Posts filed under indian blogs

Interview with Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspirations

Written by: Abhinav

On Mar 4th, 2007

Amit Agarwal, the author of the the Digital Inspirations blog, is India’s first professional blogger. Recently, we asked him a few questions and the answers, like the man himself, are simple and straightforward. Aspiring professional bloggers (we know that there are a good number of you out there) would do well to keep them in mind. Once you have read the interview below, please leave behind a comment or send us an email to let us know what you think about the professional blogging scene in India, the technology blogs out there and what value these add to your life. Also, if you know of other Indian bloggers who are blogging for a living, please let us know. Now, to the interview itself.
iLeher: In your view, what is professional blogging? How would you describe what you do in terms of it being an economic function?

Amit: When you are not posting pictures of your cat sitting on the couch or not writing about what you had for dinner last night.

iLeher: Many of us consider a profession to be something one does from 9 to 5. Do you blog for some specific time (9 to 5) or do you do it as and when you feel like? How much time do you spend a day blogging/researching?

Amit: My blogging schedule is generally dependent on the site traffic. Since a bulk of my readers are from US and Europe, I like to post new stuff in the evenings here.

I generally work between 10-12 hours a day and more than half of that time goes in researching topics that might interest DI readers.

iLeher: How do you decide on stories and how do you go about identifying what would make a good story?

Amit: I get a lot of queries from readers on technology and related topics. Plus I read hundreds of RSS feeds to track what’s hot and might interest people.

iLeher: Are there many more in India like you?

Amit: There are tons of good technology bloggers in India though I am not sure if they blog full-time.

iLeher: Do you have any advice to those wanting to blog for a profession?

Amit: It’s a very risky business because you are dependent on so many other factors like SE rankings, inbound links, etc. Therefore, try to have a backup plan before making your blog a profession.

iLeher: What are some of the best Indian blogs you like?

Amit: I like reading Ouch My Toe, Swadeshe, Newsmericks, VentureWoods and Mad Momma.

iLeher: How do you characterize the typical readers of yours and other Indian blogs? (young, savvy, etc.)

Amit: The majority is young but there are some very senior people as well who read my blog.

iLeher: What do you do to promote your blog?

Amit: I focus on writing regularly and rest everything follows automatically. But yes, DI web address is printed on my business card.

iLeher: How has the blogging scene evolved over the years in India?

Amit: It’s growing and will continue to grow. No doubts about that and conferences such as BlogCamp and BarCamp will just aid in spreading the awareness.
iLeher: How much money do you make off your blog and what are the various channels ?

Amit: I think my blog generates some decent revenue and most of that is via online advertising. I do some consulting work as well.

iLeher: What is the most important thing for a blogger? (E.g., honesty to the readers, “interestingness”, etc)

Amit: Always disclose your sources of information and give them due credit.

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The great Indian blogosphere – a business opportunity?

Written by: Madhur

On Feb 20th, 2007

There has been quite a bit of talk in the mainstream media as well as in the blogosphere about the blogging phenomenon in India. If the numbers are to be believed, they are quite significant. 35% of the entire Internet users expressing themselves through blogs! Not a bad number to start with. Also considering that China is much ahead at 77% as well as the fact that number of Internet users in India is set to explode in the next few years, the bloggers and readers represent quite an attractive segment to me.

Now the question is whether there exists an unsolved problem in this domain? Look at this virtual world where all these bloggers live in – the Indian blogosphere. Now think of ways how people explore this world. There are some tools such as blog aggregators, a few scattered blog directories, some search engines, but nothing really compelling. I find it difficult to discover new interesting Indian blogs. There is no way good way for me to search the Indian blogosphere. No good way to find what others are reading.

Here’s a solution – think of technorati with a dash of mybloglog with India focus. Following is what it would do:

Top blog lists: Indibloggies is doing a good job in bringing top blogs to the fore on an annual basis, but keeping track of them on an ongoing basis (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) would require algorithmic means like technorati employs – based on how frequently a particular blog is linked, how many daily subscribers, how many readers mark the blog as their favorite, etc.

Discovery of new and interesting blogs: Once you have an active technorati like community, blogs can be discovered based on categories, tags, what people are commenting on etc. Services like Desipundit and Blogbharti are doing a great job in surfacing great content from across the Indian blogosphere, but making it scalable for really catching all the little blogs everywhere would again require a combination of community activity and algorithmic ways of doing this.

Blog search: If all the Indian blogs give a ping shot to this service, the blogs can be indexed and effectively searched with Google Blogsearch like service, focused on Indian blogs. We have ourselves created a Google customized search engine to do our research for posts – try out the search box on the top right corner (make sure to select the radio button to “iLeher trusted sources”).

Integration with news: One of the very widespread patterns in the blogosphere is someone (mainstream media or one of the blogs) breaks the news and others write their opinions on that topic. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can see listings of top news everyday and see what bloggers are talking about those news items?

What are your thoughts? How do you navigate through the Indian ocean of blogs? Would you like to see an Indian technorati?

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