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Thursday, November 25, 2004

in the wonderland of blogs

Once one gets addicted to this hobby, one is doomed to be a regular netizen for the rest of his life.

When I ventured into this unknown territory, I was apprehensive – surfing the net was something that needed to be learnt and understood. There were net etiquettes (netiquettes) that were to be captured – there were abbreviations that were to be used – there were icons called emoticons that ranged from the funny to the bizarre to be understood. The basic logic of the blog culture is that you are at liberty to post on any subject under the sun and release it for comments from far and wide – you must have the guts to accept honest criticism and be able to post replies, if the situation demands. Once you create a blog, it is like your own child – you have to nurse it and own responsibilities of its shortcomings.

I embraced this culture in July-2004.

Starting with one USA based site, I located a number of sites Indian and International and was surprised to notice that the taste in blogs vary from place to place. To quote an example – one of my blogs on ‘sweets of India’ was given a 5-star rating and has had a viewer ship of 239 in a non-Indian site whilst it has yet to reach 100 in the Indian site. Similarly, Indian fast foods attracted 107 eyeballs on the Indian site but 262 on its non-Indian counterpart.

Regarding comments on blogs – as already mentioned, this is a part of blog culture. The forum members give suggestions based on their experiences – these help the ‘newbies’.

For example, initially I used to post one blog on each subject. One of my forum friends advised me to combine similar posts into one blog and keep on increasing the number of posts. His logic was that if surfers found the blog interesting, he would keep on searching the net for the same blog again and again. I accepted the advice and, all my posts now fall into four major categories. Regular monitoring of the viewer ship patterns indicate the areas where one needs to improve upon.

Since freedom of speech is guaranteed, all comments posted against the blogs must be welcome. After all, those who post comments do it with some objective – the bloggers should accept such comments in the proper spirit. In some of the sites where I contribute, removal of comments is considered a serious crime. Other sites have options of removal of comments. Sensitive bloggers can resort to this option but, in my opinion, once a blog is posted it should remain on the net, intact, till the site itself closes down due to whatever reasons.


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