & Books they love (or hate)*. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogs are evolving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Countless &quot;microblogging&quot; platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifestreaming aggregators: FriendFeed, Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why Blog? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak your mind, Have Fun, Share Expertise/Experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network, Build Friends, Communities & Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rewards: Interviews, Book Deal, Career, Personal satisfaction, Freebies/Money. </li></ul></ul>* Source: Technorati
  5. 5. Jan 1994: A Student Justin Hall creates first blog ever at April 1997: Dave Winer launches Scripting News Sept 1997: Slashdot begins Dec 1997: The term Weblog coined by Jorn Barger. Peter Merholz called it Blog (both a noun & a verb) in 1999. Timeline of Major Blogging Platforms Source: White African
  6. 6. Structure of a typical blog
  7. 7. Characteristics of Blogs <ul><li>Filter information </li></ul><ul><li>Add Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Related links, Easier explanation </li></ul></ul>Source: The Weblog Handbook, Rebecca Blood <ul><li>Promote Media Literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research several sources, Point Flaws </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide alternate view </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal op-ed, No stockholders to please </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invite Participation, Generate Dialog </li></ul><ul><li>What else? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Common Terms <ul><li>TrackBack </li></ul><ul><li>Commenting System </li></ul><ul><li>Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Permalink </li></ul><ul><li>Feed (RSS, Atom) </li></ul><ul><li>Ping </li></ul><ul><li>Statcounter/Referrer </li></ul><ul><li>Splog/MFA </li></ul><ul><li>Troll </li></ul><ul><li>Blogosphere/Blogdom </li></ul><ul><li>Blogroll </li></ul><ul><li>CSS </li></ul><ul><li>Widget/Plugin </li></ul><ul><li>Sidebar </li></ul><ul><li>Sideblog/Asides </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogging </li></ul><ul><li>WYSIWYG </li></ul><ul><li>Streisand Effect </li></ul>
  9. 9. What do people write about ? <ul><li>Music is more popular and politics is less popular in Asia </li></ul><ul><li>Sincere, Conversational, Expert and Humorous are top blogging styles </li></ul><ul><li>Asian bloggers tend to be more motivational and confessional than confrontational </li></ul>Source: Technorati
  10. 10. Some Numbers <ul><li>70% users prefer reading in Indian languages. ( Juxt Consult, 2008 ) </li></ul><ul><li>15 mn Indians read blogs online (Lodestar) </li></ul><ul><li>5 lacs profiles with location India </li></ul><ul><li>133 mn blogs in 81 languages, 1 mn posts daily (Technorati) </li></ul><ul><li>Asian Bloggers: 73% Male and in 18-34 Age range (Technorati) </li></ul><ul><li>37500 Monthly Unique visitors (Sept 08) on BigB’s blog </li></ul>
  11. 11. Popular Blogging Styles <ul><li>Insight Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing insights, original ideas, commentary or trends on a particular topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meme Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting a thread of discussion and then challenging other bloggers to answer it on their </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Piggyback Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing about a topic that is currently popular in the news media, on meme sites like Tailrank </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brand Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A post about a brand or product focused on sharing positive attributes or an “inside look” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Detractor Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share a passionate hatred for a product/brand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Announcement Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Break news about an announcement or news that was not previously available elsewhere. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Video Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating original video and putting online in a blog post or embedding a video </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Photo Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post photos as main blog posts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer your expertise or personal opinion to review a product or service. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evangelist Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing an affinity and support a social cause, organization, product or individual that you believe in. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>List Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly popular format of the top ten (or any other number) lists about something. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Guest Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authoring a blog post intended to be published on a blog other than your own. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interview Blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducting an interview and publishing either audio or video files, or creating a transcript of the interview to write into a blog post. </li></ul></ul>Source: “The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging” on Many more: Survey Blogging, Link Blogging, Live Blogging, Life Blogging and so on…
  12. 12. Corollary to blogging Localization, Sarvagya Wiki, Anugunj, Hindi Yugm, Aggregators
  13. 13. Code & Ethics <ul><li>Never plagiarize. Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. </li></ul><ul><li>Never distort the content of photos without disclosing what has been changed. </li></ul><ul><li>If publishing questionable information, make it clear it's in doubt. </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sensitive with interviews/photo of those affected by tragedy. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance. </li></ul><ul><li>Private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects, victims of sex crimes and criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges. </li></ul><ul><li>Be Accountable (even the Supreme Court has now validated that) </li></ul><ul><li>Admit mistakes and correct them promptly. </li></ul><ul><li>Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations and personal agendas. </li></ul><ul><li>Paid reviews, Freebies & incentivized blogging: Disclose the favors. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Tips from Amit Agarwal <ul><li>Follow Schedule - Don’t disappoint readers </li></ul><ul><li>Be thick Skinned - Cannot please everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Never Flame / Avoid Personal Attacks </li></ul><ul><li>Look out for spelling / typos </li></ul><ul><li>Formatting - Most People Will Scan, Not Read </li></ul><ul><li>Think and Write - Avoid Embarrassment Later </li></ul><ul><li>Anything Posted Online is Undeletable </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote a killer post ? Tip, But Don’t Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Blog Clutter </li></ul><ul><li>Offer RSS and Email subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Self Promotion Not Bad </li></ul><ul><li>Blog Design Matters </li></ul><ul><li>Readers are 100x Smarter Than You – Respect Their Time </li></ul><ul><li>Stop Obsessing about Stats and Income </li></ul>
  15. 15. … and some tips of my own <ul><li>Don’t procrastinate. If can’t blog, Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Perfectionism gets appreciation but no loyal readers </li></ul><ul><li>Ignore Troll, it takes away your energy </li></ul><ul><li>Speak your mind without fear but care about IPR, Individual Rights. Read employer’s blogging-policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t feel shy in marking spam mails as Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t spread rumors (“ Dalai Llama is on Twitter” ) or believe blog posts right away </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t blog if you don’t want to </li></ul><ul><li>Add disclaimers, Proclaim your agenda before-hand </li></ul><ul><li>Respect rules, if writing for Media/Guest Blogging </li></ul>
  16. 16. That’s, pretty much, it! <ul><li>Some self-promotion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Samayiki – Hindi Webzine ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Previously, Nirantar ( </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pod bharti – Hindi Podzine ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indibloggies – Indian Blog Awards ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More links at </li></ul></ul>Thank you!