[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

My take on blogs

apple store
Arvind and Ranjini finally chose to stay back, thanks to the snow in Mid west. So we hang out this thanksgiving all by ourselves. Being next door to one of the biggest malls in new jersey, The Bridgewater Commons mall, we spent a day long shopping. 99% of that was window-shopping 🙂 and 1 was real. We stopped by the new hype-shop Apple mini store. Mesmerised by the store, products and its crazy shoppers (if one in 10 buy something, apple will make millions, that was like the crowd there), to buy a iPod. This classic gizmo has a fantastic user interface and pretty good stereo headphones. I am writing this blog as I enjoy this melody by Babul Supriyo from Hum Tum, beamed into my external speakers directly from the iPod.

With some time to spare today, I set out to clean up my yahoo email. I had close to 1000 emails ( never deleted!). I found this email that I sent to Subha, my friend and columnist at The Hindu. A small part of this email later made it to the this article she wrote on the The Hindu about blogs.

Since I gave my take about Blogs on that email, shouldnt it ideally be in its own blog? Here you go. This is the reply to an email I got from Subha asking for my take on Blogs. I have left it unedited and I still agree with most of what I wrote 3 months ago.

So I see you have been infatuated by the world of Blogs. I would think it was inevitable. I am not sure how much you are aware of this virtual world of blogs or weblogs as they are also called, but it has morphed into humungous proportions and millions of new weblogs are written everyday.

Blogs mean different things to different people. As you said, one form of it is to write about everyday happenings so everyone, including friends and family can get to knwo about it at their liesure. This is bit easier than sending an email and the major difference is it is all stored in a sequence of posts and can be read one by one by anyone anytime. Writing comments is nothing but replying to emails, except that comments stay attached to the note to be available for reading afterwards. So its again all-in-one-place idea.

To many, Blog is nothing but a place to write about “anything”. That in itself is very powerful. Remember “anything” within quotes mean NO RULES, NO BOUNDARIES. All of a sudden I can write a blog about how painful it is to wait for 10 mts outside a first floor of my four floor office elevator with 3 others and then realize as soon as we get into it, each one of us press each of the four floors and I have to go 4th floor! That sucks! See this doesnt mean anything. Not to me, not to you. But may be to someone somewhere someday, into distant future, out there. He or She must have had a same experience or a similar one and it triggers something in his/her mind. So that simple three liner stands to be of some purpose. How long does it take? 2 mins. What does it cost? nothing! Whats the purpose? I have written down something that it will remain forever for whoever wants to use it for whatever! You get an idea?

For some, Blogging is means of Private Journalism. They write religiously about news / events / entertainement / media etc. There is scores of such blogs. The attractiveness in it is it is personal, fresh unedited) and amateur and so is expected to be more closer to the truth than the so called main stream media which goes thru 10 different reviews and editorials. No wonder people like reality shows these days, same concept isnt it? unscripted? real? live? personal? There is also an argument that blogs could challenge main stream journalism. But it is just that. It will remain as a challenge but can never beat it. Becoz 90% of blogs inturn depend on mainstream media like newspapers, magazines and tv for their source. Only 10% of the bloggers are journalists themselves in its traditional sense. You could still find 10 local fanatic bloggers from 10 different states and use those 10 blogs to read fresh first hand news about the states. But it might be easier to go to Hindu after two hours to read all of them at once. So my take is becoz of blogs very virtue, which is decentralization, its going to be difficult take over main stream media all together. Which is why, these geeks have come up with somethign called Aggregators and RSS feeds. They are softwares that you can install or aggregating website themselves, where you can subscribe to different blogs and get a direct feed from them. So instead of visiting 10 different blogs everyday, these aggregators can collect them on behalf of you and read them from one place. Cool isnt it? So thats how the industry is bulging out. Time will say if its just a hype or will be a real threat someday.

As for my blog, I started it way back 2-3 years ago. Just for the fun of it. I still do it for the same. I write whatever I think of. I dont care who reads it who comments on it. I just do it. It helps in my writing and also makes me to think. The greatest drawback of blogs is that the content may be good, but the quality may not be always good. Since the writing is more like an extempore, you dont think about the words and sentences in depth to write a great piece. For that, I need to be skilled anyway isnt it? like you guys are!

Blogging is infectious and viral. Most blogs link to other blogs. So once you fall into it, you can go on reading so many things and never realize its end of the day. Perhaps, the freshness and naiveness in the writings make it addictive. Some bloggers use it to let their heart out. It makes them feel better as there is nobody to say right or wrong. Infact, there is no sense in arguing about correctness in one’s blog unless they directly refer to someone or something. You write it and let it go. Most of them dont even care to read it again.

The more unknown the person is the more you tend to like their writings. The more farther the person is writing from the more you feel closer to that person. I have made a bunch of friends thru just blogs. Just for it, I believe its worth it. Plus, everyone get to know who I am, what I do, and what I care for. If not for anyone else, these blogs are going to be there just for me, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, to read and relive it. Thats why I named and tagged mine so.

All of the above is MY OWN VIEWS and the beauty is someone else might give a different view. Take them as you feel its value as. I think I have become talented in one thing becoz of all this, I can keep on writing some crap until end of time 🙂 I should learn to stop!

Eventually, about 4 lines of what I had written to Subha made it to the Hindu article! Yet another reason to read blogs for real news, real views and real reports; I heard in NPR a couple of days ago that more russians and ukranians in US (and perhaps all over the globe) learn about the political drama unwinding there thru Blogs written by locals witnessing it live from their windows!

Ukraine elections thru the blogosphere : Ukraine Revolution, Ben in Ukraine, Fistful of Euro’s, Periscope, Kumbaya, Ukraine, Russia, Europe, the US, Oh My!, Teksty and From our man in Ukraine – all termed “well-informed” news!

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